Shire Magazine July-August 2022

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Happy&glorious Have fun in the sun with our guide to the ultimate Shire summer

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Wrexham welcomes its new title




Pride in the city



Let there be lights A switched-on Cheshire artist shares her latest flash of inspiration Posh pub grub Foodie treats from new managers at an ancient Shropshire estate Show me the honey Meet the wildlife team causing a real buzz in Wales

“Colwyn Bay? I can’t wait!” Mick Hucknall brings Simply Red to North Wales

Animal antics A hilarious memoir inspired by one woman’s love for nature


A family ticket to Camp Bestival worth £800! A day out with Wisteria Tours Turn to page 127


Meet our consultants at a medical practice near you We are delighted to announce that the Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital is launching outreach clinics in your area. From May 2022 a range of consultants including Mr Chris Evans (Lower Limb Orthopaedic), Dr Banchhita Sahu (Gynaecology) and Dr Dimple Jain (Dermatology) will be hosting clinics in Overton on Dee. When: The clinics will take place on a Friday. Where: Dee Valley Medical Practice, 15 High Street, Overton, Wrexham, LL13 0ED How to book: Once you have a GP referral to see one of our consultants you can make a booking by calling 01743 282505. Our friendly customer service advisors will be able to offer you the next available appointment at the Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital or if applicable they will discuss an appointment in Overton on Dee with you.

Call 01743 282505 Email

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Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital Longden Road, Shrewsbury, SY3 9DP

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H Publisher Dan Bromage Editor Kate Speedie Chief Subeditor Wendy Reed Staff Writers Juliet Davies Lynda Kenny Sarah Waterfall Designers Ella Knight Meryl McIntosh Advertising Design Sarah Norman Andy Beavis Sales & Marketing Pauline Jones William Bushell Distribution Manager Paul Howard Finance & Accounts David Kynaston Nicky Kynaston Jane Osman Contributors Holly Johnson, John Hargreaves, Gloria Mans, P Parker, Helen Cooke, Bob Hickman, Lisa Whelan, Adam Gaunt-Evans, Eryl Jones, Adele Barry, Catherine Buckley, Alice Leetham

ere we are in the glorious glow of summer with another brand-sparkling-new issue of Shire for you, our lovely readers! It’s been a great start to the holiday season, and while the days are longer and warmer it really is time to get out and about and make the most of what’s on offer right here on our doorstep. We’ve taken a look at the wonderful range of summer fun offerings nearby, with a bit of everything from outdoor cinema to full-on family festivals, not forgetting our guide to the very best beaches for the ultimate seaside experience. Buckets and spades at the ready! There are some handy hints for making your annual getaway a great one – and how to make sure those long-awaited family gatherings go smoothly too. Plus, we’ve got a packed garden section and our regular holidays roundup too. So, from one page to the next, stick with Shire as your summer unfolds! In this issue we’re also celebrating one of our favourite places, Wrexham – recently awarded new status as an official city. No matter what you call it, we’ve always known the North Wales favourite had a lot going for it, and it seems Her Majesty agrees! Check out our article all about the history, heritage, people and pride of this newly appointed city. As always, we have a packed food section, brimming with recipes and goodies to tempt your tastebuds. You’ll find all your favourites here too: a bit of art, books, homes, interiors, fashion, education – and everything you’ve grown to love from your favourite free magazine! Happy reading! IN THIS ISSUE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN Wrexham joins the super-league as Wales’ seventh city (and Wrexham AFC’s not far behind…)

Email Shire magazine

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GET SET & GO! Brilliant ideas for fun days out, holidays at home and the best beaches Print ISSN 2514-3913 Online ISSN 2514-3921

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. Privacy Policy published online at © 2022 Superstar Publishing Ltd, all rights reserved. Registered Number: 10604188.


DIARIES OUT! Whether you’re digital or still old-school paper, you’ll find events near you to fill the whole summer

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…

Tell us about your upcoming events. Just remember that we work in advance, so 1st August is the deadline for events you’d like to feature in our September/October issue.



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 125 for more.

Share your reader stories. Have you got an exciting or extraordinary 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? Email your best effort and you might get picked! See page 100.

Your pets Is your pet the love of your life? Send a snap, along

A free copy of Shire delivered to your door! If you’re having trouble getting to the supermarket and would prefer your copy delivered to you at home, just send us an A4 sae with £2 postage to Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR. We’ll send you the latest issue by return.

with their name and anything else you want to tell us. See page 103 for further details. Get social Follow, like and friend us on Facebook and Instagram to be first in line for event updates, competitions and more. Visit our website online at and send submissions and information by email to

TURN TO PAGE 52 for our fantastic subscription offer July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

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Wrexham wins the day

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PAG E 7 2 Summer wines PAG E 1 2 1 The heat is on…

6 What’s On Your ultimate guide to what’s going on across the region starts here, with our comprehensive listings section. Our events diary stretches from North and Mid Wales, across Cheshire, including the Wirral and right through Shropshire – so check out the latest on what’s going on in your area.. 18 St Asaph Join us as we visit the ancient treasures and modern delights of one of our littlest cities, the North Wales spiritual centre, St Asaph 50 Reviews The Shire team has been out and about, catching up with the latest concerts and shows so we can share our favourites with you. One reviewer couldn’t believe her luck when she met ’90s boy band 911!

PAG E 9 6 In the garden

53 Celebrity With a new tour in full swing and a visit to Colwyn Bay’s Stadium Eirias coming up soon, we talk to Simply red legend Mick Hucknall about life back on the road and three decades of making music. 54 Summer fun Whether you’re planning on staying close to home or getting away for a while, our main feature in this issue is for you! We’re looking at day trips, mini breaks, visits and activities to keep you busy through the summer months, as well as the lowdown on top festivals on the Shire patch – family-friendly and more adult-oriented. Oh, and we’ve explored the region’s best beaches too (the things we do for you…!)

PAG E 3 2 What’s On PAG E 1 0 7 Stylish in stripes

61 Holidays School’s (nearly) out and it’s high time for a holiday – or perhaps you’re considring an investment in your own homeaway-from-home? Let us help you choose the best spots for a Shire summer staycation.

PAG E 9 4 Cooking outdoors

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66 Active Our coastal walk is provided by the experts at The Ramblers organisation and we’ve also suggestions for sports the whole family can enjoy

A visit to St Asaph

PAG E 5 6 Festival wishlist

68 Food & Drink Our food and drink section is packed! We’ve a delicious Moroccan-inspired recipe for lamb from the new team at Walcot Hall’s onsite hostelry as the Shropshire estate relaunches for the season, as well as a Mediterranean wine guide from our resident expert Gary Carter and the best produce from across the patch.

78 City of Wrexham They’ve only gone and done it! As Wales’ brand-new city celebrates the end of a long campaign for recognition, we talk to local people and businesses about what changes they hope to see. 83 Homes Staying home for the summer? We’ve ideas and tips galore to help you make sure your house is the place you want to be! 96 Gardens Whether you’re growing your own or just relaxing outdoors in style, our green-fingered features will help you get it right in the garden this summer. 98 Arts We focus on an artist who found inspiration in the Shire area for a whole new product range featuring her beautiful designs and paintings. Plus the latest exhibition news and our regular photography competition. 102 Pets & Wildlife This issue, we share the story of an extraordinary partnership that’s working to save our bee population. And why all dogs want to go to Mold… Plus, of course, your own adorable pet pictures as well. 107 Fashion Stand out in stripes this summer 111 Education As the school year comes to an end, we celebrate the successes and share developments from the education establishments across the area. 121 Health & Beauty Our health and wellbeing guide will keep you at your best with advice from professionals and beauty experts. 122 Retirement Stories focusing on the older generation include a look at the latest grants available to help older people in the face of the energy crisis. 124 Books & Poetry Our guide to local books, new authors, holiday reading – and an interview with a first-time writer who started out as a zoo keeper! 127 Competitions Don’t miss your chance to win some fabulous prizes in our exclusive Shire competitions. 129 Letters Check out what fellow readers have to say as we share a selection of the letters we’ve been sent – and don’t forget to write and tell us what you think of the latest issue of Shire

23 Gorffennaf/July

Lightyear 1-14 Gorff./ July

Alaw 28 Gorffennaf / July

Catrin Finch + Seckou Keita 14 Hydref / October

Jen Brister 5 Tach./ November

Nosweithiau gwych allan yn Pontio! Brilliant nights out at Pontio! Elvis

8 – 14 Gorffennaf / July

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Gwyl Gwyddoniaeth Wrecsam Wrexham’s Science Festival

Awst 6 - 7 2022

Stryt Caer , Wrecsam Chester Street , Wrexham

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Prynu Tocynnau Buy Tickets

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Summer at Venue Cymru Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, 17th July The Hootenanny legend returns with Squeeze bandmate Gilson Lavis and special guests Ruby Turner and Louise Marshall. 7.30pm. Tickets from £38. Chicago, 25th-30th July Set amid the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, this sassy musical tells the story of

rivals Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly – and all that jazz! Expect treachery, corruption and murder… 7.30pm. Tickets from £15.50. Zog and the Flying Doctors, 2nd-4th August Zog the dragon, keen student turned air ambulance, and his crew Princess Pearl and

Rock out in Wrexham DID YOU KNOW? German techno giants Scooter formed in Hamburg in 1993 Rock the Park returns to Wrexham on 5th-7th August, with over 70 live acts across four huge stages, plus stunt shows, an entertainment arena, nighttime air show, fireworks, fairground, world foods and so much more. Friday headliners include dance legends Scooter, Darren

Russ Chester

Landscapes in paint

SARAH MILLICAN: “Apologising for not having cleaned is easier than cleaning” Sir Gadabout wreak medical mayhem! Stage show of Julia Donaldson’s popular book. 2pm & 4.30pm. Tickets from £16.

Stars at Rhyl Events Arena James, 8th July The enduring Manchester indie band present songs from their new album along with all the hits, supported by Lightning Seeds and The Ks. Tickets £53.12.

Jack Savoretti, 9th July Fresh from an arena tour of new album Europiana, Jack will be supported by soul star Beverley

Styles and Cascada, with Saturday and Sunday showcasing tributes to everyone from The Killerz to Oasish to Spice Forever. Tickets from £30, teens from £12, under-12s free (camping option is now sold out). Enjoy stunning exhibitions at Oriel Môn in Anglesey. Until 31st July catch Jenny Holland’s bold impressionistic paintings in ‘Brushes with Land and Sea’. From 6th August Russ Chester’s ‘The Journey in My Heart’ explores the light, textures and colours of the Welsh countryside. Running throughout the year, ‘A Life in the Country’ charts the lives of the Massey sisters of Cornelyn via their vast portfolio of botanical studies. Open Tue-Sun, 10am-5pm. Free entry, booking essential.

6 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Sarah Millican: Bobby Dazzler, 6th August The star brings gags about all manner of domestic mishaps! 8pm. Tickets £30.

Knight. Tickets £54.12. Tom Grennan, 10th July The ‘Little Bit of Love’ singer showcases his new music, with special guest Ella Henderson. Tickets £44.68. Gates open 4pm. Tickets via or rhylpavilion. or call 01745 330 000

Watch the skies

Rhyl Air Show on 27th & 28th August promises an action-packed, fun-filled line-up with spectacular displays both in the air and on the ground. A strong RAF presence includes the Eurofighter Typhoon and the Red Arrows, and there will be displays by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and the Grob Tutor. The show opens at 11am, displays from 2pm, and entry is free. For more details, visit:



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Variety at Theatr Clwyd A Pretty Sh*tty Love, 8th-23rd July A new play by acclaimed writer Katherine Chandler about the difficulties of finding love in the city. 2.45pm & 7.45pm. Tickets from £10. Celebrate – Whitton Morris School of Dance, 14th-16th July A lively show of song and dance performed by talented

students of ballet, modern, tap and musical theatre. 7pm. Tickets from £9.

Destination Anywhere – Elsberdance, 21st-23rd July Join the Buckley-based dance school for a fun-filled show packed with dancing, singing and stunning effects. 2pm & 7pm. Tickets from £8.

DID YOU KNOW? A Terrible Tudor cure for asthma: swallow a young frog smeared in butter. Yuk! Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors, 31st July From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, hear the legends (and the lies) about the Tudors. It’s history with the nasty bits left in! 10.30am, 1.30pm & 3.30pm. Tickets £3.

Battle for Beaumaris

Beaumaris Castle goes back in time from 27th-29th August with the arrival of a medieval encampment. Learn about arrow making, leather work, cooking, jesting and more. There’ll be demonstrations of armour and weapons – discover how archers were feared by all and join in drill training. The day ends in a battle between Lord Rhodes and Capt Horton, when knights will be recruited from the crowd! 10am-5pm. Standard admission applies.

Fabulous folk

Blackbeard’s Tea Party, Rory McLeod and Katie Spencer are among the top artists appearing at Tyddyn Môn Farm, Anglesey on 7th-10th July. The festival is organised by Tyddyn Môn charity in support of adults with learning disabilities. Weekend tickets £70 (£55 ages 12-17, under-12s free). Individual day/evening tickets from £15.

The course of true love...

The Duke’s Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s riotous tale of confused lovers and fairy royalty, and of course, the donkey! At Valle Crucis Abbey, Llantysilio on 2nd July & 2nd August; Denbigh Castle on 17th July and Conwy Castle on 29th-30th July. 7pm. Tickets from £16.50.

Jester minute...

Start your weekend with Friday Frolics and Fun at Conwy Castle, every Friday from 29th July-26th August. Let the town jester entertain you with his comic play, and listen to stories from Welsh folklore. Children can have a go at archery or try their hand at some magic in the wand workshop. 10am-4pm. Standard admission prices apply. See

2nd & 3rd July, Classic Transport Weekend, Llangollen Railway See vintage transport including motorcycles, cars, trucks, tractors and buses. The railway will be running steam, diesel and heritage railcars all weekend, with a free bus service using vintage buses. Timetable and prices at

3rd & 14th July, Tunes and Tales, Criccieth Castle Enter a world of Welsh storytelling with Mair Tomos Ifans, illustrated with folk songs played on a small lap harp and Welsh triple harp. 11am-4pm. Standard admission applies.

From 4th July, Monday Night is Music Night, St John’s Methodist Church, Llandudno Every Monday evening until 26th September, the Harmony Singers present a varied programme of popular classics, show tunes and modern melodies, raising money for good causes. 8pm. Tickets £7.

From 5th July, Bodrhyddan House & Garden Tours, Rhuddlan Visit this stunning stately home, boasting several hundred acres of grounds. Explore the art collection, the gardens in bloom and the tea room! Open Tues & Thurs. 1-5pm. Tickets from £3.83.

From 7th July, Whistler Talks, Plas Newydd, Anglesey On Thursdays and Fridays in July & August hear about Rex Whistler’s fantastical 17.5m-long mural of an imagined view from the house. 11- 11.30am. Standard admission applies.

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WHAT’S ON NORTH WALES DID YOU KNOW? John Owen-Jones is currently on stage in Great British Bake-Off The Musical


Thrills at Rhyl Pavilion Jason Manford: Like Me, 8th July He’s back and he hasn’t changed a bit! Effortlessly entertaining – expect goldstandard observational comedy! 7.30pm. Tickets £32.

The Aloud Charity, 17th July Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Aloud, the organisation behind Only Boys Aloud, this gala concert brings together all the ensembles for the first

time: Only Boys Aloud, Only Kids Aloud, Only Boys Aloud Academi and Merched Aloud Girls. 5pm. Tickets from £17. The Superstars of Welsh Wrestling, 24th July Smack down and enjoy outrageous fun for all the family. 5pm. Tickets from £11.

8th-10th July, Tonnau Tropical Garden Party, Carreglwyd Estate, Holyhead Set in magical woodland just 15 minutes’ walk from the beach, Tonnau is a unique and friendly festival of music, food and culture spread across five stages. Day tickets from £50, weekend pass £110.

John Owen-Jones, 7th September The West End and Broadway star is best known for his record-breaking run as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables and the Phantom in The

A grand day out

Celebrate summer at Anglesey County Show on 9th-10th August at the Mona Showground. Along with lots of livestock there’ll be splendid shopping, exhibition pavilions, competitions, cookery and crafts, a food hall, vehicle displays, stunt shows, equestrian events, live music and tons of doggy activities! Gates open 8am.

’90s not out!

Phantom of the Opera. Catch his new Music of the Night tour. 8pm. Tickets from £29.50. rhylpavilion.

Relive the best of ’90s music with two fabulous gigs at Stadium Eirias, Colwyn Bay. On 13th August Pete Tong & the Heritage Orchestra will perform a brand new Ibiza Classics show, reworking iconic dance anthems. Tickets from £45. And on 14th August, celebrating the success of their latest album, pop-soul legends Simply Red will play an exclusive show. Both events begin at 4.30pm. Tickets from £53.44. See

The Dragon rises again

Caernarfon Castle’s historical re-enactors, Red Dragon Archers and Garrison, invite you to join them in July and August. Medieval characters might be practising their archery, testing their trebuchet, crafting metal on a blacksmith’s anvil, displaying falconry skills or carrying out page-to-squire and squireto-knight training. They await your pleasure at the Great Hall and the Queen’s Gate. 11am-3pm, standard admission prices apply.

Big ideas at Hawarden

10th July & 14th August, Mold Artisan Market This vibrant market will be filled with plants, produce and gifts featuring local and regional artisans, and some from further afield. 11am-4pm. Free entry.

13th July, The Spooky Men’s Chorale, Neuadd Ogwen, Bethesda ‘Men, singing songs, some of them are funny’ – catch this unusual Australian collective with their inspired choreography. 7-11pm. Tickets £24.

16th July, Wrexham Symphony Orchestra, William Aston Hall, Glyndŵr University, Wrexham The orchestra will perform work by Dukas, Berlioz, Rimsky-Korsakov, Brahms and Shostakovich. 7.30pm. Tickets from £2.74.

Whether you’re a lover of Victoriana or a student with a penchant for the ‘Grand Old Man’, the Gladstone Umbrella conference on 15th-17th July is for you, while The Inklings with Michael J Christensen on 12th-14th August explores the history and works of the literary group that included JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. Weekend tickets from £207.

16th July-3rd September, 139th Annual Summer Show, Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy This major exhibition celebrates the very best in contemporary art from artists across Wales. 11am-5pm. Free entry.

16th July & 20th August, Colwyn Bay Artisan Market Discover a host of unique arts and crafts from local makers, plus artisan cheeses, breads, olives, chocolates, cakes and food trucks serving hot foods from around the world. 10am4pm. Free entry.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 9



Pontio’s got talent

Cupid’s Tale, 16th-17th July Academi Westend presents a heart-warming musical about a retired Broadway star, her ‘Little Angels Orphanage’ and a foundling named Cupid. 1.30pm & 6.30pm. Tickets from £12.

July, Medieval •23rd Fun Day, Valle

Crucis Abbey, Llantysilio Experience the thrill of battle in this medieval re-enactment, and discover how our ancestors lived and fought through the Middle Ages. 10am-5pm, standard admission applies.

23rd-24th July, Colwyn Model Railway Club Exhibition, Craigy-Don Community Centre, Llandudno The exhibition features 14 working layouts, with an emphasis on locally inspired and club members’ railways, plus traders. 10am-4pm. Adults £5, children free.

Alaw, 28th July The “Welsh supergroup” (Songlines magazine) share their passion for the traditional music of Wales with a deftness and sensitivity that is enthralling. 8pm. Tickets from £13. DID YOU KNOW? Our BIG Variety Show, 30th July The Alaw is singer Nia youngsters of Maes-G ShowZone perform Lynn, Dylan Fowler a variety show by the community for the (guitar) and Oli community – with something for everyone! Wilson-Dickson 7pm. Tickets from £10. (fiddle)

A summer of art

The newly opened Oriel Glasfryn Gallery at Caerwys presents its Summer Exhibition from 25th July-29th August, celebrating the work of Welsh artists inspired by the light, landscapes and culture of Wales. Over 50 artists will be exhibiting in the contemporary gallery building as well as in Glasfryn Hall. If you’re looking for original Welsh art and crafts, this gallery showcases some of the finest, and also houses a permanent display of landscape paintings by Dave Roberts. Open Wed–Sat 10am–5pm, Sun 10am-4pm See

Harbour Seal by Mathew Edenbrow

21st July, Picnic with a Porpoise, Bull Bay, Anglesey Join North Wales Wildlife Trust in celebrating National Marine Week by watching the waves in this Special Area of Conservation for porpoises. 10am-12pm. Tickets £2.

Exploding custard hits Wrexham!

23rd & 24th Jul, 20th & 21st August, Guided Tours, Valle Crucis Abbey, Llantysilio Discover the history of the abbey and what makes this corner of North Wales so important. 10am and 5pm, standard admission applies.

24th July, Love your Hospice Family Sponsored Walk, Treborth Botanic Garden, Bangor Whether you can walk 30 miles or three, this event is for the whole family whilst supporting St David’s Hospice. The walk starts in Treborth Botanic Garden, where there’s a family fun day, and crosses the Menai Bridge to Church Island. From 11am, entry £5.

10 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Darganfod Science Festival brings a jam-packed, slime-filled programme to Wrexham on 6th & 7th August. Xplore! science discovery centre and Ty Pawb promise an extravaganza of wild and wonderful familyfriendly activities, demos and interactive performances featuring robots, bubbles, paint-making, plus the return of the Exploding Custard Show! 9.30am-4.30pm. From £8.50.

Lazing on the water

Visit Llangollen Wharf on Sundays in July and August to enjoy an afternoon tea with prosecco whilst cruising along the Llangollen Canal. Board at midday, returning at 4pm (tickets £29.95). Or make the most of the long days with a peaceful twoand-a-half hour horse-drawn cruise on 7th July or 6th August. Boarding at the wharf at 6pm, you’ll visit the Horseshoe Falls and the Dee Chain Bridge (tickets £24.95). Book online at or call 01978 860 702.

Young superheroes travel free

Iron Man, Thor or the Dark Knight – who’s your hero? Celebrate your comic book favourites at Llanberis Lake Railway’s Super Hero Week on 8th-12th August. All children who come dressed as their favourite character can travel free of charge on the train. There is also a prize for the best-dressed hero of the week! Timetable and prices at

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Fellowship, food and fun

25th-29th July, West End Workshop, Venue Cymru, Llandudno This week-long workshop gives 8 to 21-yearolds with a passion for performing the opportunity to be coached by West End stars, culminating in a performance for family and friends. 10am5pm, £253. Broadway Babies (ages 4-7) runs alongside the main event. 10am-1pm, £103.

DID YOU KNOW? New for 2022 is Camp Zen, a retreat curated by Purab Kohli

Commune with nature at The Good Life summer camp at Hawarden, weekends from 1st-25th July. Each micro-festival offers workshops, feasts, wellness activities and the chance to meet new people and learn new things. Encounter experts in food, nature, culture and the outdoors; go on expeditions and eat incredible food. As the sun goes down, gather around campfires in the Walled Garden. Highlights include talks by Sir Ranulph Fiennes and business guru Holly Tucker; dinners cooked over the fire by Max La Manna, Thomasina Miers and Xanthe Gladstone; a workshop by graphic designer Annie Atkins and an expedition with Tristan Gooley. Tickets from £69 (ages 5-15 £49). See

Dive in!

Grab your fancy hats for Ladies’ Day at Bangoron-Dee on 29th July and celebrate the glamour of both fashion and horseracing. On 15th August the Family Fun Evening from 4.30pm offers amusement for the kids, including an inflatable pirate ship and farmyard play zone. The Summer Meeting on 15th August is the perfect chance to spend time with friends, cheering as the horses thunder down the track.

Medieval mayhem at Harlech

Do you have what it takes to be an awesome knight? Find out at Harlech Castle’s Knight School, every Tuesday from 26th July-23rd August. ‘Live History’ on 24th-25th August challenges you to accept medieval chores – will you have to clean the latrine or crush grapes individually? Then step back in time with the Ardudwy Knights on 27th-28th August, with weaponry demonstrations, combat displays, birds of prey and archery. All events run 11am-4pm, standard admission prices apply.

28th July-1st August, Holyhead Festival, Newry Beach A weekend of activities, including live music, craft and food stalls. a funfair and even an ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition! Evening events are ticketed.

B there

Future stars of the music scene join a few blasts from the past at B-Fest in Caerwys, near Mold on 8th-9th July. The team behind the event pride themselves on showcasing amazing and diverse talent, with both Welsh and English entertainment – headliners include Liverpudlian indie-rockers Space, and Chris Helme and Ian Prowse’s Amsterdam. There’s a kids’ zone and plenty of food and drink stalls. Day tickets from £13.20, weekend from £28.60. See

Smiles and tears…

Star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet and their feuding families meet in the Rose Garden at Erddig Hall on 16th July. Shakespearean players dressed in Elizabethan costume join Chapterhouse in this iconic production. On 17th August, dress as your favourite fairytale character and join the midsummer ball for Cinderella, the well-loved tale of mirth and joy. Both shows run 6.30-8.30pm, tickets £18 (£11 children).

30th & 31st July, Centenary & Celebrations, Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways Celebrate a century of rail with a weekend of heritage trains operating between Dinas and Rhyd Ddu, marking the reopening of this section of line. For timetable & prices see

3rd, 12th & 17th August, Biodiversity Walks, Llandudno Museum & Gallery Explore the flora of the Great Orme, the West Shore along to Deganwy and the ecosystems of the dune system. 10.30-11.30am. £5.

6th-7th August, Menai Food Festival, Menai Bridge A showcase for local, national and international food and drink producers, crafts and street food. There’ll be music and family fun, including a mini funfair. 9.30am-6pm. From £3.

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Wild and wonderful

Highlights of this summer’s events run by North Wales Wildlife Trust:

8th-26th August, Theatr Clwyd’s Summer Schools, St David’s Building, Mold Creative workshops for kids exploring crafts, dance, making music and theatre. Ages 5-7, 8th-11th August, £96; ages 8-10, 15th-19th August, £120; ages 1114, 22nd-26th August, £120.

Wardens’ Walk 3rd, 10th, 17th & 24th July Join the wardens for a walk around Cemlyn Bay nature reserve on Anglesey to hear about the tern colony, one of the largest in Wales. 11am. Free. Happy Valley Bumbles, 23rd July Bumblebees are essential pollinators and many native species can be found in the flower-rich gardens of Llandudno. Join a guided walk to identify them and learn about their life cycle. 1.30pm. Free.

Fun Day, 29th July Bushcraft, woodland crafts and marshmallows will be on offer at this traineeship celebration fun day at Llyn Parc Mawr, Bodorgan on Anglesey. 11am-3pm. Free. Wildlife Walk, 21st August Seven miles from Little Orme to Great Orme, finishing at Gogarth reserve, visiting Bryn Pydew and Rhiwledyn. 11am. Tickets £2.50.

Swinging new classics

•9th-20th August, Dreamgirls, Venue Cymru, Llandudno

Stompers will perform a mixture of traditional and swing jazz. Expect singing, dancing and a lot of fun! Ticket prices vary by event, and are available from Beaumaris Leisure Centre, call 01248 811200 or at

Direct from the West End, join three friends as they embark on a musical rollercoaster through a world of fame and fortune and the ruthless realities of showbusiness. 7.30pm. Tickets from £28.

11th-13th August, Shrek the Musical, Rhyl Pavilion Based on the Oscar-winning film, this hilarious and spectacular production turns the world of fairytales upside down in a must-see musical comedy adventure. 2pm & 7pm. Tickets from £10.

A new opera by Lisa Logan is one of the highlights of the Gwyl Beaumaris Festival on 30th June-4th July. A Silver Spoon charts the story of Princess Diana and Dodi Fayed. The festival, which centres on Canolfan Beaumaris and the Bulkeley Hotel, also features performances by the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, while London-based swing band the Shirt Tail

50 summers of steam •

13th August, Renaissance Revival, Plas Mawr, Conwy. The house will be alive with the sound of music! Step back in time and listen to the tunes of the Renaissance. 11am-4pm. Standard admission applies.

13th August, Peter Pan, Greenfield Valley Heritage Park, Holywell Enjoy this classic children’s tale performed in the open air by Illyria Theatre – this time with ‘real flying’! Bring your own seating or a rug, suitable clothing and a picnic. 5pm. Tickets from £4.

Festival time in Flint

Buy something unique at the Food, Drink and Craft Market on 5th July, 10am-4pm. Enjoy fine dining with Ambermaze at the Town Hall on 6th July (tickets £20), don your 1920s gear for a Murder Mystery on 7th July (tickets £5) or catch evening of song at Cymanfa Ganu on 8th July at St John’s (free). The festival culminates with Rock the Castle on 8th10th July, raising money for local charities (tickets from £2.50).

14 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Bala Lake Railway celebrates its 50th anniversary with a Retro Day on 13th August and Steam Gala on 27th-29th August. Expect visiting locos, doubleheaded trains, demonstration goods trains and vintage buses. Meanwhile, meet Alice the Little Welsh Engine on 30th July, when Pauline Hazelwood reads her stories. Or join a BBQ Special on 4th, 11th & 18th August, stopping at Llangower for sunset over the lake.

And… action!

Saddle up for Denbigh and Flint Show on 18th August. The main ring attraction is the Atkinson Action Horses, with equine stars from Poldark, Victoria and Peaky Blinders. Your heart will be in your mouth at the riders’ acrobatics. The show features over 200 stalls, a food hall, show jumping, country crafts, livestock displays and lots more. 8.30am. From £15 (children £3.50).







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WHAT’S ON NORTH WALES DID YOU KNOW? Watson sang the movie theme for Star Trek: Enterprise

Wales welcomes the world

Vocal powerhouses Aled Jones and Russell Watson will perform together to open the world-renowned Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod on 7th July. A unique combination of competition, performance and community spirit, the festival runs until 10th July and celebrates the best of traditional and contemporary music and dance from around the world. Highlights include Grammy winner Anoushka Shankar with Manu


Delago and the Britten Sinfonia, and indie threepiece Amber Run supported by Elles Bailey and Kizzy Crawford. This year Llangollen Fringe will merge with the Eisteddfod, providing laughs as well as song. Tickets from £10.

21st August, Ferrets and Falcons, Rhuddlan Castle See these swift creatures as they race around the castle grounds! Experience birds of prey in flight and at rest, from the amazing speed of the peregrine to the feats of the red kite and more. 10am-4pm. Standard admission.

25th-26th August, Dinosaur Adventure Live, The Stiwt, Wrexham This awe-inspiring stage show will captivate young and young-atheart, immersing the audience in a world of lifelike dinosaurs. 2pm & 4.30pm. Tickets £14.


27th August, Denbigh Show A traditional family event featuring a variety of fun entertainment and bringing together local organisations to celebrate the best of the town. 11am-4pm. Free.

Live music from local bands, fire-pit jamming sessions, discos, flash mobs, yoga, camping and fun workshops… Wild Fest returns to Ty Ucha Farm, near Mold on 19th-20th August! Dressing-up is encouraged – pitch up in your sparkly glitz and glam, then next day don your pirate gear. Pre-festival events include a coach trip to Aber Falls on 16th August, Olympic Games: North v. South on 17th August, and Zorbing and guitar lessons on the 18th August. A weekend pass costs £40 (children £12; under-fives 50p). Wild Fest prides itself on being non-commercial, with no bars or food concessions. See

Conwy’s Proms

Conwy’s week-long Classical Music Festival on 23rd-30th July opens with Vision, a candlelit show at St Mary’s Church exploring the extraordinary life of Hildegard of Bingen. Also in the varied programme, the Festival Orchestra perform the Overture to The Marriage of Figaro; ‘A Night at the Opera’ presents four rising young singers, and the festival comes to a rousing finale with Cor Meibion y Brythoniaid male voice choir.

RAGS INTO RICHES Catch a wonder of Welsh folk art at Ty Pawb, Wrexham until 24th September. The Wrexham Tailor’s Quilt contains over 4,525 pieces of fabric, and was created by James Williams between 1842 and 1852. It depicts scenes from the Bible: Adam naming the animals, Jonah and the whale, and Noah’s ark, along with local landmarks such as the Menai Suspension Bridge and Cefn Viaduct. ‘The Tailor’s Tale’ also features modern works created in response to the quilt, by Sarah Burton of fashion house Alexander McQueen, printmaker Mark Hearld, The Quilters’ Guild of the British Isles, and Adam Jones’ commission for the gallery. Mon-Sat 10am-4pm. Free entry.

29th August, Prestatyn Classic Car Show A free show held in the town centre, with over 350 cars from the early 1900s through to today’s supercars. Bring your classic motor or admire the other vehicles! 9.45am-3.45pm.

Until 25th September, ‘Temporary Atlas: Mapping the Self in the Art of Today’, Mostyn, Llandudno A selection of works exploring an alternative complementary idea of cartography, the science of drawing maps. Tues-Sun 10.30am-5pm. Free.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 17

Festival time

Pretty little city Stone Age man was first to recognise the attractions of the Elwy Valley, where you’ll find Britain’s second smallest city, St Asaph – home to a wonderful cathedral Neanderthals who hunted game in the DID YOU KNOW? vale of Elwy 225,000 years ago. This A precious early is the most north-western site in copy of the Welsh Eurasia for remains of early hominids Bible is on and is of international importance. display here

St Asph Cathedral: small but perfectly formed


estling on the banks of the River Elwy in Denbighshire is Britain’s second smallest city, St Asaph, with a population of just 3,400 calling the area home. ‘Church on the Elwy’, as its Welsh name translates, is surrounded by stunning countryside and boasts views of the Vale of Clwyd. It is also well placed for busy coastal towns such as Rhyl, Prestatyn, Abergele, Colwyn Bay and Llandudno, while the castles of Denbigh and Rhuddlan are nearby for visitors to enjoy. People have lived here as far back as can be traced, with evidence of the earliest inhabitants found nearby at the Paleolithic site of Pontnewydd (Bontnewydd). A team of excavators from the University of Wales discovered teeth and part of a jawbone believed to belong to a group of

18 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

passionate about St Asaph’s historic claim. The past few decades have seen the local economy thrive, first with the opening of the A55 road in 1970, which took the east–west traffic away from the centre, and more recently with the opening of a business park, attracting investment from home and overseas. St Asaph is now home to Ysgol Glan Clwyd; the first Welsh medium secondary school in Wales – it opened in 1956 – the school moved here from Rhyl in 1969. Every year the city hosts the North Wales International Music Festival, which attracts musicians and music lovers from all over Wales and beyond to various local venues. Other annual events include the increasingly popular Woodfest Wales crafts festival in June, the Beat the Bounds charity walk in July and Gala Day in August.

Later investigations have suggested signs of a Roman fort, but the city is generally believed to have developed around a 6th-century Celtic monastery founded by Saint Kentigern, and is now home to the 14th-century St Asaph Cathedral. The small cathedral has had a chequered history. In the 13th century, the troops of Edward I of England burnt it almost to the ground, and in 1402 Owain Glyndwr’s troops went on the rampage, severely damaging the interior. Some 250 years later, during the Commonwealth, the building was used to house farm animals. The cathedral was what allowed St Asaph to be regarded as a city, but for many years the UK government deemed it The Georgian Brynbella House and gardens are well worth a visit not to hold city status. The town applied in competitions held in THINGS TO SEE AND DO 2000 for the Millennium and again in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, before North Wales International Music Festival finally being successful in 2012 as part of the 17th September – 1st October 2022 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

Status update

Even before it was official, the council had referred to itself as the City of St Asaph Town Council and the local community is

St Asaph Cathedral 25 High St, St Asaph LL17 0RD Brynbella House & Gardens Tremeirchion, St Asaph LL17 0UE

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra

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Orchestra in Residence at Wrexham Glyndŵr University

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It’s all happening in Aberystwyth

Operation Julie, 30th July-13th August Anarchic musical with ’70s prog-rock soundtrack tells the story of the undercover operation to smash one of the most extraordinary drug rings the world has ever seen. 2.30pm & 7.30pm.Tickets from £18. Encanto, 23rd August, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 24th August, Mamma Mia!, 25th August Enjoy an outdoor movie at Chapel Court. Pack a picnic, bring a blanket and watch these fantastic movies on a giant cinema screen under the stars. 7.15pm. Tickets £14.50. John Owen-Jones, 8th September The West End and Broadway

A classical spectacular

From 23rd-30th July everyone will be living, breathing and dreaming music at Aberystwyth Music Fest, an exciting fusion of festival and summer school that attracts international artists, teachers, students and audiences alike. Concerts are held at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, starting with a gala opening concert by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra performing a programme of Elgar and Brahms, under the baton of rising star conductor Alpesh Chauhan. View a full programme and book tickets at


star is best known for his performances in Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera. Catch his new Music of the Night tour! 8pm. Tickets from £27.50.

DID YOU KNOW? Tim Curry based Frank-N-Furter's voice on the Queen and his mum!


“Some of my best rides have been within 50 miles of where I live,” says biker Nick Sanders. Meet like-minded folks at his Adventure Gathering near Machynlleth on 25th-28th August to celebrate all things motorcycling. There’ll be expert workshops, world-class speakers including desert expert Chris Scott, inspirational films and live music. Star events are the small-group ride-outs exploring back roads and off-road green lanes. Tickets £59.

Summer music at Cardigan Castle

One of the largest one-day agricultural shows in Wales, Cardigan County Show takes place on 30th July at Briscwm Fields. There’ll be all the traditional livestock and animals on show, plus a Sheepdog Challenge, farrier demonstrations and displays by Dreams Dance School. The food hall will be hosting talks and workshops throughout the day, with plenty of opportunities for retail therapy. 9am-6pm. See Cantorion O Fri, 8th July A musical extravaganza featuring some of Wales’ finest voices, who will perform favourites from the worlds of musical theatre and opera. 6.30-10.30pm. Tickets £25. Dynamix – Matilda Jr., 9th-10th July Packed with high-energy dance numbers and catchy songs, audiences will be wowed by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination, performed by students of Dynamix Performing Arts School. 4pm & 8.30pm. Tickets from £8. Richard Thompson, 30th July A folk legend and co-founder of Fairport Convention, Thompson is one of the most celebrated musicians in the industry. 6pm. Tickets £30. 20 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022




Pull on your corsets and don your top hats… Llandrindod Wells Victorian Festival is back on 22nd-29th August! See the return of Gerald Dickens, who’ll pack The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby into one hour, and Alison Neil’s Shining (Glowing) Bright, the story of Marie Curie. At the weekend strut your stuff and compete in a best dressed competition, or grab your sash for the suffragette demonstration. There’ll be tribute

DID YOU KNOW? When the town’s Albert Hall was built in 1896, it cost just £1,600!

acts in the Garden, along with the Two Davids’ ‘Gentlemanly Duo of Victorian Ditties’ and Law Dogs & Ladies re-enacting the Wild West. Grab your penny farthing for the National Cycle Museum’s historic cycle cavalcade. There are many more themed events, from a Peter Rabbit and Friends afternoon to the Victorian etiquette ball, and a torchlight parade to the fireworks display. Full programme at

Who’s your fantasy line-up? The Killers? Police? Ariana Grande? Big Tribute Festival at Lovesgrove Farm, Aberystwyth on 26th-28th August has versions of them all. Prepare for a fabulous weekend of live music, free camping and an authentic festival experience, with a second stage full of the best local acts, plus an ale and cider festival, Little Rockers’ zone, games and

All steam trains great and small

Steam fans will love the model railway exhibition at Y Plas Machynlleth on 27th-28th August (10am4.30pm). Diverse layouts in various scales include at least one where children can try their hand at ‘driving’. Trade stands include a Corris sales outlet and one raising funds for a new engine. Corris Railway is four miles away and steam trains will be running throughout the weekend.


inflatables and lots of quality food outlets. For full line-up and tickets see

Back to nature

Visit the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth on 16th July and 21st August for a Gardening for Nature day and learn how to help wildlife thrive in your garden. Get close to creepy-crawlies in the Nature Detectives day on 25th July and 11th August. Or if DIY’s more your thing, try transforming pallets into furniture on 13th August. “Pub prices, affordable food, bonkers visual art and an old-school party vibe” is how Landed Festival describes itself. Taking place in Llandrindod Wells on 29th-31st July, headliners include dub electronic musician Gaudi, plus techno, alt rock and DJ sets over five stages. There’ll be theatre and circus performers and poets, chainsaw carving, crafts and stalls and holistic therapies, and lots for the kids too, including the infamous ‘pimp your duck’ race! 10am. Tickets from £30.

From 3rd July, Silent Space Sundays, Cae Hir Gardens, Cribyn, near Lampeter Silent Space is a movement sweeping the gardening world. When entering the Wild Garden Silent Space simply switch off your phone and let the nature around you do the talking. 10am-5pm. Normal entry fee applies.

9th July, Presteigne Carnival A fun day packed with entertainment, featuring the Welsh Axemen, Paws for Thought dog display team, assault course and slippery pole, community samba group, as well as traditional country fair stalls. The carnival continues into the evening with live music. 12.45-11pm.

9th July, Three Peaks Yacht Race, Barmouth This famous race is preceded by a procession of the yachts from Barmouth Harbour to the start line offshore, with activities, stalls and music on the quayside to entertain onlookers. Free.

13th & 27th July, 10th & 24th August, Dragon Big Band, Montgomery Town Hall Come and support Montgomery's own big swing band and hear the music of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Artie Shaw and others. 8pm. £5 suggested donation.

16th July, Cycle Jumble, Cefnllys School, Llandrindod Wells Organised in aid of the neighbouring National Cycle Museum, this sale offers surplus stock from their stores. 8.30am11.30am. £4 (£1 from 9.30am).

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 21



17th July, Mark Watson: This Can't Be It, Mwldan, Cardigan Spiritual enquiry meets high-octane observational comedy with introspective national treasure Mark Watson. 8pm. Tickets £20.


Git out yur ten-gallon hat and mosey on down to Welshpool Country Music Festival on 14th-17th July. Run by the Heulwen Trust, a lively line-up includes The Monkey Sellers, singer/songwriter Kezia Gill, Knoxville Highway, Nashville Numbers, Texas Tornados and more. Mavericks show team will be recreating the Wild West, with shoot-outs,

MOMA hosts the Gwyl Machynlleth Festival from 21st-28th August. Highlights include Welsh tenor Dennis O’Neill, cellist Abel Selaocoe and Chesaba, candlelit concerts by harpist Siân James and Elysium Brass, and the Lourdes Fernández dance company, who will also be giving a free flamenco masterclass. Ben Dant returns for the children’s concert, sharing tales of his adventures on the Seven Seas, and Neil Cussack will be reading short stories by Dylan Thomas and others in shops and venues up and down the high street. Programme at

Railway, Aberystwyth Realise those childhood dreams and have a go at driving a steam locomotive! Details at

19th & 26th July and Tuesdays in August, Pen y Garreg Dam Open Day, Elan Valley Join the Rangers for a trip inside the dam and learn about the feat of engineering that made Elan. 10am-4pm. £5 (children £1).

23rd July, Lampeter Food Festival With around 100 stands, chefs, cookery demos, culinary crafts and music, this is one of Wales’ best loved food festivals. 9am-5pm. Free entry.

Dancing in the dark

24th July, Mid Wales Opera, Gregynog Hall, near Newtown Enjoy an outdoor concert led by pianist Charlotte Forrest with a host of talented young singers. There’ll be a picnic break, too. 5pm. £17 (under-16s £5.50).

30th July, Edge of the World Summer Festival Party, The Shed, Mwnt, near Cardigan A festival of indie pop, folk and blues in a stunning location. Headliners include Dodgy, The Seahorses and Welsh artist Rona Mac. 11am. Tickets from £20.

tepees, a blacksmith’s forge and even a saloon! If you are in western dress, you can gain half-price admission to Powis Castle just up the road. The event closes with a costumed Trilogy March. Gates open midday. Tickets from £50.


•From 18th July, Driver Experience, Vale of Rheidol

The Bob Marley Revival, 20th August An evening of tropical vibes. Out front there’ll be Caribbean food from Hummingbird and cocktails from Tiffins. 7pm. From £10. Morcheeba: Blackest Blue, 25th August The band’s chilled electronic/organic sound is about finding a way through the darkest of times. 7.30pm. £24.50.

22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

DID YOU KNOW? The festival raises funds for Heulwen Trust to run canal trips for the less able


Time to dust off those heirlooms and share car boot bargains, as Fiona Bruce and the BBC Antiques Roadshow team come to Powis Castle on 19th July. Free but booking essential. From 23rd July-31st August, explore the castle garden and join in with sports on the Great Lawn, including races, badminton and croquet. 10am-5pm, standard admission.

BATTLE OF THE BARDS A must for culture vultures, the National Eisteddfod takes place from 30th July to 6th August at Tregaron. It’s a celebration of Welsh music, language and culture, attracting thousands of competitors to take part in Welsh language contests of poetry and song. The week’s events culminate in

the atmospheric Gorsedd of the Bards, a colourful ceremony honouring the achievements of Welsh writers. Everyone’s invited, so don’t be put off if you aren’t a Welsh speaker – though you can take part in an onsite Welsh language lesson! Tickets at


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Steamtrains trains in southern southern Snowdonia Steam Snowdonia Beautiful lake lake and and mountain Beautiful mountainviews views

Family friendly attraction – dog friendly too! Family friendly attraction – dog friendly too! th

A Day with ‘Alice the little Welsh nd Engine’ – 30 July Open most days from 2 April A day celebrating the beautifully illustrated children’s books

th by Pauline Hazelwood, the18author Easter and Egga chance Huntto- meet 15th to April herself. ‘Winifred’ will again be standing in for ‘Alice’ Can you find the Easter Eggs cunningly hidden on th Evening the bbq excursions - 4puzzle , 11th,and 18thwin August railway to solve the a prize?

Enjoy a leisurely evening barbeque by the lake Greattrip funwith foraall the family! th 50th Anniversary 27th to to 29 August BalaSteam at 50Gala - 30th –April 2nd May

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Much Ado About Nothing, 16th July Sun & Moon Theatre presents Shakespeare’s boldest and most enduring romantic comedy, showcasing a vivacious ensemble, razor-sharp wit and live music. 7pm. Tickets £12 (child £6). The Comedy of Errors, 30th July Separated twins, a shipwreck and mistaken identity – what’s not to love in this hilarious world of slapstick and farce? 1.30pm & 3.30pm (performance lasts 1 hour). Tickets £12 (child £6).

Good mucky fun According to Lonely Planet guides it’s in the top 50 ‘Must do’ experiences. The World Bog Snorkelling Championships take place on 28th August in Llanwrtyd Wells. There’s stalls, a bouncy castle, music and real ale, so it’s a good day out even if you don’t fancy a dip. It all takes place at Waen Rhydd bog from 10am. Entry £15 (£12 14-15yrs).

Wild Ideas, 1st-5th August Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust lead a unique creative day camp for young people (13-24yrs), featuring improvisation, writing, bird-box making and wildlife recording. Free. Love’s Labours Lost, 14th August Shakespeare’s most eccentric comedy, courtesy of The Wet Mariners. 3pm & 7.30pm.Tickets £15 (child £7.50).

Musical innovation in the Marches No fewer than nine new works celebrate the 150th anniversary of Vaughan Williams’ birth, at Presteigne Festival on 25th-30th August. A carefully balanced programme of contemporary music, 20th-century classics and

7th August, Open Day, Rhiw Valley Light Railway, near Welshpool Enjoy a rare opportunity to visit and travel on this private 15inch gauge railway, running alongside the River Rhiw through farm and woodland. 10.30am-4.30pm. Tickets from £4.

13th August, Summer Cider Cycle, Llanwrtyd Wells Green Events present a fun bike ride through the countryside of Mid Wales. Choose between 14 and 25 mile routes. At the checkpoints, keg cider and perry will be provided! Entry £20.


Move over, Great Yorkshire Show! The Royal Welsh Show at Builth Wells Showground on 18th-21st July promises four brilliant days of livestock competitions and a whole range of activities including forestry, horticulture, crafts, countryside

masterpieces from the standard repertoire are complemented by cabaret from Jessica Walker and Joseph Atkins, literary and music talks, films from director Wes Anderson, exhibitions and the popular Open Studios.

3rd August, A Midsummer Night's Dream, St Mary's Church, Newton Outdoor performance featuring live music, beautiful design, theatrical magic and, of course, the donkey! 7pm. £19 (conc £15, family ticket £45).

sports, shopping and food. For each day of the show there’ll be a full 12-hour programme of entertainment, attractions and exciting displays. Gates open 8am. Tickets from £28 (5-16yrs £5). See

Talyllyn Specials

13th August, Llanfyllin Show Headlined by the spectacular Atkinson Action Horses stunt team, performing highenergy, stunts. 9am-7pm. Free.

Talyllyn Steam Railway will be transformed into Skarloey for the second Awdry Extravaganza on 23rd-24th July, while on 9th August you can join the Floral Train, with a choir to serenade you at Abergynolwyn. Sunset Specials run Sundays and Wednesdays in August, with a stop in Abergynolwyn for refreshments. August Fridays are Frydays – enjoy a chippy tea at Wharf Station after your ride! For prices see

18th-20th August, Cardigan Bay Regatta, New Quay Sailing races for all ages, swimming, kayaking, inshore sports and fun events for the children. It’s suitable for all the family, with sandcastlebuilding competitions on the first day.

23rd August, Explore and Draw, Rhos Pasture, near Rhayader, Radnorshire Wildlife Trust Join in creative activities led by artist Rebecca Finney and find out about this atmospheric habitat, rich in wonderful flowers, insects and ancient hedges. 10am-midday. Free.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 25


WHAT’S ON CHESHIRE DID YOU KNOW? In 1741, Handel heard the first recital of his ‘Messiah’ in the cathedral


1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd July, Friday Night Comedy, Alexander’s Live, Chester Each show provides four brilliant comedians, hand-picked to give you the best night out. Plus there’s bar snacks and a huge selection of craft beers, cocktails, soft drinks and more! 8pm, £12.

1st-31st July, Northwich Art Trail Work by 80 artists, hosted by retailers around the town and in the pop-up gallery at Barons Quay. Walk the trail and enjoy! All the art is for sale.

2nd-9th July, Arsenic and Old Lace, Chester Little Theatre The popular comedy has been making audiences laugh for years. See the Cary Grant film transported to stage. 7.30pm. Tickets £10.

Chester Cathedral presents…

Summer highlights at the city’s famous landmark. Book tickets at

Platinum Proms, 8th July The High Sheriff of Cheshire invites you to a fundraising concert in aid of Cheshire Community Foundation. This spectacular event, presented by Gyles Brandreth, will feature a wealth of musical talent and a rousing finale, conducted by Matt Baker, to commemorate the Jubilee. 7.30pm. Tickets £20 adult, £5 child.

6th-9th July, The Wizard of Oz, Northwich Memorial Court You’ve seen it on TV, now see it live! Vale Royal Musical Theatre present the everpopular tale that brings joy to adults and children alike. Times vary, tickets £16 (£12.50 child). 12th July, Feathers & Treasures •Watercolour Workshop,

Toolerstone House, Sandiway In this relaxing and informative session, local artist Allie Pottinger demonstrates many creative techniques. The price includes all art materials, a freshly homemade lunch and refreshments. 9.45am-3pm. £90.

Stéphanie Elbaz, 6th August This solo piano recital programme includes Tchaikovsky’s famous Nutcracker, Liszt’s virtuoso Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2, as well as Schubert, Mozart, Bach and other surprises. 7.30pm. Tickets £5-£40.


The beautiful Chester Lakes complex plays host to Deva Fest on 12th-14th August, a family-friendly extravaganza of music, parades and fab food – oh, and mermaids and pirates! Friday is old-school dance anthems, on Saturday it’s Sophie Ellis-Bextor and Heather Small, then Scouting for Girls on Sunday. See

Every Saturday, Chester Walls Walk A two-mile guided walk around Chester’s iconic walls, taking approximately two hours. Learn some amazing facts about the history of this fabulous city. 2.30pm. £10.

Making Tracks 2022, 23rd July to late summer A new layout steams into the Cathedral, created by railway enthusiast Pete Waterman OBE and sponsored by Chester Model Centre. 10am-5pm.

Once upon a time…


Where fairer to watch the best loved of all fairy tales, Cinderella, than in the grounds of Dunham Massey on 13th August? Children can dress as their favourite characters and join in the ball. Show starts 6.30pm. Tickets £18 (ages 3-16 £11). Bring a picnic and low-back seat.

Looking for a family day out with fabulous food and drink? Join thousands of foodies at Nantwich Showground on 23rd-24th July for Dorfold Hall Food & Drink Festival. This idyllic location will host over 31 cuisines, eight bars, live cookery theatre, two artisan produce markets, live entertainment and kids’ fun! £4.95 (£2.50 child).


From 14th to 23rd July, Clonter Opera Theatre in Congleton has a treat in store. Albert Herring is an operatic comedy by Benjamin Britten, set in a fictitious Suffolk village. Albert is an obedient son who, in the absence of virtuous females for May Queen, is crowned May King, and after drinking rum-laced lemonade runs off for a night of rebellion… 26 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022



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DID YOU KNOW? Friday from 11am is a ‘quiet hour ’ for those who need a calmer setting

Foodies’ paradise An outstanding line-up of celebrity guests awaits at Nantwich Food Festival, held in the centre of this lovely market town on 2nd-4th September. Sean Wilson will showcase his Saddleworth cheeses – his demonstrations are legendary! Rosemary Shrager’s success with her online Cooking Club and advanced Masterclasses means she will be in great demand. We eagerly anticipate watching Dean Edwards, from ITV’s Lorraine and other TV shows. His mantra is: “Food doesn’t have to

be complicated.” Nigel Brown completes the programme of top chefs. Exhibitors from near and far will showcase their wares in two food courts, with the market-styled town square bringing the list to over 200. The ever-popular children’s marquee will host a range of crafty activities, and there are two top-quality live music stages. Entry and all events are free, just come along!

The future of farming

Summer at the Lyceum

Nantwich Show is back to celebrate 125 glorious years, with a fantastic new look and a ‘Best of British’ theme. Taking place on 27th July at Reaseheath College, the show has a stronger than ever agricultural message. The exciting new format will showcase technologies and innovations in the farming industry, with a focus on sustainability, family entertainment and community spirit. nantwich


Prepare for four unique days of music, science and cosmic culture! Bluedot, the award-winning festival of discovery, returns to Jodrell Bank on 21st-24th July. Against the backdrop of the iconic Lovell telescope witness a stellar line-up of music – Björk featuring The Hallé Orchestra, Groove Armada, Mogwai and Metronomy – plus live experiments, expert talks from Tim Peake and The Sky at Night’s Chris Lintott, and immersive art. events/bluedot-2022/

Crewe’s Lyceum Theatre has some spectacular shows for August, including powerhouse tribute The Upbeat Beatles (12th August, tickets £26.50) and That’ll Be The Day (29th, from £28), a celebration of pop from the ’50s to the ’80s. Kids will love The Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet show on 5th-6th August (£17, £14).

15th July, The Hive, Winsford Are You Experienced? are in their 25th year together, and in that time have firmly established themselves as the premier Jimi Hendrix tribute band in Europe. 8pm. Tickets £8.

16th July, Crochet Day Retreat, The Crochet Sanctuary, Cranage Hall A whole day of non-stop crochet! Fee includes all yarn for all workshops, and unlimited refreshments. 10am-6pm, £95.

Every Saturday, Canal Town at the National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port Experience what it was like to live and work in the docks, with the sights and sounds of the late 19th century when Ellesmere Port was a canal town. 10am-4pm. £9.75 (ages 6-15 £6, under-5s free, family ticket £25).

In outline

‘Idiosyncrasies’, at Nantwich Museum until 16th July, is a mini Margaret Brothwell retrospective of work by Outline Art, professional artists from the Staffs borders. Tues-Sat 10.30am-4.30pm. Entry is free.

Happy days

16th-17th July, Middlewich Classic Car and Bike Show 2022 The return of the annual classic car and bike event. No need to pre-book, just turn up. 8am-5pm. Entry (exhibitors and visitors) via charitable donation.

Come out and play this summer at Little Moreton Hall, near Congleton. There are games and activities to keep the whole family entertained, plus free archery every Wednesday afternoon in the holidays. Open 11am-5pm, entry from £12 (£6 child). Details at

17th July, Family Fete and Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Cholmondeley Castle The Wingate Centre is holding a Fete and Teddy Bears’ Picnic! Join them for a fun day of activities including stalls, a dog show and more. 10am-5pm. £7 (ages 5-15 £3, under-5s free).

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 27



17th July, Cheshire Classic Car & Motorcycle Show, Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield Offering a spectacular day of motoring heritage ideal for enthusiasts, families and day trippers, this event features an exciting display of vintage, classic and modern classic vehicles. Add to this classic motorcycles, trade and autojumble stalls, modern dealership stands, quality food, drink, ice cream and responsible bars. Advance tickets £8.25 (ages 7-14 £3.20, under-7s free).

23rd July, Craft Pottery Short Session 101 Course, The Potters Barn, Sandbach An introduction to hand-made craft pottery, exploring the most common methods of making including the potter’s wheel. 10.30ammidday. £55.

Open daily, Cotebrook Shire Horse Centre, Tarporley A wonderful day out for animal lovers of all ages. As well as the fabulous Shire horses there is a selection of British animals and birdlife, wild and domesticated, including rare breeds. 10am-5pm. From £10 (child £8).

A breath of fresh air Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, Chester brings you three fantastic full-length productions. To book, visit: Romeo and Juliet, from 1st July Directed by John Young, this new staging of one of literature’s great love stories is set in late 1950s’ Italy, and features original songs by Chester band Me + Deboe. Little Women, from 8th July Louisa May Alcott’s classic tale in a new adaptation by Anne Odeke,

Odds-on winner

Chester Races Family Funday on 31st July transforms the Open course into a wonderland of free activities for children and families. Whilst adults can enjoy the racing, and relax with some of the best food and drink around, children are spoilt for choice with fun things to do throughout the whole day. There’s a new pricing system for tickets, rewarding those who book early, so don’t leave it till the last minute! fixtures/family-funday/

30th July, Live Rooms, Chester South Wales rock band Scarlet Rebels headline, promoting their new album See Through Blue. Doors 7pm. Tickets £14.

30th-31st July, Gathering of Historic Boats, Audlem Wharf Over 30 historic ex-working narrowboats dating from 1895 to 1960 will be moored along the village’s canal and beside the locks.

28 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

with the action transported from Civil War America to Britain at the outbreak of the First World War.

Stig of the Dump, from 22nd July Completing the summer programme is the hugely popular children’s tale. This adaptation by Jessica Swale, directed by Harry Jardine, sees both Stig and Barney played by deaf actors, and has an integrated BSL signer as part of every show.


Fancy tucking into a tasty fish and chip supper whilst enjoying a twohour sail to the picturesque Aldford Iron Bridge? Chester Boat’s Fish & Chip Fridays on 1st July and 5th August are fun for the whole family – on the way back play a couple of games of bingo whilst enjoying a hot or cold drink from the on-board bar. Cruises sail at 7pm. Tickets are £20 (£10 for children) when booked online.

Calling young All’s fair conservationists…

Chester Zoo offers a brilliant course where you can explore conservation careers and learn about their animals and projects through a combination of group activities, workshops and theory sessions, with lots of time for fun and games too. For secondary school years 7-9, there are three days of activities from 9th-11th August. £110 per person. Email:

DID YOU KNOW? Stig of the Dump features in the top 20 kids’ books of all time at

For an unbeatable family day out packed with rural activities, head for the Cheshire Game & Country Fair on 28th-29th August, at Cheshire Showground in Knutsford. Watch scurry racing, horse boarding, jousting, falconry, the Stannage International Stunt Team… there’s something for everyone. A fishing demonstration and lessons are available, plus the chance to have a go at clay pigeon shooting. Tickets £16 (ages 5-15 £6). livingheritage

2022 FIXTURES MAY Boodles May Festival City Day Ladies Day Chester Cup Day Roman Day

W E D N E S D AY 4 T H U R S D AY 5 F R I D AY 6 S AT U R D AY 2 8 JUNE

Summer Saturday Ladies Evening Summer Festival

S AT U R D AY 1 1 F R I D AY 2 4 S AT U R D AY 2 5 JULY

Ladies & Gents Evening City Plate Day Midsummer Meeting Family Funday

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Ladies Day


Autumn Festival Season Finale

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Supporting over 8,000 families

Deewater Grange care home, Chester We champion training and innovation to support our care home teams to deliver outstanding care. Residents’ quality of life is at the heart of everything we do, helping individuals to stay active and independent so they can live each day to the full.

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On stage at the Storyhouse

Summer’s offering from Chester’s beautiful art deco theatre. Book tickets at

authors for an exclusive insight into The Last Hours: Chain of Gold. 7.30pm. Tickets £24.50.

SIX the Musical, 5th-9th July From Tudor Queens to Pop Princesses, the six wives of Henry VIII tell their tales, remixing historical heartbreak into an 80-minute celebration of 21st-century girl power. Various times. Tickets from £22.

Martha Wainwright, 3rd August Performing her fifth studio album Love Will Be Reborn, a search for optimism and joy. 7.30pm. Tickets £26.50.

An Evening with Cassandra Clare, 13th July Join one of the world’s most successful fantasy fiction

The Tiger Who Came to Tea, 5th-7th August With oodles of magic, sing-a-long songs and wild chaos, this musical play is based on the book by Judith Kerr. Various times. Tickets £14.

Stars and fast cars

Created by Chris Evans to help UK children’s charities, CarFest is the largest family fundraising festival in the UK. This year’s extravaganza, on 22nd-24th July at Bolesworth, promises the fastest cars, some of UK’s best artists, bands and DJs, incredible food demos, and a host of TV and sports legends.

Tickets from £77.70 (child £17.85).

DID YOU KNOW? Melanie C, Ronan Keating, Dick & Dom and James Haskell are all on the line-up!


The 100-mile Cheshire Dash is back, in aid of local children’s cancer charity The Joshua Tree, partnered with the Transforming Lives Foundation. On 2nd July the cycle challenge will cross the Cheshire countryside, starting and finishing in Goostrey. It’s £50 to enter (min fundraising £200). See transforminglives. Cheshire-Dash-2022

7th August, Walk: From Weaver to Wearer, Congleton For over 350 years textile manufacture was the mainstay of Congleton’s economic development, and this guided walk shows how the trade influenced every aspect of the town’s life and its industrial, commercial and domestic architecture. 2-4pm. £4 (children £1).

5th-7th August, Rewind Festival, Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield Celebrate the best of the ’80s with Level 42, Holly Johnson, Kim Wilde and more! There’s also a silent disco, funfair and kidzone. All you need are your friends and some glitter! Tickets prices vary.

Tracy Whittington)


Power to the people

Enjoy a summer day out with all the family at the Al Shira’aa Bolesworth Young Horse Show, a five-day showcase on 10th-14th August. As well as the exciting sport to watch, there’s a shopping village with plenty of food and drink options (with undercover seating), have-a-go dog agility, a family dog show and plenty more attractions. Tickets £16.50 (under-14s £5.50).

31st July & 28th August, Eaton Hall Gardens Charity Open Day, Eccleston, Chester Help to raise important funds for local charities whilst enjoying these rarely seen grounds. 10.30am-5pm. Tickets (pre-book only) £9 adult, £2.50 child.

Cheshire Festival of Power comes to Ashley Hall near Altrincham on 27th28th August, a must for petrolheads of all ages! Day tickets £27.50 (£10 child, £65 family).

10th-11th, 17th-18th & 24th25th August, Wellbeing with Nature, Joey the Swan, Crewe Connect with nature, learn new skills and improve your wellbeing. 10am3pm. Free but you need to book!

14th August, Ring-Making Workshop, Cheshire School of Jewellery, Nantwich The perfect opportunity if you have never worked with metal and want to try a taster workshop. You’ll make a simple ring using silver wire. 11am-2pm, £40.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 31



22nd August, Go Batty! Quarry Bank, Wilmslow Head along the River Bollin with our ranger team to find out about the night-time residents of the Quarry Bank estate. 7.309.30pm. £8 (child £5). Booking essential. 26th-28th August, •Rory Gallagher

Festival UK (Nantwich) 2022, The Railway Hotel, Nantwich A weekend dedicated to celebrating the talents of the legendary musician, with numerous live bands. Tickets from £15.

DID YOU KNOW? Ibiza DJ Andy Joyce played super-clubs Pacha, Amnesia and Cafe Mambo orchestra with high-tempo DJ beats and vocals. 9.30pm. Tickets from £40. You’re spoilt for choice at Tatton Park this summer! Tickets from (vehicle entry £8). Foodies Festival, 8th-10th July Fab food and drink, workshops and masterclasses, plus an exciting linePigs Galore! 2nd July. Learn about the park’s rare up of live music. Times and ticket prices vary. breeds, with a chance to get hands-on. 10ammidday. Tickets £20 (includes vehicle entry). Passion for Power, 20th-21st August A key event for classic car fans, with a unique mix of rare and Symphonic Ibiza, 2nd July Fusing a thrilling live performance cars. 9.30am-4pm. £11 (under-15s free).

Park life

26th-30th August, Country Roads Music Festival, Farndon This festival is a country and western outdoor event, with camping spaces available. Enjoy live country music artists plus a DJ. It’s fun for all, with raffles, auctions and stand-up bingo. Tickets from £15

28th August, Port Fest 2022, Whitby Park, Ellesmere Port A mini-festival that includes a main stage, local bands, entertainers, kids’ activities, kids’ funfair, bouncy castle and stalls. Midday-9pm. Free entry (please book online), £10 donation optional.

Arboral adventures


The Blue Planet Aquarium near Cheshire Oaks hosts exciting events and activities throughout the year, including daily talks and feeds, as well as special themes during school holidays and bank holiday weekends. Catch the Pelican Talk, watch the Aqua-theatre Show, see the giant Pacific octopus and meet their most colourful exhibit at the Coral Cave. Tickets £20.75 (under-12s £14.75).

Family time

29th August, Paws in the Port, Little Sutton A small-dog festival for your four-legged friends and the whole family! Live stage with an ’80s/’90s singer, bouncy castle, kids' activities and kids’ funfair, hot food including a barbecue, plus a dog show and much more! Tickets from £1.

32 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Geronimo is a family festival aimed at under-13s and their adults, focused on quality time together and imaginative play. Create some magical memories at Arley Hall from 26th-29th August with over 100 activities including stage shows, donkey rides, high ropes, camel racing, theatre, yoga sessions, graffiti workshops, soft play, crafts, reptile encounters and the world’s biggest bouncy castle. Visit for the day or camp for the whole weekend! Day tickets £20.

BeWILDerwood is an award-winning forest of family fun and outdoor adventure, with Treehouses, Wobbly Wires, Slippery Slopes, Crocklebogs, Twiggles and Boggles, stories, marsh walks and yummy food. Near Cholmondeley, it’s open 10am-5pm every day in July and August. Tickets from £11.45, based on height! cheshire. bewilderwood.


Jousting goes back to its roots in a no-holds-barred contest of strength, skill and horsemanship at Beeston Castle on 27th-29th August. Charging full pelt at each other with chainmail for protection, it’s every knight for themselves in this thrillingly authentic, 13th-century-style tournament. Choose your champion and cheer them on to victory – or console them in defeat. Tickets £12.50 (child £7.50). visit/whats-on/ beeston-medievalcastle


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DID YOU KNOW? At one count Evans owned 27 cars – including 7 Ferraris!

SEVEN magical festivals, one BIG PARTY CarFest, the UK’s largest family fundraising festival and the brainchild of radio presenter Chris Evans, will be returning to Bolesworth Estate in Cheshire this July for a weekend packed with family activities – and a fantastic musical line-up that will have visitors dancing the weekend away.

CarFest North, which takes place at Bolesworth on 22nd-24th July will play host to an array of talent across the weekend, from Main Stage artists including Richard Ashcroft, Ronan Keating, Steps, McFly, The Fratellis and Natalie Imbruglia to stars of TV, film, radio and sport including Eddie Izzard, Sir Chris Hoy and Giovanna Fletcher; health and wellbeing experts such as Dr Megan Rossi, Bryony Gordon, Gemma Atkinson and Steph McGovern; and some of the UK’s most famous celebrity chefs including Candice Brown, The Bosh Boys, Jeremy Pang and Shivi Ramoutour, at the Kitchen Stage with Napoleon Grills. This year CarFest North welcomes a brand-new stage, Pudsey’s Spot, a destination for children and families that brings the biggest names from CBBC and CBeebies to CarFest. Located in KidsFest, it’s a chance for younger visitors to join their favourite BBC stars for music, dancing, games and loads of fun! Hosted by Isabella Signs and Nigel Clarke from CBeebies, Pudsey and Blush will be joined by Yolanda’s Band Jam, Hey Duggee, Bluey, Ping and many more characters, bringing their best-loved programmes to life on stage. The 60-acre site at Bolesworth Estate will be packed with activities for the whole family, including three shows per day at the Kwik Fit-Michelin track with over 120 cars honouring past, present and future motoring heroes; The Author’s Stage and Reading Room hosted by Costa; The BarFest Arms with Timothy Taylor’s; an extreme adventure park with rock climbing, zip wires and BMX demos; a live graffiti wall; food and drink masterclasses and tasting tents; art workshops; yoga, meditation and mindfulness masterclasses and so much more! Tickets for CarFest are available online from 34 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

As CarFest enters its 11th year, the festival has undergone a makeover and returns as seven festivals in one, with a big party every evening. The seven new ‘festivals’ include: • AdventureFest: a chance to explore and discover not just the great outdoors but more about your own talents and skills • KidsFest: fun, fun and even more fun for all kids, big and small • Great British Food Fest: the perfect destination for foodies, where we celebrate everything great about British food • RetroFest: a chance to step back in time and discover the world of the past • StarFest: a gathering of the greatest stars from the worlds of TV, film, music, literature and comedy • SpaFest: to help you on your journey towards a healthy mind, healthy body and healthy spirit • …and of course CarFest: honouring hero drivers, hero brands and hero cars – past, present and into the future

CarFest, was created by Chris Evans in 2012 with the sole purpose of raising funds for UK children’s charities. Over the past 10 years it has successfully raised in excess of £20 million for BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, My Black Dog, Rainbow Trust, Starlight Children’s Foundation and Teenage Cancer Trust and local charities Hope House and Claire House.


22 - 24 JULY



















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West Kirby Arts Centre



Schedule Doors open at 19:00 unless otherwise stated



1 Rachel Cro� 5 Tuesday Live ‘Open Mic’ 2 Raf & O with the music of David Bowie 9 Pick Withers and Pick's Pocket 12 Tuesday Live ‘Blues Club’ with Craig and Iain 10 WKAG Summer Exhibi�on Opening 15 Mark Harrison 16 Gordon Giltrap 19 Tuesday Live ‘Open Mic’ 22 Peter Rimmer with the music of Donovan 23 A�ernoon Acous�c in concert 24 11.00 Music Fair, instruments, vinyl, etc 24 Mys�c Dylan for Medicin-sansfron�er 26 Tuesday Live ‘Folk Club’ with John Williams 29 The Ocelots 30 Mark Sebas�an and The Poor Valley Marauders

6 Bush Gothic on tour from Australia 19 King John, a Purple Coat Shakespeare produc�on 20 Two Gentlemen of Verona, a Purple Coat Shakespeare produc�on 26/27/28/29 Bill Ryder Jones



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Are you a local artist? House_ad_Events_MarJun22_97x140mm LR.indd 1 22/04/2022 Martyn Joseph We’d like to share your work with our readers, and tell your story. Henry Priestman Steve Knightley Simply Dylan Simply Dylan The Roving Crows Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri Karen Pfeiffer and Paul Walker Full House Miranda Sykes and Hannah Mar�n

The Old Unitarian Church, 29 Brookfield Gardens, West Kirby CH48 4EL 07484 537 502

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An exemplar worker village created by industrialist William Lever between 1888 and 1938 to support the well-being and productivity of the Lever Brothers soap works employees and their families. VILLAGE TRUST

Discover Port Sunlight

The Port Sunlight Experience Ticket is the best way to discover this innovative worker village. You can:

Experience life here in 1913 in the Edwardian Worker’s Cottage. Immerse yourself in the story of soap at our newest exhibition SoapWorks. Explore the village with one of our friendly and knowledgeable guides. Find out the village’s history and significance at Port Sunlight Museum. For a virtual tour and information on opening hours and how to book, visit


Port Sunlight Village Trust is a registered charity (no 1074713) and a registered company in England and Wales (no 3719976). Registered office: 23 King George’s Drive, Port Sunlight, Wirral CH62 5DX

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WIRRAL WHAT’S ON DID YOU KNOW? Pick Withers’ re al name is David and he’s from Leicester


23rd July, The Darkside of Pink Floyd, Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight Come and get comfortably numb! More than just an ordinary tribute band, The Darkside entertain audiences with a fantastic light show and passionate performances. 7.30pm. £22.

24th July, Music Sale, West Kirby Arts Centre Great for music lovers, whether you’re buying or selling new or preloved instruments, amps, mics, stands, collectable memorabilia, CDs or vinyl. Book a stall or share the ‘community table’. Licensed bar. 11am-4pm. £1.

Singin’ the blues out West Enjoy a smorgasbord of talent at West Kirby Arts Centre. Book online at Rachel Croft, 1st July This sensational indie blues/ folk artist will be performing songs from her new EP, Reap What You Sow. 7.30pm. Tickets £12. Pick’s Pocket, 9th July Pick Withers, original drummer with Dire Straits, presents his new band and re-visits some of his favourite R&B and soul

5th August, Tappers Distillery Tour and Gin Tasting, Upton A tour of the distillery followed by tutored tasting of a selection of four gins from their awardwinning range, plus light bites. 7pm. £25.

7th & 14th August, Glen Affric Brewery Tour, Birkenhead Learn how the award-winning beers are brewed on a guided tour and see the production process from start to finish! 1.30pm £10. 27th August, Foodie Feast Port Sunlight, The Museum Green A host of food concessions offering sweet and savoury weekend treats! 11am-3.30pm. Free entry.

38 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

tunes from the 1960s to the ’90s. 7.30pm. £20. Mark Harrison, 15th July Bluesman Mark is an awesome songwriter and musician, and a master storyteller. 7.30pm. Tickets £12. The Ocelots, 29th July Twins Brandon and Ashley from Wexford produce a forceful blend of rich harmonies and raw acoustic folk; think early Dylan meets the Everley Brothers. 7.30pm. Tickets £12.


Drama at the Dell

Ladybird, Ladybird

History comes to life

Orchestra dell’ Arte makes its annual appearance at the Parkgate Proms on 10th July. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon than enjoying a delicious picnic (order in-house or bring your own) and sipping fine wine to the strains of a 32-piece orchestra! Call 0151 336 4199 or see

For many, Ladybird Books are a part of our childhood, and this beautiful exhibition at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum in Birkenhead presents an unparalleled collection of titles, artefacts and original artwork from the iconic little children’s hardbacks. ‘The Wonderful World of the Ladybird Book Artists’ opens on 29th June and runs through until late summer. Entry is free. For details visit

The Dell at Port Sunlight is the delightful setting for two open-air productions: Alice in Wonderland on 14th August, and Much Ado About Nothing on 20th August. Presented by Folksy Theatre, both shows are filled with colourful characters, audience interaction and live music, and promise a fabulous family experience. Tickets £15 (children 3-16yrs £12).

Celebrate Viking life on the Wirral at Claremont Farm, Bebington on 16th & 17th July, and again at Warwick Park, Upton on 13th & 14th August. The Wirral Viking Festival offers entertainment, history and competitions; you can enjoy axe throwing and archery, birds of prey, battle re-enactments and demonstrations and try your hand at Viking crafts. Entry is free but some of the activities charge a small fee. Find out more at




New Brighton’s Floral Pavilion offers some great entertainment! Book at

The Who UK, 9th July A special night of Who classics live, recreated by a top band of musicians and vocalists. 7pm. Tickets £21.75. 50 Years of Billy Joel & Elton John, 21st July An unmissable celebration of music royalty as UK talent comes together. 7.30pm. Tickets £21.75. Housewives on Holiday! 26th July Let your hair

down with the girls – away from home and out for fun. Starring Maureen Nolan. 7.30pm. Tickets £27.75.

DID YOU KNOW? Maureen is the only Nolan Sist er to stay with the group right through

Music & Laughter, 19th August An eclectic mix of the region’s best loved artists, hosted by Ricky Tomlinson. 7.30pm. Tickets £26.75.

Walk on the wild side

Running from 10th-20th August, Action Transport Theatre’s magical Arts and Adventure Trail was created especially for Whitby Park, in the heart of Ellesmere Port. Children’s ideas and imaginations inspire and inform everything ATT does, and most of the activities are for families of all ages. The trail starts at 10am. For more details call 0151 357 2120 or email

9th July & 13th August, Wirral Farmers’ Market, New Ferry Around 25 stalls where you can buy all your fresh produce plus meat, poultry and ready-meals for the freezer. There’s also a café and plenty of free parking.

The Dee Estuary is one of the world’s busiest avian ‘flight paths’. Cheshire Wildlife Trust is inviting members to join them on 9th July for a a walk to Hilbre Island – a wild outdoor experience at a place of exceptional beauty. (Please note the event is open to members only.) To reserve a place, call 01948 820 728 or email

Ferry along the Mersey

Once upon a time…

7th & 21st July, 3rd & 17th August, The Original Panama Jazz Band, The Irby Club, Irby Listen and dance to the best live Dixieland/Chicago-style jazz, every 1st & 3rd Wednesday, plus guest musicians. Suitable for teens upwards. Friendly atmosphere, great music. Free raffle, good choice of wines, beers and hot drinks. 8pm. Free.

The Musicals in Concert, 20th August Stars from London’s West End perform songs from some of the world’s favourite musicals. 7.30pm. Tickets £25.


Moonlight Flicks is back at Claremont Farm, Bebington, with top movies on the giant screen! Throughout July and August they’re showing favourites like Pulp Fiction, Rocketman, Dirty Dancing and Spider-Man. Tickets from £11 (child £8). For listings and to book, see

5th July, Mannequin Pussy, Future Yard, Birkenhead The American punk and indie rock band perform their EP Perfect in this powerful live act. 7pm. £14.

Experience breathtaking views from the deck of an iconic Mersey Ferry, as you sail into Liverpool Bay on a unique sightseeing cruise on 10th July. During the three-hour trip, you’ll see Antony Gormley’s spectacular ‘Another Place’ art installation at Crosby Beach from the water. The cruise features live music from local group The Shanty Kings, and the licensed bar will be open for snacks and drinks. Tickets are £20, and you can book at merseyferries.

10th July, Wirral Kayak Challenge 2022 Following a route around the Peninsula, this charity event will raise funds for Merseyside and Cheshire Blood Bikes, Claire House Children’s Hospice and Teenage Cancer Trust. Details on the Challenge Facebook page.

15th July, The Big Room Comedy Club, Heswall Hall Back with a jam-packed show and an amazing guest MC. Table service is available, using the QR code on your table, and cocktails are 2 for 1, 7pm-8pm. Show starts 8pm. Tickets £15.

16th July & 20th August, Heswall Farmers’ Market Stalls vary from month to month but there’s something for everyone: meat, fish, fruit and veg, cheese, pies, jams and chutneys, cakes, pizza, ice cream and street food. 10am-2pm. Free entry.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 38

Gold and Silver Roadshow A very lucky couple called at one of our recent roadshow events with a couple of old gold chains and a silver charm bracelet and a bag of old silver shilling coins. We paid them over £1600.00 just for the coins alone. They turned out to be pre-1947 silver coins that were normal currency a few years ago and are now highly collected. We asked them for their permission to pass on this story on and they were only too pleased to allow us to let everyone know that they might be sitting on a goldmine and not even know it! Like most people,

who can only dream of winning the pools or the lottery, a lot of normal households have a hidden treasure of old gold jewellery, silver jewellery, teapots, trophies, trays and old objects d’art. Why not get a free valuation from our expert at our roadshow. There is no queuing and our expert will give you a one-on-one appraisal of the value of your treasured possessions in a private area. If you like the valuation our expert will make you the same offer in cash which you can accept or decline at no cost to yourself.







30th JULY



Wanted For CASH

ALL PRE-1947 SILVER COINS AND ALL FOREIGN SILVER COINS WANTED At least 10 times face value GOLD & PLATINUM DIAMOND RINGS 9ct, 18ct & 22ct Wedding Rings

Any Silver Items, Chain Rings and Bracelets

GOLD COINS IN ANY CONDITION FOR CASH Sovereigns, Krugerrands, Maples

Broken or any condition chains in 9ct gold or any other gold

Dental Gold, Gold Teeth, Old Bracelets & Bangles & Pendants

All Gold Watches and Silver Watches

Silver Trays, Silver Teapots, Silver Cigarette Cases, Silver Knives & Forks and Trophies

All Platinum Jewellery & Antique Jewellery

039_SHIRE_JA2022.indd 1 198x140mm AB.indd 1 Gold and Silver Ad JulyAug22

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JUL & AUG 22

The Indoor Market is open every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and the outdoor market every Wednesday and Saturday. Plus we hold the Artisan Market on the last Friday of every month. The new weekly street market has gone from strength to strength attracting some fantastic bespoke stalls.


THE FOOD FESTIVAL – 9th &10th July – Town Centre – huge food festival TNS FUN DAY – 9th July – Cae Glas Park – free football activities

Whitchurch Friday Market

REGGAE IN THE PARK – 10th July – Cae Glas Park

is open both indoors and at the front of Whitchurch Civic Centre, every Friday 7.30am – 12.30pm.

ATTFIELD THEATRE PERFORMANCE – 16th & 17th July – Cae Glas Park CHARITY FUN DAY – 23rd July – Cae Glas Park – bouncy castles, stalls. CHILL OUT IN THE PARK – 24th July – Cae Glas Park WELLNESS EVENT – 13th August – Cae Glas Park – free yoga, poetry, dance and mental awareness issues

Saturday 2nd July, Saturday 6th August, Saturday 3rd September 2022 10:00am until 4:00pm

Quality makers & farmers market with 20 stalls. Contact Civic Centre directly on 01948 665761 #ShopWhitchurch

BALLOON CARNIVAL – 20th & 21st August – Cae Glas Park – Huge balloon event CHARITY MARKET – 2nd September – Bailey Head

For further information call 01691 680222 or visit:

Oswestry Town Market Ad JulyAug22 97x140mm AB.indd 1

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Live in the Town Park

Telford’s QEII arena plays host to three top acts in July. Tickets are still available at or from Tickets Telford on 01952 382382.

DID YOU KNOW? Bryan Adams has received 15 Grammy Award nominations


Tears for Fears, 1st July The first date of their 2022 tour, the synth-pop duo are supported by ’80s powerhouse Alison Moyet and country act The Shires.

9th-10th July, Oswestry Food Festival Entry to Shropshire’s friendliest food festival remains free, and there is a long list of exhibitors waiting to tantalise your taste buds with goodies including locally produced cheese, honey, wine, cider, sweet treats and more. 10am.

Tom Grennan, 2nd July Singer-songwriter of ‘Little Bit of Love’ fame performs tracks from his new album Evering Road,, supported by Ella Henderson. Bryan Adams, 3rd July Expect all the classic hits from the Canadian rocker, touring his new album So Happy It Hurts.

16th-17th July, Shropshire Kite Festival, Lacon Childe School, Cleobury Mortimer Hosted by Shropshirebased specialist kite builders Sky Bums, the festival offers three large fields for flying and excellent facilities, including the option of camping.

Showcasing local artists A feast afoot

Church Stretton Arts Festival on 23rd July-13th August offers a huge art exhibition and a range of performance arts to suit all tastes. The programme includes classical and contemporary music, drama, speakers, organ recitals and art workshops. The art exhibition is a non-competitive showcase for artists living within 30 miles of Church Stretton, with hundreds of items on display. Events take place at a variety of locations around the town, and some are free. For a full programme see

Good food and a good walk, what’s not to like! Ludlow Magnalonga is an eight-mile foodie hike, taking place on 14th August. Whilst the route changes every year, the quality of the refreshments is assured, and at regular stops you can enjoy local produce, along with local real ale, perry or cider. Expect quiet tracks with the odd hill on this ticket-only event.

Telling tales England’s oldest storytelling festival returns to Hopton Court near Cleobury Mortimer on 15th-17th July. Festival at the Edge combines the best international storytellers with performance and related acts. There are workshops and music sessions to join in with, as well as children’s activities. Adult weekend tickets are £135.

17th July Classic Motor Day Appley Farm Shop. A great event for local enthusiasts to show off their classic vehicles and share their passion. Entry for spectators and exhibitors is free, with all classic and vintage cars and motorbikes invited to be on display for prizes. Opens 10am (8.30am for exhibitors).

17th July, We Are Telford Carnival, Telford Town Park A carnival of celebration and colour, dedicated to Telford’s heritage and future. Community groups will perform, coming together for a mass dance event and carnival procession.

MORE THAN JUST STEAM The annual Shrewsbury Steam Rally on 28th-29th August will host over 1000 exhibits, including steam-powered engines and cars, historic military vehicles and classic tractors. Enthusiasts can view machinery on static display or enjoy the arena parade set to music. With rural skills demonstrations, a craft and hobbies marquee and acres of stalls, there is plenty for everyone. Tickets cost £16 for adults and £1 for under-16s. Any ticket holders pre-purchasing online receive early bird entry.

18th July Queen’s Baton Relay, The Quarry, Shrewsbury Ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, the Queen’s Baton Relay is passing through Shrewsbury. To mark this, an evening of entertainment will take place in the Quarry Park. This event is free, but tickets must be booked in advance. 4-9pm.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 41



July 1st Berry Picking, Shawbury Fruit Farm, Edgebolton Pick your own delicious fruit and vegetables, including strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, carrots and beans. Optimum growing is weatherdependent so check ahead to see what’s ready. TuesdaySunday 9.30am-5pm.

July 2nd SUP, Kayak and Canoe Hire, Alderford Lake, nr Whitchurch SUP, kayak and canoe hire available every weekend throughout the summer, and mid-week during school holidays. Mega SUPs are available for family fun, and own equipment is welcome. Hire costs start from £22 and include swim passes. Booking essential.

3rd July Plant Hunters Fair, Whittington Castle, near Oswestry A chance to find traditionally grown, good value and high-quality plants, all in the picturesque environs of Whittington Castle. Entry to the fair is free, £2 car park charge goes directly to maintaining the castle and grounds. 10am-4pm.

A blooming brilliant day out!

Shrewsbury Flower Show is one of the biggest flower shows in the country, attracting some of the top horticultual names among its many exhibitors – and it’s returning to Quarry Park on 12th & 13th August after all the disruption of the last two years. Alongside stunning horticultural displays, expect a whole range of professional, family-friendly entertainment. The event is also host to a prestigious showjumping competition. The Flower Show wouldn’t be complete without its fireworks finale, and this year is no exception. Day tickets start from £30, with reduced tickets priced at just £20 if you arrive after 4pm.

It’s shear excitement

Oswestry Show is bursting at the seams with horse and farm animal show classes, a vintage vehicle parade, young farmers’ competitions, a horticultural marquee, small livestock, children’s activities, sheep-shearing and more, all taking place at the Showground on 6th August. Arena entertainment includes motorcycle and gun dog displays. £12 (£6 child).

3rd July Ellesmere Jubilee Regatta, Cremorne Gardens, Ellesmere. Take part in (or enjoy watching!) bell boat racing, hosted by Ellesmere Rotary in support of The Movement Centre and Lyneal Trust. 11.30am

7th July, The Perfect Candidate, SpArc Theatre, Bishop’s Castle Flicks in the Sticks has a great programme of cinema at various locations over the summer, including golden oldies, recent releases and special interest. The Perfect Candidate follows the story of Saudi doctor Maryam. £7. 7pm.

Festival on the farm Farmer Phil’s is an award-winning, boutique festival at a beautiful wooded location near Shrewsbury, on 12th-14th August. As well as an eclectic mix of music, the line-up offers comedy, workshops and children’s entertainment. The arena has undergone extensive groundwork to make sure it is stable, no matter the weather. Weekend ticket holders are welcome to camp for a full week, and make the most of the atmosphere. £95 (under-12s £10), numbers are limited.

42 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

A big day for dogs

Choose from more than 20 fun dog show classes, including best junior handler, best rescue and waggiest tail at Ludlow Dog Day on 24th July, hosted by Ludlow Rotary Club. Doggie display teams will be in action, including sheepdogs and heelwork to music. Furry friends can even try racing and flyball. Tickets can be bought in advance, or gate prices are £10 (£6 children, £28 families).

Comic caper There is inspiration and entertainment for all ages at the bi-annual Comics Salopia in Shrewsbury on 25th-26th June. An eclectic programme includes drawing masterclasses, kids’ workshops with Beano artists, guest speakers and a themed Drink and Draw. Events are held at locations around the town, including the museum, castle and library. Comics Salopia works to support Share Shrewsbury charity. Some events are free.

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Historical portraits of Dylan Thomas and Guy Gibson VC

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Featuring the best in folk, Americana & world music Camping & glamping Real ale, cocktail & gin bars Artisan crafts Dance Food village

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19th July, Life Drawing, The Hive, Shrewsbury An informal weekly life drawing opportunity. This friendly, mixedability session offers different models each time. Bring your own materials and arrive 10-15 minutes in advance. £8 (cash only please). 7-9pm.

From 23rd July, Summer Spectrum Exhibition, Twenty Twenty Gallery, Ludlow This summer show features works from local artists Liv Goode and Dean Melbourne, along with landscapes by Andrew Lansley and ceramics by Richard Pethean. Open WednesdaySaturday 10.30am-4pm. 23rd July, •From Shropshire Love

Nature Festival, various locations The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Food, Farming and the Environment’, with events including the Grow Your Own Roadshow, a wildlife photography exhibition, and an allotment plot party, all aimed at encouraging residents to connect with nature.

Lots of laughs Laughter is guaranteed around Shrewsbury town centre between 14th-17th July, when a whole gaggle (or should that be giggle?) of comedians will be performing at a variety of locations including The Old Post Office, Henry Tudor House, Havana Republic and The Old Market Hall, as part of Shrewsbury International Comedy Festival. Kicking things off are Josh Pugh, Lou Conran and Eddy Brimson. Ticket prices start from a very reasonable £6.

Celebrating roots music

Top US artists including Blake Miller and Amelia Biere will be flying in directly from the United States to share the stage with UK and European acts at the North Shropshire Big Weekend on 12th-14th August – a celebration of Cajun, Creole and Louisiana roots music, set around Welshampton Village Hall, near Ellesmere. Cajun is the traditional music of French settlers in Louisiana, USA, played mainly on the fiddle and accordion. Camping is available, and a camp-fire jam session is scheduled for Saturday night. A weekend ticket with camping costs £100. northshropshire

23rd-24th July, Dragon Boat Festival Weekend, The Quarry, Shrewsbury A fun event for spectators and participants as teams of up to 20 rowers race in 40ft Viking boats, to raise funds for Severn Hospice. Teams must register ahead. 9am-5.30pm.

Around 30th July, Shropshire Petal Fields, Newport In late July, Shropshire Petal Fields welcome visitors for a stroll among the blooms, including sunflowers and wildflowers. Dates will be released when the flowers are at their best, so join the ticket waiting list.

DID YOU KNOW? Lou’s first acting job was dressing up as a 6ft orange teddy bear!


Eighties’ supergroup Madness perform at the Quarry Park on 15th July, supported by The Zutons and the Hoosiers. The English ska band still comprises six of the seven original members, including lead singer Suggs. With hits such as ‘One Step Beyond’, ‘Baggy Trousers’, ‘House of Fun’ and the iconic ‘Our House’, a great night of entertainment is assured. Tickets cost £51.75 (£15 for ages 3-12). Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult.

Enjoy the golden age of railway

The big screening

Outdoor cinema is becoming a summer staple, and on 5-7th August Outdoor Cinema Shrewsbury is hosting its first film festival. Taking place at the London Road campus of Shrewsbury College, movie lovers can choose from five feel-good classics and family favourites. Early screenings allow families to enjoy the experience of cinema alfresco, with later screenings when the sun goes down. Bring chairs, tables, blankets, picnics and whatever you need to get comfy, and enjoy the film and atmosphere. £14.50 (£9 child), with a money-back guarantee in case of cancellation.

44 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Cambrian Heritage Railway operates from Oswestry to Weston Wharf, using restored tourist coaches and commuter saloons to recapture the golden age of the railways. Trains run every weekend and selected weekdays and evenings, including brewery trains on Friday evenings. Light refreshments are available in the buffet car or at Weston Wharf station. Tickets start from £5, and all tickets are day rovers so you can travel at your leisure.

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2nd July Hotbuckle Theatre

Great Expectations 3rd July

Plant Hunters Fair 21st July Folksy Theatre

Alice in Wonderland Cambrian Heritage Railways is based at the heart of the historic market town of Oswestry and within walking distance of the town centre, market, castle, town museum and other local amenities.

13th & 14th August Harrington & Corbett’s

War of the Roses Re-enactment

TRAINS RUN EVERY WEEKEND, SPECIFIC MID-WEEK DAYS AND EVENINGS, AS WELL AS BANK HOLIDAYS FROM EASTER UNTIL SEPTEMBER. Every Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2nd July until 10th September. See website for running times.

28th August Folksy Theatre

Much Ado About Nothing

Old Station Building, Oswald Road, Oswestry SY11 1RE

Tel: 01691 728131

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Revel in the Retro Festival

Billy Ocean, Wet Wet Wet, Tony Hadley and Belinda Carlisle… the line-up for Shrewsbury’s Retro Festival on 16th July is a roll-call of top names from the ’80s. Enjoy the day with a picnic

DID YOU KNOW? Tony’s no tech wiz: “When I’m in the studio, I’m not allowed to touch anything!”

or take advantage of the on-site catering, before rocking the night away. Tickets cost £70.88 (inclusive of booking fee), upgrades are available.

Beam me up…


31st July, Cardington Garden Trail, Cardington, nr Shrewsbury Visit gardens in the charming village of Cardington amid the south Shropshire Hills. Expect ponds and woodland, wildflowers, cottage gardens and courtyards. Proceeds support Shropshire Historic Churches Trust. Tickets £6 from the village hall. Midday-6pm.

Balearic beats return to Weston Park on 16th July with another Classic Ibiza event. Start with a picnic in the grounds before the sun goes down and the music is turned up. DJ Goldierocks is spinning this year, followed by the Urban Soul Orchestra and vocalists. Lasers make for a great atmosphere. Tickets cost £45 (£20 for ages 5-17, under-5s free).


Continuing its tradition of offering the best in folk, Americana and world music, Shrewsbury Folk Festival on 26-29th August welcomes headliners Judy Collins and Carlos Núñez. West Midlands Showground will host four music stages, a dance tent for ceilidhs and workshops, dedicated festivals for the kids and teens, an artisan shopping arena, food village, real ale, cocktail and gin bars and glamping. Camping is available, with late-night, family and quiet zones. Day tickets from £38.

Shrewsbury’s big battle

Experience the sights and sounds of medieval Shropshire at Battlefield 1403 on 23rd-24th July. This free family day out features traditional crafts and cookery, along with 250 re-enactors and their horses preparing for battle. See jousting and, at the end of each day, the battle itself, where you can choose to side with the rebels or King Henry IV. The café will be open, see Facebook for details.

Battle of Britain Proms

New for 2022, RAF Cosford is hosting a Battle of Britain Proms on 13th August – six hours of classical, pop, opera and swing music, hosted by BBC Radio Shropshire DJ Paul Shuttleworth, all set in the unique backdrop of aircraft hangars. The night will end with a traditional ‘Last Night at the Proms’ finale. Picnics are welcome (or available to pre-order) and there will also be food stalls. Advance tickets £20 (£10 child, £52 family).

Festival on the water

Keep busy from noon to night at Alderfest on 16th July. The incredible line-up includes boy band FIVE, Toploader and Scouting for Girls, presented by Capital FM DJ Sonny Jay. There’s plenty for families, and the biggest walking T-Rex in Europe is making an appearance too. Plus lake swimming, silent disco and lots more! Tickets £55 (from £25 child).

1st August, Maisy’s Maize Maze, Park Hall Farm, nr Oswestry Have ‘amaizing’ fun following the trail or even getting lost in the maze, and enjoy the farmyard while you’re at it – entrance to the maize maze is included in the general ticket price. £12.95. Open daily 10am-5pm.

3rd August, Shrewsbury Sight Seeing Tour Enjoy a leisurely ride aboard a 1962 Routemaster to Attingham Park. The journey includes pre-recorded commentary. Other destinations are available. Tickets cost £10 for adults, £5 for children, and £26 for families. Concessions available. Well-behaved dogs welcome on board. 4th August, •Burwarton

Show A wide range of animal showing classes, particularly equine, and plenty of showground attractions including rare breed poultry, alpacas, heavy horses, giant tortoises, craft demonstrations, machinery and more. £20 (£10 child) on the gate. 8am.

6th August Boots&Roots Festival, Battlefield 1403, Shrewsbury Digital detox for the whole family! Activities include forest school, bushcraft, den-building, wild cookery and more. Family pass (up to 3 children) £50. 10am-5pm.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 47



16th August, Music Machines Tour, Acton Scott Hall This historic house tour (other dates available) has particular focus on its fascinating music machines – a collection of phonograph and gramophone memorabilia along with an original Piano Player from the 1890s. £20 including refreshments. 10.30am.

•20th-21st August, Shropshire Food and Family Festival, Chetwynd Deer Park, Newport With over 100 food and drink vendors, over 40 activities for kids, the big bounce inflatable assault course, cookery school, live music and more, there’s something for everyone at this family summer fun day. £13.20 (£5.50 child, £33 family).

Time to HEAL

The HEAL Festival is a unique combination of music and wellbeing, taking place on 1st-2nd July at the West Midlands Showground. The main stage line-up ranges from electronica to indie rock, hip hop, roots and reggae, and is headlined by Shaun Ryder’s Black Grape. The Heal Zone offers health and wellbeing in the form of workshops, classes and talks. Both camping and day tickets are available, in advance or on the gate. Standard tickets are £35, with VIP upgrades, camping passes and car parking all available for an additional charge.

Love among the ruins

One of Charles Dickens’ greatest critical successes was his 1860 novel Great Expectations. On 2nd July this classic tale of lost love and the orphaned Pip is brought to life with music, humour and inventiveness by Hotbuckle Theatre, all in the tranquil setting of Whittington Castle grounds. Bring a seat or blanket and a picnic. Gates open 6pm, show 7pm. £15.

20th-21st August, Oswestry Balloon Carnival See over 25 balloons launch from Cae Glas Park and enjoy the carnival atmosphere in the town, with live music, street entertainers, food and craft stalls and more. Free. 10am.

24th August, Peter Pan, Attingham Park Enjoy a picnic on the lawn in front of the mansion whilst being entertained by Illyria Theatre Company’s performance of Peter Pan, featuring real flying! Bring your own chairs or rugs. £15 (£10 child). 6.30pm.

29th August, RJAH Mere Mile, Ellesmere Get involved in this sponsored swim to raise funds for the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. Last year’s event saw just under 200 swimmers raise almost £20k. Swim distances are either 1 or 2.5 miles. Places are limited and swimmers must register in advance.

DID YOU KNOW? Workshop leaders include Amanda Vernalls, Karen McCabe and Tom Shanti

New home for top festival

We’re beyond excited! Camp Bestival is coming to Weston Park on 18th-21st August. The festival has a stellar line-up for kids and adults. Headlining is ’90s dance legend Fatboy Slim, the comedy stage has Comedy4kids and Dom Joly, and there are plenty of activities to get involved in from ziplining and wild swimming to bushcraft and yoga. All topped off with a fireworks finale. Camping options are available, and a limited number of day tickets. Weekend camping tickets cost £205.20 (children £82.50-£151.20).

48 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Choir celebrates 40 years

Cantiones Chamber Choir will perform Haydn’s Creation at the Holroyd Community Theatre on 2nd July to mark their 40th anniversary. This splendid choral repertoire is scored for three soloists, the chorus and symphonic orchestra. Picnics on the lawn before the concert are welcome, and the bar will be open. Tickets £16 (under-18s free).

Summer nights Shrewsbury Castle is the evocative backdrop for Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It, performed by The Lord Chamberlain’s Men on 2nd August, then again on 25th August. In Elizabethan tradition, this top touring theatre company performs with an all-male cast, and feature Elizabethan costumes, music and dance. You are welcome to bring your own seating and picnic, but early booking is advised. Performance starts 7pm. Tickets £20 (£10 child).



Self Catering Accommodation in our Bespoke Glamping Wagons Both with a Wood-Fired Hot Tub

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All enquiries please call us on 01270 812677

Oswestry 01691 652126 Newton 01686 626576 Whitchurch 01948 662361




Sat 2nd

Harrogate & Yorks Dales



24.00 23.00 16.00

Thurs 14th Llandudno

20.00 19.00 15.00

Sat 16th

Litchfield &National Memorial Arboretum 22.00 21.00 15.00

Sat 23rd

Tatton Park Flower Show

47.50 46.00 25.00

Sun 24th Aberystwyth, Newquay & Cardigan Bay

25.00 24.00 16.00

Sat 30th

30.00 29.00 24.00

Sun 31st Macclesfield Treacle Market

RING OF KERRY 17th – 22nd July 6 Days from £565

30.00 29.00 22.00

Sun 10th Lleyn Peninsula


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If you have a show in the Shire area, we can send a reviewer – and your show can appear on these pages too! Email editorial@ Get in touch!

Deborah Law

Discover what Shire’s team thought of the concerts, live events and theatre shows they’ve seen over the past couple of months at local venues


Backstage to say hello to 911 in the break, I met a hen party, very happy at having Lee Brennan, Spike Dawbarn and Jimmy Constable all to themselves. When the boys hit the stage, their fans went wild – When I found out that boy bands were in Warrington, Warrington is Spike’s home turf. He can still do a mean I had to be there! I was at 911’s shows from the back flip, and enjoyed telling the crowd that Jimmy had “The just turned 50. The band sold 10 million singles and six beginning, 25 years ago. Inside, the pop-up venue whole looked amazing, with incredible lighting. The audience million albums, and were huge in southeast Asia. In the were mainly women in their thirties, all dressed up and crowd was UK they had 10 top 10 singles. ready to ‘keep on movin’ and ‘get their body shakin’! Five are now three: Scott Robinson (minus ponytail), dancing Sean Conlon and ladies’ man Ritchie Neville. Everyone Many had been in line from late afternoon to grab a and was singing along to the hits, which sold around 20 million place at the front. singing” Phats & Small opened the concert – you may know copies worldwide. Time is their latest album. Both groups look really fit and made us all feel young them for the song ‘Turn Around’. I was expecting for several hours. Waking up next morning I still had a smile on my Ben Ofoedu but he’s long since been replaced by a lad with very neat moves. Jason ‘Phats’ Hayward was on the decks, and the whole face. What a fantastic night, what memories. Oh, and ladies – Lee and Ritchie are single. Form an orderly queue… DL HHHH crowd was dancing and singing.



In suit and tie, with a silk handkerchief peeping from his breast pocket, Tony Christie looked as stylish as ever on the Festival Centre stage. The veteran crooner was backed by a talented younger band, but anyone tempted to think ‘old wine in new bottles’ was wide of the mark. The set-up worked a treat. Christie’s “His voice voice remains was at its as he sang about the remarkably versatile. He gave smoothest soft-shoe shuffler with “silver hair, a ragged a spirited version and shirt and baggy pants” of ‘Jezebel’, a richest” who’d dance for you, rocking ‘Now’s while a laid-back the Time’ and a rosily nostalgic ‘Avenues arrangement of ‘Fly Me to the and Alleyways’. The natural Moon’ showed Christie’s voice at its smoothest and richest. entertainer was never more JH HHHH evident than in ‘Bojangles’,

Footloose visited Llandudno with the promise of “the ultimate feel-good show for a night of unforgettable fun” – and it certainly delivered. Anyone familiar with the Kevin Bacon film (and pretty much all of the audience “Joshua energy and passion were) had prepared Hawkins were infectious and he gave so much to themselves for highas Ren every scene it was octane, all-action stole the exhilarating to watch. entertainment show” Lucy Munden and they got it. The familiar was another quality performer as Ariel, and songs were belted out with several well-executed pieces gusto and the main characters of stagecraft saw sets and were suitably recognisable props used in innovative and from the screen heroes. Jake entertaining ways. A fun, feelQuickendon of X Factor fame gave a decent turn as Willard, good night out, as promised, with laughs and memorable but Joshua Hawkins in the role melodies too. KS HHHH of Ren truly stole the show. His

50 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Online Tickets ONLY

Sioe Frenhinol Cymru Royal Welsh Show 18 - 21 Gorffennaf

July 2022

Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd, LD2 3SY

on T Sa icke le ts N ow !

IT’S GOOD TO BE BACK! Celebrity gardeners Toby Buckland and Penny Meadmore will be joined by David Domoney. In the Food Hall, celebrity chef Phil Vickery will be providing cookery demonstrations. The evening live music entertainment, on the stage in the main arena, will be The Ronnies on Friday and South African pop star Amy Jones on Saturday.


Shropshire Horticultural Society Charity Number: 501564





For further information call: 01743 234058 ShrewsburyFlowerShow




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52 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022



Blue eyed boy

Touring his 12th album and visiting Colwyn Bay en route, Mick Hucknall talks to Shire about enjoying more than three decades of musical success with Simply Red

Legendary: Mick

and the band


to create something tailored to the strength of his fantastic band. resh from the success of their latest top 10 album Blue Eyed Soul, “I asked myself, what would these guys really like to play, pop-soul legends Simply Red have announced an exclusive night after night? I want them to enjoy playing – for crowds to North Wales show on 14th August. After 40 years in the business there is no doubt that this is one band that genuinely deserves to get up and move. It’s all about capturing the groove. I wanted be referred to as legendary, and having stalled the much-anticipated to push my voice a little harder too, challenge it a little bit.” At 59, his incredible range and depth is still there. latest tour due to ongoing restrictions, this is one “It’s deepened a bit but I’ve kept the high end, so night out that is guaranteed to be worth the wait. it's all I can still hit those notes. Singing is pure pleasure Discussing the band’s appearance at Stadium Eirias, Colwyn Bay, Mick Hucknall said: “I can’t to me. Through good times and bad, it is a deep, about wait! I’ve spent most of my life singing for people, fundamental love of music that has kept me going.” capturing so it has felt strange not to have that the past couple of years. I’ve missed being able to express myself. ” Good times the Simply Red have sold more than 60 million “I’m happy with this album, it’s feeling pretty good,” groove albums worldwide, with no fewer than five Mick said. “I’m looking forward to playing it live going to No. 1 in the UK – and have more because it is real. I could do one of these dark, reflective than 1 billion views on YouTube. Their 1991 albums that people tend to do at a certain age. But classic Stars was the best-selling album for two years running in I wanted to make something punchy. I want to have a good Britain and Europe. Blue Eyed Soul is the 12th and is described time. I’m not saying it’s my last album – I’ve got no thoughts of as the “rawest, funkiest, dirtiest, brassiest and most purely stopping. But when I go out, I want to go out with a bang.” 100 per cent soulful concoction of their stellar career”. The styling of the latest offering was an easy decision for Mick. On 14th August Simply Red will perform an “I didn’t have to dig into record crates for inspiration. I’ve been exclusive show at Stadium Eirias, Colwyn Bay. listening to soul music since I was a kid – it’s been in my head and For tickets go to heart for 50 years. I’m doing what comes naturally.” He also wanted July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 53

Get set for


With the nation in high spirits after a glorious Jubilee celebration, we’re ready to help make it a super Shire summer to savour. (Try saying that after a glass or two of Pimm’s!)


he past few years have been tricky ones. We’ve all faced challenges and restrictions, but it is finally feeling like things are back to normal for most. As we head into the middle of the great British summertime, we think 2022 is going to be a particularly special one. Over the next few pages we’re going to share some brilliant ideas for making the very best of it.

Home and away For a lot of people, the arrival of summer means packing a bag and heading abroad for a break. But having seen the chaos – and, in many cases, heartbreak – caused by last-minute cancellations and delays earlier this year, we think more of us will be opting to holiday nearer home. Countries that have always been a favourite with tourists are facing tough times, too. Without the furlough schemes we had here, many small resorts have shrunk – and arriving at your destination to find hotels on either side that have gone bust and noday trips on offer, could be the start of a disappointing stay. We’re lucky that we don’t have to go far to find holiday locations on a par with many foreign destinations. Between the rolling hills

Our home patch makes the perfect staycation Recreate the holiday vibe at home

of Shropshire, the historic towns on the plains of Cheshire and, of course, the glorious coastline of North Wales, the Shire patch makes the perfect destination for a 2022 staycation. Check out our holiday section on pages 61-64 for the ultimate guide to camping, glamping, lodges, boating and parks that offer an amazing escape this summer.

Family = Fun The other thing we know you’re all looking forward to this summer is seeing family. With time off, it’s the season for catching up with cousins and going away with grandparents. Maybe you’re the family 54 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

member that will end up hosting – and maybe you’re out of practice? Don’t panic. We’ve a few pointers to help you be the ultimate host and still enjoy the time as much as your guests do.


Arrange a sleep-out

Your visitors are coming to see you, not your home. Don’t worry about redecorating or buying extra chairs – the ideal gathering is one that embraces the chaos of combining generations, and does so in a relaxed and enjoyable way.

Say yes!

Keep it simple – and enjoy!

We all want to be that person who graciously turns down offers of help and has everything under control – but in reality, it is much easier to just say yes. A big pot of something for dinner so no one has to cook one night? Yes please. A spare blow-up bed that may come in handy? Pop it in the car. Start saying yes to every offer and you’ll enjoy yourself more in the end.

Get out! A heaving house with guests tripping over each other spells tension. Make the most of your outdoor space for entertaining. Use the barbecue at every opportunity – it’s more casual and no one minds if timings are off and Take the party outside food arrives on a paper plate. Borrow a gazebo if the weather looks dodgy. You could even pop up a tent for the kids to sleep in – they’ll love the adventure.

Ones to watch Theatre shows and cinema screens are popping up again in parks and gardens across the region after a quiet couple of years. It’s not easy for production companies to put on these events – the entertainment industry has been especially hard hit by the pandemic – so now that we can, let’s all try and support those who are making sure the show will go on this summer

and further highlights include Grammy Award winner Anoushka Shankar with Manu Delago, and the Britten Sinfonia. Celebrating its 75th anniversary, the festival’s broad cultural programme spreads the message of peace and friendship. It’s a joyous event Around 4,000 performers from around the world, and as many as 35,000 visitors, converge on the Welsh town to sing and dance in a unique combination of competition, performance and community spirit. Along with Llanfest on the final day, this year incorporating the Fringe Festival, there is something for everyone.

Larks in the park Chester’s Grosvenor Park was one of the first to make an annual outdoor performance something that locals looked forward to. Productions are organised by the team at the Storyhouse, so you know you’ll have a top-notch show A magical setting as well as a slick system for booking and all the info you need. For Shakespeare fans, Romeo and Juliet will be running from 1st July to 28th August, while lovers of classic literature will enjoy Little Women (8th July-29th August). Families will want to book their seats for Stig of the Dump (22nd July-29th August) which guarantees fun, laughter, music and even free snack packs for kids. The park will have a bar on show nights, a wood-fired pizza oven offering food to pre-order, and for each adult ticket bought, a child (under 12) gets in for free.

Jet set For something a little bit different, we recommend the outdoor cinema at the RAF Museum in Cosford, Shropshire. The event returns on 13th-15th August and offers the ultimate movie experience, with two screenings per day on a huge LED screen

Friendship in music The Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod returns after a two-year hiatus with a line-up that celebrates the best traditional and contemporary music from around the world. Aled Jones and Russell Watson, performing together, will open the programme,

Fun, laughter, music and even free snack packs for kids

alongside the VC10 and Hercules aircraft! The afternoon screening at 5pm is suitable for young visitors and the whole family, and the evening screenings at 8.30pm Bring your own seating are for over-12s (12A rated films, children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult). Audiences are encouraged to bring picnic chairs and blankets, but tents or gazebos are not permitted. Arrive early to get a good spot. You can check out the film schedule here: rafmuseum.

Continued on next page July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 55

Festival fun A sure sign of summer is the sight of crowds gathering to enjoy a festival – either for a day or a weekend of camping, in groups with mates or with the whole family in tow. After a few years without them, here are some of the best, back for 2022 and promising to be better than ever!

Cheshire’s best —for all the family CarFest revs into the Bolesworth Estate on 22nd-24th July. The team behind the UK’s biggest family fundraising festival have pulled out all the stops to make sure 2022 is an incredible year and continues to raise vital funds for charities affected by the pandemic. This year’s partners are


CarFest has raised over {20 million for charity!

Cheshire’s best… for grown ups For a classy evening out rather than a full-on wellies and circus skills affair, it’s hard to beat Tatton Park’s iconic Proms in the Park. The beautiful lakeside venue hosts an array of special A choice of luxury seating nights and daytime music events, but wraps up its Pop Up Festival series with a bang . The open-air concert on Sunday 7th August features a two-hour orchestral programme, with live singers and all the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ favourites – and a stunning fireworks finale. Whether you’re planning a romantic evening as a couple, a group celebration or just want to celebrate summer in style, this could be the unique experience you’ve been looking for. Sit back, relax and enjoy this wonderful evening with a glass of fizz, or treat yourself and order one of the delicious locally sourced hampers in advance. Proceeds from the Pop Up Festival series go to breast cancer charities, so you’ll be doing some good at the same time as having a ball.

BBC Children in Need, Comic Relief, Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, My Black Dog, Rainbow Trust, Starlight Children’s Foundation and Teenage Cancer Trust. So if you fancy getting everyone together to admire fast cars, enjoy performances from some of UK’s Festival vibes best artists, bands and DJs, get involved in food demonstrations and meet a host of the UK’s TV, theatre, music and sports legends… check out the line-up now!

“a stunning fireworks finale” Top in Shropshire for grown ups One of the UK’s premier horticultural events, Shrewsbury Flower Show on 12th-13th August attracts top exhibitors from all over the country. The flowers themselves are the main event, with stunning displays entered for competition and sale, alongside a jawFloral wonders dropping exhibition of floral mannequins, plenty of food and drink options, a lecture marquee, bandstand entertainment and fireworks. 56 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

for everyone Top in Shropshire… for all the family The most exciting event for a long time will be this year’s inaugural Camp Bestival – in Shropshire! The festival on everyone’s lips has been around for ages… but always Spectacular! involved pitching up in Dorset. Not so this year! 2022 marks the year Camp Bestival’s Shropshire shindig bursts into life with a mind-blowing distillation of everything that makes Bestival the very finest family festival. Cementing his place as Camp Bestival’s favourite son, Fatboy Slim heads up the musical treats in store at Weston Park on 18th21st August, with Rag’n’Bone Man and Becky Hill. Ensuring there is utter excitement for all ages at all times, there is plenty of family fun with Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors, Brainiac Live: Remixed!, amazing tricksters Extreme Bike Battle, CBeebies royalty Mr Tumble, and Mister Maker and Rebecca Keatley. Plus, there’s a host of good times on offer, from family silent discos to Cosmic Kid yoga, Yolanda’s Band Jam, kung fu, a fireworks finale and much, much more.

Utter excitement for all ages at all times

Wonder of Wales… for grown ups If you want to relax and focus on your wellbeing while celebrating the best of nature and creativity, then one River fun at summer camp experience encapsulates all that. The Good Life Society is offering four Summer Camp weekends in the Welsh village of Hawarden in July. Summer Camp is a chance to escape, reset and recharge. It’s about slowing down, meeting new people, learning new things. You’ll join workshops, go on expeditions and listen to inspiring talks. You’ll eat incredible food - dinner every evening is included in the ticket price and is cooked for you by a team of exceptional chefs. Evenings are spent in the Walled Garden, with entertainment around the campfire. With luxury beds and brand-new facilities, you’ll leave feeling inspired and refreshed.

Wonder of Wales… for all the family For full-on family fun, go Wild in Wales! From 14th to 21st August the fabulous Wild Festival team is returning to Ty Ucha Farm,near Mold. They just Just go for it! can’t do enough to ensure everyone has everything they need and the views are to die for. There’s the usual 10 hours of live music each day, from 1pm to 11pm, and the line-up promises some real talent again this year. That’s followed by an acoustic firepit jamming session until late. During the day, there are performers, workshop activities, flash mob, kids’ clubs, a kids’ disco and a whole host of fun. The whole family can get their inner pirate on for Saturday’s fancy dress! Fridays are glitz and glam, so come as sparkly and glittery as you can. There is no such thing as over the top!

Continued on next page

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 57

Hit the beach! Obviously no summer of fun and frolics is complete without a visit to the beach, whether for a holiday or just a day trip – and across the Shire patch we have some superb shores to explore


un on your face, sand between the toes and the sound of lapping waves… sounds good, doesn’t it? Well, summer is here and beach season has officially begun. But we all approach a beach day in our own way – some want to relax and enjoy the peace, others want to keep busy, tire out the kids and tumble home shattered and sandy. We’ve put together the ultimate guide to the local coastline so you can find the daytrip of your dreams.

Surfing and swimming

“find the daytrip of your dreams”

If you’re looking for action and want to battle the waves, there are loads of great spots for surfing. Try Rhosneigr in Anglesey, winner of the Green Coast seaside award. With its two broad, sandy beaches, Traeth Crigyll and Traeth Llydan, it is a popular centre for all watersports and has evolved into a very cool and trendy location.

Playing games

Beach games such as rounders or Frisbee need a bit of space, a flat expanse where you won’t get Rhosneigr is the place to be in people’s way or destroy their picnics with your cricket ball. We recommend West Kirby beach on the Wirral – when the tide is out, there’s more space than you’d need for Olympic beach volleyball. But check the tides before you go to guarantee a decent sportsground.


With youngsters in tow, what better than poking around in rock pools and collecting a bucketful of crabs and other unsuspecting creatures. For a good crab-to-bucket ratio – and a picturesque setting, too – try Llandudno: great for crabbing dangling a line off Llandudno Pier. A wander along the prom can be part of your excursion.

Rest and relaxation

For some, the perfect beach day is more about splendid isolation and getting away from it all. This is not easy, as any pretty cove that offers a place to relax will appeal to others and soon draw the crowds! The remotest spot we’ve found is Traeth yr Ora, a small sand and shingle beach on the northeast of Anglesey. Perhaps better for romantic couples than families, as you’ll need to navigate a coastal path to reach this hidden treasure.


Where there’s a shoreline, there’s often a coastal path to enjoy too. The Wales Coast Path is hard to beat for seaside exploration and in all there are 841 Beautiful Welsh coastline miles of it to enjoy. We suggest starting with the most accessible section, along the North Wales coast from the launch point at the border, less than two miles from Chester.

Traeth yr Ora:

Food and feasting

Obviously you can pack a picnic or find a local restaurant – but the best way to mark a good day at the coast is with an ice-cream break in the afternoon, and fish and chips as the sun goes down. To tick both of these off the list in style, we suggest a trip to Conwy quay. Here you have the world-famous Parisella’s ice-cream DID YOU kiosk, offering around KNOW? 60 flavours, and no fewer than five fine 60 flavours and fish and chip shops vanilla is still the to choose from.

UK’s favourite!

58 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Breathe it in. It’s clean, it’s fresh, it’s wild and it’s beautiful. Welcome to Adventure Parc Snowdonia, nestled in the lush green Conwy Valley at the foothills of Snowdonia. We are proud to deliver a world-class destination designed with wellbeing in mind. Centred around the glistening waters of our inland surf lagoon, where you can choose from reinvigorating and restorative spa days, adrenaline-fuelled activities or even slow-paced sightseeing. • Stylish hotel or glamping accommodation • Perfect for extended family get-togethers • Relax at the indoor / outdoor Wave Garden Spa

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Stay in the woods or by the water


ctive families and thrill-seekers looking for their next holiday should check out the non-stop action at Adventure Parc Snowdonia, where you can climb, surf, SUP, swim, jump, bike, scramble and “…home clamber your way to the ultimate getaway. Adventure Parc Snowdonia is home to a to the only world-first surf lagoon and the only guaranteed guaranteed surf breaks in the UK, as well as a range of surf breaks outdoor adventures, indoor activities and weatherproof choices – not to mention a in the UK” sublime, newly opened spa for those seeking Catch a wave on the lagoon relaxation instead. With over 10 different pod comes with heating, lighting, plug sockets and a activities on offer, ranging from surf sessions and lessons right through to indoor high ropes, everyone has decked seating area. Guests use shared shower and WC facilities the chance to experience something truly unique. in a sparkling clean amenities block. For those looking for a You can leave the tent at home as the park’s simple wooden different option, the Hilton Hotel on site offers a range of rooms, pods are the perfect alternative to camping. Take your pick restaurant options and views across the famous surf lagoon too. from woodland pods or a lagoon-side setting. Each holiday



he Lion art hotel is an elegant, relaxed establishment in the rural village of Berriew, Mid Wales, offering fine dining using locally sourced ingredients and comfortable art-themed rooms. “…visually Its restored Jacobean exterior conceals a visually lavish, welcoming lavish with environment, where mirrored artworks a modern by sculptor Andrew Logan and metropolitan vibrant colour schemes complement the rustic 17th-century architecture flourish” with a modern, metropolitan flourish. Upstairs, the fusion of historic charm and contemporary art continues in the seven en-suite bedrooms, and is possibly best appreciated from the very comfortable beds! All rooms are stylish and well-appointed, but what makes the Lion Hotel truly special is the chance to sleep inside an artwork. Bathrooms are sleek, modern and colourful, some with roomy rain showers. Each includes tea

An elegant choice for a short break

and coffee-making facilities, TV and complimentary toiletries. The Red Room can seat up to 16 guests. Its crimson walls are set off by dark beams and adorned with art – the perfect setting for private dining or meetings. There’s also a fully stocked bar, pleasant lounge and patio.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 61


Outstanding beauty

Away from it all, yet easily accessible


aes Mynan Holiday Park is an idyllic base for exploring all that North Wales has to offer. It’s also the ideal choice if you’re planning adventures like owning your own holiday home, in an unspoilt spot with spectacular views, a rich history and the charm only Nature can provide. Maes Mynan is a hidden gem in Flintshire and, since opening, the luxury

lodges for sale on a choice of exclusive plots are being snapped up. The site also has static caravan plots and caravans for sale in a wooded enclave with views across the Clwydian Range. There is no better time to invest, with staycations on the rise and finite spectacular plots for holiday homeowners to choose from. So get in touch as soon as you are able. The park occupies over 100 acres in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. In easy reach of junction 31 of the A55 North Wales Expressway, it’s the perfect destination for anyone seeking a change of scenery, a slower pace and tranquillity. maesmynan The park’s luxury lodges



f you’re seeking a peaceful retreat where you can relax and take life at your own pace, take a look at Goetre Retreat Caravan Park – a small, quiet, family-run park in the heart of beautiful Mid Wales. The site is located on the banks of the River Mule, halfway between the pretty villages of Abermule “Easy and Kerry, whilst Newtown and access Welshpool are a short drive away. Fishing, golfing, cycling and horse to Offa’s riding are all available locally, and Dyke” for those who enjoy nothing more It’s a small, peaceful site than a breath of country air, there’s plenty to see in the park itself. Goetre Retreat is ideally located for exploring the Shropshire borders, including the Stiperstones, Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd, with easy access to well-known walks including Offa’s Dyke and the Kerry Ridgeway. Nearby are the reservoirs and dams of Lake Vyrnwy, Clywedog and the Elan Valley, which are of special interest to birdwatchers.


akwood Valley Lodges is an exclusive holiday park in the heart of Mid Wales, near Welshpool. It nestles in a natural valley yet boasts spectacular views – you can see Snowdon on a clear day. Setting the standards for a holiday home park, Oakwood Valley is set in 74 acres of unspoilt countryside, with lodges screened by coppices of mature The lodges are screened by trees trees. The “A peace emphasis is not only on the spacious layout that’s surrounding each lodge but also the quality of the park and the services provided. hard to The peace and tranquillity would be hard to rival” rival and are ensured by the site’s ‘couples only’ and ‘no subletting’ policies. The park is also dog friendly so your furry friends can enjoy a well-earned break with you. 62 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022



earn more about the location you’re visiting this summer by taking time to check out its history. One great place to do this is Oswestry Town Museum, well worth a visit if you’re nearby. The key feature of the main exhibition room is the ‘Timeline’, which aims to map the history of the town from the formation of the rock beneath it to present-day Oswestry, and as such is an ongoing project. Displays cover subjects from geology to Oswestry Town FC and include exhibitions on Llanymynech Limeworks and the Welsh Guards as well as a fine The museum is in the collection on ancient Guildhall loan from a member of The Waterloo Society. There is also a public access computer and separate children’s activity room, which provides colouring and quizzes as well as collection of ‘hands on’ objects to look at, touch and draw. Open Wed, Fri and Sat 10am-3pm.

Welcome to the World D

elmar World is a travel agency with a difference. Family owned and in business for over 55 years, the team has a real passion for adding value to your holiday, inspiring you with their personal knowledge and the exciting options that can make your dream holiday a reality. With branches in Wrexham and on the Wirral, in Heswall, an appointment system ensures you are assigned a Travel Specialist who has personally travelled to your destination, often numerous times. They take genuine pleasure in getting to know you, so your personality and preferences can be reflected in itinerary suggestions. It’s this customer-focused service that means they can plan the most hasslefree experience for you. Delmar Travel wants you to enjoy every minute of your holiday. Their advice will be the difference between a good holiday and an amazing one! The team are ready to help

Your very own slice of the countryside

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Both Holiday Parks offer the following:

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• Season: 1st March• New & Pre-Owned Holiday 31st January allowing you to Homes for Sale • Offering you the freedom enjoy all seasons to escape and unwind • Couples only, ensuring peace whenever you wish in the and quiet to enjoy your comfort of your own second surroundings ♂♀ home • Dog friendly

NEAR WELSHPOOL • Within 1 hrs drive of Chester and 1.5 hrs from Liverpool/ Wirral • Nestled in a natural valley and screened by coppices of mature trees • Close to many tourist attractions and within easy reach of the coastline • Ideal location to relax and watch wildlife from the comfort of your decking

Set in 74 acres of Mid-Wales countryside

NEAR LUDLOW • Beautifully manicured parkland of mature trees and shrubberies, with open countryside views of Herefordshire • Perfect base to explore Herefordshire and the medieval town of Ludlow, with many tourist attractions and walking trails. • 2 acre fishing lake • Welcome touring caravans and seasonal pitches • Just over 1 hrs drive from Shrewsbury

Tel - 01938 811806

Tel - 01584 831617

@ - | Web -

@ - | Web -

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coffee-making facilities, and as an extra touch, home-made shortbread. Free WiFi is offered across the site, and free parking too. There are bikes for hire if you want to explore the countryside – even some vintage 1940s bicycles, which add to the charm of Abbey Green Farm and this idyllic location. The well-tended gardens attract a variety of birds and insects. Take it all in over afternoon tea, served on the farm terrace. Other foodie options include farmhouse breakfast or The farmhouse bacon and bbey Green Farm in the “Tea is egg rolls each or village of Whixall, near served morning, if you have Whitchurch, offers a range on the an urge for of accommodation – but if you’re looking for a little DIY dining, farm are bit of luxury, check out terrace” barbecues allowed on The Cowhous, a beautifully site and there converted barn delivering bed and breakfast stays throughout the are shops and The gardens are stunning supermarkets in year. All rooms have a seating area to Wem and Whitchurch, which are 10 and relax in after a busy day, a flatscreen 20 minutes’ drive away respectively. TV, and luxurious bedlinen from The White Company. Every room has tea and


Superbloom tour to London


isteria Tours is a family business specialising in tailored coach tours to gardens and historic homes. The Shropshire company “Visit is run by sisters Jacky and Sue Burnell, with help from their mother Jackie Crick who set up the the business. The team State has launched a special Rooms” London Jubilee tour on 6th-7th August, taking in the ‘superbloom’ display at the Tower of London, followed by an overnight stay. The second day includes a visit to the State Rooms at Buckingham Palace, where you can see exhibits on the Queen’s reign. For details and the full 2022 tour programme, visit

Kelmscott Manor is one of several destinations



great place to find out more about the area you’re visiting on holiday is Y Lanfa – Powysland Museum and Welshpool Library. Housed in a restored warehouse beside the Montgomery Canal, the library is on the ground floor and the museum upstairs. Powysland Museum depicts the archaeology and social history of Welshpool and Montgomeryshire. The first gallery shows how life in Mid Wales has changed, with exhibits on trades, pubs, the railway, Laura Ashley, and the World Wars, including the Montgomeryshire Yeomanry. The second takes you on a chronological tour of local finds, from the prehistoric through the Ancient Roman to the early medieval period, including excavations carried out by the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust. Welshpool Library has a wide range of books, audio books and a local history reference Right on the canal section. Open Mon 9.30am-6.30pm, Tues & Fri 9.30am-5pm, Wed & Sat 9.30am-1pm.



rleton Rise Holiday Home Park nestles in the Shropshire countryside near Ludlow, and offers an idyllic escape from the rat race this summer and beyond. The site began life back in the ’70s and was taken on by its current owners, the Williams family, in 2001. Since then, the caravan park has grown and has been brought up to its present five-star standard, rated ‘Exceptional’. Orleton Rise is the ideal location to own your own private holiday home and there is always a selection of new and pre-owned holiday homes for sale. Here you can enjoy the tranquillity of Reserve your spot in the sun…

64 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Orleton Rise has been awarded an ‘Exceptional’ rating

the site for the 11 months of the year that the site is open. The park has static holiday homes and lodges, and the grounds are kept immaculate, including a stunning pond. Orleton is a wonderful park and is very fortunate to be located in such picturesque surroundings. The owners also welcome touring caravans and motorhomes to a separate section, located in a secluded area of the park, with 14 hard-standing pitches each with their own electric hook-up. Some pitches are available for seasonal tourers. For details, please call the team, who will be more than happy to assist you. Call 01584 831 617.


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




Spend a day exploring the beautiful Shropshire Union Canal aboard our 10 seater, self-drive Day Boat • Ideal for family celebrations and team-building days • All-weather accommodation • Easy to steer – no experience necessary • From just £115

Tel: 07867 790195 •

The Old Union Workhouse

Welsh Crafts & Souvenirs • Candles •

Dee •Lovespoons Personalised• Frenchic Candles, Cards Lovespoons• DayRiver Paint &&Accessories Tickets Available •Wool WelshShop Crafts & Souvenirs • Café & Bait • Greeting Cards• •Jewellery Fishing Tackle • Wool Shop • Fishing Tackle, Maggots & Worms

Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat: 5pm • Sun: 11am 5pm•• Closed Wed Mon,Tues,Thurs, Sat:10am 10am to ~ 5pm 11am to ~ 5pm

Corwen Manor

T h e O l d U n i o n Wo r k h o u s e

01490 413196

8 London Rd, Corwen, Denbighshire, LL21 0DR

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splash out! This is the best time of year for getting out on the water, and we’re lucky to have one of the best watersports venues right on our doorstep


las Menai, the National Outdoor Centre for Wales, has introduced of a new Personal Watercraft course, which is sure to be hugely popular, especially when taking in to account the centre’s location on the Menai Strait. The yacht cruising programme is also back for 2022, after the restrictions of the past couple of years. Seeing the yachts out on the water and the faces of happy participants learning how to sail is what Plas Menai’s reputation has been built on.

Open to all

With an extensive summer programme planned for outdoor enthusiasts, both young and old, Plas Menai has courses to take you from a beginner, learning the basics, right through to advanced level and certificated courses. “The yacht As the year progresses, take advantage cruising of the great outdoors by joining one of the guided lowland or mountain walks, or programme utilise our kit to learn to mountain bike. is back for Alternatively, join one of Plas Menai’s 2022” clubs designed for you to meet likeminded individuals, such as the weekly SUP evenings or windsurfing groups. There may be theory courses that need to be completed to take you on to the next level in your chosen sport. Plas Menai is managed by Sport Wales with the aim of igniting a lifetime passion for outdoor activities. The centre has been inspiring people to experience the outdoors for over 40 years. It re-opened in May, following extensive refurbishment to the heating system, and is one of the first buildings in Wales of its age and stature to be fitted with a ground source heating system. It is a recognised Royal Yachting Association and British Canoeing training centre and offers world-renowned technical courses and instructor training in dinghy sailing, windsurfing, cruising and kayaking. It really does have something for everyone. For information, call 0300 3003112 or visit

Building confidence and a love of the outdoors

A summer stroll • • • •

Llyn Peninsula, Gwynedd Difficulty – Leisurely Walking time - 6 hours Length 18.6km / 11.6 miles


hire Magazine is joining forces with The Ramblers charity to suggest some new routes that keen walkers might want to try over the summer. The first is a beautiful day out on the Llyn Peninsula. For all the details visit where the route will be available until 30th September. To access all routes all the time, you might want to consider joining the organisation. Find out how on the website.

Start: Aberdaron

“Listen out for the harsh call of the chough”

At high tide take the road towards Porth Simdde or at low tide you can go along the beach towards Porth Simdde instead. From there, follow the coastal path that leads southwards to Porth Meudwy from where the boats go to Bardsey. Continue along the coast path round the peninsula towards the headland of Braich y Pwll, the ‘Land’s End’ of North Wales, and the prominent hill of Mynydd Mawr (‘Big Mountain’). The cliffs 66 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

A perfect end to a perfect day on the Llyn Peninsula

are home to seabirds including razorbills, guillemots and gulls. Listen out for the chough, which you can recognise from its harsh call. It’s a modest climb to the old coastguard station at the summit – a splendid viewpoint that overlooks the whole of the peninsula and Snowdonia’s mountains in the distance. Mynydd Anelog to the north is your next target. Follow a path across the heath, close to the coast. Heading north the path passes the promontories of Dinas Fawr and Dinas Bâch, to reach Porth Oer. From here follow the access lane inland to the road and turn right. At a left-hand bend 300m on, you can turn left along the lane and follow the inland route on the OS map back to Aberdaron. Alternatively, stay on the cycle route.

A summer of outdoor aDVENTUrEs for all From multi outdoor activity clubs for children through to advanced instructor qualifications for adults, Plas Menai has something to offer everyone this summer, both on and off the water.

BOOK NOW 0300 300 3112 |


D id you kn ow?is a

Za-atar dle fragrant Mid e ic sp rn te Eas

TOP NEW TEam relaunches a favourite venue

Stunning Walcot Hall in Shropshire is a Georgian country house steeped in history. The whole estate is enjoying a relaunch, with its on-site gastropub and gourmet staff team leading the way.

The Powis Arms


alcot Hall is a grand and historic house, better known today as an events and wedding venue, and it’s also a family home. It may have been handing out hospitality for generations but this year it has launched a new chapter and welcomed a new manager and team to run the 30 acres of grounds, including one of the finest arboretums in Britain. Fifteen self-catering holiday cottages and 10 glamping ‘hidden treasures’ are also located around the estate. The holiday cottages vary from the traditional to the unique: the 68 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

iconic tin chapel tucked away in the arboretum, yurts, shepherd’s huts, the eccentric Dipping Shed, and newly restored Norbury Hall. The real treat, for guests and day trippers alike, is Walcot’s village pub, The Powis Arms, right by the front gates. This too has had a relaunch, welcoming a new team who champion seasonal menus and local suppliers – and Shire is delighted to share a recipe from the new menu here. Charlotte Bass, general manager said: “We always look forward to the summer season. Our lovely little campsite is full of happy faces, weddings are in full swing up at the Hall and you can feel the party spirit in the air! “Our chef is always looking for ways to showcase our fantastic local producers and suppliers. Being situated in the Shropshire Marches, summer is all about lamb, and this dish is always a crowd-pleaser.”

mb a L e l ty s n a c c ro o M Sh a n ks wit h Potato C a ke & S tea med s S eas o n a l Veg eta bl e

INGREDIENTS: 6 lamb shanks Olive oil, for frying 5 carrots, peeled and sliced 3 red onions, peeled and thickly sliced 2 bay leaves 3 garlic cloves, peeled, roughly chopped, then crushed 1 x 750ml bottle red wine 500ml chicken stock Torn mint leaves, to garnish FOR THE MARINADE: 1 tbsp za’atar 1 tbsp paprika 1 tbsp ground cumin 1 tbsp cumin seeds 2 cinnamon sticks, snapped in half Olive oil Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper METHOD: First prepare the marinade. Mix the spices and seasoning together in a large bowl. Rub a little olive oil into the lamb and then rub over the dry mixture so that it is well covered. Leave to marinate for an hour, preferably overnight. Preheat the oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Heat a large casserole dish on the hob and add 2tbsp olive oil, browning the lamb for about 6 minutes until coloured on all sides. Add the carrots, onion and bay leaves and brown for another minute or two, then add the crushed garlic and brown slightly. Lift the lamb so that it is resting on top of the onions and carrots. Add the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom, then bring to the boil and cook for 7–8 minutes to reduce the liquid by half. Add the chicken stock, return to the boil, then transfer, covered, to the preheated oven. Cook for 2 hours, then remove the lid and cook for a final 30 minutes, until the meat is really tender and the sauce reduced. (If the tops of the shanks look like they might be drying out, just baste and occasionally turn them.) Remove the cooked meat from the oven and serve garnished with torn mint leaves and the cooking juices spooned over. We like to serve the lamb with a potato cake, seasonal steamed greens and a salsa verde.


The Staff of Life The bread and Viennoiserie from Andy’s Bakery in Llanidloes are as satisfying as it gets, such is the provenance of the ingredients and the methods Andy Wright adopts to create the finest flavours


ndy Wright chooses to use Shipton White organic flour and have any of the additional ingredients, and enjoyed its sweet/sour Felin Ganol organic wholemeal for his Llani Wild and flavour and chewy crumb. Unmasked by other flavours, both loaves Multigrain Sourdough. Welsh heritage varieties of wheat are were wonderful to savour, from the first bite to the last lingering carefully ground at the ancient water mill swallow – but married with olive oil, Welsh butter or cheese, the combination at Llanrhystud, Ceredigion, and Andy uses white and wholemeal in an 80:20 was extremely satisfying. “Both loaves were wonderful balance for his sourdough loaves.The yeast Andy takes as much care over his to savour, from the first bite to is allowed to ferment over a long period Viennoiserie, the sweet French dough the last lingering swallow” and this gives the characteristic tang. from which he creates croissants and pain au chocolat. All the ingredients are We sampled the Multigrain Sourdough, organic, including the Montezuma full of oats, linseed, sunflower and pumpkin seeds that have been soaked overnight to give the bread chocolate that fills the centres. Milk is sourced from Dairy Bank Farm in Llandyssil and butter from Calon Wen, keeping the whole extra moisture and longevity. It had a firm but not hard crust: the product as Welsh and organic as possible. This is a richly flavoured, crumb was springy and had good structure, while the texture was light and moist pastry of perfection, the best we’ve ever eaten. light and moist. We also tasted the Llani Wild, which doesn’t



irst up on our tasting session was the Lamb & Mint Sausage. What an absolute banger (pun intended!). Rich in colour, both the lamb and mint flavours were bold and classic. The snap of the “An absolute casing and close texture of the meat make this sausage a fail-safe banger – pun choice for a barbecue, offering a intended!” welcome change from pork. Next up was the Wagyu Steak Burger – cooked fast, then rested. This more than lived up to its Insta reputation, a nice outer crust holding in the juicy, well-marbled

The Prized Pig at Abermule, Powys has one eye on the future. Not only is Matt Roberts’ packaging made from compostable and recyclable materials but the pork products are nitratefree and come from heritage breed, free-range ‘happy’ pigs that have access to woodland and an orchard. The lamb is sourced from within a fivemile radius, in and around the Vale of Montgomery. beef that is born and finished a stone’s throw from Matt’s butchery. Last, but no way least: the Black Garlic & Treacle Back Bacon was well-cured and dark. Even before it hit the pan, it looked a serious contender. Once cooked (slower than normal, to draw out the flavour instead of cooking it off ) it offers sweet, salty, umami and smoky notes, with a modest, sweet garlic aroma. Matt has quite rightly put this forward for this year’s Gold Taste Awards – it was unanimously adored by the Shire taste testing team. Instagram @the_prized_pig | Facebook @ThePrizedPigButchery Call 01686 630157 | Email July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 69


Best of

THE beers Two recent pieces of research have uncovered what most of us already knew – that when it comes to beer, the Shire patch is a winner. Now it’s official!


imed to coincide with National Beer Day this spring, wellness experts at Eden’s Gate looked into the best beer gardens across the country, now coming into their own for the summer season. They shared their locations, the average cost of a A brew with a view beer and how many Instagram followers and TikTok views each spot has. The winning venues spanned the UK and Ireland, and covered a wide range of pubs – but at number 10 on the list was none other than The Brondanw Arms at Llanfrothen, in Wales. Various factors were taken into account to score

“The picturesque beer garden at The Brondanw Arms is a hidden gem” each venue, but The Brondanw scored particularly highly on pricing, emerging as the best place to enjoy the cheapest pint, at an average of £4.10. The pub is ideally located if you’re visiting Snowdonia National Park, and it dates back to the 17th century, so if you want to escape a sudden summer downpour, the roaring fires and cosy decor are the perfect retreat. If you are lucky with the weather, the picturesque beer garden is a hidden gem – and only has 200 Instagram followers, which bodes well for a seat! At the same time, more analysts have been working hard to calculate Britain’s best night out. The experts at revealed that one winning destination was, in fact, Telford in Shropshire. The study looked at the number of venues per head of A good reason to celebrate! population, the cost of a pint of beer and a range of safety issues to reveal the best nights out in Britain, and Telford came in as a very close second, just behind York. Researchers found that the price of a pint in Telford was the lowest in the country, but the town scored slightly lower than York when it came to safety walking home at night. So as we’re out and about, enjoying socialising in the sun, remember – it’s official. The Shire patch is where it’s at! 70 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

W orld B read A ward s 20 21 B read H ero, W al es

Pick of the

Producers Shire celebrates baker Jon Rosser, who not only makes fabulous bread but encourages people all around the globe to do the same


on Rosser has been a baker by hobby for many years. In 2016 he retired from a career in education to travel and to write. Not many years into his new adventure, along came Covid and knocked that idea on the head, encouraging him to turn to another passion – baking bread. He focused on creating loaves as a way of keeping busy, staying positive and, of course, topping up supplies during lockdown. BreadClub hero Jon Rosser Motivated to help others find out how fulfilling breadmaking can be, Jon then set up BreadClub20, “The principles an online support group for home are fun, nutrition bread makers and those starting on their own breadbaking journeys. and most of all He said: “I started baking when well-being” I was 17. I worked the night shift at Sunblest Bakery, now Allied Bakeries, in Bredbury, Stockport. We turned out commercial bread products by the thousands, night after night – week in, week out. A couple of years later, while at university, I worked at Castle Bakery in the beautiful town of Beaumaris. From 4am until noon we baked bread, pastries and cakes for the locals and the tourists alike – experiences that gave me skills for life and a love for baking bread.” Fast-forward and, faced with an unprecedented global crisis, it was this background that reassured Jon he could confidently return to the art form that has been practised worldwide for centuries, and use it to reach out to people across the planet. BreadClub20 was born. “The principles were, and are, fun, nutrition and most of all well-being,” he said. “Last year, I won the World Bread Awards for Wales, sponsored by Brook Foods and Tiptree, and the club has grown enormously. We have over 1,300 bakers worldwide who share their recipes, tips and techniques, as well as their successes and failures. It’s a learning journey for everyone.”


Based in the medieval walled town of Conwy we manufacture over 70 flavours including favourites such as Salted Caramel, Amaretto & Black Cherry, Ferrero Rocher and Blue Banana. Jamie’s Butchers and Deli offer a wide range of delicious local produce!

pa rise l l a sice cre a m . co. uk Parisella’s Ice Cream Parlour

Parisellas Cafe Llandudno

12 High Street Conwy LL32 8DE 01492 592 770

Happy Valley, Alex Munro Way, Great Orme, Llandudno LL30 2QL


The Quay, Conwy LL32 8AL Wales

Call & Collect or Home Delivery Service Available Unit 1, St Mary’s Precinct, Church Street, Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5HX T: 01691 772602


Hot and Cold Sandwich Bar


Parisellas Ad July/Aug22 97x140mm V2 AB.indd 1

13/06/2022 12:11

Recently refurbished Hotel, Restaurant and Bar! Brand New Glyn Valley Lounge, Large TV, Outdoor Seating Area, New Menu, Pool Tables, Sky and BT Sport.

Looking for somewhere to have a celebration?

All rooms are ensuite.

Birthday, Engagement, New Baby, Wedding, or Wake. Talk to us about having it at the Glyn Valley Hotel.

Sunday Carvery every week Kids Menu Vegetarian & Gluten Free options available

We’ll take care of all the catering & any other arrangements you need. All you need to do is invite the guests. Llanarmon Road, Glyn Ceriog, Llangollen, LL20 7EU

01691 718 896

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IT’s all Greek It’s holiday season, so let’s jet off to the family favourite islands with wine writer Gary Carter from Shropshire Wine School


reece has one of the oldest wine-making cultures in the world, and yet many people’s experience of Greek wine consists solely of what the local taverna may offer when you’re on holiday. Historically, this has been dominated by retsina, a pine resin infused wine that is very much an acquired taste. However, a combination of some interesting and unique indigenous grape varieties and recent investment in modern winemaking makes this a fascinating choice for wine lovers. We’ll have a closer look at four main types.

Investment has taken Greek wine production to new heights

Samos Muscat: Samos is a small Aegean island close to Turkey and produces one of the great sweet wines of the world. The grape is either fortified (like a French vin doux naturel) or fermented from air-dried grapes (like a PX Sherry) to produce intensely aromatic dessert wines that are amazing value.

Assyrtiko: An indigenous variety to Santorini that survived because of that island’s volcanic soil, which the destructive Phylloxera disease cannot tolerate. An unusual combination of “Unique grape varieties make this high acidity and full body/high alcohol, a fascinating choice for wine lovers” with citrus and stone fruit flavours, it is perhaps Greece’s best variety, certainly Thymiopoulos Xinomavro 2018 the best white. It’s now grown all over Greece, but the very low(Majestic £14.99) Medium-bodied and complex, with notes of red yielding old vines on Santorini itself produce the best examples. and black fruit and a long finish. Serve with lamb shanks. Nomas Assyrtiko, Karavitakis 2020 (The Wine Society £11.95) Agiorgitiko: The most planted black grape variety, the best A wonderfully affordable introduction to Assyrtiko, showing off the examples coming from the elevated vineyards of Nemea in the grape’s character in style. Peloponnese. Fruity with moderate levels of tannin. Skouras Saint George, Nemea 2018 (Tanners £15.50) Made with 100 per cent Agiorgitiko, this is plush, smooth and easy to appreciate. Xinomavro: A black grape native to northern Greece (Macedonia). It It’s light enough to serve slightly chilled with white meat. shares the unusual characteristics of Italy’s Nebbiolo: pale colour and Samos Vin Doux (Waitrose Cellar £8.50) Golden with a floral, extremely high tannins. Aromatic with floral and red fruit flavours. honey, marmalade and ginger nose. Sweet, with medium acidity.

Four to try

Daisy Bank Dairy

Taste Test D TRaInE d D TASTE

Milk is milk is milk, or so we thought – the only challenge being to find the one with the longest sell-by date. Until we visited Daisy Bank Dairy in the Mid Wales hills…


istening to Glenn Lloyd explain his ideals of milk production at Gate Farm, near Llandyssil, you can’t help but feel his passion for what he does. Reaching down to pick the red clover among the mixed herbage at his feet, he explains this is where all the goodness lies. “We celebrate the weeds. No herbicide or pesticide, and no artificial fertiliser. The cows are moved onto fresh pasture every day.” We’re here to taste truly organic milk for the first time. The Daisy Bank herd is not only free from agricultural chemicals but also medication, the accepted use of which we hear little about. Our first sample is whole pasteurised milk, and I’m a bit apprehensive, “Hand on my I must say. As adults, it’s pretty heart, I was rare that we drink milk on its own. amazed at the Hand on my heart, I was flavour” amazed. I could actually taste the flavour. It was rich without being cloying, and had a pleasurable quality that can only reflect the high farming standards. This is something I could take to drinking on a regular basis, and probably will. The semi-skimmed was the same flavoursome taste but without the richness. As for the strawberry milkshake, it was a treat and one to await the arrival of the children! Daisy Bank milk is available from the farm gate, Montgomery market and vending machines at Tuffin’s Welshpool and Costcutter in Caersws


We visit the Glyn Valley Hotel in the picturesque village of Glyn Ceiriog to find out how the new owners have transformed this grand old Georgian coaching house


any hospitality businesses in the UK have changed hands in the past two years as a result of the pandemic, and the Glyn Valley Hotel, near Llangollen is one such example. Picked up in 2020 by the Renovare group, the building needed total refurbishment, which had to be done in line with its Grade II listed status. The interior has been renovated, sympathetic to the original features in the restaurant and lounge bar, and the rooms are brand new, including newly installed

“All the food is freshly made, with local ingredients” The inviting lounge bar

en-suite bathrooms, furniture and televisions. A large covered deck has been built at the rear, with a grassed seating area beyond and provision for an outside bar – perfect all year round. Chef Chris and general manager Dionne explained: “All the food is freshly made, with local ingredients, and we’re trying to create a ‘homecooked’ feel. We’re planning to develop the menu to serve pizzas and bar food in the bar area, and fine dining in the separate restaurant.” The house bread starter was a full platter of soft ciabatta, warmed on the grill, served with dishes of olives and herb oil – plenty for two to share. Pie of the day was chicken breast, cream and leek in a thick shortcrust pastry, with a Dionne at the helm delicious mash, sweet al dente carrots, garden peas and a rich chef ’s gravy. We shared a terrific sticky toffee pudding, served warm with vanilla ice cream and berries. All in all

these were hearty, freshly made dishes. After a night in the comfortable, modern double room, we made our way downstairs for a real treat – a beautifully presented Welsh breakfast and coffee, just the thing to set us up for a day exploring the local area. The friendly new team looking after the Glyn Valley Hotel have already made great Chris plates up strides, and after the welcome we received and the food on offer we look forward to seeing what they will come up with in the future. The group has also just re-opened The Oak on the High Street in Glyn Ceiriog after a year-long renovation, which is testimony to how much potential they see in the village and its surroundings. There are plans to develop Glyn Valley into a four-star hotel, and judging from the investment and effort that have clearly been put in The bill from the outset, House bread, that’s always been mixed olives and the aim. No expense herb oil £5 has been spared, and we recommend Pie of the day taking advantage with mash, of this relaxed and seasonal veg welcoming hotel and chef’s pan for a short break gravy £12 while the prices Sticky toffee are still incredibly pudding with ice good value! cream £5.50 Glyn Valley Hotel, Llanarmon Road, Glyn Ceiriog, Llangollen LL20 7EU Tel: 01691 718 896 Visit:

The Glyn Ceiriog Valley A hundred years ago, then Prime Minister David Lloyd George described Glyn Ceiriog as “a little bit of heaven on earth.” The Glyn Ceiriog Valley, with the river Ceiriog meandering though it, is a beautiful spot to explore and you can easily find walking routes. Go to self-guided-walks or pick up printed walks leaflets locally. You‘re also within easy reach of attractions and other places to visit, with Chirk Castle, Llangollen and Oswestry all only 15 minutes by car.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 73


Locally Reared, High Welfare Produce. Nitrate Free. Biodegradeable Packaging Abermule - Mid Wales 01686630157



We’re a third generation farming family, with our beautiful free range Organic Dairy herd, on the hills of Mid Wales.

How to contact us...

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Lew is K

ing a t the

Delicious pastries

The interior

helm Flawless

presenta tion




: div edict



Fit for a mon


The eagerly anticipated new restaurant at King’s Nurseries in Garthmyl, Montgomery has received an enthusiastic welcome. Shire gives it a resounding thumbs-up

fried egg. Bacon, sausage and black pudding were full of flavour, the level of spice in the black pudding giving just the right lift to the milder elements on the plate. However, the vegetarian option was no second best, with halloumi that melted in the mouth and very tasty Glamorgan sausage. On Panca kes, m xpecting to find the restaurant taking up part of the main nursery, both plates, a small bowl of baked beans mm! as a kind of ‘exit through the shop’ approach, we were pleasantly complemented the breakfast without surprised to find it stands in its own grounds. Lewis King, who runs swamping it. the Greenhouse Café & Kitchen, designed the building himself and The eggs Benedict was also a surprise: a generous serving of is justly proud of how it looks and how well it is functioning. two perfectly poached eggs atop a thick slice of ham and a toasted A gentle slope flanked by two low walls, graced with lavender plants muffin, coated in a lively but smooth Hollandaise sauce. What a treat! – grown just across the way by Marcus and Claire Sitting back and enjoying tea and coffee while King – takes you into a large open porch, from where chatting to Lewis, we couldn’t help but praise the “A Portobello you enter the dining area. All is light: large windows quality of the meal we had just sampled. Lewis take up two sides of the restaurant, with sliding doors pointed out how important it is to him to source mushroom cosied leading out onto a further seating area on the veranda. his ingredients from local suppliers. The bread up to an amber Magnificent views sweep across Corndon Hill to the and pastries that other diners were clearly relishing rosti bearing a monument above Montgomery – all the more lovely come from Andy’s in Llanidloes. The dairy produce perfect fried egg” at this time of year with apple blossom on the trees is from the organically run farm, Daisy Bank, at that lie between the nursery and River Severn. nearby Llandyssil, while the wonderful bacon, Inside, the appreciation of space is echoed in black pudding and sausages are produced at the the high ceiling and well-spaced tables. Against the open-timbered Prized Pig in Abermule. feature wall is a long, comfortable, upholstered settle looking out Such confidence in his neighbours has definitely paid off, because onto the central seating area, where there are tables for two or four Lewis creates food that wouldn’t be out of place in the dining room (though larger parties are instantly accommodated). Tall palms, placed of any top-class hotel. discreetly between some of the tables, not only link with the green landscape outside but allow privacy for the diners. We arrived at 10am, by which time several guests had already Greenhouse Breakfast £9.95 placed their orders, and in the armchairs set against the windows, Veggie Breakfast £9.95 people were enjoying coffee and pastries. The breakfast menu looked Eggs Benedict £7.50 very inviting, with a range of cooked food to choose from that would satisfy the fussiest of eaters – from a full Welsh breakfast to Breakfast Tea £2 American-style pancakes with berries or bacon. We ordered the meat Americano £2.60 and vegetarian choices, with the tempting vegan option narrowly Flat White £2.95 pipped by eggs Benedict. The food, when it was placed before us, was a feast for the eyes Greenhouse Café & Kitchen 01686 641 939 so unexpected was the generosity of the portions, but the presentation King’s Nurseries B4385, Montgomery SY15 6RT of the individual elements made the pleasure of eating so much the Facebook @greenhousecafeandkitchen greater. There was a large grilled half-tomato, dressed with rosemary Instagram @greenhousecafeandkitchen and fried onion, on the meat and vegetarian plates. A Portobello mushroom cosied up to an amber potato rosti bearing a perfect


July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 75

Enjoy the good life at Hencote The View – the restaurant named itself

Time was when you had to travel across Europe to sample fine wine straight from the vineyard to your table. One Shrewsbury estate offers quality closer to home


he enchanting estate of Hencote in Shrewsbury may be relatively small – just 23,000 vines across its seven hectares – but it truly is perfectly formed. The country’s most successful producer of award-winning red wine, it is also home to Vines climb the slopes to the restaurant and winery a stunning restaurant, its own luxurious holiday home, boasts a high-class glamping site and enjoys stunning views across the Shropshire countryside. Founded by Andy and Dora Stevens as recently as 2016, it has earnt a reputation for elegance and quality second to none. For general manager Mark Stevens – one of four siblings now involved in running the estate with their parents - the commitment

DID YOU KNOW? An IWC medalwinner is tasted by a minimum of eight judges

to quality is the golden thread that runs through everything Hencote does. Take its wines as an example. The vineyard created history just 12 months ago, winning a second gold medal for a red wine at the world’s most prestigious wine competition. Its Mark I 2018 vintage took the top honour at the International Wine Challenge, the Olympics of the industry, having previously picked up the award for its 2018 Amphora Pinot Noir in 2020. It is the first winery in the UK to win gold for two different still red wines. “We were especially thrilled to have been awarded the second gold. It is such a positive reflection on our ambitions for the vineyard, to develop hand-produced, eco-friendly and highly sophisticated wines,” said Mark. “Many people suggested we are too far north to be able to produce red wine of real quality, but the awards prove them wrong and show our wines can hold their own with the best in the world. In fact, our 2018 vintages – including white, sparkling and rose wines - have now won two golds, a silver and six bronzes at the 2020 and 2021 IWC competitions.”

Critics’ choice It’s not just the IWC judges who are impressed. Both Jancis Robinson and Oz Clarke, the nation’s favourite wine critics, have praised Hencote’s offerings, whilst fellow wine writers have lined up to offer their own plaudits. The secret to the vineyard’s success is meticulous attention to detail but also minimum intervention. That means that each and every vine will be worked on by hand throughout the year but will not be treated with chemicals and fertilisers to boost growth or the final crop. “We are committed to producing wines of authenticity that reflect the vineyard’s surroundings and are produced in as natural a way as possible,” said Mark. “From the start we took the decision to plant mainly the classic grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, notoriously difficult to grow in the UK, and then concentrate on still wine – something the country is not well known for. But we believe that in doing everything the right way and concentrating all the time on quality, we can compete with the best in the world. “Our philosophy of minimum intervention is carried over to the winery, where our winemaker Gavin Patterson focuses on allowing the wines to express their natural characteristics.” At harvest time., volunteers flock from far and wide to take part in grape-picking and are treated to wonderful Hencote hospitality in exchange. “We’ll start first thing in the morning, break for a brunch of coffee and croissants and then work through until

“We were especially thrilled to have been awarded the second gold. It is such a positive reflection on our ambitions for the vineyard” A tour of the esate wouldn’t be complete without a tasting… 76 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

HENCOTE lunchtime, when we’ll stop for the day and enjoy something from the Hencote kitchen. It’s wonderful to see how quickly people bond and is an important part of what makes Hencote so special,” said Mark. Tours of the estate run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, often led by Mark himself, and offer a detailed look around the vineyard and winery followed by the chance to sample a selection of Hencote’s wines. DID YOU KNOW? The 2021 harvest looks to have Hencote is “setting matched the quality of 2018, the benchmark meaning that the wines on for red wines in offer throughout 2022 are to England” well and truly savour. (IWC) The estate, which sits on a ridge above the old riverbed of the Severn just outside Shrewsbury, enjoys panoramic views over the town and towards the south Shropshire hills. It’s no wonder that its glass-sided restaurant, The View, has quickly established itself as a premium venue for special nights out and occasions to remember. Head chef Phil Lye has created a menu that combines elements of modern British and classic French cuisine, using top quality, locally sourced produce, including speciality meats from internationally acclaimed supplier Aubrey Allen. The a la carte menu changes with the seasons and often incorporates

The Balcony – the views are sublime wherever you dine

“The a la carte menu changes with the seasons and often incorporates elements from Hencote’s own kitchen garden elements from Hencote’s own kitchen garden, while sumptuous tasting menus pair special dishes with Hencote wines to show off both to best effect. Finest quality ingredients from local sources

The perfect stay A short stroll from the restaurant is The Grange, a lovingly renovated Georgian farmhouse that can accommodate up to 14 guests. The nearby ‘glamping village’ offers something a little different – a rustic retreat yet with all the trappings of luxury. So whether you’re looking for a getaway with friends or family, a romantic escape or an exclusive corporate retreat, Hencote is guaranteed to give you an authentic and comfortable experience. By booking an all-inclusive package, you can enjoy everything that Hencote has to offer, including a wine tour, a complimentary bottle of Hencote Evolution sparkling wine, luxury breakfast hamper, reduced dining at The View or Balcony and more.

Menus are created by chef Phil Lye

Hencote, Cross Hill, Shrewsbury SY4 3AB Tel: 01743 298 444 Visit:

Glamping – your own veranda and wood-fired hot tub

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 77

And then there were seven…

DID YOU KNOW? Based on population Wrexham is nearly three times larger than fellow cities Newport, St Davids and St Asaph combined

Wrexham became Wales’ seventh city when it was awarded the title as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations. What benefits will city status bring? We asked those who live and work there

78 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022


rexham has been very successful at getting itself in the news. In 2020, actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney bought the football club – which so, so nearly gained promotion this season – and last summer a huge Hollywood-style sign spelling out the town’s name appeared at Bersham Bank colliery tip, making national headlines. Distracted drivers on the A483 speculated who was behind it, until vehicle hire company Vanarama owned up. And then, after failed attempts in 2000, 2002 and 2012, Wrexham was granted city status to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee! The county of Wrexham has a population of 135,000, around 61,600 living in the city itself. Independent shops and bars fill the busy centre, giving it an appealing identity, and the surrounding countryside offers a variety of rural and leisure pursuits. The area is home to the internationally renowned Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the stunning Erddig estate, and has a wealth of country parks and woodlands to explore. As a well-established market town, what can city status offer? For the bid, local economic development specialists Owen Davies Consulting put together a report on the benefits the town could expect. They pointed out that: “Wrexham’s national growth zone status and unlocking the potential of the Mersey Dee city region as well as the North Wales Growth Deal, Levelling Up Fund and other government-funded programmes will help deliver our ambitions for the County Borough,” which indicates that the new status should have ongoing benefits at many levels.

A great place City status will bring more investment and interest to Wrexham.

the largest population centre in North Wales – it was an anomaly that two other locations in North Wales held city status before Wrexham did,” she told us. “It is great news for the university, as it will give us a clearer place on the map when we promote our programmes nationally and internationally. After all, we carry the name Wrexham in the name of our university.’ Professor Hinfelaar thinks the city is Professor Maria on a roll. “We have seen the announcement Hinfelaar, of Wrexham Glyndwr University of improved infrastructure for tourists coming to our world heritage site Pontcysyllte, government funding for regeneration projects, and an exciting bid coming together for Levelling Up funding for the Wrexham Gateway. We already have a strong and diverse industry base with many multinational companies and SMEs in a whole range of sectors: engineering, pharmaceuticals, food manufacturing, sports equipment. These companies have survived and thrived in spite of the challenges of recent times. There is a really strong basis already, and city status can build on that further.” She is optimistic about Wrexham’s future. “I think there is a renewed sense of optimism and momentum. You only need to look at how well we did in the City of Culture 2025 competition – we were pipped at the post and should definitely go for it again when the 2029 round begins.”

“It’s not just about putting Wrexham on the map. Being a city will provide an effective lever for attracting inward investment and new jobs”

“Undoubtedly, on both fronts,” agreed Gill Kreft, chair and founding member of Wrexham Business Professionals, who have been championing the cause for more than a decade. “It will raise our profile and raise awareness of what a great place Wrexham really is. It gives the city the recognition it deserves as the commercial capital of North Wales.” Gill is director of Pendine Park Care Organisation and has lived and worked in Wrexham since 1985, when Pendine opened its first care home, Gwern Alyn. She added: “The magic of city status will rub off on everyone in Wrexham, including Pendine Park. I am sure it will also help in terms of recruitment and retention of staff, as it will make Wrexham an even better place to live and work. “It’s not just about putting Wrexham on the map – being a city will provide Gill Kreft, director, an effective lever for attracting inward Pendine Park Care investment and new jobs that will help the Organisation whole area thrive and prosper. “The fact that Wrexham AFC has been bought by Hollywood A-listers has added a bit of magic and stardust. It feels like the stars have aligned to create a once-in-a-generation opportunity for a new beginning for Wrexham.”

Positive development “Everybody wants to live and work in a place that is developing and has ambitions.” – Professor Maria Hinfelaar Professor Hinfelaar has lived in Wrexham since March 2016, when she took up her current role as vice-chancellor and chief executive of Wrexham Glyndwr University. She thinks the change to city status will be a really positive development. “City status for Wrexham finally recognises its position as

A definite buzz “It feels like it’s turning a corner.” – Revd Canon Dr Jason Bray

St Giles’ parish church is one of Wrexham’s most iconic landmarks, visible from miles around. The vicar, the Revd Canon Dr Jason Bray, has been in Wrexham for seven years, and during that time has seen the place develop more of a buzz. “Some of it comes from the takeover of Wrexham AFC, but some of it just comes from a place that feels like it’s turning a corner,” he said. “St Giles’ is the largest medieval parish church in Wales and was described by Sir Simon Jenkins as “the Glory of the Marches”, so lots of people have asked if it will become a cathedral, and the answer is no – we’d need a bishop – but being the civic church of a city can’t be a bad thing. “I think being a city will help to enhance the idea that Wrexham is a good place to visit, but isn’t the only thing, by any means. There was a lot of negativity before the decision, but what I’m hearing now is positive. Most of all, what we need to do is work together to ensure that now it’s a city, The Revd Canon Dr Jason Bray, it’s the best place it can be for the people vicar of St Giles’ who live here and for visitors and tourists.”

Sense of pride “It’s a win, win and win for Wrexham” – Ian Edwards, director of Allington Hughes Law and lifelong resident As a long-standing member of Wrexham Business Professionals, who has lived in Wrexham all his life, Ian Edwards thinks the change to city status will have a hugely positive impact on all Wrexham businesses, including his own, while the outward ripple of the economic benefits will extend well beyond the city limits. “We will be able to tap into grants that are only available to cities, and attract more inward investment,” he said. “That = July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 79

investment will help existing companies grow and encourage new start-ups, all of which will need legal services. “On a personal level, it gives me a real sense of pride that Wrexham is now a city, especially because of the part Wrexham Business Professionals played in achieving the goal. All the evidence from other towns to have been awarded city status points to increased inward investment, a boost to tourism and a raised profile, so it’s a win, win and win for Wrexham.” Ian Edwards, director, Ian hopes that the new status will also help give the people Allington Hughes Law living and working in Wrexham more self-belief and confidence by confirming Wrexham as the commercial capital of North Wales. “There were some who objected to the notion of city status,” he said. “I hope the reality of the benefits it will bring wins them over and they become enthusiastic ambassadors for the new metropolis.”

Great prosperity “This can only bring positives for Wrexham and the businesses we boast.” – Mayor Cameron Mayor of Wrexham, Cllr Brian Cameron, was delighted to hear the news that Wrexham had been granted city status as part of the Queen’s 70th Jubilee celebrations. “Having this status will hopefully add to the great prosperity we’ve been receiving of late in what is now our wonderful city. We’ve much to celebrate here in Wrexham and we are going from strength to strength. I look forward to seeing Wrexham build upon this opportunity and continue to flourish.” Cllr Brian Cameron, Mayor of Wrexham Andy Dunbobbin, police and crime commissioner for North Wales agreed. “Wrexham is a place I know well, having family connections to the area, and the campaign for city status demonstrated so much about what makes Wrexham and its residents unique,” he said. “I am determined this should be a safe and secure city for residents and visitors alike and, with this in mind, we have secured hundreds of thousands of pounds of funding to improve CCTV coverage, create safer spaces for women and girls, as well as providing training and education to different groups.”

“I hope that city status continues to raise the profile of Wrexham and helps make it an even safer, more welcoming place for all.” – Andy Dunbobbin

Civic pride is no new sentiment, and Jonathan Gammond, interpretation and exhibitions officer at Wrexham Museum said that applying for city status would have been an easy decision for the great and the good of Victorian Wrexham. “The town’s leaders who campaigned in the late 1840s and 1850s to incorporate the borough of Wrexham and establish a borough council had a total confidence in the town,” he explained. “They saw Wrexham as the capital of North Wales. This confidence has ebbed and flowed over the intervening period. Overall, Wrexham has understood the importance of maintaining a high profile and what has to be done to achieve such a goal, for instance hosting National Eisteddfodau, organising drama, arts, industry, science and music festivals, and even producing promotional films that can be seen in Wrexham Museum’s latest exhibition, ‘Putting Wrexham on the Map’.”

The sound of the firing pistol Wrexham Museum played its part in the bid for city status through highlighting Wrexham’s history and heritage. Not all of the townsfolk supported those early ambitions, Jonathan told us. “In fact there were many campaigners, especially among the propertied classes, who opposed Wrexham becoming a borough in 1857, with petitions to Parliament and lobbying to ensure the borough’s boundaries did not include their homes. Even the local newspaper was 80 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Left: St Giles’ Parish Church

“St Giles’ is Wrexham’s iconic building, the Glory of the Marches and the largest medieval parish church in Wales”

Civic pride Andy Dunbobbin, police and crime commissioner for North Wales

DID YOU KNOW? The churchyard houses the grave of Elihu Yale, who gave his name to Yale University

Jonathan Gammond, of Wrexham Museum

DID YOU KNOW? The Acton Dogs are four statues installed on the gateway to the former Acton Hall in 1820

Right: a statue at Wrexham Museum in tribute to the Acton Dogs

“We need to work together to ensure it’s the best place it can be for the people who live here, and for visitors and tourists”

against the plans, preferring to stick to the ancien régime of the county Justices of the Peace, and spreading scare stories that taxes would be levied to pay for this new-fangled borough corporation!” Jonathan explained that whilst more recent bids to secure city status in 2000, 2002 and 2012 fell at the hurdle of community opposition, the buzz around the UK City of Culture 2025 bid, an unrelated competition, somehow changed the dynamic. “Highlighting Wrexham’s history and heritage was an important criterion when it came to the judges’ decision,” he said. “As for city status, it is not an award to be placed in a glass cabinet or on a mantelpiece – it is the sound of the firing pistol in the next stage of Wrexham’s development.”

Inward investment “It’s time to embrace the opportunity and see what we can do collectively to make the most of it.” – Katie Williams, Xplore! Xplore! Science Discovery Centre inspires young minds in and out of the classroom, covering all aspects of science, technology, engineering and maths. Business development officer Katie Katie Williams, business Williams has lived in Wrexham for 17 years. development officer, “In the longer term I’m hopeful that having city status will bring Xplore! science centre inward investment into Wrexham,” she said. “From research that has been cited, it seems that some newly awarded cities have seen levels of business growth that their neighbours didn’t. If there’s an opportunity to be had, then my attitude is to grab it. “The question now, I suppose, is how and where those opportunities are going to present themselves. This may be in terms of international companies favouring investment in cities, or with students favouring to study in a city, or Wrexham being highlighted in more tourism guides, bringing more people in. Whichever angle you come from, surely now that city status has been granted, it’s time to embrace it and to see what we can do collectively to make the most of it.”

Profile is key “We will build upon our proud heritage and place that at the heart of our future.” – Cllr Mark Pritchard Leader of Wrexham Council, Cllr Mark Pritchard, wanted to thank the executive board colleagues who supported the submission, and the staff involved in putting such a high-quality bid together: Ian Bancroft who led the team; Rebeccah Lowry, Andrew Harradine and Gwyn Jones, and their external support from Owen Davies. Although no funds are attached to Leader of the Council, Cllr Mark Pritchard the city award, it is considered prestigious and an opportunity to raise the profile of Wrexham regionally, nationally and internationally. “It may always be a market town for some and we are proud of that. Through redevelopment of our Victorian markets we will build upon our proud heritage and place that at the heart of our future.” Mark explained that whilst the title alone will not make this difference, the vision for Wrexham is to repurpose and regenerate city centre properties, to enable the development of the health sector and bring health services into the centre, and with improved travel infrastructure to become greener, with comprehensive active travel routes across the county borough and into neighbouring counties.

The cachet of being a city The last word goes to Ceidiog Hughes of PR firm Ceidiog Communication, and a member of Wrexham Business Professionals.

Star supporter: Ryan Reynolds

“I am a Wrexham boy, born and bred, and we have several high-profile clients in the area, so I was thrilled when it was announced we had finally achieved the holy grail of city status,” he said. “This is brilliant news on so many different levels. Apart from the cachet of being a city, it will bring a host of economic benefits, creating future prosperity for generations. Ceidiog Hughes, “Call me greedy if you will but I also have another couple of items on managing director, my wishlist. Next for me would be for Wrexham AFC to gain promotion Ceidiog Communication into the Football League after more than a decade in the wilderness of the National League. We missed out at the end of last season, but our Hollywood owners will, I am certain, ensure we succeed next time and, hopefully, ascend all the way to the Premier League. “We made it to the shortlist for City of Culture 2025 but were pipped at the post by Bradford. I am hoping we can go one better in 2029 and win the main prize, which would provide another incredible boost for Wrexham. Now, that would be a memorable hat-trick.” July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 81



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FIND YOUR STYLE Regular columnist Holly Johnson, of Holly Johnson Antiques, advises on styling reception rooms in a periodstyle home


hen it comes to choosing antiques for your reception rooms, first consider the look you wish to create. Are you aiming for an eclectic style, or would you prefer to emulate a specific period? And what ambience are you aiming for? Do you see yourself living in a rustic provincial farmhouse or a lavishly formal Georgian or Regency style home? Or perhaps you prefer more of a Mid-Century British or Danish Modern aesthetic? These choices will inspire you to consider pieces from craftsmen and designers that best realise your vision, be it the wood or the colours and designs of fabric, wallcoverings and flooring.

Georgian interiors were lavish

Regency or Victorian eras, where intricate details were fashionable and the wood was a lot deeper and richer in colour. Designers and manufacturers to explore would be Heals, Lamb of Manchester and Gillows. Side tables or etagères were used to serve, away from the seating. I recommend a display cabinet; this allows you to showcase favourite tableware and becomes a piece of art in its own right. If you tend towards the more modern, Mid-Century designers of note include Aldo Tura, Piero Fornasetti, Hans Brattrud, Paolo Buffa, Peter Waals and Andrew J Milne. Shapes and designs are simpler, with modern finishes and tapered legs, featuring graphical prints or industrial materials.

The advent of the lounge

In Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras, we see the ‘living room’ as more of a drawing room, where you formally received guests. These rooms were often the most Hayrake, by Gordon Russell c1920, price £17,500 glamorous in the house, dressed with drapes “Over time, and elegant chairs. Such rooms, Fine dining especially in the Georgian period, seating were multi-functional, with furniture The dining room is one area becomes being brought in and out to suit where your acquisitions will larger, with the occasion. (For dancing, much really make a mark. For a rustic style, Arts and Crafts furniture a focus on of the room would be cleared.) The gentlemen may even have retired fits well, with its simple shapes comfort” to the drawing room as a ‘smoking worked in native wood such as room’ after dinner, or card tables oak. This movement was very Arts and Crafts settle by would be brought in. For a true Georgian and Regency feel, organic, in the sense that it drew George Henry Walton, c1890 you should be looking to dress the rooms with more ornate on nature in the choice of materials and upright seating, with Adams-style Neoclassical pieces. Items by forms. Names to look for are Robert ‘Mouseman’ Thompson, Neville George Hepplewhite and Chippendale would also be well placed. Neal, Edward Barnsley, Arthur Simpson and George Henry Walton. At the end of the 19th century, we see the focus move towards For a more formal, lavish dining space, draw on the Georgian, ‘lounging’, as seating becomes larger, with an emphasis on comfort. Pieces by bespoke furniture maker Howard & Sons, with their handmade lounging chairs, are typical of this shift. Patterned fabrics “For a true Georgian and Regency by designers such as William Morris were very fashionable. feel, look to dress the rooms with In regards to window dressing, in Georgian homes drapes were pale, with a French influence. Heavier fabrics such as velvet and darker more ornate upright seating, with colours were the vogue for the Victorians, while the 20th century and Adams-style Neoclassical pieces” Art Deco brought cleaner, stylised looks, with glamorous symmetry and bold shapes. July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 83


Beat the heating costs

With soaring gas and energy prices as well as a growing understanding of the environmental impact of heating our homes, more people than ever are switching to green energy solutions




What you could get

systems, such as heat pumps. It is an installer-led scheme. This means that the installer will apply for the grant on your behalf. As an MCS accredited company we are approved for the scheme. The MCS quality assurance scheme ensures that installers are competent, and the products they use meet the correct standards. “One of our iHeat Ltd installers will advise you on whether your installation is eligible for a grant under the scheme and, if so, you will agree a quote for the installation with your installer. Then iHeat will apply for the grant. You will need to confirm that the installer is acting on your behalf with Ofgem when they re contact you, and the work will be carried out, with ne wa any remaining balance paid by the homeowner.” ble si as Biom

f you’re one of the many millions facing a hike in energy bills, there is some good news at least, with the announcement of a new grant scheme designed to encourage homeowners to ‘go green’. The government is providing grants to encourage property owners to install low-carbon heating systems such as heat pumps, through the Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). These grants can help property owners overcome the upfront cost of low-carbon heating technologies. The scheme is open to domestic and small Water heats naturally below ground non-domestic properties in England and Wales and runs from 2022 to 2025.

energy source

Meeting the requirements

The new heating system must have been commissioned (that is, • £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump installed and fully checked by your installer) on or after 1st April • £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler, or 2022, be capable of meeting the full space heating and hot water requirements of your property, replace an existing fossil fuel heating • £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump. You can get one grant per property, and you may system (such as oil, gas or electric) and meet certain technical well be eligible if you live in England or Wales standards, such as minimum efficiency requirements (your “The and own your property, and even if you’ve already installer can advise you on these). You cannot get funding installer received separate funding for energy-efficiency for the replacement of existing low-carbon heating systems and the grant will only cover upgrades such as insulation, doors or windows. applies for The scheme is open to domestic and small biomass boilers in rural the grant non-domestic properties with an installation properties with no connection on your capacity up to 45kWh (this covers most to the gas grid and with an behalf” emissions certificate showing homes) and a current energy performance certificate that polluting emissions are (EPC), with no outstanding kept to a minimum. recommendations for loft or Grants are not available for cavity wall insulation. social housing, newbuild properties There are many local firms (apart from certain self-builds) or able to help you look at the properties that have already had options and one business, government funding or support for iHeat, based in Oswestry, a heat pump or biomass boiler. Heat pumps pull heat out is ready to consult with If the promise of funding helps of the air or ground to heat your home homeowners across the Shire you make the decision to go green, patch on what will work for find out more about the scheme on Isn’t it time you went green? your property. They said: “The the government website or email To book an iHeat installer or to ask iHeat for advice visit their Boiler Upgrade Scheme is a UK Government initiative to encourage more people in England and Wales to install low-carbon heating website at 84 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022




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Simply replace your existing doors and drawer fronts whilst keeping your existing cabinets. We also replace all existing trims, cornice, pelmets, and plinths - So the kitchen will look completely new. Choose from our extensive range of colours and styles – everything is made to measure so there are no problems if they are unusual sizes. We can also replace worktops with a choice of laminate, quartz, or quartz overlay. We can also supply made to measure units in any colour provide sinks, taps and appliances etc. If a revival is not for you, we can offer a complete new kitchen installation with made to measure units. Pop along to our showroom on Battlefield Enterprise to see how we can help you transform your kitchen at a fraction of the cost of a complete new kitchen installation.

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Financial windfall after a ‘Premier’ service

Premier Windows & Conservatories is the region’s leading home improvement firm. Key to their success is their commitment to customer service


pecialising in windows, doors and new living spaces such as conservatories and orangeries, Premier Windows & Conservatories has translated decades “Five stars. of local success stories into national prominence – They’re a and a windfall for one of More homeowners are seeking to add living space brilliant its customers. company to monthly prize draws to encourage open and honest Founded in 1989 and family-run, Premier’s feedback from customers that sign up to its service. deal with” The couple claimed April’s prize of a £500 cheque, ‘family first’ philosophy has seen it achieve an which was presented to them by Premier’s Ben Chenery. Premier was also recognised for its outstanding service score. outstanding score of 4.9 on both Google “We’re delighted that Mr Review and the independent review and Mrs Jones are happy site for the home improvement sector, with our work and wanted to Network Reviews. Collated from promote their experience,” said feedback from hundreds of genuine Ben. “Choosing to upgrade customers from around Oswestry and windows or add a new living the Welsh Borders, this puts Premier in Mr and Mrs Jones receive their £500 cheque from area is a big decision, and our a league of its own for customer service Ben Chenery consistently high rating is the and quality of craftsmanship. real measure of our success. Local couple Mr and Mrs Jones left a five-star review on Network “We’re a family business, it’s Reviews after engaging Premier to upgrade their windows and at the heart of all we do, from install patio doors. Mrs Jones said: “From the service and planning Conservatories are a popular choice initial consultation through to in the showroom to the surveyor and fitters, Premier is a brilliant installation. It’s been our mantra for 30 years and will continue so.” company to deal with. Prices are competitive, products are excellent. Visit the Premier showroom at Moreton Business Park, Gledrid They have good ideas and solutions. We will use them again.” LL14 5DG, call 01691 773993 or see As an independent national aggregator, Network Review conducts


Soaring in popularity as the season hots up, outdoor rugs help soften an exterior entertaining area and make a chic setting for those summer nights


s more homeowners maximise their living space by extending into their outdoor space, Cheshire’s own family-run rug specialist From the Monty collection The Rug Retailer has unveiled a range of outdoor rugs to boost the garden’s aesthetic appeal. The Outdoor Rug Collection brings together the best of interior design with modern manufacturing methods to create striking rugs that not only look great but will stand up against the elements. Chris Bond, director of The Rug Retailer, said: “Our outside spaces have become more important in our everyday lives, and those all-important finishing touches – the interior accessories that bring together entire schemes – really matter. These rugs have been handpicked because not only are they suitable for outside use, they really raise the stakes when it comes to styling. They were designed with function and form at the fore and will elevate every outside space.” The rugs are available in a choice of styles and sizes and prices start at £70. The Halsey range is an all-weather eco-friendly rug that can be used indoors or outdoors. Ideal for conservatories and areas around

the home that require a flat-woven rug, it is made from recycled plastic bottles. This range is ideal for adding geometric style to your summer patio. The Halsey is resistant to UV light and is durable with a soft finish, it’s easy to clean, stainresistant and represents excellent value for money. The Monty Collection helps create a contemporary space in your home, “Raising conservatory or on your garden patio, and is the made from 100 per cent stakes in polypropylene, making styling” the rugs hard-wearing, anti-shed and easy to Halsey in the Duck Egg option clean. Available in tribal and geometric designs, in tonal black /white and beige colourways, the rugs in this flat-weave, high-low pile range are soft, durable, but also provide a striking focal point. They represent a weather-resistant, low-maintenance option for high traffic areas. July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 87

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Summer is here, and it’s time to dress those outdoor dining spaces for long, lazy lunches, starlit suppers and a cocktail party or two. Holloways interior designer Annie Blackledge shares some tips

to a silvery grey as time goes on and they just get better with age.” For modern spaces, the Goa dining tables Goa 160 table and Santander rope chairs are hard to beat, made from state-of-the-art HPL (high-pressure laminate). Pair with rope-backed Santander chairs, and entertain your guests in comfort and contemporary style. For a more informal outdoor setting, try the Monterey casual hoosing the right table, adding comfortable chairs to cocoon dining set, or its whizzier cousin, the Monterey your special people and clever accessorising will fire-pit dining set. With a super-comfortable curved transform your alfresco dining experience into an sofa and deeply cushioned dining benches, you can occasion to remember,” says designer Annie. “Beautiful sit back, light the flames and keep the party going long into the night. First, get a room… tableware, Zoning off an area of your garden, space permitting, polished will help you create an outdoor dining room you can Dress to impress cutlery and use year-round. If different paving isn’t an option to Dress your outdoor table as you would your dining demarcate your chosen spot, carefully placed planters room, says Annie. “Beautiful tableware, polished elegant glasses filled with evergreens like Buxus or glossy laurel will cutlery and elegant glasses bring a sense of occasion bring a sense help screen off your dining area, creating an intimate and sparkle at night. Linen napkins topped with of occasion space, and clever use of lighting will point the way sprigs of greenery from the garden, tied with twine and sparkle” for guests. or ribbon, are a lovely organic touch.” A covered area for less clement days adds interest, Add Moroccan-style lanterns in jewel-like shades, while a pergola planted with climbing roses, wisteria, and hang festoon lights from the trees. clematis or honeysuckle will provide shade with a Vases of freshly picked flowers from the heavenly scent. garden will soften the look of your dining space. Old terracotta tomato pots planted with rosemary and thyme, centred along the Eat, drink and be merry table, smell beautiful when guests brush There’s an outdoor dining table to suit every lifestyle, against them – and the herbs can be used in whether yours is a contemporary or traditional space, bijou cocktails when the sun goes down. courtyard or sprawling poolside patio. Think about when you’ll use your table – daytime or evening; how many guests Keeping cosy you’re likely to welcome; your style of dining – formal “Adding cushions and throws to your dining or informal? Round outdoor area will make your guests feel comfortable wicker dining sets like the The all-essential and cosy,” says Annie. “Bringing rich fabrics six-seater Monterey are fire pit with tactile textures from indoors makes the sociable as everyone can space feel much more dressed and sumptuous.” see and hear everyone else, When the sun goes down, a parasol with LEDs, like the while long tables may be Truro, comes into its own, adding warm pools of light. “And more practical if you light one of our fabulous fire pits,” says Annie. “They come with regularly need to seat larger cooking grates so you can rustle up a feast for guests.” numbers. In dry weather, add one of our eco-friendly rugs, made from “Teak tables like the recycled bottles and recovered ocean plastics, beneath the table round Louvre or long Derby to make your dining space feel like a real room outdoors. are always timeless,” says Annie. “The wood mellows


Monterey six-seater

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 89



Just what the doctor ordered…

When it comes to summer fun, there is no greater addition to your home – or even holiday home – than a hot tub to relax in at the end of a busy day


he popularity of hot tubs soared over lockdown when making the most of staying at home was all we could do! But the trend shows no sign of abating as more and more of us discover the joy of soaking in warm bubbles to unwind and escape. Aside from helping you relax, it turns out that spending time in a hot tub may provide other benefits, too, according to the experts at Healthline – although this may vary from person to person, depending on health and usage.

1. Pain relief

Soaking in a hot tub may relieve some types of pain by relaxing tense muscles and tendons. If you have arthritis, it may ease the stiffness and inflammation that causes pain.

2. Improved sleep

According to research, the simple relaxation of a soak in the tub may be enough to help you drift off into a more peaceful sleep. A little corner of paradise

3. Calorie burn

In a small 2016 study, participants

soaked in a waist-high hot bath for an hour, and burned about the same number of calories as they would on a 30-minute walk.

4. Better cardiovascular health

Relaxing in a hot tub can raise your heart rate and lower your blood pressure.

5. Improved insulin sensitivity

“…the joy of warm bubbles”

Researchers have suggested that regular thermal therapy using saunas or hot baths Better than counting sheep? may improve impaired insulin sensitivity and be beneficial for managing diabetes.

Have a safer soak

Drink plenty of water but avoid alcohol during your soak. And limit your time in the tub – on the hottest setting, 10-15 minutes is enough.


If you’re planning to make the investment in a hot tub of your own, check out the local suppliers who have everything you need on hand

All Weather Leisure

With indoor showrooms in Cannock and Shrewsbury, All Weather Leisure is the number one place for all your hot tub needs in Staffordshire, Shropshire and the Midlands, including Jacuzzi hot tubs, SwimLife swim spas, Covana electronic covers and a range of other hot tub buildings. Find everything you need to make your garden an oasis of relaxation. Experienced staff will ensure your buying experience is the best in the industry, whether you are looking to buy a hot tub or simply stock up on chemicals. To see some hot tubs in action, visit one of our showrooms and the team will be happy to talk you through the models to help find your perfect hot tub. Check out the range at or visit the Shrewsbury showroom at 28a Vanguard Way, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury SY1 3TG. 90 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Find your perfect model

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Shoal of wooden fish £14.95;


Averil throw in Ocean various prices, Tweedmill, Flint;


Besp-Oak hanging compass clock £59.95, Bodenhams of Ludlow; 5. 6.


Hand-made leaded stained-glass mirror £95, The Door Knocker Company, Church Stretton;

Coastal wooden hearts in Washed Seafoam, £8.50, £12.50, Listers Interiors, Chester;


Coastal hurricane tealight holder with star £7.99, The Range;

10. Devon whitewashed wood table lantern £65, Make Your House a Home,

Le Creuset stoneware jug in Coastal Blue £21.99, Charlie’s Home and Garden, Shrewsbury;

Marble chopping board, £18, Wilstone Interiors, Leebotwood, Shropshire;


Whitchurch; 11.

Splash anchor cushion £110, Jan Constantine, Betley, Cheshire;

12. Gary Edwards ceramic pinch pot £15, Mostyn, Llandudno;

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 93





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E C N E C I L L L I R G TO Take your alfresco cooking to another level with these barbeques and accessories


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Esschert barrel BBQ smoker from £189.99, Ludlow Stoves, Ludlow;




Traditional marshmallow roasting fork £19, British Ironwork Centre,

Jotul Froya chiminea £299 Saxon Home Care, Wrexham;


Leather BBQ apron £49.99, Ludlow Stoves, as before

10. Kala fire pit £59.99 Minshull’s Garden Centre, Crewe;

Tramontina three-piece BBQ tools set £24.99, The Range;


Pentromax FT45 4.5 quart cast-iron Dutch oven £72.99, ProAdventure,


Llangollen; 3. 4.

Bamboo flaming torch £6.99, Tweedmill Shopping Outlet, St Asaph, Denbighshire; 5.

Outback dual-fuel four-burner gas and charcoal BBQ £579.99,


Weber premium BBQ gloves £47.99, Bents Garden and Home,

Charlies Home and Garden, Shrewsbury; Warrington;

94 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Sagaform Nature solid oak tweezers £13, The Silver Pear, Ludlow;

12. Fire pit popcorn pan £35 Black Country Metalworks, Oswestry; 13. La Hacienda BBQ pizza oven £109.99 Old Railwayline Garden Centre, Brecon, Powys;

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July and August are great months for enjoying the fruits of your gardening labours. Summer planting should be at its best in borders and beds, the lawn’s first flush has hopefully calmed down, and early quick-return crops are ready to harvest and savour…


“July is also fantastic for ow is an ideal time to get inspired by the creations of others. TOP TIP Sow pansies now Take days out to visit Royal Horticultural Society and National sowing seeds, as soil and air to allow them temperatures are high. Long, Trust gardens, or shows like the RHS Flower Show at Tatton Park. time to develop warm days with good Check out national collections if you’re away on holiday, before planting light levels speed up and at home keep a look-out for private gardens open out in autumn “July is germination. This under the National Garden Scheme. Local garden trails fantastic enables you to extend in support of local charities are a great source of tea and cake while you’re picking up ideas! for sowing your vegetable cropping and boost your stocks of Of course, there’s still plenty to do in your own seeds” perennials and biennials.” garden, mainly around keeping up the borders and lawn and maintaining the productivity of your veg plot. Pansies: think ahead Lis Morris, lecturer in Horticulture and Sustainable Technologies at Also on Lis’s to-do list are: University Centre Reaseheath, • Cut back early summer perennials such as hardy geraniums and in Cheshire, advises: “One of delphiniums after flowering, for a second flush the most important jobs for • Hoe and hand-weed borders, so weeds don’t have time to set seed July is regular dead-heading of • Pick sweet peas every few days; remove pods to prolong flowering bedding plants and perennials. • Give dahlias a liquid feed and stake up the shoots of tall varieties This keeps your plants looking • Plant autumn bulbs such as nerines, attractive and encourages more colchicums and sternbergia blooms, which is great for • Sow wallflowers for next spring insects too. Regular watering • Continue to sow quick-growing crops and feeding also lengthens the like salad, carrots and French beans. flowering season, for containers For more on Reaseheath’s horticulture Dead-head roses and apply feed and baskets in particular. courses see

Remove pods


Beware what you’re allowing to flourish on your patch. According to surveyors some plants and trees can actually reduce the value of your home Japanese knotweed

Giant hogweed

Similar to Japanese knotweed, giant hogweed is also invasive and can spread fast. More easily spotted in June and July, this cow-parsley-like plant has thick stems with purple spots and white umbrella-shaped flowers. Its sap is phototoxic and can cause severe skin burns, which makes it costly to have removed.

An invasive plant with bamboo-like red shoots and shovel-shaped leaves, Japanese knotweed can grow up to 3 metres tall in spring and summer. Even worse, its roots can reach 20 metres underground, disrupting pipework and drains and weakening paving or structural foundations.

Poplar, willow and oak trees


Himalayan balsam

Common across Europe, English ivy is dangerous to your house. A strong climber, this garden invader could easily penetrate cracks in the walls, damaging the mortar and introducing damp or leaks. It can produce an unpleasant skin reaction too. 96 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

While most trees cause no harm, large trees like poplar, willow and oak can be dangerous if growing close to a property. Shallow root systems can spread out to 40 metres and take up 1,000 litres of water and nutrients from the soil. Seek expert advice! Himalayan balsam grows to 2-3 metres tall and has pink flowers in summer and early autumn. Despite its pretty colours, this invasive plant can spread seeds 800 metres away, killing other plants and reducing biodiversity by stealing light, nutrients and water.

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Middleton Road, Oswestry SY11 2PN T: 01691 680008 E.

Contact us for our latest colour brochure

Middleton Road, Oswestry


A bright idea

Artist and creator Ros Freeborn has combined her delicate paper collages with practical lighting solutions and the result is a range of quirky lampshades depicting local scenes


ltrincham born and bred, Ros Freeborn is a paper collage artist who has recently added to her collection with some new work depicting Chester and the Wirral – immortalised in lampshades that would be a talking point in any home. Ros explained how she came up with the arts and interiors collaboration after studying. Spot the icons on the London lampshade She said: “I’ve always been an artist but I particularly loved All things Cheshire working with paper. While I Ros with the Cheshire shade The latest additions to Ros’s range include a paper collage impression was a student at City & Guilds of the Wirral as well as one of Cheshire. She said: “I’ve referenced the of London Art School I had a garret studio space of my own and city of Chester, and the rivers, bridges, canals that adorn the landscape spent hours exploring ways of using paper in an imaginative and of Cheshire; I’ve also popped in a grinning creative way. I love the look and feel of paper and Cheshire Cat and a wedge of Cheshire cheese!” delight in its amazing versatility. Having learned Ros has also been running Papershades how to paint in oils I started working entirely in workshops based at a new crafts hub in Sandiway, paper, using thousands of fragments of paper-like “I’ve popped in strokes or blobs of paint. I now use a variety of Cheshire called Toolerstone, and is looking forward to arranging more hands-on events in tissue, wallpaper, wrapping paper, packaging and a grinning the near future, inspiring fellow artists to try pages of magazines to make my art.” Cheshire Cat The combination of colours, prints and textures something new. and a wedge of She said: “Inspired by the Toolerstone garden give Ros the unique and intriguing lampshades Cheshire cheese!” that led to the establishment of her business, I enjoyed showing people how to print directly from foliage onto tissue paper and then use Papershades. She said: “I wanted to find a way to the printed paper to create their own collage make my art available beyond a work on canvas. design. The designs were then printed on the The concept may sound simple but it’s taken a spot and everyone went home with a beautiful and totally original while for the idea to develop. The result came straight from my paper lampshade.” imagination. It is art on a stick! I set up Papershades about five years See more of Ros’s work at or look out for ago – the paper lampshades come as a flatpack and cost £35. They future craft courses at arrive in an A4 envelope and are easy to assemble at home.” The shades are supplied as self-assembly kits

98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022


Art for all

AFONWEN CRAFTS 2nd & 3rd July, Thelma Evans Local artist Thelma paints on canvas – pretty floral scenes, plus places of interest, land and seascapes.

A social enterprise that promotes disabled artists – including several from Wales – has been enjoying success in selling their artwork around the globe

Greenscape and Earthscape

Ceridwen Powell at work


rt Rabble is the brainchild of Lisa Lim, who is passionate about bringing the work of under-represented artists to the world stage. And the website has certainly succeeded in doing that for Ceridwen Powell Isolated System IV from Montgomeryshire, who is enjoying international recognition as a result. Ceridwen is one of many artists brought together under the Art Rabble umbrella. Lisa explained: “I run a social enterprise that enables disabled artists to sell their work internationally, and a number of my artists live in Wales, mid-Wales in particular. The work they are producing is really impressive and it is a really positive and upbeat initiative. “The aim of Art Rabble is to break down barriers and celebrate the skills of disabled artists. Disabled artists are under-represented in the mainstream art world so we want to bring a breath of fresh air into people’s homes, add some flair and inspiration to their walls. The artists’ stories are absolutely captivating and bring the artworks to life – these are pieces that are intended to be shared, talked about and celebrated. The artists receive 50 per cent of the profit from each sale, helping to build their confidence and giving them some financial independence.”

she realised that art could help her explore her feelings, and provide a purpose and source of confidence. She now lives in Montgomeryshire, where she wonders at the beauty of her surroundings and tries to incorporate the colours she sees in the landscape into her artwork. She hasn’t the space for her own studio but can often be found in the corner of her living room, listening to music, coffee in hand, painting. Her style is mostly nonrepresentational; she does not draw objects or scenes from life, instead her paintings are a complex web of emotional expression. They are often focused upon issues around her disability, and her responses to these experiences. In this way, Ceridwen’s notes on each piece give a rare and illuminating glimpse into her reality as a disabled artist. Ceridwen is always very pleased to sell her artwork as she feels that it means her work has ‘spoken’ to someone else. She takes great pride in creating this connection and is really touched to know her work is enjoyed. See more of Ceridwen’s work, or that of the other artists featured, at

21st & 22nd July, Elaine at Cherry Bea and Liz Elaine makes jewellery and accessories, plus some cute teddies in hand-knitted outfits. Liz creates bags in wonderful fabrics, with eye-catching embellishments. 28th & 29th July, Sunnyside Crafts Linda has some great gift items, including wooden boxes and stools, sea glass and other handmade items, plus crochet dolls in sweet outfits.

6th & 7th Augus, Eco Silver Jewellery by Sandra Roberts Sandra makes much of her jewellery in her workshop, using reclaimed silver from the jewellery industry, which she cuts, twists and hammers to create her unique pieces. 9th & 10th August, Spinning Masterclass with Jenni Frost Jenni has some beautiful hand-spun items, using wool from her own flock. She will be spinning on both days. 13th & 14th August, Marie at Earth Deva Marie has many quirky gift items, plus some stunning artwork from her original designs. She also has silk and gemstone jewellery. 16th & 17th August, Jackie at Jewels A longstanding artist here at the centre, Jackie crafts handmade jewellery, and runs a repair service for your own broken pieces. 19th August, Crafty Sisters The ladies have some stunning handmade jewellery, plus greetings cards, tote bags and children’s hair slides. 20th & 21st August, Gill Benjamin Local artist Gill is always happy to stop and chat as she works on her paintings of places of interest and other subjects.

Emotional expression

Ceridwen came to art in her twenties, when using a mental health day hospital, and found the experience both cathartic and joyful. Encouraged by her friends,

7th & 8th July, Tracey Davies Tracey paints in watercolour and acrylic in a very fluid, relaxed and modern style, specialising in portraits and pet portraits from photographs.

Ceridwen’s focus is colour in the landscape

Afonwen Craft & Antique Centre is open 9am-5pm, Tues-Sun. For a full programme of visiting artists, see

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 99

A R T I N YO U R A R E A Russ Chester, Oriel Mon Gallery, Anglesey, 6th August18th September Three-quarters of the paintings in Russ’s recent joint exhibition at Plas Glyn Y Weddw in Portmadog have sold, encouraging the three artists to organise a second show for this summer. Russ, whose paintings celebrate the Welsh landscape, is now preparing for a major solo exhibition at Oriel Mon from 6th August. “I will be showing 69 paintings so have lots of framing to do for it!” he said. Russ studied art and photography at Newcastle upon Tyne College of Art & Technology before moving to Wales. He sells his work through galleries, exhibitions and online as well as undertaking commissions. He has collectors in Australia, Canada, France, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Switzerland, South Africa and the USA as well as the UK.

PHOTO COMPETITION Thank you once again to everyone who submitted pictures for our last competition on the topic of Summer Fun. You certainly rose to the challenge once again with some fabulous images, some of which we have featured here. But don’t worry if your picture didn’t make it into print, because as always we have another opportunity for you to star in our upcoming issue! Let’s keep celebrating the summer season as long as we can – it’s so nice to see your bright and cheery photos – so our next topic gives you the chance to embrace the colours in nature all around us. Please send any images you are inspired to capture on the topic of Fantastic Flowers. Email them to us at – and best of luck!

By Kathryn Hall

Chester Cathedral, ‘Extraordinary Women: Images of Courage, Endurance and Defiance’, until 11th July This moving, contemplative and emotionally charged photography exhibition presents the endurance and iron will of women in situations of war, poverty and hardship. Throughout his career, awardwinning photographer Tom Stoddart (1953-2021) showed us the remarkable resilience of people across the world. From his documentation of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the war in Lebanon, to portraying the HIV/ AIDS pandemic in sub-Saharan Africa, he spent his life capturing the human responses to extreme situations. ‘Extraordinary Women’ is his final collection and, along with the accompanying book, immortalises the dignity and defiance of women with Stoddart’s characteristic and uncompromising celebration of humanity.

By Sara Lilly-Jones

By Kathryn Hall

By Sam Hulse

‘Where Dragons Lead’, Lower Gallery, Shropshire Museums’ Collections Centre, Ludlow, until 20th July A quest to find the hidden and forgotten stories of the Clee Hills landscape, the centre is hosting an exhibition of artworks inspired by this community project and the museum’s collection. Three short films will be showing in the gallery to share dragon-themed music and tales. By Michelle Boden

100 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

By Vicky Pritchard

By Victoria Woods

By Tracey Lewis

By Tracey Lewis

By Graham Bexon

By Sam Hulse

By Vicky Pritchard

By Victoria Woods

By Tracey Lewis

By Sharon Thomas

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 101

Pets&Wildlife THE BIRDS & THE BEES A joint desire to protect and enhance the bee and pollinator population in Wales has led to an innovative project involving two otherwise unconnected businesses We need bees – and beekeepers need investment


hey come from different parts of the food industry, but Ellis Eggs Ltd and Bee Welsh Honey have a common desire to boost the fortunes of bees and pollinators and highlight their vital impact on the environment. So Jason Ellis, owner of the Hirwaun-based egg company, and Builth Wells bee farmer Shane Llewelyn-Jones have forged a collaboration that is already benefitting the environment and potentially creating commercial opportunities. Jason’s interest in the vital role of bees and pollinators was sparked by reading articles and watching nature programmes. Wanting to make a positive and practical contribution towards the bee population, the company has sponsored the creation of a new apiary of 12 hives sited in Mid Wales. A family-run business based at a state-of-the-art egg packing facility in Rhondda Cynon Taff, Ellis Eggs sells free-range eggs produced by 275,000 hens on eight Welsh farms. Jason said: “As a business, we use lorries and vans and so we’re trying to offset their effect on the environment, and we’ve also installed solar panels. Bees are such small creatures, yet they play an important part in the ecosystem. What we are doing is not going to save the world or change the planet, but we are doing our bit.”

Creating a buzz

The sponsored hives

The two entrepreneurs have been brought together by the Welsh Honey Cluster, part of the Food & Drink Wales Clusters initiative to foster connections between businesses in the sector. Shane said: “Jason was put in touch with me as he wanted to support bees and their sustainability. I suggested he sponsor some hives, and the result is a project that’s bringing birds and the bees together for the benefit of the environment.” With a fascination for bees stretching back to childhood, Shane created the multi-award-winning Bee Welsh Honey Company and has more than 200 hives in apiaries throughout Mid Wales. Shane, who is also a regional bee inspector, bred

the bees and advised Jason on the siting of the hives for the project, which comes at a time when the number of bees is in decline globally. Shane said: “All’s going well, and currently there are a dozen Ellis Eggs hives in the Brecon Beacons. The hives are in a good spot, at the right altitude, and on a farm that grows wildflowers and cover crops that are beneficial to pollinators.”

Egging them on

Welsh Honey Cluster lead Haf Wyn Hughes said: “Many people don’t realise the level of investment required to set up hives on a commercial basis. One of the major barriers to growth for beekeepers is access to sufficient funds, as most in Wales don’t own their own land. So having a company like Ellis Eggs take such a keen interest in the sustainability of beekeeping and commit to funding hives is very welcome indeed. I hope more enterprises will consider doing likewise.”

“It was time we changed our way of doing things” A new brand for Ellis Eggs

It is early days for the alliance, but already there are hopes to increase the number of hives and even create a new honey brand. Meanwhile, the collaboration has inspired a new brand from Ellis Eggs, Beeloved Farms, on sale in CK Stores in Wales. The egg boxes – which feature bees and hives – are made from a minimum of 50% grass and are 100% compostable and recyclable. A member of the Fine Food Cluster, Jason said: “It’s all part of trying to look out for our children’s future. I thought it was time we changed our way of doing things. I knew of fruit being packed in grass boxes and found out an egg box could be made from it too.” Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd, Lesley Griffiths said: “This initiative is a great example of how businesses can work collaboratively to help protect our precious environment.”

s t e P Cute



My beautiful Ella is nine months old and a rescue dog from Romania

Boris loves his home comforts

a £25 voucher for Bradeley Green pet store in Whitchurch, to spend in-store or online at

Wilson and Jasper Aria – our neighbour’s cat who has taken over our birdbath…

Daisy our 13-year-old Westie enjoying a good read!

Harley in the great oudoors

This is Hazel the Yorkie cuddling her favourite teddy

My cuddly cute cat called Fanta – he is wonderful, and has coped with four house moves in one year!

Harry, the Jack Russell

Min the great Dane

Four-monthold puppy Willow is a cocker spaniel x Border collie

We love Kittykat My pet chihuahua called Minnie Here is Percy the corgi having fun running around some fields in Cheshire!

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Tractor driving cat Sian

Pretty Polly

Rio is such a joker!

Parker the cocker spaniel enjoying his swim in the river Dee at Llangollen

Snuggling for movie night, Daisy the terrier and Supernoodle the lurcher

The cutest dog! Teddy our Welsh terrier is seven and has been part of our family for the last four years

Win some pet treats! To enter, email a photograph of your pet and their name to and the Shire team will pick the winner! Terms: The winner will be chosen by Shire and be given the option of receiving a voucher to spend in-store or a digital code to redeem online at The voucher will be valid for six months and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 103

IT’S A DOG’S LIFE… IN MOLD ANYWAY! One North Wales shopping destination has launched itself as the area’s most dog-friendly town, in a bid to attract visitors and their four-legged friends

A patient shopping companion…


old has become a favourite with pet owners after more than Words echoed by Gareth Jones, owner of Mold Alehouse on Earl 20 businesses signed up to allow dogs onto their premises. Road. “We are proud to support the campaign and always happy to serve well-behaved dogs, and their well-behaved humans!” he said. The ‘Dog-Friendly Mold’ scheme encourages anyone visiting the town with their four-legged friends to “leave only footprints” and Mold has been celebrating a town-centre vacancy rate of just 5.8 percent, having seen more than 50 shops open in the last two ensure waste is picked up and disposed of to keep the streets clean. The campaign has been embraced by customers and store owners years. Marie Revell, owner of Latte Lottie in the Daniel Owen across the area, with many now offering tasty treats, water bowls Precinct says the warmth between businesses, shoppers and their pets, has brought a feelgood factor to the area. In fact, Marie’s own and safe outdoor spaces. dog, sprocker Among them is RainbowBiz CIC social enterprise, spaniel Lottie, whose director Sue Oliver said canine kindness has been “For many inspired the well received at their Hippy Shop. people, “We have a water bowl at the door and signs saying name for the their dog coffee and dogs are welcome,” she said. “For many people, their sandwich bar, dog is their best friend, so we understand that having is their which opened them with them while they visit us is important. As a best last summer. result, we’ve seen an friend” “The reaction increase in the number from customers of dogs and their owners is always positive. They coming here. As long as they all are delighted to have behave, they’re always welcome!” somewhere to bring their dog where they can relax Hound town and unwind, especially The same goes for Simmi Treats on offer at Latte Lottie when the weather is bad,” Womanswear on New Street, whose she said. “We are more than happy to accommodate them, and the owner Simone Ellis has just unveiled free sausages and treats we give the dogs always go down well! It’s a new range of ‘paw-fect’ designer a great campaign and once again shows why Mold is such a unique, gifts. “We have keyrings, bags friendly place.” and more for pet owners, which are For more information and a list of businesses taking part in the already proving popular,” she said. Dog-Friendly Mold scheme, visit“The feedback to being a ‘dogMold and email if you would friendly’ business has been positive, Sue Oliver with RainbowBiz like to register your organisation as dog-friendly. and responsible owners are welcome.” customers, human and canine

Calling wildlife warriors for summer camp Two of our local Wildlife Trusts are holding a joint creative camp this summer and looking for young nature lovers to enjoy five days of free fun


his August, Radnorshire and Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trusts are leading a unique, free creative day camp for young people aged 13-24. The venture is made possible by Stand for Nature Wales, a project looking to empower young people to take action for nature and climate, and is funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery and the National Lottery Community Fund through the Climate Action Fund. The five days will be jam-packed with activities such as bug hunting, improvisation, creative writing, bird box making and wildlife recording. Participants will work together to produce a show with a climate and wildlife theme, providing a platform to share your passion for wildlife and amplify your voice about climate issues. The camp takes place on 1st-5th August at The Willow Globe, near Rhayader, 104 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

“A platform to amplify your voice on climate issues” The Willow Globe

an outdoor living theatre surrounded by wildflower areas, woodlands and magical places to explore. Early booking is recommended at or contact for more details.

Becca’s favourite – but what is


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MEET THE KEEPER We talked to Becca Crummett, education officer at West Midland Safari Park, who’s a mine of information on its animal residents

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What is your role at the Safari Park? Do you need qualifications to do your job?

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I’m an education officer. And yes, you need a degree – preferably studying an animal area.

What is your daily routine?

No two days are ever the same. One day I may deliver an education session to higher education students as a ranger on the safari drive-thru, and then a ‘Paws, Claws and Whiskers’ classroom session to KS1 children. The next day may consist of teaching Aquatics and Ecology on our accredited Animal Care courses, then the afternoon teaching habitat management at our SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest).

What’s your favourite animal?

Nudibranchs (google them!) – they are colourful, amazing, and fun to try and spot underwater.

What’s the most rewarding thing about your job?

Seeing happy students receiving exam results. And inspiring children with discovery sessions and walking safaris.

Nudibrachs rule!

If you weren’t in Education, what would you like to do? Probably be a giraffe keeper - giraffes are really beautiful.

Tell us your most interesting animal fact…

Peacock mantis shrimps have 12 colour receptors in their eyes. Humans have just three.

Safari Summer Clubs During the school holidays, book your child onto one of West Midland Safari Park’s amazing Club sessions for some educational fun. Aimed at ages eight to 13, there are different themes on different days, so young adventurers can choose based on their interests. • • • •

Dinosaurs & Reptiles 28th July, 4th August – 8-11yrs Roles of a Zookeeper 29th July, 11th August - 8-11yrs Bugs & Creepy-Crawlies 3rd August - 8-11yrs Endangered Species 12th August - 8-11yrs; 10th & 18th August - 11-13yrs

Clubs run from 9am-3.30pm in the Safari Academy building (early drop-off by arrangement) and availability is very limited. Bring a packed lunch and snacks; cold drinks will be provided. Cost is £60 per child per day. July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 105

24/06/2022 15:25

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Lazy Jacks prism dress £29.99, Charlies Home and Garden, Shrewsbury; 8. Robell Rose trousers £69.95, Majors & Parker Taylor, Shrewsbury; 9. Striped knit dress £32.99, Zara; 10. Joules Coretta shorts £18.95 (sale price), Peppers Fashion, Church Stretton, Shropshire; 11. Thought Azalea pleated culottes £79.95, Bodenhams of Ludlow, as above 12. Paul Smith tote bag £595, Pockets, Shrewsbury;

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 107

Motoring Genesis: a new brand and a new way of buying a car Hyundai is hoping to cruise into the premium sector in the slipstream of Toyota’s Lexus. It’s a brave move, writes motoring correspondent Bob Hickman


t takes time to conquer the high-end market. Badge culture very much still exists, and for most people Audi, BMW and Mercedes are the major players. Toyota is battling on and already the name Lexus is synonymous with the quality upmarket manufacturer, and so Hyundai has taken the somewhat brave step to introduce the Genesis range into this segment. Primarily there will be an SUV, probably the flagship, but there are also saloon and estate versions, and a full EV on the horizon. The question is, of course, is the product up to the hype? I was privileged to be invited to the launch and had the opportunity to drive the all-new saloon and also the GV 70, the SUV. Genesis is intending to be different. You will not be able to buy the model of your choice at a traditional dealership: it is all done online. The “sweeping vehicle is then delivered, in a custom lines, with trailer, to your home. Owners benefit a large from an extensive package called the Genesis 5-Year Care. It includes a grille, very five-year warranty, five-year servicing, long bonnet five-year courtesy car, five-year update and lots of on maps and the technology required chrome” to operate the car, and 24-hour roadside assistance. The G80 saloon proved an executive car in every area. It’s available as petrol and diesel and my test car was equipped with a 2.5-cylinder diesel engine producing 300bhp.The external appearance is one of sweeping lines, with a large grille, very long bonnet and lots of chrome details – I felt it was an attractive package. It has a long wheelbase and this translates to a wonderful amount of space within the cabin. The interior is without doubt one of the highlights – it’s luxurious, and everywhere you look the fittings and the materials used are of the highest quality. The drive was smooth, as you’d expect from an executive car, and the performance substantial: 0 to 60 takes a mere six seconds, with a top speed of 155mph, and the combined fuel figure is given as 32 mpg. The all-drive capacity of this vehicle has lots of traction,

108 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022


Models tested: Genesis G 80 saloon and GV 70 SUV Price: from £47,950 (G 80); £41,800 (GV 70) Engine: 3.0 litre diesel; 2.5 litre petrol Performance: 155 mph, 0-60 in 6.0 seconds (G 80); 138 mph, 0-60 in 7.9 seconds (GV 70) Warranty: 5 years

whatever conditions you may find yourself driving in. One item that attracted my attention was that both wing mirrors have cameras secreted in them, displaying overtaking vehicles and also those you have just overtaken – very clever and useful. The Genesis is available as Premium or Luxury line. The equipment included as standard in the entry-level model is extensive: LED lights, 19inch alloy wheels, heated seats, the list goes on… It is the interior features that tick the box. The Genesis looks and feels an executive vehicle; the rear space offers excellent legroom and headroom, and the quality and comfort of the seats is substantial. Only time will tell if the Genesis is to be successful, and time is what they need. You cannot introduce a new brand and expect overnight success and huge sales. The G80 Genesis is priced at £47,950 on the road, but with extras (sunroof £1,500, a fabulous sound system at £800) my test car came in at £54,280.

Bob Hickman is a devoted car and motorcycle fan. After a 30-year career as a police patrol officer, and then sergeant, patrolling the Midlands motorway, retirement beckoned and he embarked on writing about his love of cars and bikes. Bob is a member of the Guild of Motoring Writers and the Midland Guild of Motoring Writers. He rides a Royal Enfield Continental GT and drives a 1994 MG RV8.



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Top of the Class


Megan Kocker and Joe Williams are off to Cambridge

Students celebrate the wonderful news


Congrats to Megan Kocker, Cadence Thompson and Joe Williams, of Coleg Cambria Yale, on their offer of places at Oxford and Cambridge. Megan, who is taking A levels in English Lit, History and Maths, plus Welsh Second Language and Welsh Baccalaureate, will study Law at Selwyn College, Cambridge. Cadence, who is studying English Language, English Lit and Film, is looking forward to life at Oxford University, where she will begin a degree in Japanese Studies, and Joe will study Linguistics at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, on completion of A levels in French, English Language and Media, and AS level Welsh.


The efforts of Derwen College to ensure its young people the widest possible range of opportunities have earned royal recognition


charity shop and a small hotel developed erwen College has been honoured with in conjunction with Premier Inn. a Queen’s Award for Enterprise for Derwen College is one of ‘Promoting Opportunity’. The further education 226 organisations nationally to “This very college provides education be recognised with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise. and vocational training for special Principal Meryl Green will attend young people aged 16 to award a reception hosted by HRH the 25 with special educational really is needs and disabilities Prince of Wales at Buckingham the icing on (SEND). It operates several Palace in July to receive the award. the cake” businesses at its on-site She said: “To receive this very special award, endorsed by the ‘Marketplace’. Students learn work skills in a Queen during her Platinum Jubilee, really is the icing on the cake.” garden centre, café, restaurant, print shop,

Shrewsbury Castle welcomes Archaeology students


useums and Heritage students “The from University Centre aim is Shrewsbury will work at Shrewsbury Castle this summer, as part of a to find Logging finds on a castle dig team exploring the archaeology of the royal the motte – the great earth mound by a wooden tower, the ‘Great hall” overlooking the river. Tower of Shrewsbury’, until Jeremy Cunnington, of the Castle that collapsed in the mid-1200s.” Studies Trust said: “The aim is to identify Maintenance has seen vegetation cleared the royal hall known to be present during from the historic walls, revealing a wealth the Middle Ages.” Dr Nigel Baker, lecturer of new information on how the castle was at UCS added: “We know this was the built, fell into disrepair, was re-fortified and strongest point of the castle, once crowned eventually turned into a grand house.

Gabriel and Jayshree offered showbiz tips

An actor and a scriptwriter from popular soap Hollyoaks delighted an audience of performing arts students at Derwen College. Actor Gabriel Clark, who plays Ollie Morgan in the Channel 4 soap, and scriptwriter Jayshree Patel dropped in to answer questions on various topics. Offering advice on getting into acting, Gabriel said: “Always be cheeky and ask, and put yourself forward for opportunities. Send directors examples of your work, or suggest ideas for future themes and ideas. If you don’t ask, you don’t get!”

RYDAL PENRHOS HOSTS VEGAN KITCHEN Rydal Penrhos has announced an exciting enterprise with Catherine Humphrys, founder of Wildings Vegan Kitchen, by launching a pop-up lunch at the Pavilion on 3rd July. Chef Catherine Catherine has been creating tasty and creative plantbased food for more than 30 years after becoming vegetarian in 1982, and has proudly been vegan since 2016. She commented: “Vegan food has become so much more mainstream in the past few years, so the challenge is on to keep offering more exciting food options. I absolutely love surprising people with new creations and inspiring them to try new things.”

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 111


SCHOOL NEWS INTERNATIONAL LACROSSE SUCCESS Moreton Hall lacrosse teams attended the 2022 Home Internationals in Edinburgh. Outside of World and European Championships, this is the “An incredible experience” highest level of competition, as it is one of the only home nation national competitions within the sport. Moreton was truly represented, with students playing for England and Wales, development coach Miss Robertson selected for the senior Scotland team, and head of lacrosse Miss Walsh coaching the England U20s. Miss Walsh commented: “All players did the school proud, playing exceptionally well and for many in their first ever international games – a nerve-wracking but incredible experience.”

GALA FUN Pupils at Moor Park School enjoyed a triathlon and house swimming gala. A new course for the triathlon kept everyone on their toes, The new hat with a swim, bike and run around the beautiful grounds, and spectators on all parts of the course. Everyone in the prep school took part in the house swimming gala, and new house swim hats meant spectators had a good view of what turned out to be a highly competitive event.

COLLEGE’S CRICKET SUCCESS Ellesmere College is stepping up its cricket development programme this summer after a successful trial scheme last Ready to serve… year. The college embraced the Cricket Development Programme with Academy Pathway in 2021, a programme that focuses on player development by delivering enjoyment, opportunities and challenge. The scheme resulted in a number of the students achieving representational call-ups, with more than 20 players identified for the county or district pathway selection process.

NEW FUNDED DIGITAL DEGREE APPRENTICESHIPS In partnership with Bangor University, Coleg Cambria University Centre has launched a series of fully funded digital degree apprenticeships, beginning this September. The opportunities are in Applied Data Science, Applied Software Engineering and Applied Cyber Security, with tuition funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales. Iestyn Pierce, head of school for Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at Bangor said: “Apprentices will benefit from being able to apply what they have learnt to real situations.” Real-life applications

112 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

New music centre opens


orth Wales Music Tuition Centre’s newest location is now open in the lovely village Music lessons boost of Weston Rhyn, other learning skills four miles from Oswestry, two from Chirk and eight from Ellesmere. The Village Institute boasts three teaching studios and a hall for concerts and grade exams. Lessons can be arranged as one-to-one, group, famly or online, and adults are welcome. Instrument hire is available and a trial of four lessons makes a great gift.

Ellesmere hosts National Art Exhibition


he National Art Exhibition took place at Ellesmere College in June, exhibiting over 300 pieces from more than 70 renowned artists, including sculptures, ceramics and glass. Former professional cricketer Phil Tufnell showcased a selection of his pieces. The sports personality turned TV presenter said: “I think people are sometimes surprised that art is my thing. I got an O level in Art at school – my only one, I was too busy playing cricket! My dad was a silversmith, so there’s a history of creativity in Phil Tufnell was a featured my family.” artist at the show

Introduction to Neuroscience


hrewsbury Colleges Group has “Study launched a new Introduction to Neuroscience in Early Years while qualification. The short course is you available via distance learning, ideal for work” those wanting to study whilst working, and combines two topical themes in EY provision: neuroscience and self-regulation.

It’s hugely relevant for anyone supporting young children

Visit to CERN U

An experience of a lifetime

pper 6th physics students from Haberdashers Adams were thrilled to visit the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, known as CERN – which is also the world’s largest particle physics lab. The trip included a tour of Geneva, a visit to CERN’s public museums and a tour of the site itself, including a lecture by a CERN scientist. Everyone returned enthused and motivated to see how the boundaries of the physics they learn in the classroom are being continually pushed back.

Royal African Award for Harper alumnus


tandout work by a Harper Adams graduate, tackling pests and diseases with the use of drones, has secured him a national award in his home country of Nigeria. Femi Adekoya, “Pests who studied for a can Masters in Integrated damage Pest Management, has been selected by the lives” Royal African Young Leadership Forum for a prestigious Royal African Award. Femi worked for seven years in farming and smallholder training before enrolling at Harper Adams. Seeing the damage pests and disease can cause to crops, he was motivated

Femi Adekoya wants to train younger pilots

to study for his Masters, during which time he also became a qualified drone pilot. Femi is now seeking to train a new generation to adopt similar technology.



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Expedition season is under way



utdoor education is at the core of St David’s College, and summer is expedition season. Year 10 sea kayakers had a journey along the coast of Anglesey, and year 13s organised an overnight canoe trip through the Menai Straits. Year 9 groups have been doing their Duke of Edinburgh’s Bronze Award, while younger pupils had a canal boat journey from Llangollen.Year 10 expeditions included caving in the Yorkshire Dales, trekking in the Lake District and Scottish Highlands, sea kayaking in the Outer Hebrides, and climbing on the cliffs of Devon and Cornwall. Head of outdoor education Ian Martin said: “It’s great to have our programme back in action. There’s a buzz around school as everyone prepares.” Three in search of adventure

MEET THE HEAD Moor Park announces new head for September 2022

G Brendan and wife Helen

overnors were “delighted” to announce the appointment of Brendan Brady as headmaster of Moor Park from September. Brendan is a highly experienced head from South Africa, and governors said he stood out due to his powerful vision and belief

Double graduation celebration for mum and daughter


ongratulations to Catherine Simon and her mother Sue, both from Wrexham, who graduated together from Wrexham Glyndwr University, having enrolled together too. Catherine studied Criminology and Sue History. Their graduation had been delayed due to the pandemic, but they were finally able to celebrate in style at the university’s huge outdoor Graduation Festival. Sue said: “We thought we’d never get this moment. It’s been a long time coming, but now we’re here!” Hats off to you, Sue and Catherine


restfelde School welcomed over 60 children from primary schools within the Severn Bridges Multi-Academy Trust for a day’s dance workshop that introduced Bollywood, haka, capoeira, salsa and street dance styles. Aiming to tackle anxiety post-Covid, head of drama at Prestfelde, Liberty Randall explained: “Helping the pupils to rebuild selfEveryone had fun confidence, get them mixing with other children again and giving them a way to express their feelings through something creative and fun, was something that all of the schools felt was extremely important.”

that an education based in a natural, rural “It must environment gives children a wonderful start in life. be the Brendan commented: “I discovered my most true calling in leading country boarding magical, schools, where I could give children the exciting freedom to explore their natural world time” while challenging them to fulfil their potential. We all have only one childhood. It must be the most magical, exciting time.” He added: “I am both honoured and excited to be joining the Moor Park team.”

Students go Coast to Coast for Teenage Cancer Trust


group of year 10 students from Wolverhampton Grammar School completed the annual Coast 2 Coast Challenge from St Bees to Robin Hood’s Bay to raise funds “…a for Teenage gruelling Cancer Trust. 170 Following 16 A stunning effort miles” weeks’ training, the tag team set hills in England, reached the off and after a gruelling 170 finish 25 hours, 52 minutes later. miles over some of the steepest They secured £7,393 in pledges.



hrewsbury School hosted a practical maths workshop and lecture with Dr Sophie Carr, winner of the 2019 World’s Most Interesting Mathematician competition. Students were encouraged to consider the morality of real-life situations through the lens of mathematics, for instance the gender pay gap, as well as how statistics are manipulated by the media. The school’s rare first copy of Newton’s Principia, published in 1687, was on display for students during the day as well.

Newton’s famous treatise 114 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

The workshop caught pupils’ imaginations

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New programme for aspiring judokas

Potty for pottery!



he long-standing relationship between the “They can University of Wolverhampton Students can enroll for scholarships achieve and British Judo continues enrolment in the Talented Athlete to thrive, with British Judo their goals relocating its head office to the Scholarship Scheme (TASS) on and off Walsall campus alongside its funded by Sport England, as well the mat” as a bespoke Diploma in Sporting performance team. A new programme at the Excellence, specialising in Judo. university offers pathway training options Students will work closely with a top coaching team, including Olympians, and that will enable fighters (‘judokas’) of all levels to achieve their goals both on and will have the opportunity to develop a sporting career whilst studying for a degree off the mat, depending on their age and judo stage. Part of the new offer includes or postgraduate qualification.

WGU’s first physios


rexham Glyndwr’s BSc (Hons) Physiotherapy degree began three years ago, with the first cohort enrolled in September 2019. Those students are set to graduate this year. Students come from a range of backgrounds, and those with unrelated experience gain valuable insights during placements. Graduates have options to find employment in the NHS, social services and the third sector, in the private sector, sport Work placements are a and overseas.

key element for students


oleg Cambria and Carneddau Landscape Partnership apprentice Eleri Turner is thriving in her placement with Snowdonia

Pupils show their craftwork



he science department at Thomas Adams School has had the good fortune to be gifted a range of high-quality science equipment. Mr Chris Butlin, grandfather of Thomas Adams alumni, has worked in the field for many years, developing qualifications and text books. Upon retirement, he wanted to make sure the equipment accumulated over his career was “It put to good use. Included is includes electronic data-logging apparatus dataand experiments devised by logging Chris himself, who designed apparatus” novel approaches to demonstrate scientific ideas and concepts. The equipment will be used to enhance learning and experiment procedures at the school.


And… action! Eleri at work

he children at The Firs School enjoy a wide selection of extra-curricular activities, including pottery with tutor Mrs Kay. The school has its own pottery room and every year group, from preschool to year 6, gets an opportunity to try their hand at the craft. Mrs Kay’s classes are so popular, the school has started a parents’ pottery class too.

National Park Authority, and even featured in an episode of BBC flagship rural affairs programme, Countryfile. Her work clearing gorse around an Iron Age settlement on Moel Faban – reported to be 2,000 years old – was watched by six million viewers. Reflecting on her TV experience, Eleri added: “It was fantastic to be a part of the programme and quite exciting as I had to speak and was required to do some action shots with the “Filming presenter.” Countryfi le Eleri has completed was exciting. a Level 2 Diploma in Work-based I had to do Environmental some action Conservation, and looks shots” forward to continuing her apprenticeship.

Mr and Mrs Butlin with Mr Cuthbert, head of science

Bookfest bonanza


Great result, girls!

upils from St.Winefride’s School scooped two prizes at the Shropshire Bookfest Big Book Award. Pupils from years 5 and 6 won the letterwriting competition and came third in Art. With nearly 2,000 participants, it was a real achievement. Pupils explored the six shortlisted books in illustration, writing and performance. July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 117


M eet t h e Exp er t What do you specialise in and how did you get into this career?

their career. We aim to embed these skills from the beginning and prepare them for their placement opportunities. After the shared first year, students start to specialise further within their chosen area. On the

My specialism is additional learning and “I made it my special education needs, mission to value which is an area I’ve and support them” gradually progressed Education into throughout my degree students career. I started off look at how learners teaching geography in secondary learn, and the curriculum, schools and always identified more with and identify what we teach and how we students who needed extra assistance. I teach it. The ALN/SEND degree students made it my mission to be a member of staff concentrate on supporting learners with who would value and support these learners communication and interaction needs and without judgement. specific learning differences such as dyslexia. I went on to work in a pupil referral unit The Working with Children and Families with students who had been excluded from students focus on understanding family mainstream education. During my 10 years dynamics and supporting children who have at the unit I completed my doctorate, which had adverse childhood experiences. focused on learners who displayed positive All three degrees have an emphasis on behaviours at the unit and didn’t show the real-world experience and professionalism. behaviours they had been excluded for. It Students complete 112 hours of work was interesting to study whether they felt experience in a relevant setting in their first more of a sense of belonging and how this year. In their second year they do another impacted their progress in that setting. 168 hours and undertake activities during What courses do you teach at their placement to help inform their final research project. In their final year, their Wrexham Glyndwr University? placement is focused on career development Here at Glyndwr I teach on three of our and they Education undergraduate degrees: Education, Additional Learning Needs (ALN/SEND) spend 56 hours and Working with Children and Families. shadowing a “…a I also teach on our Foundation degree (FdA) senior staff passion member or in Learning Support. The FdA is focused on and desire leader. work-based learning and aims to offer career to make development and an upskilling opportunity We have a a positive to current and aspiring teaching assistants. dedicated team We expect applicants to be already working who assist difference” our students or volunteering in a relevant setting for a minimum of 100 hours in the academic year. throughout the placement process. It is similar to applying Students of all three undergraduate courses study the same modules in the first year, for a job so we help students create their CV, which focus on support and study, enabling and identify and understand what they can bring to the role. them to build upon their academic skills and professionalism. They are also introduced to working with children with additional How can students secure a place? learning needs, something all our Education We’re always keen to see applicants who students will experience at some point in have a strong passion and desire to make a 118 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Dr Davi d Vittle Th omas, senior lecturer in Education positive difference in the lives of children and young people. Key skills we look for are empathy, adaptability and a willingness to listen to others without judgement. We’re a welcoming university and we always look at applicants individually to identify their skills and their past experiences and how they fit into the programme. We often see students who want to change career or progress in their current Education or Childhood career role, which can be daunting. Module tutors have worked in the types of roles our students are aspiring to, so we understand the challenges they face. We encourage prospective students to attend open days and evenings to get a feel for the university and more insight into what we offer. We also run a number of short courses aimed to help students who have spent some time out of education. Our Confident Learner course is a useful starting point. To find out more about education degrees, open days and short courses at WGU, head to








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| 24/06/2022 15:22


PRP and i-PRF – the gold standard for rejuvenation Emma Turner, owner of Corser House cosmetic studio in Whitchurch, gives the low-down on a red carpet treatment


RP and i-PRF are substances created from our own blood. This exclusive treatment is not only extremely effective at cellular regeneration and collagen production, it can also be an answer to male and female hair loss. Aside from their cosmetic applications, PRP and i-PRF are used extensively in medicine to heal hard and soft tissue. Our bodies are amazing at healing themselves and this is basically what we tap into. By harvesting special proteins from the blood, we can process them in a centrifuge, then use them to treat acne scars, dark spots, stretch marks, lines and wrinkles and uneven skin tone. “We tap So, what’s the difference between PRP and into i-PRF? Both treatments contain proteins and stem cells, but PRP undergoes longer processing. natural Because of this it lacks some of the platelets and healing” healing factors of i-PRF. PRP uses an anticoagulant that makes the plasma workable for longer. i-PRF has no anticoagulant and more Fibrin (a clotting factor). While this means it is 100 per cent natural, it has a short injectable timeframe as it starts to clot to a jelly-like consistency. PRP releases more platelets and skin growth factors more quickly after injection, because it contains less Fibrin. PRF releases platelets and growth factors more slowly due to still containing the clotting Fibrin. So one is short-acting, one long-acting.

How I use PRP and i-PRF within my clinic

• The ‘Vampire’ facial – I use PRP to treat sun damage, hyperpigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles, and scarring including healed burns. Also great for décolletage, hand and neck rejuvenation. • Hair loss and thinning (male and female) – i-PRF is used to stimulate stem cells within the hair follicles. This ‘wakes up’ the hair from its dormant phase and produces new hair growth. • Under-eye filler (the ‘tear trough’) – using i-PRF, I can improve skin texture and wrinkles, diminish dark circles, and it is also effective as a temporary sub-dermal filler. Preparing to inject plasma

120 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

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24/06/2022 15:24


Red alert It’s great to get out and enjoy the sunshine, but we all need to be aware of the dangers too


e Brits do tend to get a bit over-excited as soon as the sun comes out. Even when it’s still pretty chilly, a bright day can bring out the topless chaps in the beer garden and scantily clad bodies on the beach. But we all know this can be dangerous and our skin needs to be properly protected – especially when it spends so much of the year under wraps. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the UK and rates continue to rise. At least 100,000 new cases are

So let’s approach the summer season with care and follow some advice from the British Skin Foundation.

Clothes and a hat

Clothing should always be your first line of defence. Cover as much of the skin as is possible, paying special attention to the shoulders, which burn easily. Consider T-shirts and hats even when in the water.


UV radiation can also damage the eyes, and so sunglasses with good quality lenses that filter out the UV are essential. Those with an EU CE Mark are proven to offer safe protection.

“Just 10 minutes is all it takes to burn pale skin”

Your shoulderrs are especially susceptible

now diagnosed each year, and the disease kills over 2,500 people each year – that’s seven every day. Ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun can cause damage to the skin and lead to skin cancer. Sun exposure is the main preventable cause of skin cancer and experiencing severe sunburn, particularly in childhood, increases the risk of developing skin cancer in later life.

Myth buster


Keeping cool in the shade is a good way of saving yourself from the sun, especially if you are very fair-skinned. Just 10 minutes of strong sunshine is all it takes to burn pale skin. Find shade whenever possible, but especially in the middle of the day, 11am to 3pm, when the sun is at its strongest.

SPF 30+ sunscreen

No sunscreen provides absolute protection, so use it with the other lines of defence. Generously apply sunscreen with SPF30 or more to all exposed areas. A waterproof sunscreen is better as it protects you if you sweat. Apply 20-30 minutes before going outside, and at least every two hours. If you swim a lot, use it more often.

This time we’re debunking some of the mysterious myths surrounding our feet…


Badly fitting shoes and high heels cause bunions This may have been considered to have some truth in it since wearing tight-fitting shoes often causes bunions to hurt more. Also, bunions tend to get worse over time, which helps feed the myth that they’re self-inflicted. But bunions are actually genetic, and due to a particular foot type in which the bones of the big toe point toward the other toes instead of growing straight out. This creates the bump that signals a bunion.

Not enough on its own


You can cure an ingrowing toe nail by cutting a notch in it Ouch, no! This is definitely an old wives’ tale. Ingrown toenails typically occur when the nail grows downward, toward the skin. Cutting a notch into it does nothing to stop this, and may make the pain worse or cause infection.


Your feet shrink as you age Not true. In fact, if anything our feet are likely to get wider and longer as the muscle and tissue lose elasticity and form, allowing the flesh to spread more. It is common for women’s feet to grow a little during pregnancy for the same reasons – the loosening of those ligaments allowing the foot to stretch out more.. July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 121

Retirement Living

No time to stop

Having recently celebrated our own Queen’s impressive career, and the fact that she is still ‘on duty’ at 96, Shire takes a look at the pros and cons of working well past retirement age


s we all live longer, and health in general third (31 per cent) of the workforce, up from improves, reasons to stop work in our 21 per cent in 1992. The report continues: sixties are less obvious than for previous “In future, those approaching retirement are generations. For those who can, it may well increasingly likely to be in more stressful and still be the desired option, but as Her Majesty more cognitively demanding jobs. Currently, has shown, we can also keep our minds older workers in these jobs are significantly and bodies busy by working well into our more likely to want to work shorter hours but less likely to move to part-time roles. Making seventies, eighties and even our nineties. Experts at the Institute for sure flexible work options are Fiscal Studies recently shared available should be a priority.” Other highlights of the study a report on the impact of this “Flexible trend. “Longer working lives include: work offer many benefits but can • During Covid, older workers options pose challenges for individuals, (particularly over 65) were should be more likely to be furloughed, employers and policymakers… a priority” The desired working patterns of which has led to an increase in older workers – in terms of hours those age groups seeking new of work, form of employment or employment since. tasks they undertake – may be quite different • Most older workers do not have recent from those of middle-aged or younger adults.” experience of searching for work: over two-thirds of 55-year-old workers have More demanding been with their employer over five years. The number of older people remaining in • Significant numbers of older workers would benefit from more job flexibility: work is certainly growing. In 2019, 10 million 16 per cent of employed 50 to 69-year-olds or 61 per cent of 50 to 69-year-olds in the would like to work fewer hours. UK were in paid work, comprising almost a • For some, part-time work acts as a way of making a gradual transition to retirement. • Only 9 per cent of older employees become self-employed in the run-up to retirement. • Half of full-time workers move straight into non-working retirement. • Around 7 per cent of older workers in 2019 wanted to work more hours per week. • Some with long-standing health problems may have preferred or been able to stay in work with more flexibility or support. To read the full report visit Over-50s count for a third of the workforce 122 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

The boost is much-needed



he government’s announcement of extra help for Britons facing the fuel and cost-of-living crises has included an added bonus for pensioners. Those already receiving a winter fuel payment of £150 will get a bonus £300 pay-out to cope with the soaring energy prices that we are predicted to see this winter. At the same time, all households are to receive a £400 boost towards their energy bills, meaning many older people are in line for a total of £850 support. This announcement has been welcomed by experts including Citizens Advice, who described the move as “a life raft for the millions of people struggling to keep their heads above water”, and Martin Lewis, founder of the MoneySavingExpert website, who said the payments were “more generous than expected”.

Retirement Living


CRACKING THE CODE When a family is thinking about care for a loved one, they want the best. They want to know the care home they choose will put their loved one’s safety, happiness and wellbeing first.


are UK’s Deewater Grange care home in Chester provides residential, dementia and nursing care, giving families peace of mind that their loved ones can stay living at the home should their needs change. Living at Deewater Grange is all about quality of life. Every colleague in the home is passionate about enabling residents to enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle, tailored around their unique needs and preferences. The lifestyle team organises a huge variety of group and one-to-one activities, with plenty going on each day.

Elaine Willis of DRE & Co explains how to spot if your PAYE tax code is wrong – and what to do about it


any employed taxpayers receive their wage slip at the end of the month and assume the figures are correct, and the tax code being used is correct. If that code is 1257L for 2022/23 then it is probably right; any other code needs further investigation. Under the PAYE Real-Time Information scheme, employers report to HMRC electronically before making any salary or wage payments, using code numbers supplied by HMRC. Under a system named Dynamic Coding, codes are issued as soon as HMRC receives the notification of a ‘trigger’ from an employer, pension company or the taxpayer themselves (via an entry on their tax return). The code will remain in place until another ‘trigger’ is applied – for instance, new employment, a benefit-in-kind or an increase in salary. In working out the code, HMRC assumes that the employee will continue to receive the same level of pay for the remainder of the

“Loved ones are treated with kindness” The Deewater Grange team are proud to have achieved some great results in the recent relative survey – in fact, 97 per cent of families feel their loved ones are treated with kindness, respect and dignity^. Once their relative has settled into Deewater Grange they are able to focus on spending quality time with them again, just enjoying each other’s company. With the extra support that our care home offers, new residents are often surprised at what they can do, whether that’s being able to continue with an activity they’ve enjoyed in the past or even discovering new hobbies with our daily activities. Whether your loved one enjoys a quiet cup of tea in bed before starting the day, going for strolls in the landscaped grounds or a chat over a beer, the team at Deewater Grange will spend time to enable them to continue living life the way they want to. Deewater Grange is part of award-winning provider Care UK – one of the UK’s most successful care home operators* with over 35 years’ experience of delivering high quality care to older people. See more at *As rated by the Care Quality Commission in England and the Care Inspectorate in Scotland. ^Care UK relative survey Aug/Sept 2021, based on a sample of seven relatives. Study operated by QRS Market Research, an independent survey agency.

If your tax return included dividends or rental income, check your code

tax year as they have received to date. “HMRC is, HMRC looks to amend a code within in effect, the tax year so that there is no delay in collecting issuing a refund where due – or, if the tax in amendment results in an underpayment of tax, so that the taxpayer is not faced advance” with an unexpected bill at the year-end. To achieve this, HMRC uses the information it receives, estimates the amount that would have been owed at the tax year-end and includes this as a ‘restriction’ in the current year’s tax code. Usually, adjustments to collect an underpayment for the current year will not be included in a code if issued after 5 January; instead, that underpayment is likely to be carried forward and collected in the code in the following year. Increasingly HMRC has been issuing codes to include an estimated amount of dividends or rental income based on the previous year’s tax return information. Tax on such income is not due until 31 January after the tax year-end and therefore HMRC is, in effect, collecting tax in advance. You may wish to contact HMRC to correct the code. Elaine Willis is Payroll Manager at DRE & Co Chartered Accountants in Shrewsbury. Call 01743 241 581 or see July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 123

Books&Poetry immediately wishing for the life in the wilds her siblings recreated in stories. She said: “As a small child I was besotted with animals, and the more exotic the better. But the nearest I got in St Helens was a moth-eaten stuffed tiger in the small museum in Victoria Park! When I was a little older, I realised my dream of striding through the jungle in jodhpurs and a pith helmet tracking wild beasts was just a fantasy. So I decided to get a job as a keeper at Chester Zoo when I left school.”

Tails and tales

AMONG GIANTS From a small child Pamela Sumner was animal-mad. Now the former zoo keeper has collected her experiences into a memoir and, at the age of 79, is enjoying her first foray into publishing


affs, Chimps and Giant Dogs is as loss of her father at the age of six. intriguing a read as you would expect Her family came from the Welsh village of Sychdyn, from its curious title – and its author is just as fascinating. where her older sister Pamela Sumner has travelled and brother grew up “Having a and worked all over the roaming the woods, fishing in streams and place and encountered wacky sense plenty of adventures along helping with haymaking of humour and the harvest. The the way, more often than has helped” not involving animals. rural idyll changed when Pamela’s father found a Her love for all creatures is a thread woven through new job and the family moved to St Helens, the witty anecdotes in this gentle book, as is the influence bursting into tears at the sight of their of a mother she clearly adored and two-bedroomed terraced house. It was here that Pamela was born – almost siblings who shaped her life after the

LOCA L B OOKS Through the Gate of Horns by VR Wilson VR Wilson is an author based in Gwynedd, Wales, and this is a tale of mystery woven through time and place. Having picked up her friend Josie at the station, Lorne hopes for an uneventful drive to Waydon, where they will link up with five friends for a reunion weekend. But during a stop on their journey, a chance meeting with a smart young woman makes Josie almost collapse from shock. The stranger introduces herself as Arina Aubel, and Josie tells Lorne she is identical to the face of a woman she has been seeing in a recurring dream, though the setting of the dream is centuries old. Could the dream be a prophecy and, if so, is Arina in danger? Published by Austin Macauley, £9.99 (ebook £3.50)

124 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

Daffs, Chimps and Giant Dogs describes the career that followed and Pamela’s lifelong devotion to animals. At 79, she still runs a busy boarding kennels. She said: “I have many clear memories starting from when I was quite small. After years of regaling family and friends with tales of my childhood and life, they kept insisting, ‘You must write a book!’ I hope they can stop nagging me now! But I am proud to have done it. “I have been extremely lucky to have had a such a happy life. Of course, having a wacky sense of humour has helped tremendously!” Daffs, Chimps and Giant Dogs is published by Ballyphelan Press, price £17.99.

Patrick’s Story To Regain a Legacy by TC Sutton by Patrick Carroll Patrick Carroll has had a TC Sutton has just released the historical fiction To Regain a Legacy, long and adventurous life written from the author’s home in before settling with his wife, son and family in a Wrexham. Set during France’s preRevolutionary Ancien Régime it follows converted barn in Wales. This is his life story, and it one man’s journey to win back his father’s legacy. is inspirational, recounting the journey that led Gambler, socialite to that move. Patrick’s and swordsman Napier Gerrard Story shares the joys and trials of a special person who has enjoys a life of touched the lives of many for good. leisure and luxury. However, his Patrick’s mother was sent to comfortable lifestyle Scotland to give birth to her son is blighted by the in the land of his father. His future adventures took him to Birmingham – memory of a double apart from a brief return to Scotland murder when, as a teenager, he lived when his mother had tuberculosis. He has had many adventures and in England with his lays claim to more than nine lives! father, a fencing master to a royal duke. Knowing that he will never have peace of mind until he Calling local authors… has done the right thing by If you’re living in the Shire area or have written his father’s memory, Napier about a local person or place, we’d love to decides to return to England feature you on these pages. Email editorial@ in search of his father’s resting place.


In their regular column, the bookworms from Linghams Bookshop in Heswall suggest a couple of gripping reads perfect for taking on holiday Falling by TJ Newman

Falling is a stunningly exciting book and one you won’t be able to put down. Airline pilot Bill Hoffman is flying a planeload of passengers from Los Angeles when his world is turned upside down by a phone call he never in his wildest dreams thought possible – one that chills him to the core. The caller, calm and in complete control, says: “If you tell anyone, your family dies. If you send anyone to the house, your family dies. It’s simple. Crash your plane or I will kill your family. The choice is yours.” Who can he trust? Where can he turn? Is he as completely alone as he feels? And what would you do in the same position? A book so chilling it will turn your blood to ice.

The Sanatorium by Sarah Pearse

Another gripping thriller, this time set in a derelict sanatorium in the Swiss Alps. Architect Daniel has been tasked with transforming the former tuberculosis hospital into a luxury hotel. As he wanders the corridors, taking stock, remnants of the building’s past life echo from the empty rooms. It feels strange, eerie, almost dying. Daniel has a vision of how his beautiful hotel will rise up from the decades of decay. As he walks to his car for the journey home, he thinks of his partner Lucas and their bright future together. He spots a bracelet on the ground and, as he picks it up, he sees a phantom figure standing between him and his car. The spectre is wearing a mask and Daniel cannot escape… Years later, the old hospital is now a spectacular modern hotel – but has the past been laid to rest or is the creeping horror still at large?

ONCE, THERE WAS AN EMPIRE… by Norman Marshall Once, there was an empire Spread across arid land. Now one will look and perspire At what lies in sand. They fought with spear and sword – No philosophy needed. Treasures collected, forgotten in a hoard; Never fertilising what should have been seeded. Empires rise then fallThat is in their nature – And what exhibited in a gilded hall Perishes for want of stature. They had their dictator, their emperor, Amassing his personal treasure, But without a guiding mentor All erodes into an inconsequential measure. I see a laconic people, Proud, resolute in their traditions; But the calling man from his steeple Cannot prevent any natural attrition. For all must have a reason: Freedom to be an artist and expression Or blended into one will be every season, Under the cloud of cultural depression.

THE END by Sheila Crozier The shards of glass make my skin tingle It feels like pin pricks But it’s merely the shingle Now teasing wavelets reach my head Cover me over Now, I am dead

WALES by Judith Dickinson Her hair cascades, glistening, like the tumbling spring melts of Snowdonia. Her eyes, grey, mystical, as the pools left stranded by the ebbing tide. Her skin as soft as the dew-blushed petals of a newly blooming daffodil. Her hands, strong, long-fingered, fine and delicate as the strings of any harp. Her breath is like the gentle breeze beneath the gossamer wings of a butterfly. She is as tall as the ancient oak that stands guard over wizard Merlin’s grave. Her grace and beauty hide a heart as fierce as any dragon, Waiting to be roused from sleep to once more fight the foe. She looks, and is, our hope, our pride, our passion.

WALKING THE TOWPATH by Anne Harding walking the towpath on a sunny day in June absorbing all the sights and sounds two wandering mallard chicks, warned by mother of danger returning quickly to her side, swim in the reeds to hide coots and waterhens dive for snails in the weeds pink campion and cow parsley flowering, draw bees small tortoiseshells and speckled woods to nectar robin salutes, flies into the hawthorn and bursts into song through the arch of the bridge a family of swans pen, cob and twelve cygnets secluded in the backwater as we move closer to admire them, the pen climbs out of the water and stretching her neck heads towards us with fury in her eyes message understood we turn round and head homewards.

We want your poems! Share your creativity – we print our favourite poems every issue. Send them to Poetry Page, Shire, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR or email

July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 125


126 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022

27 Lugosi 28 Clematis 29 Lake Albert 30 Lied


13 Desai 16 Cheapside 17 Shoebill 19 Leasowe 21 Cadfael 22 Gelert 24 Aruba 26 Oche

1. Every square has to contain a single number. 2. Only numbers 1 to 9 can be used. 3. Each 3×3 box can only contain each number from 1 to 9 once. 4. Each row and column can only contain each number from 1 to 9 once.

The highlighted letters when rearranged spell TARPORLEY

Sudoku rules

Difficulty: medium

2 Gyles ____, MP for Chester from 1992 to 1997 (9) 3 Alkali metal used in batteries (7) 4 German camp for prisoners of war (6) 5 Lively Scottish or Irish folk dance (4) 6 Where Aunt Ada saw something nasty in Cold Comfort Farm (8) 7 Mystical island sung about in South Pacific (4,3) 8 The brightest star in the constellation Orion (5) 13 Morarji ____, Prime Minister of India from 1977 to 1979 (5) 16 London street, historically a produce market, where St Maryle-Bow is situated (9) 17 Large stork-like bird found in swampy regions in Africa (8) 19 Site of the UK’s oldest brick lighthouse, found on the north coast of the Wirral Peninsula (7) 21 Medieval mysterysolving monk in books by Ellis Peters (7) 22 Llywelyn the Great’s faithful hound whose grave can be found in a village in Snowdonia (6) 24 Dutch island in the Caribbean (5) 26 Line that darts players must stand behind when throwing (4)

Down 2 Brandreth 3 Lithium 4 Stalag 5 Reel 6 Woodshed 7 Bali Ha’i 8 Rigel



1 Cain’s brother in Genesis (4) 4 Site of a Grade I listed abbey that was home to 21 Down (10) 9 Ancient city in modern-day Tunisia that fought Rome in the Punic Wars (8) 10 The study of birds’ eggs (6) 11 A naval rank, or a type of butterfly (7) 12 The ____ Jungle, a 1950 American heist film (7) 14 Italian physicist who gives his name to a paradox about the lack of evidence for alien life (5) 15 Vegetable also known as celery root (8) 18 Irish Sea port on Anglesey (8) 20 A mass of loose stones on the slope of a mountain (5) 23 Leoš ____, Czech composer of The Cunning Little Vixen (7) 25 Range of limestone hills in Somerset (7) 27 Bela ____, actor who portrayed Dracula in the 1931 film (6) 28 A genus of flowering vines known as the queen of climbers (8) 29 Body of water between Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (4,6) 30 Type of German song (4) Across 1 Abel 4 Shrewsbury 9 Carthage 10 Oology 11 Admiral 12 Asphalt 14 Fermi 15 Celeriac 18 Holyhead 20 Scree 23 Janáček 25 Mendips

Rearrange the highlighted letters to find the name of a village in Cheshire


Alice Leetham is a writer and puzzle maker from Cheshire. She works in the fintech industry and also enjoys creating quizzes and cryptic crosswords. Contact:


Snoozers, losers! Fill in your entry form and post it today

Another great issue, another chance to win fabulous prizes. Good luck!


Arguably the biggest and best family-friendly festival has a new home at Weston Park, Shropshire, on 18th-21st August. With massive headline music acts, comedy, plenty of activities and a fireworks finale, this is a festival like no other. Tickets and further info can be found at We are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a family weekend camping pass, for two adults and up to four children (aged 0-17), worth in excess of £800! To enter, fill in the form below. CLOSING DATE 15th July

Win! A pair of tickets for a Manchester Canal Cruise

Wisteria Tours offers a range of day tours and short breaks around the UK, with a focus on gardens and beautiful scenery. For details see We are offering a pair of tickets for a two-hour canal cruise on 11th October, including return transport from Shrewsbury, three-course lunch and a stop at the Lowry Museum. To enter, fill in the form below. CLOSING DATE July 15th.

Win! A family ticket to RAF Museum Cosford Battle of Britain Proms

Look forward to six hours of musical entertainment for all tastes at the brand-new Battle of Britain Proms on 13th August. Set against the unique backdrop of aircraft hangars at RAF Cosford Museum, the evening is rounded off with a traditional Last Night of the Proms finale. Ticket information is available at We have a family pass up for grabs. To enter, fill in the form below. CLOSING DATE 15th July

Win! A pair of tickets to the Ballroom Blitz at Welshpool 1940s Weekend


Don your vintage best and dance the night away to the sounds of the Ashby Little Big Band plus guest vocalists and dance instructors, at the Ballroom Blitz on 24th September. This is a ticket-only event, see for more information and booking. We have a pair of tickets to give away. To enter, fill in the form below. CLOSING DATE 15th July

Congratulations to our lucky winners from the previous issue of Shire Kay, Warrington, Classic Car Show

Nerys, Llanfyllin, BeWILDerwood

Q: How many Ferraris is CarFest’s Chris Evans said to have owned? a) 3 b) 7 c) 17

Tick the ones you want to enter!

HOW TO ENTER Fill in the form with your answer circled (you’ll need to read the magazine to find it!) and include your name, address, email and daytime contact number. Send it by the closing date to Competitions, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR Camp Bestival

Ballroom Blitz

Name Address

Battle of Britain Proms Manchester Canal Cruise

RULES OF THE COMPETITIONS The promoter of these competitions is Shire Magazine, Superstar Publishing, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire 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 accepted. For full details of our Privacy Policy, please go to 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 wish to be contacted.

Postcode Daytime contact number Email (please complete) Please send me further information about Shire July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 127

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DID YOU KNOW? Badgers can run 16-19mph in short spurts

For the first time since 2019, we are going to have a full calendar of agricultural shows, completely unfettered by any sort of Covid restrictions


’ve done a fair bit of showing across the garden. It myself in the past, with some stopped by a shrub and modest success. I’m not one of started to dig and, lo and the big boys, you understand – behold, pulled out three more Conference League than kittens (baby rabbits). Premiership – but it was hugely The mother carefully enjoyable. I’m off to the Cheshire laid them on the lawn, Show shortly and am looking lay beside them and they forward to seeing all the rare and began to suckle. Breakfast traditional breeds; the Tatton Park over, she placed them event is the best for such livestock. back in the hole and I’ll never forget seeing a tawny catch a bat I do object to paying exorbitant covered them up again. prices for refreshments. No matter, I explained that it was perfectly normal behaviour and rabbits give as I’ve perfected the art of looking birth in a shallow run called a stop and visit them several times a day prosperous. I to feed them. Here they stay for a week or 10 days until Eryl Jones was brought wander around the they are mobile enough to move to the main warren. I up on a small Welsh farm “You can be and studied agriculture in trade stands and impressed upon my friend how unbelievably lucky she’d strolling to the Aberystwyth. He became show just the right been to see it, because I never have. If you look along pub and, out of farm manager on a large amount of interest hedgerows during the spring and early summer months, estate and later farmed the blue, one in whatever it is you’ll see the remains of stops: a hole about a foot deep on his own account. comes waddling they’re promoting, with soil at the entrance topped with tufts of rabbit fur. Eryl does voluntary up the road” and you soon get And that’s the beauty of living and spending time in environmental work with plied with tea and the countryside. You never know what you’re going to Denbighshire Council cake. Repeat until you are sated! see. You can spend hours lying in wait trying to catch a glimpse of and has a passion for the rural way of life. Despite living in the countryside something or other, and end up cold and stiff for your trouble. The all my life, I’ve yet to see an otter. very next day you can be This despite clocking up what must strolling to the pub for be hundreds of miles along river banks I know they inhabit. I’ve seen a swift half and, out of their footprints, droppings and the remains of many a meal, but never the blue, a badger comes the animal in the flesh. I’ve had my ‘Dear Diary’ moments though. waddling up the road One moonlit evening I saw a tawny owl swoop out of a sycamore tree towards you, oblivious and pluck a bat out of mid-air. I’ve also been lucky enough to see, in of your presence because my front garden of all places, a stoat resplendent in full winter ermine. you’re downwind. Every It was all the more spectacular because it was during a mild spell and chance encounter gives he stood out against the green sward like an ostrich in a chicken run. me a genuine high – A friend’s wife told me of how she happened to look out of the what’s more, it’s free and bedroom window early one summer’s morning and saw a rabbit hop totally harmless. An encounter with a badger is always special

128 SHIRE MAGAZINE | July/August 2022


hank you so much to all those who have written to us over the past few weeks. It’s great to hear from so many of you and to read what you’ve been up to in and around the patch. Your stories and feedback really do brighten our day so please keep them coming, with pictures when you have them. Just send whatever you want to share to If you haven’t been able to get out and grab your copy of Shire, don’t panic. As

always, we have a supply of previous issues we’re happy to send out. Get in touch if you’ve missed an edition, let us know which one, and we can pop it in the post to you. Send an SAE for £1.60 to Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR. Maybe receiving a copy as soon as it is out would be easier for you? If so, why not subscribe to Shire and we’ll send each issue straight to your door? See page 52 for details. Do keep in touch!

An author writes

Thank you so much for the lead story on my book in May’s issue and to your editor Kate, who, I presume, wrote it. It was not only beautifully written but had a big picture of the front cover as well. I didn’t expect so much coverage. It coincides with my first excursion into Shropshire, as I delivered 15 books to Stan’s Shop in St Martins yesterday, and the Oak Furniture Shop in Oswestry has sold 20 books now! With this new reprint, I have delivered and sold over 100 copies to retailers in North Wales to date, so it will be interesting to see how it progresses, as well as thinking about the sequel, which is galloping along. I hope to finish it in the summer. Nobody said self-publishing was easy, but a little bit of success boosts the confidence hugely! Many thanks once again. Julia Ozanne


READER F E E D B AC K Keep up the great work, it is a wonderful free magazine! Regards, Mrs Tracey Lewis

The atmospheric cover

Hi, just a quick note to say how much I enjoy your magazine. It gives me inspiration on where to go for a trip out. I noted that the Anglesey Vintage Rally was mentioned last time, and it said free entry, so off we went. We did the Mona car boot sale down the road first, at a very reasonable £1 for the car. Then on to the rally. But then what a shame to discover it was £10 entry, and not even for all of us – that was each. No, we didn’t pay to go in – these days you have to watch every penny and I’m looking for cheap or free days out. I wonder how many other people got caught out that day? Bethan We’re so sorry to hear this, Bethan. We are looking into where this information came from, but we do apologise to you for the disappointment.

Academics in action

As your readers may be aware, Glyndwr University has an exciting new programme of free public lectures, titled ‘Glyndwr Talks/ Sgyrsiau Glyndwr’, which are open to everyone. The purpose of the series is to introduce our academics and the research they conduct to the local public, so that people know what we as a university are doing and how our research is impacting their lives. Dr Livingston will The latest lecture in the series, ‘The price of a pint? Can Welsh alcohol policy do good?’, by our own Dr Wulf Livingston, Reader in Social Sciences, aims to discuss the effectiveness of minimum unit alcohol pricing and how it can affect health, as well as how policy differs across the devolved nations. With alcohol minimum pricing being such a hot topic currently, we’re sure interest will be high. Those wishing to book a place, please email If any readers have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact me at Jack Birch

Many thanks for giving our Open Gardens event in May a mention, that’s very much appreciated. Rachel Your magazine is a great read, with lots of local information. I’ve just subscribed because a few times I’ve not been able to pick one up. Maxine Burton Good idea, Maxine – they do get snapped up pretty quickly! Ed.

Do you recognise these men?

I am hoping your readers may be able to help us in a search for historical information. I volunteer at Nantwich Museum, and we are looking for information about Racecourse Camp 74, Taporley, which housed WWII prisoners of war. Our interest stems from a hand-crafted document The photograph… box, currently on display, which was made by Italian prisoners. In 1943, it was presented to Len Pearson, camp foreman. Paolo Testori, Cristoford Camisasca and Martino Michetti inscribed their names inside. The gift was accompanied by a photo dated 27th October 1942, with the message: “So that you remember the Italian prisoners of the 74 camp”. …and the hand-made box Racecourse Camp 74 was located on the site of Tarporley Racecourse. It was demolished in 1953 and all that remain are two ponds. We are keen to learn more about the camp and those who worked and lived there, especially the people pictured in the photo. If readers have any information, they can contact enquiries@ or call 01270 627 104. Thank you. Richard Tate, Nantwich Museum volunteer July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 129



We’re in the middle of a glorious summer, but here at Shire we’re already busy gathering in content for our autumn edition! So while you’re basking in the garden or soaking up the sun on the beach, read on to find out what’s in store for September/October. We’ll have another packed magazine for you to enjoy, full of all your favourites and some seasonal treats too. A U T U M N G LO R Y

Whether you’re planning a woodland walk or hoping for a haunting this Halloween, Shire will have everything you need to know to make the most of the season. From days out where the autumn colours will be at their best, to the perfect spooky settings for your little ghosts and ghouls, as well as a round-up of ideas for October half-term too. Don’t miss your next issue!

Snug as a bug

As the days and nights get cooler and there’s talk of another energy price rise, we look at home heating options. Whether you need to adjust your energy usage, switch sources, or just fancy feeling cosy as the evenings draw in, we’ll have everything you need to know.

SCHOOL NEWS September is a time of new starts, whether you have little ones on their first days or older children flying the nest for university. Our packed education section covers courses at schools and colleges across the patch, and celebrates learners at all levels.

INDIAN SUMMER? If you don’t want your summer fun to end, why not squeeze in a late break, especially if we get a lovely burst of September sunshine? We’ll bring you the favourite hotels and holiday parks across the Shire patch. You might even consider investing in your own slice of holiday heaven.


A lot of readers seem to enjoy our regular photography comp – entries are booming. Our next issue will feature more winning images alongside the packed Arts section. We’ll continue our tour of the region’s favourite towns and villages, focusing on Pwllheli on the North Wales coast and the Marches town of Montgomery.


Tuck in As always, we’ll have a guest chef who’ll share a special recipe for you to try at home. Plus all the latest news from the world of booze, and a focus on our brilliant food producers too. It’s enough to make your tummy rumble!

HEALTH AND BEAUTY Recover from summer’s sun and get ready for the colder weather with tips from our experts that will make sure your body is braced for the seasons’ change.

D O N ’ T F O R G E T…

With events and activities going on all around us – for young and old, families, individuals and groups – don’t make any plans until you’ve checked out our What’s On guide for September and October, in the next issue of Shire Magazine.


Harvest time will be upon us before we know it, and the garden will be ready for some attention before winter. We’ll pitch in with the important jobs you need to do, as well as tips for future planting, and more top gardens to visit.


As the weather changes, it may well be time to refresh your wardrobe. Our fashion and style guides – there’s one for men, too – will keep you on trend and wearing the hottest styles of the season as you add those extra layers.

GET IN TOUCH Shire wants to hear from you!

1. Tell us about your upcoming events We work in advance, so 1st August is the deadline to let us know about events for our September/October 2022 issue. 2. Share your reader stories Have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We would love to share it with our readers. Send us an email and don’t forget to include a picture or two! 3. Contribute to one of our pages Send all your submissions and pictures by email to or call 01691 661270. You can also get in touch via social media – just search for ‘Shire Magazine’ on Facebook or Instagram. July/August 2022 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 130

Ymunwch â ni yn un o’n



Yn bersonol neu ar-lein

Join us at one of our

open events In person or online

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Visit our furniture showrooms and antiques courtyards Lower Court, Suckley, Worcestershire, WR6 5DE GLASSHOUSE RESTAURANT

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