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Tickets to fantastic shows!


Home to the king of the castles



Local chefs share their top tips for fine festive feasting

A timber-framed treat of a town



How to tick everything off your gift list in style FOOD & WINE DB03_Cover_novdec2017.indd 1



Take That talk about their early days |





GARDENS 10/11/2017 12:50

Saturday 27th January 2018

Dates of Assessments: Saturday 27 January 2018 for academic assessments; w/c Monday 22 January 2018 for practical and language assessments. Closing Date for Entry: Friday 19 January 2018.

For more details please email the Registrar at dcs@oswestryschool.org.uk or telephone 01691 681150

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WELCOME DEAR READER, Publisher Dan Bromage dan@shiremagazine.co.uk Editor Kate Speedie kate@shiremagazine.co.uk Production Editor Verity Gough verity@shiremagazine.co.uk Sales Executive Shona Newton shona@shiremagazine.co.uk Art Editor Tom Sullivan Designer Stuart Thomas Staff Writers Laura Clinton, Catherine Buckley Email Shire Magazine:


Contributors Gillian Danby, Gloria Mans, Sam Humphreys, P Parker, Clive Potter, James Sherwin, John Stubbs, Dr Peter Barling, Helen Cooke, Heidi Chamberlain-Jones, Lizzie Parker, Ursula Kenny, Lynne Allbutt, James Gillespie, Stuart Chapman Edwards, Bryn Williams. And not forgetting our receptionist Georgie.


t’s hard to imagine that 2017 is drawing to an end but winter is well and truly upon us now with its colder climes and darker nights. But rather than letting it get us down, here at Shire Magazine we’re full of seasonal spirit as the passing of another few months means we’re all one step closer to that most wonderful time of the year… Christmas! It is always a fun-filled festival and whether you party on a large scale or celebrate intimately with your nearest and dearest, the Yuletide season always brings with it a list of things to do. So we’ve tried to give you a helping hand with our handy hints for feeling festive as well as our shopping guide that should get those gift lists under control. Our food section is full of delicious Christmas treats and our resident experts have all brought a festive twist to their regular contributions. Hopefully most of you will be able to enjoy some time off over Christmas and get out and about. Our theatres Our cover features a fabulous frosty are packed with comedy, family shows, pantomimes and scene to get you in the seasonal spirit! musical entertainment, and markets pop up in every town. Take the opportunity to support the wealth of local businesses and producers that we are lucky enough to have in our patch as you organise your celebrations. We all hope you keep cosy over the winter months and we’ve included a feature in this edition that will let you snuggle up with some sound advice if you’re thinking of different home heating options. We’ve got all our usual arts, books, fashion, health and beauty sections inside plus your own contributions: photographs, letters or poems – we do love receiving them so please keep them coming. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018, from all the team at SHIRE IN THIS ISSUE Find the perfect present in our Christmas gift guide over on page 74

Shire Magazine, Superstar Publishing Ltd, PO Box 276, Oswestry Shropshire SY10 1FR Telephone: 01691 661270 You read every issue online at: www.shiremagazine.co.uk FESTIVE FOODIE TREATS! Scrummy recipes, the best food markets and more in our foodie round-up starting on page 80

Print ISSN 2514-3913 Online ISSN 2514-3921 PEFC Certified This magazine is printed on sustainably managed forests and controlled resources. www.pefc.com SHIRE MAGAZINE is published bi-monthly by Superstar Publishing Ltd. Every effort is made to ensure that the information and advice contained in these articles is correct and appropriate, but no liability or responsibility for loss or damage to any person acting or refraining from action in reliance on or as a result of anything omitted from such articles can be, or is accepted by, the authors, the publishers, their employees or any other persons connected with Superstar Publishing Ltd. Views expressed by contributors to Shire Magazine are not necessarily those of the magazine or of Superstar Publishing Ltd and should be attributed to the authors concerned. Save as expressively permitted by law no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written authority of the Publisher, acting for Shire Magazine or Superstar Publishing Ltd. © 2017 Superstar Publishing Ltd, all rights reserved. Registered Number: 10604188.

Embrace the festive spirit with the wonderful events happening across our patch this Christmas on page 62

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…


Tell us about your upcoming events. Just remember that we work in advance so February 1st is the deadline for events news for the next issue, March/April 2018


Share your reader stories – have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We’d like to feature it in the next issue. Send us an email, and don’t forget to include a picture or two as well


We have lots of regulars readers can contribute to…

Reader photos – taken a great shot recently? You don’t have to be a pro – email your best effort and you might get picked! See page 106 for more Reader poems – do you like penning the odd line? So do we! Send us your poems, we’d love to include them on our poetry page. See page 124 for more

Free subscription service Due to the volume of requests, anyone who wants to receive a copy of the magazine can send in a stamped addressed envelope (second class postage is £1.60) to the address above, it will be returned with a copy of the current issue.

Cute pets – is your pet the love of your life? Send a snap with their name, age and anything else you want to tell us. See page 101 for more Charities – is there a particular charity you support that you’d like us to feature? Drop us an email. See page 127 for more Send your submissions and information by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk

Send us a SAE with £1.60 postage to receive a free copy!

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

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5TH AY 1 ER D I R F EMB DEC ludes:


Ho Ho Ho Ho Ho!

GYPSY WOOD PARK IS OPEN THIS CHRISTMAS... ALL ABOARD FOR A MAGICAL TRAIN RIDE. Santa’s taking some time out from his busy schedule to make an extra special visit to Gypsy Wood, so why not take a ride on Woody’s Train and then head to our magical grotto and meet Santa himself.



Sports & Social Complex

Christmas Party Night LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ‘STREETS AHEAD’ £26.00 PER PERSON Brymbo Sports & Social Complex Every week we host live music and entertainment in our member’s sports bar in Tanyfron, Wrexham. Alongside the live entertainment, a number of other events run throughout the year, including line dancing classes and Slimming World™ sessions. The sports facilities comprise two football pitches, four tennis courts, two squash courts, a bowling green, and a cricket ground.

For more information please see our website www.gypsywood.co.uk Tel: 01286 673133 Bontnewydd, near Caernarfon

Brymbo Sports & Social Complex, College Hill, Tanyfron, Wrexham LL11 5TF Tel 01978 752577 www.brymbosportscomplex.co.uk

A two hour, one way cruise across Pontcysyllte Aqueduct in our enclosed, centrally heated narrowboat with a bus transfer.

Trips leave every weekend throughout November and December

Adults: £13.50 Children: £11.50 With mulled wine and mince pie included Booking advisable, to book call: 01978 860702 Or book online at: www.aqueductcruises.co.uk

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Contents N OV E M B E R / DE C E MB E R 2 01 7 6-52 What’s On Your ultimate must-read guide to the events going on across the region from North and Mid Wales, across Cheshire, including the Wirral, through Shropshire and into Herefordshire 54 Town Visit: Ledbury We visit the pretty market town of Ledbury in Herefordshire and chat to the locals PAG E 6 2 Get in the Christmas spirit with our guide to all things festive!

PAG E 8 0

Get your festive feast on! Our food pages have some seriously seasonal inspiration

PAG E 1 0 5 See the best of local arts, crafts and exhibitions

PAG E 9 5

58 Town Visit: Beaumaris It’s easy to see why this stunning spot on the Anglesey coast is a haven for visitors

61 Days Out Take a trip across a World Heritage aquaduct in the company of Jones the Boats

WIN! WIN! WIN! Turn to page 130 to be in with a chance of winning one of our brilliant competition prizes!

Stay snug and stylish with our fashion picks for gents

57 Take That! The boys from Take That talk about their early days as a new musical inspired by their story takes to the stage this month

59 Wrexham Museum We delve into the huge range of activities and exhibitions on offer at Wrexham’s museum

Stunning home style inspiration for the winter season

PAG E 1 0 8

56 Big Cities and Reviews Reviews and reports from shows and events the Shire team have been to recently

62 Christmas Events Christmas is just around the corner but if you’re not yet feeling fully festive, read our tick list of ways to make sure you’re in the spirit of the season PAG E 1 0 1 Did your pooch make the cut? See our pet section for serious cuteness

69 Holidays If you’re thinking of investing in a bolthole of your own, we’ve got the low-down on the best luxury holiday parks to try 73 Active Our round up of indoor and outdoor sports and pastimes to beat the winter blues 74 Christmas Shopping Whether retail is your religion, or shopping gives you shivers, we’ve got the ultimate guide to getting your gift list under control

PAG E 5 7 The Take That chaps talk to Shire about their new musical

PAG E 9 7 Pretty and practical buys to help you create gorgeous gardens PAG E 74 Christmas shop til you drop! We check out the best local shopping havens across the patch

80 Food and Drink Chef Bryn Williams shares his favourite Christmas pud, expert wine advice, a potted history of the pub and the best local food 85 Hotel Review Delicious fare and breathtaking coastal views at the Bulkeley Hotel in Beaumaris 86 Kitchen Shopping Embrace the colour of the season with our hot red kitchen buys 89 Homes It’s all about heating! Expert advice on wood-burning stoves, alternative heating and where to find eco-friendly fuel

95 Home Shopping Beautiful home buys in frosted tones to celebrate the season 97 Gardens The best flowers for winter planting, an exciting new garden opening and future-proofing at Bodnant Gardens 101 Pets Hear the latest from our RSPB and Wildlife Trust experts, a round-up the best buys for pets, plus our ever-popular readers pet gallery! 105 Arts A round-up of local exhibitions, an interview with a local illustrator, and the results of our photography competition 108 Men’s Fashion Outdoor style picks for the well-dressed gent 110 My Favourite Shop We browse the rails with fashion experts Daniella of Nantwich 112 Women’s Fashion Reach for the star motifs, and drool over our party dresses 115 Health & Beauty Advice on nailing the ‘five minute face’, top beauty buys plus wellbeing tips from our experts 117 GP Advice Dr. Barling gives us his seven golden rules, based on scientific evidence, on healthy eating 118 Expert Family Exploring the taboo subject of children’s mental health 120 Schools News Our headmaster’s column with some essential IT advice, and round-up of local school news 124 Books & Poetry A look at the four names revealed for a renowned local writing residency, a round-up of book events and signings, reviews and our pick of the reader poems 126 Horoscopes What’s coming your way with our horoscope forecast provided by our very own Gloria Mans 127 Volunteer & Charity A look at all the brilliant work you’ve done for charity 128 Letters We’ve collected some of your recent messages and events to share with the readers 128 Competitions Win some fabulous prizes in our exclusive competitions! Don’t delay, enter today! 130 Coming next issue See what’s in store for our next edition, March/April 2018

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 5

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17th-18th November, Llandudno Antiques Fair, Llandudno Town Hall Located in the centre of the town, close to all shops, restaurants and cafes. Pay and display car park at the rear of the building and plenty of on-street parking close by, also easily accessible by public transport. With a wide variety of goods with prices on sale. Entry 50p, under 16s free. 9am-4.30pm.

Global culture at Galeri Caernarfon martial imagery and infectious belly laugh humour – all in a spellbinding display of sheer athleticism. Tickets cost £20 adult, £12 child.

18th-19th November, Christmas Craft Fair, St Collens Hall, Llangollen Come along and browse the stalls and pick up gifts for all the family. Event is on from 10am-4.30pm both days. Free admission, parking £1 per car and catering on site.

19th November, Conwy Half Marathon, Conwy Try and jostle your way to the edges of the pack because Runners World included it in their five most scenic half marathons in the UK. Taking in stunning sights like Conwy Castle, Isle of Anglesey and Puffin Island.

Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers, 24th November, 7.30pm Mugenkyo celebrate their 21st year on the road with this creating a contemporary look and sound, fusing the traditional spirit of taiko with a modern stage performance. Thundering rhythms, masked choreography, muscular synchronisation timed to perfection, post-apocalyptic

Rich Hall’s Hoedown, 9th December, 8pm This critically-acclaimed new show begins its second leg of touring. With current affairs as they are, there has never been a better time to be an American comedian in the UK. Hall’s precision dismantling of the tenuous relationship between two countries is as freewheeling and deadly accurate as ever.

Wintertime at Chirk Castle •23rd November, Wrexham

Christmas Light Switch On, Queen’s Square Wrexham Glyndwr Rotary Club returns with its annual event. With a celebrity TV actor poised to switch the lights on plus Heart FM radio presenters Lois and Oli as hosts, stalls, fairground rides, meet and greets with Queen Elsa and TV’s Paw Patrol, topped off with a huge firework finale. From 4pm-9pm.

25th November, A Celtic Christmas, Cookhouse Car Park, Prestatyn Begin the countdown to Christmas in style at this fun-filled event featuring live entertainment, stalls, games, rides and activities. From 11am-5pm.

November Weekend Conservation Tours, 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th November The special weekend conservation tours give a fascinating insight into the special conservation work the team do over the winter. Places are limited to 15 per tour. Normal admission applies. 11am4pm.

Christmas through the ages, 3rd-23rd December Enjoy a medieval extravaganza with a feast for the senses! Meet medieval characters in the courtyard, make table centres, try medieval food and drink, enjoy music, circus fun, and story-telling. Usual entry fee applies. 10am4pm. www. national trust.org. uk

Seasonal fun at Llanberis Lake Railway Santa’s Back! Santa makes his annual visit to the railway on 3rd, 9th-10th, 16th-17th December. There are presents for all the kids and a mince pie and seasonal drink for the grown-ups. Plus on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in November the ever popular Turkey and Tinsel Trains are running. Booking is essential. For more info visit www.lake-railway.co.uk.

Murder on the Orient Express, 20th December, shows at 2.30pm and 7.30pm Hercule Poirot is a renowned detective, but the famed Orient Express throws up what is perhaps his toughest case yet. Starring Johnny Depp, Kenneth Brannagh, Willem Dafoe, Dame Judi Dench, Michelle Pffeifer, Josh Gad and Penelope Cruz. www.galericaernarfon.com

Endurance Life Run: Anglesey coast

The Isle of Anglesey (Ynys Mon) is host to the Endurance Life Run on 13th January 2018. Off the north west coast of Wales near the beautiful Snowdonia mountain range, the terrain is rocky and offers a challenging run with a route along its dedicated coastal path which runs around the whole island. The cliffs have been shaped by the bracing Irish sea, and the isle is the new kid on the block as far as outdoor destinations go. One of the best 10K courses in the series. For more information on registration visit www.endurancelife.com

6 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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A most special season at Erddig

Pick of the gigs: North Wales Fight The Bear, 17th November, The Sun, Llangollen All original indie-ska band from Bishops Castle, Fight the Bear play The Sun this November. Their debut full-length album, Gutter Love, was released in 2006. Dead Sea Fruit, was released in 2009 and in 2011, Fight the Bear played at T in the Park and were featured as BBC Radio 1’s Tip of the Week. The band’s third album, 38 Degrees, was released on in August 2013. www.fightthebear.co.uk

An enchanted Christmas From the last weekend in November, including December weekends, children can come along to the Enchanted WoodBarn at Greenwood Forest Park for an afternoon tea with Santa. Dates include 8th, 13th, 14th and 15th December. Children will enjoy some delicious festive food, play in the WoodBarn before meeting Santa and receiving a gift. Advance booking essential. The Enchanted WoodBarn is open from 6th November until February half term 2018 (closed 24th, 25th and 26th December and 1st January) from 10am-5.30pm. Find out more at www. greenwoodforestpark.co.uk

is powerful, emotional and The Floyd Effect – The Pink totally immersive. Floyd Tribute Show, 25th www.thefloydeffect.com November, 7.30-10.30pm, Theatre Colwyn Who’s Next, 25th The Floyd Effect DID YOU November, McLeans has become rightly KNOW? Bar, Pentre, 8pm renowned for Pink Floyd derived Who’s Next’s live the remarkable its name from US show is a time accuracy with which it performs blues musicians: Pink machine ride back Anderson and to the days of Live the iconic music of at Leeds, The Isle Pink Floyd. Every Floyd Council of Wight Festival, note that you hear Tanglewood and the Fillmore is played and sung by the shows. A must for any Who fan! band, making each concert a www.premierwhotribute.com. genuine ‘live’ experience, which

Tasty treats at Llangollen Railway Santa’s Christmas Specials, 2nd, 23rd and 24th December Santa makes a special visit each Christmas to Llangollen Railway. Travel on a decorated steam train from Llangollen to Carrog (renamed Lapland for Santa’s visit). Good boys and girls will receive a special gift on the journey and the adults will receive a mince pie and a tipple from Santa’s little helpers. Tickets: adult and child (over 1) £18, compartment for eight people £165. Prices on 23rd of December and Christmas Eve: adult and child (+one year) £23, compartment for eight people, £200. Real Ale Train, 9th December, 6.30pm Step onboard and soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying the real ales on offer at the well stocked bar.

Tickets cost £16 in advance and include a free Llangollen Railway pint glass. Real ale is £3 per pint and food will be available to purchase from The Station Cafe and Bar on the evening, along with a BBQ on the platform. Reserved seating will be provided for parties of eight or more. Tickets purchased on the evening are £18 per person. Mince Pie Specials, 26th-29th December and January 1st 2018 Sit back and relax in comfort as you admire the beautiful Dee Valley in specially decorated carriages. Adults receive a mince pie and a tipple and children can enjoy a treat and a drink. Trains depart Llangollen Station at 10.40am, 1pm and 3.10pm. www.llangollenrailway.co.uk

Enchanted Erddig Toy Box, from 1st December9th February Come along for this playful, curious and intriguing look at the Yorke family’s toy collection. Discover the toys scattered around the grounds of the property; from a giant zoetrope to oversized babushka dolls! Explore this surprising and fantastical installation. General admission applies. 11am-4pm. Breakfast or Supper with Father Christmas, 2nd-24th December Join Father Christmas for a hearty breakfast or delcious two-course supper in the Hayloft restaurant. Mother Christmas has prepared a fabulous spread but Father Christmas is nowhere to be seen. Join Jake, the story-telling elf and give a cheer to wake Father Christmas and listen out for the bells. With craft activities, songs, a special story and a small gift for children. Bring a camera for photos by the tree, and discover the Enchanted Erddig toy box trail. Tickets adult NT member £11.95, non-member £13.95, child NT member £12.95, nonmember £14.95. Reverse Grotto, 2nd-24th December Enjoy the gift of giving by leaving a donation for the local Wrexham food bank this Christmas. Father Christmas, will be in the elves’ workshop at weekends to say thank you for your donation and will be thrilled that you’re trying to help them in their quest to help the less fortunate this Christmas time. From 4.30pm-6pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 7

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Winter season at Pontio

Movie madness at Neuadd Dwyfor

Bladerunner 2049, 28th29th November, 7.30pm In this much awaited sequel, a new blade runner (Ryan Gosling) is trying to find Rick Deckard, who has been missing for thirty years. Tickets £6.25, concessions £5.25.

cost £17.50, and only £12 for The Magic of Storytelling: students and under 18s. In Conversation with Philip Pullman, 7th December, 8pm Rock Against Racism: Hope Join Philip Pullman, a Fellow not Hate, 16th December, 7pm of Bangor University, and This special gig celebrates music acclaimed author of the Dark of all kinds. Headlining Materials trilogy: The is reggae maestro Golden Compass, The DID YOU Dennis Bovell, Subtle Knife, and The KNOW? renowned as an Amber Spyglass and Author of Gulliver’s accomplished multiCount Karlstein Travels, Jonathan instrumentalist. He and a trilogy of Swift, invented the has collaborated Victorian thrillers name Vanessa with too many featuring Sally to mention, but Lockhart. Taking amongst them I Roy, the author’s latest book Steel Pulse and Errol Dunkley, La Belle Sauvage, Volume 1 of Johnny Clarke, The Slits, The Book of Dust published Chalice, The Thompson Twins this autumn as the point of and Bananarama as well as departure, the talk also brings re-mixing albums for the great author and former BBC Wales Marvin Gaye, Wet Wet Wet and arts correspondent Jon Gower The Boomtown Rats. Dafydd into the discussion. Tickets

Iwan will present the evening and Welsh Rebel Dub will open. Funk, latin, reggae and afro-latin bans Banda Bacana will provide floor stomping tunes. Sir Bryn Terfel & Hannah Stone, 8th February 2018, Sir Bryn Terfel will perform for the first time at the theatre named in his honour at Pontio to launch the Wales International Harp Festival IV on the day that Festival President, Dr Osian Ellis CBE, celebrates his 90th birthday. Sir Bryn Terfel and Hannah Stone (harp) will give the first performance of Osian Ellis’ Cycle of Welsh Folk Songs. Tickets cost from £30. Call 01248 382828 or visit www.pontio.co.uk for more.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarves at Stiwt Panto return to the Stiwt Theatre this Christmas from 9th-31st December with one of the world’s favourite fairy tales, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Complete with wonderful songs and excellent choreography as well as poison apples, charmed mirrors and of course a sprinkling of panto magic. This is an enchanting fairy tale much loved by all. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs tells the story of a beautiful princess whose vain and jealous step mother, is obsessed with getting rid of her and becoming the ‘fairest of them all’. After fleeing the kingdom to escape the wicked queen’s evil plans Snow White seeks refuge with seven dwarfs living in the forest. Taking pity on the girl, the dwarfs allow her to stay with them until a wicked spell is cast, that only true love can conquer. Tickets £16 full, £14 concession, £55 for a family. Go to www.stiwt.co.uk

Llandudno Christmas Fayre Wales’ largest Christmas Fayre returns from 16th-19th November. Browse the 165 stalls with microbreweries selling 40 beers, Welsh food to savour, craft demos, Santa’s grotto, Victorian market and live entertainment. 10am-8.30pm Thurs, 9.30am6pm, Fri; 9.30-8.30pm Sat, and Sun 9.30-4.30pm. www. llandudnochristmasfayre.co.uk

Young Marx, 7th December, 7pm Creditors, spies, revolutionary factions and seducers of his wife all circle like vultures. But no one in London can show you a better night out than Karl Marx. Tickets £10.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947), 10th Dec, 2.30pm When a department store Santa is too inebriated to work his shift, the man standing in for him looks and acts surprisingly like the real thing. Tickets £6.25, concessions £5.25. Suburbicon, 5th, 6th and 8th January, 7.30pm This seemingly peaceful town has an underbelly of deceit, betrayal and violence. Starring Matt Damon and Julianne Moore. Tickets £6.25, conc., £5.25. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, 12th-18th Jan, 7.30pm Four teenagers discover an old video game console and are literally drawn into it! Tickets £6.25, conc., £5.25. Call 01758 704088 for info.

8 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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A magical panto for all the family! Martin Dodd for UK Productions in association with Rhyl Pavilion Theatre proudly presents



from Channel 5’s MILKSHAKE







13th Dec ’17 to 6th Jan ’18 Box Office: 01745 33 00 00 www.rhylpavilion.co.uk


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Wrexham Symphony Orchestra Orchestra in Residence at Glyndŵr University

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra is one of the most progressive orchestras in the North Wales and North West England area. Sat 24th February 2018 Sun 14th January 2018

starts at 3.30pm An afternoon at the Ballet

Conductor - Russell Gray With music from Romeo and Juliet, The Nutcracker and more, we can promise you a family matinee concert that will get your toes tapping!

starts at 7.30pm A Night at the Opera with North Wales Opera Studio

Conductor - Russell Gray Music from Carmen, La Boheme and songs from 10 popular operas. will draw you into the drama and romance some of the most popular operas ever written.

Tickets are available from www.wrexhamorch.co.uk; Glyndŵr box Office (0844 888 9991; online at www.glyndwr.ac.uk/events) and Wrexham Tourist Information Centre in Lambpit Street, Wrexham (01978 292015). Tickets can also be purchased on the door. Family Ticket: £20 (2 Adults and up to four children), Balcony: Adults £12 (No concessions). Stalls: Adults £10 (concessions £8); Children U16 and FT Students: £2.


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WHAT’S ON NORTH WALES Dancers and North Wales School of Dance. Tickets from £9.50. Concessions available. There are no performances scheduled on 25th December and 1st January 2018.

What’s on at Rhyl Pavilion Psychic Sally: Kisses to Heaven Tour, 21st November, 7.30pm The nation’s favourite psychic, Sally Morgan is back and better than ever with her brand new and most jaw-dropping show yet. Funny, entertaining, sometimes heart breaking, often controversial; the show celebrates her 9th year on the road. This is a fantastic and unique evening out not to be missed. Tickets cost £25.

Sleeping Beauty, 13th December-6th January 2018 UK Productions proudly present this spectacular pantomime jam-packed with smash-hit songs, stunning sets, spectacular costumes and an all-star cast

Live Nation presents Katherine Ryan, 3rd February 2018, 8pm Canadian abroad, Katherine Ryan brings her brand new stand-up show, Glitter Room to the UK. This is Katherine’s first UK tour since the hugely successful Kathbum which had two sell-out nationwide UK tours as well as runs at the Edinburgh Festival, the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal. Tickets: £20.50.

Brendan Cole: All Night Long, 8th February 2018, 7.30pm Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole takes to the stage to wow audiences with his latest which includes Coronation spectacular and is joined by his Street’s Vicky Entswistle as sensational cast of guest dancers, the bad fairy, Channel 5’s his captivating leading lady Milkshake! Presenter Amy and superbly talented 14-piece Thompson as Sleeping Beauty, band and singers, to whip up Hollyoaks’ Sarah Jane Buckley an extravagant mix of Latin as the good fairy, the queen fever and ballroom magic. From of pantomime dames, Charles tantalising Tango to fiery Paso Burden, as Nanny Glucose Doble, elegant Foxtrot to and back by breath-taking Waltz DID YOU popular demand – and with a few KNOW? Wales’ very own Ballroom dancing surprises in store – Sean Jones this is no ordinary as Silly Billy reduces stress, dance show. Tickets: together with a helps heart health, £37.50, £30.50, full supporting muscle tone and £21.00.Call 01745 cast including posture! 330000 or visit www. The Gay Harris rhylpavilion.co.uk

‘Yule’ have plenty of fun at Penrhyn Castle this season! of parkrun volunteers. Visit www.parkrun.org.uk.

Penrhyn Park Runs, 18th and 25th November, 2nd, 9th and 16th December Come and try this 5km run around the gardens against the clock! It takes place every Saturday morning at 9am come rain or shine. It’s free! But please register on the parkrun website before your first run (you only need to register with parkrun once). The run is organised by a great team

A Penrhyn Christmas, 2nd17th December, 11am-3pm Come along and see the castle with magical and atmospheric light and

Sunday between 2nd and 17th December. Normal admission applies. Wreath Making Workshops, 3rd, 10th and 17th Dec Create a stunning wreath using materials found in and around the castle grounds. Materials cost £3.50. 11am-3pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk.


25th November, Mold Record and CD Fair, The Daniel Owen Community Centre With 23 stalls of rare and collectable music, vinyl, CDs and memorabilia. Top record dealers attending from around the UK. Entry 50p, concessions go free. 10am-4pm.

26th November, Antiques, Vintage and Craft Fair, Llangollen Pavilion This fair has something for everyone from antiques, retro and vintage finds, a collectables fair as well as handmade crafts. Refreshments are available all day. Admission £1, free parking.

26th November, Chirk Castle Trust10 trail run, Chirk Castle This monthly 10k trail run gives you the opportunity to explore Chirk Castle’s estate for free. Registration from 8am at Chirk Castle car park, run 9am. Booking not needed. Children welcome.

1st December, Michael Bublé Tribute Christmas Dinner, Ramada Plaza Hotel, Wrexham Enjoy an evening of entertainment Bublé style! Singing the biggest hits including: Home, Haven’t met you yet, It’s a beautiful day...along with your favourite Christmas classics! Includes three-course meal, photo booth and disco.

1st-4th December, Turkey & Tinsel Holiday with popular Sequence Dancing, Central Promenade, Llandudno Dancing on three evenings to the music of David Ingley and hosts Fred and Joyce Boast at the Kensington Hotel in Llandudno. Tickets cost £149 each

sound, bringing the spirit of Christmas to life! Old Saint Nick will be setting up his grotto in a special secret part of the castle every Saturday and

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2nd December, Mold Choral Christmas Concert, St Mary’s Church, Mold This wonderful annual Christmas concert will certainly get you in the festive spirit! This year will feature Charpentier’s Messe de Minuit with performances from wonderful tenor Alwyn Evans and sublime organist John Hosking. Tickets £10 and performance starts at 7.30pm.

•2nd December, Definitely

Oasis at the Tivoli Venue, Buckley Definitely Oasis are regarded by many Oasis fans and promoters alike as the best Oasis tribute band there is! Listen to all the classic hits from Wonderwall to Supersonic by the Mancunian brothers. Tickets £12.

•9th December, Indoor Tivoli

Christmas Market, Brunswick road, Buckley This wonderful indoor christmas market has over 40 different stalls across two big rooms, there’s a well-stocked bar and plenty of entertainment throughout the day. Pick up gifts, food and stocking fillers. What’s more, the event is free! 11am-5pm.

9th December, Conwy Valley Rotary Senior Citizens Christmas Matinee, Clwb Llanrwst, Llanrwst, Conwy See performances from the celebrated mezzo soprano, Sioned Terry at this special matinee. The event offers free entry, free transport, a Christmas gift and refreshments in the interval. Open from 1pm-4.30pm.

9th December, Mold Choral Society, Handel: Messiah, St. Peter’s Church, Ruthin Jointly with Cor Cymysg Dyffryn Conwy this is one Christmas concert not to miss! With the talents of soprano, Kate Griffiths, contralto, Katheryn Nash, tenor: Huw Ynyr, bass, Gwilym Bryniog Davies, organist, Graham Eccles and conductor, Trystan Lewis. the performance starts at 7.30 pm. Tickets cost £10 (with under 16 years free).

Theatr Clwyd Waiting For Godot, 22nd-25th November, 7.45pm On a desolate road by a leafless tree Vladimir and Estragon continue their never-ending wait for the elusive and mysterious Godot. Whilst they can’t be sure if they are waiting in the right place, at the right time or even on the right day they are almost certain that Godot will change their lives for the better. Suitcase Theatre presents Samuel Beckett’s classic tragi-comedy. With Ally Goodman and Niall Borthwick as the two tramps. Directed by Mike Stevens. Tickets: £9.50, £7.50 conc.

musicians. Featuring hits; Superstition, Wake Me Up Before You Go Go, Celebration and Sex Bomb! Filled with mad gags, shock frocks, beautiful sets, slapstick galore and panto puppets.

The Snow Queen, 15th Sleeping Beauty: The Rock December-6th DID YOU ‘n’ Roll Panto, 24th January 2018 November-20th KNOW? When a mysterious January 2018 It took six years mirror is uncovered The cult rock ‘n’ and $6 million to within Theatr roll panto is back make Disney’s Clwyd’s walls, with over 16 classic Sleeping Beauty it opens a portal rock and soul songs into an idyllic played live by actor

Santa trains at Welsh Highland Railway The Santa Specials will roll into town from 9th and 10th December so come along and say hello ho ho! Santa will be here for one weekend only to give presents to good boys and girls and well behaved mums and dads will be treated to mince pies and hot drinks. This is a very busy event so pre-booking essential! Visit www. festrail.co.uk for more information, departure times and ticket prices.

Siôn Corn at Llangollen Christmas Festival Llangollen Christmas Festival takes place in and around the town on the last Saturday of November and this year it falls on 25th and 26th November. The festivites begin with a parade through town centre, followed by events and entertainment until the Christmas lights are switched on in the late afternoon. Siôn Corn’s grotto will be in the town hall from

1.30pm to 4.30pm. Tickets cost £4 available on the day from the town hall foyer. In Wales, Father Christmas is often known as Siôn Corn (Chimney Jack) and you may be surprised to see he is wearing a green outfit instead of the more usual red one. The parade begins at 1pm and the Christmas lights will be turned on at 5pm followed by fireworks. www.llangollen.org.uk.

alternative world. But as cracks begin to appear in the Christmas bliss, will you brave the ice to help solve the Snow Queen’s impossible puzzle? With riddles,

games and illusions, this story of friendship is perfect for under 11s. Tickets £8-£12. Call 01352 701521 or visit www.clwyd-theatr-cymru.co.uk.

Techniquest: Watery, wintery wonders Horrible H2O, 18th-19th, 25th-26th November and 2nd-3rd, 9th-10th, 16th and 17th December Think you know everything about water? Think again… How might water crush a can? Will ice burn? Find out how water can defy the laws of gravity or disappear before your eyes. Head over to Techniquest to discover all of the amazing things that water can do, from the brilliant to the bizarre! Shows are on at 1pm and 3.30pm and are included in the standard entry price. Winter Wonder, 16th, 17th, 27th and 28th Dec, 2nd, 7th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st, 27th and 28th January Come in from the cold and discover the answers to the questions that puzzle us during the winter months! Using all manner of props and ingredients, find out how extreme cold can affect us and our environment. See how to make snow indoors, how Blu-tack can pierce a hole in bubble wrap. For more information visit online at www.tqg.org.uk.

12 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Combine History and Family Fun!



• First tours of the day Early Bird ticket available for the Quarry Explorer and Llechwedd Deep Mine*


*Note, visitors can access Llechwedd Deep Mine via cable railway when our train returns from a refurbishment end of February 2018. In the meantime our Walk in the Footsteps tour is available, where you actually access the mine via the footsteps of the miner.

*T’s and C’s apply

Tel: 01978 860979 www.llangollen-railway.co.uk

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EST. 1989

North Wales Music Tuition Charity Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Charity No 1156684



1-2-1 & Family


Free BONUS lesson upon full registartion Low cost FAMILY group lessons DISCOUNTS for Multis & Seniors One-off TASTER or TRIAL of 4 lessons • FREE short consultation • LOW COST instrument loan • Opportunities for concerts & Exams

0845 310 5374 – – – – – – – – – –

The Old Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen Follow our signs from LL14 3SG • W: www.canaltrip.co.uk E: enquiries@canaltrip.co.uk • T: +44 (0) 1978 824 166

f ou r loo ing for gr iff r n o ni m l ur Cartwheel Café is o n in lu ing our woo fir i s sn s

ou for ll f mil or som w r n Bodafon Farm is l for ou r s r ing fr s om oo foo n om m urg rs s w ll s s n i r m

E r un w s r Sunday lunches m m oo ing r omm n W lso o n in nings for bookings, private functions and parties in lu ing weddings W off r r ng of m nus in lu ing sirloin s s om m o fon f or min l m urg rs ll oo on w ol fis oo o r r o l s ring o r s n mu mor


Web: www.northwalesmusictuition.co.uk Email: info@northwalesmusictuition.co.uk

THE DRAGONS DEN Llangollen Ideal indoor play centre on a rainy day when you are about in Llangollen. under 4s soft play area with small ball pool, soft play shapes and mobile. 12m x 8m two storey play frame with four lane astra slide, crazy tube slide, large ball pool. We also have cafe serving home made cakes, wide selection of hot meals and drinks, good value children’s menu, large seating area including sofas so you can relax while the children play, baby changing facilities and wifi. We cater for children’s parties with prices to suit.

17 Castle Street, Llangollen. Tel: 01978 861963 www.dragonsdenllangollen.co.uk Rare breed animals • Birds of prey • Tractor rides • Adventure playground

Bodafon Farm Park l n u no or W l s T l 01492 549 060 or 07792 834 707 www bodafonfarmpark om

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What’s on at Venue Cymru


16th December, Christmas Party, Llangollen Pavilion, Llangollen Celebrate Christmas with live entertainment, a festive three-course meal and dance the night away with the DJ. From 7pm until late. £36 per person.

Romeo and Juliet, 28th November, 7.30pm Russian State Ballet and Opera House presents an unforgettable journey with its performance of the world’s best known love story. Set to one of Prokofiev’s most evocative scores, this production is filled with beautiful dance, riveting battles and compelling drama, all amidst stunning production designs. Two innocent youths meet by chance, relishing the discovery and passion of first love only to be shattered by tragic twists of fate and the destructive hatred of their feuding families. Tickets from £20-£33. Only Men Aloud, 2nd December, 7.30pm Only Men Aloud have been delighting audiences around the world for well over fifteen years injecting new life and blood into

Festive family fun at Plas Newydd A Plas Newydd Family Christmas, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th Dec Leave the high street behind and experience this laid back Anglesey family Christmas. Play fun games and see the house traditionally decorated as the family once would have done. From 11am-2.30pm www.nationaltrust.org.uk

the Welsh Male Voice Choir tradition. Well known for their strong vocals and their varied and eclectic repertoire, a typical OMA concert will feature many different styles of music from Welsh hymns and folksongs, Opera and Music Theatre all the way to Swing and Pop music. Tickets £27.

Happy Mondays, 14th December, 8pm The Twenty Four Hour Party People – Greatest Hits Tour announcement comes on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Happy Mondays’ debut album Squirrel and G-Man Twenty Four Hour Party People Plastic Face Carnt Smile (White Out). Tickets £29.50

Peter Pan, 9th-31st DID YOU December, 5pm Teletubbies, 26th and KNOW? Swapping Corrie’s 28th January 2018, Teletubbies have 10am and 1pm cobbles for Venue had chart success See the iconic, world Cymru, Ryan when Say Eh-Oh! famous Teletubbies in Thomas stars as reached No1 in their first ever theatre Captain Hook in this year’s highshow. Join Tinky 2007! flying pantomime Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa adventure and undertakes and Po in a show full of love and his malevolent search of laughter. Look out for the Tubby Neverland to hunt down the Phone, Noo-noo and Sun Baby boy who refuses to grow up, and in a fun, bright and safe world. his band of Lost Boys. Tickets Call 01492 872000 or visit from £18-£25. www.venuecymru.co.uk

Get inked at Wrexham Tattoo Convention The long-awaited Tattoo Convention is coming to Wrexham on 17th19th November at William Aston Hall. With top artists from around the UK and beyond this is sure to be a fantastic weekend. Come along and soak up the atmosphere, get inked up with one of the amazing artists

in attendance or browse the unique and quirky stalls that’ll have an array of items for you to explore. If a skin mod on the day is not for you, then have an old fashioned cut throat razor shave or a 50s pinup makeover and enjoy live music and film presentations instead! www.glyndwr.ac.uk

16th December, The Absolute Stone Roses, Tivoli Venue, Buckley Tribute Band to the Manchester legends The Stone Roses. Expect to hear all the classics, Waterfall, Made of Stone, I am the Resurrection and I Wanna be adored. Re-live your youth or feel that vibe with the attitude and baggy fashion to boot. Tickets £10.

16th December, Tir Prince Market, Tir Prince Raceway, Towyn Road, Towyn Visit the famous market and car boot with over 200 stalls and a licensed restaurant on site there is plenty to do. Open every Saturday. 7am-5pm.

16th-19th December, Santa Special Trains at Rhyl Miniature Railway, Marine Lake, Rhyl Ride on this fun miniature train during the festive season. Every child will receive a special present from Father Christmas.

17th December, Trelawnyd Male Voice Choir Festival of Carols, St. Asaph Cathedral Come along and join in the festivities. Get into the Christmas spirit while enjoying the beautiful sound of this traditional Welsh Trelawnyd male voice choir. The Festival of Carols is the annual carol concert with Côr Cytgan Clwyd. The service starts at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £8.

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What’s On at William Aston Hall

The Selecter/The Beat Feat Ranking Roger, 25th November, 7pm Two Tone legends The Selecter and The Beat are teaming up to give fans a rare treat and are hitting the road together. Life-long friends, they are two of the main bands to come out of Two Tone – a crucial musical and cultural movement which is still as relevant today as it was over 30 years ago. Renowned for their energetic live shows, longevity has not diminished either band’s ability to put in a performance and get everyone in a room, or field, dancing. Don’t miss arguably two of the best live bands around playing full sets of their many hits each night. Tickets £25-£27.50.

North Wales Music Tuition’s Charity concerts Students Rock Concert, 10th December, Penyffordd Memorial Hall Featuring well-known rock tunes through the ages. Grand Gala Concert, 18th February, Rhyl Town Hall NWMTC’s most advanced and talented students providing styles and genres both vocal and instrumental. www.northwales musictuition.co.uk

see Clara and the Nutcracker Soul II Soul, 1st December, 7pm combat the Mouse King, and The legendary pioneers of Neo join the Sugar Plum Fairy Soul; Jazzie B OBE and DID YOU and her Cavalier Carol Wheeler, will KNOW? on a wonderful be bringing along journey through the their full 11 piece The Nutcracker glistening Land of band for the show debuted on 18th Snow to a kingdom including backing December 1892 made entirely of vocalists and string in St. Petersburg, sweets. A Christmas section. Do not miss Russia treat like no other. out! Tickets £24.75. Tickets £13-£20.35. The Nutcracker, Max Boyce, 19th January 2018, 12th December, 7pm Show starts 7.30pm Be swept away on a magical Max Boyce has been touring the adventure in one of the most world for more than 30 years famous classical ballets of all entertaining people in his own time. Set to Tchaikovsky’s inimitable style. Don’t miss out sumptuous score, the traditional on this unique experience of tale of The Nutcracker tells the seeing him live in concert. story of Clara and her enchanted www.glyndwr.ac.uk nutcracker doll. Their adventures

On your marks for the Conwy Half Marathon

Voted in the top five most scenic half marathons in the UK by readers of Runners World, The Conwy Half Marathon on Sunday 19th November 2017 is now in its 9th year and already being regarded as a classic. The start and finish is on the quayside in front of the 700+ year old Conwy Castle. 2016

saw over 3,000 runners take part, many PBs were achieved. The route runs along the road adjacent to the Conwy River as it proceeds towards Deganwy beach and the west shore of Llandudno, from there it goes along church walks towards Llandudno Pier, then around the Great Orme taking in views of the Isle of Anglesey, Puffin Island and the surrounding North Wales coastline, then back to Conwy and the finish line. Prizes available for winners. Race starts 10am. Cost: affiliated £30, unaffiliated £32. More info at www.runwales.com.

Get busy with the elves at Bodnant Gardens Come along to Bodnant’s Elves’ Workshop, now in its fourth year and get creative! The workshops will be running every Saturday and Sunday from 3rd until 20th December, from 10.30am to 2.30pm (free of charge). Drop in at the Old Mill in the dell and enjoy making Christmas decorations to take home, followed by toasted marshmallows by the roaring brazier outside. Enjoy walks in the frost-sparkling landscape, discover traditional gifts at the shop and hearty, festive fare in the tea rooms. Bodnant Garden is open all year-round (apart from Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day) and is the perfect place to escape the high street for some traditional family time. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra presents family favourites Lovers of music and culture are in for a treat this January as Wrexham Symphony Orchestra brings together another performance for families to enjoy together at thier resident venue, the William Aston Hall at Glyndwr University. An Afternoon at the Ballet, Sunday January 14th offers a family-focused programme with some real treats in store! Featuring classical music from Nutcracker, Romeo and Juliet, and Spartacus with many other popular and familyfavourite ballets completing the programme. The concert starts at 3.30pm and once again, children of all ages are encouraged to dress up in their favourite character costumes for this special New Year family concert. For more information or to book tickets visit www.wrexhamorch. co.uk or call 0844 888 9991.

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23rd-24th December, Flash: A Tribute to Queen, Tivoli Venue, Buckley Treat yourself to some feel-good music at this Christmas special for all lovers of Queen’s music – FLASH – the world’s most authentic live Queen tribute band! Tickets £10.

30th December, Annual Charity Model Railway Show, St Michael’s Church, Conwy Christmas Model Railway Show presented by the North Wales Area Group of the N Gauge Society. All proceeds to Ty Gobaith Children’s hospice. Adults £2, accompanied children free. 10am-4pm.

26th-27th January 2018, North Wales Burlesque and Cabaret Festival, Theatr Colwyn, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay A weekend dedicated to burlesque and cabaret in all its beautiful forms. See performers from across the county in this naughty but nice event. Tickets cost from £5.50-£30.

Superheroes, ice carving and Christmas cheer! come and see fantastic live ice Superheroes: The Legends of carving. It’s going to be a really Today, 20th Nov-27th January cool event and all sponsored by Superman, Batman, Wonder Wrexham Lager with some great Woman, Dr Who and Spiderprizes to be won as well. Man have become the legends Tickets: £2.50 adult or £5 for of our own era in the eternal a family (two adults and struggle between DID YOU up to three children). good and evil. KNOW? Enjoy a free This exhibition celebrates these Since 1989, Alaska complimentary drink in an ice glass, heroes through has hosted the and grab some the drawings of World Ice Art grub from the café. Wrexham-based Championships Then you’ll be ready illustrator, Neil to watch the live ice Edwards. Mon-Fri carving on the forecourt by 10am-5pm, Sat 11am-4pm. Simon O’Rourke. See if you can guess what the carving will Live Ice Carving – Cool for be and get free bar of delicious Christmas, 14th December chocolate too. From 2pm-8pm. Chill out for Christmas and

A special visitor comes to Ffestiniog Railway

26th-27th January, Rock ‘n Roll Sleeping Beauty, Overton Village Hall, Overton Come and see the Overton Amateur Dramatic Society perform across two days. The show starts at 7pm on 26th and 27th with a 2pm matinee on 27th too. Tickets: £8 adults, £6 for 16 years and under.

31st January, Language and Play Chatterbox Sessions, Gwersyllt Library Fun for parents and children; sharing stories, chatting, playing, and singing songs. This event is suitable for parents and children from birth to three years. On every Wednesday (term time only), from 10am-11.15am.

December brings the annual visit of Santa and his elves to the Ffestiniog Railway. Come along and join them for a trip along the line. Trains will run between Porthmadog and Beddgelert, and will depart from Porthmadog on 9th and 10th, 16th and 17th and 22nd and 23rd December. Trains will run from Dinas on the Welsh Highland Railway on 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 22nd and 23rd December.

Santa and his elves will pass through the train giving out presents to the children during the journey. At your destination, there’s chance to stretch your legs and take photographs with Santa and his helpers. Adults enjoy a glass of sherry and a mince pie on the ride back. For more info on departure times and fares, visit www.festrail.co.uk.

Festive Fun, 16th December Christmas trees became popular after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were shown with their children beside theirs in 1848. Most people used evergreens to decorate their own houses for the festive season and all the children would remember to hang their stockings in the hope to receiving nuts, an orange and a small gift and not the dreaded cinders. Come along at 11am and 1pm to create your own miniature stocking decoration. This drop-in craft activity is suitable for ages five and above as some sewing is required, £2 per child. Call 01978 297460 or visit www.wrexham.gov.uk.

A Victorian Christmas at Beaumaris Castle

Experience the spirit of a true Victorian Christmas on 25th November. This familyfocused day includes music in the chapel, Villains’ Academy, photo booth with dressingup costumes, and lots more! Don’t forget to wrap up warmly. The events runs from 11am until 4pm. Adult £6.50, family £19.30, conc. and child £4.20. www.beaumaris.com

18 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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LLANNERCH PARK, ST. ASAPH, LL17 0UY, NORTH WALES (JUST OFF THE A55). TEL: 01745 730072 www.tweedmill.co.uk

10% OFF


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Aberystwyth Arts Centre this winter


18th November, Bikeology, Theatr Brycheiniog Canal Wharf, Brecon Journalist, television presenter and best-selling author Ned Boulting is back this autumn with his acclaimed sell out ride through the world of Bikeology, featuring brand new tales from life in the cycling lane. 7.30pm. Tickets £20.

18th November, Christmas Craft Fair Extravaganza, Guilsfield Community Centre Over 40 stalls showcasing local artisans ranging from jewellery, stained glass, salt dough, jams and pickles, mohair teddy bears and much more. There will be free parking and entry. 10am-4pm.

25th November, Late Night Shopping at Harlech Castle Come along to the castle for a spot of late night Christmas shopping with plenty of seasonal fun and a chance to buy some lovely gifts for friends and family.

26th November and 17th December, Llangynidr Farmers’ Market, Llangynidr Village Hall Meet local suppliers and be spoilt for choice. Stalls include meats, butter, eggs and cheeses; plants; cards; knitted and other craft items; cakes and Fair Trade products. 10am-1pm.

29th November, Sketchbook Studies Course, RSPB Lake Vrynwy, Llanwddyn An exciting course giving the opportunity to experiment with a range of materials and techniques in the inspiring setting of Lake Vyrnwy. Over four sessions, tutor Tereska Shepherd will guide you in creating sketches on location and in the studio, and help you develop your own unique style. Booking essential. 10.30-4pm. Cost is £110, concessions, £90.

truth or is it better sometimes simply to let sleeping Around the World in 80 Days, 21st-25th November dogs lie? Is is better to speak or forever to remain The mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas silent? Truth or gin? ‘Get to the End’ is a reference Fogg wagers his life’s fortune that he can to the project supporting writers to achieve the very circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. Join Fogg simple but often evasive task of simply getting to and his loyal valet, Passepartout, as they voyage the end of writing a play. from the misty alleys of Victorian London to the exotic subcontinent and the Wild West in Cinderella, 6th-20th January a race against the clock. Tickets from DID YOU Richard Cheshire directs the Wardens £10-£22. Performance starts 7pm. KNOW? in Britain’s best loved panto. Full of The Cinderella magic, spectacle, enchantment and fun, Ballet Cymru: The Light Princess, story does in fact this rags-to-riches tale is joyously and 3rd December, 7pm date back to the lovingly told. Tickets £12-£41. Featuring ground breaking video 1st Century BC projections and stunningly vibrant NY MET: L’Elisir d’Amore, 10th February costumes The Light Princess will Donizetti’s comic gem L’Elisir d’Amore stars transport you to a world of laughter, beauty Pretty Yende as the spirited Adina, with Matthew and wonder. Tickets £6-£14. Polenzani as Nemorino, the simple peasant who falls in love with her. Starts 5pm. Tickets £12-£18. Playpen: Get to the End, 5th December, 7.45pm www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk This is a play about truth. Is it better to know the

Royal Welsh Winter Fair 27th-28th November 2017 The Winter Fair in Llanelwedd draws crowds from far and wide to enjoy two days packed full of competitions, festivities and Christmas shopping. There will be competitions, classes, exhibitions, displays, the very best of Welsh food and after 4pm on the Monday evening, there will be late night Christmas shopping and a great fireworks display. Visitors can watch the demonstrations, listen to the choirs and bands performing, and might even spot Santa! See more at www.rwas.wales

Portmeirion Village Christmas Fair It’s the sixth anniversary of Portmeirion’s Food and Craft Fair on 1st-3rd December so come along and see the wonderful sights at this stunning setting in the grounds of an Italianate village. With 120 stalls and chalets offering local products, enjoy live music, cookery demos, workshops and a Christmas grotto. There’s even a giant gingerbread village and an elf dash too! www. portmeirionvillage.com

Winter fun at Rheidol Railway Autumn Colours and Sunday Lunches, 18th, 19th, 25th and 26th November The Vale of Rheidol trains depart every weekend during November giving you the chance to marvel at the stunning autumn colours of the beautiful Rheidol Valley. Upgrade your train ticket to enjoy Sunday Lunch of local meat and seasonal fresh vegetables served at the Hafod Arms Hotel in Devil’s Bridge for £9.95. There is plenty of time to take a leisurely stroll around the Devil’s Bridge waterfalls and Devil’s Punchbowl. The train departs Aberystwyth at 11am, arriving in Devil’s Bridge at 12pm, departing again at 2pm and arriving back in Aberystwyth at 3pm. Booking essential. Santa Special Trains, 16th, 17th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd December The Santa train departs from Aberystwyth station for the one hour round trip through the Rheidol countryside. Santa will meet all the families and give out a personalised gift to every child. Joining Santa will be a storyteller to provide entertainment. Early bird tickets from £14.50 for adults, £12 for children with gift. Call 01970 625819 or visit www. rheidolrailway.co.uk.

20 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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The National Library of Wales

What’s on at Theatre Hafren delighting audiences around the world for well over fifteen years singing different styles of music from Welsh hymns and folk songs, opera and musical theatre all the way to swing and pop music. Tickets £27. Awful Auntie, 29th November, 6.30pm David Williams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful Auntie! Tickets: £13, children £11, family ticket £42. Only Men Aloud, 8th December, 7.30pm Only Men Aloud have been

Santa’s Christmas Wish, 21st December, 10.30am What would Santa himself like for Christmas? Join a fun, festive, musical adventure to give Santa the very best Christmas, then meet him at his home in the North Pole! There every child will receive a special present from Santa in our popular meet, greet and treat, after the

most Christmassy Christmas show ever! Tickets: £10.50, concession, £9.50, family, £36. The Ken Dodd Happiness Show, 20th January 2018, 7pm Ken Dodd is an icon and national treasure who has been entertaining audiences for a lifetime of happiness and laughter. Come and enjoy his famous Happiness discumknockerated. Tickets £25. www.thehafren.co.uk

Santa’s Grotto and festive lights at Powis Castle

Place and Myth in Poetry, 22nd November, 2.15pm Hilary Davies discusses the importance of, and how ‘place’ has shaped her poetry. Bewnans Ke: A Cornish Play on the LIfe of St Ke and Arthur, 6th Dec, 1.15pm To coincide with the 2017 Year of Legends, a presentation about a Medieval Cornish manuscript. www.llgc.org.uk

DID YOU KNOW? The Bear at The Mari Lwyd or Dragon Theatre Hunting The Wren is one of the oldest Mid Wales Opera’s ‘Smallknown Welsh folk Stages’ delivers a whole new concept in opera, presenting songs

nights with a stroll around our spectacular illuminated formal gardens, terraces and courtyard. The Castle, Courtyard restaurant, gift shop and Christmas shop will be open until 9pm. Normal admission applies, free to National Trust members. Last admission to both the castle and the garden 8pm. 5pm-9pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk Father Christmas in his Grotto, 25th and 26th November, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December Meeting Father Christmas is one of the experiences that makes the festive period so magical. Each child will

Henry Vaughan: a poet of Breconshire, 18th Nov, 2pm Elizabeth Siberry will talk about the life and work of the seventeenth-century poet, drawing on sources from the National Library’s extensive collection. £4.

receive a Christmas gift as well as a voucher for a cookie and drink in the restaurant. Cost is £6.50, from 11am-4pm. Illuminated Gardens, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 8th, 9th, 10th, 15th, 16th and 17th December Brighten up your dark winter

its first ever micro-chamber performances with a brand new version of this twentieth century one-act comedy classic at The Dragon Theatre on 17th November at 7.30pm. Composed in 1967 and based on Anton Chekhov’s play of the same name, The Bear tells the tale of the widow, Mme Popova, unendingly mourning the death of her husband until the arrival of the rough-hewn yet charismatic land agent, Smirnov demanding payment of debts. Passions run high and their sparring culminates in a duel during which the two appear to have fallen unexpectedly in love. www.dragontheatre.co.uk

Santa Specials are rolling at the Brecon Mountain Railway Visit Santa this Christmas and ride the railway to Santa’s grotto. It’s the perfect experience for families with children. Now in its 30th year and more popular than ever, the train will be rolling into the station on the 25th November, 2nd, 9th, 16th and 19th December. All children

and adults receive a present from Santa. Mulled wine and mince pies will be served to the adults. Travel by steam hauled train from Pant Station to Santa’s Grotto where everyone will receive a present from Father Christmas. Call 01685 722988 or visit www.bmr.wales to book. November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 21

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What’s on at Wyeside Arts Centre


1st-3rd December, Christmas Weekend (Nadolig Llawen) Betws-y-Coed Snowdonia Christmas Weekend is an annual event that takes place during the first weekend in December. Lots of events and activities planned during the day. Free entry.

2nd December, Saturday Life Drawing Classes with Caroline Ali, Oriel Davies Gallery, The Park, Newtown The sessions are designed to give technical advice in key areas such as proportion, perspective, line, tone, colour and gesture. Suitable for all levels, sessions run from 10.15am-1.30pm.

2nd December, Presteigne Farmers Market, Memorial Hall On the first Saturday each month, with 17 stalls with a varied mix of craft as well as local produce stalls, with artisan apple juice, free range chicken produce, preserves, bakery, smokery produce, cheeses and olives.

•4th December, Winter

Wonderland, Broneirion, Llandinam Visit the Christmas market, see Santa, experience Snow Ball Land, go and see Techniquest and learn about Christmas in space and sample delicious Christmas fayre. Open from 4.30pm-10pm.

2nd and 16th December, Binoculars and Telescopes Open Weekend, RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Llanwddyn Come along and get some hands-on experience and see what you can spot with a fantastic range of RSPB binoculars and telescopes. Event runs from 10.30am-4pm.

NT Live: Follies, 21st November, 7.30pm, Market Theatre Come and see Stephen Sondheim’s legendary musical. It’s New York, 1971. There’s a party on the stage of the Weismann Theatre. Tomorrow the iconic building will be demolished. Thirty years after their final performance, the Follies girls gather to have a few drinks, sing a few songs and lie about themselves. Tracie Bennett, Janie Dee and Imelda Staunton star. Tickets £13.50, £12 concessions.

Hairspray, 7th, 8th and 9th December, 7.30pm, Market Theatre Following on from the success of Into the Woods, Builth Wells High School presents its next BIG hit. Welcome to the 60s where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams. Tickets cost £10, or £8 concession.

Martyn Joseph, 13th January, 7.30pm, Market Theatre Martyn Joseph is a jaw dropping guitar player Have-a-go Shakespeare! Wyeside Gallery who has developed a unique percussive style, 1st and 15th December, 10.30am teamed up with a powerful showThis group meet at Wyeside’s DID YOU stopping voice, and has been called Gallery on alternate Friday mornings KNOW? from 10.30am-1.00pm to explore In Hairspray The “The Welsh Springsteen”. A unique talent driven by passion and love for Shakespeare in reading and Musical, there are his trade, he continues to write, sing performance. £5 per workshop. 65 wigs used per and play from the heart. Tickets £16, Contact Phil Bowen or Sue Best at show! £15 concession. www.wyeside.co.uk Shakespeare Link on 01597 811487.

Santa Specials at Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway

Getting crafty down at Llanerchaeron this winter

Come on a magical journey through the Banwy Valley on the 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th and 18th of December. The Santa Special trains leave Llanfair Caereinion frequently to take adults and children to meet Father Christmas and receive a special gift. Mince pies, mulled wine and fruit drinks are served on the return journey to Llanfair. Departures on all five days are at 10.45am, 12pm, 1.15pm and 2.30pm. Also at 3.45pm on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December only. Advance tickets cost £11, while under 1s go free. The return train journey will take about 45 minutes, however please allow extra time to park before travelling and also allow a little time after your journey to visit the tea room for the price is inclusive refreshments. To book call 01938 810441 or visit www.wllr.org.uk.

Christmas Fayre, 3rd and 4th December 11am-4pm Soak up the magic of the festive season and enjoy a great day shopping at our annual Christmas Fayre. Come along for a weekend of mince pies, mulled wine and over 70 local food and craft stalls. The house will be decorated for Christmas and there will be a visit from Father Christmas and a treasure hunt for the children. The cost £4 per adult, and NT members go free. Wreath-making workshops, 6th December 2pm-4.30pm, 8th December, 11.30am2.30pm Begin the countdown to Christmas by making your very own festive wreath with greenery from the Llanerchaeron gardens. The price is £15 and includes all materials as well as a hot drink and mince pie. Booking is essential, please call 01545 573022 or email gwen.morgan@nationaltrust.org.uk. Find out more online at www.nationaltrust.org.uk

22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Welcome to the Vale of Rheidol Railway

Croeso i Rheilffordd Cwm Rheidol Regular ng services duri our the year! See timetables.

www.rheidolrailway.co.uk Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, SY23 1PG 01970 625 819 - info@rheidolrailway.co.uk Charity No 1076037

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of s! n u ia tat ed s m ary co d A en g le

Shire Magazine - quarter page - Nov Dec 2017 issue.indd 1

SATURDAY 20TH JANUARY 2018 - 7.00PM Tickets £25

Celebrate the festive season and visit one of the finest prime stock shows in Europe. Gates open from 8am.

...an icon and national treasure... HAFREN BOX OFFICE

01686 614 555

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HAFREN ONLINE boxoffice@thehafren.co.uk www.thehafren.co.uk


#WinterFair #FfairAeaf

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CHRISTMAS @ GREGYNOG Pantomime - Peter Pan Saturday 2nd December, 11am & 1pm showing Adults £10.00, Children (under 12) £7, Families (2+2) £29.00. Booking required.

Christmas Concert by Gregynog Young Musicians Sunday 3rd December, 3pm. Tickets £10/person Available on the day and will include Tea & Mince Pies.

Casino Night Friday 8th December, 7pm - 1am

Tickets £35.00/person Including a glass of wine on arrival, luxury finger buffet, fun money to spend at the tables and a disco. Smart Dress. Booking is essential. Cash Bar, Accommodation available.

Castell a Powis Castle Gardd Powis and Garden Mwynhewch y gerddi wedi eu goleuo'n hardd, cyngherddau carolau, bwydydd tymhorol blasus a chyfarfod Siôn Corn yn ei groto. Mae yna rywbeth i ddod â disgleirdeb i Nadolig pawb yng Nghastell a Gardd Powis. Gweler ein gwefan am fwy o fanylion.

From illuminated gardens and carol concerts, to fine festive foods and Father Christmas' grotto. There's something to add some sparkle to everyone's Christmas at Powis Castle and Garden. See website for further details.

01938 551920 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle Pan fyddwch chi’n gwirfoddoli, cyfrannu, ymweld neu’n ymuno â’r Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol fe fydd eich cefnogaeth yn ein helpu ni i ofalu am leoedd arbennig yng Nghymru fel Castell a Gardd Powis, Castell y Waun a Erddig i bawb, am byth.

When you visit, donate, volunteer or join the National Trust, your support helps us to look after special places in Wales such as Powis Castle and Garden, Erddig and Chirk Castle for ever, for everyone.

© Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol 2017. Mae’r Ymddiriedolaeth Genedlaethol yn elusen gofrestredig annibynnol, rhif 205846. Ffotograffiaeth © National Trust Images\National Trust /Steve Rawlins. © National Trust 2017. The National Trust is an independent registered charity, number 205846. Photography © National Trust Images\National Trust /Steve Rawlins.


Santa’s Grotto Saturday 9th & Sunday 10th December, 11am - 3.30pm

Each participating child receives a gift and a hot chocolate. Tickets £5. Booking not required

Festive Afternoon Teas Monday 11th, Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th & Friday 15th December, 2pm - 4pm £10/person. Booking required.

Christmas Decorations Workshop Thursday 14th December, 10am - 4pm £35/person

Includes Tea & Coffee on arrival, 2 course buffet lunch and afternoon tea with homemade cakes. Booking essential.

Festive Sunday Lunch Sunday 17th December, Arrival for 12.30pm, Sit down 1pm

Enjoy a fabulous festive 3 course lunch in our decorated Music Room, exchange gifts and relax in the beautiful surroundings of the decorated hall. £24.95/person, £12.95/Child (under 12). Booking required.

Gregynog, Tregynog, Nr Newtown, Powys, SY16 3PL 01686 650224 • enquiries@gregynog.org • www.gregynog.org

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Winter at Elan Valley


Santa’s Grotto and Christmas Crafts, 16th and 24th December, 10am-4pm Santa will be stopping at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre where you can meet him in his grotto, and receive a free gift, plus you can make your own Christmas decorations!

woods onto the open hill to see the superb views of the Elan Valley from this aspect. Walk is 5.5km with a gradual climb.

Festive Footprints, 31st Dec, 10am-1.30pm As part of the DID YOU Reservoir Roundabout, Festival of KNOW? 6th January 2018 Winter Walks Annual walking (or The first ever join Sorcha running) challenge Lewis for Santa’s grotto a stroll up was in Lewis’s in held across open and challenging upland through the Liverpool in

terrain. Map-reading skills required. 13 or 20 mile courses are available. Entry fee £10. Planetarium Show: The Solar System at Elan Valley, 4th Feb, 11am, 12pm, 2pm and 3pm Take a tour of the solar system with Martin Nelmes from the University of Aberystwyth. www.elanvalley.org.uk


Concerts and casinos at Gregynog Christmas Concert by Gregynog Young Musicians, 3rd December, 3pm Start your Christmas with an afternoon concert of seasonal music with a performance from the winner of the 2017 Gregynog Young Musician Competition. Tickets £10 to include mince pies and teas. Casino Night, 8th December, 7pm-1am Get the Las Vegas treatment! Tickets cost £35 per person and includes a glass of wine on arrival, luxury finger buffet, fun money to spend at the tables and a disco. Smart dress code. Booking essential. Accommodation is available to stay overnight.

Festive Afternoon Teas, 11th, 12th, 13th and 15th December, 2pm-4pm Relax with a glass of mulled wine, and take in the festive atmosphere. £10 per person. Booking essential. Christmas Decoration Workshop, 14th December, 10am-4pm, 12.30pm This fabulous festive three-course lunch in the decorated music room will be a treat! Exchange gifts and relax in the seasonal surroundings. £24.95, (under 12s, £12.95). Booking essential. www.gregynog.org

Santa’s Grotto, 9th and 10th December, 11am-3.30pm Santa will be waiting to greet all those good boys and girls at his grotto. Follow the trail through the enchanted woods and receive a gift and a hot chocolate. Tickets £5.

Father Christmas pulls into Fairbourne Railway Santa is abandoning his reindeer for a different form of transport in the run up to Christmas in Mid Wales. From 16th to 17th December the seasonal Santa trains will leave Fairbourne at 11.30am, 1pm and 3pm each day. Children will then get to meet Santa in his grotto at the Harbour View Café. For more information and to book tickets call 01441 250362 or visit online at www.fairbournerailway.com.

Deck the halls at Abbey-Cwm-Hir

6th December, Christmas Shop and Craft Fair, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth An opportunity to search for the perfect gift for your family and friends at the Library Shop and Craft Fair. Event includes a visit by Father Christmas, Craft Fair with a selection of quality stands, and live entertainment. From 4.30pm. This is a free event.

7th December, Late Night Shopping and Christmas Lights, Barmouth The town’s festive late night shopping event and turning on of the Christmas lights is an opportunity to enjoy some early festive cheer and stock up on Christmas presents from Barmouth’s many independent shops. Free entry.

8th-9th December, Calennig and Wreath Making, Plas Mawr, Gwynedd Come along to make a ‘Calennig’ gift with an opportunity to sing lots of rousing, traditional Welsh Christmas songs.

Christmas comes early! The Hall at Abbey-CwmHir near Llandrindod Wells is a unique and remarkable experience at Christmas. ‘Five of us normally spend October decorating all 52 rooms to open for Christmas from 1st November to 6th January,’ says owner Paul Humpherston. ‘All 52 rooms have their own Christmas tree and decorative theme and this year will be the most refined and sophisticated presentation in all of the 10 years the house has been dressed for Christmas. The tours are within a true family home and family atmosphere.’ The Christmas Tours cost £16 or £14 for groups of eight or more and repeat visitors. Children up to the age of 12 years are £5.To book a tour call 01597 851727 or email info@abbeycwmhir.com Gift vouchers are also available. For more information visit online www.abbeycwmhir.com

9th December, Brecon Farmers’ Market, Brecon Market Hall The market is worth a visit for the lively atmosphere alone! With live music and a chance to meet the locals there will be producers selling local meats, organic fruit and vegetables, cheeses, bread, cakes, and some tempting locally brewed bottled beers. Open from 9.30am-2pm.

9th December, A very Rhayader Christmas, Rhayader Museum & Gallery, Rhayader Again Carad will be involved in Rhayader Christmas celebrations. As always, expect plenty of festive fun, a special visit from Santa and all for free!

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Gigs around Mid Wales


16th December, Aberystwyth Farmers Market, North Parade, Aberystwyth This award-winning farmers’ market is one of the largest in Wales hosting up to 30 stalls. In 2014, it achieved the Best Food Market in the BBC Radio 4 Food and Farming Awards. Open from 10am-2pm it’s the pefect place to stock up on seasonal produce, meet the locals and enjoy some festive fayre. Free entry.

16th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd December, Santa Trains, Park Avenue, Ceredigion Join Santa and his elves in specially decorated carriages. Your family will meet Santa during the train journey, where he will give each child a personalised gift! There will be some festive entertainment and storytelling during the journey as well as refreshments for all ages, young and old. Price includes: steam train journey, gift, miniature train ride, mince pie and mulled wine for adults, biscuits and squash for children and also a storyteller to tell some festive tales along the way! Tickets cost from £14.50 for an adult.

musicians. Formed in 2011, the alternative hip-hop Alden, Patterson and Dashwood, 17th November, collective blend elements of R&B, funk, soul and The Globe at Hay, Hay-on-Wye, 8pm rock; resulting in their own signature brand of music. Norwich based folk/americana trio Alden, Combined with spontaneous, Patterson and Dashwood weave rich vocal fiery, live performances, harmonies, fiddle, dobro, guitar and mandolin Sounds of Harlowe around beautifully written original DID YOU are not to be missed. songs and melodies. Their music KNOW? Tickets £5. takes influence from folk traditions Owain Glyndwr is Call 01497 821762. from both sides of the Atlantic said to be buried with uplifting instrumentals and just a few miles The Vapors, 9th December, self-penned songs depicting tales of Portmeirion Village Portmeirion, young travellers, sleepy seas and their from Hay-onPenrhyndeudraeth affection for home. Call 01497 821762. Wye New Wave darlings, The Vapors’s first single Prisoners was influenced by the cult Sounds of Harlowe, 18th November, The 1960s TV series The Prisoner, they followed this Globe at Hay, Hay-on-Wye, 8pm debut with what was to become their worldwide Incendiary live hip-hop/soul rabble rousers packing hit Turning Japanese. Tickets £29.50. Call 01766 deep lyrics, subterranean grooves and stratospheric 770000 for more information and to book. brass – elevated by impossibly electrifying

What’s on at Bleddfa Centre

17th December, Dolgellau Farmers Market, Eldon Square, Dollgellau A lively market with a variety of stalls selling locally produced cheeses, meats, fruit and vegetables and also plenty of stalls selling handmade crafts. Open from 10am-2pm. Free entry.

18th, 25th December and 1st January, Hinterland Tour, Cambrian Safaris Devil’s Bridge, Ceredigion This wondefully seasonal tour is designed to introduce you to the ‘Hinterland’ of north Ceredigion. Taking in the upper parts of the steep-sided Rheidol valley and a selection of steep back roads leading to breathtaking views, it offers a bracing walk for ramblers. See the remote lakes, isolated farmsteads, with red kites over head, hanging oak woodland with redstarts and pied flycatchers, forestry and open moorland. Locations which were used in both series of the TV series Hinterland are included. Tours run from 11am-3pm.

12 Days of Christmas Fair, from 3rd-22nd December, 11am-5pm Pick up some beautiful handcrafted gifts including cards, decorations, lighting, textiles, ceramics, pottery and more. Open Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-5pm until 22nd December. The on-site cafe will be open and serving hot drinks and festive treats. One Light, 3rd December, 10am-4pm A day of meditation focusing on world peace and the healing power of love in troubled times at this special event. Encompassing spiritual traditions from around the world and creating an atmosphere of global healing, peace and unity. Bring a dish and a contribution to the hall. www.bleddfacentre.org

Santa Specials at Talyllyn Railway Bring your best manners to meet the man himself as Santa heads to Talyllyn Railway from the 9th-24th December. The journey starts at the terminal station at Tywyn Wharf and reserved seats will be waiting for you on the steam locomotive hauled Santa Special to Plas Nadolig. Each child will meet Santa and receive a present. There is time for photographs with Santa then the steam train will then return you to Tywyn Wharf where a seasonal treat awaits. King’s licensed cafe will serve complementary mulled wine and mince pies. Hot winter warmer meals will be on sale. Two Santa Specials will run on each day, departing Tywyn Wharf at 11am and 1.30pm. Arrive in plenty of time and soak up the festive atmosphere. Call 01654 710472 or visit online at www.talyllyn.co.uk.

Get on yer bike for The Real Ale Wobble Whether you are a hardened mountain biker or a fun rider who happens to like a drop of real ale, The Real Ale Wobble will be right up your street. The wobble is a non-competitive event marking the beginning of the 10-day Mid Wales Beer Festival. With courses for both serious bikers and enthusiastic amateurs, anyone can give the event a go. The main feed station will have a coffee pod

and BBQ where you can buy refreshments so please remember to carry money. The scenery is superb, with routes through some of the most delightful mountains and forestry. Entry fee is £18. www.greenevents.co.uk

26 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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La-Z-Boy UK Originals Collection in stock now.

Special offer on orders placed between Boxing Day and 31st January. When you buy a three seater sofa, two seater sofa and chair or three seater sofa and two armchairs. Receive one of the chairs HALF PRICE on any Originals Collection model! Llanidloes, Powys, SY18 6ES Tel: 01686 414000 www.hafrenfurnishers.co.uk *Restrictions apply – ask instore.

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What’s on at Crewe Lyceum Theatre

16th November, IWA Chester and Merseyside Branch Waterways Walk Walk the City Heritage Trail, featuring the Shropshire Union Canal and River Dee, starting from Telford’s Warehouse on Raymond Street at 10am. Jeanne and Derek Smith will lead the walk which will proceed at a slow pace. Open to members and non-members and is suitable for dogs. Half way there will be a stop for refreshments then lunch in the pub if you wish.

18th November, Concert by Ruisi String Quartet, Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre Winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society award for Young British String Players and YCAT Finalists in 2015, the Ruisi Quartet has quickly established a reputation as one of the leading British quartets of its generation. 8pm-10pm. Members £10, nonmembers £16.

18th-25th November, Stone Cold Murder, Players Theatre, Cheadle Hulme Strangers, a dark past and a desperate fight for survival. This amateur thriller production by James Cawood is presented by arrangement with Josef Weinberger Ltd. Please note there is no sunday performance. 7.45pm. Tickets £9.

An Evening with the Flying Scotsman, Crewe Lyceum Theatre, 30th November, 7.30pm Award-winning television programme maker, David Parker, spent 12 months filming the rebuilding of The Flying Scotsman, regarded by many as the world’s most famous steam engine. But the year was anything but a bed of roses. In this illustrated talk David discusses the challenges and successes involved with filming across a year with a team of craftsman under extraordinary pressure. £14, concessions £12. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, 16th December -7th January, various times Mirror, mirror, on the wall, don’t miss the fairest pantomime of

Festive fun at Quarry Bank

19th November, Christmas Craft Fair, The Larkhill Centre, Timperley Handmade Crafts for Christmas from the local craft group and other crafters who will be showcasing a range of wares The local craft group usually meet on the second and fourth Thursday morning of the month 10am-12pm. Entry adults 50p, ages 16 and under go free. Event open from 11am-3pm.

24th-26th November, Christmas at Capesthorne Hall A Christmas fair organised by The Creative Crafts Association with an array of gifts available from stalls in the hall of the stately home and in a large adjoining heated marquee. Capesthorne Hall near Macclesfield is a superb stately home situated in beautiful parkland, and well worth a visit.

Featuring Nick Hooton, Carrie them all! Be the first to book for Crewe’s magical pantomime. Laurence and Pip Johnson. Get ready for an evening of slick, With comedy legends Cannon fast-moving, farcical fun and & Ball returning to lead the cast, there’s comedy, sensational song bawdy sexual innuendo Not suitable for under 16s. and dance numbers, fabulous costumes and special Sarah Millican: Control effects. Tickets DID YOU Enthusiast, 2nd from £18. KNOW? February, 7.30pm Panto originated in Funny, frank and Sinbad the 16th century Italy unapologetically Seaman from ‘commedia filthy, Sarah Millican The Adult dell’arte’ street discusses rescue men, Panto, 19th theatre January, 7.30pm farting in hospital pants, what can happen at a bra The Market fitting, the benefits of casserole, Theatre Company return to bring to life the story of plus tips on how to talk to shop assistants and the correct way Sinbad and his epic adventures to eat a biscuit. For age 16+. across the seas to defeat the one-eyed monster - packing it Tickets £30.50. Call 01270 368 242 or visit with corny jokes, raunchy plots www.crewelyceum.co.uk. and blatant sexual innuendo!

Meet Rudolph and his friends Come along from 25th November-23rd December to the Cheshire Reindeer Lodge and Christmas Tree Farm just outside Cheshire Oaks. Visit Santa in his grotto, have your pictures taken in traditional sleighs and enjoy donkey rides, the funfair and feed the reindeer. Browse the candy and gift shop and enjoy the festive food. There will also be an Elf Christmas stage show and you can pick your festive fir. Open daily from 9.30am-6pm. Tickets must be booked in advance, although the Christmas Tree Farm is free. www.cheshirereindeer.co.uk

Loom and Doom Murder Mystery Dinner, 18th November, 7pm-10pm There’s been a murder at the Mill, who’s behind the crime? Enjoy a two-course dinner and solve the mystery. Meet in the Grant Room bar for welcome drinks, before dinner and the mysterious murder unfolds. Period costume encouraged! Suitable for 16+. Tickets cost £37.50. Christmas in the Gardens, 29th November-7th January (excluding Christmas Day), 10.30am-4pm Quarry Bank gardens will be open across the winter with festive planting and activities. Experience the spectacular festive display in the glass house, make wreaths and explore the Christmas trail. Baby and Toddler meet Father Christmas, 1st, 8th, 15th December

This special baby and toddler storytelling and play session includes a private family visit to Father Christmas and a gift. Suitable for children aged six months to five years. Tickets £9, adults free. Meet Father Christmas, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th Dec Enjoy festive activities, storytelling, games, crafts and private family visits to Father Christmas and a gift. £9 per child. Booking essential. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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What’s on at Storyhouse

Reindeer spotting and festive lights at Dunham Massey Runaway Rudolph, 18th November-2nd January The magical herd of deer return this winter but can you find all eight? The deer will appear in locations around the park and garden so you will need a garden ticket to spot them all. £2 per trail, normal admission applies. 10.30am-3.30pm. Christmas at Dunham Massey Get the festive vibe on this

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo From 24th November-30th December, enjoy a heartwarming and memorable festive event for all generations. Along the lantern route you’ll see magnificent animal-inspired fairy tale scenes that will whisk you away to another world. The lantern route will be filled to the brim with sacks of lantern toys and boxes of lantern presents with appearances from Father Christmas and his helpers. You can also post your own letters to Father Christmas so bring them along! Suitable for all ages. Tickets from £5-£12.50, booking in advance is advised by calling 01244 380280 or visit www.chesterzoo.org.

magical, mystical, illuminated trail, as the gardens of Dunham Massey become a wonderland of winter lights. There’s something for everyone at this festive time of year as the one mile sparkling path winds its way through the historic woodland in a magical after dark experience. Father Christmas sees you on your way through twinkling tunnels, a swaying lawn of fibre optic colour and beside glowing

waterside reflections. Complete your stroll under the stars with spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate whilst the aroma of roasting chestnuts fills the air before shopping for gifts. Tickets cost £16 for adults, children £10, under 5s go free. Wrap up warm as the trail takes place outside in the garden. Every day in December excluding 25th. 4.45pm-8pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

A Joyeux Noel at Chester Cathedral Chester Cathedral will be filled with the sound of Christmas on 9th December as the Cathedral Choir presents Joyeux Noel! Directed by Philip Rushforth, it will sing a selection of traditional carols for everyone to enjoy from 7pm-9pm. There will also be seasonal readings and you can also make an evening of it and enjoy some pre-concert dining in

the thirteenth century Monk’s Dining Hall. For more information visit www.chestercathedral.com.

Guns blaze for the Battle of Nantwich

Get your armour at the ready for the re-enactment of the infamous Battle of Nantwich on 28th January. For over 40 years the faithful troops of The Sealed Knot regiment have gathered in the historic town of Nantwich to re-enact the bloody battle that took place almost 400 years ago and marked the end of the long and painful siege of the town. Organised in conjunction with the Holly Holy Day Society,

The Sealed Knot regiment is the Prince of Wales’ company: Kings Lifeguard of Foote, which is a Royalist regiment with a high proportion of members from the local area. This is a battle not to be missed! Find out more at: www.battleofnantwich.co.uk.

Hollie McNish: Plum, 17th–19th November Plum is a wise, sometimes rude and piercingly candid account of Hollie McNish’s memories from childhood to attempted adulthood. A book about growing up, about guilt, flesh, fruit, friendships, work and play – and the urgent need to find a voice for her poems. Hollie, winner of this year’s Ted Hughes Prize for Poetry, is guest resident artist for the annual Chester Literature Festival at Storyhouse. Tickets £10, seats are unreserved. The Secret Seven, 1st December-14th January Storyhouse celebrates its first Christmas by bringing Enid Blyton’s beloved The Secret Seven to the stage for the first time ever! In this, their first ever adventure, they on the trail of strange clues which lead them through the village to the old house, and a mystery! Will it be solved in time for Christmas? Tickets are adults £26, children under 12, £19.50. The Play That Goes Wrong, 29th January-3rd February, 7.30pm Fawlty Towers meets Noises Off in this multi awardwinning, West End smashhit comedy. The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests, everything that can go wrong, does. As the accident-prone thespians battle on against all the odds to reach their final curtain call, hilarious results ensue. Don’t miss this brilliantly funny comedy that is bound to leave you aching with laughter. Tickets £16.50-£29.50.For more information and to book tickets visit online at www.storyhouse.com.

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•25th November-24th

December, The Elf Adventure Challenge, The Ice Cream Farm, Tattenhall Take part in elf tasks and games, music, fun and stories and when you complete your challenges successfully you will earn a certificate and the title of ‘Honorary Elf. An interactive, indoor experience full of fun, festive activities and action.for all the family. Challenges run 9.30am3.30pm in hourly slots. Tickets £12.

26th, 27th, 29th and 30th November, The Cat and The Canary, The Market Tavern, Sandbach Adapted and directed by local playwright David Muncaster on a script by John Willard, The Cat and the Canary was first performed in New York in 1922. This new version imagines the original play being performed as a live radio broadcast and is presented on stage with the actors reading from scripts and the sound effects being performed live in view of the audience. 7.30pm. £8 per ticket.

What’s on at The Forum Studio Theatre Cinderella, 8th December until the 5th January This classic fairytale promises to be a family-orientated fun-filled pantomime by Peter Swingler. Tickets are £11, adults, £9 children and family ticket £37 (two adults and two children or one adult and three children). The Houghton Weavers, 20th January, 7.30pm The UK’s leading comedy/folk group weaving together popular folk songs, humour and audience participation. Comprising Tony Berry, David Littler and Steve Millington, in their four decades together, they have recorded over 30 albums, have seven of their own BBC television series plus six BBC Radio 2 series to their name. Tickets £14, £13 conc. Simon and Garfunkel: Through the Years, 1 February, 7.30pm This is the most authentic sounding concert which

celebrates the unforgettable recreation of the unmistakable musical duo. The show is sound of the American folkperformed by The Bookends rock duo is something of which is made up of Dan a masterpiece. Hear many of Haynes and Pete Richards, the hits such as The Sound who have been performing of Silence, Mrs Robinson, The their unique, world-class Boxer and Bookends’ own concert to audiences in some beautiful rendition of the of the finest theatres and unforgettable Bridge Over concert halls across Troubled Water. DID YOU the UK, Europe and Tickets: adults KNOW? the United States. £15 and £13 Simon and Performing the concessions. For Garfunkel went to more information songs in a truly the same school and to book call captivating way, as The Everly against a backdrop 01244 341296 or of iconic imagery, visit www.tiptop Brothers their delicate productions.co.uk

Pick up some original art this winter

29th November, Sandbach Concert Series November Concert, St Mary’s Hall Over 100 Years of Women and The Saxophone is a project by saxophonist Amy Green and composer/saxophonist Charlotte Harding celebrating the pioneering female saxophonists, composers and bandleaders who were integral in developing their instrument, their art and their profession. With pianist Christine Zerafa. Includes spotlight concert by local young musicians, art exhibition and raffle in aid of local good causes. Doors open at 6.30pm, concert 7pm - 9pm. Tickets £9.50, concessions £8, family tickets £20 and school children £3.

•30th November, Congleton

Museum Talk on Local History Sources Interesting fact finding talk from Ian Doughty about how to find some of the sources that can be used to help you research the past. From 2pm-4pm. Free to Friends of the museum otherwise tickets cost £2.

Get your hands on top quality art from UK, international, emerging and established artists at Chester Arts Fair. The event, which takes place between 17th19th November at Chester Racecourse, gives visitors the opportunity to view and buy artwork of all mediums and styles, ranging in price from as little as £40 up to £10,000. The fair launched in 2011 and now attracts

over 100 artists exhibiting a varied selection of visual arts including paintings, sculpture, photography, illustration, glass, digital art, ceramics and more. The fair welcomes visitors with a genuine passion for art, from serious collectors to those investing in their first piece. Spread over two floors there will also be artist workshops, demos and talks on the third floor. www.chesterartsfair.co.uk

Arley Hall’s Christmas Floral Extravaganza From 2nd-7th December, 11am-5pm, floristry colleges and florists will decorate rooms in the hall using hundreds of fresh flowers and foliage from the Arley Gardens. The Chapel will also be decorated and local schools are invited to decorate

a Christmas tree which will be on display in the Cruck Barn. Tickets: £10, £8.50 pre-booked, and £2.50 for children 5-16 years. Visit www. arleyhall andgardens. com.

NightRun at Lyme Park

NightRun, 27th January, 4.30pm-8.30pm Discover Lyme in a whole new light with two exciting NightRun routes around the park. Bring a light for the run. Dogs on leads are welcome. Walking to Health, 16th November, 12th December, 18th Jan, 10.30am-12.30pm Keep active and improve your health on these easy to moderate walks which take in beautiful scenery. The walk is free, but normal admission charges apply. Dogs welcome. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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What’s on at Gladstone’s Library

Liberal Islam, 18th-19th November Speaking as an ‘average Muslim’, Zia Chaudhry answers questions about Islam today and offers a liberal view of the religion whilst dispeling disinformation and misinformation. Zia Chaudhry is a Liverpool-based barrister and author of Just Your Average Muslim. In 2007 he founded the Spirit of Cordoba, a charity that aims to encourage Muslims to participate in the wider community and to foster collaboration with other communities, challenging prejudices. Zia became a Trustee of Gladstone’s Library after being integral to the Library’s initiative to open the country’s

first Islamic Reading Room, contemporary films from The House of Wisdom. Residential a theological perspective whilst prices start from £110, observing their world view non-residential and the values they DID YOU from £80. promote. Every film KNOW? www.literary shown is critically ‘Four calling birds’ acclaimed and festivals.co.uk that we sing about includes I, Daniel were once ‘four Film and Blake, The Measure of Theology, 11tha Man, Moonlight, Elle canary birds!’ 13th December and Under the Shadow. An opportunity Residential tickets from to consider and discuss £215, non-residential, £150. a selection of classic and www.gladstoneslibrary.org

Lantern Parade, 24th November Light the way for Father Christmas as he arrives to at Tatton Park. Bring your own lantern or buy one on the night to light the path guide the sleigh for Santa. There will be a special post box to post Christmas letters to the man himself. The mansion, gift fair, shops and restaurants will be open late. Tickets: £10 adult, £6 child. Pre-booking essential. Event starts from 6pm.


1st December, Christmas Concert, Woodley Methodist Church A Christmas concert performed by The Vernon Building Society (Poynton) Brass Band, one of the north west’s premiere brass bands. Tickets £8.

Tatton Park Christmas festivities Magical Mansion, 21st November until 3rd December, 11am-5pm Enter a magical mansion this season inspired by The Twelve Days of Christmas. Make your way through the state rooms into the servants’ quarters, learning the secret symbolism behind this well-loved carol as you go. See where the geese have run amok in the kitchen, finding the perfect spot to lay their eggs, take a turn with the lords a-leaping and ladies dancing, and marvel at the impressive tree which takes centre stage in the staircase hall. Enjoy seasonal goodies in the still room, craft demos and learn how to make an origami swan. Tickets £10, children 4-15 years, £6.


Father Christmas at the Farm, 25th-26th November, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th and 23rd December Father Christmas and his elves are happily settled at Tatton Farm. To celebrate their arrival festive music fills the air – from carol singers to brass bands – and the farmyard animals have their own starring role around the nativity. Meet Aunt Mary in her Christmas Cottage and join in making traditional salt dough festive decorations. From 11am-4pm. Adults £7, children £6.50. Carols in the Stableyard 23rd December, 3pm Enjoy the live band and festive carols in the stable yard. Do a spot of Christmas shopping or visit the magical Mansion and Gardens (last entry 3pm). Vehicle entry charge of £6 applies. www.tattonpark.org.uk

The Party Boat is coming!

Christmas Party Nights, Saturdays and Sundays in December up to 22nd Get your festive cheesy pop groove on and jump aboard Chester Boats and party the festive period in style with a Christmas Party Night. With a licensed bar and DJ spinning the dance tunes! Boarding at 6.45pm, returning at 10pm. Cheesy Pop Party, 10th Feb Embrace the cheesy pop, let your hair down and get ready to party the night away on the River Dee. Fancy dress is welcomed and encouraged as you bop to all the cheese-tastic hits from the DJ. £32.50-£34.50 with BBQ supper, mixed leaf salad and bread roll. Booking essential. www.chesterboat.co.uk

1st December, Christmas Street Market and Late Night Shopping, Sandbach Market Square Visit Santa in his grotto and indulge in over 100 stalls. Choirs and brass bands will be providing the music and there will be a hog roast, mulled wine and hot chestnuts around the market. Open from 3pm-8pm.

2nd December, Concert by Emma Johnson (clarinet) and John Lenehan (piano), Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre Emma Johnson has established a busy career as a solo performer which has taken her to major European, American and Asian venues as well as to Africa and Australasia. John Lenehan has appeared with orchestras at home and abroad. 8pm-10pm. Tickets: £10 members, £16 non-members.

9th December, North of England Orchid Show, Saint Peter’s Church Assembly Rooms, Hale Come and see the wonderful blooms and colours of the world of orchids from 10.30am-3pm.

9th December, The 5th Macclesfield Open Art Exhibition, The Silk Museum The exhibition showcases local talent with most art pieces being for sale. Vote for your favourite. Admission to the Macclesfield Open Art Exhibition only is free.

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What’s on at Live Rooms


songwriters for German No. 1 rock band The Scorpions, with five albums, including several gold ones. Uli invented his own unique instrument – the by now legendary 6-octave Sky guitar. Widely recognized as perhaps the single most important protagonist of neo-classical guitar playing, Uli is seen by many as a trend-setter who has often been considerably ahead of his time. Age 14+. Tickets cost £20.

•12th December, RSPB

Macclesfield Local Group, Macclesfield Methodist Church Illustrated talk entitled What’s that Raptor? by Keith Offord, a highly experienced wildlife photographer, tour leader and lecturer. His talk will take a close look at the identification of raptors in the real setting where subtle differences in wing length, speed and depth of wingbeat, stance and habitat provide the melting pot of clues which help us pinpoint the species accurately. 7.15pm. Group members £1, visitors £4.50, under 18s free.

16th December, Warrington Choral Society, St Mary’s Shrine Church Warrington Choral Society, directed by Michael Wynne, perform Britten’s St Nicholas in the run up to Christmas. Starts 7.30pm, doors open 7pm. Tickets £10, £8 for over 65s, £5 for students/ unwaged, and free to under 16s.

20th December, Chester Cathedral Christmas Crackers Join the Chester Musical Society Choir and Chester Philharmonic Orchestra for a joyous celebration of Christmas carols and seasonal music, with readings and introductions by Rev Richard Coles. 7.30pm-9.30pm. £16 and £8.

9th January, CRT Community Engagement and Volunteering in the North West, Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port Chester and Merseyside Inland Waterways Association Monthly Talk presented by Gillian Renshaw and Ani Sutton. 7.45pm. Free.

•20th January, Concert by

Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet, Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre An innovative collaboration between four creative young artists built on the distinct original personalities of its members. The quartet’s work had led to multiple awards. 8pm10pm. £10, non-members £16.

a tribute to the phenomenal five One Night of Madness with piece rock ‘n’ roll legends Oasis. Manchester’s Heavy Hitters, Indistinguishable and authentic 24th November, 7pm you are assured to receive Two fantastic tributes from a high quality and polished iconic British bands The Stone performance. Age 14+. Roses and Oasis, makes Tickets £14. this a night not to DID YOU miss! The Clone KNOW? Uli Jon Roth, 6th Roses are the Manchester was December, 7pm longest serving considered the Former Scorpions and most popular centre of feminism guitarist Uli Jon Roth Roses tribute in the 1900s headlines, showcasing playing live today. a musical career Expect to hear all spanning five decades. the classics including During the 70s Uli was lead Waterfall, Made of Stone and guitarist and one of the main I am the Resurrection. Oaces are

The Courtbetweeners, 10th February, 7pm See the only UK tribute band to The Courteeners and relive tracks including The Opener, Are You In Love With A Notion, Bide Your Time, Fallowfield Hillbilly, Not Nineteen Forever and What Took You So Long. As big fans of the band, the boys created the tribute after watching The Courteeners smash T in the Park, Reading Festival and the 2016 support slot to the The Stone Roses and couldn’t believe that there wasn’t a tribute so they decided to do something about it. And so The Courtbetweeners was born! Age 14 upwards. Tickets £7 advance, £10 on the door. Go online to: www.theliverooms.com

Chester Winter Watch Parade Chester’s Winter Watch Parade, 7th and 14th December, 7pm Giant skeletons, dragons and fire-breathing can all be expected after dark at this year’s Winter Watch Parade. With its origins in medieval parades marking the turn of the year, it is a carnival procession which features dancers, lantern bearers and a host of seasonal characters and musicians. Dating from the 1400s the parade was held as the city leaders would hand over the keys to Chester to the City Watch after checking around to ensure the city was secure.

Then followed a banquet and celebration of Christmas. The Winter Watch Parade was re-created by the council in the 1990s. This year the Chester Re-enactment Group will join the Chester Watch as a group of giant skeletons and Roman tours will be providing a chariot and skeleton emperor. Starts at 7pm from the Forum shopping centre and will continue around the city. Performances include dancing, fire-breathing and sword fights in Eastgate Street outside Brown’s of Chester and in the Town Hall Square. www.midsummerwatch.co.uk

If you go down to the woods today… You’ll find Father Christmas at Blakemere Village! Don’t miss this unique theatrical experience. Visit on the weekends of 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 22nd and 23rd December for a day of magical family outdoor entertainment. With lots of fun outdoor activities including skating, small fair rides and also meet Snowy the Owl. Tickets from £19.95 per person up to £27.50 for the inclusive package. For more information visit the event website at www. christmaswoodland.co.uk

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Friday 1st December (Sold Out) Saturday 2nd December (Sold Out) Saturday 9th December Friday 15th December Friday 22nd December Saturday 23rd December (Sold Out) Friday 29th December Saturday 30th December Sunday 31st December


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What’s on at Floral Pavilion Theatre


Ghost Stories for Christmas 7th December, 7:30pm A spooky theatre show based on the BBC’s classic 1970s programme featuring original spine-chillers in a vintage vein. An evening of vengeful revenants, restless spirits and malevolent ghouls is guaranteed for those brave enough to watch! Acclaimed actor Jonathan Goodwin stars. Tickets £12 and £10 concessions. Peter Pan, 9th December – 7th January A magical panto awash with swash and buckle starring Coronation Street’s Mark Baylis as Captain Hook and Dan Wright from Big Cook Little Cook and 4 O’clock Club, as Mr Smee. Peter Pan is the ultimate adventure for every child who never wants to grow up and every grown up who wishes they never had. Tickets £13.50-£66.00.

DID YOU KNOW? Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, published in 1843, sold out in just three days

Brendan Cole, All Night Long, 24th January, 7:30pm Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole wows in this spectacular production. Featuring a sensational cast of guest dancers, a 14-piece band and singers to present an unforgettable night. Tickets £36.50

17th November, Precious Wishes Fundraising Night, Poulton Victoria Sports and Social Club, Wallasey An evening fundraiser in memory of Pauline Gibbons who passed away to terminal cancer. Dance the night away with an Elvis tribute, DJ and show girls, casino, raffle and more! 7pm-12am.

21st November, One Man Two Guvnors, The Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight Richard Bean’s Richard Bean’s award winning play – an English version of A Servant of Two Masters – provides laugh-out-loud satire, songs, slapstick and glittering one-liners. 7.30pm, tickets: £9.

Simply Rhos, 9th February, 7:30pm An evening of beautiful music from the award winning Rhos Male Voice Choir in aid of Age UK Wirral.This award-winning choir promises a night of pure indulgence for your senses. With over 60 members the power of this Welsh Male Voice Choir is simply breathtaking. Tickets from £14. www.floralpavilion.com

Cruises with Father Christmas

Santa visits at Church Farm

Once again Father Christmas will be leaving Rudolph and his sleigh behind to set sail on the canal boat Centaur for some festive fun on the waterways hosted by the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port. There will be stories, songs and silliness before Father Christmas leads the way to his grotto where there will be storytelling plus a gift for every child to create an enchanting start to Christmas. Meanwhile, adults can relax with a tea or coffee and mince pie with juice and biscuits available for the children. Dates are 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 22nd, 23rd and 24th December at 11am, 12.45pm and 2.30pm. Tickets: £10 for adults and children and includes museum entry. Call 0151 355 5017 or www.canalrivertrust.org.uk

Visit Santa Claus and his festive friends on 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th and 17th December for a magical experience at Church Farm! Santa will know all the childrens’ names and exactly what they want for Christmas, it’s magic! Visit the beautifully lit-up forest for songs, dancing and audience participation with appearances from elves, Rudolph and Frosty the Snowman. There will be chocolate gifts for children and mulled wine and mince pies for adults. Tickets from £10-£13pp. All adults and children require their own ticket. Children aged under 12 months are free but will not usually receive a gift. For more information and to book tickets visit online at www. churchfarm.org.uk

24th November, Manford’s Comedy Club, Neston Civic Hall This live comedy show features four brilliant comedians selected by Jason Manford. A great evening of original stand-up comedy. 7pm. Tickets: £12.50

25th November, HCPT Reindeer Run, Birkenhead Park A sponsored 5K fun run 11am-1pm to raise funds for HCPT group 134.

25th November, Hoylake Christmas Market With stalls, mince pies, mulled wine, winter fairground and a visit from Elsa and Anna 12pm-6pm.

25th November, Short Health Walk, Birkenhead Park. A health walk organised by Age UK Wirral around the lower park lasting one hour in total 9.30am-11.30am.

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What’s on at Williamson Art Gallery


30th November, Formby Beach Clean Receive a complimentary ticket to Sea Life Manchester by volunteering for the beach clean at National Trust Formby to help to keep the beach beautiful. From 11am-2pm.

2nd December, Hoylake Choral Society, West Kirby United Reformed Church Enjoy an evening of spellbounding choral music including excerpts from Handel’s Messiah plus Christmas carols for everyone to join in with to get you in the festive spirit. 7.30pm-9:30pm. Tickets £12 for adults and £3 for children.

Oxton Art Fair, 25th-26th November Liverpool Guitar Society Showcase Concert, 16th Explore various art works at this popular Christmas art and craft fair from Oxton Artist plus invited November, 7.30pm Players from Liverpool Guitar guests. The fair is open from 10am-5pm Saturday and 10am-4pm on the Sunday. The gallery itself Society will perform an is open until 5pm. Free entry but bring cash or evening recital of solo, duet and quartet pieces. With favourites from all eras cheque book for purchases from the art stalls as not all will have the means to take card. For more of the classical guitar repertoire, alongside French impressionist Maurice Ravel’s haunting Pavane, the information visit www.williamsonartgallery.org sounds of Spanish Andalucia with Isaac Albeniz’s Cordoba, pieces by Andrew York, and the lively Brazilian rhythms of Paulo Bellinati. Refreshments, will be available in the gallery cafe before the performance and DID YOU during the interval. Part of The KNOW? International Guitar Festival – Guitars have been Brendan McCormack Series. around for 3,000Tickets £8 and £10. www. 4,000 years all liverpoolguitar.org

over the world

3rd December, Border League Race, Birkenhead Park The event is a three lap running race on the paths and roadway of Birkenhead upper park and is part of the Border League series of races held between October and April each year. Takes place between 110am-12.30pm.

6th and 20th December, Free Live Jazz Event, The Irby Club Dance and listen to the best live Dixieland and Chicago jazz from The Original Panama Jazz Band plus visits from The Chester Swing Cats, Jive Lindy Hoppers. Free admission, great music and a raffle. Suitable for teens upwards.

23rd-27th January, Turn of the Screw, The Little Theatre, West Merseyside Shortly after Miss Grey, a governess arrives at Bly to take charge of Flora and Miles she sees the ghosts of the former valet and governess; is is the children they want? An amateur production from the Carlton Players, starts at 7.30pm, doors open 7pm. Tickets £6-£8.

Looking ahead to half term at Ness Botanic Gardens in 2018 The Winter WildlifeTrail from 10th-25th February, 10am4pm. Follow this easy route around Ness to discover the plants and animals of winter, note how many things you can spot in your free special trail booklet. Enjoy the stunning views and swathes of beautiful snowdrops and answer the quiz about them. Wrap up in your hats and scarves and slip on your wellies! Come along to the Winter Crafts in the Coach House, from 14th, 21st and 23rd February, 1pm-3pm. You can enjoy where you can join the education team who will help you make some seasonal crafts in the cozy Coach House in the centre of the garden. Both events are suitable for families with children aged 2-12 years who must be supervised for all activities. No book required, the event is free but normal garden admission applies. For more information visit www.nessgardens.org.uk

What’s on at Claremont Farm

A Balanced Wellness Demonstration Evening, 23rd November, 6pm-9pm Enjoy nutrition at its best and learn how to create a dish to keep your energies, mood and hormones balanced. This nutritious workshop is delivered by Real Food Daily With recipe demo, Q&A session, kombucha and plenty of treats for everyone. £45. www.realfooddaily365.com Indian Cookery with Soma, 18th November and 9th December, 10am-4pm Learn to cook your own Indian and other exotic meals from scratch, using fresh and healthy ingredients. Cost is £95. For more information and to book a place visit www.claremontfarm. co.uk

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Kino Culture


•16th November, Oswestry Christmas Lights Switch On Local schools and musical groups perform on the large stage held on the Bailey Head to celebrate the switching on of the Christmas lights often with special guests. 4pm-6.30pm. •17th-19th November, Christmas Craft & Food Fair at Enginuity, Ironbridge See the best of contemporary craft from the Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Craft and designer makers. Expect jewellery, furniture, ceramics, textiles, glassware, printmaking and more. 10am-5pm Sat, 10am-4pm Sun.

•18th November Bridgnorth Christmas Fair Shop local food, artisan goods, craft, vintage, jewellery, gifts and more. Enjoy all things festive, plus raffles, tombola, tea, coffee and cake. Free entry, 11am-4pm. •18th-19th November, Shrewsbury Chocolate Festival, 10am-4pm, St Mary’s Church The annual Chocolate Festival showcases the home-grown chocolatiers across Shropshire and further afield. Sample chocolate including gluten free, vegan, organic, raw, single origin and Fair Trade. With kids’ activities, demos and music. •18th November, Whalebone: Mirabilia Tour, Harmer Hill Village Hall An evening of eclectic acoustic music from this critically-acclaimed trio. 7.30pm. Entry £10, £6 children.

Victoria & Abdul (PG) British Cinema Season is showing from 10th, 11am and 11th and 16th November, 7.30pm The extraordinary true story of One Man, Two Guvnors. It’s an unexpected friendship in 1850, and Europe’s most feared the later years of Queen terrorist is hiding in WANT TO Victoria’s (Academy Dean Street, Soho. Award winner Judi APPEAR HERE? Broke, restless and Dench) remarkable Turn to page 100 horny, 32-yearrule. When old revolutionary to find out how Abdul Karim (Ali you can feature in Marx is a frothing Fazal), a young Shire Magazine! combination of clerk, travels from intellectual brilliance, India to participate invective, satiric wit, in the Queen’s Golden and child-like emotional Jubilee, he is surprised to find illiteracy. Creditors, spies, favour with the Queen herself. rival revolutionary factions As the Queen questions the and prospective seducers of constrictions of her long-held his beautiful wife all circle like position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle all attempt to destroy. There is a special screening at 11am on the 10th for parents or carers with babies up to twelve months. Older siblings welcome.

vultures. It seems his only hope is a job on the railway. RSC Live: Twelfth Night (12A), 14th February, 7pm A tale of unrequited love, hilarious and heartbreaking. Two twins are separated in a shipwreck, and forced to fend for themselves in a strange land Shakespeare’s greatest comedy, a brilliantly bittersweet account of ‘the whirligig of time’. Visit www.kinokulture.org.uk, or call Oswestry’s community cinema on 01691 238167.

NT Live: Young Marx (12A), 7th December, 7pm Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London, from the creative team behind Broadway and West End hit comedy

Feed the deer at Attingham Park

Deer feeding, from 4th November to 3rd March See the Attingham fallow deer herd up close as they are fed their winter rations. The eighth Lord Berwick loved his fallow deer herd so much he would often feed them himself – watch this tradition as it continues over

the winter months. They will be fed to help them through the winter every weekend at 2pm in the deer park, and daily in the Shropshire Christmas and February half-term school holidays (excluding Christmas Day). This is a free event but normal admission applies. Well behaved dogs on leads are welcome, but please ensure dogs are under close control on a short lead and only held by an adult.

course. Around five miles and mainly off road, it includes a mixture of pasture land, wooded areas with obstacles and wet areas. Adult affiliated, £10, unaffiliated £12, on the day £14. Dress appropriately. For full details visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

Mad Jack’s 5, 11th November, 11am Join Shrewsbury Athletics Club for this multi-terrain

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What’s on at Theatre Severn Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, from 29th November until 7th January Don’t miss this year’s spectacular family pantomime starring Shropshire’s favourite Dame, the hilarious Brad Fitt and the legendary Eric Smith (BBC Radio Shropshire). Tickets from £12-£24.50.

to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score. The young Clara creeps downstairs on Christmas Eve to play with her favourite present – a Nutcracker doll. But the mysterious magician Drosselmeyer is waiting to sweep her off on a magical adventure. Tickets £16, concessions £14, child £12.

The Nutcracker screened live in the Walker Theatre from the Royal Opera House the in two acts, 5th December at 7.15pm. A young girl’s enchanted present leads her on a wonderful Christmas adventure in this beautiful classical ballet, danced

Teechers, 31st January-3rd February,7.30pm, Thursday matinee, 2.30pm Teechers brings to life an array of terrifying teachers and hopeless pupils through the unique eyes of Salty, Gail and Hobby; three Year 11 students

about to leave school for good. 11+ years. Tickets 16.50, conc., £15, schools £10. Banff Mountain Film Festival 2018, Red Programme, 7.30pm Experience an extraordinary collection of short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. Follow the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers, see amazing adrenaline packed action sports and be inspired by thoughtprovoking pieces shot from the across the globe. Suitable for 12+ years. £15.50, £13.50 conc. www.theatresevern.co.uk

At the Wightman Theatre

Xmas Trees and Music at St Chad’s Over fifty decorated Christmas trees will fill St Chad’s for the opening of its sixth Christmas Tree Festival, and there will be a diverse daily programme of Christmas music, song and dance from 9th to 16th December. Also, on Saturday 9th December at 7.30pm, Shrewsbury Cantata Choir will be performing three pieces of music by German composers including the well-known Brahms’ German Requiem. Tickets for the concert are £14 from www. shrewsburycantatachoir.org.uk

Join in the adventure of a lifetime on a Christmas Treasure Island from 5th-30th December Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel, Treasure Island. With original songs and music, this new adaptation is a festive treat for all the family. Full of sparkling characters, this classic tale is reimagined by awardwinning writer Debbie Oates (Coronation Street, The Mill). Tickets £15, concessions £12.

New Year’s Eve Party featuring The Hot Jazz Biscuits, 31st December 8pm-1am See the new year in with a band, a lone Scottish piper and then party on with a live DJ until 1am. The Hot Jazz Biscuits are a versatile group of experienced musicians and firm friends covering musical styles including jazz, motown, soul, funk, and pop. Tickets are £35. For more information and to book, visit www.thewightman.co.uk

Alderford Lake Festivities Seeking Santa Experience from Friday, 1st DecemberSunday, 24th December Santa’s feeling sad – he’s got the blues, and if you don’t come along and cheer him up, nobody is getting any presents this Christmas. Santa will be in his magical winter wonderland grotto at Alderford from 1st to 22nd December. He will be available every day from 9am so call for his schedule and your family can have a special personal audience to tell him your wishes. But the jokes must come first. Prices range from £45 to £65 per family. There are also some special candlelit sessions available (Santa’s has agreed to forego his tea on these evenings!) New Year’s Day open water swim on 1st January Blow away the Christmas cobwebs and wake up to a New Year the Alderford way! The Sharkbait Swimmers will be on hand to supervise this dip into the lake. £5 per swimmer, all going towards the Midlands Air Ambulance. From 11am and free drinks to warm up afterwards… brrrilliant! Visit www. alderford.com for more details and to book tickets.

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What’s on at Theatre on the Steps

Strictly Abba, 24th and 25th November, 8pm, £13 The most authentic and accurate tributes to Abba which surpasses all others with the motto: ‘The winner takes it all’. Surf ’s Up, 8th and 9th December, 8pm, £16, £14 conc. Surf ’s Up are a dynamic and fun-packed 10-piece Beach Boys tribute band. They’ll be playing two completely different sets, giving a fantastic and varied selection of classics on both nights. You’ll really need to bring your best dancing flip-flops!

The Stones, 15th-17th December. 8pm (7pm on 17th) With all the energy and charisma of The Rolling Stones themselves, they are the UK’s No.1 and most authentic tribute act to The Rolling Stones. Performing hits such as Satisfaction, Start Me Up, Honky Tonk Woman’and Jumpin’ Jack Flash. Complete with authentic vintage instruments, costume and mannerisms, ‘The Stones’ are experienced musicians in their own right, performing to over 30,000 people while headlining festivals. Tickets £15.

Peter Pan ‘The Panto’, 6th-27th January, 2pm, 7pm Brought to life by the Theatre on the Steps Company, the everlasting classic account of the magical journey of Wendy, Michael and John Darling as they follow Peter Pan into Neverland, where children never grow old. There they encounter the Lost Boys, Indians and Mermaids in adventure after adventure. Early booking is essential. Tickets £9-12. For more information or to book tickets visit www. theatreonthesteps.co.uk.

Ironbridge Museum Mrs Beeton’s Christmas with Dr Annie Gray at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron on 27th November Food historian Dr Annie Gray will look at the mid-Victorian Christmas through the eyes of the wondrous Isabella Beeton, author of Beeton’s Book of Household Management, published in 1861. It reflects the mid-Victorian turmoil over Christmas: was it an excuse for drunken revelry or could it be an occasion on which to celebrate family, friends and to think of those less fortunate?

Victorian Christmas at Blists Hill Victorian Town, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th December Revel in traditional festive celebrations and entertainment, 1800s style and meet Father Christmas in his Grotto! Tickets from £17.95 for an adult to £10.75 for a child, £30 for a family.

The Shrewsbury Winter Festival The Shrewsbury Winter Festival eturns to the town for the third year running from 9th-10th December. With a wonderland of Christmas

goodies from over 150 exhibitors featuring the best artisan local foods, handmade crafts. Christmas grotto, Christmas lights, seasonal cookery and craft workshops and many more surprises. There’ll be hands-on crafts, circus big tops, real reindeer, lambs, donkeys and alpacas, gingerbread decorating, play along music, story-telling and

plenty of artisan food and drink. Discover new ideas, new products and local producers. Everything you need to get you feeling festive. Starts 10am. Tickets £6, family £12, children age 3-14 years £2. Visit www. shrewsburychristmas.co.uk.

Christmas comes to Whitchurch Doodle Alley adult painting evening, 16th Nov and 21st December, 6.30pm Join in after hours for a spot of pottery painting. With over 70 pieces to pick from, let your creativity flow and create your own perfect piece. There is a deposit of £4.95 payable before the night of the event. Pottery piece(s) start from £3.95 upwards. Contact doodlealley@mail.com.

Brilliance, 22nd November, 7.30pm at The Talbot Theatre It’s winter, 1963, Daisy places her hand on the switch, presses it down, and life is never the same again. Rurally relevant drama. £11 adults, £5 young people, family £30. www.artsalive.co.uk North Shropshire Folk ‘Melrose Quartet’, 2nd December, 8pm, Talbot Theatre With capella harmony and energy-packed instrumentals,

the quartet comprises Nancy Kerr, James Fagan, Jess and Richard Arrowsmith with twin fiddles, guitar and bouzouki, melodeon and four strong voices. Tickets £12 adults/ £10 concessions, £6 young people. www.northshropshirefolk.com

Tile Decorating Workshops 7th 14th, 21st and 28th November, at the Jackfield Tile Museum Join a drop-in tile decorating workshop between 10am-2.30pm and try the tube lining technique to produce your own ceramic masterpiece; you could make a collection of coasters, a circular door plaque or a gift for a loved one on a heart shaped tile. Activities vary from day-today; tiles cost from £5 each and can be fired and sent home later for a small extra charge to cover postage and packing. Museum entrance fee including a voluntary Gift Aid donation £9.75 adults; £8.75 for 60 plus and £6.25 for children (up to 16 years), under 5s free. For more information call 01952 433424 or visit www.ironbridge.org.uk.

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What’s on at The Place Paul Zerdin, 22nd December Fresh from headlining the world-famous Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas with a sparkling new show featuring his all-star cast of (in)famous puppets, join Paul, Sam, Albert and Baby plus two crazy brand new characters for an evening of laugh out loud comedy and ventriloquism! Tickets £17.50. Suitable for 15+ only. Peter Pan, 6th, 14th, 16th, 24th and 26th-31st December, tickets from £10 Follow the boy who refuses to grow up and his fairy sidekick

Tinkerbell as they visit the nursery of Wendy, John and Michael Darling. Watch Peter and his new friends fly out the nursery window and off to Neverland.

DID YOU she gets caught in KNOW? the middle of their In The Wizard of ongoing feud. Oz movie, Toto How will it all earned more than end? Tickets £16. the Munchkins! Go online to www.

The Wicked Wizard of Fizzog, 19th January, This is a hilarious parody of Wicked and The Wizard of Oz. The tale of two young witches friendship that turns sour, when Dorothy turns up trying to find her way home with the help of her new mates,

Oswestry Town Market events Artisan Market, 24th November, 9am-3pm A collection of quality local craft and food producers held at the Bailey Head. Shropshire Produce Market, 25th November, 9am3pm Handpicked Shropshirebased food and craft producers selling the best the County has to offer in the town centre.

theplacetelford.com to find out more.

Shrewsbury Museum

amusement rides, ice rink, Christmas stalls, late night shopping, Santa’s Grotto, live music stage and much more. Oswestry Christmas Parade, 2nd December, 11am Organised by all the local rotary groups, this is a much anticipated event so expect huge floats, walking parades and plenty of live music throughout.

Oswestry Christmas Music Live, 1st December, 5pm-10pm. One of the largest and night time events in the county. Huge

Samurai: Warriors of Japan, is on up until 21st January. This exciting exhibition brings to life the story of the Samurai and their fall from power as Japan opened up to the West. Illustrating a range of armour, weapons and costumes using films props from the Tom Cruise blockbuster movie, The Last Samurai. www. shrewsburymuseum.org.uk

Medieval merriment and antiques at Ludlow Castle Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre, 25th-26th November Explore over 100 stalls selling seasonal wares, food and drink, crafts, historical goods and more. With food and drink, live music, theatre, comedy, juggling and swashbuckling sword fights. Saturday, 10am-9pm, Sunday, 10am-4pm. www.ludlowmedievalchristmas.co.uk

Antiques Fair, 9th December, The Beacon Rooms, Castle House Up to 16 stalls of antiques, silver, jewellery, scientific instruments, barometers, clocks, glass, porcelain, cutlery, militaria and collectables. Open 9am-4pm. £1 entry, children are free. www. centuryfairs.com

•19th November, Winter Woodland Walk, Wenlock Edge, Much Wenlock Walk these species-rich meadows, home to Hebridean sheep and wander through the woods, taking in views and vistas and finding out about woodland management, timber sales, access and the rare and special wildlife and watch a short coppicing demo. £7. From 10am until 2pm. •21st November, Merry Berry Mosey and Meal, Fordhall Organic Farm, Market Drayton Go foraging for herbs, fruits, berries, seeds and more. Learn to harvest wild food, understand the medicinal benefits and, see some cooking techniques to preserve your bounty over winter! The walk will finish with a delicious ‘high tea’ back at the farm. Cost £30pp. •25th November, Shropshire Rural Communities Charity’s annual Christmas Fair, St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury Browse the various craft and gift stalls whilst enjoying coffee, cake and mulled wine to get you into the festive spirit! With children’s craft activities, entertainment, a raffle and tombola, there’s something for all the family. 10am3.30pm. Free. •25th November, Stars in your Skies: The death of stars, dying stars, black holes and the Crab Nebula, Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd Chalet Pavillion What happens when a star dies? The Crab Nebula got its name because it looked a bit crab-like when it was sketched in 1840. It is the remnant of a star that went with a bang (a Supernova, probably in 1054). Stuff gets left behind too, like black holes. Other stars die when they run out. Booking Essential. A National Trust Event, which starts at 8pm.

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•1st December, Oswestry Christmas Live Join in this huge celebration of Christmas with funfair rides, music, ice rink, Christmas market, Santa Grotto, fireworks etc. Great family day out. There will even be reindeers! The event is free to visit, however ride prices vary. 6pm until 10pm. •1st-23rd December, Santa Safari at Hawkstone Park A magical journey by Land Rover through the woodland to see Santa in his real hillside grotto. Arrive at Hawkstone Park Hotel and check in for your trip. After a warming festive drink you’ll be whisked off in a Land Rovers across the park, under the Wishing Arch and up the steep hill to Santa’s spectacular network of caves. Every child receives a gift from Santa. •1st December, DIY Christmas cards at Severn Gorge Countryside Trust, Coalbrookdale Tutor Amanda Hillier will guide you to create your own unique lino print to make into Christmas cards. Exploring composition and the technique of carving and printing. Suitable for all abilities. Bring a packed lunch, sketchbook and camera (optional). £30 per person 10-4pm.

•2nd December, The Jar family at Birchmeadow, Broseley The last time this band visited, tickets sold out in a matter of weeks, so if you like Dylan, The Pogues and Springsteen, you will Love The Jar Family! Don’t miss a chance to see them perform! Tickets £12 in advance from Downes Greengrocers or Hurdleys, £15 on the door. Doors open 7.30pm.

Severn Valley Railway

Santa Steam Specials, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd and 24th December Get Christmas off to a magical start by joining one of the Santa Steam Specials to meet Father Christmas in his grotto! Travel by steam train from Kidderminster to Arley where the children, and the grown-ups, will meet Father Christmas and receive a present for fare-paying children, before your steam train arrives to take you back to Kidderminster. Trains depart from Kidderminster at various times between 9.45am and

4.00pm. (On December 24th train departs at 1.30pm). Tickets start at £14.50 for adults and children, £7 for babies.

Christmases gone by before you board the train and along your journey, the train will stop at Arley where carols will be sung. At The Engine DID YOU The Carol Train, House, the choir will KNOW? again lead the singing 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd December and a warming The word Carol Make sure your glass of punch and actually means vocal chords are ‘dance’ or ‘song of a mince pie will be warmed up as served to passengers. praise and joy’ you join the scenic Trains depart from diesel rail-car on Kidderminster 7.45pm, a trip from Kidderminster arriving back at 10.45pm. Tickets: £17 adults and seniors, to The Engine House at £12 children. Booking essential. Highley. The concourse will be filled with the sounds of www.svr.co.uk

RAF Cosford remembers the fallen Wellington Bomber which is one of only two survivors from the Second World War. Speak to Museum technicians, apprentices and volunteers about their work. £5 per adult, (under 16s accompanied by an adult go free). The RAF Museum is holding a Remembrance Service on 12th November, paying respect to those Service men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice during their tours of duty. Arrive in Hangar 1 at 10.30am. The Service will commence at 10.45am and will be led by the Station Chaplain at RAF Cosford. It will include a two-minute silence with the sounding of The Last Post. The RAF Museum’s Conservation Centre will be opening its doors to visitors from 13th-18th November from 10.15am-1pm for access to aircraft in the conservation hangar. For one week only, visitors will be able to view progress behind-the-scenes being made on a range of aircraft such as the

Sir Alan Cobhams Flying Circus: A life of a Pioneering Aviator in Hangar 1 is running until 31st December. Sir Alan Cobham was a pioneering long distance aviator and technical innovator. He became famous for his exploits in the interwar years by making aviation accessible and popular throughout the world and went on to set many long distance aviation records. For more information and to book visit www. rafmuseum.org.uk.

Oswestry School Recital Series Catrin Finch, February 3rd, Oswestry School Catrin has performed previously at the school in 1997, with the Purcell School Chamber Ensemble shortly before she became Royal Harpist to H.R.H. Prince of Wales in 2000, a post she held for four years. Her first solo recording was of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for Deutsche Grammophon; Catrin has since recorded with renowned artists including Bryn Terfel, James Galway and Julian Lloyd Webber. She brings a programme of spectacular virtuoso music for her instrument, some with an added touch of humour!

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This year’s extremely popular Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre will take place on Saturday 2 December from 10 am until 5 pm. It will be opened as usual by the World’s Tallest Town Crier, Martin Wood.


See who can make Santa laugh the loudest! Bring your family with their best jokes to cheer him at his wonderful grotto. A 45 minute family experience with presents! Booking strongly recommended on

Rich in seasonal atmosphere the Fayre provides a variety of stalls and entertainment for everyone. The event includes the Christmas lights switch-on that will take place at 3:30 in the Square. In the run-up to Christmas you will be able to shop and enjoy a variety of entertainment including music, street theatre, donkey rides, birds of prey, reptiles and snakes. Children will also be able to visit Santa in his Grotto at Holy Trinity Church. This fabulous day will come to a close with carols by candlelight in The Square.

Disabled Parking and Park & Ride facilities are available. Further details for this exiting day can be found at: www.wenlockchristmasfayre.org.uk

01948 665914

Family tickets from £45, and evening candlelit sessions available Please call in at the café or check the website for details


Blists Hill Victorian Town 9 & 10 and 16 & 17 December 10am - 4pm

Tickets can be purchased in advance


A Victorian CHRISTMAS Annual Passport Tickets not valid. Annual Passport Ticket holders get 25% discount off entry (T&Cs apply)

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A celebration of local craft and amazing food all wrapped up and ready for you to enjoy in Shrewsbury Quarry Park

buy tickets online shrewsburychristmas.co.uk

• CHRISTMAS MARKET LIGHTS • CONTINENTAL SWITCH ON 1st & 2nd Sept 2017 16th November 2017 The best in continental producers throughout Oswestry town centre. • SHROPSHIRE

• PRODUCE CHARITY MARKET MARKET 8thNovember Sept 20172017 25th

ironmongery. Traditional • OSWESTRY music & heritagePARADE activities 2nd December 2017 throughout Oswestry.

11amDay • Apple

Annual spectacle located 14th Oct 2017 through the streets Celebrating themain mighty apple of town Oswestry within the centre! Also

Local charities giving advice raising moneyMUSIC for their • &CHRISTMAS LIVE local producers & community great causes. groups. • CHRISTMAS 1st December 2017

• HERITAGE OPEN DAY 6.10pm MARKET Huge annual event with 9thmassive & 10th Sept 2017 fairground rides

Come & watch located withintraditional the streets crafts suchofasOswestry wood turning &

• HALLOWEEN MARKET ARTISAN MARKET OCT 2017 22nd28th December 2017 Scary goings on at Oswestry 11am Markets. Prozes to be won, plus ourBailey very Head own wizzard!

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10/11/2017 14:39


What’s on at the Ludlow Assembly Rooms


Jacob Marley and The Ghosts of A Night of Dirty Dancing Christmas Past, Present and Future. 23rd November, 7.30pm, £23 Enjoy mince pies and carols in this No film has captured the dementia-friendly screening. hearts of a generation like Dirty Dancing so relive the Cinderella: The Pantomime, passion and celebrate the 13th-17th December, 7pm greatest movie soundtrack of Taking the traditional story and giving it a good all time including hits like shake ‘til all the buttons come off! Totally bonkers She’s Like the Wind, Big Girls and very entertaining. Tickets £12, child £8. Don’t Cry, Hey Baby, Do You Love Me, Be My Baby, Hungry Eyes and, of DID YOU Breakfast at Tiffany’s course, The Time of My Life. Don’t be (PG), 9th Jan, 2pm. the one sitting in the corner! KNOW? In Dirty Dancing, A dementia A Christmas Carol, 5th December, 2pm Baby was played friendly screening Ebenezer Scrooge is a cold and bitter by a 27-year-old of this classic movie starring old miser who hates Christmas and Jennifer Grey! Audrey Hepburn. exploits his kind-natured employee Bob www.ludlow Cratchit. However, on Christmas Eve assemblyrooms.co.uk Scrooge is visited by the ghost of his old partner

A Whittington Castle Xmas

Santa’s Grotto, 10th-17th December Visit Father Christmas in his grotto at the Castle. The visit includes a ‘Good Behaviour’ certificate and gift for each child. The cost is only £4 per child and Santa is in the grotto from 10am-4pm daily. Mince Pie Tours, 28th and 30th December Tickle your Christmas tastebuds and walk off the excesses on one a mince pie tour from 12pm. There is a guided history tour of the castle and grounds then enjoy a hot drink and. mince pie. £5 per person. Visit www. whittingtoncastle. co.uk for more.

Dudmaston Hall Craft Fair Dudmaston’s Christmas Craft Fair returns on November 18th and 19th. With 70 local artists, food producers and craftspeople selling goodies including clothing, greeting cards, prints, jewellery and confectionery. Free for NT members, otherwise £5 adult, £2.50 per child. Call 03442 491895.

Christmas fun at Holly Farm Cinema in the Wild Woods: Family Film Evenings, throughout December Come along to this wintery world which provides the perfect backdrop for an evening of family fun, warming food, a bar and festive movies. With showings weekend evenings on dates this December. www.hollyfarmgarden centre.co.uk

•2nd-24th December, A Traditional Christmas at Rays Farm Welcome to an old fashioned Christmas. See baby Jesus in the donkey’s stable with Mary, Joseph and the Thee Wise Men. Then step from history into imagination. Chat to Father Christmas as he prepares the children’s toys for that magical night and see Rudolph and friends waiting to pull the sleigh. •2nd December, Much Wenlock Christmas Fayre Over 100 eclectic Christmas stalls line the streets and Church Green. Enjoy the brass bands, choirs, street theatre and entertainers, Santa, donkey rides, carols by candlelight in The Square and much more! Disabled parking and park & ride facilities are available.

•2nd December, Singing by Candlelight with Jane Read, Cleobury North Village Hall Come and learn simple and beautiful sacred songs, in rounds and harmony. All songs will be taught by ear. Everyone is very welcome and no singing experience is needed. Start in the light and then, after sharing food, sing by candlelight. Please bring vegetarian food to share. Hot drinks provided. 3.30pm-7.30pm. £15 before 25th November or £17 on the door. •2nd, 3rd, 9th, 10th, 16th-24th December, Christmas at Apley Farm Give your family a magical start to Christmas with a visit to Santa’s grotto, or why not have a delicious breakfast or scrummy afternoon tea with Santa instead? There will be a professional photographer be on hand to take photos which can be bought on the day. Booking online before the event is advised. Afternoon Tea or breakfast with Santa costs from £8.50, and a trip to visit Santa’s Grotto costs only £7.95 per child.

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What’s on at the Festival Drayton Centre


•9th December, Chantilly Grey Christmas Fair, St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury Make a dent in your festive shopping with stalls from Shrewsbury’s independent traders. With over 30 traders setting out their stalls in this spectacular venue you will be able to find the best that Shrewsbury’s local, independent producers have to offer. The Battlefield 1403 coffee shop will be open to serve food and drinks in the quirky converted chapel. From 10am-4pm. •9th December, Christmas Food and Craft Fair, Ludlow Food Centre With exhibitors selling an array of scrumptious foods, delicious drinks and creative crafts, it’s the perfect chance to do your Christmas shopping. Enjoy live entertainment, demos, tastings and much more. Santa and his elves will be there too so book your spot. Free entry to the fair and free parking. 10am-3pm. •9th December, The Ukey Monster Live at Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Oswestry Vibrant vocal harmonies, Ukey sizzling solos, luscious licks and big bass grooves, from Deep Purple to Pink Floyd. Monsterously good tunes that are sure to get your head a noddin’ and your foot a-tappin’. 7.30pm-11pm. £10. •19th January, Music from The Jam with Bruce Foxton, The Buttermarket, Shrewsbury Foxton’s music career spans more than 40 year as bassist and backing vocalist of punk rock and mod revival band the Jam. Starts at 7.30pm. This event is only suitable for over 14s.

suitable for all ages. Tickets £10, £8 for under 16s The Nutcracker, 18th £8.00 and a £34 for a group of four. November, 2pm Be swept away on a magical Follies – NT Encore Screening, 20th November, 7pm adventure in one of the New York, 1971. There’s a party on the most famous classical stage of the Weismann Theatre. ballets of all DID YOU Tomorrow the iconic building will be time. Returning KNOW? demolished. Thirty years after their final by popular Alice from Caroll’s performance, the Follies girls gather to demand, Vienna novel was based have a few drinks, sing songs and lie Festival Ballet’s on the daughter about themselves. Tracie Bennett, Janie production promises to delight of his boss Dee and Imelda Staunton star. £13.50, audiences of all ages.Tickets £20, £18 under 21s, £10 and Friends £11. for Friends and £14 for under 16s. Alice in Wonderland, 2nd December, 2pm and 6pm Alice tumbles into the topsy turvy world of Wonderland, where she meets the Mad Hatter, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Cheshire Cat, and the Queen of Hearts and a whole host of colourful characters. Producer George Critchley has adapted this timeless classic for this year’s Christmas show

Blake, Christmas Classics, 18th December, 7.30pm Join these Brit-Award winning vocalists for their celebrated Christmas show, featuring festive songs in beautiful trio harmony, video projections and the group’s famous fast-paced comedy banter. Tickets £23 and £21 for Friends. To book tickets and findout more, visit www. festivaldraytoncentre.com.

Fabulous festivities at The British Ironworks Centre The Midland’s Breakfast Club, 3rd December A fantastic event starting at 9am. Drivers from all over the Midlands will arrive in dramatic style. This is a free entry event and everyone is welcome to join, but don’t forget your camera!

The MacMillan Winter Wonderland Ball, 2nd December Come along for a magical evening set in an enchanting winter wonderland. Begin with a welcome drink, a sensational four course dinner, both live and silent auctions, music and an evening disco. Tickets £50 or £500 for a table of ten. To book call 07811 237310.

The 2018 Gorilla Half Marathon With the Oswestry first half marathon set to be a huge success, The British Ironworks Centre is kicking it off early by accepting early interest registrations from runners for the 2018 Gorilla Run. This is set to be another hugely popular event, with the course beginning and ending at the British Ironworks Centre. 2018 is expected to exceed this year to become one of Oswestry’s most treasured annual events! www. britishironworkcentre.co.uk

48 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre 25th & 26th Nov 2017

Samurai: Warriors of Japan 16 October 2017 – 21 January 2018 Oscar nominated costumes from the Hollywood film, The Last Samurai See items never before on display in the UK Authentic and real Samurai armour and artefacts! 01743 258885 shrewsburymuseum.org.uk/ @shrewsmuseum @shrewsburymuseum shrewsburymuseum

Eat, drink and be merry with everything from hog roasts to hot chocolate as you shop ‘til you drop with 100+ stalls of gorgeous goodies. Plus laugh, sing and join in with a wealth of entertainment, from live music and carols to panto and jugglers!

Buy tickets online at ludlowmedievalchristmas.co.uk

WHAT’S ON in NOV & DEC ‘17

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Be a Keeper For a Day For a unique Christmas Gift for someone who loves animals, why not purchase a ‘Be a Keeper For a Day’ experience at the Walford Campus of North Shropshire College. With 100 species and 700 animals in total, from feeding the colony of Meerkats, learning about looking after tropical fish, stroking a lizard or handling a snake, there is something for everyone at the Animal Centre near Baschurch.



Whitchurch Christmas Lights Switch On & Outdoor Market Saturday 25th November from 12 noon - 6pm. Meet Father Christmas, make baubles with Cinderella, take part in the lantern parade and see Whitchurch light up for the festive season from 5pm. Variety of stalls, mini fairground & live music throughout the afternoon. Alderford Lake from 1st December - 22nd December. Seeking Santa Experience. Come and visit Santa in his grotto and book a special visit for your family Saturday 2nd December 10am 4pm Whitchurch High Street and Bullring

1st January 1pm outside the Civic Centre New Year’s Day Horse Parade

New Year’s Eve Party starring The Review and The Big Show, Civic Centre. Sunday 31st December, 9.30pm - 1.30am. Tickets £15.00 in advance to include a glass of fizz at midnight.

For more information please visit

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Get cultured at Conquest

18th November Bromyard Christmas Lights, Bromyard Bromyard’s well known ‘Light Brigade’ will be on show from late November to early January every year. With entertainment for young and old, including Santa’s grotto, carol singing and a celebrity guest to throw the switch! 5pm prompt.

24th November, Music Night with The Hannah Lockerman Band, Linton Village Hall, Linton Near Ross on Wye Come and hear this jazz and blues band perform classics from such luminaries as Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Nina Simone and Diana Krall. Tickets £8. Doors 7pm, band on at 8pm.

25th-26th November, Potter’s Wheel Workshop Weekend, Eastnor Pottery Explore a range of techniques on the potter’s wheel including: throwing, turning, attaching handles and motifs and decorating methods using underglaze and coloured slip. Booking essential.

Sunday 26th November, Hay Does Vintage, Market Square, Hay-on-Wye Organiser Jo Hodges cherry picks vintage traders selling clothes, jewellery and furniture. With a vintage tea room, outdoor flea fayre, plenty of great vintage gear, and home-baked cakes. From 10am. 29th November, Soldiers’ Charity Raceday, Hereford Racecourse This inaugural raceday features seven races and £55,000 prize money. Funds go to ABF The Soldiers’ Charity. Activities include giveaways at the entrance to the first 200 racegoers! 1st-3rd December, Bromyard Christmas Tree Festival, St. Peter’s Church, Bromyard Come along, choose your tree, enjoy seasonal festivities, cakes and refreshments and lots more besides.

Roving Crows, 25th November, 7.30pm, £12 Powerful celtic undertones and intoxicating tribal rhythms. Roving Crows push the boundaries of the celtic folk genre and play with genuine passion, energy and soul. A vibrant mix of celtic-inspired fiddle alongside original and intelligent lyrics backed by pounding, tribal and electronica

infused dance grooves; the band comprises fiddle, electric and acoustic guitar, bass, pumping bongo rhythms and vocals. ROH: Nutcracker, 10th December, 2pm, £15 (£13 conc) A young girl’s enchanted present leads her on a wonderful Christmas adventure in this beautiful classical ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score.

Christmas Jumper Day at Hereford Race Course This year’s Christmas Jumper Raceday on Saturday 16th December builds on the success of 2016 and offers a fantastic way to get into the festive spirit with a fun day out at the races! There are seven exhilarating races to enjoy and a top prize pot of £70,000.

There will be plenty of entertainment and festive music and the Christmas Cracker Raceday package will be available which includes admission race card, hot turkey roll, mince pie and a drink. Visit www.herefordracecourse.co.uk for more.

Folk in the Foyer: Dom Prag & The Kitchen Island Band, 12th January, 7.30pm Singersongwriter Dom’s songs are stories, folk tales, love letters – joyous, hopeful and heartbreaking in equal measure. Kitchen Island Band is a five piece vocal harmony based in Malvern that play contemporary folk and American roots. www.conquest-theatre.co.uk

Leominster Victorian Market

Leominster Victorian Market returns on 9th December. See stallholders in Victorian dress, lining Corn Square and Broad Street selling crafts, gifts and local, seasonal produce. With traditional decorations and performances from the Leominster Morris Dancers.

The Courtyard The Exterminating Angel, 18th November, 5.55pm The Met presents the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel, inspired by the classic Luis Buñuel film of the same name. This surreal fantasy is about a dinner party from which the guests can’t escape. Tom Cairns, who wrote the libretto, directs the new production, and

Adès conducts his own adventurous new opera. Tickets £18, conc. £15. Little Red Riding Hood, 6th-30th December This magical Courtyard

Christmas Family show, is filled with humour, loveable characters and original music, Little Red Riding Hood brings a joyous new twist to the classic tale of bravery, love, friendship and family. A show full of family fun, perfect for children aged seven and under and their families. Courtyard Family Saturdays: every Saturday performance at 11am with a free Christmas activity from 10.30am. Sleeping Beauty, 25th November6th January 2018 Following rave reviews

of last year’s pantomime Aladdin, Sleeping Beauty is this year’s treat for panto lovers. This spellbinding spectacular family pantomime will be packed with colourful characters, and welcomes the return of last year’s dazzling Dame, Phylip Harries! With side splitting comedy, showstopping musical routines, plenty of magic and sparkle and a family sized dollop of good old fashioned fun! Will the princess ever wake from her enchanted slumber? Will the Dame finally find her man? There’s only one way to find out! Visit www. courtyard. org.uk or call 01432 340555 for more info and times.

50 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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What’s On at Hereford Left Bank

Revival: Abba Tribute Band, 11th November, 7.30pm-12am Enjoy a night of entertainment at the Hereford Left Bank, with all money raised donated to Blackmarston School. Hear all the favourite tracks you would expect from one of the UK’s best Abba tribute acts. Be a Dancing Queen and help raise some Money Money Money! Buy tickets online or from the Specsavers store in Maylord Orchards. Tickets cost £15. Hereford Blues Festival, 18th November, 1pm-12pm A day of Blues music at the Hereford Blues Festival, featuring: Red Butler, Kyla Brox Band, Tommy Allen’s Trafficker, Della Grants, The Rainbreakers, Troy & Violet Redfern. Advance tickets £15. Call 01432 357753.

The Winter Weekend

Berrington Hall

New Year’s Eve at The Left Bank Village, 31st December, 8pm, The Left Bank Village See out 2017 and welcome in 2018 in your own style at The Left Bank Village this New Year’s Eve. There’s something for everyone with access to all venues at The Left Bank Village as well as a firework display at midnight. Enjoy cool house tunes at Hot Tin Roof, 80s disco at the River Terrace, live local bands at the Wye Ballroom, The Speakeasy Bar will play drum ’n’ bass with Twisted Sounds, De Koffie Pot hosts Reggae Pie while The Courtyard plays host to local bands and DJs. This promises to be the biggest and best night in Herefordshire so grab your tickets now, its only £20 per person with access all areas. Go online for more at www.herefordleftbank.com

A Glorious Georgian Christmas, 18th November17th December, 10am-3pm Step back in time to the Christmas’s of Lord and Lady Harley in the eighteenth century. Learn all about their eccentric celebrations, strange habits and how they got their Georgian festivities into full swing. Trail costs £2.50, includes a prize. Normal admission fees apply.

Christmas with the Georgians, 18th November31st December, 11am-4pm See the traditions enjoyed by the gentry of a grand mansion. You can even arrive at Berrington in true style in December in a horse and carriage. After having seen the way of life of the gentry, go downstairs to see the hustle and bustle of servant life whilst the Lord’s and ladies of the house enjoyed the party. Normal admission charges apply.

A Croft Castle Christmas

The Winter Weekend returns to the border town Step back in time and experience the traditions of Hay on Wye this November bringing a heady of a 1950s Christmas at Croft Castle on mix of authors and ideas to provoke conversation weekends and warm the intellectual cockles as we roll into between the winter months. The seasonal celebration of Saturday 18th ideas and authors is reminiscent of early Hay November and Festivals because it takes place in the town and Sunday 17th talks are often smaller and more intimate. This December. year’s Winter Weekend takes place from Relive the spirit and gusto of post-war Britain 23rd-26th November and it will with hand-made decorations, festive trails, DID YOU coincide with the Christmas storytelling and Christmas carols in the lights switch on and Hay’s KNOW? castle. Weekends in December only, Father Winter Food Festival. In the 1950s it was Christmas will be parking his sleigh and For more information and popular to string setting up his toy-making workshop in the a line-up of speakers and popcorn on the Stables. Have a go at festive crafts, tuck into events, visit www.hayfestival. Christmas tree! a mince pie and cup of tea in the carpenter’s com/winterweekend. tea-room or pick up a gift or two in the stables shop. The Croft parkland is also open all year round, from dawn to dusk, so pop on your walking boots and bring your four-legged friend for a frosty winter walk this Christmas. Call 01568 780246 to book. www.nationaltrust. org.uk

Mannered Mob, 19th November-18th December The ‘Mannered Mob’ recreates some of the food customs and traditions of the time as well as housekeeping and costume styles worn by volunteers during your visit. 11am-4pm. Masquerade Ball, 19th November-18th December Experience the house preparing for an evening masquerade ball along with the costumes they might have worn during these celebrations of statement, joy and wealth. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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22nd December, Christmas Village Quire, The Globe at Hay Newport Street, Hay-onWye It wouldn’t be Christmas at The Globe without the Village Quire sing-song. Come for a glass of mulled wine, a mince pie and let the festivities reign! Starts 8pm. Tickets £5.

31st December, New Years Eve at The Globe, Hay on Wye This New Year’s Eve come along to see local eight-piece soul and R&B band, Sould. Tickets are £10 which includes a glass of fizz on arrival. There will also be food available to keep you going all night long. 8pm. Tickets £10.

12th January 2018, Leominster Market, Leominster This market takes place every Friday in Corn Square from 8am. With local produce and regular stall holders, this is always a buzzing place to visit to pick up your weekly shop.

6th January, Wassail in Herefordshire, various venues On Twelfth night, a traditional Wassail organised by Leominster Morris Men will be taking place around venues across the county. The Wassail begins by gathering at a prearranged country inn, where torches are prepared and a large crowd of followers are led to the orchard. Watch as toast or cake is soaked in cider, then placed in the fork of the tree chosen to represent the orchard. Cider is then sprinkled about the roots of the tree, songs are sung and the Morris Men dance. Then join the crowd back at the country inn where you will drink, dance and sing the night away.

23rd February 2018, Music Night with the Psychedelic Hearts Club, Linton Village Hall, Ross on Wye This ska, reggae, Beatles-inspired duo perform with bass and drum tracks previously recorded at their Planet Zog Studio. Tickets £8. Doors open 7pm, band on 8pm.

Christmas at Malvern Theatres Johnny Cash Roadshow, 13th January 2018, Armonico: Handel’s Fireworks, 2nd December, 7.30pm, Forum Theatre 7.45pm, Forum Theatre JCR are now recognised and loved as a band in Composed for the coronation of King George II, and performed at every coronation since, Zadok their own right. Fronted by respected singersongwriter Clive John, this re-creates with the Priest and The King Shall Rejoice have stamped astounding accuracy and truly captures the essence their mark on music history as some of the most powerful and evocative works to have been of what it was like to be at a real Cash show! DID YOU composed for such an event. KNOW? English Symphony Orchestra with Tickets are priced £29-£19. As well as being Chloe Hanslip (Violin), 15th February, 7.45pm, Forum Theatre Cinderella, 14th December-7th a country music January 2018, various times star, Johnny Cash Mendelssohn was Schumann’s greatest A magical show for all the family, was an ordained advocate and Schumann was the man who told the world of Brahms’ genius. starring This Morning’s Alison minister Together, these three masters offer Hammond as the Fairy Godmother the soundtrack for the ESO’s historic alongside Gemma Naylor from return to Malvern Theatres. Tickets £27-£17 Nick. Jr’s Go! Go! Go! show as Cinderella. Paul (ESO Friends £3 off ). There is a pre-concert talk Hawkyard from CBeebies’ Old Jack’s Boat as Baron available at 6.45pm. Call the box office on 01684 Hardup and comedy star Mark James as Buttons. Various ticket prices are available. 892277 or visit www.malvern-theatres.co.uk

Hay Music presents: Elin Manahan Thomas and Elizabeth Kenny Brighten up a dark winter’s night with a seasonal programme of Songs for a Winter Evening on 12th November. Enjoy these festive wintry favourites featuring scenes from Purcell’s Fairy Queen and King Arthur, Hymns to the Virgin, celebratory Christmas songs by Bach and Scarlatti and plenty of traditional carols and Noels. Elin Manahan Thomas is one of the most exceptional sopranos of her generation. Since releasing her début album Eternal Light in 2007, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, she has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious venues

Santa visits the Weir Garden Santa is dropping by on 10th December for roasted chestnuts and marshmallows! There’s a special Christmas trail for children which includes a visit to Father Christmas between 10.30am and 3.30pm. Cost is £4 plus normal admission. www. nationaltrust. org.uk

and festivals, and with leading orchestras and conductors. Elizabeth Kenny is one of Europe’s leading lute players. In twenty years of touring she has played with many of the world’s best period instrument groups. The performance starts at 7.30pm in Richard Booths Bookshop, Hay on Wye. Tickets cost £15 from the bookshop. Call 014978 20322 or visit www. haymusic.org

Hay-on-Wye Winter Food Festival Over 50 local food producers will transform the Memorial car park in Hay into a dazzling al fresco marketplace on Saturday 25th November from 10am. Celebrating all that’s good about winter cooking, with stalls from local producers and free musical entertainment, this is the sister to Hay’s Summer Food Festival. In past years, Father Christmas has been in attendance and the town’s Christmas lights have been switched on at dusk. Visit www.hayfestival.com for more information.

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LEDBURY Beryl & Dave from Ledbury We live locally and find that Ledbury has everything you need and it’s lovely to have a pretty walk in. Elisabeth from Ledbury As a local tour guide, I love the history and buildings, and the friendly community feel of the people; they’re so welcoming!

Ledbury’s iconic Market House dates back to 1617

HEREFORDSHIRE’S GATEWAY Fiona from Monmouth I often come to Herefordshire and love Ledbury’s food and drink scene, I’m meeting my brother here for lunch today. The parking is also conveniently central. Kay from Bath My husband and I have come up to see some gardens near Malvern and to look in Tinsmith and Hus & Hem, which is probably where he is right now!

The black and white splendour of Ledbury has made this quaint market town a popular tourist destination, where the locals have fiercely protected independent trading in the pretty streets


arning its name from the local River Leadon, Ledbury oozes picturesque charm, bags of history and a strong reputation for its foodie finds and unique shopping. Delve into the many mews along the main street to find galleries of art, craft and artisan makers. Browse the quality gift shops, beautiful home and interior

Words by Heidi Chamberlain-Jones

The town is full of quirky lanes

Lynn from Ledbury There’s been quite a lot of investment into Ledbury’s facilities in the last few years and it has a great mix of individual shops, a great school, the leisure pool and gym, and the theatre. There’s always something going on.

specialists, chocolatiers, quirky retail and fashion boutiques. There are plenty of places for lunch or supper, all independent and ranging from Italian to Frenchinfluenced, Indian and Oriental, wholefood and delicatessen, or just good old traditional British fayre, always fresh and homemade. The beautiful central black and white Market House is Ledbury’s iconic landmark and dates back to 1617, still active for regular trading. Leading from here is the much-photographed cobbled

And the interesting destinations Church Lane, home to several don’t stop at Ledbury’s centre. On historic buildings including the the road out to Hereford you’ll atmospheric Heritage Centre find The Nest; a quirky place and Museum, and the amazing with a café, farm shop and deli Painted Room discovered only in featuring local producers, themed recent years for its walls painted and pop-up events including the with medieval frescoes by an annual NestFest food festival every unknown artist. The Butchers summer, picnics in the orchard and Row House Folk Museum a celebration yurt. houses reproduction helmets and The magical Trumpet Corner breastplates as worn in the Battle Tearooms, Gallery and Gardens, of Ledbury in 1645 and Victorian offer stunning work of the costumes and folk curiosities. artists in residence and the local Step further into Ledbury’s co-operative, while indulging in rich heritage to see St Katherine’s the most mouthwatering cakes, Master’s House; where St lunches and afternoon teas in the Katherine’s was the original secret garden. Look out for their hospital complex founded in 1232 Christmas Craft Fair this winter. and the Master’s House built in Head the other way to Much 1485. Now it has been regenerated Marcle village and world famous as the town’s new library. Weston’s Cider provides a behind Ledbury is fast developing the scenes tour to see how their a wonderful schedule of varied well-known brands like Stowfords events, including its prestigious Press and the Weston’s range annual Poetry Festival DID YOU are made – you can even which attracts famous KNOW? do a tasting and buy from and emerging artists Elizabeth Hurley the shop. and brings the town lives in a large Much Marcle also alive with verse for ten country hall just loves its July Vintage days each July. outside Ledbury Steam Rally and a raucous Ledbury Carnival Wassail cider and apple is a vibrant celebration event in January, while nearby of traditional fun through Hellens Manor hosts music and the streets in August and the garden festivals in its house dating Christmas run sees the festive back to the Domesday Book. lights switch-on celebration when Eastnor Castle is the location for Santa visits in November, with many big events like the spicy the Guild of Craftsman bringing Chilli Festival. Ledbury certainly their lovely Christmas show to the is a year round destination. Market House in December. November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 53

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The Shire team have been hard at work visiting as many shows as possible (tough job, but someone’s got to do it!). You can read what our ever-critical reviewers thought here… THE OSWESTRY SCHOOL RECITAL

FESTIVAL NO 6 They describe it as a festival like no other with good reason. Festival No 6 is held in a location like no other – the pretty, whimsical village of Portmeirion, perched on the Gwynedd coast and enjoying spectacular views. The buildings were constructed on a whim, as a mystical nod to a different culture and way of life. So it is no wonder that the annual festival, now in its 6th year, is a celebration of all things weird and wonderful. Festival-goers come in all shapes, sizes, colours, creeds, ages and tastes so arriving with three children armed with little more than some glitter tattoos and glo-sticks we soon felt underdressed. The selection of music on offer was vast; from Mogwai to Flaming Lips as headline acts, an amazing mash-up of Bootleg Beatles and the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra on the Sunday, and a spine-tingling performance from the Welsh Male Voice Choir while Rag’n’bone Man brought the house down on the Sunday night. There was a smorgasbord of cultural experiences available including poetry readings from Roger McGough to acrobatic displays and intense talks. We reeled from one ‘far-out’ experience to the next, the kids agog at their fellow guests as much as the performers and as with any proper British festival, the knee deep mud by day three made it truly authentic!

The opening concert of the 28th Season of the Oswestry School Recital Series was given by one of the world’s great pianists, John Lill, whose career now stretches for more than 60 years – and over 4000 concerts! To open, the Pathetique Sonata, one that many in the admiring crowd had no doubt ‘played’ themselves, but, I suspect, never like this! To follow, the mighty Waldstein Sonata. This virtuosic work received a deeply moving performance, in which the music’s technical demands were made to look easy. Then followed one of Beethoven’s most well-known works, the so-called Moonlight Sonata. Here, the hushed opening movement – a vision of shimmering moonlight on water – had the audience spellbound. Finally, the glorious Appassionata Sonata, a huge work of symphonic proportions. The playing here was truly aweinspiring: every technical demand, every musical and artistic nuance, every sense of architectural scale, every twist in the drama – all were accomplished with consummate skill, experience, artistry and virtuosic brilliance, and were rightly rewarded by prolonged and heart-felt applause. On the side of the stage was a marble bust of Beethoven himself, gazing on. I swear I saw it nod approvingly, with a small smile.

PINK FLOYD DARKSIDE TOUR AT THEATRE SEVERN A journey through Pink Floyd’s huge back catalogue of iconic psychedelic and progressive rock music. This evening included Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and Animals, all performed with passion and empathy, complete with spectacular laser light show and projected images to capture the essence of Floyd at their best. All musicians were clearly very accomplished and at home with the repertoire of songs and every person on stage seemed really in tune with each other. There was minimal talking to the audience which was actually quite refreshing. We were there to listen to the music and they were there to play not talk. The lengthy instrumentals were played with such intent it really did fill you with admiration for them. It’s difficult to single out particular performers, but I do have to mention Faye Brookes. She was the one to provide the iconic female vocals on The Great Gig in the Sky and she didn’t disappoint. The show was also visually striking with an array of laser lights and thrilling production. There was also a back drop projection. As the music became more challenging so did the images and they each perfectly matched the other. Overall, I couldn’t fault the seven incredible musicians and the show they put on. They certainly did the music of Pink Floyd justice. The six song encore, totalling almost half an hour, was a real crescendo and a pinnacle of the show.

GINGER AND SPICE FESTIVAL 2017 The streets of Market Drayton were spiced up recently to celebrate the culinary, heritage and historical links of spices, food and gingerbread during the national and annual celebratory campaign of ‘British Flood Fortnight’. The festival showcased local producers, artisans and seasonal produce. Events included a pop-up restaurant showcasing British alternatives to spices with local chef James Sherwin, who also did a foraging walk around the town and Tern River; an excellent comedy food show with stand-up comedian and chef ‘George Egg’; a spicy street market with great food and spices to buy; cookery demos from local chefs; a gingerbread baking contest; live music by local Heidi Browne; and beer tasting of the ‘spicy’ Kolkata beer at local brewers Joule’s Brewery. Great fun!

If you have a show or event happening anywhere in Wales and the Borders, we’ll send a reviewer – and your show can appear under the spotlight on these pages too! Just email details to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk

54 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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N u m b e r

O n e

f o r

C h a r n w o o d

S t o v e s

Suppliers of:

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Gledrid, Oswestry, LL14 5DG Opposite Moreton Park Garden Centre 30 mins from Shrewsbury & Chester See our 6000ft Showroom Open 7 Days a Week

10/11/2017 14:40


Awful Auntie, New Alexendra Theatre, 22th-26th November The acclaimed producers of Gangsta Granny present David Walliams’ amazing tale of frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very old car, a very large owl and a very small ghost!

Jersey Boys, New Alexendra Theatre, 16th December-6th January This award-winning musical tells the true life story of four boys from the wrong side of the tracks who wrote their own songs, with their own unique sound, and sold over 100 million records.

The Nutcracker, Birmingham Hippodrome, 24th November-13th December Join Clara as she’s swept away into an enchanting winter wonderland. Gigantic sets, lavish costumes, 60 dancers and a full orchestra make this a truly festive delight for all the family.

Kendrick Lamar – The Damn Tour, Genting Arena, 9th Feb This hip hop recording artist from California, Lamar began to gain major recognition in 2010 after his first retail release, Overly Dedicated and has since amassed a large internet following and industry acclaim.


James Arthur, Motorpoint Arena, 23rd November After being the 2012 X-Factor winner, James Arthur returns with his first ever arena tour. He has achieved multiple number ones, a Platinum selling album, sold out tours and two BRITs nominations.

Greg Davies: You Magnificent Beast, Motorpoint Arena, 24th-25th November BAFTA nominated star of Cuckoo, Man Down, The Inbetweeners and Taskmaster, Greg is back with his first solo stand up show in over four years.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, The New Theatre, 9th December-14th January Starring Samantha Womack, Gareth Thomas, Mike Doyle, Chico, Tam Ryan and Stephanie Webber expect magical mirrors, seven dwarfs, a beautiful princess and handsome prince!

Faith – The George Michael Legacy, St David’s Hall, 1st February Experience a musical journey of 35 years of hit records from Wham to George’s solo career, featuring George Michael tribute artist Wayne Dilks and his seven piece band.


Queen & Adam Lambert, Echo Arena, 28th November Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert return with a state of the art production for the 40th anniversary of Queen’s biggest-selling studio album to date, News of the World from 1977 with plenty of classic hits!

Liverpool International Horse Show, Echo Arena Liverpool, 29th-31st December A family friendly show combining world class show jumping with top horses and riders travelling from all over the UK and Europe. With live music and firework show!

The Band: Take That’s New Musical, Liverpool Empire Theatre, 23rd January–3rd February Written by award winning writer Tim Firth, The Band is a beautiful story for anyone who grew up with a boy band and featuring the music of Take That.

Circus of Horrors, Empire Theatre, 8th February After taking to the road over 22 years ago and touring all over the world the phenomenon returns with its latest brand new incarnation Voodoo. Contains some nudity and language of an adult nature.



Queens Of The Stone Age, Manchester Arena, 19th November The hard rock band from Palm Desert, California, return to the UK for four headline shows supporting their new album, Villains – their first since 2013’s release …Like Clockwork.

Nativity! The Musical, Palace Theatre, 29th November–3rd December A feel good, funny and full of yuletide joy, Nativity! The musical features all of the favourite sing-a-long hits from the films including Sparkle and Shine, Nazareth, and One Night One Moment..

Kodaline, O2 Apollo, 8th December The Irish band embark on a UK tour hot off the back of their set at Glastonbury where they treated fans to their stunning new single, Brother. Their debut album In a Perfect World sold over 350,000 copies worldwide.

Bowie Experience, Opera House, 12 January A spectacular concert featuring all of Bowie’s hits celebrating the music of the world’s greatest pop icon. An unforgettable journey through David Bowie’s golden years from Space Oddity to Let’s Dance.

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our music, came about. But not necessarily about us,’ says Mark. ‘In fact, anything but about us. We’d find that a bit dull; we wanted to make it a more interesting story.’

As the musical hoping to launch the career of Five to Five (the winners of the BBC’s Let It Shine competition) opens at Venue Cymru this month, the pop legends who inspired it all, Take That, talk to Shire Magazine about their early days and the road ahead for the new kids on the block


ary, Howard, Mark, Robbie and Jason may be household names with a global following of fans and stellar musical careers spanning a couple of decades – but members of boy band Take That who hit the charts in the 90s haven’t forgotten how hard they had to work back in the day. Their phenomenal success has inspired many young musicians but the story of their rise to fame has now gone on to inspire TV reality shows and even a brand new musical. The Band who give the musical its name, are a group of talented young lads selected after the rigorous procedures involved in winning Let It Shine last year. Now four Take That members ( Jason being unavailable) explain the thinking behind the production that has been a long time coming. ‘Seven years ago the first idea, the first seedling of an idea of a musical that could incorporate

STAGE SUCCESS The result of that now fully grown seedling is The Band. Written by Tim Firth, who also collaborated with Gary Barlow on The Girls, Gary, Howard, Mark and Robbie are also producers for the show. Against a musical backdrop of Take That songs, the story tells of five 16-year-old friends in 1992 for whom ‘the band’ is everything. 25 years on, the group of friends, now 40-something women, try once more to fulfil their dream of meeting their heroes. The Take That boys certainly seem impressed with the lads who make up Five to Five – AJ, Nick, Curtis, Yazdan and Sario – who promise to go far themselves. ‘Ever since they got together as Five to Five they have had this unity and gel,’ says Howard. ‘But now they have got to learn the show and the art of going on eight times a week,’ adds Gary. Robbie nods his agreement. ‘The discipline, the actual physical and mental discipline of being able to do that, is nothing you can expect until you’ve done it. Treading the boards for eight

shows a week? It’s not something I’m desperate to do!’ BRIGHT FUTURES With an advance box office having already topped a recordbreaking £10million, it’s fair to say that it looks as if this is a show with broad appeal, and the stars are still working on their own pop careers at the same time, careers the Take That lads seem to think will be taking off. ‘Can they make an album? They are ambitious, so I hope so,’ says Gary. ‘They are a proper band, these guys.’ ‘It’s amazing how ready they are to do this,” agrees Robbie. ‘It’s unusual. They were better than us straight away. But these guys seem to have that chemistry straight out of the box. They are incredibly professional.’ ‘It’s going to be intense,’ cautions Robbie, ‘although not as intense as our early career, which back in the day was incredible!’

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 57

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TOWN VISIT Amanda, Anglesey Vinegars ‘I love the atmosphere – there are lots of lovely little boutique shops, and its a really good community.’

Once the county capital of Anglesey, the pretty town of Beaumaris attracts visitors aplenty en route to explore the island or staying nearby to make the most of the area’s many attractions


Take in the sea air and stunning views at the Beaumaris Pier


eaumaris was first recorded as the Viking settlement known as Porth y Wygyr, meaning Port of the Vikings, but the original dwelling thrived and developed more from 1295 onwards under the rule of Edward I of England who had just conquered Wales at the time. He may have left a legacy of some controversy but there is no doubt that he left Beaumaris with one of its most stunning features by commissioning the building of Beaumaris Castle as part of a chain of fortifications around the North Wales coast (others include Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech). Today Beaumaris is a captivating seaside town, with its mix of archetectural styles, and its modern-day moniker comes from the Norman ‘beau marais’, meaning ‘fair marsh’. The town boats a beautiful seafront with stunning views over the Menai Strait to Snowdonia, and of course, the castle itself an ever-prominent feature of the landscape. Built between 1295 and 1330 Beaumaris Castle is a United Nations World Heritage site

around the ghoulishy named and was constructed to form Gallows Point – a nearby stretch perfectly symmetrical concentric of land extending into the Menai lines of fortification. It has its Strait, originally own moat and called Osmund’s a tidal dock to allow ‘The town boasts a Eyre. The area was direct access by beautiful seafront given its new title supply ships, and is with stunning views when the town considered Edward over the Menai gallows were I’s great unfinished Strait to Snowdonia’ erected there. masterpiece. It was The port is also built as one of the home to Beaumaris Pier built ‘iron ring’ of North Wales’ 1846 and rebuilt and extended castles by the English monarch after storm damage in 1872. It but it was never finished as was once the landing point for money and supplies ran out many huge vessels but lack of before it reached full height. maintenance took its toll and the pier fell into dereliction. In the Unrivalled but unfinished 1960s it faced demolition, but However, the structure is still was saved by local yachtswoman an awesome sight, regarded by and lifeboat secretary, Mary many as among finest of all the Burton, who made a large great castles in Wales. In pure private donation to ensure the architectural terms Beaumaris is pier’s future. Her legacy lives on known as the most technically and the pier is now a busy spot perfect castle in Britain, with its for sailors and pleasure boats. perfectly symmetrical concentric The town itself is worthy ‘walls within walls.’ of a wander, with lively cafês, Alongside the castle, pubs, restaurants and hotels and Beaumaris has a proud past some excellent shopping with based in fishing as the town was the inclusion of some quality once the port of registration for independent traders alongside all vessels in North West Wales, some intriguing sites of history and shipbuilding was a major and culture to explore. industry. It was concentrated

Ellen and Edward Ellen: ‘I’ve lived here since I was eight. I love the sea and the mountains together, they create very dramatic views.’

Heledd and Aled ‘We live in Caernarfon, and we’ve come to Beaumaris for the Sunday carvery at the Liverpool Arms. We love the views and it’s great to walk along the seafront.’

Michael, jewellery maker I live in Holyhead, so I know Beaumaris really well. I would say it is one of the prettiest towns around!’

THINGS TO SEE AND DO Beaumaris Castle Visit www.cadw.gov.wales and search for Beaumaris Castle for more information.

Pat, Beaumaris Artisan Market ‘We see tourists from all over the world coming to Beaumaris. They really like the historic side, especially the castle.’

Penmon Priory and Dovecote A charming collection of old buildings and remains found about seven miles north-east of Beaumaris, dating from the 13th century. The Beaumaris Gaol and Courthouse The old courthouse dates from 1614 and the gaol from 1829, both are open during the summer months. You can call 01248 810921 to find out more and help plan your visit. Beaumaris Castle: the most technically perfect castle in Wales

Ian, Lola Candles ‘The views on the front are fantastic, always changing with the light on the mountains. They are worth getting up early for.’

58 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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If you’re looking for a day out that will appeal to young and old, historians and lovers of futuristic fantasy alike, Wrexham Museum has it all!


hroughout 2017, Wales has been celebrating its epic past, present and future in a collaboration entitled The Year of Legends. Not only has this meant championing ancient myths and stories, but also spearheading innovation in a mission to create new legends – both of which approaches are incorporated into the latest exhibitions running at Wrexham Museum.

Photography: P. Parker

HEROES OLD AND NEW Open to the public until the end of January 2018, Superheroes: The Legends of Today, is the ideal exhibition for all lovers of comic book creations and television icons including Superman, Batman, Dr Who and Wonder Woman. The museum has teamed up with local artist, Neil Edwards, who works as an illustrator for DC Comics, Marvel Comics and Titan Comics producing the initial pencil drawings for their superhero comic books that are sold across the United States and in Britain. The exhibition features Neil’s drawings of those well-known comic strip superheroes Superman, Iron Man, Spider Man and Wonder Woman. Neil, who grew up in Gwersyllt and Borras, and now lives in Wrexham with his family, says: ‘The staff at Wrexham Museum, knowing my work as an illustrator for comic books, asked me if I could help them stage an exhibition to mark Wales’s Year of Legends. ‘It’s great to

The museum shop sells unique gifts

important military moment, the capture of Jerusalem from the Ottoman Empire, during WWI, The Heat of Battle: The Royal Welsh Fusiliers in Egypt and Palestine during the First World War commemorates the story of the Allied campaign in Egypt and Palestine and highlights the distinguished role played by Welsh regiments. The exhibition has been based on and inspired by the reserve collection of the Royal Welch Fusiliers Regimental Museum held at Wrexham Museum. DON’T FORGET…

The Tailor’s Coverlet, on display

see some of my drawings on show in my home town. This is my first exhibition in Wrexham. Thanks to everyone at DC, Marvel and Titan Comics for supporting the exhibition and waiving any copyright fees.’ RETURNING HOME One of the most iconic items of the National Museum Wales textile collection, The Wrexham Tailor’s Quilt, is on show at Wrexham Museum until 6th January. The quilt took master tailor, James Williams, ten years to make, and has been the star of textile exhibitions in London, Berlin and Vienna in recent years. It is many decades since it was last in the town during the 1933 National Eisteddfod. ‘The Tailor’s Coverlet has to be one of the most important objects from north-east Wales in the national collection. As part of Amgueddfa Cymru’s continuing partnership with Wrexham Museum, we are pleased to show the coverlet in its home town,’ says Elen Phillips, principal curator contemporary and community history. THE HEAT OF THE BATTLE Also running until the 6th January is a brand new exhibition marking 100 years since an

While you’re at Wrexham Museum, don’t forget to visit the Courtyard Café where a great selection of drinks and snacks, including its famous scones, awaits you. Coffees, pastries, sandwiches, homemade soups and a range of light meals are available. Bookings are now being taken for traditional Christmas dinner and speciality afternoon tea. The café also features a local food shop featuring award winning favourites for you to buy. The Museum shop sells books, posters, bags and gifts. Both the café and shop are open Monday to Friday, 10am-5pm and Saturday from 11am-4pm.

Wrexham County Borough Museum County Buildings Regent Street Wrexham LL11 1RB 01978 297460 museum@wrexham.gov.uk

Wrexham Museum has a packed calendar of special festive activities over the Christmas season. Turn to our What’s On guide for details

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 59

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Come and feed our reindeers

s tree r u o O als are ble at ila 5 ava drid A e s Gl vice Ser 3EN 1 SY1


Ellesmere, Shropshire SY12 9BA Pot grown Christmas trees available

• Over a 1000 freshly cut trees to choose from and free log bases and netting if required. • Enjoy a complimentary mulled wine and mince pie.

Tel: 07860 669301

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the Carlton Garden Centre We stock everything you need for a fabulous Christmas from decorations to great gift ideas. Fresh Christmas trees, wreaths and grave pots available from 25th November


Fireworks now on sale! Fireworks available for New Year’s Eve, on sale 27th Dec. 1000’s and 1000’s in stock, start 2018 with a BANG!

Carlton Garden Centre - www.carltonbuildings.co.uk 01978 852896 Pinfold Lane, Llay, Wrexham, LL12 OTL

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A day out with

Jones the

Crossing the famous Pontcysyllte aqueduct

Boats We take a trip across a World Heritage aqueduct on the narrowboat Eirlys in the companyof Peter Jones and his son Howard

grown in popularity as interest in the aqueduct has grown. ‘When in 2009 World Heritage status was conferred by UNESCO on the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct (which includes the 11 miles of canal from the Horseshoe Falls right up to the Gledrid in Chirk Bank), there was an immediate increase in numbers of tourists from further afield, particularly from Japan. Of course, we didn’t know in 2003 this would happen, but we did know Peter Jones, of Jones the Boats that Wrexham Council were working hard to win the World Heritage status for this ur canal boats have been operating magnificent canal system. We’ve had coach trips across the aqueduct since 1982,’ parties from America, Australia and New says Peter. ‘I was doing the bookings for Zealand on a regular basis for many years, another canalboat company and gradually but after 2009 we saw increasing interest became involved with the boats, eventually from Japanese tour companies as well. ending up with my boat master’s licence. ‘Both boats have a bar and Then, in 2003, I founded Jones snacks for the visitors on the the Boats. This has proved to ‘We’ve had coach public trips, and we provide a live be a good name not only is it parties from commentary on the sights and memorable and tells you who I America, Australia history of the canal. Next year, am, what I do and where I do it and New Zealand we’re going to offer the two-hour – it must be in Wales! and now Japan!’ trip on Thursday afternoons, ‘After a few years running with afternoon tea, including my first boat, Eirlys, I added sandwiches and a Welsh cream Tommy to my operation, making tea on Tommy. Our homemade scones and it possible for smaller groups to enjoy a meal bara brith are second to none. Many folks are while travelling on the canal through some finding our gift vouchers are a novel solution stunning Welsh scenery. to a present problem. What’s more, they are ‘When I took over the lease on the valid for 12 months.’ wharf, I opened the café, and this has


Peter and Howard on board Eirlys

Tasty treats on board… ‘On Eirlys, we have a variety of menus for group bookings, catering for most tastes,’ says Peter. ‘Welsh cream teas, chicken or fish and chips, salads and sandwiches are all on offer. We’re also doing a Christmas menu for group bookings, with turkey, beef and salmon with all the trimmings, and we’ll be running our Sunday Lunch trips up to the 17th December. We have a range of drinks available from our bar, including Wrexham Lager, which, incidentally, was served aboard SS Titanic!’

Sunday lunch This two-hour trip goes up the Dee Valley, then across the aqueduct. Passengers can enjoy a two-course Sunday lunch afloat. £24 pays for the trip and the meal, with tea, coffee and a licensed bar also available on board. Departs 12:30. Pre-booking advised. Aqueduct trip This 45-minute public trip departs hourly from 11am to 3pm each day from Easter until October. The fares are adults £7.50, children £5.50 Group bookings For groups of 20 or more there are longer trips to various destinations such as the Lion Quays, Chirk Tunnel or up the valley to the Bryn Howel. Parties of between 10 and 20 can also enjoy longer trips with a meal on Tommy.


Construction of Thomas Telford’s masterpiece, conceived as a more efficient way to cross the Dee Valley (and repeated later at Chirk to cross the Ceiriog Valley) was started in 1795, and took 10 years to build. 18 tall pillars reaching to over 126 feet high, support the cast iron trough, which stretches 306 metres across the valley. Jones the Boats The Old Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen www.canaltrip.co.uk Tel 01978 824166 Satnav: follow the signs from LL14 3SG

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The fast approaching Yuletide season is hard to avoid. Here at Shire we’re starting to feel pretty Christmassy but if you’re suffering more from seasonal stress than festive fun, let us help you get in the mood. We’ve put together our Christmas tick list which is guaranteed to get you feeling festive!

DID YOU KNOW? Over 1000 people annually get injured putting xmas decs up!

When it comes to bringing home the Christmas spirit there’s one thing sure to make you feel sparkly and that’s putting up your decorations. Whether you go for subtle and tasteful or bright and bold, the tradition is one that seems to be growing year on year. No longer just the domain of homeware stores, everybody from the garden centre to the bargain discount shop is getting in on the act from October onwards! In keeping with tradition…

These days most of us have a stash of decorations that we keep for years, handed down from older generations, which is not only a nice sentiment but also environmentally sound. Especially when you consider that in England, it used to be customary to burn the decorations in the hearth at the end of the festive season. One tradition that many of us do stick to today is the theory

that we must take down our decorations by Twelfth Night for fear of bad luck. Not only that, some say that if decorations are taken down before the New Year begins, bad luck shall befall the house for a whole year. Yet another superstition suggests that if they are kept up after Twelfth Night, they must remain up until the following Twelfth Night! All in all, decorating your home for Christmas must be approached with extra special care and planning.

If you are in need of a bit of inspiration or would rather just be amazed by someone else’s creative festive vision than dedicate hours to your own seasonal style, why not visit a truly stunning home this Christmas? Be inspired at Abbey Cwm Hir Abbey Cwm Hir is with tasteful ornaments as one of Wales’s most well as more subtle nods to the outstanding Victorian homes. season such as the stag’s head or A 52-room, Grade 1 listed coat of arms sporting their own property with magnificent wreaths. The beautiful property architecture and stature, it is worthy of a visit at any time of is never better displayed year, but if you need some ideas than during the Christmas on how to decorate your home, period when every room it’s a great place to start looking is beautifully decorated to for inspiration. its own individual theme. To book one of the fabulous No other property in the tours of Abbey Cwm Hir UK offers quite such a call 01597 851727 or email spectacle – there’s a huge info@abbeycwmhir.com. Christmas tree dripping

Step back in time to another decade, with 52 rooms all individually decorated 62 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Turn to

What’s On The great British panto tradition at wintertime might baffle other our pages for the nations but it simply isn’t Christmas until you’ve enjoyed a trip complete line up of pantos and to the ultimate in slapstick comedy and entertainment! Crossshows dressing dames, predictable gags and guaranteed happy endings make this an evening full of the feel-good factor that we all need at this time of year…


ince the early 1800s we have been putting on shows at this time of year, based around fairytales, silliness and our enjoyment of the absurd. The main character in early productions was always Harlequin, and the shows tended to feature comic chase scenes as well as a hearty helping of clowning around. These days shows still use the same ethos – a traditional story that the audience knows, generally some goodies and some baddies, and everyone living happily ever after at the end. Over the years some of the early twists have become established as vital elements – usually the main male

lead is played by a girl, there tends to be at least one ‘dame’ played by a man and audience participation is demanded in the form of shouting ‘it’s behind you’ or ‘oh yes it is’ at every available opportunity. Other lesser known conventions are still strictly adhered to. The good fairy always enters from stage right and the villain enters from stage left, a tradition that goes back to medieval mystery plays when the right side of the stage symbolised heaven and the left symbolised hell. One thing is for definite though, if you and your family opt for a night at the panto this Christmas you’ll be laughing all season.

Local legends and star-studded shows

36th pantomime appearance. The team behind so many hilarious pantos over the years are all set to bring you another guaranteed night of fun. Oh yes they are! Book your tickets by calling 01492 872000 or visit www.venuecymru.co.uk.

Llandudno’s Venue Cymru has a long history of putting on great festive shows and this year, Peter Pan runs until January. Starring Ryan Thomas, best known as Coronation Street’s Jason Grimshaw, as Captain Hook and Birkenhead actress Pauline Daniels as Mimi the Mermaid. Joining the cast as Mrs Smee, is Llandudno’s dame-in-residence and North Wales resident Andy Jones, making his The stars of Peter Pan at Venue Cymru this winter

In recent years visiting a festive market has become a proud tradition for many. Celebrating local producers, artisans and craftspeople, the market scene today is a great way to embrace your local community and makes a very merry way to shop sword fights and entertainment throughout the castle all weekend. www. ludlowmedievalchristmas.co.uk In Much Wenlock, organisers of this year’s Christmas Fayre are promising Pick of the markets over 100 eclectic stalls that In Ludlow, organisers will will line the streets and green be arranging their fayre of this quintessential market in and around the castle town in Shropshire. Held on itself. Over the weekend Saturday 2nd December, enjoy of 25th and 26th November, brass bands, choirs, street visitors can explore over 100 theatre and entertainers as well stalls selling seasonal wares, food as a visiting Santa and drink, crafts, Claus. The fayre historical goods closes with carols and more. Billed by candlelight as a medieval in the square. event with live Rich in seasonal music, theatre, atmosphere, comedy, juggling, this market has swashbuckling Festive fun at Much Wenlock been held on the wine, which was originally introduced to stave off the cold winter air which often dips below freezing in Germany.

Get into the spirit at Ludlow Fayre


hristmas markets have become a festive staple across many towns and cities with crowds of shoppers persuaded to browse the wares on offer with friends and family and make it a social occasion. Often tinged with a German influence, that goes back to the origins of the Christmas market in the late Middle Ages, we all enjoy sampling a hot mulled

first Saturday in December since 2001. Visit www. wenlockchristmasfayre.org.uk. Head to Shrewsbury Market Hall for a mix of old and new, fresh and organic, on Tuesdays,

Shrewsbury Market at Christmas

Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Stock the festive larder with veg, meat and poultry, fresh fish or browse books, china, antiques, collectables and crafts. www.markethallshrewsbury.co.uk

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There’s nothing more magical than seeing the joy on a child’s face when they meet Father Christmas. Here’s the low-down on where the man in red will be visiting across our patch this festive season!


ather Christmas dates back as far as 16th century in England during the reign of Henry VIII, when he was pictured as a large man in green or scarlet robes lined with fur. He typified the spirit of good cheer at Christmas, bringing peace, joy, good food, wine and revelry. Over the centuries his remit has changed little and

although he remains a man of mystery, many parents still rely on the knowledge that he will be making a list and checking it twice to keep children wellbehaved as the Christmas craziness takes hold.

The real deal

Obviously one man can’t be everywhere at once and Santa Claus often uses stand-ins to appear at events and grottos across the country. However, Shire Magazine has it on good authority that the real Father Christmas will be visiting several venues on our patch, some of which will make a magical day out for little ones. Why not try hunting him out yourself on the Santa Safari at Hawkstone Park in Shrewsbury? This exciting adventure will keep all the family happy as you meet at the Hawkstone Park Hotel for

a warming festive drink before being whisked away in one of the 4x4 vehicles that will take you across the park to the spectacular network of caves where you’ll find Santa’s grotto deep inside. Find out more at www. hawkstoneparkfollies.co.uk. Alternatively you could catch a Santa Special at Llangollen Railway. Hop on a festivelydecorated steam train and travel in style from Llangollen Station to ‘Lapland.’ While on board Santa will give each good child a special gift as well as a mince pie and tipple for the adults. Visit www. llangollen-railway. org.uk to find out more online. Another great way to meet the main man is to pop in to one of his grottos like

DID YOU KNOW? The earliest known use of the name Santa in English was in 1773 in America

the magical setting at Alderford Lake in Whitchurch. He will be in his winter wonderland residence from 1st December to 22nd December, every day from 9am so book in now for a personal audience to tell him your wishes. Make sure you see Santa by calling the café on 01948 665914 to book your slot.

If you’re still not feeling festive then why not indulge in some classic Christmas movies? Romance, comedy, action and adventure, there’s something for everyone to curl up with on a cold winter’s night


t might be the most wonderful time of the year, but we all do love a good weepy at Christmas and ever since It’s a Wonderful Life depicted its touching tale back in 1946, we’ve continued to enjoy a moving movie at this time of year. Even Home Alone can make us fight back a tear and Miracle on 34th Street is enough to soften the most hardened of hearts. But on the other end of the scale Christmas movies are also known for their ability to bring joy, as you’d expect at this time of year, and hilarious romps such as Elf and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are always popular choices. Home Alone remains the biggest

grossing Christmas movie of all time while Love Actually tends to be voted top of the favourites lists found in women’s magazines. Whatever your favourite, it’s part of Christmas tradition, as well as a pleasant diversion from the shopping and

organising, to settle down and enjoy something heart-warming at this time of year.

A varied venue…

Rather than restricting yourself to the comfort of your own lounge, why not go out for a Christmas film and find yourself enjoying one of your favourite movies in a winter wonderland atmosphere? Discover a forest of frosty Christmas trees, the smell of pine needles and twinkling lights

at Holly Farm Garden Centre in Prees. As December dawns the whole centre is transformed with a forest of freshly cut Christmas trees, grown on site and nestled in the heart of this wintery world, you’ll find the Cinema in the Wild Woods where festive films will be showing throughout December. After dark the wintery world looks truly magical and makes an atmospheric backdrop to the family cinema evenings with warming food and a bar available too. It’s the perfect way to ease yourself into the festive season! Book your tickets soon via email on enquiries@ hollyfarmgardencentre.co.uk.

64 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Snowdonia Nurseries and Garden Centre Let the magic begin. Discover our inspirational Christmas displays and choose from a wide range of fresh plant stock including roses, colourful bedding and fruit trees. Perfect additions to brighten and enrich a winter garden. Take a break and relax at our newly refurbished coffee rooms. Enjoy a hot or cold beverage and choose from our varied selection of delicious snacks. Find that special gift from our beautiful new gift-ware ranges. Snowdonia Nurseries & Garden Centre, Glan Conwy, Conwy LL28 5SR T: 01492 580703 F: 01492 573559

Olive Tree Coffee Shop: T: 01492 580665 E: info@snowdonianurseries.co.uk

Opening Hours Monday 9:00am - 5pm Tuesday 9:00am - 5pm Wednesday 9:00am - 5pm Thursday 9:00am - 5pm

Friday 9:00am - 5pm Saturday 9:00am - 5pm Sunday 10:30am - 4:30pm



Monday - Saturday: 9.00am - 6.00pm • Sunday: 9.00am - 5.00pm

Christmas Tree World

We are very easy to find Just off the Oswestry bypass. Wrexham A483

Gifts • Decorations • Lights • Cards • Paper • Crackers

Make choosing your tree a truly festive experience this year at Pentreclawdd Farm whilst you enjoy a complimentary glass of mulled wine. We stock all sizes of trees from the popular Non Drop Nordman Fir and Frazer Fir, to the more traditional Norway Spruce, we also have a large stock of potted trees and tree stands. All our trees are locally grown, sold at farm prices and include free netting.

Come along and enjoy the festive atmosphere with us. Pentreclawdd Farm, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 7AE 01691 712781 info@pentreclawddfarm.co.uk • www.pentreclawddfarm.co.uk

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Lion Quays

Gobowen Orthopaedic Hospital

Oswestry B5069 Shrewsbury A5 Welshpool A483

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Trimming the Christmas tree is one of the best elements of Yuletide, whatever age you are. Whether it’s an artificial tree or a real one complete with pine scents and falling needles, it is hard to feel fully festive until it takes its place in your home, and presents start to pile up around its trunk


he tradition of decorating a Christmas tree has been around for a fair while with the evergreen fir tree traditionally being used to celebrate winter festivals both pagan and Christian for thousands of years. Pagans used branches to decorate their homes DID YOU KNOW? during the winter The first decorated solstice, as it made Christmas tree them think of the was in Riga, spring to come, Latvia in 1510 the Romans used fir trees to decorate their temples at the festival of Saturnalia and Christians use it as a sign of everlasting life. Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it in the 16th century when devout Christians brought decorated

trees into their homes. Today it is a big part of every family Christmas and the act of going to get one and decorating it is often done with plenty of ceremony and flourish.

Picking the tree

If you’re looking to make it a bit of an occasion, why not head off to somewhere all the trees are grown on site and cared for by a devoted family? Pentreclawdd Farm is a local

Shop for decorations on site too!

family-run, glamping site in Oswestry Shropshire, which is transformed into a wonderland during the winter. The family open their Christmas shop that sells everything from decorations to presents – and the huge variety of trees available can satisfy the pickiest of pine pickers. Tree varieties include all sizes of non-drop Nordamn fir and Norway spruce, potted trees and tree stands. The trees are all locally grown, with free netting to protect your tree. The team are members of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association and abide by its code, ensuring you get a quality Christmas tree every time. www. pentreclawdd farm.co.uk.

Christmas lights twinkling from trees, lampposts and homes and businesses around the country is a tradition that has grown over the years but it is always popular and serves as a great way to bring communities together

Going ‘all out’ is big business!


he habit of illuminating outdoor areas became commonplace once the traditional candles that had been used for decorating indoor Christmas trees began to be replaced by electric bulbs. After all, before then, the candles wouldn’t have had much chance of staying lit strung from shop fronts along the prom at Llandudno would they? And there is one man we

have to thank for that – Thomas Edison. Some years after his lifechanging discovery, his company, the Edison Electric Light Company, had a bespoke string of Christmas tree light bulbs made – hand-wired with 80 red, white and blue electric incandescent light bulbs the size of walnuts. The first time they were switched on, outside the home of a fellow company director on Fifth Avenue, it was ignored as a mere publicity stunt. Several decades later and anyone who’s anyone is stringing lights up around this time of year.

lights at Weston, near Crewe. The brainchild of 23-year-old Graham Witter who has been transforming his family home, farm buildings and garden into a magical winter wonderland for five years. He started doing it for his sister Jessica who suffered from cardio-facio cutaneous syndrome, severe epilepsy and multiple complex health needs – but loved the lights and sounds Graham’s display used. After she passed away in 2015, Graham has

Smaller scale, big impact If you’re looking to enjoy a display with a difference, check out the beautiful festive

See our What’s On guide on pages 6 to 52 for more Christmas events in your area!

continued the event in her memory, asking visitors to make a donation on entry to the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice in Trentham. Incorporating all sorts of entertainment into the event, Graham now organises for Santa to visit every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening in December and visitors are able to take a sleigh selfie with the man himself. There’s festive music, mince pies, ice cream and a vast array of animated Christmas characters depicted in LED lights and ample photo opportunities. Lights will be on display from December 1st, 6.15pm to 9pm at Carters Green Farm, Jack Lane, Weston. Contact info@ westonlightdisplay.co.uk.

Carter’s Green Farm light display

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The Hall at Abbey-Cwm-Hir near Llandrindod Wells in Mid Wales is a celebrated tours venue with its combination of gothic architecture, stunning interiors, fascinating collections and beautiful gardens. The house will again be decorated in all 52 rooms for Christmas from 1st Nov 2017 to 6th Jan 2018. Each will have their own Christmas tree and individual decorative theme.

Entrance is £16.00pp for the house tour, or £14.00pp for groups or return visitors Bookings for individuals, small and large groups are now being taken on 01597 851727 or by emailing info@abbeycwmhir.com





Visit The Grosvenor Shopping Centre from Tuesday 14 November for a host of festive fun! Bring the children to take part in our Christmas competitions and to see our storytelling santa and singing reindeer, and snap a selfie in our seasonal selfie arch.

• Peter and the team are back for 39th year!! • Buy from the forest. • Non Drop and Traditional, all sizes available up to 15 foot. • Open everyday from Nov 30, 9.30 am to 4.15 pm • Free present from Santa every weekend. • Trees bagged in plastic to keep your car clean.

Tel: 01352 770648. www.christmastreeuk.co.uk One mile past Moors Inn on Wrexham to Ruthin Road (A525).

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10/11/2017 14:44

o ida in

ome nershi orth a es


Hire for a day, a weekend, a week or longer

Visit www.cheshirecatnarrowboats.co.uk Tel 07867 790 195 anytime

Two rather special parks situated in areas of stunning natural beauty in and around the Snowdonia mountains and coast. We would love to share more information, so feel free to call us now...

012 6



Tw o s t u n n i n g holiday parks to choose from

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THERE IS HING S I M P LY N O T A N B ET T E R T H U T BO MESSING A I N B O AT S Spend a day exploring the beautiful Shropshire Union Canal aboard our well-equipped, self-drive Day Boat for family celebrations and team-building days • IdealAll-weather accommodation – up to 10 people • Easy to steer – no experience necessary • From • just £110

Tel: 07867 790195 • www.cheshirecatnarrowboats.co.uk

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Feel on top of the world


f you want views and its location within the park. to put your From its hilltop position, the park holiday home enjoys sweeping views of the River hopes in Conwy, the hills and mountains of perspective, it’s the Snowdonia National Park and the worth checking coastline beyond. out a site with The park was originally founded a bit of height around the impressive Victorian at Gorse Hill manor house, which has been The Victorian manor house Caravan lovingly refurbished to include DID YOU and Lodge Park. Established in a fine dining restaurant KNOW? 1954, this exclusive privately- This park is within and bar. Enjoy the warm owned North Wales caravan hospitality and delicious food, easy reach of park is surrounded by some real fires and period features countless local activities of the most magnificent or outside, enjoy crown green landscapes in Britain, with bowls, and take in the views stunning views in every direction. from one of the sun terraces. Quietly tucked away on the outskirts If you can bring yourself to venture of the famous medieval walled-town out, Gorse Hill is a perfect base for of Conwy, the park is within easy exploring the stunning North Wales reach of the countless attractions and coast and countryside. To find out activities on offer in this wonderful more go to gorsehill.co.uk part of the world. With its elevated position, Gorse Hill has a wonderful spacious feel and the grounds are well-tended with each of generous plots having private parking for two cars, its own patio area and garden. The luxury caravans and lodges are expertly designed, each one is carefully positioned to take full advantage of the wonderful Take in the stunning views of North Wales




f you’re thinking of booking a holiday or even buying your own slice of holiday heaven next year, it’s worth checking out the Lyons Holiday Park at Winkups, near Rhyl. This established site, operated by a company with years of expertise in operating parks like this in Wales, it is situated in an ideal spot in the heart of Towyn, and just minutes The pool is always a popular spot! from the beach. adventure play area and there’s a There’s plenty to keep everybody separate soft play for the under-fives entertained with the sea just Guests can enjoy so your holiday will be one a few steps away and for everyone to remember the newly-built a fun-packed entertainment from the moment you arrive. swimming pool, programme running The launderette and onhot-tub and throughout the season. sports bar site store means you won’t Guests can also enjoy the run out of supplies while newly-built swimming pool, hot tub the American Diner and chip shop and sports bar, the comfortable offer family favourites. The eightcoffee lounge and amusement screen sports bar is popular while arcade. Younger visitors will love the the entertainment in the cabaret lounge brings holidaymakers back to Winkups year after year. In 2018, this will be reopening after major redevelopment work over the winter. So there is even more reason to consider Winkups for your next short break or holiday. www.lyonsholidayparks.co.uk


f you’re holidaying on the North Wales coast, you must make sure that a visit to the stunning town of Conwy is on your list of things to do. It is a town rich in history, which much of it still preserved within the walls and traditional structures of its buildings. In the heart of it is the mighty 13th-century castle, the most wellknown feature of the town, and with good reason. Surrounded by lush Welsh countryside and watched over by the mighty mountains of Snowdonia, Conwy is a beautiful place to visit, particularly during the spring and summer when you can wander around the quayside making the most of the amenities on offer and the far-reaching and impressive coastal views. Conwy is very proud of its culture and hosts a number of events throughout the year to celebrate its rich history. Each year, you’ll find an abundance of festivals, art galleries and local markets, which are primarily hosted in the name of supporting and displaying their local talent and produce. If you want to see the town from a different angle there are boat trips available offering tours of the area or you can hike up one of the nearby mountains to look down on this picturesque seaside town.

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Get in early for the best bargains Next summer may seem like a long way off but for many of us the Christmas break is a great time to relax, reflect and decide on our plans for the coming year. Cheshire Cat Narrowboats, a family-run firm based at the awardwinning Overwater Marina on the Shropshire Union Canal in Audlem, has something for everyone. Both short breaks and longer voyages can be accommodated and if you book a two-week canal boat holiday for summer 2018 the second week is half price. Alternatively, if you pay up front, Cheshire Cat will give you a five per cent discount on your trip! With great quality boats for hire, for

Boating holidays offer a home away from home and are perfect for families

day trips as well as holidays, and some excellent nearby waters to explore including the Audlem Lock flight and Llangollen Canal just three hours cruising time away, boating really is a relaxing and enjoyable way of spending your holiday. All vessels have central heating, flush toilets, hot and cold running water, fullyequipped kitchens and bedding is provided. Expert tuition will be given so this type of holiday is suitable for everyone from beginners to expert sailors, and your four-legged friend is welcome to join you for free. www.cheshirecatnarrowboats.co.uk

FIND YOUR PIECE OF PERFECT PEACE of personal attention. Open for 10 months of the year, the park welcomes everybody from young families to retired couples, and their pets! Sandwiched between Snowdonia and the Llyn Peninsula you’ll find mountains, golden beaches and castles. North Wales is a paradise for walkers, cyclists, golfers, Peace and tranquility at Glan Gwna anglers, foodies and adventurers. However, the park is still easy to f 2018 is going to be the year you reach; just an hour from Chester, and invest in a holiday home of your one and a half hours from Liverpool own, why not make a visit and Manchester. Glan Gwna to Glan Gwna – an exquisite It’s the perfect holiday park really has to and private countryside base from which be seen to be appreciated. to explore all holiday home park just two There’s a selection of prethe riches North miles from the royal town Wales has to offer owned holiday homes, of Caernarfon and right on caravans and lodges for the edge of the Snowdonia sale, with finance and part-exchange National Park. The park itself is available. www.glangwna.com set within 120 acres of landscaped


grounds; with woodland, streams and rivers; a private fishing lake, and abundant wildlife. Nestled in a secluded valley, it is a true haven of peace and tranquillity, and the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The park is family-owned and run, and has been since 1976, and the team prides itself on high levels


nother coastal town to make sure you tick off while you’re in North Wales is Rhyl, which lies on the northeast coast of Wales at the mouth of the River Clwyd. It has been a popular tourist destination for centuries and was once a popular, elegant Victorian resort. After the Second World War the resort became popular with families from Liverpool and Manchester due to its accessibility and it has held an enduring appeal with visitors from near and far ever since. The town has a number of Grade II listed buildings, including the Parish Church of St Thomas in Bath Street, which is a fine example of high Victorian Gothic, and a prominent feature of the town landscape. Rhyl is also well known for its miniature lake and steam railway as well as the Seaquarium and a harbour that is always worth wandering around. There is a great range of shows and entertainment on at the Pavilion Theatre throughout the year and Rhyl is also home to some beautiful botanical gardens as well as boasting its own museum. But if you’re visiting during a holiday in the area and are lucky enough to get some good weather, don’t forget your bucket and spade as the real jewel in Rhyl’s crown is its stretch of sandy beach.

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covers the Magazine in r holidays best spots fo bout us a line a p o r D . s le Wa ot ! your hot sp g in r tu a fe ising@

rt Email: adve e.co.uk shiremagazin 661270 Tel: 01691

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he Boardroom Climbing is a modern, dedicated indoor bouldering and climbing centre for climbers of all ages only




15 minutes from Chester, off the A55/M56 gateway to North Wales. They offer climbing courses for adults, children’s birthday parties and kids’ climbing clubs, along with a climbing shop, café and free Wi-Fi. For adults, the Introduction to Climbing course offers everything from bouldering to climbing with a safety rope and psicobloc; 13 meters of free

solo climbing above a large seven-year-olds and £14 for foam mat. It’s £15 for one over sevens. For the more hour. If you get the climbing serious young climbers, bug, follow-up courses after school climbing clubs in Rope Safety and offer coaching and DID YOU Bouldering Basics development at KNOW? will give you the a national level in The first artificial skills to safely use climbing wall was six week blocks. the centre seven costing £67. Kids built in 1939, in days a week. birthday parties Schurman Rock Seattle For younger include climbing climbers Fun Clubs fun and games run every weekend plus freshly stone baked morning – £10.50 for five to pizzas from their café.

Shire Magazine is delighted to welcome Clive Potter as a contributor who will be joining us to inspire and promote walking for wellbeing. A keen walker, photographer and blogger as well as a healthcare professional, Clive will be suggesting a route for our rambling readers to try in each issue A walk to the ruins of Castell Dinas Bran

2) Carry on until you reach a kissing gate and then a crossing over a lane. Bearing ahead on a short section of a zig-zag path for the next 118 metres will gently guide you up the path (see if you can spot the former Royal Observer post-nuclear bunker in the field) and through the kissing gate on the right.

you to the castle ruins. Looking up, it does appear adore long walks in the steep but don’t summer and tend to keep despair, there is my shorter walks for the a great zig-zag winter in reserve. However section which the walk I am going to share makes walking in this edition of Shire is much easier and ideal for any season. It’s once you reach a walking adventure to the castle at Castell Dinas Bran is also known as Crow Castle the iconic ruins of Castell 1050ft (320m) Dinas Bran, high above of course the Pontcysyllte above sea level 3) Once through the gate, Llangollen in the county Aqueduct. Enjoy looking you’re rewarded with some head up the lane for another of Denbighshire and around the ruins, take in the outstanding views. With the 330 metres, crossing a lane nestled on the edge of the scenery and be inspired... and following the fi nger Dee Valley and Llangollen mesmerizing Limestone posts leading to the next below, the Shropshire escarpment of Trevor Rocks. Distance: 4km return and Cheshire plains in the kissing gate. Grade: moderate distance give you a feeling 1) Starting next to Approx calories burnt: 370 of elevation and there 4) Once you fi nd the gate Llangollen Wharf on the Clothing: sensible walking are stunning views to be on the right, follow the bridge over the canal on boots, water/windproofs. way markers. You will fi nd enjoyed in every direction: Wharf Hill head straight Walking poles are useful yourself at a black gate Trevor Rocks and Moel over to the steep path and Parking: Parade Street Y Gamelin, the Aranig marked with a crow. You finger post to Castell Dinas offers long-stay parking mountains, Y Foal with the are entering an open area Bran, until the castle ruins www.clivepotter.co.uk ruins of Biddulph Tower and and the path will lead come into view on the right.


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Christmas shopping is one of those things that you either love or hate – and it’s unavoidable for many of us as we head into Yuletide. Let us give you a helping hand with some inspirational ideas and unusual options to assist your seasonal spending


t’s that time of year again you’re about to embark on your Christmas gift shopping, take when as a nation we head into the ultimate shopping frenzy – the time to plan it properly first. Christmas. With gifts to buy, food to purchase and Research shows that Brits on homes to brighten average buy 14 individual DID YOU up for the season gifts at this time of year KNOW? 300,000 tonnes it’s no wonder and spend, on average, of card is used in £117 on presents for their that in the UK UK households alone we spend partner, £145 on presents over Christmas approximately for their children, and even £77 billion on our £20 on their pets. That’s a lot of money and a big expense festive finances. That’s around £800 per household. if you get it wrong and buy a gift for someone that is unsuitable It is estimated that half of that is spent on presents, so if or just unwanted. According

to thisismoney.co.uk, over the festive season £2.4 billion is spent on unwanted Christmas presents and each adult in the country tends to be given two presents they did not want. But it doesn’t have to be this way. ALL WRAPPED UP A bit of time spent thinking outside of the gift-wrapped box is time well spent. You can save money and get a better hit rate when it comes to matching the present to the recipient. These days there are so many

alternatives available that there is no reason to be left buying socks and smellies or tucking cash in a card for those hard-tobuy-for relatives. You can spend money on an usual experience, a bespoke handmade gift, buy a virtual present from a charity or at least select a voucher that’s specific to the recipient. Some companies offer the opportunity to name a star, dedicate or even record a song for your loved one or make a long term investment and reserve a barrel of wine to mature in the future!

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Love it or loathe it, we all spend a fair bit of time shopping – especially at this time of year. But the way we do it has changed over the years and continues to do so


developed in order to cater for ver the last few decades our shopping habits have a different market and remain viable. It hasn’t been an easy changed dramatically. It started with the arrival of out-ofchallenge, and there have DID YOU been huge losses along town shopping centres KNOW? the way with some giant – at the time billed as Around £700m the beginning of the names disappearing, is spent each but in many places, our end. Doom-mongers Christmas on predicted the death of town centres still draw unwanted gifts a crowd of shoppers – the high street but few especially in the run up of us could argue with the convenience of gathering to Christmas. all our favourite stores in one DIGITAL DILEMMAS venue with easy access and free Having survived that parking to boot. development, shops in both These malls have thrived towns and centres then faced a and become part of our retail new threat in the form of the landscape, while the traditional internet and as cyber security has high street has evolved and improved, increasing numbers are happy to make the most of online shopping. Approximately 87 per cent of UK consumers have bought at least one product online in the last 12 months, and the UK is second only to Norway for online shopping in Europe. Elsewhere in the world, China and the USA are still the biggest

online shoppers, but we are fast catching up. In 2016 online sales increased by 21 per cent and this is expected to grow again this year. Over the Christmas shopping season, online and traditional shopping channels enjoy a massive boost. Figures show that this has been helped enormously by the arrival of Black Friday – this year on November 28th – when stores and websites alike see a frenzy of trading, with online traffic up more than 200 per cent on a normal

Friday. As well as computerbased shopping, the mobile buying industry has grown and on Black Friday last year, one third of all PayPal payments were made on mobile devices.

If someone on your gift likes to write, then why not get them the perfect pen? You will struggle to find a wider range than the stunningly crafted fountain pens, mechanical pencils and writing accessories available at Write Here conveniently located on the High Street in Shrewsbury. The brainchild of John Hall, Write Here has grown to become a premier UK fountain pen supplier and stocks a huge range of writing implements and

accessories from Montegrappa and Visconti fountain pens to the finest quality paper and ink. Write Here combines years of experience with deep knowledge of the best fountain pen manufacturers to ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for. The clamour for digital communication and notes that only live within smartphones has made the art of handwriting and drawing even more precious. For more information visit www.writeherekitenow.co.uk.

RETAIL THERAPY Whatever your shopping preferences, whether you want to amble down the high street, blitz it in one shopping centre or get it all online – it’s no surprise that shopping still comes out as one of the nation’s favourite pastimes, and never more so than in the run up to Christmas.

F IN D A ON E- OF F G IF T If you’re searching for a truly unique gift, why not consider a collectible item that definitely won’t be replicated by another shopper? Whitchurch Antiques Emporium in the Old Baptist Chapel, Green End in the bustling town of Whitchurch is a magnificent spot and home to a wide range of antiques, mid-century crafted and modern pieces with 30 units

over two floors offering antiques, collectables and curios, furniture, handmade crafts, original art, chalk paint and more. The constant stream of new arrivals means there is plenty to choose from for the perfect gift. Shire readers can receive a 10% discount on items over £20 until 24th December. To redeem, bring in the Whitchurch Antiques’ Emporium’s advert page from this issue!

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If you’re stuck on what to get a certain person, consider buying them something to do rather than keep. Action lovers in particular are well catered for with activity vouchers available from various suppliers and venues. If your gift recipient is into bikes, have a look at One Planet Adventure who offer a range of gift ideas. Browse the wellstocked shop and pick up anything from an essential bit of riding kit, to the latest must-have bling! There are DID YOU even vouchers for skills courses from beginners KNOW? to advanced. www.oneplanetadventure.com St. Nicholas Day, on December 6th, For an experience gift with a little less action, is for gift giving take a look at the vouchers on offer from across Europe Cheshire Falconry and Segway. Get handson with these magnificent birds of prey with vouchers available for a range of incredible experiences. Your gift recipient can put on the gauntlet and fly birds of prey with a flying taster session, The Raptor Encounter, the Full Day Falconry or even the thrill of an Eagle Adventure. They also offer vouchers for a segway session. These two wheeled electric vehicles can do up to 12mph and also tackle off-road adventuring suitable for all ages. www.cheshirefalconry.com www.cheshiresegway.co.uk

Maybe flying through the air has more appeal? Zip World Velocity at Bethesda includes a pair of zip lines one mile long – the closet thing to flying! Nearby, Zip World Titan has wires plus underground adventures at Bounce Below. www.zipworld. co.uk

For a motoring enthusiast, why not consider a driving experience with a difference? Motor Safari in Wrexham offers the ultimate in 4x4 off-road driving experiences with expert instructors to help ensure the maximum in exhilaration and performance from one of these amazing vehicles. Try water splashes, huge hills, side slopes, axle twisters and craters large enough to swallow a house in the purpose-built 4x4 adventure park. Choose from 4x4 vehicles such as Land Rovers, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Jeep and Suzuki. www.motorsafari.co.uk

If you think the person you’re buying for would rather be on water than wheels a voucher from the National Whitewater Centre might do the trick. Based on the River Tryweryn in Snowdonia National Park, it’s a truly wild mountain river that is dam-controlled so its rapids still thunder throughout the summer. Try the one-hour rafting taster session or rafting full day session. www.canoewales.com

If you need to be efficient and use your shopping time wisely, the thought of going to a shopping centre and getting it all done in one go must be appealing. Tweedmill Shopping Outlet in St Asaph offers a total shopping experience. With over 300 quality brand names, a café, coffee shop and farm shop all under one roof, there’s huge choice, fantastic prices, top brands and the very best of local Welsh produce all in one place. Tweedmill is also home to The Cutting Mill Hair and Beauty Salon, Mill Clinic Health and Holistic Therapies, The Village Tailors, City Travel and Tours and Mill Computer Care. www.tweedmill.co.uk

Find all your favourite brands under one roof

Another great option for shoppers is the Grosvenor Shopping Centre, in Chester. Situated in the heart of the city, the centre has over 60 stores including brands like Boss, Build-a-Bear, LK Bennett and H&M. The newly renovated Paddock Row now houses TK Maxx and Sports Direct and is just a stone’s throw from many of Chester’s great places to visit. Over the Christmas period there will be a Christmas tree in St Michael’s Row with a ‘selfie arch’ and giant pop-up book located in the main square with elves and an animatronic Santa will be telling stories alongside a singing reindeer in his own snowy enclosure. From the 4th to 10th December there will be a fabulous Christmas food market in the centre too. www.the grosvenorcentre.co.uk Conveniently situated for shopping in Chester

76 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Feel & buy our lovely products Visitors & Groups Up to 16 people are welcome by appointment We sell: • Exclusive Alpaca Yarn from our own herd • Luxury knitted and felted gifts traceable to our alpacas • Superb Alpaca Duvets and pillows • Alpaca socks

gift idea! Enjoy a unique Christmas


We open our farm shop - every Saturday from 10.00 until 4.00 Our visitors love to see our alpacas on the fields while they shop. • we also open at other times by appointment Our Christmas Shopping Saturdays begin on Saturday 18th November and run until Saturday 23rd December (Mulled Wine and Mince Pies for all our customers on these days) Please contact us for details Mulberry Grange, Red Hall Lane, Higher Penley, Wrexham, LL13 ONA Tel: 07713 639 447 Email: mulberryalpacas@btconnect.com











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2 FOR 1 OFFER PRICES FROM £39 PUT ADVENTURE INTO YOUR CHRISTMAS STOCKING Motor Safari offers thrilling 4x4 driving experiences at their flagship venue close to Wrexham and Chester and just one hour away from Manchester, Liverpool and Shrewsbury. With a lake, mountain, outstanding driving tracks, woodland and gorgeous hospitality barn, you are guaranteed a fantastic adventure experience.

WHAT AN AMAZING CHRISTMAS GIFT! With gift vouchers from just £39 to £468 - perfect for individual bookings, couples, families, weekend breaks and corporate team building. Check out their activity menu - From amazing 4x4 driving (they trained celebrities from BBC The World’s Most Dangerous Roads) to Archery, Paintball, Target Rifle Shoot, Raft Racing, Bushcraft, Art Storming and much, much more!

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For more information or to book - contact Motor Safari. www.motorsafari.co.uk•email: info@motorsafari.co.uk•TEL 01978 447199

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Garden-lovers are easy to buy for this We also have the Snowdonia Nurseries Christmas and there are plenty of places and Garden Centre nearby, another to find the perfect gift. Country Garden great venue for Christmas shopping. Plant Centre in Shrewsbury has flowers, Set in the panoramic Conwy valley, annuals, herbaceous perennials, trees the centre is the product of one DID YOU and shrubs, over 600 varieties family’s creative vision and KNOW? of roses, pots, stoneware, water skill. The Evans family have It’s unlucky to features always found Christmas to be bring holly into tools and a particularly special time of the house before year and transform the centre supplies, Christmas Eve garden into a magical stage for all ornaments and things festive. With top quality gifts. www. gardening products, home countrygarden decor gifts and more, there’s something plantcentre.co.uk for everyone, plus you can marvel at the incredible (and famous) Christmas decorations that adorn every inch of the Another good option for your greencentre. www.snowdonianurseries.co.uk fingered friends is at the Carlton Garden Centre in Llay, Wrexham. This independently run family business, established over 50 years ago, is run by the third generation of the Craig family, Carl, Sandra and Maria. It offers a vast selection of garden centre products and pet products, furniture, water features, cat and dog kennels, runs, hutches, chicken coops and wild bird houses. The pet section has animal food, dog treats, toys, straw and sawdust. www.carltongardencentre.co.uk

Obviously our beloved pets aren’t going to miss out this Christmas, and Bradeley Green Pet Store just outside of Whitchurch, stocks a wide range of quality products for your pet’s needs, including everyday essentials, grooming, healthcare and travel items. Their hi-vis coats, collars and leads will help pooches safe during autumn and winter walks and if you’re looking for something special for your furry friend, the store has gift ideas, ranging from fun festive toys and tasty stocking fillers to cat and dog hampers! Or how about the Pure Paws grooming range, exclusively available from the store? Why not come along to the Christmas shopping event with mulled wine and mince pies to get you into the festive spirit? www.petcetera.co.uk

Alternatively, animal lovers can buy something a little bit different for themselves rather than for their pets. Mulberry Alpacas at Wrexham offers a range of luxuriously soft alpaca duvets made by Penrose Products. When asked what a duvet made from alpaca is like, the experts explain it is like no other and is the only all season duvet. It stocks Penrose Alpaca pillows, from £49 and duvets from £141 – perfect for those winter nights and available to view at the farm shop, open on Saturdays from 10am-4pm. Browse and buy alpaca fibre gifts, which have excellent thermal properties, such as alpaca tea cosies, cafetiere covers, egg cosies, bags, cushions and even luxe alpaca iPhone covers. www. mulberry alpacas.co.uk

Over in Mold, another good shopping venue is the Woodworks Garden Centre. Formerly the P&A Garden Centre it’s now under one title, Woodworks, and the venue of choice for discerning gardeners in North Wales. The newly rebuilt centre, café and gift shop will be hosting late night Christmas shopping on Thursday 30th November from 5.30pm till 8.30pm. They will have a range of Christmas decorations, jewellery and accessories available in the gift shop. Enjoy a glass of bubbly and nibbles whilst you enjoy some retail therapy, and children will also have the chance to visit Father Christmas and his elves in his grotto. There’ll be hot chestnuts, mince pies, popcorn and hot punch on offer, what more could you want? www.p-a-group.com


For the art lovers on your list, why not visit Oriel Wrecsam, the premier venue for Contemporary Visual and Applied Arts in north east Wales. The main venue currently occupies the Siop//Shop, on Chester Street, which stocks a variety of visual and applied arts from local makers and artists as well as a diverse range of designers from across the UK. Choose from prints by Jonny Hannah or handmade, traditional Welsh designs, throws, purses and lavender hearts from Melin Tregwynt, a delightful wool mill located on the Pembrokeshire Welsh coast. There are metal lovespoons forged by Mike Davies, a third generation blacksmith, based in Pembrokeshire or hand-painted jewellery crafted from anodised aluminium by Miranda Peckitt. David Griffith’s handmade wooden push/pull animals are always popular or have a look at the printed textiles available from Peris & Corr, an eco-friendly screen-printing company based in Snowdonia. www.wrexham.gov.uk

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 79

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FOOD & DRINK Let the festive feasting begin…

With Christmas around the corner our thoughts turn naturally to food – and lots of it! Our resident chef Bryn Williams talks about his yuletide traditions and shares one of his favourite Christmas recipes


hristmas is fast approaching, and for me raised free-range turkey – served cold the day it’s always been a time when my family after with Mum’s chutney, roast chestnuts, the smell of puddings steaming away or fruit cakes comes together for parties, enjoying food that celebrates the land that we farm. slowly baking in the oven. I come from a big tribe with lots of aunts and I always encourage people to support local uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces and food producers and buy seasonally and the nothing makes me happier than seeing coming weeks will see lots of Christmas markets around so you can discover everybody enjoying a meal together. DID YOU The Welsh word ‘hiraeth’ describes the very best locally sourced food and KNOW? a feeling of belonging to a place Candy Canes were drink. You should also be able to find or to a person – it’s where you are the ingredients for my alternative to actually invented Christmas pudding, with chocolate, from. Tastes from my childhood to keep kids help evoke hiraeth for me, and chestnuts and cranberries, it makes a great quiet! especially at Christmas, such as farm finish to any festive meal. Hapus Nadolig!

Ingredients For the confit cranberries 50g cooked chestnuts, left whole 50g pistachio nuts 50g cranberries Juice of one orange Stock syrup 200ml water 100g caster sugar

Jonathan Gregson

For the sponge 600ml milk 500g cooked chestnuts, chopped 100g good quality dark chocolate, min 70% cook solids 100g unsalted butter 4 eggs 100g caster sugar 70g ground almonds 2 tsp cornflour Zest of one orange

Recipe taken from Bryn’s Kitchen, by Bryn Williams, Published by Kyle Books. Bryn is owner patron of Bryn@ PorthEirias Bistro in Colwyn Bay and Odettes Restaurant in Primrose Hill, London (www. bryn-williams.co.uk)

Chocolate chestnut cake with confit cranberries 1. Preheat the oven to 160C, gas mark 3, butter a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin. 2. Make the stock syrup: put the water into a heavy saucepan, add the sugar and whisk until it dissolves. Bring to the boil then remove from the heat and allow to cool, before putting it in the fridge. 3. For the sponge, place the milk and chopped chestnuts in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil then simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool a little then pour into a blender and whizz to a smooth puree. 4. Set aside in a clean bowl. Place the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir until the butter and chocolate have melted. Set aside but keep warm. 5. In another bowl, whisk the eggs and

sugar together until thick and creamy. In another bowl, mix the ground almonds, cornflour and orange zest together and set to one side. 6. Carefully fold the chocolate mixture into the chestnut puree then gently fold in the whisked eggs, followed by the dry ingredients. 7. Transfer the mix into the cake tin and bake for 40 mins, or until the top of the cake is firm to the touch, and a skewer comes out clean. 8. While the cake is cooking, simmer the sugar syrup in a pan. Add the chesnuts, pistachios, cranberries and orange juice. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until just soft. Set aside to cool. 9. When the cake is ready, remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Serve in slices and drizzle with the confit cranberries and nuts.

FESTIVE FOODIE FAVOURITE Food historian and TV and radio presenter Dr Annie Gray will be giving a festive-themed talk looking at Christmas in mid-Victorian times through the eyes of the iconic Mrs Isabella Beeton. Taking place

in the Engine Shop at Coalbrookdale on Monday evening, 27th November, Mrs Beeton’s Christmas is part of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum’s 50th anniversary celebrations. The talk will address the way in which the customs that we consider part of our ‘traditional’ Christmas were invented, or reinvented, in the mid-nineteenth century. It uses recipe books and depictions of food to think about our Christmas lunch,

along with cards, etchingsd an illustrations to show the development of Christmas as we know it today. Dr Annie Gray is the resident food historian on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, and co-presented BBC’s Victorian Cabinet Bakers and its Christmas special, filmed at Blists Hill. Tea and coffee will be served from 6.30pm, talk starts 7pm and Q&A at 8pm. Book a free ticket www.ironbridge.org.uk.

80 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Sitting in the pub on a Friday afternoon, log fire roaring, pint of real ale to hand and the chatter of people of all ages around me sharing thoughts and opinions, plans and memories. It feels familiar, safe and cosy. I am at peace with the world. I started to ponder. In this day and age, we could be sitting at home with our Netflix, smartphones, Sky TV and a cupboard full of cheap bottles from the supermarket. ‘What is it that still brings us to The Great British Pub?’ I thought. This British institution has a long history dating back

almost 2000 years when the Romans built a road system with watering stops or ‘tabernae’ conveniently along the way. This evolved to become ‘tavern’ which became important hubs of the local community, places to meet and do business. The age of the stagecoach came along with taverns now providing rest, accommodation, food and drink for both the weary travellers and their horses. But nowadays, pubs remain just as popular. So is it the physical act of getting away from home? The human interaction or perhaps it’s a throwback to our prehistoric ‘pack mentality’? Perhaps we just enjoy sharing with loved ones or even meeting new loved ones? Whatever the reason, let’s raise a glass to the pub! By Stuart Chapman-Edwards with Clive Taylor

A Wild Shropshire Dinner at Alderford Lake If you like eating local, then come along to Alderford Lake, on 25th November, 8th and 16th December for a fresh eating experience courtesey of Wild Shropshire. The night will take the format of a surprise seven course taster menu whilst over looking the beautiful lake. Chef James Sherwin explains: ‘Earlier this year I started an allotment and have been very lucky that most things planted have been successful (rabbits have annihilated my kale). The menus are therefore based solely on what is perfect at the moment, whereas most menus are planned starting with what meat or protein is to be used. The Wild Shropshire menus always start with the allotment.’ James also uses Nook Farm’s allotment, eggs and orchard for

his supply, the land which is attached to this is his foraging ground – currently overrun with soft fruits and fruit trees. ‘I always work closely with the producers and all our meat is either farmed and shot or caught locally employing the highest welfare standards.’ £35pp (£40 for the extra special festive evenings). Prebooking essential. www.wildshropshire.net The tasting dishes ingredients include: Radish, hazelnuts, parsley, egg yolk, Bakehouse bread, pork, leek, ‘Shropshire soy’, celeriac, chestnut, whey, fermented rhubarb, wild duck, beetroot, burnt cream, sunflower, pear, nasturtium, apple, miso, burnt chocolate, chestnut

A corkscrew’s Christmas Christmas tends to be a time of indulgence with wine and drinking a definite feature. Wine expert James Gillespie shares some advice on being ready for the season As Christmas and the new year approach it’s time to check that your good friend the family corkscrew is in fine health and ready for the fray. Some might have to be dusted off while others will already be in training – lying nonchalantly around the kitchen after heavy usage the previous evening. I’d recommend each household should have at least two corkscrews – just in case one should break, malfunction or go astray and to avoid that terrible moment of panic and the plaintive cry, ‘where’s the corkscrew?’ Admittedly, with the arrival of screw-capped bottles, a corkscrew is no longer completely indispensable for wine-lovers but over the festive season there’s a tendency for more special, classier wines to be offered, and particularly with

red wines, these will still almost certainly be closed with cork. There are many different corkscrews; technical and modern ones and those true antiquities. Your choice of corkscrew will come down to aesthetic appeal but practicality and ability to do the job-in-hand should always be paramount. Choose a long, nottoo-thick or bulbous, spiral screw with a good radius and if this is teflon-coated you will find wine tasting life much easier. Take your time and choose well – a good corkscrew’s a friend for life! James is happy to be contacted by fellow wine fans via james@ touchstone wines.co.uk.

The Coach House winter food and drink events at Norbury 18th November: Wines from Far Flung Places with ‘Iron & Wine’ Wines from far flung places matched with a seasonal game menu curated by Chef Harry Bullock. Robin from the independent merchants Iron and Wine, will be in attendance to explain why these small producers make some of the most special wines around. 16th December, Christmas Market & Coffee morning

Christmas gifts available from a host of local artists and suppliers supplemented with preserves, mincemeats, cakes and Christmas puddings from the Coach House kitchen. 23rd December, A Taste of Winter Seven course winter tasting menu with optional matching wine flight. For more information and to book, call 01588 650846 or visit online at www. coachhousenorbury.com

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 81

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Christmas recipes Goose Pâté by Brisbourne Geese Ingredients 1lb/455g freshly cooked goose meat Two-three fresh sage leaves, finely chopped Eight to 10 crushed juniper berries 1/2lb/340g soft rendered goose fat Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt Method Shred the goose meat, stir together with the herbs, crushed berries and goose fat. Season to taste and pack into individual ramekins. Blend in a food processor before putting pate into ramekins. A layer of melted fat run over the surface will seal the meat as it solidifies and help it to keep. Cover and refrigerate until required. Serve with warm bread. Fresh geese are available direct from Brisbourne Geese, Nesscliffe. Oven ready weights available from 9lb to 14lb. www.brisbournegeese.co.uk

Christmas Sprouts by James Sherwin This is a dish that I stole from my first ever head chef and it’s now synonymous with Christmas and a most delicious part of Christmas dinner! Ingredients (serves four) 100g spouts; two rashers smoked bacon; 200ml double cream; a pinch of salt; two chestnuts Method 1. Slice sprouts thinly top to bottom. 2. Cut bacon into small lardons and fry in a little oil until crispy. 3. Turn heat up, add the cream to the bacon then reduce by about two thirds. 4. Add the sprouts and cook until slightly warm and al dente and season with salt. 5. Finely grate the chestnuts over the top using a micro grater and serve

T R I E D & TA S T E D


It’s well and truly wintery out there so what better selection of pubs to linger over than those that serve up a hearty roast dinner? Check out our round-up of brilliant locations for carvery comfort! NORTH WALES For a traditional roast, with an excellent reputation, check out The Bull Inn in Pentraeth which boasts not only an excellent food but stunning views over Anglesey. Sunday lunch is served all day and for £9.25 you will get a selection of three meats, with smaller portions, £5.95. In Llandudno, the Cottage Loaf country pub offers a treat for everyone. Sunday has a selection of meat from the butchers just next door. For £11.95, there’s a selection of four joints or a vegetarian nut roast. CHESHIRE The Pheasant Inn at Tattenhall is such a popular choice for a roast dinner it has won numerous awards and is also credited with being a great spot to walk off your food. The gourmet offerings include alternatives such venison haunch with polenta chips as well as the more traditional menu. Another winning location for the perfect roast is The Bells of Peover near Knutsford where delicious home cooked carvery has customers returning. With a range of meats, usually three, on offer alongside vegetarian options too. SHROPSHIRE The Four Crosses in Bicton lays on a particular special Sunday selection and at just £9.99 for an adult portion it’s great value too. Served between 12pm-3pm, there are three meats, one vegetarian option, and a child’s portion on the menu for just £5.99.

Creamy and fruity

Raspberry proved popular

Llaeth Y Llan yoghurt It all started on the Roberts’ family farm in 1985 when Gareth and his wife Falmia launched yoghurt production on their 50-acre farm in north Wales. To this day, they still use local Welsh milk, and source local ingredients to make their bio-live yoghurt. We got to try some of the flavours… Plain yoghurt: although as low in fat as most supermarket yoghurts (hard to believe!), this plain yogurt is so creamy, its a fantastic accompaniment to fruit and ideal for recipes. Vanilla: flavoured with real vanilla pods, these little pots have a real vanilla kick to them, just delicious!

Toffee: possibly the one favourite flavour of all Llaeth y Llan yogurts, this is the one that kids always go for, very sweet with a lovely strong toffee flavour, a real treat. Strawberry: smooth, with no fruit bits and a hint of pink colour, this yoghurt is not too sweet but delicious. Raspberry: quite different from the Strawberry flavour, with more tartness, but still deliciously creamy. The new small pot multipacks with four tubs are ideal for children’s lunch boxes, and are certain to be popular with the kids!

Are you local producer? Do you want the Shire team to sample your products for a Tried & Tasted feature? Just email the team at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk or call (01691) 661270

In Shrewsbury itself, The Coach and Horses is described by some as ‘the best carvery in town’ and enjoys an enviable reputation with repeat diners. A traditional pub found on a small side street, the inn is renowned for quality of food as well as great value – and perfect for winter warmers on a chilly day.

MID WALES/HEREFORDSHIRE An enduring favourite, not only does The Crown Inn in Woolhope serve up amazing traditional roasts, it also offers a few less common options such as roast wood pigeon with chargrilled asparagus, carrot purée and Jersey royals – so great for combining family favourites with cutting-edge cuisine. The Red Lion Hotel in Llanidloes serves a delicious Sunday carvery in two bars and the restaurant so you’ll easily find a table that suits you. The lounge bar has a warm and welcoming fire, the large bar has games to entertain you and the restaurant befits a more formal occasion.

82 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Now Taking Christmas Orders

Jamie’s Butchers and Deli offer a wide range of delicious local produce! Call in and ‘meat’ our friendly butchers and see what delights are on offer

Bellis Brothers Farm Shop & Garden Centre, Holt, Wrexham, LL13 9YU T: 01829272030

Harry Tuffins, Midcounties Co-Op, Churchstoke, Powys, SY15 6AR T: 01588 620226



uilt within the walls of World Heritage site of Conwy, Wales, the Albion is regarded as one of the finest examples of a 1920's public house in Britain. There is an exquisite original 1920's back bar in the main bar room with a rare hatch linking it to the rear snug. Of the ten



hand pulls on the bar today, four are originals from the 1920's. Whether you decide to sit in the Lounge with its baronial fireplace, relax in the tranquil snug or partake in lively conversation in the Bar, we hope you, like many others will enjoy the unique setting that the Albion Ale House has to offer. Get yourself a nice drink, grab some nibbles, pull up a seat, take in the atmosphere, read a paper, have a chat or play a game, but most important of all, enjoy yourself and feel at home.

The Albion, Uppergate Street, Conwy, LL32 8RF ~ Telephone 01492 582 484 ~

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riendly elco ing

• A traditional, family-run inn with home-cooked food, real ales and roaring fires

• Function room available • Dogs welcome too • Free wi-fi

• Set in stunning rural countryside, ideally suited for Snowdonia • Open all day • Food served 12 noon to 3 pm & 6 pm to 9 pm, and all day Sundays LLANDDERFEL, BALA, GWYNEDD, LL23 7RA Tel: 01678 530 205 www.bryntirioninn.co.uk

10/11/2017 14:46

Book your office party now. Christmas menu available from December 1st. www.coachhousenorbury.com/christmas-menu-2017


CAFE & BOOKS 17 Castle Street, Llangollen Tel: 01978 861963 Email: daz8926@hotmail.com www.cafeandbooks.co.uk Open 7 days a week One of the biggest collections of second hand books in Wales, with over 100,000 titles in stock, this long-established bookshop is a treasure trove of second hand books. Come and browse our shelves, packed with just about every subject under the sun, in a relaxed family friendly atmosphere.

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THE BULKELEY HOTEL, BEAUMARIS Local produce, freshly made cakes and sea views – we review this grand hotel on the Anglesey coast


Photography: P. Parker

aking our table in Hansoms, one of two restaurants at the Bulkeley, it’s a wood panelled, atmospheric space, a large dining room with grand high ceilings and unrivalled views across the Menai Straits to Snowdonia. ‘We think it’s a high-end menu, without having high end prices,’ explains Vicky the maitre d’. ‘Because we use local suppliers, we get good prices, and we then pass those on to our customers.’ Throughout the meal the hotel’s very accomplished pianist played everything from blues to musicals, from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Jean Michel Jarré through to Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody – all done with great style, and without being intrusive. ‘We have a pianist every night,’ adds Vicky, ‘And for Sunday Lunches, a harpist plays in Hansoms.’

Supporting local suppliers

‘We want to support local producers, such as the mussels, and the local Rhyd y Delyn blue cheese (who very recently started, and won an award at the Royal Welsh Show this year),’ says Vicky. ‘It’s a lovely cheese – a mellow blue cheese, without the sharpness you sometimes find in others. We also use local scallops, and of course all our meat – lamb, beef and pork – is Celtic Pride, raised in Wales.’ The mains arrive, and the lamb dish looks tremendous – a lovely big rack of Welsh lamb, a crown on top of a throne of new potatoes in berry jus. We loved the crushed potatoes, it makes a much more interesting texture than super-smooth mash, including the thin new potato skins, it was salted and very buttery. The berry jus was quite a tart compliment, a nice sharp taste that added to the plate. Of course, all Decadent dining this was a side story to the lamb, a lovely Our starters arrive. A generous serving of five thick piece when cut away from the bone, scallops – ‘queens’ which are slightly smaller done just this side of pink, with the juices but many say have more flavour, running freely, just a delicious were served on top of a very tasty piece of lamb. bright green pea and mint purée. ‘Rhyd y Delyn cheese The gnocchi, again a very The little pieces of pancetta were was the star item. genius portion, was held It’s soft and salty, just perfect with the soft and together with a cheese sauce without having more subtley flavoured scallops. made with the same Rhyd y too strong a flavour The was also an adornment of Delyn cheese – making the as some other little lemon wedges – although sauce quite salty, and packed blue cheeses do’ very nice visually they were with flavour. The gnocchi perhaps too small to squeeze onto themselves were nice and the scallops – a lemon wedge firm, with lovely al dente asparagus, with on the side would be a more practical if less a tiny bit of crunch. The sweet, fresh peas attractive alternative? were a perfect sweet counterpoint to the The salad was a lovely starting dish. rich cheese sauce and soft gnocchi. The The chicken was delicately smoked, lovely vegetable side dishes – crisp mangetout and soft thin slices of breast, with a lovely sweet buttery carrots – were also nicely done and a honey and mustard dressing. But perhaps the welcome compliment to the hearty mains. Rhyd y Delyn cheese was the star item. To finish us off, we shared a superb This blue cheese is soft and salty, without chocolate caramel cheesecake served with having too strong a flavour as some blue ice cream and fruits, which Vicky explained cheeses do, and incredibly creamy. was made in the hotel’s own bakery, which The figs were beautiful and ripe, supplies the hotel’s coffee shop and both sometimes eating them was a bit awkward restaurants. We spent a very comfortable when drizzled with the dressing, and our night in a newly decorated suite, which only wish would be for bigger walnut pieces featured all mod-cons, and enjoyed – but this is just a personal preference. a tremendous hearty Welsh breakfast the The cheese flavours and the smoked next day, which set us up brilliantly for chicken made a lovely flavour combination. a day’s walking around Beaumaris.

The Menu Starters Smoked chicken and fig, with Rhyd y Delyn cheese, roasted walnuts, and honey and mustard dressing £5.95 Pan seared scallops, with smoked pancetta and a minted pea purée £6.95 Main Courses Roast rack of Welsh lamb, with crushed new potatoes and a red current jus £14.95 Rhyd y Delyn gnocchi, with asparagus and fresh peas £13.55 And for dessert… Chocolate caramel cheesecake and ice cream

The Bulkeley Hotel, Beaumaris Tel: 01248 810 415 www.bulkeleyhotel.co.uk November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 85

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Add some seasonal style to your kitchen with a jolly splash of red

Nice and spicy: Red and black cast iron Moroccan style tagine, British Ironwork Centre, £69.99, www.britishironworkcentre.co.uk

Smart cooker: The Rayburn 200 Series is ideal for smaller kitchens. Featuring a hotplate with graduated heat, a large main oven and a lower warming oven, it ticks all the boxes. Choose from cooking, cooking and hot water or a combined cooking, partial central heating and hot water system. Prices start from £4400 for a black or cream, cooker only. Call RN Williams on 01745 582254 or visit www.rnwilliams.co.uk.

Dine in style: Set of six Welsh tapestry dinner mats, £24, Trefriw Woollen Mills, www.t-w-m.co.uk

Clean up: Splash spoon rest, £6.99, www.prezzybox.com

Cute coaster: Christmas tree coaster set, £4, www.seashoreno4.co.uk

Earn your crust: Red metal bread bin, £20, www.johnlewis.com

Stock up: Le Creuset Cerise storage jars with wooden lids, various sizes, priced from £18-£30, www.coedydinas.co.uk

Party piece: Gold foiled ‘Merry and Bright’ paper plates, £3.99, www.ginger ray.com

Measure up: Retro style enamel kitchen scales, £10, Ella James, www.ellajames.co.uk

Stick ‘em up: ‘Eat’ wall sticker, £20, Leonora Hammond, www.leonorahammond.co.uk Wall lust: Kitchen mixer print, £25, Oh Dear Molly, www.notonthehighstreet.com Better brew: De’Longhi Avvolta kettle in red, £74.99, www.lakeland.co.uk

86 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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AT A PRICE YOU’LL LOVE All models pictured have a 5kw output and are among the 150 stoves we have on display in our showroom.

01745 582254 | www.rnwilliams.co.uk Chester Street, St Asaph, LL17 0RE 087_SHIRE_ND2017.indd 1

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Huge Range of Mattresses | Faux Leather Beds | Metal Beds Wooden Beds | Rest Assured | Slumberland | & Much More


Gwalia Residential Sales & Lettings Many Special Offers! Ask in store

Open: Monday to Saturday 9am ~ 5pm • Closed Sunday Choose from our selection of comfortable and stylish beds and mattresses, ranging from double mattresses and single mattresses to king size beds and leather beds... CALL US TODAY:

01743 463157




on ALL items!

Dial-A-Matress (Shropshire UK) Ltd Bed Shop Shrewsbury, 204 Whitchurch Road, Harlescott, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY1 4EL • 01743 463 157 www.dialamattress.co.uk • www.dial4furniture.co.uk O s w e s t r y | S h r e w s b u r y | Te l f o r d | N e w p o r t | W h i t c h u r c h Market Drayton | Stoke | Wolverhampton | Birmingham | Ludlow

Specialists in Water Boreholes and Ground Source Heating Visit our shop and see our huge variety of pipes and fittings

If you are thinking of selling your property in today’s highly competitive and saturated property market, your property has to stand out head and shoulders above all the other hundreds of thousands advertised on the internet. You need a bespoke approach that offers value for money and doesn’t compromise on quality ~ to find out how we can help or to book your free valuation, call or e-mail us now.

E: mail@gwaliaproperties.co.uk • T: 01597 825 644

Ground Source Heating - Get Paid To Heat Your Own Home Earn cash via RHI payments with a Ground Source Heating System • Water Boreholes

• All Existing Boreholes Maintenance & Servicing • Water Treatments WE WILL BEAT ANY LIKE FOR LIKE WRITTEN QUOTEATION *


For more information about our services, please call today 01824 707 777 or visit our website on: www.dragondrilling.co.uk

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KEEPING COSY AND GOING GREEN With winter wrapping itself well around us, it’s a good time to make sure our homes are warm and cosy for the months ahead. But with energy prices soaring and environmental concerns growing are there other alternatives? We explore other heating systems available with our local experts and suppliers in the know


s traditional energy sources such as gas and oil cost us more and more, the price of renewables has been falling at the same time as the technology improving to make alternative heating increasingly efficient. The government still offers reward schemes for solar energy users which can be easily offset and new methods entering the market are being embraced both commercially and domestically.

Now is the time to look into future-proofing your home heating and there are many options in what is a growing market, according to David Jones, of Denbigh-based Hafod Renewables. David uses both solar and airsource systems at home, which even supply the charging points for his and his partner’s electric

cars and still leaves plenty over for the family home. As the price of solar panels continues to fall, and the batteries used to store the sun’s power continue to improve, this method is being beaten by other options offered by experts like David. He says: ‘Air and ground-source heating for homes has become even more popular and that now outstrips solar for us because there are very generous renewable heating initiatives available. You can recoup the cost of an air-source system or a ground-source system in five years and it will happily supply you with heating and power for another 15 years. Systems like that and also biomass are particularly good for homes not on mains gas and they can be fitted to older properties which makes them particularly popular in rural areas. ‘The average annual electricity bill is between £700 and £800 and using a home battery coupled to a solar photo-voltaic system can cut that by £500 or more,’ David adds. It certainly makes for appealing mathematics as well as a sensible option for the more rural areas across the Shire patch, and one former farmer who

is relishing his solar system is retired agricultural contractor Philip Johnson. He says: ‘Today the sun’s out and the battery is charged and I’m actually sending electricity to the grid. The battery will provide power through the night until early tomorrow morning and it’s only costing me about 30p a day to run the house.’


burning stove. Wood, when supplied responsibly, provides a good sustainable source fuel and a stove is a home heating option that can be fed as often as you like. Not only that but it can be used on its own or in conjunction with a full house heating system depending on the needs of the inhabitants. Many people love the fact they can light the stove when it is a just a bit cold but not chilly enough to justify a full turn on of the heating. Not only that, there is a lot to be said for the comfort of a flickering flame on a winter’s night and with many styles, colours and looks available, a wood-burning stove can become a central feature for any room. So if getting your own stove seems a good first step to going green, read our experts advice on these pages.

All this futuristic technology may seem like a distant dream for most of us but if you want to make some small changes that will keep you warm efficiently as well as being kind to the environment, there are steps you can take. One firm favourite is the installation of a woodNovember/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 89

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FIRE IT UP If you’re feeling the chill and set about lighting your stove, there are ways to make it easy and efficient, as the experts from Saxon Homecare explain…


This Saxon Blackwood model is striking and modern

any of us run into problems with our woodburning stoves, but it is rarely the fault of the equipment and basic user errors tend to be to blame for the issues. One common complaint is that fuel is being used up too quickly. This is not only expensive but This Studio 1 freestanding fire become inconvenient if you are can be customised to suit your constantly having to refill the home decor style stove. It may well be that your well help – also a good idea if chimney is drawing too much air, you are getting smoke in the making the fuel burn quicker, but room.Another reason for poor this can usually be solved by the burn quality is the fuel itself – if installation of a flue damper. your wood is at all damp it won’t Alternatively it could be that burn properly. Make sure your your system is allowing air in, collection is kept somewhere dry either through poor seals on and always ensure you’re using joints or doors, or even through a good mix of quality wood – cracks if you are using an older smaller firestarters and a range stove that might be coming of log sizes – to ensure the to the end of its life. DID YOU steady growth of a stable Checking all these KNOW? fire. Get off to a good possibilities should Apple wood is start this season with ensure a nice steady ideal for stoves as it burns slowly a chimney clean first burn of your wood. and produces a and then use a damp The opposite issue pleasant scent meter to check moisture can also be true – some levels of your wood pile. people complain that Stock up on the right fuel from their stove does not burn well a trustworthy source and if you enough and this tends to be have any other questions get caused by the opposite problem, in touch with our experts on as you would expect – a chimney 0800 1698187 or visit www. that is not drawing enough. A saxonhomecare.co.uk quick clean of the chimney may

THE WONDER OF WOOD If ever there was a company that held the humble product of wood in such high esteem it is the family run Clearview Stoves where Helen and Jonathon’s passion for renewable fuels is evident in everything they do…


learview Stoves has been designing and making wood-burning stoves from a 20-acre site in Shropshire since 1987, using a mix of traditional approaches and the very latest in robotic technology. This very latest computing is used to check each stove at every step of the manufacturing process, and yet hand-finishing each individual unit makes these stoves stand apart. The business has a strong environmental ethos and is passionate about the fact that they supply such cleanburning stoves – protecting our environment at the same time as keeping our homes warm in an efficient way. It is a policy that

has grown with the business, and started out as a response to these beliefs as stated in the company’s philosophy as follows: ‘We care passionately about the environment and believe wood is the perfect fuel. Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife, add beauty to our lives and then provide us with a near carbon

neutral fuel for our Clearview’s stoves are eco-friendly and efficient heating. Not only that a real fire radiates This is down to a combination a feeling of well-being, the flicker of factors – the engineering of flames makes it a magical and design, the straightforward place to gather, talk, laugh and and easy-to-use system, a good relax. Wood also enables you to availability of spare parts and take control of your an efficiency that makes ‘A real fire heating, never again them great at heating! radiates a worrying about power Not only that, Clearview feeling of failures or the rising have various different well-being, cost of energy.’ styles to suit your home the flicker of and budget and with flames makes it a magical A TOP showrooms across the area place’ CHOICE it is easy to pop in and Now an industry choose the model that leader, Clearview make will work for you. Check such high-quality stoves that they out the different designs at www. have become a firm favourite with clearviewstoves.com or call for a homeowners across the country. consultation on 01588 650123.

90 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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RANGE COOKERS Kitchen experts RN Williams, based in St. Asaph North Wales, give us the low-down on range cookers

The Smeg Victoria comes in a range of colours

Do you think range cookers are becoming more popular in kitchens today? We’ve seen a surge in demand for range cookers this year as homeowners invest in the heart of their home. Spurred on by a range of cookery programmes on television and an increase in entertaining at home, our customers are looking for the extra cooking capacity that a range can bring. What are the popular brands these days? AGA remains the iconic range cooker brand that many people aspire to, although in terms of form and function brands such as Everhot and Esse are also attracting a lot of interest. For the range cooker look without the cast iron price tag, we’ve found Smeg to be incredibly popular since we took on the

dealership earlier in the year, with the Victoria being the pick of the models. Are they better to cook with? Aside from the extra capacity, the big plus of a heat storage range cooker is the mouthwatering food they can produce. Able to cook both sweet and savoury together in the same oven, radiant heat is gentle on food and locks in moisture, flavour and goodness, meaning the food tastes delicious. What types of fuels do they use? Do you need gas or an oil tank? Range cookers are available in gas and oil versions, however, the market it seeing a huge push towards electric models. With quicker heat up times, less maintenance and ease of installation it’s easy to see why. www.rnwilliams.co.uk

The Everhot 90 range cooker, in dark blue

BURN, BABY, BURN Obviously the best thing about burning wood is that not only does it keep us warm, it is entirely natural and renewable. But this is only true if we get it from a sustainable and reliable source. One Ruthin-based company that are experts in all things wood is Clifford Jones Timber who, in their own words, ‘sell a tree in many ways’. Producing decorative bark, fencing posts, laminate for playground equipment and sawn pieces of timber keeps the core business busy but produces a quantity of wood in leftovers. But far from being wasted, CJT ensures that Hunters Fuels for logs, in Ruthin nothing leaves its site without an invoice, and any bits are put to good use. While some is burnt to heat the kilns and sheds they use for laminating, the rest is turned into heat logs or pellets – perfect for a wood burning stove that is then sold to the general public. Sold as Hunters Fuels, this range is popular with the growing community of log-burner owners who enjoy relaxing in from of a warm fire knowing that they are burning a totally recycled fuel from a responsible source, and all bought at a reasonable price. DID YOU Get the right end of the stick KNOW? Another local timber merchant that can 1.5 million woodsupply a complete range of wood products burning stoves are sold across to feed your fire is GS & PA Reeves based Britain every in Wem, Shropshire. As the county’s largest year independent timber merchant, this family-run business offers high quality products to a range of clients, supplying agricultural and architectural wood across the country. The firm can create everything from telegraph poles and joists to railway sleepers, farm gates and fences as well as motorway crash barriers. For domestic clients they can provide excellent decking and landscaping materials and as you would expect after all that, they use up their leftovers in the best possible way. Their hardwood fire logs can keep you warm all winter and are delivered free within 30 miles and alongside these they are big advocators of wood pellets, which provide a sustainable, low carbon, highly combustible fuel – ideal for heating in domestic properties. They are a renewable alternative to gas, oil and electricity and made on site by compressing sawdust. Reeves’s range of vehicles means they can deliver to both remote domestic locations and large industrial facilities.

Winter warmers Based in Wrexham, local log legends Logs R Us will also keep you cosy through the winter months, with deliveries of wood for every type of stove. The family-run business specialises in providing the highest quality kiln-dried and seasoned logs and kindling. All products are locally sourced, from sustainable forests, under the guidance of the Forestry Stewardship Commission which promotes responsible forest management. They deliver direct to your door throughout Cheshire, Shropshire, and North Wales.

92 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Sitting pretty: Oxford three-seater sofa by Alston, starting from £825, www.shannonsales.co.uk

Thank you notes: Sailor 1911 Maki-e Maiko ivory fountain pen, £583.20, www.writeherekitenow.co.uk

Snuggle up: Bronte soft mohair throws in a variety of neutral shades, £79.99, www.meirionmill.co.uk

Light up: Gaucho white high gloss light shade with real wood detailing, £63.50, www.dclighting.co.uk

Add some festive opulence to your interiors with muted whites and frosted neutrals Well dressed: Halo Stonyhurst wideboy trunk with drawers, £2,069.00, www.hafrenfurnishers.co.uk

Stylish storage: Capri ottoman, £129, www.dialamattress.co.uk

COSY Sleeping beauty: Kilburn & Scott ‘Bed in a Bag’ in Winter Scene (with duvet cover, pillowcases, faux fur throw and faux fur cushion). Double; £39.99, king; £44.99, www.tweedmill.co.uk

Festive charm: white metallic Christmas tree decorations, large £24.95; medium £15.95; small £9.95, www.petticoatlane shop.co.uk

Soft grey: St David’s Cross cushion in silver, £49, www.melintregwynt.co.uk Fire it up: Charnwood C-Five stove with store stand in almond, £967, www.saxonhomecare.co.uk


BRING ME LIGHT! The dark winter days can really take the light out of our homes, so what better time to think about adding an orangery? The perfect combination of the benefits and good looks of conservatories and more conventional extensions, orangeries can add space, light and value to your home. Need a play area, home office or dining room? These stylish spaces are robust and reliable and add an elegant and very personal touch to your home. Call Oswestry Windows and Doors on 01691 680998 or visit www.owdgroup.com to find out more.

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 95

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HOLLY FARM is a family-run garden centre and traditional growing nursery in North Shropshire, offering a wide selection of plants, coffee shop and friendly advice.

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10/11/2017 14:48

PLANTS & GARDENS Deck the… doors!

Feeling festive and floral all at once, Helen Cooke, floristry lecturer at Reaseheath College, shows us how to create a stunning Christmas wreath


hristmas, as we all know to our cost, comes but once a year. But forget the shopping, cooking and present wrapping for a moment and focus on the fantastic opportunity you have to decorate your home. First impressions are important – and there’s no better way of sharing your festive mood with visitors and passers-by than by dressing up your front door. Helen Cooke suggests some fun and easy ways you can create a cheerful, cost effective and ecofriendly Christmas door wreath. Helen’s design can also be a table decoration if it’s dressed up with a centrepiece and accessories which reflect the colour scheme of the room. ‘I like to welcome visitors with a simple wreath that I’ve made from materials mainly gathered from my garden. It’s amazing what you can achieve by being creative with natural materials and, if you have kids, you can get them to help too,’ says Helen.

You will need An oasis wreath, available from all good florists and garden centres. Or you could weave your own recyclable ring from bendy willow or cornus branches and secure it with garden wire.


Smarten up your outside space with these garden buys HELEN’S TOP TIP

Have fun by bringing in foliage that creates texture, colour and scent to your design. Do keep to the round shape, though!

Step 4 Add your decorations and accessories. Here Helen uses groups of cream roses, limes on wooden skewers and wired fir cones. Fill in round the edge with flowers so that the wreath looks nice from all angles. Then hang and enjoy! Spritz with water occasionally to keep the wreath fresh – it should last for at least a couple of weeks.

So tweet: The Little School Birdhouse, £19.95, www. jacksonnurseries.co.uk This adorable Deco-Pak decorative birdhouse is hand-crafted from exterior grade ply-board, kiln-dried hardwood and western red cedar or pine shingles for the roofs. Finished in a nontoxic, water based paint. Small spaces: This vertical herb stand is ideal when space is at a premium. Made from hardwood, it’s also great for trailing flowers. £74.99, available in 2018 from Woodworks Garden Centre and via www. zest4leisure.co.uk

Interested in learning more? Reaseheath College in Nantwich, holds a variety of floristry workshops and short courses suitable for complete beginners through to professional. Visit www.reaseheath.ac.uk

Keep it trimmed: Make short work of the winter pruning jobs with Davaon professional telescopic anvil loppers, £32.99, www.gardenlines. co.uk

• •

Bold as brass: Cast brass garden vegetable signs – choose from a wide range of fruit and vegetable markers and organise that plot, £8.99, www. britishironworkcentre. co.uk



A selection of evergreen foliage from your garden, cut into 6in (15cm) pieces. Helen has chosen yew, ivy and holly among other foliage to add colour and texture, and has introduced sprigs of rosemary for fragrance.

A selection of decorations to match your colour theme. Think fir cones, holly berries, limes (as here) satsumas, chillies or cinnamon sticks. Or set aside some Christmas tree decorations for a more glitzy feel.

Pot pretty: We love the warm autumnal colours of these Woodlodge Harlequin pots, which come in small, medium and large. Prices start from £9-£22, available from Glyndwr Plants in Corwen, Denbighshire. Call 01490 413313 for more information or visit the shop to view the full range.

knife Scissors Wooden skewers •• ARibbon • the ribbon •• Wire to attach Step 1 Soak the oasis and attach the hanging ribbon to the top.


Step 2 Cover the oasis with foliage using either a selection of colours and textures or just one type of foliage, ensuring you keep an even outline and shape. Add a touch of colour with berries or flower heads if you wish. Step 3 Suspend your wreath from its top hanging ribbon and attach the bottom ribbon, ensuring it is directly in line. STEP 4

Bag it up: Julie Dodsworth flower girl boot bag, £16.99, www.countrygardenroses.co.uk Keep those muddy gardening boots safe and dry in this bag designed by Julie Dodsworth who paints and creates from her narrow boat, Calamity Jane. Inspired by her artisan living with the flora and heritage of the waterways, she paints using the simple 15th Century method of one paintbrush mixing with just three colours.

We love! November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 97

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Over the garden gate This edition John Stubbs of Glyndwr Plants in Corwen advises us on how to find the rare blooms of winter and get the garden ready for the season

Water experts on hand to help glorious gardens in the face of floods A firm from North Wales is helping safeguard three of Wales’s greatest gardens from the ravages of flood damage

D Little Beauty

Harvington Hybrid

I often get asked whether roses can be planted where they have already been, and the answer is that you can, providing you follow the following steps: 1. Make sure you firstly remove all of the roots of the old roses 2. Dig a good size hole to take the new rose 3. Place a good layer (about six inches) of wellrotted farmyard manure 3. Cover this with a layer of soil 4. Place the rose in the hole and make sure the roots are laid out 5. Sprinkle 3/4 scoops of mycorrhizal fungi over the roots, make sure all the roots have an even cover. This step is the most important as the mycorrhizal fungi protects the new and emerging roots from the pathogens in the soil, which can kill the new roses. 6. Back fill the soil and firm around the new rose


It’s time to plant a couple of pots for winter colour. Take two 16” frost proof pots, threequarter fill with a good quality compost and plant seven narcissi pencrebar which has double fragrant yellow flowers, cover with compost. On top of this, plant violas and calluna garden girls with trailing variegated ivy. Before planting the centre plant, place seven Iris Harmony which has fragrant blue flowers and seven tulip species Little Beauty, red with blue centres, press these against the side of the violas and heather just below the surface. Now into the centre plant a Sarcococca hookeriana – this provides amazing scented white flowers during the winter. This selection will give you lots of pleasure into spring. You can plant amaryllis bulbs too now which will flower for Christmas. There are some amazing colours in double and single types. Tulips can now be planted for a riot of colour next spring, the Cistula has beautiful fluted yellow flowers while Fire of Love has stunning foliage and scarlet flowers. Happy Christmas and a successful New Year!

Sarcococca hookeriana

Add some colour

The team are future-proofing Bodnant Gardens

enbighshire-based Waterco are working swept away thousands of plants, smashed with the National Trust on plans to bridges and paths and deposited hundreds of protect the iconic properties at Bodnant tons of silt and gravel on flowerbeds. Before Garden in the Conwy Valley, Dyffryn that winter floods in 2012 had affected the Gardens in the Vale of Glamorgan and newly renovated far end of the garden. Tredegar House, near Newport. The three The 2015 storm cost the National Trust properties are among the Trust’s biggest £15,000 and took two months’ work to put visitor attractions in Wales and attract over right ahead of last spring’s opening. 400,000 people each year. ‘The heavy rainfall on Christmas DID YOU Waterco have already prepared Day and Boxing Day in 2015 turned KNOW? plans for Dyffryn Gardens and the river into a raging torrent and Bodnant was voted as The Tredegar House and work has tore up a lot of planting and even Daily Telegraph’s started not only to make them as took out small trees. It also dumped ‘Favourite Garden flood-proof as possible but also tons of rock, gravel and silt in flower in the Country’ to manage their water supplies beds and we had to get a digger in efficiently and sustainably. Now to clear it – it took weeks to restore they have also come up with a strategy everything back to normal,’ recalls John for Bodnant Garden, which attracts over Rippin, Bodnant’s head gardener. 230,000 visitors a year to view its spectacular ‘At Bodnant they had a severe flood laburnum arch, magnificent specimen in December 2015 and although the fact trees, flower beds and the pools, weirs and that the river is in a narrow valley makes it waterfalls of the River Hiraethlyn. impossible to prevent floods we can do a But the Hiraethlyn can also cause damage great deal to make the effects less damaging,’ too and in December 2015 a major flood adds Waterco civil engineer, Mike Redding.

NEW PUBLIC GARDEN TO CELEBRATE SCIENCE A new Science Garden has been officially opened in Wrexham at the Science Discovery Centre by special guests and children from local primary schools


supported by the commitment and effort of local volunteers. It represents the latest phase of a series of exciting developments which will help to secure the future of this unique centre in the region and encourages interest and excitement in science in our children as a foundation for a successful economy in the future.’ With the garden officially open, residents of Wrexham and visitors to Techniquest Glyndŵr will be now be able to visit free of charge whenever the Science Centre is open. With the garden now open Techniquest Glyndŵr is seeking volunteers on an ongoing basis to help with the upkeep and maintenance of the space so that it can be kept in the best condition for visitors to enjoy and anyone interested to help is encouraged to contact the centre. Call 01978 293400 or visit www.tqg.org.uk.

he new garden area explores themes of biodiversity, renewable energy and recycling through a series of exhibits and installed features which visitors will be able to see as they explore the attractive space located on the campus of Wrexham Glyndŵr University. Financial support from various funders amounting to over £33,000and over 400 hours of volunteer effort have transformed a piece of unused ground to the rear of one of the buildings into an attractive, wheelchair accessible, outdoor space giving visitors an experience of various natural sciences currently not available within the indoor areas of the centre. Speaking at the official opening, Iwan Thomas, chair of North Wales Science, the charity that operates the science centre, performed the official opening ceremony, comments: ‘I am extremely proud to present this unique Science Garden to the public. It is the outcome of many years of planning and work resulting from the collaboration between the private and charity sectors, Crowds gather for the official opening of the Science Garden

98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Glyndwr Plants Autumn Time: he perfect time for Planting

` ade to measure

wooden gates and side hinged garage doors


e have an enormous selection of fantastic plants for bedding and baskets, plus wonderful ready-filled baskets and pots too. There’s also a fine selection of unusual perennials. We have plants for every type of gardener!

01745 362 444 Come and see us in our workshop! Unit A1, Cefndy Industrial Park, Cefndy Road, Rhyl, Denbighshire, LL18 2HJ

Relax in our coffee shop or on the patio and enjoy a selection of our scrumptious homemade cakes and scones. Choose from our menu of delicious light lunches, freshly ground coffees and various teas too. Coffee shop 01490 413 688 | Garden Centre 01490 413 313 The Centre is on the A5104, half a mile out of Corwen www.glyndwrplants.co.uk

Open : Mon – Thurs 9.00am – 4.30pm, Fri 9.00am – 3.00pm Closed for lunch each day 12.30pm – 1.00pm

G.S & P.A Reeves are a family operated business – the largest independent timber merchants in the county. Based in Wem, just north of Shrewsbury, we’re near to Staffordshire, Mid Wales and the West Midlands and are committed to offering high quality, individual solutions to our clients.

• Garden Fencing • Farm Gates • Railway Sleepers, treated / untreated • Firewood logs • Eco Wood Pellets • Agricultural & Architectural Purlins • Telegraph Poles • Trellis Posts

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Shropshire’s Leading Independent Timber Merchants

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Telephone: 01939 232440 or 233812 Email: enquiries@reevesofwem.co.uk Visit: www.gsreeves.co.uk

10/11/2017 16:22

10 great reasons to advertise with


SHIRE Magazine has over 100,000 readers in North and Mid Wales, Cheshire,

the Wirral, Shropshire and Herefordshire. We have a wealth of experience within the advertising field, and working closely with our editorial team, we can work together to give your business unparalleled access to local customers • Huge local readership • Fantastic quality • Lowest rates per reader

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SHIRE magazine has 40,000 copies printed, and every copy is picked up from our stands – none are left, meaning each copy is seen by over 100,000 local readers. This title has a hugely bigger readership, distribution and audience size, and is available in more outlets and stands, than any other magazine in this region. The magazine is not for profit, and invests every penny into print and distribution. Every copy is actively picked up by our readers, keen to grab the new issue, rather than something they didn’t want, put through their letterbox and put straight into the recycling bin! This is a magazine readers can’t believe is free. With our extensive What’s On section covering two months of events, readers keep hold of copies and share with their family and friends – its dipped into time and again. The SHIRE editorial team are here to give all advertisers editorial coverage as free extra space. They want to shout about what you do!


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SHIRE magazine has the lowest cost per reader of any title in the region. Think about it: an advert for £50 is actually very expensive if the magazine only has 1,000 readers! (When you’re offered a very low rate for an advert, do you know how many readers that magazine has?) We don't believe in hard sell. We create bespoke packages for businesses that take advantage of the lowest possible rates combined with editorial coverage. With excellent qualityjotnalism and design throughout each issue, every page is created by magazine professionals with many years experience in creating top quality national and regional publications. 90% of copies are displayed in major Get supermarkets with the highest footfall, in touch but we’re also distributed to theatres, now to out mor find venues, visitor attractions, farm e! can reac You shops, hotels, shopping centres, h this fantas hospitals and colleges.

SHIRE magazine distribution


istribution is carried out by specialist companies who service and monitor each stand every week. 40,000 copies of SHIRE MAGAZINE are picked up from : O North Wales, including Wrexham, Flint, Mold, Ruthin, Denbigh, Rhyl, Prestatyn, Abergele, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Llandudno Junction,

tic loc market al fo as little r as for two months



Some of our supermarket stands being used on location

O Mid Wales, including Newtown, Welshpool, Ceredigion and Powys O Shropshire, including Telford, Shrewsbury, Wellington, Oswestry, Ludlow, Ellesmere, Market Drayton and Whitchurch O Cheshire, including Chester, Saltney, Upton, Connah's Quay, Ellesmere Port, Nantwich and Crewe, Northwich, Middlewich, Winsford O Wirral, including Rock Ferry, Prenton, West Kirby, Heswall, Bromborough, Neston O Herefordshire, including Hereford, Leominster

Call now on 01691 661270 or email advertising@shiremagazine.co.uk to find out more. 100_SHIRE_ND2017.indd 1

10/11/2017 14:51



Jacqui and Jack enjoying an afternoon coffee during a birthday trip to Torquay The RSPB is proud to be taking steps to protect our precious wildlife, including the hen harrier

Making Welsh history with hen harrier chicks

This lovely lurcher, Gypsey scooped second prize!

Our regular column from experts at the RSPB this edition looks at an exciting project tracking the local population of a beautiful bird of prey


he Welsh uplands are unique landscapes that have been sketched into our day-to-day lives for hundreds, if not thousands of years. You may enjoy walking the A young bird, part of the Hen uplands, taking Harrier Life Project in some of the scenic views they offer, from Snowdonia down to the Brecon Beacons. To some they’re a source of income, as farmers and land owners farm the uplands. A host of birds also call the uplands their home. The curlew with its haunting call and the lapwing with its renowned quiff, depend on these vital habitats to survive. However, witnessing the majestic hen harrier float above our uplands whilst scouting for lunch is quite the sight. And this year we tagged hen harrier chicks as part of the UK-wide Hen Harrier Life Project, to help preserve the bird’s future in Wales.

with a significant 39% decline in breeding pairs between 2010 and 2016. Cold and wet weather conditions over breeding seasons may have contributed to the decline, with other factors such as changes in moorland management, low prey abundance and predation. Currently it is also not known how high levels of persecution in other areas of the UK might affect the Welsh population, which is something this research may help determine. The tags will allow us to follow the hen harrier’s movements away from their breeding grounds, assess their wintering habitat and survival rates and see if they return to our Welsh Its crucial to protect these birds moors to breed.

A LUSH SPONSOR THE FIRST OF ITS KIND Cosmetics company LUSH has been instumental Chicks were tagged on the Migneint Special in helping boost the tagging scheme. It raised funds Protected Area (SPA) and the Berwyn SPA and by through the sales of its specially created Skydancer tracking the movements of these birds of prey, we bath bombs. RSPB Cymru would like to thank all hope to build a clearer image of where hen harriers the landowners who allowed the tagging work to take go and where they are most at risk. place on their land – National Trust, Natural Following a long history of persecution DID YOU Resources Wales, the many enthusiasts and and eventual extinction, hen harriers KNOW? RSPB staff who assisted with the survey recolonised Wales in the 1950s. Numbers Female hen work and the tagging team itself. Hopefully slowly recovered over the following harriers lays three their efforts will be duly rewarded, and decades to a high of 57 pairs in 2010. to six eggs that we’ll gather the data and secure a bright Sadly, a national survey in 2016 hatch after future for hen harriers in Wales. suggested this recovery may be faltering, 29 days

The enigmatic Hugo!

Sue Boyle’s best mate, lurcher, Esther

Willow relaxing at her weekend retreat!

WE WANT YOUR PETS! Send us a picture of your pet and we’ll include them in the next issue! Just email your picture and the name of your pet, to editorial@shiremagazine. co.uk with ‘Cute Pets’ in the subject line.

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 101

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TEAMING UP TO CREATE A BUZZ A project bringing together education and wildlife experts has led to a whole new population of bees setting up home in Northop


This new partnership is helping bee populations blossom

are helping with conservation UNDREDS of thousands and the environment, which is of honey bees have made a major role of this campus.’ their home in Northop after Each hive could contain a University threw its support up to 60,000 bees, particularly behind a campaign to halt the during the summer months decline in the population of when numbers contract. the insect. Satya Schofield, treasurer Wrexham Glyndwr of the Association, thanked University and Coleg the University for Cambria have supporting the project: supplied Flint and ‘Bees play a major District Beekeepers ‘Bees play role in the survival Association with land a major role in of our ecosystem – for 14 hives, housing the survival of up to 850,000 bees. our ecosystem – fertilising trees and fertilising trees plants and produce – so As well as and plants and they are of massive preserving the produce’ importance to farmers species, students will and food suppliers.The have the chance to Flintshare orchard at work with the group Northop is an example to study the bees of this; they said their produce and the pollination process. has improved because of the University spokeswoman Pip bees we now have on site. The Francis said the Northop campus number of beekeepers in the is already home to many types of UK is on the increase, so we wildlife, adding that they were are thrilled to have secured this happy to help the Association. partnership.’ For more info ‘We are delighted to support and to join Flint and District Flint and District Beekeepers Beekeepers Association, visit Association in their battle to www.flintbeekeepers.co.uk save the honey bee,’ says Pip.‘We


A ‘paw-fect’ Christmas Show your pets how much they mean this festive season with our gift ideas Festive fun: Every beloved pet deserves a snuggly jumper and we heart this design from Petcetera – it’s too cute! Stripy jingle bells gingerbread sweater, £17.50, www.petcetera.co.uk

Bird beauty: This attractive nest box will make a real statement in your garden and more importantly will provide a safe and comfy home for the birds. Made in the UK from FSC cedar, it measures 39cm high and the nest box hole is 32mm diameter. The Elegance bird box, £24.99, www.rspb.org.uk.

Steal their style: This stylish and snuggly blanket is perfect for pooches and will keep your sofas and car seats hair free. Barbour pet blanket, £34.95, www.barbour.co.uk

Groovy grooming: This smart grooming bag has two carry handles, detachable shoulder straps and contains a sweat scraper, face brush, body brush, dandy brush, mane and tail brush, hoof pick and a curry comb.What more could a horse want? Horseware Rambo Newmarket grooming kit in chocolate, £41.95, www.naylors.com All lit up: Keep pets safe in the darker evenings with this high quality collar with reflective stripes. Visibility up to 300m with the latest LED technique for a long battery life time. Tractive LED dog collar, £14.99, www.amazon.co.uk

Tug-o-war: Made from soft material with legs that pull, this little chap is perfect for play time and is ideal for puppies and smaller breeds. Pull My Leg horse, £10.98, www.pdsa-shop.co.uk

102 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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ou d ou ike to ork at home o ou ike communicating ith eo e o ou have sa es e erience


f you’re a good communicator and will enjoy building relationships with clients for the best regional magazine covering Wales and the Borders, we want to talk to you. Due to rapid growth, there is now an opportunity for a new member to join our team. You can work from home, with hours to suit you, liaising with advertisers to help them choose their campaign and their coverage in the magazine. You are a charismatic and proactive selfstarter who enjoys working on your own initiative, and are outgoing and personable. You are highly organised, and have good computer skills. Above all else, you are a trustworthy and hardworking individual, someone who gets a real buzz from achieving results for clients. Please email with a covering letter and your CV to advertising@shiremagazine.co.uk, marked ‘Work from home’ as the subject to find out more.

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Artist Ed Fisher specialises in drawing inspiration from the nature all around him and has translated his love of his local flora and fauna into a successful career as an illustrator


d doesn’t have far to look when he’s in need of inspiration – just beyond the window of the garden studio where he works in Carrog, near Corwen, deep in the North Wales countryside, where there are trees, wildflowers, a babbling stream and a constant flow of birds. Previously an RAF aerial photographer, Ed now spends his time capturing the charm of the world around him in the Dee Valley, a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is an ideal creative setting not only for Ed, but also for his partner Fiona Collins, an author

around his home, drawn in pen and story-teller, whose books of and ink, to a study of Chester folk stories for children he also Cathedral using the dot matrix illustrates. principle. Ed’s style Ed’s work has is evident all been displayed around him as in places like he tends to keep Theatr Clwyd, hold of most plus galleries of his work in Llangollen, for himself. Corwen and at So the walls the National of his studio Eisteddfod. proudly display For art lovers, the extremely the best place intricate Ed’s distinctive pen-and-ink style to spot Ed’s and precisely magical work is in the pages of executed works taking in subjects Fiona’s four books; Folk Tales as diverse as trees in the area

Ed working in his Rubicon studio

of Denbighshire, Folk Tales of Wrexham, Ancient Legends Retold and North Wales Folk Tales for Children. Mostly done in Ed’s favoured pen and ink drawing style, the illustrations include a ferocious red Welsh dragon and a thoughtful interpretation of the famous Welsh tale of Branwen and Bran. Combining their talents, the couple manage to balance their work and home life together, and create true works of art that will inspire generations to come with beautifully written and illustrated Welsh folklore.


November 8th and 9th, Elaine at Cherry Bea and Helen Bradley at Corah Henry Interiors Elaine makes beaded and crystal jewellery and restringa your treasured items. Helen creates cushions, bags and aprons, plus made to measure soft furnishings. November 10th, Jewellery with Kay Making Swarovski

crystals and beads bracelets, earrings, necklaces and more.

landscapes and buildings and also takes commission work.

November 11th and 12th, Earth Deva Marie creates mythical statues, goddesses, fairies, wolves, cats, jewellery and art. She designs and makes all of her own moulds.

December 15th, Traditional Weaving Trevor makes scarves on various looms plus hand-turned pens and pieces that he has worked on at home in his workshop.

November 16th & 17th, Huw Vaughan Jones, Pen & Ink Art Huw draws local

December 3rd, Wood Be Special & Crafty Sisters Paula personalises wooden

keepsakes, boxes and fairy doors while The Crafty Sisters create glass-fused beaded jewellery, cards, personalised cards and stitch work. December 9th and 10th, Ana and Sonia Pretty stitch work from bags to bunting, children’s quilts to gorgeous dressed teddies, knitted traditional toys and crafts. www.afonwen.co.uk

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 105

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The Priory Hall, Much Wenlock, November 18th A Christmas arts and craft fair will be held from 10am-4pm with a great selection of exhibitors selling unique items, giving you the chance to hunt out that unusual Christmas gift. The café will be serving delicious homemade sandwiches and light lunches plus a great range of tempting cakes, cream scones, tea and coffee. Enginuity, Coalbrookdale, Ironbridge, 18th-19th November The long-running Gorgeous Christmas Craft and Food Fair returns with contemporary arts and designer crafts from jewellery, glassware, ceramics, textiles, fine furniture to prints and metal work from the region’s finest designer makers. Free entry. Oriel Wrecsam, Meet the Maker: Ceramics, Talk and Workshop, 30th November Jenny Murray and Sarah Jane Harper will be on hand to talk to you, plus Christmas decorations workshop and music. Tickets cost £5 and booking is essential. Oriel Davis Gallery, Newtown, until 2nd December Brighton-based artist Louise Bristow, presents a major body of new and recent work entitled Re-enactment in her first exhibition in Wales. As joint winner in the Oriel Davies Open in 2016, Louise’s intimately beautiful paintings are created directly in response to arrangements of models and collage elements, reminiscent of miniature stage sets, assembled in her studio.

WILLIAMSON GALLERY HOSTS 14th FAIR FOR OXTON ARTISTS The creative community from a small Wirral village once again demonstrates its artistic talent with the 14th annual Oxton Art Fair in November


xton is a small village and conservation area outside Birkenhead that was once one of the most affluent places in England and now remains a hidden gem of the Wirral, boasting fine dining and a great community of creativity as well. The Oxton Art Fair was started in 2004 by a group of friends after it was noted there seemed to be an abundance of

artists living locally. Since then, the fair has gone from strength to strength and once a year in Williamson Art Gallery, the artists come together to exhibit their work. This year on 25th November (10-5pm) and 26th November (10am-4pm), 24 artists; established members, new members and annual guests, will display a diverse mix of interesting and innovative art across four rooms. There is contemporary art, delicate hand-crafted jewellery, ceramics, sculpture, textiles, print,

photography and mixed media. Local talent Artists include jewellery designer, Theresia Cadwallader, who uses materials from precious metals and stones to recycled objects. Fine artist, Lynda Roberts who creates colourful textile collages that document her travels to the Myanmar, Uzbekistan and the Outer Hebrides and Sherilyn Halligan, previously a lecturer in painting and drawing and an artist educator for Tate Gallery Liverpool. Go online to www.oxtonartfair.co.uk

PHOTO COMPETITION ‘What makes me smile’



Litmus Space, Oriel Davis Gallery, Newtown, Until December 2nd Cardiff-based artist/designer, Neasa Terry, explores the intersection between sound, mechanical reproduction, technology and the human body. A trained printmaker, it is between the roles of artist and designer that Neasa will explore a series of emerging strands of enquiry.




Thanks to everyone who has sent in their pictures to Shire Magazine’s photo competition – they really have made us all smile! We hope our choices here keep you inspired to continue taking and sharing your images with us. For our next issue, the topic will be ‘A winter wonderland.’ We look forward to seeing what you come up with. As usual, email your photographs to editorial@shiremagazine. co.uk. Good luck!

106 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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M ak e C h ris t mas S h op p ing eas y … • A nt i q ue, V i nt ag e & M od ern F urni t ure • O ak, M ah og any & P i ne • E d ward i an, V i c t ori an, A rt D ec o & R et ro t o t h e 7 0 ’ s • C ab i net s f ull of B eswi c k, M oorc rof t , D oult on, W orc est er, S i lv er J ewellery & C ry st al • H om e A c c essori es: v i nt ag e, ant i q ue & m od ern M i rrors & L am ps, plus C h i na & Tea S et s • D ai ly C raf t D em onst rat i ons • M orni ng C of f ee • L unc h & A f t ernoon Tea - wh ere ‘ H O M E M A D E ’ i s our spec i ali t y !

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E : ant i q ues@ af onwen. c o. uk W : www. af onwen. c o. uk

A new cultural community resource for Wrexham, bringing together arts and markets within the same footprint. Opening Easter 2018.

10/11/2017 14:52



Stay dry: Barbour Hereford wax jacket in brown, £199, www.vaughandavies.co.uk

Better sweater: Viyella men’s merino wool Aran jumper in ecru, £95, www. peterchristian.co.uk Natty knit: Rocard pattern crew knit, £59.95, Wandsworth brushed cotton trousers £55, www.whitestuff.com

Keep out the cold and look sharp all winter long…

Hotting up: Mulranny body warmer in mustard, £179, Dubarry of Ireland, www.dubarry.ie

& S U B S TA N C E

Stepping out: Gilford high natural leather boots, £165, www.birkenstock.com


Metro hacking jacket in walnut, £350, Melin Tregwynt, www. melintregwynt.co.uk This classic hacking jacket features a soft angora blend metro fabric and is lined in contrasting coloured fabric. The clean lines give it a timeless style.

A wee dram: warm the cockles with the bonart hunter flask, £40, www. cherrytreecountryclothing.co.uk


Thinsulate Fairisle gloves, £12.95, www.mands.com


As temperatures plummet, stay snug with these stylish accessories Cashmere block colour scarf, £75, www. johnlewis.com

Christys’ eight piece wool tweed baker boy cap, £49, www.christys-hats.com

108 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Graphic tshirts designed for the aviation enthusiast WA RBI RD S VIN TAG E JET S AVI ATI ON HEROES RAF CLA SSIC S FAMOU S SQUAD RONS

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New Autumn/Winter collection for ladies and men now in The Cross, Wrexham Street, Mold, Flintshire CH7 1ET 01352 752632 www.vaughandavies.co.uk info@vaughandavies.co.uk

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Editorial Team


Would you like to work at home? Would you like a career in journalism? Do you have writing experience?

Due to our growth, there is now an opportunity for a new member to join the team, to work from home helping the editorial team put each issue together. ai w i in and in a a stories are what is most important in the role. We are offering a part time position, involved in writing stories, picture research, proof reading copy and everything else required to create a high quality colour glossy with 100,000 readers!

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The star motif is adorning everything from jewellery to jumpers so why not add some cosmic style to your wardrobe this season?



Little stars: Good Karma silver star earrings by Daisy Jewellery, £29, www. mococo. co.uk

Totally charmed: Belle and Beau star charm bangle £22, Corwen Manor, www. corwenmanor. moonfruit.com

Cute and cosmic: Meteorite bracelet by Ronin, £18, Ismay’s of Ellesmere

Star style: Elie Saab black and gold pailettes collection: sleeveless top, £624, skirt, £559, jacket £2226, www.moda operandi.com

Tr en

Snuggly stars: Emreco v-neck jumper in light grey with stars, £ 54.95, Daniela of Nantwich, www.daniellaofnantwich.com



Galactic chic: Gold bag with stars, £15, blue cosmic scarf, £15, by Quintessential from Trefriw Woollen Mills, www.t-w-m.co.uk

Red is everywhere this season, so give your party outfit some heat with these red bow-tie shoes from the Marks and Spencer Red Heel Collection. £39.50, www.marksandspencer.com


Trip the light fantastic: Shine like a star pumps, £32, www. cathkidston.com

November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 111

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Sheer delight: Roman silver chiffon sleeve shimmer dress, £50, sizes 10-20, www.tweedmill. co.uk

Lady in red: Mascara red lace dress by Frank Saul, £199, www.out-of-townoswestry.co.uk

Bejewelled: Joseph Ribkoff black dress with embellished neck, £295, sizes 8-20, So Chic Bangor, www. sochicbangor.co.uk

Shine bright like a We’ve rounded up some of the finest frocks in our party dress collection


Marvellous maxi: Monsoon Estella sequinned maxi dress, £249, www.uk.monsoon.co.uk

True blue: Allie dress, £195 to hire, www.dressandhathire.com, or £599 to buy, www.charlottejamesboutique.com

W E L OV E Keep it classic with this oh-so-sweet Harris Tweed Amy zip wallet, £19.95, which comes in a range of different colours from Cherry Tree Country Clothing, www.cherrytreecountryclothing.co.uk

Dark and divine: Vera Mont black sequin top dress, £320, www.veramont.com

112 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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At So Chic you can shop for timeless, elegant, wearable designer clothing and accessories for all occasions. We make shopping an enjoyable experience in a relaxed environment, with friendly service and professional advice.


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We drop in for an afternoon with Jean and Lynne at Daniella of Nantwich to find out what is on trend this season…


ur slogan has always been ‘Busy Being Fabulous’, says Jean, ‘because that sums up who we are – we’re all about helping our customers look and feel fabulous whatever the occasion. ‘We’ve extended the range at Daniella – we also offer shoes and boots now. We sell Lotus (who do evening and occasion wear shoes, but also daywear and casual). Next year we have H&B joining us with footwear. We have been busy ordering bespoke styles from them in soft Italian leather for evening, occasion wear and casual,’ she adds. ‘We’ve also extended the jewellery range, and now we have six lines, plus five different millinery lines. We can do precise colour matching here for accessories, which means ordering an exact colour to match an outfit. The customer brings in the dress or outfit they want to match, and we compare it to the charts we have here – it has to be done with the actual item rather than by telephone to get the exact match.’ The main brands that Daniella stocks for daywear are Frank Walder, Marble, Faber, Emreco, Bariloche, Tinta, Picadilly, and Gardeur trousers. For Frank Lyman dress style 95114U, £215.99

mother of the bride, it’s Marfil, Michaela Louisa, Izabella, Frank Lyman, and Ella Boo. WITH STYLE AND A SMILE ‘We do a lot of weddings, especially when the new season starts for mother of the bride in January – you only get one in each size for the new styles, so people are keen to start looking as soon as they arrive in store,’ says Jean. ‘There are some big changes in women’s fashion – the Canadians are coming! We’re seeing how popular their clothes are becoming now. Their designers do some fabulous styles and colours, and it’s all very cleverly cut and created to be flattering!’ ‘We pride ourselves on always giving our customers the unvarnished truth,’ adds Lynne. ‘We give our honest opinion always, because at the end of the day we want our customers to be very happy with their purchases. We find we each have our own customers, shoppers that come and ask for me, Jean or Liz by name.’ ‘Daniella is a ‘destination shop,’ enthuses Jean. ‘Customers travel from all over Cheshire, Manchester, North Wales even as far as Scotland! We do all the adjustments here with Nida our tailoress – no dress is too complicated for her to adjust. ‘Our winter sales runs from December into January. In the spring, we hold our ‘Lyman Day’ to raise money for our favourite charities, Animals in Need and the Greyhound Gap. The team from Frank Lyman come down with models wearing the new collection, and we do nibbles and drinks in the store. It’s always a great day, and very

Lyman by Frank Lyman, dress 179274, £229

busy! We give discounts on all the Frank Lyman clothes, and we run a prize draw.’

Daniella of Nantwich 29 Beam Street, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 5NA 01270 629202

110 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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What would we do without our bones? They give us our structure, grow with us, hold us upright, protect our internal organs and give us our strength. But for some, they are the source of our ill health. We explore the agonising and often debilitating condition of osteoporosis during the menopause, coupled with the fact Osteoporosis is the condition that causes our that they have smaller bones in the first place bones to become more fragile, losing their and tend to live longer – and therefore live density, and breaking more easily. It can be more years of ever decreasing bone density. difficult to manage and is a challenge that over three million people in the UK have to TOP TIPS If you think you are suffering take on every day, with hospitals treating half from osteoporosis, the symptoms are obvious a million bones that have fractured through – you will probably have fractured a bone osteoporosis daily. and have undergone a scan to determine It can affect anyone at any age, bone density. After which, you will depending on the underlying reason DID YOU be given help and a plan to manage for the condition, but is most KNOW? common in females with one in two The adult human the condition. It may be that it is hereditary, but either way, there are women and one in five men over body has 206 the age of 50 experiencing fractures bones with 26 in several steps you can take to keep your bones healthier for longer such as a result of low bone strength. the foot alone as taking regular exercise; eating Our bone strength gradually calcium and vitamin D rich; taking a decreases with age but for some it daily supplements containing vitamin D and is an extreme decline. Women are more making changes like giving up smoking and commonly affected than men due to the fact reducing alcohol consumption. the hormone that keeps bones strong is lost

HEALTH AND WELLBEING In the run up to Christmas it’s all too easy to get run down. Lizzy Parker, Lecturer in Exercise & Nutrition Science at The University of Chester has this advice... HOW TO KEEP CHRISTMAS UNDER CONTROL Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat… heartburn and hangovers – we don’t want that! Keep things in check with these tips for a holly, jolly fit-mas (ahem!) 1) Moderation is key. From 1st December, there is an almost unlimited supply of office mince pies and mulled wine. This is nearcontinuous for weeks before Christmas day, on which, the average UK adult has had their first alcoholic drink by 9.05am! You don’t need to avoid these festive treats, but why not set a limit? Drinking that mulled wine just once a week makes it all the more ‘twinkly’ and saving mince pie for the Friday coffee morning makes it all the more delicious! 2) Get, or stay active. With overindulgence

comes lethargy, sluggishness and a lack of motivation to get moving, even for those who regularly excersie. Organising cosy forest walks and social jogs chasing the sparkle of Christmas lights are a great way to balance (not cancel out) the extra little treats. Also, if you’re at parties over the season, don’t forget to hit the dance floor. A party-goer weighing 75kg (about 11st 8lb) dancing at a moderate intensity can burn off about 240 calories per hour! 3) Stress and Anxiety. 42% of women say that hosting Christmas is the most stressful thing they have to do that year, so don’t try to make it perfect, make it fun! Remember that at the end of it all, it isn’t about the tiny details being perfect! Take time out to just breathe, and look for things to be thankful for – whatever it is that makes you feel warm inside – this festive season.

WHAT? Ear candling, also known as ear coning, is the act of lighting one end of a hollow candle and gently placing the other end inside the ear canal. WHERE? Advocates claim it originates from traditional Chinese, Egyptian, or North American medicine. One producer of the candles has called them ‘Hopi’ ear candles, claiming the practice to have started in the Native American Hopi tribe, which actually denied this. WHO? It is suitable for most people. Ear candlers believe that passages in your head are all connected (which is a myth debunked by science, but hey…). Clearing the ear canal, they say, will clean out the rest of the pathways and leave you with a clean head. HOW? The flame creates negative pressure, drawing wax and debris out of the ear canal. H E A LT H M Y T H B U S T E R

We’re putting the record straight, sorting the true and false theories surrounding something we all do… growing 1. We grow while we sleep Not only is there less stress and gravity on our bodies while we are resting, but we actually produce a growth hormone while we’re asleep too. An American study into the theory, carried out on lambs, actually found that they did 90 per cent of their growing while asleep mainly because there was no pressure on their limbs. Human children are documented to carry out most of their growth spurts overnight, which also explains why anyone suffering from growing pains tends to feel them nocturnally too. 2. Our ears never stop growing Our bones stop growing after puberty so in terms of height etc we won’t grow any more after that, if anything we can shrink a bit with age. But some medics claim that cartilage is a very different matter and there is nothing to stop it growing! So as we get older our ears appear bigger as well as noses. 3. A son will always be taller than his mum Women generally stop growing any taller around the age of 15, whereas men keep going for another three years. For this reason men tend to be taller than women, however if the father is significantly shorter than the mother he may pass enough of his ‘smaller’ genes to the child.

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Face the festivities with less stress Our expert, Sam Humphreys, beauty lecturer from North Shropshire College, shows us her relaxation routine and quick fixes for the face… The Christmas holidays are intended for families and friends to come together and celebrate. However, for most of us, the holiday season causes much more stress than pleasure during these days. Many of us end up burnt out by the end of the festivities. So don’t get caught in the hustle and bustle of the season. Chasing around and losing sleep and poor eating habits are all part and DID YOU parcel of Christmas. KNOW?

According to experts, the left side of the face is more attractive to others

MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL Plan ahead and designate specific timeframes for the tasks that you need to complete or the functions that you will attend. This includes your skin and body care routine. Think of ways to include sight, smell, taste, touch and hearing into your self-care. Have a candlelight bubble bath scented with aromatic products to relax or lift the seasonal spirits and refresh your body and soul. Don’t forget the background music, taking you to far off places or just memories of time gone by.

Getting sufficient sleep will contribute towards your mental preparation so you can avoid being overwhelmed. QUICK FIXES FOR FESTIVE FUN Many of us have many more nights out that usual over the season but don’t panic! This quick makeup application routine can be applied in 10 minutes. Apply a medium coverage foundation all over the face and neck, followed by a soft blusher. A bronzer and blusher in one is a great substitute for a healthy glow giving a natural tone. Curl those lashes and apply a few layers of dark mascara to emphasise your eyes. A nude or skin colour gloss can be added giving a shimmer to the lips and you’re ready to head out. Enjoy!

We put three liquid eyeliners through their paces to see which best stood up to a hard day’s night of work and partying High-end: Dior Addict It Line, £22.50, www.dior.com The fine point of this brush helped to create a super-subtle line for day time and with a refresh, it created a more dramatic evening look. It lasted really well too – no smudging or transfer. 8/10 WINN


Mid-price: Stay All Day Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, £14.50, Stila, www. marksandspencer.com This fine-nibbed felt tip is ideal for creating a number of different liner looks. If you are a bit shaky fear not, as it glides on really smoothly, with no dragging. The best bit is it is waterproof so no touch-ups were needed. 9/10 High street: Super Liner Perfect Slim Intense, £6.99, L’oreal Paris This purse-friendly liner is ideal for beginners as it’s got a thin nib. We did have to reapply in the evening though as it had faded at the winged edges. But for this price, it’s a great addition to the make-up bag. 7/10 Timeless Rose Moisturiser, £23, www.odylique.co.uk WE LOV This multi-tasking E moisturiser is excellent for sensitive skin. The rose oil helps calm any redness, while promoting skin restoration and vitality.


Treat yourself to these festive beauty must-haves this Christmas! The base: Estée Lauder Double Wear Light stay-in-place makeup SPF10 This light to medium coverage foundation will not budge! Packed with SPF and available in agreat range of shades, it will become a favourite in no time! £32.50, www. johnlewis. com

The blush: Guerlain Terracotta Joli Teint healthy glow powder duo This duo is perfect for a quick fix and creates a seriously radiant glow. To add some much-needed warmth to winter skin, simply swirl over cheeks and around hair line. £33.30, www.escentual.com

The curlers: Tweezerman rose gold classic eyelash curler If you don’t have these in your kit, you’re missing a trick. This classic curler volumises and curls lashes to perfection! Only £17, www.beautybay.com

The mascara: Clinique High Impact elevating mascara Keeps stubbornly straight lashes lifted high and proud, curled and lasting for 24 hours! What’s better, those with sensitive eyes can rest assured as it’s optometrist approved too! £18, www. boots.com

The gloss: Burt’s Bees lip gloss crayon This multitasking lip gloss glides on smoothly to deliver a beautiful lush colour while the moisture rich chubby crayon comes in a variety of shades with medium to full coverage and eight hour moisture - what’s not to love? £9.99, www.johnlewis.com

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In our regular family column from the experts at Glyndwr University, Gillian Danby, the programme leader for Families and Childhood Studies, talks about the growing problems surrounding young people and their mental health

ithin the UK children’s mental health and schools have an important part to play in not only the well-being is a growing issue, with concerning promotion of positive mental health and well-being numbers of children and young people experiencing for all children, but also a place for early intervention poor mental health. Recent figures show an estimated to address mental health problems before they three children in every classroom have a diagnosable intensify and are more difficult to reverse. It is not mental health problem, and many continue to have unusual for a child to walk into a classroom and these problems into adulthood. Children who receive talk of a broken arm, but children do not always early intervention are less likely to suffer from feel they are able to talk about their mental health mental health difficulties in the future, and savings in the same way. This may be partly due to fear are made to mental health services that of being judged or bullied. In such cases, are currently swamped with referrals. children and young people may never have ‘Mental health However, in order to address this aspect their mental health needs appropriately shouldn’t be of a child or young person’s health, those addressed. the ‘elephant working with children and young people in the room’, must identify and understand mental STOPPING THE STIGMA but something health needs, and create environments Stigma within our society surrounding that must be where support is provided with mental health can be a barrier to how talked about openly by all’ appropriate care and without stigma. problems are identified and subsequently treated. Many children and young people HELP THEM BE HAPPY may not know how to talk about their Reports on children’s health and well-being mental health, particularly if the subject is not help to build a picture of what is contributing to talked about in the home environment, or they this growing issue. For example, a report by the are fearful of the reaction from others if they do. Children’s Society (2014) exposes links between Meanwhile, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge children’s low well-being and parental depression, and Prince Harry are amongst many who are trying family breakdown, household income and bullying. to put an end to stigma around mental health. Their Also, a recent Children’s World Study (2015) Heads Together campaign aims to increase public saw children in England ranked 13th out of 16 awareness of mental health and well-being and countries for their self-reported happiness with plans to change the dialogue surrounding mental their lives, with Estonia, Poland and Turkey health, sending the message that mental health scoring higher. Further studies report that children is something that we should all feel comfortable are growing up with increased pressures to have the discussing and we should be able to support others perfect body, have experiencing difficulties. increased exposure Efforts to change attitudes rest with everyone to technology, in society. However, given that children and young experience people spend large amounts of their time in school, bereavement or practitioners have a key part to play in identifying friendship issues the risks and intervening early. This could help and suffer with sufferers cope with the many challenges that they school pressures. face and help prevent any problems escalating. It is It is a challenging hoped that stigma surrounding mental health ends world for children so it is no longer the ‘elephant in the room’, rather to grow up in. something that must be talked about openly and Consequently, addressed by all with every age group. November/December 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 117

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Eat yourself healthy

Research shows that diet matters. Not only can it help treat conditions like heart failure, diabetes and hypertension, but it helps prevent illness, and boosts health and wellbeing. Follow these seven golden rules, all evidence based on research, and eat yourself healthy... Choose foods that vary widely in colour and texture. Foods enjoyed in their natural state provide the greatest enjoyment and nutritional value. If you want to keep things simple then choose a wide range of unprocessed colours and textures, and choose foods as close as possible to their original natural state. This would make the most significant difference to long-term health and longevity.


is too restrictive or unbalanced that it ends up with yo-yo dieting. Specific diets that work include Weight Watchers/ Slimming World, the Mediterranean diet and the DASH diet (‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension’) Intermittent fasting has also been shown to be safe and effective. However, a simple rule of thumb is to have half a plate of vegetables, quarter a plate of lean protein, quarter a plate of high fibre carbohydrate, plus a serving of healthy fat. Eat healthy oils for a good heart. Fish oils can prevent further illness in those with a history of heart disease. Eat fish that is rich in omega three fatty acids such as salmon and mackerel. Other ‘good’ fats include olive oil, avocado oil, canola oil, walnut oil, and flaxseed oil.


Dramatically reduce processed foods. Processed foods such as package snacks. Smoked meats, white flour as well as sugar sweetened foods and drinks should be avoided. One researcher showed that seven percent of cardio metabolic deaths were linked to sugar sweetened drinks whilst eight percent were linked to processed meats. Sugar is now thought to be ‘the new tobacco’. Salt is another long term concern and prevalent in processed foods, but sodium naturally occurring in whole foods is rarely substantial.


Choose a realistic diet that you can stick to. When diets fail, it is usually because the diet


A seed or fish oil supplement can be bought over the counter and has been shown to be a reasonable alternative.

Incidentally research has shown that vitamin D taken in conjunction with omega three fatty acids will improve cognitive function, social behaviour and overall mood. Reduce red meat and live longer. Although red meat is a principal source of protein and fat, research has shown that it is linked to cancer, diabetes and heart disease. A 2012 study Red Meat Consumption and Mortality, followed 37,698 men and 83,644 women for 28 years. The study showed an overall decrease in cancer and cardiovascular disease and, while substituting one serving of red meat with a serving of fish, poultry, vegetable, nuts or whole greens, was associated with a seven to 19 per cent reduction in mortality risk. It was also shown that by reducing red meat to below 42 grams per day, 10 per cent of deaths in men and eight per cent of deaths in women could have been prevented.


Consume fermented food or probiotics and fibre to improve gastrointestinal and overall health. Probiotics are commonly found in yogurt, unpasteurized fermented foods and drinks, and in fibre. They contain yeast and bacteria which lower gut p.h., decrease the invasion of pathogenic organisms in the gut and modifies the immune response. Probiotics require prebiotics to help them work more effectively. In 2010 a clinical review showed the strongest evidence for the clinical effectiveness of probiotics in the treatment of

acute diarrhoea commonly due to a rotrovirus. There are two other caveats with respect to diet – avoid or limit alcohol to one drink per day for women and two for men. Alcohol has been linked to several diseases and up to seven cancers. The second is that supplements should not replace a healthy diet.




Dr Peter Barling is a retired local practitioner, who trained in Birmingham and London, and worked as a doctor for 42 years, 37 of these as a GP, in Banff, Alberta and Oswestry, Shropshire.

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I can write an original personal poem for any occasion, be it love, bereavement, humour, thanks or anything else. Just a few personal details will enable me to write an original, touching poem that I will send you on a parchment type of paper. Contact Brian Stone o 01691 652 956 or e l brianstone212@btinternet.com If you want to learn to play the

contact BRIAN STONE. He offers one-to-one tuition in a music studio based in Oswestry. Brian has over 50 years of tuition (including teaching Adrian Spillett, BBC’s Young Musician of the Year), performing, composing and conducting experience, and has been an examiner for the Guildhall for 17 years and for the LCM for 9 years.

Brian has taught at Ellesmere College, Oswestry School, Packwood, Moreton Hall and most schools in north Shropshire, and currently plays in various bands, groups and orchestras and conducts nine percussion ensembles with an age range from 7 to 60. Brian Stone Telephone: 01691 652 956 Email: brianstone212@btinternet.com

Year 7 & 9 Scholarship Day Saturday 27 January Application Deadline Friday 12 January

Learning • Living • Leading • Listening www.rydalpenrhos.com • Tel: 01492 530155 admissions@rydalpenrhos.com to find out more

Abbeyfield Colwyn Bay Society offer an independent sheltered environment for the elderly and we are very proud of our three houses Are you tired of living alone and shopping and preparing meals for one ? At Abbeyfield we aim to provide a peaceful and friendly atmosphere where residents can maintain their independence within a home from home environment. We provide two home cooked meals in a friendly communal atmosphere, your accommodation is cleaned and washing and ironing undertaken weekly. Community Alarm service is provided for your piece of mind and all bills are paid for.

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Abbeyfield now have a "Try before you buy" room. Why not see what Abbeyfield is all about or stay with us when your family go on holiday

10/11/2017 14:56

TOP OF THE CLASS Duke of Westminster breaks new ground




he world we live in is increasingly digital. And our schools reflect this. ‘Digital literacy’ teaching is embedded in any good curriculum and should involve unlocking the power of our internet, enabling collaborative working, understanding staying safe, and getting to the heart of how digital systems work with coding. Many schools provide computing rooms or class sets of tablets, others, like my own, encourage a bring your own device (BYOD) policy, which means that pupils can be much more efficient: logging on quickly to a familiar device and then take work away. Pupils are naturally more comfortable, which means they’re not only likely to be far more engaged with learning but they’re also motivated to take better care of their devices. The ‘cloud’ is another key component of good IT systems. It allows for safe storage – no longer a dodgy USB stick or dropped laptop should be the reason for lost coursework. Utilising software like G Suite for Education or Microsoft Office 365, fantastic collaboration and integration is brought to us all. Choosing the right device So what sort of device should you buy to support your child’s study and how do you ensure that the device is used safely and sensibly? Mindful that Christmas on its way with inevitable requests and demands for a (new) device, my advice is that you do not need to spend a vast fortune. The choices can be baffling; the biggest brands, the latest models, and the sleekest looks are alluring. However, unless one is requiring a particular piece of software (A-level design or art students might be an exception), base models will support the standard research, word-processing and spreadsheet applications required. Yes, your son or daughter might want mind-blowing graphics for their online gaming experience (there’s another, much longer, article) but real schoolwork does not demand top-of-therange processors. This article is written on a Chromebook costing around £250, with its 14” screen and a proper keyboard, this does all that I, or any student, might need. It’s wifi-enabled and has a working battery life of at least seven hours. That’s your checklist done, in my view. Lastly, think about insurance: one moment of carelessness can be awfully costly. Child safety online Whilst parental settings and filters should be expected on any home or school network, a report published by the New Zealand Ministry of Education conceded that ‘preventative approaches that rely on technical or other protection simply do not work’. The analogy often used is that you can only build a fence so high; if someone is sufficiently determined they will climb over or under. The best approach is one of guidance, at school and at home. Talk about device safety and responsibly; agree a set of family rules such as not meeting up with people they have only met online, or sharing what they are doing, discuss which websites are not okay to visit, and whether their devices should be put away an hour before bedtime. Websites such as childnet.com have many more ideas. Remember that devices such as phones and tablets all connect to the internet, so the same advice and rules apply. Digital devices should provide support for, not distraction from, studies. Julian Noad is Headmaster of Oswestry School in Shropshire. Find out more at www.oswestryschool.org.uk

ndependent school Abbey Gate College Infant and Junior School recently welcomed the Duke of Westminster to mark the start of construction of their new Foundation and Infant class building. The Duke was accompanied by trustees of the Grosvenor Estate and members of the Eaton Estate staff who will be working with the college to bring this project to fruition in the coming months. The Duke also presented headmistress, Mrs Marie Hickey, with an engraved spade to mark the occasion. Commenting on the project, the Duke said: ‘This has been a project close to my heart and we have spent a lot of time developing a plan which is suitable for the children and the teachers but which will also stand the test of time.’ The new building which will be made with welsh blue slate, oak from the

Presenting the memorial spade

Eaton Estate and locally made artisan brick will help ensure it is in keeping with the character and heritage of the village. It will provide three classrooms, two with covered outdoor areas as well as a larger library and space for learning enrichment.

The Duke of Westminster with the children from Abbey Gate College

Super cyclists’ charity challenge


wo pupils from independent school Abbey Gate College recently completed a cycle ride from Chester to London and raised over £2,500. Their journey started at the Senior School in Saighton and came to an end at the Young Minds headquarters in central London just 18 hours after setting off. Upper Sixth students Tom White and Ben Hall (along with PE teacher Dan Rowett, Ben’s dad Richard and keen cyclist Phil Faulder), decided to tackle the 200-mile cycle after Tom’s grandpa passed away leaving Tom his push bike. All the donations will go to Young Minds as Abbey Gate supports Young Minds as its charity of the year. Tom says: ‘We think the work that Young Minds does is fantastic and when my grandad passed leaving

me his pushbike I decided to do something positive. We’re thrilled to have raised so much money for the charity.’ The team trained for three months and hope to take on a new challenge and cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats next year.

Ben, Tom and the team

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Abhishek Bathula from Rydal Penrhos School

Table Tennis champ makes Wales squad


bhishek Bathula, a Year 11 pupil Rydal Penrhos was selected as part of the Wales Table Tennis squad which flew off to Shanghai on Thursday, October 19th, to participate in a series of coaching sessions with some of the best and most highly regarded table tennis coaches anywhere in the world. The talented 15-yearold is the only North Wales representative to be selected for the squad, and the training programme lasted for ten days.

An established Welsh youth international, Abhishek has enjoyed a plethora of regional and national successes in recent months as he continues to develop his outstanding natural talent. Director of sport Allen Boyd, says: ‘Abhishek’s game has come on an enormous amount in recent months thanks to the work he is putting in, both in and out of school, and his potential is limitless if he continues to apply himself.’

hrill-seeking prep school pupils were tested to their limits on a week-long outdoor activity centre visit to the Arete Centre in Anglesey. The Year 6 Rydal Penrhos group was treated to a variety of action packed activities during the five-day residential and each pupil got the chance to trek around some of the picturesque mountains of Snowdonia, as well as go rafting through lakes and even exploring underground slate mines. The fearless group also took part in sea kayaking, rock climbing, scaling waterfalls and underground dinghy trips.

Head of boys’ sport Jamie McLeod, who led the trip along with head of girls’ games Jude Pyves, comments: ‘The pupils had a fantastic time. The activities were really broad and they managed to test the pupils in a variety of ways, so it was a very fun and worthwhile experience for everybody. Having the opportunity to do activities is something that we are extremely fortunate to do here at Rydal Penrhos, with North Wales providing so many outdoor activities and such a beautiful landscape. We are already looking forward to visiting again!’

The intrepid adventurers from Rydal Penrhos

Classes in happiness


The winners from Adcote with their trophy



oung engineers from four Shropshire schools took on a building and budgeting challenge set by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, to design attractions for the wellknown theme park, Thorpe Park. Adcote School won the event with a giant rotating pineapple ride and will go forwards to compete in further rounds of the national competition. The IET Faraday Challenge event, hosted in Adcote’s Sports Hall, saw 36 children in Year 8 come up with creative building solutions for the theme park. They were instructed to allocate

roles, such as project manager and accountant and spend their ‘Faraday money’ wisely, in order to plan their construction and purchase key equipment and parts from the IET shop, and had to deliver a seven-minute pitch to challenge leader Phil Hart. ‘It’s all about engineering and increasing enthusiasm. They’ve had great fun with electric motors, LEDs and pulley wheels, with some great results,’ says Phil. Each girl was awarded a £10 Amazon voucher, a trophy and their score was added to the league table. The top five teams will take part in the National Final next summer.

hildren at The Firs School are enjoying their new ‘My Happy Mind’ Class where they learn to celebrate themselves and others and build positive relationships to help them thrive. The science-based classes are built on psychology and neuroscience research and work to create positive, sustainable and growth-orientated behaviour in the children, helping them to be adaptable and happy children. All children at The Firs

School will attend a weekly 30-minute classe. Lucy Davies, headteacher says: ‘We believe schools needs to be implementing a positive curriculum around mental wellbeing that is seen as being as important as physical education. It is paramount to create a happy environment for children to thrive and help them reach their educational potential and this is something we pride ourselves on doing here at The Firs School.’

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n A Level student from The Marches Sixth Form has been awarded a £3,000 per year bursary by OCR to support his studies at St. John’s College, Cambridge. Alex Keir was nominated by his sixth form teacher, Vikki Vicars, who also leads the award nomination programme at the school. She comments: ‘Alex is an exceptionally gifted student and the first from The Marches Sixth Form to gain a place at Cambridge. His hard work and dedication shone through in his application and at interview, so much so that we decided to nominate him for the award.’ Now in its 14th year, OCR’s bursary fund was set-up to enable talented West Midlands’

students to make the most of their time at Cambridge. Last month, Alex attended an awards ceremony at the OCR in Coventry where he received his award from the Cambridge Assessment Group chief executive and chairman of OCR, Simon Lebus.

Putting their best foot forwards: Myddelton College students

Pupils reaching new heights


Alex with his OCR award

Fab facilities for littlest learners


oor Park is celebrating its new Early Years Facility that has now opened its doors and was designed with young children’s needs in mind.

Helping children blossom

The new setting is housed within the beautiful old stately home of Moor Park, situated within 85 acres of beautiful Shropshire countryside. Enrolling children from three months there are age specific rooms, dedicated sleep rooms, a separate dining area and an extra-ordinary programme of activities specifically designed for the children. Each day a different activity is available; such as Mini Movers, Sports Stars, Mini Music Makers, First French or Sing and Sign. There is also a dedicated woodland school area, bamboo maze, dens, trees, a stream and mud galore. The children also have regular nature walks around the grounds to spot deer and feed the ducks.



even of Moreton Hall’s top athletes were given the opportunity of a lifetime to travel down to the Girls Go Gold Sporting conference at Wimbledon Girls High School. The day was all about empowering and inspiring upand-coming athletes to become the best they can be. A range of leading Olympic athletes and professional sports men and women attended. After a very early start, the girls arrived in Wimbledon and enjoyed a range of sports where they were encouraged to try the more difficult skills and build their confidence. Buffy, one of the students, comments: ‘Throughout the

day we went to many different sessions, including tennis, netball and cricket. One of the most important ones, to me, was the sport psychology lecture by Mark Keep. He explained the ins and outs of becoming the best athlete and how it’s not just about your skill. You need mental strength; the ability to bounce back and take a loss in your stride. No athlete succeeds without a hard journey.’

The Moreton Hall sports stars

group of Year 10 pupils from Myddleton College recently tackled the highest mountain in England and Wales. Leon Hodgson, Matthew Budd, Kaci Allen, Romy Biehler, Aina Gomariz-Fernandez, William Zhang and Harry Li are the first Myddelton College students to reach the summit of Snowdon and have set the standard for future Myddeltonians, not only in achieving the task, but in

how they completed it – with kindness and compassion for each other, relentless determination and appreciation of the beauty of the place we are lucky to call home. In the spring term, the group also tackled Moel Famau as a ‘warm-up’ for Snowdon. Not content with reaching the summit, they decided to make their own way back to college by foot – that’s 19km of walking!



swestry School footballers have recently been crowned champions after winning the 60th anniversary 2017 Independent Schools Football Association Sixes competition. Sixty years after it was first held in 1957, the football competition was this year hosted by historic Charterhouse. Team coach, Mr Alun Morris, comments: ‘Returning to the Sixes tournament after five years, we had no expectations and were delighted to not only win games against some of the biggest

sporting schools in the UK, but to return with the Plate Cup.’ At the same time, Sixth Form pupil, Alistair Moss, 16, competed in the Autumn Conwy Swim Meet in Llandudno. Alistair, aged 16, returned with gold for the 1500m freestyle. In addition, Gabriella Owen-Langford, Abigail EllisLowe, Lucy Garton and Lucy McGuire, came home with awards in reading, drama and public speaking categories from the Shropshire Festival of Verse and Prose last month.

The girls with their awards

The boys scooped the Plate Cup

Swimming gold for Alistair Moss

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Where learning goes hand in hand with discovery Worcester, WR6 6DD T: 01299 896275 abberleyhall.co.uk

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Co-education Boarding & Day Prep School for 2-13 year olds, based in 90 acres of Worcestershire countryside. Two hours from London, an hour from the Cotswolds and Birmingham Airport.

10/11/2017 14:56


Top spots secured by final four The four lucky winners of a sought-after writing residency have been announced as the unique Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden reveals its 2018 Writers in Residence

Keggie Carew

Cal Flyn


ny aspiring writer will know how important it is to have the right surroundings, the perfect atmosphere and a suitably inspiring setting when putting pen to paper. And where more ideal than within the ancient walls of Gladstone’s Library? Wooden beams, ancient stonework and thousands upon thousands of books covering every wall – what author could fail to feel at home in this stunning venue? So it’s no wonder that since its launch seven years ago, the library’s Writer in Residence scheme has been a sought after one with a long list of hopefuls applying every year. Now the judging panel, made up of senior members of the Gladstone’s team as well as authors

Rachel Malik

Polly Atkin

and literary agents, has announced continues to go from strength to the four lucky incumbents of the strength. This is thanks, in part, to 2018 position. The winners of the the support and generosity of our prestigious award are Polly Atkin, sponsors, in particular that of Joanna Rachel Malik, Cal Flyn and Munro, but also to the continual DID YOU Keggie Carew – all of whom high standard of applicants. KNOW? will spend a month as We’re hugely proud that The word Gladstone’s resident writer. the programme continues ‘mogigraphia’ means ‘writer’s During this time they will to attract the very best in cramp’ be able to make use of the contemporary creative writing.’ resources available as well The shortlist for 2018 was as engaging with the library’s drawn from a pool of entries creative community, running creative from around the world. In order to writing masterclasses, give an even qualify for consideration, every evening talk, and submit a blog to applicant had to submit a book the library’s website. they’d had published in the last three years and provide a short piece of writing on liberal values. Both Selection process submissions were considered before Warden of Gladstone’s Library, the final four were selected. Peter Francis, says: ‘The programme

A library with a difference

The library houses an impressive collection


ladstone’s Library is quite simply a unique location in our area. It is a residential library and the country’s only Prime Ministerial Library, paying tribute as it does to William Gladstone. It was founded by the man himself and after he died in 1898 it became the national memorial to his life and work.

To this day it is a place dedicated to meeting, reading, writing, debate and learning. Home to more than 250,000 printed items, it offers a comfortable, sociable and stimulating environment and those who struggle to confine their creative studies and research to the library opening hours can book an overnight stay as well. Guests have access to the library until 10pm, before they retire to one of the 26 boutique bedrooms. Just six miles outside of Chester and as one of the few Grade I listed buildings in North Wales, it’s a perfect venue for lovers of history and literature. The building still hosts its fair share of political leaders, with Nick Clegg a recent

guest when he spent a night in the Hawarden hotel to launch his book How to Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again). The library holds a packed calendar of events to celebrate the arts and has become well-known as a hub of reading and writing in the North West area.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg

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Next Christmas by Les Lacey The Christmas decorations, abandoned to awkward loft, were retrieved with usual lament, and cries of how next year there’d be changes when footing was lost on the descent. The tinselled baubles, tarnished globes, stars and snow flakes in accumulation, emerged from hastily discharged storage and the darkness of eleven months hibernation. With last Christmas complete, packed carelessly through haste in crammed neglect, prolonging a record of rough usage and deterioration with resulting damage and defect. To wait another year before recovery and expectation, none could be surprised finding breakages a plenty. More cautious re-gathering would have been well advised. And the tree that once was real and fresh perfumed of pine, has been replaced by an artificial, self assembly one with metal plastic branches, realistic, equally spaced, That year by year need repair and require some understanding in the selection of parts that properly fit the top and bottom halves to achieve authentic erection. Neglecting cautious preparation and all previous repeated blunders unrecalled, the tree is built with optimism but, like last year, branches incorrectly installed. Forced to be reassembled with irritation such simple tasks could not have been completed without exactly the same mistakes of previous Christmases being so stupidly repeated. The bracing leg discovered last year detached is still free and requiring some repair, and the branch displayed right at the front is the one damaged, sparse and bare. But too late to build it all again, drape the lights, random, and in some haste, then switch on to realise the ones known to have already failed have not been replaced. Spare bulb replacements, with luck, a few are found to rescue the situation. But to find the faulty one, while sprawled across the tree, creates further vexation, So in the end little more than a half respond when electric power is supplied and leads to assurance next year, prior to installation they’ll all be tested and tried. The baubles are fixed, as years before, through a casually planned routine with the substandard few used at the rear in places where they’ll not be seen. Picked from the box with entanglements of tinsel, knotted, in confusion and fastened with sublime seasonal skill to produce an effect of grand illusion. With strands of beads, bells and lanterns trembling, mingling in contrived display, and shapes and forms of robins, cherubs, crystal coated reindeer and a santa sleigh, sweets that will not melt, plastic snowmen, icicles, candles, stars, globes, glittering bright. A magic mix to be adorned with a single angel on top to complete a magic sight. Stand back, relax, enjoy the scene, it’s Christmas, there is no better time of year. With sound of carol singing, cold hands, thoughts of absent friends, festive cheer, the smell of holly and mistletoe, log fire, the children’s faces, so bemused. When suddenly it all ends, the lights go out, once more the bulbs have fused. That early resolution that will be as in the past, forgotten come New Year’s Day, ‘Next year it will be all different, all planned.’ It seems so very far away...

4th & 5th November Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden has announced the line-up for its autumn micro-festival, Hearth, which takes place in the cosy common room of the residential library. The intimate literary festival offers keen writers the opportunity to pick up hints and tips, and ask questions of published authors about their experiences. Speakers at the November festival include Krishan Coupland, Will Harris, Sam Guglani and Joan Michelson. 9th November Celebrity chef Rick Stein will be visiting the Wirral and launching his latest book to accompany the series he is currently filming, Rick Stein’s Road to Mexico. Inspired by a journey that he made in the late 60s, it is filled with nostalgic tales of how the countries have changed over the years and how the food has developed. Organisers from Lingham’s say the evening promises to be ‘classic Rick’ with vibrant dishes, travel tips and a dash of art and culture thrown in for good measure. Event is located at Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa. 12pm, tickets £15. 18th November Booka Bookshop presents Katie Kirby, the hilariously funny author of Hurrah for Gin, as she talks about her brand new book The Daily Struggles of Archie Adams Aged 2 1/4 which depicts the highs and lows of family life through the eyes of Archie Adams – one highly opinionated, creatively-stifled modernday toddler. Event held at The Wynnstay Hotel, Church Street, Oswestry, 10.30am. Tickets £10 (with £3 redeemable against a signed copy of the book). 21st November Sir Tony Robinson introduces his long-awaited autobiography, and reveals how the boy from South Woodford went from child stardom to comedy icon Baldrick, the loyal servant in Blackadder. He also presented Time Team for 20 years and risked life and limb filming The Worst Jobs in History. Packed full of incident and insight, No Cunning Plan is a funny, self-deprecating and always entertaining read – much like the author himself who will no doubt be on similar form for this exclusive event. Bushell Hall, Birkenhead School, Wirral, 7pm, tickets £14. 24th, 25th & 26th November International authors, poets, storytellers and historians will descend on Shrewsbury for the town’s second annual Festival of Literature. Spread across the town centre, there will be 15 events – ranging from author-readings and story-telling to writing workshops, a ‘poetry slam’ and self-publishing expo. Artist and poet Frieda Hughes and archaeologist and TV presenter Alex Langlands, headline.


Winter’s here and it’s high time to give up on outdoor pursuits in favour of cosier endeavours – like tackling some great new reads as recommended by the experts at Lingham’s book shop in Heswall. This is Going to Hurt Adam Kay Adam Kay trained a doctor, he spent six years in fact training, he specialised in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. During this time he kept his own secret diary, detailing experiences both good and bad. From life-threatening emergencies to cases where they are just funny! It opens your eyes to another world, and to be quite honest makes you respect the NHS and those who work in this environment even more!

The Secret Life of Cows Rosamund Yound Ever wondered what a cow thinks? No, really have you? This lovely book which will make you cry and laugh along with the antics of the bovine stars of the story. The author has a lifetime of experience of living and growing up on a cattle farm. This is a perfect gift book for the farmer in your life!

Thin Air Michelle Paver Open this book at the first page and lose yourself in the mountains of Nepal. One warning though – keep a light switched on nearby! Set on the icy peaks of Kangchenjunga in 1935, a group of mountaineers set out to conquer its icy slopes. A gripping tale of adventure that will keep you rivetted!

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What’s in your Stars? Aries: 20th March – 20th April

Do you know your ruling planet is Mars? Do you know what it symbolises? Do you even care? Well you should because Mars represents drive and assertiveness and argument and sometimes even war. This fiery planet’s now in your Seventh House of Relationships so try to avoid seeing red because after all, this is the season of peace and goodwill.

Cancer: 21st June – 23rd July

Being a water sign means you’re highly sensitive, sometimes overemotional, ambiguous and hard to pin down but you’re also big on family and although the past is a foreign country to some, to you it’s the closet in which you keep your happiest memories. One’s about to be rekindled as Solstice nears and the sun comes back into your life!

Libra: 23rd September – 22nd October

In ancient astronomy part of the heavens now known as Libra was named Chelea – scorpion claws – any resonance now translates as being caught in the grip of someone’s power trip so the sting in this tale would be unpleasant. But you’ve strong enough energy to disengage and block any potential threat, show your other side for a change!

Capricorn: 21st December – 20th January

A wise person changes their mind, a fool never – seems you’ve made the former choice. A change of heart will pay dividends and re-thinking what seemed impossible will remove a burden. Sometimes duty’s misplaced and love suffers but a lightbulb moment has ensured that a personal issue is resolved so clear your conscience and enjoy your newfound liberation.

Taurus: 20th April – 21st May

Scientists have calculated that Santa’s sleigh would have to move at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound, have 214,000 reindeers to pull 353,430 tons of presents and make1,064 visits per second to complete the task. You too will be rushing around soon, but resist the urge to spend excessively – money doesn’t grow on trees, even Christmas trees!

Leo: 23rd July – 23rd August

Your greatest creation is yourself so what better time of year to express this to all and sundry. This doesn’t mean being the star turn, it’s more to do with showing that warm and generous heart you were born with. The end of 2017 approaches so make sure it goes out with a roar rather than a whimper.

Gemini: 21st May – 21st June

Mercury, the planet of communication, has an important message for you, check all emails, letters, documents, texts and social media before sending as mistakes could occur. Nothing too serious just a matter of inconvenience, that’s unless a little gossip goes to the wrong recipient. A Gemini full moon on 3rd December doubles the risk so focus and stay alert.

Virgo: 23rd August – 23rd September

Pandora’s Box contained all the ills of the world but there was one compensation within it, and that was hope, without which the world would be lost. You’ve had a difficult time, nothing much to create the substance you need to plough the furrow. Still, hope springs eternal so keep that in mind and watch things change.

Scorpio: 23rd October – 22nd November

At last beneficial Jupiter’s moving into your sign on its twelve-year journey through the zodiac, expansion is around you except, hopefully, your waistline! The thing about expansion is to know when to stop, so create boundaries because you go to extremes. For every single grain of wheat, there’s potential for a sheaf, being content with one sheaf is the secret here.

Aquarius: 20th January – 19th February

It was once believed that trees in the forest bore fruit at Christmas time and if a fruit was eaten, immortality would be the prize, unfortunately on touch the fruits disappeared. This metaphor sums up a phase – when whatever you touch seems to dissolve into nothing. What’s needed here is more substance to present endeavours so put your heart into it!

Sagittarius: 22nd November – 21st December

What floats your boat is changing scenery, new people and adventure and it’s been limited lately but given you time to put your house in order. You spread yourself thinly and it leaves personal tasks piling up, that’s when organisation becomes imperative. Job done now, the end of year approaches and the signs are your boat’s ready to set sail.

Pisces: 19th February – 20th March

It’s been a few months of unclear vision and sometimes world weariness, I could say it’s because your ruler Neptune was reversing in the heavens causing its reflective energy to complicate things, that’s the astrologer’s translation, alternatively I could say it’s your own muddled observation. Just be sure ideals are rooted in reality and not just a device for escaping it!

Gloria studied astrology and astronomy over an intensive two year period at The Faculty of Astrological Studies in London twenty seven years ago. She has since written for many publications, appeared numerous times on television and has an impressive client list. The legendary Fay Weldon calls her ‘magic’ and the BBC’s icon Valerie Singleton calls her ‘sensitive’. You can reach her on starglow@pc-q. net or through her website: www.gloriamans.com 126 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2017

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Surgeon leads young people on Uganda mercy mission Swapping the operating theatre for a Ugandan school yard, top Wirral surgeon Stephen Blair tells Shire about the latest voyage in his incredible ten-year fundraising mission


tephen Blair, a varicose vein specialist at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital, in Barnston, has been providing education and health services for people in Uganda for over a decade, having first set up the Rock of Joy charity over 10 years ago. Along with his daughter Cathy, and wife, Christine, the family spent three weeks in Uganda where they led a group of 30 young people, aged from 16 to 18, from the Parish of Heswall churches. This is the sixth time they have been to the country where they now support three schools, one in the capital,

how easy it would be to make Kampala, and two in a rural area. difference, so we’ve been going ‘It was the tenth anniversary back ever since.’ of our first visit in 2007 when In the ten years of visits, over Cathy was the inspiration,’ says 180 young people from church Stephen, 62. ‘She’d gone on her youth groups and Spire gap year with the Oasis Murrayfield Hospital Trust in 2005 and DID YOU have done their bit spent six months KNOW? by providing blood developing a school in the slums of There are 160,000 testing services Kampala. She loved charities in the UK before departure so that in the event it and a couple worth a total of of an accident, of years later, she £39 billion everyone’s blood wanted to go again. group is known. Together with others The schools provide in the church and its youth education for 1,500 children fellowship, we ended up going with 140 housed in an out, in total 36 of us.’ orphanage – many of the parents have died from HIV which is REWARDING WORK rife in the country, as is malaria. ‘We came back both shocked ‘We have a team of 20, half of at the conditions and realising

Finance firm helps out Nepal school The Brick Children School charity supports migrant families working in the brick fields of the Kathmandu Valley, Nepal. It provides education and healthcare for the child labourers, aged three to 11, and literacy and skills training for their parents. Medwyn Edwards from Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management heard about the charity and was so impressed that he encouraged the firm to apply for a St James’s Place Foundation grant, securing £1,000 and a further £500 from

which are Ugandan. They travel around the villages and can treat up to 300 people a day. We see everything from skin conditions like ringworm to malaria, which

is a big killer there since they can’t afford mosquito nets. We’ve put up over 900 nets in very simple homes. It’s exhausting work but incredibly rewarding.’ www.rockofjoy.co.uk


the company’s own charitable efforts. Medwyn says: ‘You can’t fail to be touched by the fantastic and dedicated work The Brick Children School does. It’s a practical way to give parents and their children a chance to improve their lives for themselves.’ www. brickchildrenschool.com From left, Emma Deering, from Swayne Johnson, pours a cuppa for Llandudno Tenovus Choir singers Gill Tyrer and Desiree Garth-Jones, and conductor, Izzy Rodrigues


Making life sweeter

In 2018, Telford celebrates its 50th anniversary. The Friends of Telford Town Park will be hosting be a Japanese Sakura event, sponsored by Japanese manufacturer Maxell Ltd – the founding creators of the Maxell Gardens in the park. The event will cost £15,000 and Maxell has sponsored half, so the group are looking for other companies or individuals who can help raise the remaining £7,500. Call 01952 270868 or visit www. friendsoftelfordtownpark.org.uk if you would like to be involved.

Honeypot, the charity which supports young carers across the country at its special activity centre near Newtown in Powys, offers free respite holidays and short breaks to these children, many of whom are missing out on normal childhoods due to their added responsibilities. It is seeking help and donations. Please visit www. honeypot.org.uk for more info.

A thalidomide victim who’s beaten cancer has praised the charity choir that helped her recover from a life-saving operation... Gill Tyrer, 57, from Penrhyn Bay, has been a member of the Llandudno Tenovus Cancer Sing With Us Choir for three years. She explains: ‘I was diagnosed with cancer seven years ago after moving to Penrhyn Bay with my 11-year-old daughter, Livia, after my marriage broke up. ‘I’d felt unwell and was eventually diagnosed with bowel cancer. My first thought was ‘how do I tell my daughter?’ I knew I just had to get well for her. Within two weeks of diagnosis, I was having the operation. Now I’m chair of the Cancer Patients Forum at Glan

Clwyd Hospital and that’s how I heard about the choir. ‘I’d always wanted to join one and it’s been wonderful and has helped me tremendously.’ Over 40 strong, the choir, conducted by Tenovus’s Izzy Rodrigues, gives regular performances, recently raising over £200 by entertaining clients and friends of the law firm Swayne Johnson. Izzy says: ‘The choir started in Wrexham six years ago and we had lottery funding to extend it across Wales and now have 15 here and four more in England. Research into the benefits of singing has shown that it reduces stress hormones and boosts the immune system too!’ Book the Tenovus Choir on 0808 8081010 or visit www. tenovuscancercare.org.uk.

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hank you once again to all the readers who have been in touch over the last couple of months. We love hearing from you and enjoy reading your letters, poems, submissions and suggestions so do keep putting pen to paper over the winter! If you want to tell us about something that is worth illustrating do feel free to email us a picture too. We’ve printed some of our favourite contributions below. Send your emails to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk or contact us by post at the address opposite – the same place to send us an SAE, for £1.60, if you’ve missed an issue or would like to receive an extra copy of the magazine.


‘The Kerry Vale vineyard will be hosting the Penelope Timmis Art Sale Event this November and December at The Vineyard Gallery. It is a rare opportunity to purchase the highly soughtafter work of award-winning Shropshire Artist Penelope Timmis at a fraction of its normal price of £650-£2500. This one-off sale will see her work available for £120-£300. Famous for her effervescent images bursting with movement and light, Penelope’s work has a delightful freedom of expression and a wonderful feeling of energy. Included in the exhibition will be a number

BOOKS AND TRAINS ‘Your readers may be interested to know about the Shrewsbury Railway Heritage Trust’s book sale and a ‘History of Transport in Shropshire’ exhibition at Abbey Station, Abbey Foregate, in Shrewsbury on Saturday 18th November between 11am and 4pm. It follows an appeal made recently for unwanted books, after which the


‘I have recently read Shire Magazine in Wrexham Hospital and I was so impressed with the local contents. I live in mid Wales and I was able to make a note of many events that I would be interested in attending. How can I obtain your magazine for personal use?’ Regards Ian L McCutchion

Don’t forget to tell us which edition you’re looking for and we’ll send one out to you. Keep in touch, with best wishes from all the team here at Shire Magazine

Write to us at: Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry Shropshire SY10 1FR

of Penelope’s well-known land and seascapes, fowl and flower paintings. There will also be work inspired by her travels and daily life. Although many of the pieces have small imperfections such as minor cosmetic damage to frames, there are still great bargains to be had. If you’d like to snap up some original artwork, the exhibition will be running Tuesday to Sunday from 3rd Nov to 17th December, 10am-4pm.’ Nadine Roach Art Gallery Coordinator group was inundated! Both fiction and non-fiction, children’s and reference books will be available. Local railway enthusiasts have very generously dedicated parts of their own book collections to the Trust too. Our prices will be cheaper than any other outlets so spread the word and let’s raise some valuable funds for the Trust.’ Regards, Shrewsbury Railway Heritage team ‘Sorry, I don’t have a story but I just love the magazine! I live in Llangollen and wondered where can I collect it from? I really do not want to miss the next issue, and they have all gone from Tesco, Cefn Mawr.’ Pam Lewis Thank you so much for getting in touch Ian and Pam, we’re delighted that you enjoyed reading



‘I am writing to invite your readers to make sure they put a date in their diaries for a gourmet celebration and festive evening hosted by the chefs of the future. North Shropshire College (NSC) is pleased to announce that it will be holding a Christmas Cookery Demonstration and Taster at its Oswestry Campus on the 20th November. The event, which starts at 6.30pm at Scholars Restaurant, and costs just £7.50 per ticket. It will feature seasonal produce and taster dishes cooked by NSC students and also included in the ticket price is a glass of mulled wine for guests on their arrival. It will be an excellent opportunity for members of the public to sample the dishes and produce that we have to offer, and will hopefully provide some inspiration for those looking to make their own seasonal dishes this winter. For more information or to book tickets, call 01691 688000.’ Thomas Rose North Shropshire College

‘I picked up a free copy of your fabulous magazine at Tesco in Welshpool last weekend. It is a very impressive magazine, with so many interesting features and details of events.’ Patricia Daffurn ‘Thank you so much for sending a copy of Shire Magazine out to me! So much to read – I might have to hibernate for a couple of days. The activities list is fantastic and just what we need for our guests. We have been very lucky over the last four years meeting wonderful people who have shared our love of the cottage so we always try to go the extra mile to exceed their expectations and share our favourite places and things to do in Wales. Your magazine will help us to guide them to exciting venues. Thank you once again. Best wishes and every success with your venture.’ Christine Broughton ‘I am an OAP and I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoy your magazine. The quality of the content and printing is superb and something that I would expect to pay around £5 for. Perhaps you could get some estate agents interested but possibly by the time you come to press they will have sold what they have on offer. Keep up the good work you must have one of the best jobs in the area.’ Roland Griffiths

Shire. In future you can look out for copies in your local supermarkets such as Sainbury’s, Tesco or Morrisons – but you’ll have to be quick as they disappear fast! If you miss getting hold of a copy you can always send a SAE for £1.60 to us at the address above, and we’ll happily put a magazine in the post to you. all the best, Shire editorial team

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SHIRE MAGAZINE’S FANTASTIC COMPETITIONS! Once again your Shire Magazine is packed with amazing opportunities with a huge range of fabulous competition prizes. There are days out, theatre trips and show tickets to suit everyone so make sure you get your entry in to be in with a chance of winning. Send the entry form below, or a copy of it, or a postcard with your details on, to us before the closing date and good luck!

Congratulations to our lucky winners from the September/ October issue!

Alison, Bishop’s Castle, Family tickets for Cycle Museum

Carloyn, Whitchurch, Bonfire tickets, Alderford Lake

Emma, Mold, Two pairs of tickets to Conwy Feast

Graham, Connah’s Quay, Ffestiniog Railway tickets

Irene, Abermule, Tickets to see Grease at Venue Cwymru

Janet, Shrewsbury, Tickets for Wales GB Rally

Kim, Worthen, Annual family membership for Gregynog Hall

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Enter today and you could win!

Luke, Crewe, Annual family membership for Gregynog Hall

Stuart, Whitchurch Family pass for Gregynog Hall

WIN: One of three family tickets to the incredible Liverpool International Horse Show at Liverpool’s Echo Arena from 29th to 31st December. We’ve got three bronze family tickets, worth £50 each, to give away for the New Year’s Eve afternoon performance. The show will feature some of the world’s finest riders and global sports stars competing for the ultimate Grand Prix Liver Bird Show Jumping trophy! CLOSING DATE: 15th December

WIN: A pair of tickets to see Son of a Preacher Man in March at Theatre Severn, directed and choreographed by Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig Revel Horwood. This new musical production from 13th17th March features the hits of Dusty Springfield, including The Look Of Love, I Only Want To Be With You, Spooky and of course, the classic Son Of A Preacher Man. CLOSING DATE: 1st February

WIN: Two tickets for an evening of mystery and intrigue at New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion Theatre. with a chance to see Ruth Rendell’s Gallowglass on Tuesday 13th February at 7.30pm. A world stage premiere from the pen of one of the world’s greatest thriller writers, the story is as thrilling as you’d expect from the great crime writer Gripping and exciting to the very end. CLOSING DATE: 24th January

WIN: A pair of tickets for a musical night out with a chance to see the Black Dyke Band live at The Hafren on Saturday on 24th March at 7pm. Black Dyke Band is the most recorded band and also the most successful contesting band in the world having won the European Championships eleven times, most recently in 2005, the British Open no fewer than 29 times and the National Championships of Great Britain 22 times. CLOSING DATE: 1st February

WIN: A chance to be at the opening night of one of the much-anticipated shows at Venue Cymru on February 27th. We have a pair of tickets to Crazy For You to give away to this high energy, high kicking and gloriously glamorous ultimate feel-good musical with a fabulous score from the Gershwin brothers’ songbook. An exhilarating celebration of the some of the greatest Broadway musicals of all time. CLOSING DATE: 1st February

WIN: Two tickets to a hilarious night of comedy with Shappi Khorsandi, live at Pontio Arts Centre on Saturday, April 28th. Star of Live At The Apollo, Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Have I Got News for You, Shappi is on the road with her new sell out show. She has whip-crack jokes and is as effortlessly funny as ever! CLOSING DATE: 1st February

WIN: One of two family tickets up for grabs to see Wrexham Symphony Orchestra provide music for ballet at William Aston Hall on January 14th and the opera on February 24th. ‘An Afternoon at the Ballet’ will include music from Swan Lake, Nutcracker, Sleeping Beauty and Romeo and Juliet plus many other popular, special and much loved ballets. CLOSING DATE: 1st February

WIN: Four tickets to Birdsong – performing at the Crewe Lyceum from Tuesday 6th-Sat 8th February. Marking the 100th anniversary of the end of WW1, this is the critically acclaimed stage show based on the world famous novel by Sebastian Faulks. In pre-war France, Englishman Stephen Wraysford embarks on a passionate and dangerous affair with Isabelle Azaire. CLOSING DATE: 24th January

HOW TO ENTER: Simply fill in the form with your answer circled (you’ll need to read the magazine to find it!), and include your name, address and daytime contact number. Send it by the closing date to Tickets Competition, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 1FR. Winners will be notified by email, so don’t forget to include your email address and daytime telephone number. Question: The first ever decorated Christmas tree was found in... a) Munich in Bavaria b) Riga in Latvia c) Rovaniemi in Lapland

Name Address

I’d like to win tickets to:










Daytime Contact Number Email (please complete) Please do not send me any other information

RULES OF THE COMPETITIONS DATA PROTECTION NOTICE Superstar Publishing Ltd will use your information for administration and analysis purposes and may contact you from time to time with relevant offers, information or for research purposes. Your details will not be passed on to third parties except the sponsors of these competitions. Please tick the relevant box if you do not wish to be contacted. COMPETITION RULES The promoter of these competitions is Shire Magazine, Superstar Publishing, PO Box 276, Oswestry, SY10 1FR. The competitions are open to all readers of our magazine and viewers of our websites except employees of the prize providers. The winner(s) will be the first person or persons drawn after the closing date who has completed the correct answer. No cash alternative is available. The winners names can be obtained by writing to the competition address with a self-addressed envelope after the closing date. The winner agrees to participate in any follow-up publicity and must provide a photograph to be published in the following issue to claim their prize. Superstar Publishing may print the name only of entrants to this competition in subsequent issue(s) of Shire Magazine. This is to enable competition entrants to fairly claim a promotional offer, for competition entrants only. By entering this competition you are giving permission for Shire Magazine to print your name only. No personal information will be printed. No purchase necessary, answers on a postcard are accepted.

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COMING NEXT ISSUE The year is almost at an end and next time we publish an edition of Shire Magazine it will be 2018! Hard to imagine but after a little break over the New Year we’ll be back with a bumper spring edition covering March and April. Look out for the following features among our regular sections…

King of the castles



We’ll be having a look at some of the fortresses and follies that our region is packed with from ancient monuments to towering turrets, there’s a castle for everyone in the Shire patch!

Spring into action New year, new you, new look for spring 2018? Our fashion and beauty section will help you burst out of winter with a fresh new feel for the season ahead. W H AT ’ S O N T H I S W E E K E N D ?

Don’t go anywhere without checking our packed 70-page guide to events across the area. Our What’s On section will be bursting with ideas for days out and excursions to help you plan every outing.

If your garden has been neglected and ignored over the winter months it’s time to get stuck in and make sure it’s fit to bloom and blossom this spring. Our focus on seasonal garden jobs and planting will inspire you to dig deep now for a good summer show.

D O N ’ T F O R G E T…

We love to receive your letters, poetry and reviews so if you have something to say, a poem to share or you’ve been to a good (or bad) event, then we want to hear from you!

GET IN TOUCH! …at Shire Magazine, we want to hear from you! 1. Tell us about your upcoming events: Just remember that we work in advance so 1st February is the deadline for events news for the next issue, March/April.

Easter egg-stravaganza Don’t miss our spring edition to check out the Easter events across the region with our round-up of egg hunts, parades, parties and plenty of other egg-citement!

2. Share your reader stories: Have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We’d like to feature it in the next issue to share with our readers. Send us an email, and don’t forget to include a picture or two! 3. We have lots of pages for readers to contribute to: Send all your submissions and pictures by email to editorial@ shiremagazine.co.uk or call 01691 661 270.

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10/11/2017 14:56

The wood burning stove perfected

Showrooms in Ludlow, Whitchurch & Stow-on-the-Wold PLUS STOCKISTS THROUGHOUT THE UK Manufactured at More Works, Bishops Castle, Shropshire SY9 5HH. Brochure Line: 01588 650 123 www.clearviewstoves.com 132_SHIRE_ND2017.indd 1

10/11/2017 14:57

Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine Nov-Dec 2017  

The fantastic Christmas issue, packed with things to do and see over the festive season!

Shire Magazine Nov-Dec 2017  

The fantastic Christmas issue, packed with things to do and see over the festive season!

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