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King of the Castles




We find the most gorgeous local gardens

WIN Show tickets, family passes and more...


Let us help you plan your big day! N E W F O O D I E FAVO U R I T E

Welcoming chef Graham Tinsley MBE as our culinary columnist



All change for transport town


The border town in a lovely location

H E A LT H & B E A U T Y | G A R D EN S | A R T | FA S H I O N | I N T ER I O R S TSDB02_Cover_marapr2018DBTS.indd 1

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WELCOME DEAR READER, Publisher Dan Bromage Editor Kate Speedie Production Editor Verity Gough Art Editor Tom Sullivan Designer Stuart Thomas Staff Writers Eluned Watson Catherine Buckley Email Shire Magazine

Contributors Gillian Danby, Gloria Mans, Sam Humphreys, P Parker, Clive Potter, James Sherwin, John Stubbs, Tommy Bromage, Helen Cooke, Lizzie Deery, Ursula Kenny, James Gillespie, Graham Tinsley. And not forgetting our faithful receptionist Georgie.


elcome to our first edition of 2018! As spring gets well underway and we’ve all come out of hibernation, what better way to celebrate than with a packed edition of Shire Magazine. This publication also marks us being in print for a year having launched our new look back in March 2017 – and hasn’t time flown? We want to thank all of our readers, contributors, advertisers and supporters for making this possible. We’ve had a fantastic response and are looking forward to another season celebrating all that makes our region great. With that in mind we’ve introduced a few changes to take forward over the coming months and we’re especially excited to welcome a new celebrity chef to our pages. Graham Tinsley MBE is a culinary legend who has a long list of awards and titles as well as honours from the Queen so having him write our regular chef’s slot is a real honour. Your regular favourites are still packed into these Our cover this issue features the pages as well as some seasonal features we know you’re iconic Conwy Castle going to love. We’ve been allowing our imaginations to wander with our round-up of castles and fortresses across the region and we’ve been out and about in some glorious gardens to inspire the green-fingered amongst you. Not only that, anyone with a wedding on the horizon will love our special focus to help get your big day your way and as usual there is an amazing collection of tickets and prizes to be won in our competitions section. It’s even easier to keep in touch with your letters, photos, poems and messages and you can find us now on Facebook and Instagram too. Happy Easter from all the team at SHIRE!

Shire Magazine, Superstar Publishing Ltd, PO Box 276, Oswestry Shropshire SY10 1FR Telephone: 01691 661270

IN THIS ISSUE Get some tasty food inspiration and meet our new resident chef over on page 78


Read every issue online:


Print ISSN 2514-3913 Online ISSN 2514-3921

Get out and get arty with our round-up of exhibitions, craft classes and more on page 103

PEFC Certified This magazine is printed on sustainably managed forests and controlled resources. 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. © 2018 Superstar Publishing Ltd, all rights reserved. Registered Number: 10604188.

Explore our stunning local castles on page 64 and find the best places for tours, turrets and towers

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…


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


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



We have lots of regulars readers can contribute to…

Reader photos – taken a great shot recently? Email your best effort and you might get picked! See page 106 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 130 for more Your pets – is your pet the love


of your life? Send a snap with their name, age and anything else you want to tell us. See page 101 for more Get social – follow, like and friend us on Facebook and Instagram to be the first in line for event updates, competitions and more. Visit our website www.shiremagazine. and send submissions and information by email to

TURN TO PAGE 135 to subscribe and never miss an issue again! March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

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Combine History and Family Fun!


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

New: cable railway back in service from February 2018 *T’s and C’s apply

Gwener/Friday 18.05.18 20:00 £25

01286 685 222

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Contact us at

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Contents MA R C H / A P R I L 2 01 8 6-53 What’s On Our packed events pages cover everywhere from North and Mid Wales, across Cheshire, including the Wirral, through Shropshire and into Herefordshire. There’s so much to choose from!

PAG E 6 4 Explore the array of historic castles across our beautiful region

PAGE 103 Artist Julia Seaton tells us how local landmarks inspire her work PAG E 7 8 Graham Tinsley MBE divulges his scrummy rhubarb recipes

55 Big City and Reviews The SHIRE team has been busy reviewing and reporting from local shows and events to bring you the low-down 59 Tony Robinson Actor and author, Tony Robinson talks about his latest book 60 Town Visit: Crewe We head to Cheshire market town of Crewe to see what makes it special to the people that live and work there 61 Mother’s Day Out With Mother’s Day on its way, we’ve rounded up a collection of local day trips to treat your mum 64 Castle Tours We clamber over our favourite fortresses and classic castles from across the SHIRE patch

PAG E 1 1 6

70 Town Visit: Welshpool We explore this historic town nestled on the border of Mid Wales and Shropshire

Spring clean your beauty regime in time for summer

SUBSCRIBE! Check out our amazing subscriptions offer on page 135

71 Active Get out and about and keep busy with our active section including another lovely local walk PAG E 1 1 3 Flowery style picks for March and April

73 Holidays Browse the fab holiday parks available in and around the local area plus top tips for caravanners 78 Food and Drink Full of tempting treats as always, we welcome our new culinary columnist Graham Tinsley who shares his recipe for rhubarb 82 Kitchen Shopping Keep it sleek and monochrome with this issue’s top buys 85 Homes & Interiors Spruce up your home with a new heating system or fantastic new range cooker

PAGE 109 Get the low-down on the best wedding venues, top tips and more for planning your big day PAG E 5 9 Tony Robinson talks Blackadder and books

89 Home Visit We take a peek at a light-filled conservatory that fulfilled one couple’s dream home 91 Home Style See our pick of earthy home buys

92 Gorgeous Green Spaces We’ve unearthed some serious garden inspiration from across our entire region 96 Garden Advice Get set for summer with top tips from our green-fingered experts 100 Wildlife and Pets Wildlife and conservation news plus your best pet pictures 103 Arts Artist interview and our regular packed guide to the best exhibitions and events near you 109 Weddings Top venues, and indispensible advice from experts from the local wedding scene 113 Women’s Style Embrace the season with blossom brights 116 Heath and Beauty Advice on migraine relief, health news, spring beauty tips, shopping and more 119 Family Expert We hear from a mum who’s making a success of the work/life balance 120 Men’s Style It’s all about the vertical stripe, yes sir indeed! 123 Schools Our round-up of the latest news and achievements from colleges and schools across the region 130 Books and Poetry Author interview, literary events, book reviews plus your poetry 132 Volunteer A look at the wonderful local voluntary and charity work 134 Letters Some of your terrific letters and events you want to share 135 Subscriptions Never miss an issue with our new subscriptions service 136 Horoscopes What’s coming your way? Find out with our horoscope forecast provided by Gloria Mans 137 Competitions You’ve got to be in it to win it! Don’t miss our fab competitions 138 Coming next issue Check out all the wonderful features and regulars we have lined up for the May/June issue

PAG E 7 3 We dig out the finest holiday homes from across the SHIRE patch

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1st March, St. David’s Day Parade, Colwyn Bay The Colwyn Bay St David’s Day Parade is now an established cultural event in its 17th year. Over 800 local schoolchildren dressed in traditional national costume lead the parade through the town. A St David’s Day concert follows at St Paul’s Church with pupils performing a variety of recitals, song and dance.

1st-5th March, Prestatyn Soul Weekender, Pontins One of the UK’s most cherished Soul Weekends returns for four nights at Pontins in Pretatyn. With five arenas, come and get down to the North’s best loved Soul DJs.

1st March, Fickle Friends, Central Station, Wrexham This five-piece Brighton-based band performs its 1980s style new wave pop. Doors open at 7pm. No under 14s allowed.

3rd March, Baby and Children’s Market, Coleg Cambria, Deeside College Lots of stalls with top quality new and ‘like new’ baby and children’s items from 0-8 years. Great brands at up to 90% off the full retail price! Stalls are £12 (must be pre booked in advance), entry: adults £1, children free. 3pm4.30pm.

4th March, The Island Race (Half Marathon) The Anglesey Half Marathon takes runners across the world famous Menai Bridge free from traffic and follows the coast road to Beaumaris Castle, and back. Lots of activities including kiddies and junior races across the bridge and a great atmosphere!

North Wales Gigs Wales, The Goat Roper Rodeo Band take a slightly Five and a Penny Jazz, 1st psychedelic route to the finish line and include March, Sun Inn, Llangollen some serious foot stompin’ rock ‘n’ roll along the Five and a Penny Jazz play way. Tickets £11. Doors 7pm. foot-tappingly good 30s and 40s New Orleans Jazz and Swing. The Lowest Pair, 11th April, Introducing special guest Blue Sky Cafe, Bangor musicians. Blazing DID YOU Rarely will you hear such beautiful fires in winter and a range of cask ales KNOW? American roots music so perfectly and other drinks. From 9pm-11.15pm. St David was performed. Kendl Winter and Palmer reputed to have T. Lee have found themselves in The Goat Roper Rodeo Band, consumed only the premier league after gaining 15th March, Blue Sky Cafe, Bangor An upright bass, two old guitars and a leeks and water a reputation as one of the most original old-time influenced duos working the bucketful of aching harmony, The Goat US circuit. Tickets £11. Doors 7pm. Roper Rodeo Band are preaching ‘Country Visit for more information. Blues’ like you never heard. Hailing from North

Easter at Bala Lake Railway

Celebrate St. David’s Day, 3rd March A free ride on the Bala Lake Railway is open to all residents of North Wales – just bring proof of address. Trains from Llanuwchllyn 11.30am, 1.20pm and 3pm. Trains from Bala at 12.05pm and 2pm. Easter Egg Hunt, 30th March-5th April The white rabbit has hidden Easter eggs around the railway. Can you find them all? Collect them and win a yummy chocolatey prize. Hunt included free with train tickets. Race the Train, 7th April Come and follow the race on the train between the steam train and stand-up paddle boarders on the lake. Train departs Llanuwchllyn at 5.30pm prompt.

Junior concert programme at North Wales Music Tuition

Students aged 4-12 years will be playing their favourite party pieces at two junior concerts on 24th March, 2pm at The War Memorial Hall, Penyffordd and 28th April at St. Paul’s Church Hall, Abergele.With a raffle, refreshments and tons of talent. www.north

Springtime events at Bodnant Gardens Walk with the Gardener, 14th March Hear head gardener John’s exciting plans for the garden this year. Costs £15. 10am-12pm. The Running Rabbit Trail, 24th March-15th April This spring, why not use your five senses to find out all about nature as you stroll around the garden at Bodnant? Normal admission. 10am-3.30pm. Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, 1st-2nd April Get involved in this year’s special Easter egg hunt. Follow the clues and claim your chocolatey prize! 10am-3.30pm both days. Bat Walk, 27th April Meet some of the nocturnal residents on a guided walk with an expert from Gwynedd Bat Group. 8pm-10pm. Costs £5.

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Get your culture fix at Neuadd Dwyfor Easter fun and more at CADW

Molly Bloom (15), 3rd March Molly Bloom, a beautiful young Olympic-class skier, ran the world’s most exclusive highstakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents. Film starts 7.30pm. Journey’s End, 7th-8th March, In the trenches of WWI, the youthful new recruit Lieutenant Raleigh has pulled strings to join his childhood hero

Captain Stanhope on the front line. The film focuses its gaze on the pathos and extreme and harrowing emotional costs of war. Showings at 10.30am/7.30pm. The Post, 19th-20th March A cover-up that spanned four US Presidents pushed the country’s first female newspaper publisher and a hard-driving editor to join an unprecedented battle between journalist and government.

Easter fun at WHR

Stiwt Wrexham Crooners – A Truly British Swingin’ Affair, 10th March, 7.30pm Crooners brings parody to a genre symbolised by the crooner and exemplified by the music of the Rat Pack and the American Song Book in a manner that will leave you smiling from ear to ear. Crooners, the show; three selfassured gentlemen of style and vigour, who swing the hell out of the music of Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, Bobby Darin and Matt Monro,

The Barber of Seville, 20th April Swansea City Opera present a revival of their hugely successful 2011 production of the Barber of Seville, Rossini’s most famous opera - razor-sharp and full of twists and turns. Designed by Gary McCann with costumes by Gabriella Ingram, directed by Brendan Wheatley and accompanied by the Swansea City Opera Orchestra.

with an outrageous live 10 piece band and a splendorous British injection of comedy. The Barber of Seville: Swansea City Opera, 7th April, 7.30pm This revival of the Barber of Seville, Rossini’s most famous opera is razor-sharp and full of twists and turns. There will be a pre-performance talk about the opera and production at 6.15pm given by the artistic director of Swansea City Opera, Brendan Wheatley. Cyclone Events presents Live/Wire - The AC/ DC Show, 21st April, 8pm A brand new revamped show! This unique six-man tribute to rock music’s greatest band AC/ DC, has cannons, marshalls and over two hours of high voltage rock ‘n’ roll!

The Easter Bunny has been busy hiding eggs around the railway and from 15th, 16th and 17th April you can come along and see if you can find them! The mini eggs are free...but you have to find them first!

Easter Eggstravaganza, 30th March-2nd April, Beaumaris Castle Beaumaris Castle welcomes warrior knights who will take you back to how life was during medieval times. Come and join in all the fun and see how life was back 700 years ago. Dragon’s Egg Easter Quest, 31st March-1st April, Caernarfon Castle Join the castle guards and maids on a quest to discover the dragon’s lair. You will be taught how to use a bow and arrow and explore the passageways of the castle to track down the dragon and earn your Easter egg prize. Quest trails at 11.30am, 1pm, 2.30pm. Ardudwy Knights and Easter Egg hunt, 1st-2nd April, Harlech Castle What was life like in the 13th Century in a Castle? Step back in time with the Ardudwy knights and for added fun take part in an Easter egg hunt. With have-a-go archery, combat displays and weaponry demos.

Comic Con Wales 2018

Get equipped with the RSPB 3rd, 4th, 31st March and 1st April, Binocular and Telescope weekend, Conwy Get hands-on advice from the friendly experts at RSPB Conwy. Whether you’re looking for your first pair of binoculars or thinking about upgrading your telescope, you will find something which will suit your needs. From 10am4pm.

Wales Comic Con returns to Willam Aston Hall in Wrexham from 21st-22nd April. Meet comic book artists, film and TV stars and sports personalities, ask them a few hard-hitting questions at the free Q&A sessions and collect autographs. With stars like Seth Gilliam and Alana Masterson from The Walking Dead and Esme Bianco from GOT, to James Marsters of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame. Various weekend ticket packages. March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 7

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Spring science at Techniquest

The ‘Secret World of Gases’ live science shows, weekends only between 3rd-18th March The Secret World of Gases is an exciting new show for families exploring the gases that are all around us, and how they will be used in the future. Suitable for families with children aged 5-12 years. 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Toddler Day, 12th March and 9th April, 10am-3pm (last admission 1pm) A special Witches and Wizards themed day for little ones under five and their carers when the science centre is quieter. The themed day includes story time, a craft activity and the run of the centre for exploration at their level makes for a great family day. The ‘Operation Earth’ live science show, 24th MarchApril 8th, weekends between 14th April and 29th April Take part in Operation Earth, an exciting new family show exploring the amazing stories and science of the environment. For ages 6-11 years. 1.30pm and 3.30pm. Techzone: ‘Art Attack’, 17th March A club developed for all those who just love robots, computer programming and LEGO® machines. An all-day activity that school aged children will find both interesting and fun, which takes place on the third Saturday of each month. Booking is essential. 10am3.30pm. Call 01978 293315 or visit

Pontio Shows

Mid Wales Opera: Eugene Onegin, 8th March, Mid Wales Opera soloists join forces with local aspiring singers including Kiefer Jones and Morgana Warren-Jones to perform operatic excerpts in the informal setting of Bar Ffynnon. Tickets cost £19/£18. Starts 7.30pm.

Dr John Cooper Clarke with Guests, 16th March John Cooper Clarke shot to prominence in the 1970s as the original ‘people’s poet’. This show is a mix of classic verse, extraordinary new material, hilarious ponderings on modern life, good honest gags, riffs and chat. 12+. Tickets cost £16-£26.50.

Bangor University Symphony Orchestra, 10th March, 7.30pm The University Symphony Orchestra presents a concert of atmospheric music, including two rarely-heard masterpieces. The concert also includes a concerto performance by the winner of the School of Music’s annual soloist competition. Tickets cost £12/£10 concession.

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra: The Power of Love, 13th April, 7.30pm From the Verdi’s hot-blooded overture, to the serene warmth and endless tunes of Brahms’s sunniest symphony, this concert is all about love! Tickets £18/ £16 concession.

BBC National Orchestra of Wales

1940s Festival returns to Colwyn Bay

Get your vintage on and head to Colwyn Bay on 20th and 21st April for the return of the town’s Hayden and Mozart, celebration of all things 16th March , Bangor 1940s. This will be the sixth University, 7.30pm festival and the event runs Internationally both days from 10am-4pm. renowned baroque Organised by the Bay of Colwyn Business violinist Rachel Podger directs BBC NOW Network, it will be held around the town in a programme of Haydn & Mozart See page 79 centre and includes cookery demos at Bangor University. for a delicious and local food producers showing the offer from vibrancy of the area with a World War Family Concert, Venue Concert, Llaeth-y-llan II twist. With live 40s style music, Llandudno, 3pm to celebrate St displays and entertainment, replica Take a journey into classical music military planes, vehicles, weapons display with BBC National Orchestra of David’s Day! and the Ballroom Blitz Dance at Parc Wales’ ever popular family concert. Eirias. Tickets cost £15.

Great March fun at Erddig St David’s Day Celebrations, 3rd and 4th March There will be daffodils and leeks aplenty at Erddig, as the grand house celebrates St David’s Day this March. Ever wanted to learn a little Welsh? If so, then you won’t want to miss out on these fun St David’s Day celebrations over the first weekend of March, which will include Welsh language sessions. Children won’t be forgotten either, as there will be plenty of crafts and activities to enjoy throughout the weekend. This event is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue. Event runs from 11am-4pm both days.

Carnival time at Wrexham’s new arts hub Wrexham’s brand new arts and market hub Ty Pawb will open its doors to the public on 2nd April for the Dydd Llun Pawb Festival. This is a day-long celebration with a carnival atmosphere, featuring live music, performing arts, craft, food and drink stalls, and a range of activities for visitors of all ages. Meaning ‘Everybody’s Monday,’ Dydd Llun Pawb brings back an old Wrexham tradition, where locals would descend into the town for a day of festivities on the Monday following the annual spring market. It will commence with a parade, celebrating all that is special about the town. Free entry.

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Voted Best Family Attraction Registered Charitable Incorporated Organisation Charity No 1156684


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Meet the Easter bunny FREE Easter egg hunt

Daily shows in the Forest Theatre

Easter crafts


Easter fun!

24th March - 15th April Open daily 10am-5.30pm


takeover day! (2nd April)

GreenWood, Y Felinheli, Gwynedd. Use sat nav LL55 3AD

Book online & save

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Wrexham Symphony Orchestra Orchestra in Residence at Glyndŵr University

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra is one of the most progressive orchestras in the North Wales and North West England area. Wrexham Symphony Orchestra (Orchestra in residence at Wrexham Glyndwr University) 49th Concert Season continues with our Mahler Charitable Concert Series (Sponsored by Cobalz Limited) Saturday May 19th 2018 at 7.30pm William Aston Hall, Mold Road, Wrexham LL11 2AW

Mahler Symphony No 9 Raising awareness of the impact of Alzheimer’s and Dementia and raising funds for the work of the Wrexham Memory Clinic and our new, exciting new project with Pendine Park Care Home Organisation. Conductor: Richard Howarth Leader: Mark Lansom

Tickets for all WSO concerts are available from; Glyndŵr box Office (0844 888 9991; online at and Wrexham Tourist Information Centre in Lambpit Street, Wrexham (01978 292015). Llangollen Tourist Information Centre (O1978 860828). Glyndwr Box Office on (0844 888 9991). Family Ticket: £20 (2 Adults and up to four children), Balcony: Adults £12 (No concessions). Stalls: Adults £10 (concessions £8); Children U16 and FT Students: £2.

RUTHIN GAOL Ruthin gaol is the only purpose-built Pentonville style prison open to the public as a heritage attraction. People can spend time exploring its nooks and crannies and learn about life in the Victorian prison system. See how the prisoners lived their daily lives: what they ate, how they worked, and the punishments they suffered.

Opening times 26 Mar - 30 September, Every day except Tuesdays, 10am -5pm

P L A S N E W Y D D, L L A N G O L L E N Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby captured the imagination of Regency society. They received a stream of visitors to the unpretentious little cottage which, over the years, they transformed into a Gothic fantasy of projecting stained glass and elaborately carved oak. Visit the House, Gardens & Café.

Opening times 30 Mar - 30 September, Every day, 10.30 - 5pm

Llanuwchllyn, near Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7DD

N A N T C LW Y D Y D R E Take a trip through the seven ages of Nantclwyd y Dre, Wales’s oldest dated timbered town house. The house was started in 1435 and has been added to, updated and upgraded throughout the centuries, and now has been beautifully restored. Visit the House and Gardens.

Opening times 7 April - 30 September, Open Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon from 11am (closing times vary, see website for details)


Included in admission unless otherwise stated

Steam trains in southern Snowdonia Beautiful lake and mountain views

Family friendly attraction – dog friendly too! Open most days from 25th March

Easter Egg Hunt - 30th March to 2nd April

Can you find the Easter Eggs cunningly hidden on the railway to solve the puzzle and win a prize?

Great fun for all the family! Bala Model Railway Show - 26th to 28th May Bala Lake Festival of Transport - 27th & 28th May

Two great shows connected by steam train – see our website

For further information and advance tickets 01678 540666 010_SHIRE_MA2018.indd 1

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What’s on at Rhyl Pavilion


include Dorothy Moore; Sheila David Gest’s Soul Legends – Ferguson of the Three Degrees; The Legacy Tour, Kiki Dee; Freda Payne; Fern 6th March, 7.30pm Kinney; Junior GC Cameron For the past decade music of The Spinners and former lovers have been treated to member of the performances from DID YOU Temptations. Tickets: soul legends in a KNOW? £49, £39, £32, Meet unique show created A quarter of & Greet £98. by the one and the UK’s annual only David Gest. Willy Russell’s Each year bringing flower sales are Blood Brothers, together a host of spent on 19th-24th March, music icons with the Mother’s Day 7.30pm songs that made them Blood Brothers tells the famous – few concerts captivating and moving tale of have been packed with so many twins who, separated at birth, legendary hits! Hosted by Pearly grow up on opposite sides of Gates of the Flirtations guests

the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. Tickets from £20. The Magic of Hollywood – Pasha Kovalev and Anya Garnis, 14th April, 7.30pm This amazing new show will be jam packed with sequins, glitz and glamour as Pasha takes to the stage with his sensational dancers. Dazzling, stunning, unforgettable, unique, uplifting and interactive, this show which will entertain audiences of all ages. £18.50 concessions £1.50 off, Meet & Greet £38.50.

Treat your mum on Llangollen Railway sandwiches, assorted sweet treats, (with tea or coffee) and a glass of bubbly. Adults £32, children £17.

Mother’s Day Trips, 11th March, 1pm-2.40pm Take a return trip through the beautiful Dee Valley. Enjoy an afternoon tea with a selection of finger

Real Ale Train, 31st March Step on board and soak up the atmosphere whilst enjoying the real ales on offer at our well stocked bar. Double return journey – depart 6.30pm and arrive back 9.30pm. Early tickets

Sping events at Chirk Castle Raye Bower art exhibition, 10th March-29th April An exhibition of artwork in the castle exhibition rooms. The theme of the exhibition is the nature of the estate, particularly focusing on the wildlife and the veteran trees that can be found on the estate. Mindfulness in the Woods, 16th March, 28th-29th April Mindfulness in the Woods is a

session on mindfulness in a natural setting by local provider Woodland Classroom. Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, 30th March-2nd April An Easter themed hunt on Easter weekend with a Cadbury chocolate prize for completing the trail! Normal Admission charges apply and there is an additional charge to take part in the trail.

£18, £20 on the night, and includes a free Llangollen Railway pint glass. With a cafe, bar and BBQ on the platform afterwards. To book visit www.

Music at Llangollen Museum Medieval Flute Concerts, 10th and 12th March Internationally acclaimed flautist Cecile Broquet will play interludes of medieval flute music from 2pm-4pm on the 10th March, then on 12th, Cecile will hold an hour long concert at 7.30pm. Tickets £5.

•10th March-22nd April,

Rob Piercy, Mor a Myndd A celebration of the diverse and dramatic landscape of north west Wales displayed in this collection of work which reflects the artist’s passion for nature in all its varied forms.

10th March, Wrexham Running Festival Starting and finishing in Wrexham town centre, there’s sure to be a good crowd cheering you on your way for what will be a fast course for both races with a few ups and downs along the way. The full marathon starts 9am with the half marathon at 10.30am, both routes meet up on Redwither Lane and run the remaining nine miles together.

10th March, Connah’s Quay Record and CD Fair, Civic Hall, Connah’s Quay Music covering all genres with 30 stalls of rare and collectable music. 50p entry, concessions free. 10am-4pm.

11th March, Mothering Sunday Event, Lyons Nant Hall, Prestatyn Treat your mum to a delicious four-course Mother’s Day dinner prepared by the talented head chef at Nant Hall in this specially created menu and event for mothers.

17th March, Anglesey Farmers’ Market, David Hughes School, Menai Bridge A wide selection of quality food producers come together on the third Saturday of each month from 9am to 1pm to form Anglesey Farmers Market. The indoor location has plenty of space for browsing with lots of free parking space right outside.

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 11

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•18th March, Craft and Vintage

Fair, The Royal International Pavilion, Llangollen Mold Come along and browse the stalls at this popular fair. With vintage goods and handmade crafts. Parking onsite. From 10am-4pm.

•19th-25th March, Ladbrokes

Players Championship, Venue Cymru, Llandudno The best snooker players on the planet will be heading to the Ladbrokes Players Championship. Televised by ITV4, the Ladbrokes Players Championship boasts an elite field of the best 16 cue kings. Players must battle throughout the season to earned one of those coveted 16 spots.

Theatr Clwyd Private Lives, 20th-24th March, 7.30pm 1930. Deauville, France. Two newly-married couples occupy adjoining honeymoon suites in the same hotel. As a distant orchestra plays, Sibyl gazes adoringly at charismatic husband Elyot, while Victor admires his new wife, the sophisticated Amanda. Full of razor-sharp wit and quick-fire dialogue, Private Lives remains Coward’s most popular and enduring stage comedy. Tickets £10. MET – Cosi fan tutte, 31st March, 5.55pm Phelim McDermott returns to the Met staging Mozart’s comedy Così fan tutte, led by David

•26th March, Conwy Seed Fair,

Conwy High Street & Lancaster Square 700 year old charter fair, founded by Edward 1st, held in Conwy High Street and Lancaster Square. Plant and seed stalls, local crafts, local produce, honey and home produce.

Spring has sprung at Penrhyn Castle and Garden

•30th March-2nd April,

Wales Premier Youth Football Tournament, Prestatyn The Wales Challenge Cup is a magnet for teams from all over the UK. The tournament is played at Prestatyn Town FC and Rhyl FC.

•4th and 18th April, Aberclwyd

Manor – Open Garden for NGS, Conwy Four-acre garden on a sloping hillside overlooking the Upper Clwyd Valley. An Italianate garden of box hedging lies below the house and shrubs, ponds, perennials, roses and an orchard. £3.50, children free. 11am-4pm.

Woodland Ranger drop-in days Every Thursday through February to 22nd March you can follow the new walkway down to Penrhyn’s newly built wooden hide, Cwt Ogwen, alongside the River Ogwen. See the rangers at work and have a chat about how they care for the woodland. 11am-3pm. Spring Bee Trail, 17th March-15th April Penrhyn is home to some very special honey bees, who help to keep the garden growing, pollinating the flowers. Discover more about these amazing creatures on this fun family bee trail. Normal admission, 10.30am-4pm. Cadbury Egg Hunt, 24th March-8th April With Easter on the way, the Cadbury Bunny has hidden his clues amongst the flowers and trees around the castle. £2 per hunt includes a prize, plus normal admission. 10.30am-4pm

Robertson. This is a co-production with the English National Opera.

DID YOU KNOW? Ruby Wax has a mindfulness degree from Oxford Uni

Mountainface, 6th April, 7pm Mountainface is charming and melodic, lovingly understated and carefully crafted. This talented trio have a wealth of promise to their name. With support from Me & Deboe and Andy Hickie. Tickets £7 (£8 on the door). Ruby Wax – Frazzled, 22nd April, 7.30pm Drop dead gorgeous, sassy and smart, Ruby Wax brings her new five star one-woman show based on her number one best seller A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled. Once crazy, now a little less so, she gives a tour of the mind – and how to use it, not lose it. Tickets £20.

Plas Newydd in spring Primrose Walk, 24th March Join the Gardener at Plas Newydd for a walk through the primroses and breathe in some wonderful spring air. Free event. 10am-12pm. Easter Trail, 30th March-2nd April Hunt the clues in the grounds and gardens and win a prize for completion. £3 per trail. www.national

The Snowdonia steams into Ffestiniog Railway This annual fundraising event returns on 14th April. Experience various modes of traction and learn about plans for the future. The 80 mile round trip sets off from Porthmadog and utilises three England locomotives on the Ffestiniog section of the journey - Prince, Palmerston and Welsh Pony. Lunch and snacks included. Departs 8.45am, returns 6.15pm. www. festrail.

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ouvenir from Wales | Cynnyrch da o Gymru gly made by Gareth Roberts and his Family |


Whole Welsh Cow’s Milk Powder, Sugar, hes (29.6%), Water,

vouring, Citric Acid, assium Sorbate), Lactobacillus

e: See Ingredients in Bold

Nutritional Information per 100g Energy kcals/kJ ......... 105kcals/444kJ Fat...............................................2.8g of which saturates .................... 1.5g Carbohydrates ............................ 14.5g of which sugars ......................... 14g Protein .........................................5.4g Salt.............................................. 0.1g Fibre............................................0.2g Calcium ........................................0.2g CALCIUM 23% NRV Suitable for vegetarians GM free Gluten free



Enjoy by: see USE BY on lid Keep cool (2˚C – 5˚C)

125g ℮

NEW FOR 2018



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Dee • Personalised Candles, Cards & Lovespoons DayRiver Tickets • Welsh Crafts & Souvenirs • Jewellery • Café Available • Wool Shop • Fishing Tackle, Maggots & Worms

AND VISIT OUR MILL SHOP See the weaving and water powered turbine. We manufacture traditional Welsh bedspreads, travelling rugs and tweeds on site. Visit our shop to purchase our pure wool products plus cushions, throws, bags & purses made up in our fabrics. We also source a wide range of distinctive knitwear and accessories in natural fibres. We have lots of new stock coming in for Easter including summer ladieswear, jewellery and scarves.

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

Shop open: Monday - Saturday Weaving: Monday - Friday (except Bank Holidays)

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Corwen Manor

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Snowdonia Nurseries and Garden Centre Visit our garden centre and discover our inspirational flower displays and choose from a wide range of fresh plant stock including roses, colourful bedding and fruit trees.

You will find the perfect additions to brighten and enrich a winter garden.

hot or cold beverage and choose from our varied selection of delicious snacks.

You can also take a break and relax at our newly refurbished coffee rooms, enjoy a

Take your time to browse and find that special gift from our beautiful new gift-ware ranges.

Opening Hours

Contact Information

Monday 9:00am - 5pm Tuesday 9:00am - 5pm Wednesday 9:00am - 5pm Thursday 9:00am - 5pm Friday 9:00am - 5pm Saturday 9:00am - 5pm Sunday 10:30am - 4:30pm

Snowdonia Nurseries & Garden Centre, Glan Conwy, Conwy LL28 5SR

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What’s on at Venue Cymru Stand Up & Rock featuring Jasper Carrott and the Bev Bevan Band, 25th March, Starts 7.30pm Jasper Carrott is back with a new stand up show before introducing his musical compatriots that have been ‘rockin’ audiences all over the world. Bev Bevan, as well as being Jasper’s mate has rock star credentials that most dream of… founding member of The Move and ELO, Bev’s band is one of the finest around. Don’t miss this totally unique show! Tickets £25.

Tiddler and other Terrific Tales, 26th-27th March, 2pm Under the sea, out on the farm and into the jungle, these terrific tales are woven together with live music, puppetry and a whole host of colourful characters from Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s best-loved titles. Tickets £14, child £11.50. Russell Brand Re:Birth Tour, 4th April, 8pm Brand brings his own unique brand of humour, observation,

Spring is in the air at Plas Newydd Red Squirrel Walks and Talks – daily 11.30am, 1pm Join the new red Squirrel Ranger volunteers for a walk and talk around the garden to to learn more about Anglesey’s red squirrels. Spring nature trail, 25th March-15th April, 11am-4pm Follow in the footsteps of the creatures that make Plas Newydd their home and discover the wonderful wildlife this spring on the new Willow Art nature trail.

Nature Days with Wild Elements, 28th March, 4th, 11th April, 11am-3.30pm Nature explorers can join the amazing Wild Elements team and get back to nature with a host of wildlife inspired activities. The Great Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, 30th March-2nd April, 11am-3.30pm The creatures at Plas Newydd are hiding from Bunny. Can you help find and identify his wildlife friends and claim your chocolatey prize? £2 per hunt. Normal entry applies.

political insight and general madness in his brand new tour. Tickets £27.50. Not suitable for under 16s. Hairspray! 30th April, 7.30pm It’s Baltimore, 1962 where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Featuring a host of stars, tons of comedy and hit songs. Tickets £20-40.

Llanberis Lake Railway

Easter Egg Hunt, 16th and 17th April This Easter, head down to Llanberis Lake Railway and hunt for the Easter eggs cunningly hidden around the railway and stations. There will be prizes for the kids and keep a look out for the white rabbit! For more information visit www. for prices and departure times.

Jones the Boats: the stream in the sky From April 5th, every first Thursday of the month enjoy one of Jones The Boats Afternoon Tea trips. Sip tea and indulge in a wonderful spread

of sandwiches, scones and homemade cakes while taking in stunning views of the valley. A table for two costs £18pp. 2-4pm.

Llangollen Walking Festival From the 4th-7th May, this popular walking festival returns and takes walkers on some incredible routes in and around the Clwydian Range, Dee Valley and Pontcysyllte UNESCO World Heritage Site. www.

15th April, Try Canal Boating for Free, Anglo Welsh, Canal Wharf, Trevor Drifters Waterway Holidays and the Canal and River Trust are offering people the chance to try canal boating for free at 20 locations across England and Wales, including Trevor on the Llangollen Canal. The taster sessions will include free short trips on skippered narrowboats, boat tours and holiday discounts. Free. 11am-4pm.

15th April, Heather Small, William Aston Hall, Wrexham Come and marvel at the talents of Heather, soul singer and former M-People vocalist, winner of two Brit Awards and the Mercury Music Prize. Tickets £31.35. 7pm.

20th April, The Circus of Horrors, William Aston Hall, Wrexham The troupe celebrates its 21st anniversary with its latest spectacular featuring an amalgamation of bizarre, brave and beautiful acts all woven into an Alice in Horrorland type story. £19.80 (£17.60).

20th April, Bernie Marsden, Tivoli, Buckley The former Whitesnake guitarist is back for a second helping of the electric Tiv atmosphere! 7pm.

21st April, Mold Record & CD Fair, The Daniel Owen Community Centre, Mold 23 stalls of rare and collectable music, vinyl, CDs, tapes, DVDs and memorabilia. Adults 50p, conc. free. Open 10am-4pm.

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Spring performances: Welsh National Opera

What’s on at Portmeirion

by a stray bullet from Alvaro’s gun, it triggers an Toscana, 4th-6th April, 7pm, Venue Cymru inescapable chain of events. Verdi’s epic opera is told The turbulent backdrop of Rome during the through a rousing score. Held at Venue Cymru. Napoleon invasion is an apt setting for this thrilling story of love, lust, loyalty and DID YOU Don Giovanni Mozart, corruption. Puccini characterises the KNOW? 17th-19th April, 7pm, Venue Cymru drama through his exquisite melodies Mozart composed Based on the legend of Don Juan, and orchestration, and fabulous arias Welsh National Opera’s production that have made this one of the besthis first great loved operas in the world. mass at the age is set during the Spanish Golden Age. Mozart reflects both comedy of 12! and tragedy brilliantly in the score La forza del destino Verdi, 7th April culminating in the heart-stopping finale. Don Alvaro and the beautiful Leonora Visit for ticket information. plan to elope, but when her father is killed

What’s on at Theatr Colwyn NT Live: Julius Caesar, 3rd April Caesar returns in triumph to Rome and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated élite conspire to bring him down. Starring Ben Wishaw, Michelle Fairley, David Calder, David Morrissey. Starts 7pm. Tickets £12. Bristol Old Vic – Messiah, 4th April Inspired by Handel’s profound religious masterpiece, this story explores the drama and struggle of faith, showing a group of people whose grief at the loss of their leader is

transformed into hope through a narrative of resurrection. The Apostles gradually realise their mission is to redeem the world by sharing the story of Jesus’s life and death with all humanity. 7pm. £12/£11. Carpenters Gold, 28th April, 7.30pm, £20 Carpenters Gold authentically performs the original bands greatest hits and captures the atmosohere perfectly.

Cruises at Llangollen Wharf

Bangor Science Festival

Head over to the Llangollen Wharf and take a trip along the canal and into the Dee Valley World Heritage Site to see the season in bloom. From 10th March 45-minute horse-drawn boat trips run daily with boats leaving every 30 minutes. If you like a longer experience, the two-hour trip heads further into the valley to the Horseshoe Falls every Saturday and Sunday in season plus Tuesdays in school holidays. Various tickets available.

As part of National Science and Engineering Week, Bangor Science Festival offers something for everyone. From 10th-17th March families and schools groups, adults looking for entertainment and stimulating debate, or professionals interested in the latest research can take part in activites. The Hidden Worlds Exhibition offers interactive science for all the family on 10th March, while the Computer Science Careers Expo and the Sustainable Resources Careers events on 14th March can help students discover more about relevant training opportunities in North Wales. www.bangor.

Relaxing art and craft residential weekend, 9th-11th March Grow and create, learn new skills, discover and nurture your inner artist/writer/ poet and enjoy a variety of fun-filled and mindful activities including painting, writing, pyrography, needle felting and clay modelling. Includes three nights’ accommodation, breakfast, craft supplies and materials. The 6th Trail, 24th March If you want a challenge but aren’t quite up to the London Marathon, Portmeirion’s 6th Trail may be a more realistic (and fun) option. The 6km race takes place along mythical paths, enchanted woods and areas of natural beauty. There’s even a children’s race this year. Portmericon, 20th-22nd April A celebration of the TV series The Prisoner. Staged by the series’ official society, in the original filming location, there’s a full programme of activities and entertainment for members of Six of One including re-enactments, screenings, discussions, costumes and guests.

Great GreenWood activities at Easter There’s so much to do this Easter at Greenwood from craft-making to Easter egg hunts. Why not try your hand at archery and have fun in the forest? See Nader’s Pyro Art, John the wood turner, Crafty Bugwug plus hair braiding, face painting and more. Phew!

16 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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3rd Llangollen Round Challenge


2nd and 3rd June 2018 Up for a Challenge? Hike 35 miles over either one or two days and raise money for Cancer Research UK. The scenic route of the Challenge includes all the summits around the Vale of Llangollen and attracts walkers from all over the country. It’s tough, but go on - you can do it! • Route fully waymarked and marshalled • Views extend from Shropshire to Snowdonia • 5 checkpoints offer refreshments • Certificates and medals for everyone • Around 500 participants from all over the UK For more information, go to, or phone Judy on 07905330788

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The ge l len e h C a and w n ke u f a s i to m nt aim rd eve 3 t s i s th be the t! ye


New for 2018

Two hour trip with Afternoon Tea. First Thursday of each month. Ring to book.

The Old Wharf, Trevor, Llangollen Follow our signs from LL14 3SG • W: E: • T: +44 (0) 1978 824 166

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25th April, Plas Cadnant Hidden Gardens – Open Garden for NGS, Menai Bridge Picturesque valley gardens with waterfalls, large ornamental walled garden, woodland and early pit house. 12pm-5pm. Entry £7, children £2. Tea Room.

27th April, Knit and Natter, Ruabon Library Friendly knit and natter session for all abilities. Refreshments provided. Every other Friday.

28th April-10th June, Josie Russell: New Works, Oriel Mon Gallery, Holyhead Views and vistas from all over Wales, famous landmarks, traditional images, flora and fauna all come together to form Josie’s 2018 exhibition.

What’s on William Aston Hall featuring fellow stars from the Feeder, 5th March, 7pm, £27.50 decade, China Crisis. Hear old The band’s biggest tour for classics and get into the groove, 10 years will see them playing 80s style at this not-to-betracks spanning an impressive missed show. Tickets £25. 21 years of releases. Feeder first shot to fame in 1996. Beauty and the Beast, Since then they DID YOU 28th March 1.30pm, have released nine KNOW? £18-£20 studio albums, three Disney tried to This Easter compilations, make Beauty and pantomime stars 41 E.P.s and singles the Beast in the comedy legend and spent over 181 1930s and 1950s Bobby Davro and weeks on the singles CBBC’s Dani and albums charts. Harmer, star of Tracey Beaker. Telling the classic story Paul Young plus guests China of Belle and her Beast, expect Crisis, 15th March, 7.30pm plenty of laughs, audience Heart-throb from 1980s, Paul participation and more! Young presents this special show

Wrexham Museum exhibitions In Sickness & In Health, ongoing exhibition Rowland’s Chemists have been providing medicines to the people of north Wales for over 200 years. This ‘Big Case’ display explores the history of medicine, health and disease through these historic collections.

28th April, Llanidan Hall – Open Garden for NGS, Brynsiencyn, Gwynedd Walled garden with herb gardens, ornamental vegetable garden, herbaceous borders, water features and many varieties of old roses. Sheep, rabbits and hens to see. Llanidan Church will be open for viewing. The walled garden will be open early in the season. £3.50, children free. Light refreshments. 10am-4pm.

Brymbo: Foundries, Furnaces and Faith, ongoing exhibtion A small village in the Denbighshire coalfield with a world renowned reputation for

29th April, Maenan Hall – Open Garden for NGS, Llanrwst, Gwynedd, Four hectares on the slopes of the Conwy Valley, with dramatic views of Snowdonia. With sweeping lawns, ornamental ponds and retaining walls, and the bluebell carpeted woodland dell contain copious specimen shrubs and trees many originating at Bodnant. £4, children free. 10.30am-5.30pm.

quality steel making, Brymbo is the focus of the latest ‘People & Places’ display in the main gallery. Stuffed, Pickled and Pinned, 1st March-7th April A touring exhibition which includes many mysteries and marvels from the natural world such as ossicles, bezoars, baleen, a well-travelled Chihuahua, the rostrum of a saw fish and the duck-billed platypus.

Kim Wilde, 11th April, 7pm, £25-£32.50 Kim Wilde is back! After bursting onto the pop scene in 1981 with the global hit Kids In America, she’s enjoyed a career with over 30 million record sales spanning 12 albums and some of the most memorable hits of the 80s including, Chequered Love and You Keep Me Hangin’ On.

Spot a star at Rhuddlan Castle

Easter Fun, 1st-4th April Come and join John as he tells stories, decorate a biscuit as a yummy Easter bonnet, play the Easter quiz and there’s a free Easter egg for the first 200 children.

Fantasy and fun at Sci-fi Weekender

Storytelling fun, 4th April Enjoy some classic story telling with John and try your hand at archery training for children with Grace.

The Sci-fi and Fantasy Weekender returns to Hafan y Mor in Pwllheli on 22nd-25th March in this festival for those who love science fiction, fantasy, horror, gaming, and cosplay. SFW 9 will be packed with activities; big-name guests, interviews, Q&A sessions, movie screenings, comic workshops, video gaming, music, book

Stargazing at Rhuddlan, 22nd April, 7.30pm Take a tour of the night sky and see if you can spot familiar and unfamiliar constellations of the northern hemisphere. Learn the correct use of binoculars and navigation via star maps. Ages 12+. Wear warm clothes, bring a torch and a blanket.

readings and plenty more. SFW 9 will be taking over the complete site, boasting seven zones. For a full line-up and a range of tickets packages visit

18 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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U P T O 2 0 % O F F P L U S F R E E S T O R AG E

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Aberystwyth Arts Centre

1st March, Sophie Willan: Branded, Theatr Mwldan Bath House Road, Cardigan Fresh from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sophie Willan has had a lifetime of being branded by others. In her smash hit new show, this brutally honest breakout star returns to tell us why. 8pm. £12/conc. £11.

3rd March, Smiley & The Underclass, The Globe at Hay Infused with the bass-heavy vibrations of roots and dub music, and a deadly concoction of lyrics and guitars reminiscent of The Clash and Bob Dylan, The Underclass are punkyreggae monsters, with catchy tunes and mind-altering garage guitars. 8pm. £5.

3rd March, The National Cycle Museum Jumble Sale and MiniAuction, Royal British Legion, Llandrindod Wells Find a bargain at this cycle jumble/ mini auction of surplus cycles from the National Cycle Museum. 9am-12pm.

Belle And Sebastian, 9th March, 8pm, £35 The legendary indie-pop band have announced a new tour in support of their forthcoming album How to Solve our Human Problems.

WOW Film Festival, 15th-21st March This muchloved festival returns for its sixteenth edition to take you on a journey across the world from the comfort of your cinema seat. This year, DID YOU its special focus is ‘Tales from the Silk KNOW? Road’, a cinematic journey across the The earliest heart of the world.

Terra Firma: National Dance Company of Wales, 13th March, 7.30pm, £12-£14 puppets date from Terra Firma tells stories drawn from ancient Greece Oskar’s Amazing Adventure, 15th the very ground on which we build around 500BC April, 2pm, £8 (£6 concessions) our communities. Folk is a vintage An original, fairy-tale, set in a rich fantastical world heartwarming and under the boughs of an upside-down tree, entertaining play for young as darkly whimsical as it is enchanting. Tundra is children and their families, a barren landscape where ultra-modern creativity full of good humour, blinks into life and tears pages from Russian folk adventure, music and song. dance and revolution. Atalaÿ is a watch tower from Desperate for some which far off lands can be fun, Oskar leaves seen from four points; a the snowbound little contagious dance influenced house on top of the mountain to try to find by the the warmth of the a friendly animal to play with. But where are Mediterranean. they all?

Easter and fundraising at WLLR Easter Bunny Train, 31st March-2nd April Special trains run all Easter weekend. Spot Easter eggs along the line, get a scrummy chocolate egg and take a selfie with the Easter Bunny!

5th March, Art Workshops, Pengwernydd, Ystrad Meurig Tailor-made and inspiring art workshops set in the beautiful Cambrian Mountains. Courses cost £45pp, £50 with lunch, and can be combined with a stay at Pengwernydd.

Sierra Leone Independence Day, 28th April Celebrate the working life of engine No.85 in Sierra Leone and its links to the country in. this fundraising initiative.

7th March, Stewart Lee – Content Provider, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon Stewart Lee’s new full-length show Age 16+. From 7.30pm, tickets £18.

The Vale of Rheidol Railway is steaming up for 2018

From the 17th March, trains will be running daily until November. Travelling on the railway is the finest way to explore the stunning Rheidol Valley. Opened in 1902, the railway is a masterpiece of engineering and has been delighting passengers for generations, and carrying tourists to the beauty spot of Devil’s Bridge for over a hundred years! The journey starts in Aberystwyth, in Cardigan Bay and runs for twelve miles to Devil’s Bridge in the Cambrian Mountains, home of the famous Mynach Falls. Go to www.

Get outdoors at Elan Valley Rhayader Around the Lakes, 3rd March, 10am This fun 20m/5m plus kids race is organised by Rhayader Running Club. Registration takes place in Rhayader Leisure Centre and Primary School. Powys Ramblers Walk, 26th March, 10am Chris Jones of Powys Ramblers will lead an eight mile moderate circular walk around Ty’n-y-pant and Nant Madog from Elan Village. Please wear suitable footwear and clothing and bring a packed lunch. Meet at the Elan Village Green at 10am. Blast Off! Bottle Rockets, 28th March, 10am-12pm, and 1pm-3pm Design, manufacture and launch your own rocket. Only £3 for your rocket materials. Please book in advance on 01597 810880. Easter Egg Scramble, 30th March-2nd April, 10am-4pm An Easter Treasure Hunt for the whole family around the Visitor Centre and Cnwch Wood – work together for your chance to win an Easter Egg! £1 per child.

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WHAT’S ON MID WALES BBC National Orchestra of Wales heads to Aberystwyth

Mid Wales Gigs Into the Ark, Thursday 8th March, The Hafren Llanidloes Road, Newtown Into The Ark announces the release of a brand new acoustic single recorded live at the world famous RAK Studios in London. The duo will also embark upon their debut US tour as guests of Sir Tom Jones in May/June. 7.30pm. £12. Call 01686 61455.

as a selection from his Genesis archive. £17. 01874 611622.

The UpBeat Beatles, 24th March, Pavilion Mid Wales, Llandrindod Wells, 6.45pm And Finally...Phil DID YOU These four supremely Collins, 10th March, KNOW? talented guys play Theatr Brycheiniog, None of The 13 guitars, undergo Brecon, 7.30pm Beatles ever five costume Now in its 11th year, learned to read changes and provide this well-established, music! great powerhouse professional, vocals and close and entertaining harmonies, teamed with production perform an a driving backbeat to give you action packed two hours of the a night you’ll never forget. £20, best-known songs from Grammy conc. £18 or £25 on the door. award winner, Phil Collins. All the classics are included as well

Fab Easter events at Gregynog Hall

World Book Day, Sunday 4th March, 12pm – 4pm The Library will be open to coincide with World Book Day. Rare books will be on display, and Mary Oldham the Hall’s librarian will be on hand. Mothering Sunday, Sunday 11th March, Arrive for 12.30pm, Sit Down 1pm Treat your Mother to a three-course Sunday Lunch, in the Music Room. £23.95 per person, £11.95 per child. Each Mother will get a complimentary gift. Booking is required for this event. Easter Weekend, Friday March 30th – Monday 2nd April, Children’s Trail, 11am – 3pm Come and enjoy this ever popular trail which runs over the Easter Weekend. Lots of family friendly fun following the trail through the Dingle. Flopsy, the Gregynog Bunny will be making a return and telling stories in his hutch. £5 per child and includes an Easter Gift.

The Bon Jovi Experience, 14th April, Pavilion Mid Wales, Llandrindod Wells The world’s first and finest Bon Jovi tribute! Tickets £20, conc. £18 or £25 on the door. Doors open 6.45pm. Call 01597 258118 or visit

Eco know-how courses at CAT Sustainable Woodland Management, 1st-2nd March This course is aimed at those currently managing or planning to manage woodland who wish to learn how to add value to a woodland from a social, economic/ecological standpoint. Growing Fruit, 24th-25th March Thriving fruit trees are a joy to behold, but the practices of propagation, pruning and disease control can seem confusing. This course unlocks the mysteries by looking at the science behind fruit growing, 10am-3pm. Build a Tiny House, 27th-30th April

Learn how to make a beautiful and bespoke tiny house from the ground up including the timber frame structure, interior and renewable systems. Carwyn Jones master craftsman will guide you through an inspiring and practical week that is jam-packed with practical hands-on exercises and talks from experts you’ll leave the course feeling ready to exert your artistic flair on a tiny house of your own. Whether that’s a little off-grid home, a workspace in the garden or a glamping pod for summer getaways. 10am-5pm. Call 01654 704966 for more information or visit

Hayden and Mozart, 16th March, Aberystwyth Arts Centre, 7.30pm Internationally renowned baroque violinist Rachel Podger has performed as a soloist and guest director with many of the world’s top orchestras. She directs BBC NOW in a programme at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, which is sure to be a mustsee concert. Tickets £15£20. Call 01920 623232 or visit www.aberystwyth

The Fox Antifreeze

Get out into the fresh air on 4th March for the Fox Antifreeze! This is a multi-lap, chip-timed, staggered-start mountain bike endurance challenge staged at Coed y Brenin Forest Park. The UK’s original trail centre provides the perfect base for the event. It’s all weather trails and great tree cover provide protection from the elements while still affording spectacular views of the southern Snowdonian mountains, weather permitting. From rocky track to swooping singletrack, Coed y Brenin offers a fine mix of riding that will challenge and delight. The event is based around the Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre. Tickets: £25 plus £2.14 booking fee.

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8th March, The Wood, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon From Owen Thomas, writer of the award winning Grav, comes a brand-new play written to commemorate the centenary of the end of WWI. Two young soldiers, forge a friendship in the heat of the build-up to the infamous battle. 7.30pm. Tickets £12, conc. £10.

10th March, Brecon Farmers Market, Brecon Market Hall The High Street, Brecon Held on the second Saturday of each month from 9.30am to 2pm in the Market Hall. There is a great selection of local meats, organic

fruit and vegetables, cheeses, bread, cakes, and locally brewed bottled beers.

15th March, Aberystwyth Farmers Market, North Parade Award-winning Farmers’ Market hosting up to 30 stalls. Open from 10am-4pm. Free entry.

What’s on at Theatre Hafren The Fureys, 9th March, 8pm As part of their 40th Anniversary tour, these Irish legends return for another great night of music, songs and stories. Hear them sing their timeless classics including I will love you, When you were sweet 16, and Steal away plus songs from their new album The Times they are a changing. Their songs stir many emotions… tears and laughter, sadness and joy. Tickets £20. Into the Ark, 8th March, 7.30pm After starting out busking in Cardiff, Into The Ark decided to build their reputation by hitting the road in the time- honoured tradition. They acquired an old van and toured the UK doing whatever gigs they could, regardless of the town or venue. Two years and over 200 shows later they are able to rise to any occasion. Tickets £12.

Get set, go! It’s Harlech Triathlon

The Harlech Triathlon returns on Sunday 25th March to Castle Square in Harlech. This is one of the well loved races on the UK calendar with numerous aspects which make it a unique experience. Combine this with everything that makes Always Aim High’s triathlons some of the very best in Europe, and Harlech is shaping up to be a truly memorable experience. The event village will feature plenty to see and do throughout the day – from hot and cold food and drinks to partner stalls (even free bacon butties). Entry £48, team/ relay sprint course £58, individual sprint duathlon £38.

18th March, Dolgellau Farmers Market, Eldon Square, Dolgellau A lively market with stalls including local foods and crafts. Open the third Sunday of every month.

23rd-24th March, Dreams Dance School: Around The World, Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan From Bollywood to ballet, get ready for a whirlwind tour of some of the most iconic dance styles in the world. Tickets £9, concessions £8, child £6.

Giovanni Pernice - Born To Win, 20th April Strictly Come Dancing professional, Giovanni Pernice will be joined by seven more world class professionals. Get ready for glitzy costumes, amazing routines and another beautiful story headlined by Giovanni. Tickets £29 (£27 conc). The Producers, 26th-28th April, various times Newtown Musical Theatre Company presents Mel Brooks’ award-winning smash hit. Set in 1959, Broadway’s worst producer schemes with neurotic DID YOU accountant Leo Bloom KNOW? to make millions by Mel Brookes’s putting on a play that is real name is guaranteed to flop. One Melvin James of the funniest shows ever! Tickets £12.50. Kaminsky

Mother’s Day is blooming marvellous at Powis Castle

If you are looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift why not treat her to a fabulous flower arranging workshop and afternoon tea at Powis Castle? On Saturday 17th March between 12pm and 2pm, the local florist, Leanne from Serendipity Flowers and Events, will be on hand to teach mums everything they need to know about creating thier own gorgeous spring flower arrangement. Then, from 2pm-3pm they can indulge in a mouthwateringly delicious afternoon tea alongside a well-earned glass of fizz. Tickets cost £35 per mum and must be booked in advance. Visit www. for booking details and a full programme for the day.

Spring programme at Bleddfa Centre Silence and Stillness, 2nd March and 6th April, 11am-2pm An hour of finding inner calm and power from practising silence and stillness. No need to book, just turn up. Donations welcome. Meditation, 3rd March and 7th April Guided meditation session, led by experienced teachers. 90 minutes. Open to all. Donations welcome. Exhibition: Presteigne Festival Education Outreach Project, 30th March-2nd April and 6-8th April A collaborative project between children from three local schools, a local artist and storyteller, to produce work inspired by the local area. Reading room café open serving hot drinks, cakes and light lunches.

22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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What’s on at Wyeside Arts Centre

developed than our heroes, and are looking to take BWCAS Under the Castle Walls, 8th-10th March, over their valley. Things are look grim for the Stone Age types – can Dug save the day? Market Theatre Caught between the Hazel O’Conner, 26th April, Market Theatre Marcher lords and the A very special evening with award-winning Welsh princes, the villagers of 13th century DID YOU Builth hope for peace and a good singer-songwriter Hazel O’Connor, performing with Cormac de Barra on harvest. But young Thomas hates the KNOW? Irish Harp. The combination of de drudgery of farming and dreams Actors refuse to of adventure. The only problem is refer to Macbeth by Barra’s harp with Hazel’s unforgettable who should he follow – Sir Roger its title as it’s said voice is truly magical. Together they will reach into the very depths of your Mortimer, the lord of Builth castle, to be bad luck! soul. Cormac De Barra has toured the loyal to the English king or Llwelyn world extensively and also performs ap Gruffydd, who has vowed to unite Wales against the English? With lively with Moya Brennan, the voice of Clannad. drama, song and dance, BWCAS whisks you back Macbeth: The Royal Shakespeare Company in time to the highs and lows of medieval Builth. Broadcast Live, 11th April, 7pm, Market Theatre This contemporary production of Shakespeare’s Early Man (U), 24th-29th March, various times darkest psychological thriller marks both Caveman Dug is living a happy life with his Stone Christopher Eccleston’s RSC debut and the return Age tribe until their world of hunting, laughing of Niamh Cusack to the Company. £13.50 full and swapping underwear is thrown into chaos ticket, (£12 concession). For more information call by the arrival of some newcomers. Led by Lord 01982 552555 or visit Nooth, these Bronze Age interlopers are more

Spring steams into Talyllyn Mothering Sunday, 11th March Celebrate your mum this Mothering Sunday and give her the special day that she deserves. King’s Licensed Café will be serving a delightful Sunday lunch for you to tuck into then spend some quality time with your loved ones. Meals served between 12pm-2pm. Easter Day, 2nd April-6th April This Easter holiday come to the Slater Room for fun and creative activities! Located on the upper level of the museum, there will be activities from Easter egg painting to bonnet making and colouring with prizes available for the best. There will be five steam engine trips every day throughout Easter, plus a Railway Adventure Playground and Quarryman’s Caban at Abergynolwyn for kids to enjoy.

Get back to nature at Llanerchaeron

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, 30th March-2nd April Come along to Llanerchaeron over the long Easter weekend for a fun-filled egg-tastic egg-xtravaganza! Hunt for clues around the estate to claim your chocolate prize. There will also be egg and spoon races outside the villa, croque-egg on the croquet lawn and hot cross buns in the kitchen. £2.50 per trail which includes a prize. Normal admission applies. 10am-4pm. Embrace Nature and Pet Lamb Feeding, 30th March-13th April This Easter children can enjoy learning how lambs are cared for and have a go at feeding them. Try den building and get hands-on with restoration projects in the house itself. There may be some charges for events, and normal admission fees apply. 11am-3pm

Binoculars and baby lambs at RSPB Lake Vynwy Binocular and Telescope weekend, 3rd, 4th, 31st March and 1st April, Lake Vrnwy Come along for some hands on advice from the friendly, expert teams at Lake Vrnwy. Whether you are looking for your first pair of binoculars or thinking about upgrading your telescope, you can get some impartial help. From 10am-4pm.

Lambing on the Farm, 31st March-29th April, Lake Vrnwy Experience the wonders of lambing first hand and put a spring in your step at Lake Vyrnwy with a tour of the lambing ‘maternity wing’. With over 2000 pregnant ewes, you’re sure to see a lamb being born. 1pm-3.30pm. Adults £7.50, children £3.75.

24th March, Welsh Beekeepers Association Convention, Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd Held in the Old Food Hall at the Showground with guest speakers, beekeepers’ question time, trade stands and exhibitions, bargain beekeeping supplies and all day refreshments. 8.30am. Tickets £9 (advance £7); under 17s free. 25th March, Llangynidr Farmers Market, Llangynidr Village Hall, Cwmcrawnon Road, Crickhowell Meet local suppliers and be spoilt for choice. Stalls include locally produced meats, butter, eggs and cheeses; plants; gardening tools; cards; knitted and other craft items; cakes and Fairtrade products. 10am-1pm. Free entry. 29th March, Dwy Gomedi Fer: Cwmni Drama Llandudoch, Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan Two short comedies to tickle the funny bones from this local company that has performed every year for the past 30 years. Suitable for Welsh learners. 7.30pm. £8, conc. £7.

30th-31st March, Llyn Rhaeadr – Open Garden for NGS, Harlech Landscaped hillside garden blending natural areas with garden plants, shrubs and trees with wildlife, small lake with many species of unusual ducks. Good paths and seating with views of Tremadog Bay, Lleyn Peninsula. 2pm-5pm. Admission £3.50, children free. 3rd April, Flat Pack Dinosaurs Workshop with artist Becky Knight, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown Turn cardboard into a 3D monster to take home. £5 per person. Under 8s to be accompanied by a paying adult. March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 25

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8th April, Maesfron Hall and Gardens – Open Garden for NGS, Welshpool Georgian house built in Italian villa style set in four acres of south-facing gardens on lower slopes of Moel-y-Golfa with panoramic views of The Long Mountain. 2pm-5pm. £5, children free. Cream teas available.

11th April, Poetry Writing 2, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown Suitable for people who have some experience of writing poetry. Workshop-based, with an emphasis on discussing published poems from a writer’s perspective.£110, £90 conc.

National Library of Wales

The Aberfan Young Wives’ Club, 7th March, 1pm The Aberfan Young Wives’ Club follows the story of a group of young mothers who came together to form a support group following the Aberfan disaster. Arthur Cheetham: Wales’s Flamboyant Film-maker, 14th March, 1pm Philip Lloyd introduces some of Wales’s earliest films by the pioneer cinematographer and entrepreneur Arthur Cheetham, who was active from 1898 to

Find a gem at Builth Wells International Antiques Fair •

15th April, Cartref – Open Garden for NGS, Llanymynech One acre modern cottage garden in open countryside with an emphasis on attracting wildlife. Spring bulbs make the garden particularly pretty in spring. 1pm5pm. £3.50, Children free. Homemade teas.

18th April, Aberclwyd Manor - Open Garden for NGS, Corwen Four acre garden on a sloping hillside overlooking the upper Clwyd valley. The garden has many mature trees underplanted with snowdrops, fritillaries and cyclamen. 11am-4pm. Admission £3.50, children free. Cream teas.

•21st April, Exhibition: Crossed

Paths, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown Crossed Paths comprises three projects by Aberystwyth-based artist Miranda Whall featuring a combination of film, performance and images of the body in motion.

If you like antiques, then this fair is a must-visit! This international show has over 1000 stands both inside and out, and is located at The Royal Showground in Builth Wells. Expect to find quality jewellery from £50 to £10,000, the best oak, walnut, mahogany and pine furniture, silver, early metal, treen, glass, fine porcelain – Royal Worcester in particular, Gaudy Welsh china, Ewenny china, arts and crafts, longcase and bracket clocks, oil paintings and watercolours by named artists, textiles, linen and lace, militaria, medals, coins, Persian rugs, antiquities, kichenalia, garden furniture and thousands of collectables. You never know quite what you will discover! Open from 8.30am-5pm Saturday and 10am-5pm Sunday. Entry costs £10 on Saturday and £5 on Sunday. Visit www.continuityfairs. for more information and to book a stall.

1912. He has been described as the first person in Wales to shoot events specifically for his own shows at his adopted home town of Rhyl. The event will be held with live piano accompaniment. It will be followed by a signing of Philip’s newly-published book Silvograph, Arthur Cheetham 1865–1937, Pioneer Film-maker.

Kyffin’s style has become the epitome of the nation, and his work a definition of Welshness. On display will be his iconic impasto landscapes and portraits of local and national personalities. There will also be an opportunity to view works by the artist previously unseen by the public, sketchbooks and archive material.

Kyffin exhibition, 16th February - September An exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the defining Welsh artists of the 20th century – Sir Kyffin Williams.

Kyffin Williams © NLW


Craft and create at Wonderwool Wales

Wonderwool Wales is the rabbits, goats and alpacas and premier wool and natural fibre a series of Woolschools are run festival in Wales promoting wool throughout the weekend which and natural fibre production and can be booked in advance online. its use. It returns to the Royal Fibre fans can walk off in a Welsh Showground in Builth beautiful new cowl, arm-knitted Wells on 28th and 29th April. with help from Louise Horton, This is a fun, friendly Sian Dinning and Helen event with over 210 Cooper from Wool DID YOU exhibitors and trade in the Woods. Try KNOW? stands covering all freeform knitting Yarn bombing is aspects of felting, and crochet, while a type of street knitting, weaving, Frances Fletcher art using colourful spinning and will show how to knitted wool crochet along with dye sock yarn to textile art, with raw produce a matched materials, equipment, pair of socks. The popular books and beautiful finished programme of pre-bookable one products to buy. There are demos and two-hour workshops has and a selection of animals on something to inspire everyone. display including sheep, angora

26 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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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 offer breathtaking vistas over the Welsh countryside, and are of special interest to birdwatchers.


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•1st March-21st April,

Warrington Art Treasures, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery This is the first of three free exhibitions celebrating special events in the history of Warrington Museum and especially the opening of the main gallery in October 1877. From its creation in 1848 Warrington Museum has amassed significant collections including works by prominent local Victorian artists who acquired a national reputation as regular exhibitors at the Royal Academy.

Back to nature at Arley Hall & Gardens Willow Weaving Course, 6th and 27th March, 24th April Expert willow weaver Juliette Hamilton guides visitors through the specialist art of creating hares, willow baskets or dragonflies. Workshops run from 10am-4pm, £57. To book call 07949 640613. Spring Plant Fair, 22nd April Enjoy a day out browsing the specialist plant nurseries selling unusual plants, shrubs and spring flowering bulbs and gather great ideas for your garden. £1.50 entry (£1 if booked online). Tickets

are redeemable against entry to the Arley Gardens. 10am-4pm. Guided Estate and Bluebell Walk, 28th-29th April Enjoy huge carpets of bluebells, birdsong and many other wild flowers in the magnificent Big Wood. Walks last 1¾ hours on footpaths and are led by experienced guides. Booking essential. Go to to find out more.

Stepping out at Lyme Park

1st March-30th April, Right Here, Right Now: 21st Century Art, Grosvenor Museum The 21st century ‘comes of age’ in 2018. Arranged around the themes of people and animals, landscapes and buildings, still life, faith and abstraction, the exhibition celebrates the quality and diversity of art made since the year 2000.

Walking to Health: Elmerhurst Walk, 22nd March Keep active and improve your health from 10.30am-12.30pm on an organised walk with an experienced volunteer Appliance of science guide. This moderate 2.4mile at Chester Zoo walk takes in the Cage and From 12th-16th March, the woods to hear the spring Chester Zoo will be birdsong. Free to National celebrating British DID YOU Trust members. Science Week

1st March-30th April, Maelstrom Art Installation, King Charles Tower, Chester Maelstrom, a public artwork by artist David Cotterrell, will acknowledge Chester’s evolving relationship with water and provide an excuse to stop and stare. The Maelstrom will be created by projected light and animation upon the canal, creating the illusion of shifting currents within the waterways.

with a team of experts running a series of inspiring special events and activities to educate all. www.

KNOW? We use 200 muscles to take a single step forward!

LymeTrust10 10k trail run, 25th March Join runners of all ages and abilities on

a 10 kilometre trail run around the estate. The event is free for NT members. 9am start. Canal and Woodland Walk, 17th April This free four-mile walk leads to the Macclesfield Canal and back via Pursefield Wood. From 10.30am-12.30pm.

Hunt for eggs at Cholmondeley Castle

1st March-28th April, Zeitgeist, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery Prize-winning contemporary figurative painter, Peter Davis aims to capture the zeitgeist of society by creating contemporary portraiture that belongs in the here and now in this free exhibition.

Back by popular demand Cholmondeley’s Family Easter Egg Hunt returns. Children can hunt for the hidden bunnies to colllect an Easter treat. With such extensive grounds, childrens play areas, lakeside walk, adventure den, and tea

room there are lots of things to keep the family occupied. Dogs welcome on leads. Easter Egg Hunt clue sheet will be available between 11am and 3pm whilst stocks last. Clue sheets £1. Normal gardens entry fees apply.

Israel in Egypt at Chester Cathedral

4th March, Wedding Fayre at Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port With more than 35 exhibitors across three rooms you can chat with the region’s leading wedding specialists who will be on hand to offer expert advice on all your wedding plans and ideas. 12-4pm.

Chester Cathedral plays host to chamber choir Chester Bach Singers performing Handel’s vivid Israel in Egypt on 10th March. The singers will be joined by regular partners 18th Century Concert Orchestra under the expert baton of Martin Bussey.

The story recounts the plight of the Israelites escaping from captivity in Egypt. All this is depicted in exciting, often fast music by one of the greatest opera composer. Tickets £8-£20, concessions and children £5.

28 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Cruising in style with Chester Boats

Nantwich Jazz Festival hits all the right notes The 22nd Nantwich Jazz, Blues and Musical Festival promises to be bigger and better than ever. Running from 29th March-2nd April, the event – which takes place in various venues around the town – boasts headliners including Squeeze frontman Glenn Tilbrook, Indie-folk singer Thea Gilmore and 70s rock band Dr Feelgood. Festival founder Phillip Martin, who died in November 2017, established the festival in

1996, and his family are determined to mark his memory with the best festival yet. The confirmed acts include Glenn Tilbrook, Nine Below Zero, Thea Gilmore, Joni Mitchell Songbook, Dr Feelgood, Climax Blues Band, The Jive Aces and Nearly Dan. Most events take place at Nantwich Civic Hall, but there are more than 90 different gigs taking place across the weekend. Go online to for more.

The Live Rooms presents... Mike Dawes, 1st March Hailed as one of the world’s finest and most creative modern fingerstyle guitar performers, Mike Dawes’s solo music has gained more than 50 million hits on video websites. Talented, humorous and entertaining, Mike has toured in almost every continent and an average of 150 concerts a year. 7pm. £10. Simon Day: In Character, 13th March Best known as one of the stars of The Fast Show, and his characters including Billy Bleach, Dave Angel, Gideon Wit, Carl Hooper and music hall legend Tommy Cockles, Simon brings his characters live to the stage, performing each one’s unique brand of music, modern dance, chat or poetry. 7pm start. £20. Big Fish Little Fish, 18th March Pop on your neon

vest, grab a glowstick and join in the family rave. From 2pm, families can enjoy grown-up dance music along with glitter cannons, bubbles and a giant parachute. Tickets £8.50, child £6.50 and pre-walking infants are free. Space, 30th March Bestknown for songs such as Female of the Species and Me and You Versus the World, Space’s first album, Spiders, sold an estimated 800,000 copies between 1996 and 1998. Now the Liverpool Britpop band are back. Starts 7pm. Tickets £15 in advance. For information and booking go to www. or call 0871 2200260.

Motown Party Night, 10th March Join the crew for a little Smokey, Marvin and Stevie, plus the Temptations, the Four Tops and a whole host of class acts. Boarding at 7.15pm, tickets £34.50. Payday Friday Curry & Quiz Cruise, 27th April Enjoy a three course meal and a fun general knowledge quiz. Boarding from 7.15pm, Tickets from £25.

Visit the Village this Easter You’ll find plenty of egg-citing activities to do over the Easter period at Blakemere Village, Northwich. Sporty types can join in the Easter Bunny Fun Run, in aid of The NeuroMuscular Centre, on 17th March. For those who prefer a more gentle walk, then the Easter Bunny Trail runs daily from 30th March-15th April. Use your trail map to discover hidden clues around the Village, then intrepid adventurers can claim their prize. There’s also plenty of family action in the form of bird displays, archery, Segway, cycle hire and crazy golf. Plus shopping galore. For more information visit or call 01606 883261.

Indulge in the idiotic at Parr Hall Comedian Tim Vine shows off his unique brand of silliness at Warrington’s Parr Hall on 1st March, 9pm. The Sunset Milk Idiot tour involves lots of silly new jokes, new homemade props, singing some new daft ditties, and all with

60s and 70s Night, 3rd March & 7th April Chester Boat’s DJ has a big box of glam, disco, new wave, motown and more, so if you’re feelin’ groovy, step aboard the love boat for some retro fun. As ever, fancy dress is optional – but encouraged! Boarding at 7.15pm, tickets £34.50.

Get involved at Congleton Museum Congleton Museum has teamed up with the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) to help intrepid treasure hunters identify their historic finds. The museum is running a PAS Finds Day on 2nd March, from 10.30am-4pm when people can bring along any historic objects that they have found, to be identified and recorded. Each year thousands of objects are discovered by members of the public. For more information call 0151 4784259.

the appearance of confidence. The following subjects will be touched upon briefly: pixie football, ice cream and nibble feeders. Go along, sit down, and laugh. Tickets prices £23.50. Visit for information and bookings. March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 29

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10th March, Lock in Folk Fairy Tale, Clonter Opera Theatre, Congleton The Breaking Tradition Dance Company return with a comical new version of their critically acclaimed folk and hip hop dance show. A great night out for all the family. Tickets £18, children £8.

15th March, An Evening With Ant Middleton, Parr Hall, Warrington Adventurer, survival expert, TV presenter, ex-elite forces soldier, shares his experiences and exploits as a modern day explorer and expedition leader. 7:30pm. Tickets £22.50.

Star studded line-up at Chester Food and Drink Festival Celebrity chefs Paul Rankin, Jun Tanaka and Eat Well for Less?’ Presenter Chris Bavin are amongst the big names cooking up a treat at this year’s Chester Food, Drink and Lifestyle Festival from 31st March-2nd April. The festival returns to Chester Racecourse for its 18th year and offers kids’ and adult cookery classes and barbecue cooking with local

Spring arrives at Dunham Massey

17th March, Concert by Alexandra Lomeiko and Antonina Suhanova, Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre Accomplished violinist Alexandra and pianist Antonina pair up to delight audiences with a musical programme that includes works by Bach, Schubert, Janacek and Ravel. Tickets from £10.

18th March, Wedding Fayre, Brook Mollington Banastre Hotel & Spa Visit this beautiful hotel to meet more than 35 wedding exhibitors across four rooms. Meet the people who can ensure your dream wedding day is perfect.

18th March, Charity Concert, Nantwich Civic Hall A charity concert featuring music by South Cheshire Concert Band and Singing Sensations (Sandbach) Choir. The concert will present well known music from shows and films together performed in a relaxing Sunday afternoon concert in aid of Mid Cheshire Hospitals Charity. 2.30pm-5pm. Tickets £10.

Guided Walk, 3rd March Discover more of secret Dunham by finding out about historic landmarks and intriguing buildings around the park. Meeting at the Clock Tower at 11am, the organised walk lasts until 1pm at a gentle pace. Suitable outdoor clothing and stout footwear are recommended. National Trust charges apply. Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts – Super Senses, 29th March-15th April Use your ears, eyes and nose to complete an Easter egg trail around the gardens. On completion of this sensory nature trail, hunters will receive a chocolate reward. £2 per trail. Special Guided Walk – Birds & Habitats, 7th April Grab your binoculars and join the park guides to discover the vast variety of birds and wildlife that have made their home at Dunham. Meet at 11am for a two-hour guided walk.

chef Brian Mellow at the helm. The festival teams up with Camperfest to see more than 1,500 people enjoying the revelry into the evening and camping on the racecourse. Running side by side with the event will be the Taste Cheshire Food and Drink Awards where the winners from Cheshire’s wonderful food and drink scene will be unveiled. The search to find the Sausage of the Festival will also be revealed during the finals which take place on Sunday 1st April.

DID YOU KNOW? Cheese makes it into the Domesday Tickets Book of the 11th cost just £6 century and under12s going free. For more information visit

A new Cheese Room at Nantwich Museum The Cheese Room at Nantwich Museum has been redecorated and redesigned thanks to a grant from estate agents Baker Wynne and Wilson. Mr and Mrs Mouse and their family help to guide visitors through the info panels, which describe the history of local cheesemaking including one time the Navy only used Cheshire cheese, the first dairy

school was established, when the first annual cheese show in. Nantwich took place and you can even test your knowledge of cow breeds.

What’s on at The Forum Studio Theatre to 90. This concert is sure to delight with something for everyone. Tickets £7.50.

Magic Voices in Concert, 10th March, 8pm Magic Voices bring their feel-good choral concert that will appeal to all music-lovers. Created in 2010 by renowned West End and television musical director Andy Rumble, Magic Voices specialise in teaching amazing arrangements to complete beginners and experienced singers alike, with members range from age 18

Only Fools and Boycie, 31st March, 7.30pm Enjoy an intimate evening with John Challis, best known as Boycie in BBC1’s Only Fools and Horses. In this one-off show the national treasure will reveal secrets from the set with stories and anecdotes from his dazzling career. Ticket £17. www.tip topproduct

30 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8ET Telephone:01829 720383

Gardens Open Good Friday 30th March to Sunday 30th September

Wednesdays, Thursdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays 11.00 am to 5.00 pm (last entry 4.30)

• Extensive ornamental gardens

Family Easter Bunny Hunt

• Lakeside walk and picnic area

11.00 am to 3.00 (whilst stocks last)

• Temple water garden • Rose Garden • Childrens play area • Childrens adventure den • Tea room

Easter Sunday 1st April

Plant Hunters Fair Sunday 29th April

Reduced gate entry price for this event

Professor Humo’s Punch & Judy. Sunday 13th May Performances 1.00 pm & 3.00 pm

Bank Holiday Monday 28th May Jazz in the Gardens 12.00 to 4.00 pm

Summer 2018 / www.

5 MAY - 8 JULY By William Shakespeare 6 July – 25 August

By William Shakespeare 13 July – 26 August


Stage version by Bryony Lavery, based on the original by Arthur Ransome 27 July – 26 August

15 JUNE - 7 JULY



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THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING HAPPENING AT GLADSTONE’S LIBRARY... • Boutique bedrooms • Writing masterclasses & residential courses • Lectures • Evening events • Language courses • Literary festivals • Delicious lunches & afternoon teas

Debate, culture, politics and spirituality in a completely unique atmosphere.

Visit our website to view our full programme of events

Discounts available for students and clergy.


SICILY OAK GALLERY, CROXTON GREEN LANE, CHOLMONDELEY, MALPAS, CHESHIRE SY14 8HG British Art Portfolio are delighted to be showing their exciting new collection of British artists at The Sicily Oak Gallery Exhibition. There will be artists from all over the country including Wendy Rolt, Jo Taylor, James Kerr and many more. There will also be local artists Sue Campion, Kate Corbett-Windor, Aubrey Higgin, Becky Bland, Anne Lever and Peter Beckett.

as the world-renowned 20th Century British artists, Michael Rothenstein RA and Edward Bawden RA. In addition, early works by the distinguished portrait painter Bryan Organ will be shown, along with beautiful oil paintings by his wife, Sandra Mills. The Sicily Oak Gallery Exhibition hosted by Judy Bromley Davenport is supporting 2 Charities: The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity Prostate Awareness and The Tarporley War Memorial Hospital.

This exhibition will also feature work by such luminaries as: Dame Elizabeth Frink RA and David Tindle RA, as well

Exhibition dates: FRIDAY 20TH APRIL - SATURDAY 28TH APRIL 2018 Open daily 10 am to 6 pm (CLOSED SUNDAYS) Enquiries to Judy Bromley Davenport

tel: 07815 199702

Registered Charity Number 1051727

Private Charters ChesterBoat private charters offer unique floating venues on the beautiful River Dee, cruising upstream from the Groves in historic Chester through the Duke of Westminster’s stunning Eaton Estate. Create your own bespoke cruise with a choice of vessel, sumptuous menus, welcome drinks, entertainment and decorations. Impress your guests with cocktails and canapés or a delicious dinner and drinks.

Vintage afternoon tea cruises Mothers day 11th March 12.00 noon and 3.00pm Bank Holiday special 6th May times as above Fathers Day Gentlemen’s afternoon teas times as above Grandparents Day 9th September times as above With delicious home-made sandwiches, scones and cakes, tea and Prosecco Adults £27.50 children £15

Fish and chip cruise Two-hour cruise on the first Friday of the month, with fish and chips and optional Bingo. 30th March, 4th May, 1st June, 6th July, 3rd August, 7th September Sailing at 7.30 Adults £21 children £10

Curry and quiz With Indian buffet and fun general knowledge quiz Last Friday of the month 27th April 29th June 24th August 26th October Adults £27.00 children £14.00 Group of four £102.50

Two-Hour Iron Bridge Cruise to Eaton Estate Weekends in June Daily 1st July - 7th September Weekends September Sailing 12 Noon and 2.30pm

Half hour city cruises daily 12th March - 4th November 11am-4pm

All cruises sail from Souters Lane, The Groves, Chester, CH1 1SZ.

Cruise tickets are cheaper booked online. For full details, enquiries & bookings, connect with us via: 01244 325394 032_SHIRE_MA2018.indd 1

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21st March, Tea with... Songs from the Shows, Clonter Opera Theatre, Congleton Enjoy an afternoon tea followed by an hour of musical entertainment, hosted by Clonter Opera Theatre. Tea will be served at 3.30pm. Tickets cost £24.50.

What’s on at Crewe Lyceum Theatre Dave Spikey: Juggling on a Motorbike Tour, 1st March, 7.30pm Dave had been working in the NHS for 19 years as a Biomedical Scientist when in 1987 someone uttered the immortal words: ‘You’re really funny, you should be a comedian.’ Only a few short months later he was crowned the winner of the national talent show Stairway to the Stars. Larry Grayson, one of the judges, told him that it was a close run thing on the night but what clinched the award for Dave was his routine about a juggler on a motorbike.

Now he celebrates the 30th anniversary of his comedy career in this show which looks back on his remarkable life and his incredible journey. Tickets £12. G4 Live!, 6th March Having exploded into the industry and the public’s hearts back in 2004 on the first series of the X-Factor, G4 continue to blow people away, year after year, with their unique style and impactful harmonic vocals. Tickets £31. Rob Brydon: I Am Standing Up? 7th March Rob Brydon is perhaps best known for the television shows

Gavin and Stacey, Would I Lie To You?, The Trip and Marion and Geoff. I Am Standing Up represents Rob Brydon’s first stand up tour since his sell out national tour and West End run of 2009. Tickets £31. Bugsy Malone, 13th-17th March Curtain Call presents gangsters, guns and glamorous girls. The city is divided by rival gang warfare and a new threat is looming. Can the smoothtalking man about town help restore order and peace? Tickets £19. www.crewelyceum

All the drama in one place at Storyhouse Cilla: The Musical, 6th-10th March This new, heart-warming musical adaptation of the critically acclaimed hit ITV television series tells the extraordinary story of the teenage girl from Liverpool whose dreams of stardom lead to her becoming one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers of all time. Tickets £20.50-£45. At Home with Jane Austen, 15th March Writer and broadcaster Dr Lucy Worsley takes at new look at Jane Austen’s life and considers what home meant to Jane. Dispelling the myth of the cynical, lonely spinster, Lucy instead offers us a witty and passionate woman of her time, who refused to settle for anything less than Mr Darcy. £24.50.

Learn to capture the night sky at Jodrell Bank This spring Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre is offering an Advanced Astrophotography workshop on 21st March. This advanced workshop offers astrophotographers the chance to extend their

knowledge and help them achieve breath-taking night sky photography. From 7.30pm-10pm. Tickets cost £30 each. To book or find out more details on this fascinating course, go to

DID YOU KNOW? Rum mixed with lime was given to sailors to fight off the scurvy

English Touring Opera: Puccini’s Il Tabaro & Gianni Schicchi, 21st March The English Touring Opera presents Puccini’s one-act operas Il Tabarro and Gianni Schicchi. This double bill shows Puccini at his finest as a master of the theatre that speaks to the heart. 7.30pm. Tickets from £19.50. Dinosaur World Live, 7th-8th April, £14.50 Dare to experience the dangers and delights of Dinosaur World in this interactive new show for all the family. www.

24th March, Rum Festival, Chester Racecourse Sample the tastes, sounds and atmosphere of the Caribbean and Cuba at the new festival that offers more than 100 different rums, live music, dancing and street food at the racecourse’s The Pavilion Suite. 1.30pm-10.30pm.Entrance £7.50. 24th March-30th April, The Health Revolution, Warrington Museum & Art Gallery On 5th July the National Health Service will be 70 years old. To celebrate this milestone the museum will be hosting an exhibition featuring material from its archives and collections which will tell the story of Warrington’s changing healthcare services. Free entry.

30th March-2nd April, Easter Boat Gathering, National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port Take part in the flotilla to celebrate the 40th anniversary celebrations giving boats the opportunity to moor in the recently opened upper basin. There will be an exciting line up of music, family and boat activity. The lively long weekend will include a fine folk programme combined with inspirational workshops and museum activities for all ages.

29th March-1st April, CamperFest, Chester Racecourse Now in its 9th year, Camperfest is a great Easter camping weekend which runs alongside the Chester Food and Drink Festival held on the beautiful Chester Racecourse.

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Read all about Gladstone’s Library


and carved columns? Join the library’s Director of Collections and Research, Louisa Yates, as she suggests some ways of reading the features of the

Lost Voices at Quarry Bank

•30th March, Ready Steady

Learn to Cook, Grosvenor Pulford Hotel, Chester Join the hotel’s group executive chef as he cooks up a culinary storm and shares his tricks of the trade in a live cookery demonstration. You will also be treated to the dishes in a threecourse meal, and Rodney Densem Wines will be on hand to share their knowledge on all of the wines served. Starts 7pm. Tickets £40.

1st April, Eaton Hall Open Gardens Eaton Hall gardens are open to the public four times a year to raise money for local charities. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to visit the splendid gardens in spring. Gates open 10.30-5pm. Entry £8, £2 children.

7th April, Comedy Store, Pyramid Arts Centre, Warrington Sell-out comedy returns to Warrington’s Pyramid with the best in live stand-up. The shows feature comedy from around the globe as well as howcasing the brightest names in comedy talent in Warrington, and run on the first Saturday of each month. Doors open at 8pm. Tickets cost £14.

Cleave the Wood and There famous Reading Rooms. Louisa I Am, 2nd-4th March Yates delivers keynote talks and Christopher Lewis creates workshops to libraries and a retreat which uses archives in the UK. DID YOU woodcarvings and Tickets £8. KNOW? music to prompt As recently as WWII imaginative The Historical reflection on we would have Novel – A Very life in a way foraged daily for Slippery Genre: An that words alone food in the UK Evening with Writer cannot achieve. in Residence Rachel Residential prices Malik, 10th April at 8pm start from £230, nonJoin Rachel Malik, as she traces residential from £160. a brief history of the historical novel. History of the Reading Rooms, Tickets cost 19th March £15. www. Why does Gladstone’s Library gladstones look like it does – with wonderful crenelated bookcases

Something for everyone at Tatton Park

•25th April, Sandbach Concert

Series, April Concert, St Mary’s Hall, Sandbach Rachel Helleur-Simcock of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and The 12 Cellists of The Berlin Philharmonic, together with international piano sensation Gwilym Simcock, present a programme of French music and original pieces for cello and piano. Doors open from 6.30pm. Tickets £9.50.

29th April, Essar Chester Half Marathon The Chester Half is one of the UK’s longest established and most highly regarded half marathons, starting and finishing in the historic city of Chester. Join more than 7000 runners and enjoy the spectacular finish outside Chester Cathedral. Race day also includes a one-mile Fun Run.

Creative Writing Workshop ‘Planning’, 6th March Gain creative writing inspiration and obtain guidance from playwright and former Cheshire poet laureate, Joy Winkler. The workshop will look at different methods and techniques used to create plots and plan the way forward. 10.30am-4pm, £15 per person. Who Killed Banquo? – Shakespeare Week, 17th March This drama workshop is a lively, interactive session for young people. Participants take on the roles of police officers, forensic officers and characters in crime reconstructions to piece together what actually

happened to the character of Banquo and investigate who is ultimately responsible for his murder. Recommended for children aged eight and above. 10.30am-12.30pm or 1.30pm3.30pm. £12 per person. Preparing for the Teddy Bear Picnic, 12th April Bring your favourite teddy along for a picnic! Explore the farmyard to discover where different ingredients from your picnic come from. 10.30am12pm, £12 per child, including one accompanying adult.

From 3rd March-30th April, Lost Voices explores the experiences of women whose stories were not heard, and which are often lost to us today because of their age, status or means. Installations across Quarry Bank will bring their voices to life. In 1918 women in Britain were finally given the right to vote, but only if they were over 30 and owned property. This meant that for the majority female workforce in the cotton mill at Quarry Bank, nothing changed. They didn’t receive the vote for another 10 years. From 10.30am-4pm, National Trust admission charges apply.

Spring foraging course is a walk in the park

Discover the tastiest edible mushrooms, wild garlic and salad on a guided foraging tour at Marbury Country Park on 30th March and 21st April. The Cheshire venue on the edge of Budworth Mere, is a perfect mixture of grassland and woodland creating an abundance of wild food which is ripe for the picking. Meet at the picnic benches at 12pm for a short introduction then set off for a two to three hour walk around the park. There will be breaks along the way, ideal for homemade refreshments. Finish the experience with a tasty wild food lunch. Courses cost £45 for adults. Visit www. for details and bookings.

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Alice is enjoying her picnic when she sees the most curious of sights: a white rabbit talking to himself. Following the rabbit down a rabbit hole, Alice finds herself in the fantastical Wonderland, inhabited by the dame Duchess Dolly, the bonkers Mad Hatter, the evil The Queen of Hearts and her henchmen Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee. Will Alice find her way back? Or will she find true love in Wonderland? All will be revealed Easter 2018… Starring Britain’s Got Talent winner ASHLEIGH BUTLER and her dog SULLY alongside LESLIE ASH and Children’s TV Legend DAVE BENSON PHILLIPS, come and join us on this laugh a minute all-singing,all-dancing panto ride through Wonderland. NORTHWICH Memorial Court FRI 23 (7pm) & SAT 24 MARCH (2pm & 6pm) | 01606 261 100

BRIDLINGTON Spa FRI 6 APRIL (3pm & 7pm | 01262 678258

CHESTERFIELD, Pomegranate Theatre SUN 25 MARCH (3pm & 7pm) | 01246 345 222

CLACTON-ON-SEA Princes Theatre SUN 8 APRIL (3pm & 7pm) | 01255 686633

LANCASTER Grand MON 26 MARCH (3pm & 7pm) | 01524 64695

TEWKESBURY, Roses Theatre MON 9 APRIL (3pm & 7pm) | 01684 295074

STOCKPORT Plaza WED 28 MARCH (7pm) | 0161 477 7779

MANSFIELD Palace Theatre TUE 10 APRIL (3pm & 7pm) | 01623 633133

RHYL Pavilion THUR 29 (7pm) & FRI 30 MARCH (2pm & 7pm) | 01745 33 00 00

NORTHAMPTON, The Deco WED 11 (7pm) & THUR 12 APRIL (1pm & 5pm) | 01604 491005

WHITCHURCH Civic Centre SAT 31 MARCH (2pm & 6pm)

HAYES, The Beck Theatre FRI13 APRIL (3pm & 7pm) | 020 8561 8371

WHITLEY BAY, Playhouse MON 2 (3.30pm & 7pm) & TUE 3 APRIL (2pm & 5pm) | 0844 248 1588

REDDITCH, Palace Theatre SAT 14 APRIL (2pm & 6pm) | 01527 65203

DONCASTER, CAST WED 4 (6pm) & THUR 5 APRIL (2.30pm & 6pm) | 01302 303 959

BURNLEY Mechanics SUN 15 APRIL (1pm & 4:30pm) | 01282 664400


SATURDAY 31 MARCH (2pm & 6pm)


Photos from previous productions AIW_a3Poster_420x297_Jan18_AW.indd 1

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LAST YEAR WE... Staged 253 shows. This included 50 ‘Homegrown’ performances.


Presented, 15 ‘family’ shows (in addition to our panto and shows just aimed at pre- school children). Staged our first autism friendly/relaxed performance (and we’ve already staged our second one!)


• Cars • Tractors • Motor Cycles • Landrovers • Steam • Food Stands • Auto Jumble Stalls • Trade Stands

• Logs available ALL YEAR ROUND • Seasoned Hardwood or Softwood


• Kiln-dried Kindling • Large Bulk Bags from £50 • Kiln-dried Jumbo Bulk Bags from only £125 Tel: 01978 824 624 or: 07864 602 455 035_SHIRE_MA2018.indd 1

• Military & Commercial Vehicles • Ice Cream • Sand Pit

ADMISSION £5.00 UNDER 12’S FREE We will be supporting ENGLAND & WALES 825808

Astle Park Chelford SK11 9AD

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What’s on at Floral Pavilion Theatre

1st March, Wheels for All, Birkenhead Park From 10am3pm, a range of adapted bikes ensure that everyone experiences the joys of cycling regardless of age or ability. £2 donation.

1st-18th March, Dragons in the Pool, Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, 10am-5pm Rosa Fong from Edgehill University explores the littleknown history of Chinese seamen who were secretly deported from the UK after the Second World Wa in an exhibition over the Chinese New Year.

3rd March & 7th April, Bebington Bards, Bebington Central Library Improve your writing and share your work with this free supportive writing community group who meet on the first Saturday of every month.

7th March, Burford Bluebell Wood, Wallasey: Volunteer Task Day Join the Rangers in a range of tasks including path maintenance, pruning, bramble clearance and litterpicking. Tea and coffee provided.

Russell Watson – Canzoni d’Amore, 1st March Having sold more than seven million albums worldwide, Russell Watson is firmly established as the UK’s best-selling classical crossover artist of all time. To date, his illustrious career has included performances for Her Majesty The Queen, The Pope and two US presidents. Following a series of sell-out performances in 2015-16, ‘The People’s Tenor’ returns to the stage with his brand-new show Canzoni d’Amore. Tickets £47. Starts 7.30pm.

frights, fights and friendship, featuring a very large owl, a very small ghost and a very awful Auntie! Tickets from £18 (£14 concessions).

Monty Python’s Spamalot, 3rd-7th April Lovingly ripped off from the hugely successful 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail, this spammier than ever production is a riotous comedy full of misfit knights, killer rabbits, dancing nuns and ferocious Frenchmen. Join King Arthur as he travels with his hapless Knights of the Round Table on a divine mission to locate the illusive Holy Grail – with uproarious consequences. Tickets from DID YOU £28 to £35. Performance at 7.30pm (with 2.30pm matinees on select dates). KNOW?

Birdsong, 6th-10th March Marking the 100th anniversary of WWI, Birdsong is the critically-acclaimed stage show based on the worldfamous novel by Sebastian Faulks. In An asteroid pre-war France, a young Englishman discovered in 1997 Peppa Pig’s Adventure, 14th-15th April Stephen Wraysford embarks on a was named 13681 Join Peppa as she gets ready to go on an exciting camping trip to the woods dangerous affair with the beautiful Monty Python with George and her school friends, Isabelle Azaire that turns their world including Pedro Pony, Suzy Sheep and upside down. Tickets from £21.50. Gerald Giraffe. With lunch-boxes packed and 7.30pm (and 2pm matinees on select dates). Daddy Pig driving the bus, Peppa and friends are David Walliams’ Awful Auntie, 21st–24th March excited about their outdoor adventure, full of games, laughter and live music! Tickets from £16.50 to From the award-winning producers of Gangsta £21.50. Granny comes David Walliams’ amazing tale of

7th & 21st March and April 4th & 18th: Free live jazz at The Irby Club Starts 8.30pm. Dance and listen to the best live Dixieland / Chicago jazz from The Original Panama Jazz Band. Every first and third Wednesday of every month: Plus occasional visits from The Chester Swing Cats and Jive Lindy Hoppers.

13th March, The Storyshaker, Wallasey Central Library Step into the stories of Sarah the Story Shaker and join in with songs, crafts and fun. For children aged two to five years. £5 per child.

Join the chain run at Wirral Country Park For a real sporting challenge on 24th March, try a 10k run through mud, sand and crazy obstacles whilst chained to a fellow competitor! Race and tackle the natural and man-made obstacles around Wirral County Park and nearby landscape whilst linked to another runner. Pairs will be linked by a plastic chain connected to their wrist by a Velcro strap, and will need to apply some serious teamworking skills to negotiate either the five or 10km course. The natural landscape of the park, beach, marsh land, and Wirral Country Way will make up the route, with the addition of manmade obstacles to challenge the runners. Will you be able to make it through the course without breaking the plastic chain? Entry fee £36.99. Visit for more details.

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DID YOU KNOW? Leonard Cohen landed a cameo role in Miami Vice in 1986

Music live at West Kirby Art Centre Edgelarks: Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin, 10th March, 7pm Edgelarks is the new name for BBC award-winning duo Phillip Henry and Hannah Martin, it is also the name of their fourth, and latest album. The pair’s new project takes the roots of their previous work, from the traditional musics of the British Isles to Indian classical slide guitar to the stomping roots party of Phil’s beatbox harmonica. Tickets £14. John Jenkins and the James Street Band, 24th March, 7pm Liverpool-born singer songwriter John Jenkins was named Joint Audience Winner of the 2014 Liverpool Songwriters Challenge and was a 2015

finalist. His second solo album – a 21-track double CD Window Shopping in Nashville – was released in September 2017 following his critically acclaimed debut solo album Trains. He will perform with his band. Tickets cost £6. Keith James in Concert: The Songs of Leonard Cohen, 21st April, 7.45pm Concert artist Keith James honours songwriter Leonard Cohen by performing this bio-doc concert featuring songs by Cohen including Blue Raincoat and Sisters of Mercy. Keith James has also set poems by Federico Garcia Lorca to music – Lorca is said to be Cohen’s greatest influence. Tickets £12. Book online at

Nurturing growth at The Green Gallery

What was once a derelict space in the heart of Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead, is being transformed into a green haven for visitors to sit and contemplate. The Green Gallery, open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday between 1st March-30th April between 10am-5pm, is a work-in-progress, where visitors can enjoy plants and sculpture or even take inspiration from the surroundings to their own artwork. Funded by donations, the space continues to become a living, blooming space.

Easter extravaganza at Church Farm

Join the Church Farm Easter Egg Hunt from 30th March2nd April. Promising loads of fun, children can follow the clues around the forest, play games, solve puzzles and claim a reward at the end. The hunt starts with a tractor ride journey up to the magical forest where families can search for clues before solving the codes and taking part in some challenging games of skill. The ticket price includes the egg hunt and an opportunity to meet the Easter bunny. Farm park admission for the whole day is included too with animal feeding sessions, tractor rides and more. Tickets cost £8.50 adults, £8 for children

All aboard for Easter

The annual Easter Boat Gathering, from 30th March-2nd April marks the official start of the boating season. The lively long weekend, based around the National Waterways Museum, in Ellesmere Port, promises a rich and varied line-up of entertainment including a fine folk programme, workshops and museum activities for all ages. There will also be tours of the Lime Shed and the wider site.

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20th March, Tai-Chi, The Parade Community Centre, Hoylake An introduction to to the ancient Chinese martial art of Tai Chi. 6.30pm-7.30pm. £5 per class.

•24th March & 28th April,

West Kirby Farmers Market, St Andrew’s Church Hall Drop in on this traditional farmers’ market with fare including cheeses, vegetables, meats, breads, preserves, Indian cuisines and ice-cream.

31st March, Shownight: The Cubans, The Irby Club Join Liverpool singer and guitarist duo The Cubans, for top class entertainment. Tickets cost £4.

Ness Botanic Gardens Family Science Fair, 10th March, 12-4pm For the fourth year running, Ness Botanic Gardens are hosting this free family event as part of British Science Week. Aimed at inspiring young people about science, technology, engineering and maths, there will be plenty of hands-on activities garden. With wares from selected nurseries all in with experts from the University of Liverpool and one place, you’re sure to find something you desire other organisations. Suitable from for your plot. Buy plants, get some advice, then children aged six to 12 years DID YOU enjoy a walk around the garden and perhaps a old, activities are free (garden KNOW? spot of lunch at the cafe. Entry £1. admission fees apply). Tai chi meaning

‘supreme ultimate

Mums Go Free, fist’ was developed 11th March, 10am-5pm over 2,000 years To celebrate Mothering Sunday, ago the spring delights of the gardens will be free for all mums. Take a peaceful stroll or spend time with the family, the decision is down to Mum. The 50-strong Off Pitch choir, from the Wirral, will be performing from 1-2pm. Spring Plant Hunters Fair, 25th March, 10am-4pm Discover a huge array of plants - from flowering favourites to the unusually spectacular, for your

Spotlight on Port Sunlight

31st March-30th April, Dazzle Ferry, Georges Parade, Liverpool Commissioned as part of World War I Centenary Art Commissions, Sir Peter Blake’s Dazzle Ship is a working vessel which sails from the end of March.

20th April, Manford’s Comedy Club, Neston Civic Hall With a bunch of live acts selected by Jason Manford, this evening of original stand-up comedy promises an evening of laughter. 8pm. Tickets cost £12.50.

24th-28th April, Terry Pratchett’s Mort, The Little Theatre, Birkenhead The Carlton Players present this Terry Pratchett favourite adapted to stay by Stephen Briggs. Doors open from 7pm. Tickets cost £8.

Create a Castle, 4th April, 10.30am-3pm Family activities for the Easter school holidays at the Old Schoolroom in the Port Sunlight Lyceum. Take inspiration from architecture in the village and make a mini-castle. Then follow a knight’s quest trail around the Dell. Drop in any time, and allow around an hour for the activities. £2.50 per child. Soapy Science, 11th April Discover some of the science behind the soaps made in historic Port Sunlight, try some exciting experiments with colour changes, fizzes and pops, and make a mini bar of soap to take away. £2.50 per child. To find out more, go online to www.portsunlight

Cook up a healthy recipe at Claremont Farm

Indian Cookery with Soma, 3rd March Learn to cook your own Indian and other exotic meals from scratch, using fresh and healthy ingredients, with Soma Goswami. Soma cooks from the heart and teaches people to cook just like an Indian cooks at home for the family, creating meals that are delicious and healthy. Soma touches upon cuisines from different parts of India which has a very diverse variety of delectable cuisines; the cooking styles and ingredients used in different regions are largely similar, yet there is a subtle difference in the way the spices and herbs are used bringing out an array of different tastes, flavours and aromas. Costs £95 for full day. To book contact Soma on 07770 752053. Gluten-free Bread Course, 4th March Learn to make some of the best gluten-free loaves possible, including a loaf of white or brown bread, baguettes, soda bread and sweet brioche. Learn techniques for pizza and sourdough with nutritionist Deborah Thackeray. The course includes all ingredients, a gluten-free lunch, tea and coffee. £100. From 9.30-3pm.

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Entertaining evenings with Arts Alive


• 1st March-15th April, Catch Brick History, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery Walk through history in Lego Bricks at the museum this season.! •Job Club at Beechtree Community Centre, 1st March, Whitchurch Come along and get help with online job searching between 1pm-3pm every Thursday. One to one sessions available for help with CVs and applications. This is by appointment only.

•1st March, Wrenbury and District Model Railway Club Meeting every Wednesday at Wrenbury Village Hall. Nonmembers welcome to call in for a chat and a brew.

Mrs Beeton, My Sister, 4th March, Chelmarsh Parish Hall Mrs Beeton, a fat old cook? Far from it... but she was a real person. Award-winning playwright Alison Neil provides a lively retelling of the entertaining and moving story of Isabella Beeton’s surprising life, and how she came to write the world-famous Book of Household Management. Tickets £12, children £8. Tickets include Victorian Tea. Starts 5pm. Call 01746 862850.

The first 2018 Race Meeting is on 2nd April. Enjoy the excitement of steeplechasing at one of the UK’s leading pointto-point courses. 11am, first race 2pm. £10pp, under 16s free.

The Carer, 16th March, Shifnal Village Hall The Carer, made by Hungarian director Janos Edelenyi, tells the

story of Sir Michael Gifford, a retired Shakespearean actor suffering from Parkinsons. He has alienated a host of caregivers, but his daughter forces a new companion on him, a Hungarian refugee who has acting aspirations of her own. It’s not hard to predict that a friendship will develop between the newcomer and the curmudgeon. Tickets, adults £4 and children £2. 7.30pm. Call 01952 462787. For more information, visit

What’s on in Whitchurch

•3rd March, Shropshire Hills Irish Music Day, Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, Craven Arms A day of Irish music workshops. Fiddle with Karen Ryan of the London Lasses, whistle with Ciaran Clifford, mandolin with Diana Buckle. From 9.30am to 6pm. Costs £48 including tea, coffee and lunch.

Eyton Races

The Limehouse Golem (15), 5th March, The Edge Arts Centre When a series of gruesome murders shake Victorian London, Inspector Kildare (Bill Nighy) of Scotland Yard is promoted to lead the investigation. Can he discover the identity of the killer before they strike again?

Trevanion & Dean Auctioneers Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables Come for advanced viewing of these fine artifacts including collectable books and find a hidden gem! Dates include 15th and 16th March, auction 17th March, advanced viewing 19th and 20th April, auction 21st April. www. trevanion anddean. com

Plant Hunters’ Fair, 18th March at Alderford Lake This free event offers the opportunity to pop along and visit many specialist nurseries at no charge to get your gardening season off to a great start. With a great range of perennials, shrubs, trees, rare species and old heritage varieties. The nursery folk will be more than happy to help.

Whitchurch Friday Market, 23rd March From 6.30am-12.30pm in the heart of Whitchurch the market is both inside and outside the Civic Centre and Market Hall for over 60 years. With fresh fruit and veg, bacon, sausages, fish, cakes, preserves and pies to books, watches, flowers, CDs and greeting cards.

What’s on at Kino Culture NT Live: Julius Caesar (12A), 22nd March, 7pm Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London, Caesar returns in triumph to Rome and the people pour out of their homes to celebrate. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated élite conspire to bring him down. 11th April, 7pm, RSC Live: Macbeth (12A)

Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies, he sets out on the path to murder. This contemporary production of Shakespeare’s darkest psychological thriller marks both Christopher Eccleston’s RSC debut and the return of Niamh Cusack to the Company. Tickets £12, under 16s £10.

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WHAT’S ON SHROPSHIRE Easter events at Dudmaston Hall

Attingham Park Events trail to find all the clues and receive a chocolatey Night Run, 3rd March price at the end. Normal admission applies plus Choose between two routes: the short 2.7km £2.50 per prize. From 10am-4pm. Explorer route is an after dark adventure with glowing lights guiding your way, and if you’re after Wild times: back to nature, 5th and 12th April something more challenging, the Adventurer 6km Leave the screens and technology behind and join route is the perfect way to shake off the winter the WildLife Survival school for fun around blues. Explorer 2.7km - participants must be the campfire. Suitable for ages 5-11. 6 years and over. All under 16s must be DID YOU Sessions will take place at 10am, 11am, accompanied by an adult. Adventurer KNOW? event entry (12+ only) is £14 and 350 million bars 12pm, 2pm, and 3pm. Each week during every school holiday will have a different Explorer is £7. 6.30m-8pm. Entries of Cadbury’s theme. must be booked in advance online at chocolate are sold

every year

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts, 24th March-2nd April Explore the grounds and unravel the clues to claim your chocolate-y prize this Easter. Trails will be held on 24th and 25th March and on the Easter weekend from 30th March-2nd April. Enjoy the Attingham woods as they spring into life after the cold winter, follow our Easter Cadbury Egg Hunt

Oswestry School Recital Series The Endellion String Quartet, 1st March The Endellion String Quartet celebrated its 35th anniversary in 2014 after performing in Oswestry in 2013. The quartet’s schedule has taken them across the globe and the programme for their welcome return to Oswestry brings three great core works from the repertoire. Emma Johnson, Clarinet, John Lenehan, Piano, 7th April Having won the BBC Young Musician of the Year at the age of 17, Emma Johnson will be offering a mixed programme. She will be including a great Brahms Sonata, rarely performed music by Clara Schuman, as well as a virtuoso fantasy based on favourite melodies from Verdi’s Traviata and other music for the clarinet in a lighter vein.

Cadbury Easter Egg Hunts 30th March-2nd April Follow the trail around the woodland and solve the clues to claim your Cadbury chocolate treat. Hunts will take place in Comer Woods and at Dudmaston Hall. Trail maps cost £2.50. Meet the Beekeeper, 8th April, 11am-5pm Find out how the beekeeper looks after the colony of bees that live on the estate. Meet the team and find out how these amazing insects help to sustain the flora and fauna on the estate. There’s also a chance to have a go at the art of candle rolling using real beeswax.

Severn Valley Railway

Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival Spring Steam Gala, 16th-18th March A great line-up of visiting locomotives supported by members of the Severn Valley Railway home fleet. This is a great event for all the family to get up close to an array of exciting steam locomotives. Attractions include: local trains and autotrains toing and fro-ing between stations and services into the evenings plus a miniature railway in steam. Paw Patrol Visit, 28th March and 19th April Come and see Chase and Skye and ride out into the countryside on one of the trains. For more information or to book tickets visit

The Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival is a unique event which brings a small army of professional cartoonists from all over the UK and overseas to draw for the public. The event, this year on 21st April, draws a huge audience with live drawing of giant cartoons in Shrewsbury Town Square as its centrepiece. There will also be live caricaturing by some of the UK’s top professionals and there are even cartoon workshops for aspiring cartoonists and exhibitions of themed cartoons. For more information visit www.shrewsburycartoon March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 41

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Music and children’s activities at The British Ironwork Centre Live music, weekends, 11am-3pm This year the centre will be playing host to some of Shropshire’s finest talent, with local singers and performers debuting at the Centre, holding free live music events every weekend for all visitors to enjoy. Aspiring artists who would like to perform can send an email detailing more about their music plus a link to their website to info@

Oswestry Town Market

Kid’s Club 2018, various dates This members only group founded by the British Ironwork Centre encourages children to Eco Safari Ride, access and regular departures enjoy the centres grounds Catch a ride on the Safari Buggy and facilities. Kid’s club will around the British Ironworks be running a calendar Centre’s grounds, and of activities DID YOU spot some of the most throughout KNOW? fearsome animals on 2018 which Giant trapdoor the planet. See deer, will embrace spiders stalked fighting bulls, grazing children of all the earth over 300 horses and colourful genders, abilities, gorillas. Be sure to million years nationalities and have your camera at ago ages. Members the ready to snap will get to hear about a picture of the giant tarantula. the children’s events and For more information visit www. activities first via email notification.

Youth Music Festival, 2nd-5th March Over 300 talented young performers compete in this competition aimed at encouraging musical development. There’s a huge number of classes using various instruments. Performances are free to watch and held in local venues concluding with the Sunday final at Christchurch. Call 01691 680222. 40th Anniversary Concert, 4th March, 7.30pm To celebrate 40 years of the Youth Music Festival a special concert will be held at Christchurch including many of the talented performers since its introduction.

Ironbridge Gorge Museum events Digital Engineering for Kids & Families at Enginuity, 4th, 11th and 18th March Learn more about coding with your kids at these workshops. Over three sessions you will progressively work through a range of coding skills. Once familiar with the basic block coding skills, you will be able to create animated games from scratch, control robots such as the OhBot and EzBot and programme a BBC MicroBit

and the LittleBits, Gizmos and Gadgets. Suitable for children aged 7-11 years. Sessions from 10am-12pm in Fab Lab at Enginuity. £5pp per session or £10pp for all three sessions. Places are limited so call 01952 433970 to book.

The Man Engine at Blists Hill, 14th April The largest mechanical puppet ever constructed in Britain will be paying a visit to Blists Hill. The spectacular Man Engine crawls at 4m high and ‘transforms’ to stand at 11.2m high. The team behind it are creating a bespoke visual, theatrical and aural experience for the Blists Hill event, highlighting the area’s recognition as being the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. For more information please visit

Stock up on plants at this Plant Hunters Fair Spring is in the air and it’s time to get out in the garden and get planning and planting for the year ahead. Where better to get inspiration than at Whittington Castle on 30th March? Visit the many specialist nurseries and get your gardening season off to a great start. All the nurseries are

happy to offer expert advice to help less experienced gardeners select the right plants for their gardens. For true ‘plantaholics’ there are always those little treasures to discover that can’t be obtained elsewhere. This is a free event. Visit www.

Artisan Market, 31st March, 9am until 3pm A collection of quality local craft and food producers held in Bailey Street.

Good Friday Family Day, 14th April, 9am-3pm Lots of family activities on the Bailey Head with games, rides, face painting and an Easter egg hunt with prizes. Shropshire Produce Market, 15th April, 9am-3pm Shropshire based food and craft producers selling the best the county has to offer.

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What’s on at the Festival Drayton Centre Phill Jupitus – Juplicity, 3rd March, 8pm Join stand-up comedian, poet, improviser, and TV stalwart Phill Jupitus for over an hour of tales, laughs and diversions. Watch in delight and/or horror as this experienced funny man drags laughs out of the chaos of his own life and the uncertain world that surrounds it. Adult themes and situations, but delivered childishly. Suitable for 14+ with parental guidance. Tickets £15. Lady Windermere’s Fan – Oscar Wilde Season, 20th March, 7.15pm A new production of Oscar Wilde’s social comedy directed by award winning writer, actor and director Kathy Burke, will be broadcast live to cinemas from the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End. Kathy Burke brings together a talented comedic

Easter at Ludlow Castle Archaeology Discovery Week at Ludlow Castle, 24th-31st March Resident archaeologist Leon Bracelin will be on hand to talk about the topic plus there will be an Archaeology pit to dive into and free activities including tours and a talks on both Saturdays. During the rest of the week there will be tours and talks by Leon. Easter Treasure Hunt, 30th and 31st March A fun Victorian treasure hunt in the castle and surrounding grounds, with clues leading to a prize. Normal entry fee applies. 31st March, Antiques Fair in The Beacon Rooms of Castle House Entry £1, children free. For further information visit

cast including the Olivier Award winning actress Samantha Spiro as Mrs Erlynne, Kevin Bishop as Lord Darlington, and guest starring Jennifer Saunders as the Duchess of Berwick. Tickets £16.50, Friends £15. Richard Herring, 22nd March, 8pm Following on from Oh F***, I’m 40!, this is the second (and let’s face it, almost certainly penultimate) instalment in Herring’s once-a-decade examination of ageing – Oh Frig I’m 50. Richard Herring gets to the half century and looks at how his life has changed in the last decade, from irresponsible, single kidult to married father who is mid-way to the telegram from the Queen (though given she will be 140 in 2067, she might forget to send it). Tickets £17.30

• 3rd March, The Dolly ShowTribute Evening at Tern Hill Hall Kelly O’Brien will be performing her amazing tribute to Dolly Parton. As a multiple National Tribute Award winner she will be sure not to disappoint! Tickets are £45.

•3rd March, The West Midlands Zombie Escape Race at Hawkstone Park Follies Zombies have taken over Hawkstone Park follies and the safe zone is on the otherside. Do you have what it takes to make it through the 5km route of caves mud and obstacles? 11am-3pm.

Oswestry Classical Music and Opera tickets are on sale now 2nd March Borderline Music presentation – An Evening of Tunes, Rhydycroesau Village Hall 23rd March Lily Neill - international harpist, St Silin’s Parish Church 24th March Cantiones Chamber Choir The Peacemakers - Karl Jenkins; Requiem Mass - Schumann 15th April Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart Heritage Opera, The Marches Theatre, Oswestry Buy your tickets from Rowanthorn in Oswestry.

•8th March, Talk: Our Stour, a journey along the River Stour from source to Severn, Severn Valley Country Park Visitor Centre, Alveley Photographer, Graham Beckley presents a photographic journey from the source of the River Stour. 7.30pm-9pm. Adult £3, child £2. •10th March, Organ Recital and Afternoon Tea, Ellesmere College Two organists from Birmingham Conservatoire will each play the College’s two magnificent pipe organs. 3.30pm.

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 43

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Shrewsbury Choral Society to present Glorious Haydn

Shrewsbury Abbey will provide dazzlingly international array of the venue for Shrewsbury talent and the well-established Choral Society’s next Shrewsbury Sinfonia concert, to be on under the leadership DID YOU of Anne Tupling. Saturday 24th KNOW? March at 7.30pm. The main work LEGO comes from of the concert is Shrewsbury the Danish word the Missa Tempore Choral Society has ‘leg godt’ meaning a growing reputation Belli (Mass in Time ‘play well’ of War) also known for innovative and as the Paukenmesse. inspiring concerts under the leadership of The soloists will be soprano, Catriona Hewitson Dr. Martin Cook, the Society’s and bass, Peter Edge, both of musical director. He will which are pursuing masters conducting the choir performing degrees at the Royal College ‘Glorious Haydn’; an intriguing programme of Haydn’s music. of Music, the well-established tenor Joseph Spratt and the The concert will feature a

Lego bricks at Shrewsbury Museum

glorious contralto, Ayaka Tanimoto, from Japan. The Shrewsbury Sinfonia will open the concert with the Overture to L’isola disabitata, an opera written by Haydn in the 1779. This dramatic piece will provide a truly stimulating start to what promises to be a memorable evening. Then, Ines Mota will close the first half of the concert with the fantastic piece Cello Concerto in C. Tickets cost £15 for adults, children under 16 are free. Call 01743 232236 or visit

Shrewsbury Steampunk Spectacular

Shrewsbury Fake Festival Shrewsbury Fake Festival is back on 28th April at The Quarry. This year will be extra special, doubling the line-up to six pro-level Fake Bands from 12pm-11pm. They look, sound and move like the real rock-stars and include bands The Fillers, The Antarctic Monkeys, New2, Blondied, Total Stone Roses, and Kings of Lyon. Early bird tickets available now cost from £15 for ages 10-17 years to £22.50 for adults and family bundles for £60. For more information visit

The first ever Steampunk Spectacular to arrive in Shrewsbury, organised by Chantilly Grey, is being held on 24th-25th March at St Mary’s Church. With stalls, an evening of art and an open exhibition at Coleham’s Pumping Station, which boasts fabulous old-fashioned Victorian machinery.

Wenlock Olympian Live Arts Festival Wenlock Olympian Live Arts Festival, held at the Edge Arts Centre returns on 10th-11th March and 24th-25th March. There are competitive classes in dance, music and speech and drama for children and young people aged 18 and under. Schedules and entry forms classes are available on the website.

Brick History at the Shrewsbury Museum and Art Gallery, which runs until 15th April takes you on a journey through pivotal moments in world history, modelled in LEGO® bricks. This is history brought to life at a relatable, human level, featuring key figures from Mozart to Martin Luther King, scientific discoveries from the Big Bang to DNA and

recent history from mobile phones to the moon landings. This exhibition has something for people of all ages. From tiny recreations of concorde and Titanic that would sit in your hand, to a 1.5m square castle bustling with activity in periods of both peace and war, there is something for all to be amazed by and to admire. www.shrewsburymuseum.

Spring Lambing Day North Shropshire College hosts its Spring Lambing Day on 25th March from 10.30am-4.30pm. Activities on offer include newborn lambs, snakes, chinchilas, meerkats and alpacas! See chicks hatching, an equine display, treasure hunt, climbing wall, face painting, vintage machinery and more.

44 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Where your journey begins...

Walk through history in LEGO© bricks

See website for details @shrewsburymuseum


First Steps Nursery & Prep School Open Day - Saturday 3rd March, 10am 6+ Awards Day - Tuesday 13th March


Find out more:

WHAT’S ON in MAR & APR ‘18


Here is a taste of what’s on offer...

New-born Lambs - you may even see a lamb being born if you are lucky! Come and see our animals, we have over 90 species from Snakes and Chinchillas to Meerkats and Alpacas! We also have Pony Club Display, Treasure Hunt, Climbing Wall, Face Painting, Vintage Machinery, Porthywaen Silver Band, Milking Display and much, much more!

Sunday 25th March 10.30am - 4.00pm 11.30am - New Milk Vending Machine Grand Opening Walford Campus, Baschurch FREE parking at Walford Campus or park and ride Just £10 per car / family on foot #WalfordLambing

01939 262100

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Whitchurch Little Theatre Group presents “A Bunch of Amateurs” By Ian Hislop & Nick Newman from 6th - 9th March 2018 at Whitchurch Civic Centre, 7.30pm each night. Trevanion & Dean Auctioneers Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables (including books) Advanced viewing: 15th & 16th March, auction date 17th March and advanced viewing: 19th & 20th April, auction date 21st April. Sunday 18th March 2018: Plant Hunters Fair, Alderford Lake. Saturday 7th April Whitchurch Spring Fair & Makers Market. Join us in both the Civic Centre and Whitchurch Town Centre for a fantastic array of stalls, dance and musical performances, baby animals and delicious food. Crafts and local community stalls in the Main Hall. Free event.

For more information please visit

A fabulous way to spend a day at the start of a new growing season. Beautiful plants and plenty of ideas around. St Alkmund’s Concert Series 2018. Tuesday 10th April at 7.30pm

“Singing Showcase” feat. Whitchurch and Wem Community Choirs. Sunday 22nd April @ 3pm “Mold Symphonic Wind Band”. Sunday 28th April @ 7.30pm “The Creation“ by Joseph Haydn for tickets Tel: 01948 880679.

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Festival Drayton Centre, Frogmore Road, Market Drayton, Shropshire, TF9 3AX 01630 654444

Alderford Lake New Car Boot Season begins on Sunday 1st April

Himalayan Salt Lamps - each beautiful light is uniq ue, and natural ionisers, O nly £ 1 7 & £ 2 5

2018 dates: Sun 1st April: Car boot supporting Ovarian Cancer charity Sun 6th May: Car boot supporting West Midlands Air Ambulance Sun 10th June: Car boot - Plant Special - supporting Friends of Oswestry Orthopaedic If you have any superfluous plants to sell, this is the car boot to sell them at. Or if you are looking for plants, please come along to buy. Sun 1st July: Car boot supporting Whitchurch Relay for Life Sun 5th Aug: Car boot supporting Carers Trust 4 All Sun 2nd Sept: Car boot supporting Friends of Whitchurch Hospital Sun 7th Oct: Car boot supporting Blackberry Fair

L ovely K arma A irD iffusers leave a long- lasting and vibrant scent. T hey come in beautifully designed boxe s, making them an ideal gift. O nly £ 4 .9 9

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Visit the website at www.rowanthorn. to find local classical music and opera events, or come into the shop to buy your tickets! Including: • Heritage Opera • Oswestry School recital series • Whittington Music Festival • Borderline Music presentations • Cantiones Chamber Choir • London Handel players • Concerts at St Silin’s Parish Church and Rhydycroesau Village Hall’

Gates open to Sellers at 9am. Fees: Cars, 4x4s, small vans £8; Large vans £12; Trailers £3.

Gates Open to Buyers at 9.30am. Admission Adults £1; Children Free Further information: 01948 665914 Tilstock Road, Whitchurch, SY13 3JQ

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...something different Rowanthorn, 4 Old Chapel Court, English Walls, Oswestry, SY11 2PD 01691 238227 •

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What’s on at The Place Griff Rhys Jones: Where Was I? 8th March Join the star of Not the Nine o’clock News and Three Men In A Boat as he airs stories, anecdotes and outright lies – from forty years of travelling down rivers and up mountains, into Africa, out of India, and across the arid wastes of the BBC canteen. Tickets £19.

New York. It’s make or break but with the help of his daughter Lucille who’s helplessly in love with Bill’s assistant, Andrew, and his sister Mae can they fix the family business?

Pantomania, 29th-31st March and 2nd-5th April The Sleeping Beauty, 14th March Join the Pantomime adventure this Easter as Dick Vienna Festival Ballet presents this classic fairytale Doddington leaves Telford in his search for fame set to Tchaikovsky’s and fortune.Various ticket prices. magnificent score with stunning choreography Horrible Histories – More Best of Barmy Britain, and beautiful costumes 22nd-23rd April, various ticket prices combined to portray the Prepare for a special production of Horrible struggle between DID YOU Histories good and featuring all evil. KNOW? your favourite In Saxon times, Swinging My Way To Love, half the population characters. 22nd March were dead before www.the placetelford. A brand new musical following Bill they were 25 com Bigsby’s big merge with a company in

Events at The Theatre on the Steps Wings over Abbey Road, 10th March, 8pm Although released before Let It Be, Abbey Road was The Beatles’ last recorded album. Paul McCartney then went on to form Wings. This is a celebration of The Beatles from their beginnings to their peak, and Paul McCartney’s Wings. Tickets £13.50, concessions £12. Clive Carroll & Chris Quinn, 23rd March, 8pm Clive Carroll is recognised as one of the outstanding acoustic guitarists of his generation. He’s joined by Theatre on the Steps regular Chris Quinn. Tickets £14 and £12 concessions. Into the Shadows, 20th April, 8pm Into the Shadows recreate the unique sound of The Shadows. Among their hits were Wonderful Land, Guitar Tango, Frightened City, Dance On, FBI, Atlantis and Man of Mystery. Come along and relive those wonderful memories, from the magical 60s! £13. Sensation: The Music of The Who, 28th April, 8pm Jump on the magic bus for this amazing musical journey from My Generation to Who are You and all with maximum rhythm and blues. Tickets £19.

Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival

Midlands Air Ambulance Charity’s Bike4Life Ride Out and Festival on 22nd April is one of the biggest biker events in the country, attracting over 12,000 bikers. Starting from Meole Brace in Shrewsbury, head off on a 23 mile route to RAF Cosford, home to the Bike4Life Festival, waved on by hundreds of supporters along the route. Crowds of festival guests will line the pavements to welcome you where you will be entertained by live bands, bike shows, trade stands and a food festival. £10 per biker, £5 per pillion, festival only £5.

•17th March, The Shropshire Way 80km Starting at 9am, this mass participation walk must be completed within 24 hours. The route is 80km (50 miles) and will be taking in some of the finest parts of the Shropshire Hills AONB. Starting and finishing at the Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, you will be treated to breakfast as you complete. •18th March, Plant Hunters Fair at Aldeford Lake A fabulous way to spend a day at the start of a new growing season. Beautiful plants and plenty of ideas around.

•19th March, 6 mile Guided Walk: Broseley, Buildwas Abbey & Benthall Edge Meeting at Birchmeadow Centre car park located off Birchmeadow Road in Broseley at 9.30am. Free parking at the car park. Booking essential. •24th-25th March, Shrewsbury Flea Market, at The Greenhous West Mid Showground Shrewsbury Flea is a fabulous mixture of antiques and collectables, retro furniture, vintage clothing and fabrics, architectural salvage, reclamation and much, much more. Adult entry is £2.50, children go free.

British Alpaca Society National Show in Telford Held on 24th-25th March at The International Centre in Telford. Meet alpacas, watch competitions and enjoy the animals! 9am-5pm, Saturday, 9am-4pm, Sunday. Entry costs £2 adult, £5 family. March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 47

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•26th March, Lamb Feeding at Park Hall Farm, Oswestry Enjoy the delight of bottle feeding cute lambs every day at 1pm and 4.15pm until early summer. As the season progresses the farm will continue with goat feeding.

•31st March, St. Mark Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach by Shrewsbury Cantata Choir, Shrewsbury Abbey ‘It will be one of very few performances over the last three hundred years’, says Cantata chairman Joe Gomme, ‘It is a very special occasion’. Tickets £14. Starts 7.30pm. •1st and 28th April, Spring Foraging Course at Burford House This course is a simple foraging walk where enabling you to identify a selection of edible spring shoots, plants, flowers and hopefully some spring mushrooms too. After roughly a 2.5 hour walk head back to Burford House to enjoy a tasty wild food lunch. Book online. 12pm-3.30pm.

Catch up with Theatre Severn

hang-out, and the only man who National Dance Company could ever help them. Featuring Wales: Terra Firma, 6th March the greatest hits of Dusty The show tells stories drawn from Springfield, this is a sparklingly the very ground on which we funny and sweetly touching new build our communities. Folk, musical play. £21 -£41. a vintage fairy-tale; Tundra, a barren landscape where ultraMuch Ado About Nothing, modern creativity blinks into 28th-29th March life; Atalay – a watch tower from Shakespeare’s sparkling which far off lands can DID YOU battle-of-the-sexes be seen from four comedy celebrates points; a contagious KNOW? dance influenced Dusty Springfield’s Shropshire Youth by the warmth of real name was Mary Theatre’s 25th the Mediterranean. Isobel Catherine birthday production. Will Benedick 7.30pm. £16, conc. Bernadette and Beatrice ever £12, child £8. O’Brien get together? Their ‘will-they-won’tSon of a Preacher they’ relationship is one of Man, 13th-17th March Shakespeare’s funniest and most Three broken hearts, one Soho

•1st April, Aldeford Lake Car boot Come along to this charity car boot. Cars cost £8, large vans £12, trailers £3. Gates open to buyers at 9.30am: Admission adults £1; Children free. •8th, 17th and 22nd April, Guided tours of Stokesay Court Places must be pre-booked and cost £16.50. Visitors booking a tour at Stokesay Court will also be eligible for a 2-for-1 entry voucher for English Heritage’s Stokesay Castle. Vouchers will be handed out on the tour.

Concerts from Shropshire Music Trust Carducci String Quartet, Series Voyages from Budapest, 18th March, 3pm, The Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury A musical journey from the expressive late romantic style used in Bartok’s 1st quartet, to the late Viennese masterpiece of Haydn, and Brahm’s autumnal clarinet quintet. Star clarinettist Julian Bliss will also be playing. Tickets £17, 25s and under free. Convivio – A Royal Engagement, Music from the courts of Europe, 9th April, 1pm, The Lion Hotel Exploring the soloistic capabilities of lesser known instruments such as the baroque bassoon, oboe and theorbo, the programme features little known gems alongside works by household names Vivaldi, Telemann and Handel. Performing will be high flying postgraduates of the Royal College of Music. Tickets: £6, 25s and under £3 and 18s and under £1.

famous love stories. 7.30pm, tickets £15, £10 for under 18s. Evita, 3rd-7th April, 7.30pm Telling the story of Eva Peron, wife of former Argentine dictator Juan Peron, Evita follows Eva’s journey from humble beginnings through to extraordinary wealth, power and iconic status which ultimately lead her to be heralded as the ‘spiritual leader of the nation’ by the Argentine people. Featuring iconic songs Don’t Cry For Me Argentina, A Night of a Thousand Stars and Another Suitcase in Another Hall. Tickets from £45.50-£20.50. Matinee Weds, Thursday and Saturday, 2.30pm.

RAF Cosford

Feathers and Flight, 3rd-15th April, 10am-5pm Solve the ‘Feathers and Flight’ trail and go in search of the answers to six tricky aircraft and bird themed questions. Cost £1. Eagles at Easter, 5th and 12th April, 10am-4pm, free An array of birds of prey including hawks, buzzards, falcons, owls and a bald eagle will be on show. There will also be a flight display at 2pm.

European Union Chamber Orchestra, 15th April, 6pm, St. Alkmund’s Church, Shrewsbury A rich and varied programme with Europe’s leading cultural ambassadors Amongst the many distinguished soloists will feature the eminent virtuoso, Crispian Steele Perkins.

48 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 8TH – 29TH APRIL •8th April, Edge Villa, near Yockleton - Open Garden for NGS Two acres nestling in South Shropshire hills. Self-sufficient vegetable plot. Chickens in the orchard, large herbaceous borders. Fragrant roses. Teas in sheltered courtyard. Wendy house and teepee for children. Entry costs £4. Open from 10am-2pm.

Ludlow Assembly Rooms

•15th April, Try Canal Boating for Free Drifters Waterway Holidays and the Canal and River Trust are offering people the chance to try canal boating for free at Whitchurch Marina. The taster sessions will include free short trips on skippered narrowboats, as well as boat tours and holiday discounts. 11am till 4pm. •21st April, Plant Hunters’ Fair at Battlefield 1403, Shrewsbury Free entry to this great plant fair with delicious food available at the Battlefield Farm Shop and Cafe on site. 9.30am-4pm.

Showaddywaddy, 17th March Showaddywaddy have long been established as Europe’s most successful ever exponents of retroinspired rock ‘n roll. With 23 Top 40 hit singles, including Under The Moon of Love, When and You Got What It Takes plus many more. This evening promises to be an outstanding night of music. Tickets: £21. 8pm. Late Night Film: Braille Music, 6th April, 9.45pm Braille Music is a new documentary by American filmmaker Michael House, featuring six blind musicians who come together to record a tribute to Louise Braille. Introduced by James Risdon, one of the film’s featured musicians, this

event will be held in the main auditorium at Ludlow Assembly Rooms. Tickets £10

Berliner Philharmoniker: Kirill The Celtic North, 7th April, Petrenko & Yuja Wang, 13th April, 6.30pm Music from the Carice Singers and songs by Sir Arnold Bax, This live broadcast of the Berliner Philharmoniker is Frederick Delius, Percy Grainger led by Kirill Petrenko, chief and Sir Hubert Parry make up conductor designate of the part of this programme from one orchestra, and features of Britain’s most exciting the exciting young young choral groups. DID YOU pianist Yuja Wang At St Laurence’s KNOW? Church. £22/£25. Showaddywaddy performing Starts 2pm. Prokofiev’s spent 209 weeks Piano Concerto in the UK Singles No. 3. Tickets: Young Composers Chart! Showcase, 8th April £14.50 / £13.50 / £7.50 under 18. A chance to hear Call the box office on this year’s new songs, performed by students from the 01584 878141 or visit www. Royal Welsh College of Music

• 24th April, Brownhill House – Open Garden for NGS, A unique hillside garden bordering River Perry. Wide variety of styles and plants from formal terraces to woodland paths, plus large kitchen garden. £4, children free. Homemade teas.

Willow Gallery events, Oswestry

•28th-29th April, Made in Dagenham, Telford and District Light Operatic Players, Oakengates Theatre In 1968 a group of ladies from the Ford Dagenham factory went on strike after having their job skill level downgraded. What started as a fight to be recognised as skilled workers ended in a national fight for equal pay for women. The story was then turned into a classic British film and then into a full musical production. The Telford and District Light Operatic Players performances are at 2.30pm and 7.30pm the box office is open and tickets cost £14 and can be purchased from society members.

Claude Bourbon, 24th March, 8pm This classically trained musician fuses every conceivable genre of acoustic guitar music into a master-class of a stage performance. Tickets £10 Adults, £5 for Children.

Lino Cut with Ian Phillips, 14th April, 10am to 5pm Explore a variety of Lino cut techniques and hand burnishing printing. All materials included. £55.

Batik for collage with Jenny O’Leary, 31st March Learn the exciting art of batik – hot wax resist – on paper and tissue paper creating interesting marks and textures, which is then cut and torn to create collages. 10am-4pm. £40.

and Drama. This free event starts at 2pm.

What’s On at Alderford Lake

Plant Hunters Fair, 18th March A fabulous way to spend a day at the start of a new growing season. Beautiful plants and plenty of ideas. Simon Kempston, 28th April, 8pm (doors 7pm) Edinburgh based awardwinning singer-songwriter and leading acoustic fingerstyle guitarist. £10. www. willow gallery oswestry. org

Charity Car Boot,1st April Gates open to sellers at 9am. Gates open to buyers at 9.30am. Entry £1; kids free. Outdoor Film Nights, 6th and 7th April The Goonies on Friday and Predator on Saturday.

50 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Arts Alive

23rd February-11th March, Borderlines Film Festival, various venues in Herefordshire The Borderlines Film Festival returns across Herefordshire, Shropshire and The Borders. It offers audiences a chance to see great films before they go on general release. This year The Courtyard in Hereford, Flicks in the Sticks and independent market town and village venues will be showcasing films across five counties.

In Between (15) Garway Village Hall, 13th March, 7.30pm In Between is the story of three Palestinian women living in an apartment in Tel Aviv trying to find a balance between traditional and modern culture. Starring Mouna Hawa, Sana Jammelieh, Shaden Kanboura, Tickets £5, child £2.50. 01600 750465. Julius Caesar NT Live, Playhouse Cinema, Leominster,

23rd March, Music Night at Linton Village Hall with Blake’s III, Linton This eclectic acoustic trio comprises fiddle, clarinet, guitar and three and three part harmony vocal. Martin Blake has been playing guitar and singing since the mid 60s and is still performing regularly today. Tickets £8. Doors open 7pm. Bar and hot food will be available too.

1st-2nd April, Hereford Waterwork’s Museum Herefordshire’s Historic Water Supplies – a first event in a new series will focus on Ross-on-Wye (including the official opening of ‘The Old Workshop’) based at the Steam and Waterwork’s Museum this month.

7th and 22nd April, Ledbury Spring Foraging Course, Ridgeway, Eastnor Come along at 12pm for a short intro on what to look for and set off on a 2-3 hour walk identifying the different edible and poisonous spring shoots, plants, flowers and mushrooms. Enjoy homemade refreshments and finish the day off with a tasty wild food lunch. 12pm3.30pm, £45, under 16s £22.50, under 12s free.

8th April, Open Garden, Whitfield, Wormbridge Wild flowers, ponds, walled garden, a woodland walk with delicious teas. 2pm-5pm, £5, children free.

25th March, 7pm Ben Whishaw and Michelle Fairley play Brutus and Cassius, David Calder plays Caesar and David Morrissey is Mark Antony. Broadcast live from The Bridge Theatre, London. Caesar returns in triumph to Rome. Alarmed by the autocrat’s popularity, the educated élite conspire to bring him down. Tickets £12 adult, £10 child. Enquries: 01568 616460.

What’s on at Malvern Theatres Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, 1st-3rd March, Festival Theatre A twisted tale of nerve-jangling horror, this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic gothic thriller stars Phil Daniels as the extraordinary Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. During one of his audacious experiments trying to separate good from evil, the mild-mannered Dr Jekyll inadvertently unleashes an alternative personality, the fiendish Mr Hyde. Various performances. The Little Match Girl and Other Happier Tales, 21st-24th March, The Festival Theatre Struggling to keep warm on the freezing winter streets, our impoverished heroine begins to strike her dwindling stock of matches. Each match conjures a new story, and she escapes

into an enchanting world of magic. A truly remarkable experience, full of music, laughter, puppetry and magic. Banff Film Festival, 2nd and 23rd March, Forum Theatre Experience an extraordinary collection of short films. Follow the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers, and see amazing footage of adrenaline-packed action sports. The Bootleg Beatles, 6th April, Forum Theatre, 7.45pm The world’s most famous Beatles Tribute band trace the Fab Four’s journey through the sixties, every tiny detail is meticulously covered from costumes to authentic period for ‘Beatlemaniacs’ of all ages. 20th Century Boy, 10th-12th April, Forum Theatre This hit musical, inspired by the life of rock legend Marc Bolan marks the 40th anniversary of the iconic star’s death.

Bernstein Centenary Ballet, The Market Theatre, Ledbury, 27th March, 7.30pm The Royal Ballet unites all three of its associate choreographers to celebrate Bernstein’s music. Tickets £14, child, £12.

Spring at Croft Castle and Parkland

Mother’s Day, 11th March Celebrate Mother’s Day with a flower arranging workshop in the walled garden, an afternoon tea offer in the tea-room and stories of powerful Croft mothers through the years in the castle. Normal admission applies. 10am-5pm. Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt, 30th, 31st March, 1st, 2nd April Once again the Cadbury Bunny has hidden precious choccy eggs across Britain. Now it’s up to you to find them. Trails cost £3 and normal admission applies. The Adventures of Mrs Tiggy-Winkle trail, 3rd-15th April Join Mrs Tiggy-Winkle as she wakes up for spring. Dress up and play 1950s games in the castle, go wild in the natural and mini-castle play areas and treat yourself in the gift shop and tea-room. Normal admission plus £2.50 per trail. www. nationaltrust.

52 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Eastnor Castle

Easter at Eastnor, 30th March-2nd April Come along to this legendary Easter treasure hunt around the castle and grounds. Chocolate for everyone who takes part and a chance to win an enormous Easter Egg! Castle and grounds admission adult: £12, child (3-15yrs): £7.50, family (2+3): £32.

The Courtyard


Runaround Days, 3rd-4th April Children’s quiz and activity check-list… let off some steam in the school holidays DID YOU at Eastnor KNOW?

Castle. Grounds only admission (castle upgrades available) costs £8 for an adult, child (315yrs) £5.50, family (2+3) £22. Discounts available online

After arriving in America, the Trapp Family Singers became Columbia’s most successful choral group

The Sound of Music, 16th March Watch this all-time classic musical film in a dementiafriendly environment. The sound is a little bit quieter and the lights are only dimmed from 1.30pm, you will be able to sit round a table and have tea, coffee and cake before you watch the film. Starts 2pm. Tickets cost £10 including refreshments. HMS Pinafore, 14th17th March, 7.30pm Ahoy there! It’s time to sail the ocean blue in the saucy ship HMS Pinafore, where the captain’s daughter, although destined to marry the First Lord of the Admiralty, is, in fact, in love with a common sailor! Don’t miss Hereford’s own musical, multi-award-winning G & S company in another colourful, comical caper! Tickets: £16. Griff Rhys Jones: Where Was I?, 29th March, 7.30pm The star of Not the Nine o’clock News, Smith & Jones and Three Men In A Boat is airing stories, anecdotes, reminiscences and outright lies – from forty years of travelling – down rivers and up mountains, into Africa, out of India, and across the arid wastes of the BBC canteen. It’s a career, if you mean bouncing chaotically downhill without a map. 90 minutes of comedy exploration. Tickets cost £20. London Mozart Players, 13th April, 7.30pm LMP are delighted to be returning to the Courtyard with a sparkling concert of core repertoire, more recent works and an exciting young soloist, Tim Ridout. Arnold’s Sinfonietta No.1 completes the programme, with lush harmonies and hunting calls conjuring quintessential British scenery. Tickets £23. For more information and to book tickets visit www.courtyard.

Easter fun at Berrington Hall

The Heron Tours at Berrington Hall, 10th, 24th and 25th March Get outdoors and celebrate the arrival of the herons for their nesting season on a guided walk around the lake. Learn more about their nesting and feeding habits, their migration and flight routines and what sort of fish they might be feeding off from the lake at Berrington. £3 per person. Normal admission applies. 11.3012.30 or 2pm-3pm. Mother’s Day at Berrington, 11th March, 10am-5pm Discover the stories of the ‘Mothers of Berrington’ in the mansion, enjoy a free glass of wine or pot of tea with any accompanying meal in the tea-room and take part in some spring bulb planting in the walled garden. Cadbury Egg Hunt, 30th and 31st March, 1st and 2nd April, 10am-4pm The Cadbury bunny has hidden precious choccy eggs. Now it’s up to you to find them! Take a map and follow the clues to find them, a delicious treat will be waiting for you at the end. Normal admission applies plus £2.50 per trail.

9th April, Brampton Bryan Point to Point, Teme Valley Attracting up to 100 horses and riders, this point to point horse race is set in the Teme Valley, North Herefordshire. The course at Brampton Bryan is situated between Leintwardine and Knighton. Entrance to the course is £10, under 16s free, and the price of a race card has been dropped to £2. The flag will drop to set the first runners off for their gallop across the beautiful riverside farmland at 1pm.

15th April, Revilo Open Garden for NGS, Revilo, Hereford Third of an acre garden surrounding bungalow includes mixed borders, meadow and woodland areas, scented garden, late summer bed, gravelled herb garden and vegetable/fruit garden. Flower arranger’s garden. Admission £3.50, children free. Homemade teas. 2pm-5pm.

21st April Ivy Croft Open Garden for NGS, Leominster A maturing rural garden with areas of meadow, wood and orchard, blending with countryside and providing habitat for wildlife. The cottage is surrounded by borders, raised beds, trained pears and containers giving all year interest. Admission £4, children free. Homemade teas. 2pm-4.30pm.

28th-29th April, Steampunk Market, Waterworks Museum A inspiring and entertaining Steampunk market with plenty of activities, music and mayhem. Expect costumes, entertainment food and more.

29th April, Hill House Farm Open Garden for NGS, Knighton Five acre south facing hillside garden developed over past 40 years with magnificent views over unspoilt countryside. Home-made teas. Admission £5, children free. 2pm-5pm.

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 53

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Day Trips

Country music fans will no doubt cite Charlie’s witty, personal brand of folkish blues ballads as one of the most remarkable talents around. You may know a song or two but seeing him perform live is a different experience altogether, and one that will leave you feeling relaxed, and your soul full. Charlie Landsborough is that rare phenomenon – an authentically good country musician and an Englishman through and through. Listening to him and his band in action, you just know he could hold his own in any Nashville honky tonk. Yet his singularly entertaining between songs narrative is conducted in an accent that instantly reveals his Birkenhead roots. This proud scouser has penned songs that have been recorded by everyone from Pat Boone to George Hamilton IV. He instantly won over the few audience members unfamiliar with his work with a compelling mixture of good humour, personal charisma and rousing country numbers. Gone was the famous hat, but the long grey hair still remained and soon the whole auditorium was clapping and bobbing along to the old favourites, plus a few new ones. Definitely one to catch when he comes to Shrewsbury again. CR


What’s On


Mini Breaks

Find it all here

Peter Pan at the Floral Pavilion Theatre in New Brighton gave us everything we hoped for from a traditional panto; plenty of over-the-top and slightly silly characters – with Dan Wright’s Smee and Mark Baylis’s Captian Hook particularly standing out; a plethora of groan-inducing gags; plenty of audience participation and just enough local links thrown in to make you feel ‘in on the joke’. The original story was retold in style – with a roller-skating Tinkerbell and some authentic flying from Peter and the Darling children – while the stand-out highlight for me was a new addition to the script… a truly impressive acrobatic display from the unruly mob of pirates. It bore no relation to the storyline, but who cares, this is panto and any excuse to show off skills was welcome! The Pavilion always puts on a good show and I’m keeping an eye out for news of their 2018 offering. KS

T 07713 243869 54 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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The SHIRE team have been hard at work visiting as many shows as possible (tough job, but someone’s got to do it). You can read what our hard-to-please reviewers thought here…


THE LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW Last year was brought to a close in spectacular fashion with the Liverpool International Horse Show at the Echo Arena. Unfortunately, many will remember it for all the wrong reasons as a freak incident sparked a fire in the arena car park, destroying 1,300 vehicles and forcing the cancellation of the show’s finale on New Year’s Eve. But the night before that we were lucky enough to go along to this amazing celebration of all things equestrian so felt it deserved a review so that as many people as possible can book early to show their support for this year’s event. A mecca for horsey types, I took three small pony fans with me to test the claim that it was a show suitable for the whole family – and none of us was disappointed. The intense show jumping class went on for a heart-stopping two-and-a-half hours and all three small bottoms were on the edges of seats throughout. Once a winner was crowned we were invited into the centre of the arena for the hilarious Shetland Pony Grand National after which the daring stunts of the Luminoso team were greeted by gasps of awe and wonder as horses leapt through flames and jockeys balanced precariously at all sorts of inadvisable angles. Musical interludes were provided by the son of Rick Parfitt (of Status Quo fame) and there were even motorbike stunts for those who were not captivated by the impressive equine stars of the show. KS

On the 30th of December my family and I visited Theatre Severn for another promising panto production. Unlike the excruciating exterior, inside was warm, welcoming and of course everyone in high spirits for the panto, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. As ever, it was a full house, ages ranging from old to young. Our expectations of this year’s performance were not let own or diminished, from the very first scene Dame Brad Fitt had us on the edge of our seats, often eyes welling up with laughter! One aspect to note, was the Magic Mirror, a crucial prop in the play. To the shock of everyone, the mirror had a recorded video of a ‘wise old man ‘, adding a bit of authenticity to the play (Dad said it was Michael Palin, apparently he’s famous for comedy too). As ever, the backing dancers, in this case the villagers, were remarkably athletic. The engagement from Muddles, Brad Fitt and the Prince was classic and indubiously entertaining. My fondest memory of the play was the attempted murder of Snow White, which didn’t exactly go to plan. We all had a good laugh over it – and so did the actors! TB

ELLESMERE WINTER FESTIVAL Held on 24th November this festival offers a chance to see the Christmas lights get switched on, and watch the lighted lamp parade that’s put on every year by local arts group, Fizz Gigs. Starting around 6pm, we headed straight to the Market Hall where there were hot food stalls, crafts and plenty to see. For children there was Santa’s Grotto and we indulged in some giant hotdogs and mulled wine. We bought a couple of gifts and there was even some fake snow, courtesy of The Black Lion Hotel on Scotland Street, which certainly added to the magic. At 6.30pm the lights were switched on by the town mayor after children from the local school sang carols for the crowd. After that we saw Santa getting off a decorated barge and onto his sleigh, pulled by ‘reindeer’ and surrounded by the beautiful lamp creations that children and adults have been making at special workshops in the run up to the event. We saw swans, elephants, butterflies and birds sail past us, it was truly magical! VG

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

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 55

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Cirque Beserk, Birmingham Alexandra Theatre, 14th-18th March Showcasing the finest circus thrills and skills, Cirque Berserk! celebrates the 250th anniversary of the invention of Circus by bringing this treasured form of entertainment bang up-to-date in a show created especially for the theatre.

Evita, Birmingham Hippodrome, 20th-24th March Following its smash hit runs in London Bill Kenwright’s production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita is thrilling audiences once again with the story of Eva Peron and truly promises to be the theatrical event of the year!

Crufts 2018, Birmingham NEC, 8th-11th March Crufts is back! For an unforgettable day out full of furry fun, watch over 22,000 dogs compete for the world famous title of Crufts Best in Show Champion, plus enjoy hundreds of trade stands full of wonderful products for dog lovers.


Russell Watson, The Wales Millennium Centre, 25th March Russell Watson is firmly established as the UK’s best-selling classical crossover artist of all time. Captivating to watch and enchanting to listen to, he continues to wow audiences with his enigmatic and entertaining live performances.

Paloma Faith, The Motorpoint Arena, 17th & 18th March Paloma Faith is one of only two British female artists this decade to have their last three albums go double platinum in the UK. Now having released her fourth album, ‘The Architect’, she’s added a Wales date as part of her 2018 tour.

Wales Goes Pop! The Gate, Roath, 30th March-1st April Wales Goes Pop! is an all-ages, Cardiffbased music festival taking place over the Easter bank holiday. The 2018 event features The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Shonen Knife, Sweet Baboo, Kero Kero Bonito, Goat Girl and more.


Wicked, Liverpool Empire Theatre, 7th-31st March The multi record-breaking production of the Wizard of Oz prequel is flying back to Liverpool to transport you to a stunningly re-imagined world of Oz providing marvels beyond your imagination.

The Levellers, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, 18th March Celebrating their 30th anniversary, the Brighton folk-punk band is touring around the release of an acoustic album We The Collective recorded at Abbey Road Studios. They remain one of the best live bands around!

The Grand National, Aintree Racecourse, 14th April History has been written about the legendary runners and riders who have triumphed in the Grand National. Witness the drama unfold in person and watch the hero come through at the end of the world’s most famous steeplechase.



Paul Weller, Manchester Arena, 1st March Following the 40th anniversary of his first album, In The City, released in May 1977, Paul Weller releases his 13th studio album A Kind Revolution on May 12th, continuing his creative peak. Support comes from The Strypes.

Hairspray the Musical, Manchester Opera House, 26th-31st March AIt’s Baltimore, 1962 where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to dance her way onto national TV. An irresistible feel-good show that will have you smiling for days.

The Sound of Music, Palace Theatre, 13th-17th March One of the greatest musicals of all time returns to the stage! This wonderfully lavish staging tells the true story of the world famous singing family, from their romantic beginnings, to their thrilling escape to freedom at the start of WWll.

56 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Variety performance

With so many well-known roles on his acting CV, even Tony struggles to identify a favourite era. ‘I know it sounds like a clever answer, but to be honest what I love most about the work I do and have done is the sheer variety. I’ve always dreaded the idea of a nine-to-five job doing the same thing every day but my work has

been so varied that is has always Plan, is a reflection on his 71 years been my passion. Certainly the and one that Tony for the most role of Baldrick was the one that part enjoyed putting together. transformed my career. At the ‘I came to enjoy it. I certainly point I took that I’d already been found it much easier to reflect working in entertainment for 25 objectively on something I’d done years so to be suddenly gifted the 20 odd years ago as it was like I best comedy role on television for was a different person, whereas many years was incredible.’ the events of the last five years In reality Tony had left school are much more relevant to my life early to go to drama college now so harder to think about. but battled the rejections and ‘Being awarded a knighthood disappointments common to was definitely a highlight the industry: ‘I suppose the of my career. I was so very one thing I did have on my flattered to think that this side was resilience. A lot of my committee of people had sat in contemporaries were better a room and thought about who actors than me but not everyone would be worthy of receiving can handle the pain of a knighthood for their rejection. I’m one of contribution and had DID YOU those people who gets come up with me. KNOW? knocked down, suffers ‘So many aspects of Blackadder ran incredibly for a few my life have come about for 26 episodes days, and then gets (four series) from through happenstance 1983-2000 back up again and that and a random series of is probably what has arbitrary events – I only seen me get this far.’ got my first professional role as the Artful Dodger when I was 13 because the other boy was Putting pen to paper sick! Even when I went up to get These days Tony is as much a my honour from Prince William favourite with children as he is all I could think was ‘How the with adults thanks to his books. bloody hell did I get here?!’ His autobiography, No Cunning


With his long-awaited autobiography now in the shops, Shire Magazine caught up with the much-loved actor, presenter and author Sir Tony Robinson on a recent trip to the Wirral, a place he describes as his second home

ow in his 70s, and with over half a century of entertaining behind him, it is fair to say that Sir Tony Robinson is something of a national treasure. His bumbling Baldrick in Blackadder made him a household name, 20 years presenting Time Team took him all over the country digging for artefacts and his plethora of TV programes and books for children has made him a firm favourite with a younger audience too. When he was knighted in the Queen’s Birthday Honours lists in 2013, Her Majesty was certainly not alone in recognising the incredible contributions made by this legend of entertainment over a 58-year career.

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 59

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CREWE Eryk, from Poland ‘After studying at Manchester University, I moved to Crewe. My favourite thing is the people, they are really friendly and open.’


Beth and Lousie Beth: ‘I like the restaurants, the retail park, especially Chiquitos!’ Louise: ‘The best thing is the parking, it’s so cheap to park in the middle of town.’

There can’t be many towns in Britain with the same transport heritage as Crewe. But there is plenty more to this thriving Cheshire market town than trains...


since restored to its former glory INDUSTRIAL PIONEERS rewe is a large, well-known and still reflecting the Victorian Along with the train link, the town in Cheshire famous traditional style today. Crewe Works thrived as a major for its rail heritage. There is railway engineering facility for no getting away from the fact PROUD PAST manufacturing and overhauling that when most people think The Heritage centre based in locomotives. Although now of Crewe they think of trains. the old LMS railway diminished, the And rightly so. During the yard, boasts three signal location and 19th century Crewe was the boxes and an extensive infrastructure very pinnacle of the blossoming miniature railway still means railway network, which brought with steam, diesel and a 72,000-strong with it a vital role to play in electric trains, as well as population the emerging industries of a British Rail Class 370 are settled in the time. Becoming a hotbed Advanced Passenger Crewe – drawn of invention, the building Train on show. There’s also by its easy access to both of elegant locomotives a Grade II-listed Edwardian brought prosperity to Manchester, 35 miles DID YOU theatre, The Lyceum, built in the town and created north, and London KNOW? 1911 and a stunning Grade which can be reached a springboard for big The Lyceum’s I-listed Jacobean mansion, in an hour-and-a-half industry players to call stage is one of Crewe Hall, built in 1615–36 the most sloped by train. Having such the town home. Rolls in the country for Sir Randolph Crewe, now a Royce, Bentley, BAE strong transport links popular hotel, restaurant, health brought its own dangers Systems, Fujitsu and club and wedding venue. during World War II Bargain Booze to name Crewe is also home to the when the manufacture of aircraft a few have established their famous Crewe Alexandra engines at Rolls Royce and its businesses in the area. Football Club – nicknamed the It all started thanks to the connections to Liverpool made Railwaymen – and bizarrely railways, and although the name the town a target for air raids. ‘Creu’ appears in the Domesday In all, 35 people Book, the town was planned in lost their lives and 50 homes were 1843 by Joseph Locke, destroyed. a formalisation of the railway The rail colony that had become established around the railway companies junction. The name is derived influenced much of the town’s from ‘criu’ – the old Welsh word development. for a crossing. The London and North Western Today Crewe Hall is a popular wedding venue railway funded the building and lays claim to a crater on the upkeep of Christ Church surface of Mars named in the school, the doctor’s surgery, gas town’s honour, the Crewe Crater. works, water works and even One thing’s certain, the thriving the launch of a cheese market. Crewe community believes that They donated the land that was its town is out of this world. transformed into Queen’s Park,

James and Ayda, students ‘We like the social aspect, it’s such a tight knit community.’

Jim and Abbey Jim: ‘ My favourite thing is Bentley Motors – they are still made right here in Crewe.’ Abbey: ‘Total Fitness is mine because I’m there all the time!’

Rhianne, barrista ‘My favourite thing is the train station because you can literally get anywhere. It’s only one and a half hours to London.’ THINGS TO SEE AND DO Crewe Heritage Centre, Vernon Way, Crewe CW1 2DB 01270 212130 Crewe Hall, Weston Rd, Haslington, Crewe CW1 6UZ 01270 253333 Crewe Lyceum, Heath St, Crewe CW1 2DA 01270 368242 Crewe Alexandra, The Alexandra Stadium, Gresty Rd, Crewe CW2 6EB 01270 213014

60 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Marvellous With Mother’s Day looming there are some great local ideas to treat the most important lady in your life so here are a few of our hand-picked favourites

This year Mothers’ Day falls on 11th March. This historic tradition honours the mother of the family, motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society



ake your mum back in time with a visit to The Ironbridge Gorge Museums where mums can enjoy a free day out on Mothering Sunday 11th March, when accompanied by another full-paying visitor. Offer includes Blists Hill Victorian Town, Coalport China Museum, Jackfield Tile Museum, Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, Museum of The Gorge and Enginuity. You can treat mum further with a Victorian High Tea in the Club Room. Enjoy delicious sandwiches, cream-filled scones and pastries, a glass of sparkling wine and pot of tea, (must be pre-booked). In the Victorian era on Mothering Sunday children working away in domestic service could return home. Although celebrated during Lent, fasting was relaxed and families could indulge in delicious rich foods. Children baked Simnel Cake or picked flowers for their mothers; hence the evolution of present giving on Mothering Sunday.


et mum relax in style with a spa break at the Grade 1 listed Bodysgallen Hall, secluded in over 200 acres of parkland just outside Llandudno. The venue enjoys spectacular views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle and beautiful gardens including a rare 17th century parterre of box hedges filled with sweet-scented herbs, a walled rose garden and several follies. The Hall’s spa is offering the chance to unwind with their Mother’s Day pamper package for two – which includes use of the sauna,

steam room, spa bath and pool for two hours prior to treatments. Then enjoy a full body massage to ease away tension and relieve stress. Following your treatments, catch up with news and views with a glass of fizz in the relaxation room. Book now to make the most of Mother’s Day. www.bodys


f your mum enjoys an afternoon tea then a visit to the Chester Grosvenor Hotel is the ultimate treat for Mother’s day. Celebrate in the decadent surroundings of The Arkle Bar and Lounge where Afternoon Tea has always been an institution and a wonderful, memorable experience for mothers and their families. Indulge in sweet creations made by the award-winning chefs, served alongside a selection of finger sandwiches, fruit and plain scones with clotted cream and strawberry preserve and freshly brewed tea or coffee. Why not add a little fizz with a chilled glass of champagne as a finishing touch to your treat? Early booking is advised. Visit www. for more details. March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 61

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— Gorse Hill Caravan and Lodge Park is Wales’ best kept secret. Established in 1954, this exclusive privately-owned Park is surrounded by some of the most magnificent landscapes in Britain, with stunning views in every direction. Quietly tucked away on the outskirts of the famous medieval walled-town of Conwy, the park is within easy reach of the countless attractions and activities on offer in this wonderful part of the world.

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Everywhere we look there is an ancient ruin, remains of a rampart or even a towering turret. Around 4,000 castles have been built in the UK over the years so we’re taking a closer look at the strongholds that surround us‌

64 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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s a nation we’ve been barricading ourselves in castles for as long as anyone can remember. Our obsession with building a fortress around our dwellings may have sprung from necessity – whether to keep out hungry bears or marauding armies – but has definitely been entrenched in our history now for many centuries. It all started with the Normans who, once they’d arrived in our country and conquered the reigning royals at the battle of Hastings, realised they might need to swiftly erect something protective between them and the recently overthrown population. There followed several years of rapid castle construction, with wooden motte and bailey being

the preferred method. It didn’t credited with being the oldest take long for a bright spark to ‘proper’ castle in the country realise that these flammable having been built 900 years ago, fortresses could be and is still part of the in grave danger with Royal family’s portfolio the merest hint of, of residences. Elsewhere Wales alone is home to well, a bright spark, our castle collection has around 300 so before long they become gradually more castles of all were being replaced accessible to members shapes and with more solid of the public, provding sizes stone versions. an insight into these impressive structures. Back in medieval times castles Centuries of structures were the preserve of landed After a while surrounding walls gentry, royalty or anyone bold were added to keep a whole enough to raise an army and community safely tucked inside launch their flaming arrows the fortification and varies styles and cannonballs on the current of turret, keep, tower, gatehouse, occupants of the desired castle. dungeon and elaborate entrance Meanwhile, in fairytale land it evolved over the centuries was generally required to either depending on the geography be, or marry, a princess in order to and needs of each castle. gain access through the esteemed Windsor Castle is generally

drawbridge, and often tackling several dragons and crossing dangerous moats en route.

Ancient and accessible

Today we are lucky enough to have access to several hundred fabulous castles being determinedly preserved and protected by guardians and curators intent on keeping these slices of our heritage intact. Across the Shire patch we are surrounded – with Wales alone being home to around 300 castles. Some are ruins, others perfectly intact, but whether you want to scramble over ramparts playing knights or peer from turret waiting for your prince to appear – there’s a castle visit in the area for every wannabe lord or lady of the manor.

Quite a castle collection

Conwy Castle


DID YOU KNOW? Wales has the most castles per square mile in Europe!

When it comes to providing a decent defence we can’t choose one castle, but four. As envisioned by King Edward, the four castles of Beaumaris, Caernarfon, Conwy, and Harlech make up the combined fortification of castles and town walls that form a World Heritage Site. They are considered to be the ‘finest examples of late 13th century and early 14th century military architecture in Europe’. Open to the public and packed with information they also all offer great views to all sides so you can keep an eye out for invading armies too.

Get up high and appreciate the views at Harlech Castle

With such a wealth of historic homes in our region, we’ve picked out our favourites for you to visit across the patch so you can get a taste of living like a king Beaumaris Castle’s splendid moat


Beeston Castle offers stunning views

Every castle needs a good watchtower and Beeston Castle in Cheshire has more of a stunning vista available than most. The structure is the remains of a 13th century fortress rising almost 500 feet vertically from the ground, which when surrounded by the flatness of the Cheshire Plain, makes it possible to see a total of eight counties on a clear day. Its origins date back even further as the site was originally a Bronze Age hill fort some 4000 years ago, and it has been involved in numerous skirmishes ever since right up until the English Civil War. Now owned and managed by English Heritage it is a popular visitor attraction surrounded by parkland. March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 65

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If it’s looks you’re after, then Castell Coch, the area’s ultimate fairytale castle wins. Conical towers and needle-sharp turrets peek out from the surrounding woodland giving it a romantic feel despite its relatively modern construction. Built in the 1870s as a folly, it’s based on a more ancient dwelling and established on the remains of a genuine 13th century castle. It has history at its heart, and let’s face it, the type of tower you could easily let your hair down from.

BEST OF THE REST WALES Bodelwyddan Castle near Rhyl, was built around 1460 by the Humphreys family of Anglesey as a manor house. It is now a Grade II* listed building open to the public as a historic house museum. Ewloe Castle near the town of Ewloe in Flintshire was one of the last fortifications to be built by the Princes of Wales, and was abandoned at the beginning of the invasion of Wales by Edward I in 1277 and is managed by CADW. Chirk Castle is a Grade I listed castle located near Wrexham, that was built in 1295 by Roger Mortimer de Chirk. It guards the entrance to the Ceiriog Valley and is well preserved making it a popular choice for educational visits as well as adventurous days out.

Castell Coch

DID YOU KNOW? Windsor Castle is the oldest still- CHESHIRE occupied castle Chester Castle dates from the 11th century and was built by Hugh Lupus, 1st Earl of Chester. Little remains in Europe


Stokesay Castle is a fine example

Bodelwyddan Castle

You can’t fault Stokesay Castle for keeping your keep in keeping with the times. Possibly the best preserved medieval castle in England, it sits in the beautiful southern Shropshire countryside near the Welsh Border, and has retained much of its old and unique timber structure. The great hall has not been touched since 1291 and some impressive carvings, tile work and wall paintings are on show to admire. True historians will revel in the attention to detail that can still be seen today.

Chirk Castle

of the original structure as most of it was remodelled in the 18th century but what is left is managed by English Heritage and there are guided tours that include a visit to the Castle and Agricola Tower.

Cholmondeley Castle is an imposing, gothic fortress that still, after 800 years, belongs to one of the oldest Chester Castle families in the county. Designed by the 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley himself, it replaced an earlier hall built in 1571 and enjoys uninterrupted views over its 800 acres of exquisite parkland that are regularly used for events. Peckforton Castle may appear medieval in style, but was actually constructed during the Victorian era between 1844 and 1851 by Member of Parliament John Tollemache. Using rock quarried from less than a mile away and painstakingly transported up temporary tramways to its hilltop location, Peckforton today is a thriving hotel, spa and wedding venue.

Peckforton Castle

Mow Cop Castle sits on the border with Staffordshire and although it gives the impression of a grand castle, it is a folly, constructed as a summerhouse in 1754 by the Baker-Wilbraham family of nearby Rode Hall. A very early example of a folly, the architect used the angle of the evening sunlight to best light the structure at sunset.


Mow Cop Castle

Powis Castle near Welshpool houses the treasures that were brought home by Robert Clive and his son, Edward Clive from India. The seat of the Earl of Powis, the castle is known for its extensive, attractive formal gardens, terraces, parkland, deerpark and landscaped estate. Ludlow Castle offers visitors the chance to explore a fabulous medieval ruin right in the heart of the picturesque market town. With direct access from the old keep to the turrets, the castle enjoys a breathtaking view of the town and countryside below, while the interior has its original fireplaces and doorways too. Shrewsbury Castle is a striking red sandstone building built in 1070 and now home to the Regimental Museum displaying a large collection of weapons, pictures, medals, uniforms and other military memorabilia, including a tuft of Napoleon’s hair! It’s worth the climb up to Laura’s Tower on the motte for the views.

Eastnor regularly holds pop concerts and festivals


Obviously many of our castles have popped up on screens little and large over the year, but Eastnor Castle at foot of the Malvern Hills in Herefordshire has been behind the lens more than most. Surrounded by a beautiful deer park, arboretum and lake, the picturesque Eastnor Castle has long been a favourite with filmmakers and it’s easy to see why with its Hollywood looks! Sammy Davis Junior was once on location at Eastnor for the filming of MGM’s One More Time and in the decades since the castle has been used in numerous programmes including Sherlock Holmes, Rumpole of the Bailey, Blue Peter and numerous antiques and historical television documentaries.

Powis Castle

Ludlow Castle

Whittington Castle near Oswestry is another impressive ruin with a history dating back to 1222. Popular with visitors despite a large number of ghostly residents who walk the halls and peer from its windows, the surrounding moat with swans and ducks, makes it a tranquil setting too.


Shrewsbury Castle

Croft Castle sits deep in the heart of Herefordshire countryside surrounded by 1,500 acres of historic woodland, farm and parkland. This imposing house became the Croft family home long before the Domesday Book but has been lovingly cared for by the National Trust since 1957. Hampton Court Castle is a true beauty. The 15th Century Grade I Listed Castle is set in over 1000 acres of estate Croft Castle and its State Rooms, including the magnificent Ballroom and exquisitely hand-painted Chapel, are open to the public along with four of the castle’s 24 bedrooms.

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KING OF THE CASTLE? These days slices of our ancient heritage are easier to come by than ever and castles pop up on the open market every so often, so keep your eyes peeled if you fancy a fortress of your own!


WESTBURY CASTLE, near Prestatyn As Shire Magazine went to press, this amazing Grade II* Listed Castle went to auction, with an expected guide price of around £1.5 million. Maybe a little steep for most of us, but you get a 12 bedroom mansion, a west wing housing another nine self-contained apartments and a chapel with bell tower surrounded by 3.6 acres of grounds. It has a potential of over £80,000 a year rental income, handy when you think of the upkeep!

Henbury Hall, Macclesfield Okay, it’s not officially a castle – but this property describes itself as ‘the most important classical house built in England in the 20th Century’ and at a glance, it’s pretty impressive. Its stunning domed roof echoes that of Mereworth Castle in Kent and its Palladian frontage certainly gives it all the stature of a real castle. Not only that, the accommodation includes a tenants hall, a separate equally listed house, and a further five houses on the estate along with a swimming pool, tennis courts, stable bock and 530 acres to gallop around.


Brereton Park, Holmes Chapel This property might not have the official title of castle, but just look at that fortified entrance, picture the portcullis in action and think of the gazing you could do from the top of those towers. We think it deserves including. With 12 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and planning permission to convert the stable block. It has a billiard room, galleried landings, stunning staircases and up to 23 acres of lawns to mow.


£ 2 .75 M I L L I O N

Castell Gyrn, Vale of Clwyd If you want all the grandeur but none of the responsibility of owning an ancient building, Castell Gryn is for you. It has all the looks of a fabulous fortress, but was actually built in 1977 with an eccentric nod to Welsh heritage, complete with a giant carved stone dragon at its entrance. In reality, it boasts a stunning, modern interior and six bedrooms, all set in a glorious surrounding estate of approximately 68 acres with panoramic views across Snowdonia. The castle is packed with quirky features, hidden rooms, opulent décor and even its own ramparts.

Plas Castell, Denbigh If you want to combine your stronghold stature with the convenience of a town location, then Plas Castell offers the perfect blend of ancient and modern living, right on the edge of town. This castle house and grounds incorporates a significant slice of Denbigh’s ancient town walls as well as the remains of a cathedral in the gardens. Inside it boasts eight bedrooms and is popular as both a wedding venue and a B&B so new owners could expect some return on their significant investment. £1.25 MILLION

£ 7 75 , 0 0 0

Castle Lodge, Ludlow We struggled to find a castle on the market in Shropshire at the moment, but Castle Lodge in the centre of Ludlow is an Elizabethan timber-framed ancient home, with listing restrictions a-plenty, that overlooks Ludlow Castle and dates from the 13th century. Packed with oak panels, stained glass windows, elaborate carvings, its own great hall and chapel, it’s a stone’s throw of the main square – and was once home to Catherine of Aragon. March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 69

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Flanked by a mountain on one side and in the shadow of Powis Castle on the other, Welshpool boasts a well-protected location which has seen it endure numerous conflicts during its proud past…

St Mary’s Church dates to 1250


DID YOU KNOW? Around 1,000 people are buried in the church yard at St. Mary’s

a population of around 6,664. The centre is an attractive mix of Georgian architecture with the odd ancient relic thrown in such as St Mary’s Church. The Grade I listed building dates from about 1250, and remains of this church can be found in the lower courses of the current church tower, which was rebuilt in the 16th century, and restored again in 1871.

he town of Welshpool sits just four miles from the border between Wales and England and is the Conquering and fourth largest town in conflict the unitary authority The Long Mountain, of Powys. While its provides the backdrop Welsh language name, for most of Welshpool, Y Trallwng, means has offered the perfect ‘marshy or sinking land’ grounds for defence for its title in English had the town’s fortresses to change from Pool over the years but in 1835 in order to despite this, Welshpool differentiate it from the was devastated by Walk Offa’s Dyke Dorset town. the forces of Owain But these changes Glyndwr in 1400 as he in identity have done nothing began his rebellion against the to hinder the continued Englih king, Henry IV. The development and thriving town was granted an extended community which today boasts charter by Edward de Cherleton

Powis Castle is the jewel in Welshpool’s crown

Swimmers can head to the Flash Sports Centre

in 1406 as a reward for its loyalty through the conflict and in recognition of its historical significance, the waymarked long-distance footpath, Glyndwr’s Way runs through the town. Another popular walking route, Offa’s Dyke, runs a mile outside the town and walkers will also enjoy the banks of the Montgomery Canal which now runs for 30 miles. The Severn Farm Pond Nature reserve is worth a visit while sports fans can play golf and the Flash sports centre has a swimming pool and indoor bowls hall. Welshpool has a football and rugby union club, as well as hockey and cricket clubs while each May, Welshpool Carnival brings residents and visitors together to celebrate the town. By far the most visited attraction is the 13th century Powis castle – a towering sandstone structure overlooking the Severn Valley. It is an impressive sight, set in stunning

gardens and home to a museum displaying artefacts from 13 centuries of Welshpool’s past.

Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway THINGS TO SEE AND DO Powis Castle Welshpool SY21 8RF 01938 551944 Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway Pool Rd, Llanfair Caereinion, Welshpool SY21 0SF 01938 810441 The Powysland Museum 3 Canal Yd, Welshpool SY21 7AQ, 01938 554656

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Get your walking boots on with Shire Magazine this spring

Walk this way With spring in the air Clive Potter takes us on a popular walking route that offers a great view from the top for hikers happy to get a bit of height For this edition of Shire instead of one walk, I’ve got a selection of walks all accessible from a place that’s perfect for starting walks or as a base for exploring the Clwydian Range in North Wales: Loggerheads Country Park. Situated just off the A494 between Mold and Llanferres, this is a truly special place. Nestled in the heart of the Clwydian Range which is one of five

mile riverside Areas Of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in Wales, spring walking here trail or take in is highly recommended. All trails and more complex routes are excellently marked out or and challenging finger-posted and accessible with routes. One exciting but gates and stiles wherever needed. The area is scarred with mines from challenging walk involves starting at Loggerheads, to the mother a bygone era, an abundance of mountain of Moel Famau and wildlife such as kingfishers, butterflies and wild flowers alongside reaching the ruined tower crowning limestone rock the lofty 1,820ft summit. You can DID YOU appreciate some exhilarating harbouring KNOW? fossils from views on a clear day, right out Experts suggest as far as the mountains of millions of walking 10,000 years ago. Snowdonia and the buildings of steps a day to Liverpool. Happy walking! Try the onelose weight

Walk through history with Congleton Museum Follow in our ancestors’ footsteps on one of Congleton Museums’ monthly walks. On 4th March, at 2pm – Religion In Congleton with Peter Aston, takes you through the religious history of the town and will use buildings to show how Astbury Church imposed itself upon Congleton and how the town’s Victorian expansion led to diversity in religious buildings, practice and belief. Then on 1st April, at 2pm, join Lambersloone – Routeways to the Past with Ian Doughty, along

the ancient footpaths to the south of the town and discover how growing industrialisation encouraged new methods of communication. Depending on the weather, waterproof footwear may be required for this walk. For more information visit

Win a Family Pass at the Blue Planet Aquarium! The Blue Planet Aquarium is celebrating its 20th anniversary! To mark the occasion it is giving away a family pass with the ‘Magical Memories competition’. For your chance to win this great prize, simply send in photos via the Blue Planet facebook page of any visit, memorabilia, souvenirs or things you’ve bought at Blue Planet since the Queen opened the aquarium’s doors in July 1998.

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 71

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Bespoke lodge design P O N T C Y S Y L LT E AQ U A D U C T

Plas Isaf Lodge Park offers a home away from home


The lodges are built in accordance las Isaf Lodge Park is an exclusive holiday lodge park in Caerwys, with BS3632 standards and are accredited by the NCC. North Wales where you have the With so much land, the emphasis is chance to own a bespoke luxury on space and open green fields, and holiday lodge. Set in 40 acres of each plot is planned to be as private beautiful countryside with unspoilt as possible. ‘We plan each base as scenery, the park offers a relaxing though it were our own, making sure rural retreat, with a 12-month holiday it has beautiful views, and is not too season, so you can take a break and close to another holiday escape whenever you fancy. ‘We plan home,’ says Ellen. There’s a choice of lakeside each lodge as The park is located and woodland plots available, though it were just a short distance from and each lodge comes our own’ Caerwys, which has pubs, complete with luxury decking shops, a pharmacy, a deli and and double parking bay. The butchers, and post office. The park park is family owned and run by Ellen itself is able to preserve its tranquil and Alun Davies, who have a choice of nature, attracting an array of wildlife, lodges already sited, ready to own. while the beautiful beaches and sand They also offer an exclusive design dunes of the North Wales coastline and build service so you can create a bespoke lodge. You help design are just a 20-minute drive away. The park is just two minutes from J31 off your perfect lodge and choose all the A55. For more information visit the furniture and soft furnishings to create your perfect holiday home.


o break in the Llangollen area is complete without a detour, either by car or, if you’re lucky enough, boat, to see the world famous Pontcysllte Aquaduct at Trevor, near Wrexham. Designed and built by Thomas Telford and Williams Jessop, Pontcysyllte means ‘the bridge that connects’ and now forms part of the designated World Heritage Site. It’s a magnet for those who want to experience one of the most remarkable achievements of the industrial revolution. It is a navigable aqueduct that carries the Llangollen Canal across the River Dee and the 18-arched stone and cast iron structure, which took ten years to design and build, was completed in 1805. It is now the oldest and longest navigable aqueduct in Great Britain and the highest in the world. You can walk across Pontcysyllte, if you dare – with or without looking down – or save your legs and take a leisurely boat ride or why not hire a boat for the day or longer from one businesses based at Trevor Basin. But there’s one thing you have to take with you... a camera. The views are something else.

Escape the rat race with a canal holiday


f you are looking to holiday at a relaxed pace where you can sit back and watch the world drift by then spending a week or two on board a Cheshire Cat Narrowboat could be the perfect break for you. This small family-run firm is based at the award-winning Overwater Take in the views and find a cosy pub or two Marina, Audlem, on the Shropshire Union Canal. It is a stunning Canal. The fleet includes boats for location, just below the couples as well as family-sized Get away Audlem Lock flight, and vessels and the team at Cheshire from it all only three hours cruising Cat Narrowboats provides with a canal time to the beautiful and holiday – expert tuition to set you on your ever popular Llangollen perfect for way with confidence, including families!

how to work through locks. They can suggest suitable routes, where to find amazing scenery, and the best cosy pubs and historic architecture. And if you should need any help during your trip, it is just a phone call away. March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 73

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Views to swoon over: Gorse Hill has it all


arry and Anne’s story began caravan. ‘One of the great things in 2009, when they revisited about Gorse Hill is that you can beautiful North Wales. ‘We both start with a pre-owned caravan loved the beaches, the countryside, and upgrade as you settle in,’ says and the local towns, such as Anne. ‘When they showed us one of Llandudno and Conwy,’ says Harry, the brand new models, we wanted ‘So we began to think seriously it immediately. It had a completely about buying a place over here.’ different view and layout inside, very The couple decided to look for high-spec. We loved the one we had a holiday property within easy first, but this one was even better.’ driving distance of their home ‘It’s so easy to get here; ‘We’ve visited just over an hour, door to in Cheshire. They visited so often we feel door,’ says Anne. ‘It’s a lovely several sites across North part of the local Wales, but nowwhere ticked place to bring friends and community!’ all the boxes. ‘We’d previously family, too. And the food and owned a caravan at Gorse hospitality at the Manor, the Hill’ explains Harry, ‘but when we site’s bar and restaurant, are really revisited, we were so impressed with excellent.’ Harry and Anne are now all the improvements – the Park had both retired and visit Gorse Hill as been completely transformed but it regularly as they can. ‘We’ve visited still felt like we had come home.’ so often we feel part of the local ‘It was like rediscovering Wales’ community,’ says Harry. ‘We love best kept secret,’ adds Anne. Within exploring the area, and the local a few hours the couple had chosen golf courses especially are excellent. the place they wanted to spend Although I do like to stay at Gorse all their holidays together. ‘It’s not Hill,’ he admits, ‘it’s really quite only the location that we love – the special.’ gorgeous views of the River Conwy and Snowdonia, the country walks, and all the wonderful places to visit – it’s the Park itself, too. The grounds are beautifully maintained and really spacious, and the holiday homes are fabulous, inside and out.’ Gorse Hill has been Harry and Anne’s home away from home for the past six years, and in that time The lodges offer hi-spec luxury they have upgraded to a larger accommodation in the heart of North Wales

f you’re driving in the Shropshire countyside head to Hawkstone Park Follies, a historic woodland fantasy with cliffs, crags, caves, deep woods and a series of extraordinary monuments built over 200 years ago. The 100 acres of landscaped parkland For more grounds and rocky ideas on outcrops, based around the country walks, authentic Norman castle of head over to page 71 Red Castle, were created as the gardens for Hawkstone Hall. It is now scheduled as Grade-1 listed on the National Register of Historic Parks and Gardens and it takes around three hours walking to completely see each folly. It was used for the filming of parts of Narnia in the BBC’s TV adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 1988.

Small and perfectly formed


he landscaped, luxury five star Ocean Heights Caravan Park covers three fields of luscious Welsh countryside, ideally situated in a secluded area on the southern coast of the Llyn Peninsula in North Wales. It is the perfect place to unwind and enjoy a caravan holiday in tranquility with a large expanse of grassland offering an ideal spot for family ball games, picnics, children’s play area and football pitch. Open between March and November, there is an impressive range of caravans to hire or to buy so it is no surprise that guests keep coming back for many years. For more information call 0800 9173170 or visit

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We always have a wide selection of high quality holiday homes for sale. Call today on 01286 830205 to find your perfect home away from home.


of Caravan Parks available in North Wales & Cheshire

Hawk Lake

Huge choice of NEW & PREOWNED Holiday Homes

Caravan Park, Shropshire Set beside Hawk Lake in the grounds of Hawkstone Park, this Caravan Park is great for a peaceful getaway. Close to the historic town of Shrewsbury, and in the heart of Shropshire, we are ideally located for exploring Shropshire and Mid Wales. We have 5 touring pitches each with a hook up and on hard standing, as well as 45 static caravan pitches. We offer both Day and Season Fishing on Hawk Lake. The lake has a selection of fish, from big Carp up to 30lb, to Roach, Perch, Bream, Tench, Rudd and Pike. Hawk Lake Caravan Park North Lodge Hawkestone Park Marchamley Nr Shrewsbury Shropshire SY4 5GE

If it’s the Shropshire wildlife that you like, the lake is home to Kingfishers, Herons, Water Voles and Woodpeckers. Much of the lakeside is perfectly walkable, and there are places to sit and enjoy your surroundings in peace.

Tel: 01630 685209

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With high-end finishes caravans offer a luxurious living space


f you’re considering fresh holiday ideas for spring, have you ever thought about owing a brand new holiday home? ‘Whether you’re new to holiday home ownership or just looking to upgrade your current static caravan for one of the latest models, this spring is the ideal time to do so! With a whole host of exciting new and redesigned holiday homes from all your favourite manufacturers, there’s no time like the present to begin your search. ‘As the leading dealership for North Wales and Cheshire, Roy Kellett Caravans and Lloyds Caravans are the place to go to begin your search for your new holiday home. The experienced sales staff are on hand to guide you every step of the

A wildlife paradise H

way, from finding you a plot on your dream holiday park to choosing the perfect caravan that suits your chosen base and family perfectly. ‘Come and visit one of the showgrounds across North Wales to see the latest from the leading manufacturers. Stepping up their game, manufacturers are taking static caravan holiday homes and turning them into a home away from home. What more could you want?’ What’s new? ‘All of the holiday home manufacturers have released their new collections for 2018, including exciting, new and modern models, as well as redesigned favourites back for another year. From Swift to Willerby, 2018 is the year of the

a quiet retreat for fishing, relaxing awk Lake Caravan Park is great and observing the wildlife, away from for a peaceful getaway. Close the hustle and bustle of modern life. to the historic town of Shrewsbury, and in the heart of Shropshire, the With five touring pitches each site is ideally located for exploring with a hook up and on hard standing, as well as 45 static caravan pitches, Shropshire and Mid Wales. with 14 by the lake itself, Formerly set in The park all are privately owned and the grounds of the provides a Grade I listed mansion, occasionally come up for sale. quiet retreat for Hawkestone Hall, The caravan park sits right fishing, relaxing on the bank of the lake itself Hawk Lake was carved and observing and one of the main highlights out of the Shropshire the wildlife for holidaymakers is the countryside around 1776 fishing right on the doorstep. to form a representation of The Serpentine in London, where The water is home to a selection of fish, from big carp up to 30lb, to the owner, Sir Rowland Hill, also had roach, perch, bream, tench, rudd and a residence. pike as well as kingfishers, herons, In the 1930s, the Ralphs purchased water voles and woodpeckers. Much the park as a farm and after a period out of family ownership, Stewart and of the lakeside is perfectly walkable, Irena Ralphs bought Hawk Lake back and there are places to sit and enjoy your surroundings in peace. in 2011. Following substantial and careful restoration, the park provides

holiday home, releasing models with modern designs and features that are innovative and exciting. Break with tradition ‘If you are thinking of plumping for a new caravan in the North Wales and Cheshire region, you really are spoilt for choice. Whatever your budget and famiy circumstances; there will be something to suit. Whether you’re after spacious living area with comfortable soft furnishings, country style living with cosy home comforts, or you want a truly modern holiday with unique features, then the team at Roy Kellett Caravans and Lloyds Caravans will find the right holiday home Caravans for you!’

are the ideal choice for style, luxury and comfort

There is plenty of wildlife to be seen

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

Visit Tel 07867 790 195 anytime

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

Tel: 07867 790195 •

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Graham and the team at Garden Park

We hear from our new resident chef, show you a tasty spring recipe and have all the latest foodie news from the Shire patch...

Tasty times ahead New for 2018, we’re excited to announce that we’ve teamed up with a local legend of the culinary world to tempt your tastebuds in our food section. Introducing Graham Tinsley MBE!


ere at Shire Magazine we have enjoyed where he is generally found championing our working with amazing chef Bryn Williams legendary local dishes and fabulous foods. for the last year, but 2018 brings with it some changes and we are delighted to welcome SEASONAL SPECIALITY a new resident gastronome to our pages. Graham has chosen to focus on one of his Graham Tinsley MBE has agreed to offer his favourite fruits, rhubarb for his first Shire foodie thoughts and advice and we’re very column. He says: ‘In this age of modern excited to see what he plans to share with transportation, most food produced from all us as one of the biggest names on the local corners of the globe is readily available for food scene. Graham has been wowing diners British consumers, restaurants and hotels. for decades, both here, abroad, at the However, it is always better to buy fresh, Dorchester in London, St David’s Park local and seasonal produce. DID YOU in Ewloe and currently as executive ‘After four months of apples, pears KNOW? chef at Cheshire’s Carden Park. and the occasional late berry being The world’s largest Welsh cake the only naturally seasonal fruits, it is ROYAL RECOGNITION was made in Bala a refreshing change and a joyous relief Graham has cooked for the Queen to welcome the new season rhubarb. in 2014! six times, Prince Charles on numerous ‘As a child my parents grew this occasions and created William and popular fruit at home and when it Kate’s wedding cake. His list of culinary was in abundance it was preserved at its accolades is too extensive for these pages, best for future use. Forced rhubarb is usually with rosettes and star ratings a-plenty, as well brighter red, more tender and sweeter-tasting as an MBE from Her Majesty for his services to than outdoor rhubarb. It is a versatile fruit the food industry. Graham is a proud manager and can be used in many sweet dishes, as an of the Welsh Culinary Team that he has accompaniment or simply cooked and eaten guided to numerous successes and also enjoys in its simplicity. I like to poach my rhubarb encouraging the chefs of the future through in a stock syrup flavoured with grenadine his apprenticeship scheme at Llandrillo and infused with star anise to keep its lovely College. A proud supporter of Welsh produce, vibrant pink colour. A perfect accompaniment Graham is a regular on television and in print with ice cream!’

78 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Warm Rhubarb, Cranberry and Walnut Tart with Honey Cream Ice Cream INGREDIENTS Pastry 225g plain flour, 110g butter 50g icing sugar, 1 egg Filling 40g melted butter, 100g caster sugar, 50g light brown sugar, 50g dark brown sugar, 175g golden syrup, vanilla essence, 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, pinch of salt, 50g chopped walnuts, 50g dried cranberries Poached rhubarb 2 sticks of pink rhubarb, 250ml stock syrup (125 sugar & 125ml water), 1 vanilla pod, 1 teaspoon pink pepper berries, 2 star anise, 1 tablespoon grenadine Ice cream 300ml double cream 150ml full fat milk 6 egg yolks 110g caster sugar 1 vanilla pod 1 tablespoon of honey METHOD 1. Make the sweet pastry, in a mixer fitted with a paddle mix the flour and butter together to breadcrumbs, add the sifted sugar, add the eggs, do not over mix.

2. Wrap the pastry in cling film and rest in the fridge. When chilled roll out and line the tartlets, bake blind. 3. To make the filling, combine all the ingredients except for the cranberries and walnuts in a bowl. 4. Cut the rhubarb into batons and cook gently in the stock syrup with the star anise, pepper berries, grenadine and the vanilla. When cooked remove from the cooking syrup and cool. 5. To make the ice cream bring the cream and milk to the boil, pour onto the egg yolks and sugar, place back on the stove to cook out and then add the honey. Remove the vanilla pod then pour into an ice cream machine and churn. 6. Place two/three pieces of rhubarb in the pastry shells and pour in the tart filling, sprinkle over the chopped walnuts and cranberries. Bake at 160°c for 20 minutes. TO SERVE Place a small pile of rhubarb batons on to the plates, take the tartlets from the tins and put next to the batons. Scoop the ice cream and place on top of the rhubarb.

Llaeth Y Llan In honour of St David’s Day, Welsh yogurt producers Llaeth Y Llan are running a promotion. Between 21st February and 13th March, the 450g large pots will cost just £1. All that Welsh yogurty goodness for a quid!

Cooking demonstrations at Derwas ‘We have also teamed up with local family business Yvonne and Gareth Ellis from Welshpool Kitchen Company and Wayne Spooner from Grahams Flooring and Fabrics, offering kitchen, cookers, flooring, stoves and soft furnishings. Derwas of Welshpool just expanded to Machynlleth and also have Ironcraft in Shrewsbury all selling Rayburns and Aga stoves.’

Kaye Derwas with her family and Penny Zako


t the Aga cooking demonstration in Welshpool’s Derwas store, demonstrator Penny Zako cooked grilled breakfast kebabs, blue cheese and bacon flan, baked fish fillets with crispy crumb, baked croissant pudding, blueberry and lemon skillet cake, and a fruit compote – and showing everyone how incredibly versatile these machines are! Kaye Derwas, owner of the Derwas group, says: ‘One of the photos is of Penny, my dad, my brother and me. Dad (86 years old now) has sold Rayburns over 60 years ago and now we are second generation selling them.

Come to the Esse cookery demo on Thursday 15th March 6-8pm, at the Welshpool Showroom, and see these fantastic range cookers in action.

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 79

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If you’re thinking of getting out and about now the weather’s a little warmer you may well have the family in tow. So in this edition we’ve rounded up a few of our favourite pubs for visiting with the children NORTH WALES The Plough Inn in Llandegla on the edge of the forest, is a great choice for the whole family. The setting makes it popular with walkers and explorers and the pub has a good range of drinks for all ages as well as a children’s play area. Children will also love visiting the Rhos Fynach at Rhos-on-Sea. The historic building will have them intrigued as it was originally a 12th Century monastery. Perched on the seafront, it has a great outdoor area and its own mini golf course to keep everyone busy! CHESHIRE Located on the new Upton Grange development next to the Countess of Chester Hospital, the Race Horse is perfect for family dining. There’s a safe, enclosed play area an extensive kids’ menu with a free activity pack and baby food for under 3s.

Don’t be a follower of fashion In this column wine expert James Gillespie suggests tracking down a wine that has fallen out of favour but is still worth seeking out


s in so many other areas – fashion definitely influences wine consumption. Years ago in the UK, one of the most commonly seen white wines was Muscadet but it has fallen foul of fashion trends and is now rather difficult to track down in both retail and restaurant scenarios. It is however well worth the effort to search out good examples and if you’ve not tried it for a few years you will be surprised to rediscover just how lovely the wine can be. Muscadet is the fresh dry fairly low alcohol white wine grown and produced close to the Atlantic coast near the French town of Nantes. It is made from a grape called Melon de Bourgogne and gives relatively neutral citrus-like flavours with slightly salty mineral notes and total dryness – characteristics which make this wine one of the best in the World for drinking with fish and seafood. Even oyster eaters regularly seek it out. Avoid, if you can, the less expensive ‘negociant’ style Muscadets and aim instead for single domaine labels. Negociants usually buy wines that growers are getting rid of at bargain prices in bulk and blend them with others. Growers, on the other hand, tend to only bottle wines which are good enough to properly represent their family name and reputation. There are sub-regions of the Muscadet geographic area and locals always argue about which of these areas make the best wines but one item to look out for with Muscadet are the presence of the words ‘Sur Lie’ on a label. This term indicates that the newly fermented wine has not immediately been separated from the dead yeast sediment resulting from fermentation but left in contact with these lees until the actual time of bottling. In a neutral-tasting white wine this gives extra character and complexity and liveliness and the real genuine flavours associated with the most westerly of Loire Valley wines. One final word of warning is to avoid any confusion between labels indicating the Appellation Muscadet and labels mentioning Muscat or Moscatel. The DID YOU names sound remarkably similar but the wines KNOW? could not be more different. Muscadet is, as There are over we’ve discussed, bone dry – while the Muscat 10,000 varieties of grape more often than not indicates wines wine grapes in with sweetness and highly perfumed floral the world almost marmalade-like richness (some are fortified). Be careful not to confuse the two!

Over on the Wirral, Pollards Inn at Willaston is another family favourite in a Grade II listed building in the heart of this pretty village. Serving freshly prepared local produce, there is a lovely garden seating area and a children’s outdoor playground. SHROPSHIRE The whole family will enjoy a trip to the Red Barn in Shrewsbury where little ones are catered for with a children’s menu to keep them full and a large enclosed beer garden, with plenty of seating and a grassy area, to keep them entertained. Another local pub that prides itself on being family-friendly is The Squirrel in Ludlow where they serve classic pub food in an informal setting. With a main focus on rotisserie chicken, there are special offers to make it very reasonable and a sunny children’s play area too. MID WALES/HEREFORDSHIRE The Wye Inn at Hereford is a great familyfriendly venue and a traditional, cosy pub at the same time. Serving good, home-cooked food as well as a range of beers, there is a great children’s play area outside too and reasonable prices mean that you can cater for the whole family. Also in Hereford is The Bunch of Carrots, where children are well catered for with a menu of their own as well as discounted options on main meals such as the excellent carvery. Outside there is a lovely seating area with climbing and adventure play for the kids in a pretty setting.

80 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Located just off A55 in Rhuallt, near St Asaph

Call to book one of our Tasting Menus now Taste of March: Saturday 10th March Taste of May: Saturday 27th May

Jamie’s Butchers and Deli offer a wide range of delicious local produce!

Warm, friendly & welcoming

• Set in stunning rural countryside, ideally suited for Snowdonia

• A traditional, family-run

• Open all day

inn with home-cooked food, real ales and roaring fires

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

• Food served 12 noon to 3 pm & 6 pm to 9 pm, and all day Sundays LLANDDERFEL, BALA, GWYNEDD, LL23 7RA Tel: 01678 530 205

Call in and ‘meat’ our friendly butchers and see what delights are on offer Bellis Brothers Farm Shop & Garden Centre, Holt, Wrexham, LL13 9YU T: 01829272030

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

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This season’s kitchen must-haves are matt, modern and super sleek…

Chic snacks: Utility tapas duo set in black pepper, £36, Magnificent matt: Le Creuset Signature cast iron casserole dish in satin black, 18cm/1.8L, £139, professional medium spatula, £13,

Caffeine fix: Sage Nespresso Creatista coffee machine in liquorice, £299,

Smart storage: Linear by Tower, set of three canisters, £33,

Daily bread: Wesco Elly breadbin in black £90,

Top tap: Matte black kitchen mixer tap, £249,

Shake it off: Matt black kitchen colander, £20,

So juicy: Smeg 50s retro style citrus juicer, £119,

Tea time: Vintage black and gold teapot, £10, Whitchurch Antiques Emporium, 07421 742507

W E LOV E The hustle and bustle of a home will centre around the steady reliability of this beautifully-balanced range cooker. Not only can it cook up a storm, it can also provide central heating and hot water needs. It is capable of running several radiators and its impressive thermostatic control means that their temperature will be automatically maintained. As well as a huge cast iron hotplate, the 990 CH has two ovens which maintain different temperatures for enhanced cooking potential. Oven temperatures are even and forgiving – and as good for rich and flavourful roasts as for melt-in-the-mouth meringues. The Esse 990, from around £7,300 for central heating and cooker,

82 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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

There’s lamb and then there’s lamb. Our 100% fully traceable PGI Welsh Lamb is arguably the best in the World. Easter is a great time to gather together family and friends and enjoy the very best food. Make Sunday lunch something special by serving them Edwards of Conwy Welsh Lamb. Welsh Lamb available from our shop in Conwy or we can deliver direct to your door (T&C’s apply)


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

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

Gate Expectations Inwood (Cymru) Ltd

` ade to measure

wooden gates and side hinged garage doors

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

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

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Come & visit us Our visitors love to see the alpacas on the fields while they browse in our shop for: • Alpaca socks • Luxurious Alpaca Duvets and pillows • Exclusive knitted and felted alpaca items traceable to our alpacas • Exclusive Alpaca Yarn produced from our herd. Our Farm Shop is open every Saturday from 10.00 until 4.00 or by appointment at other times - just call us. Groups of up to 16 are welcome - please contact us for details. WINDOWS & DOORS



• Pets • Guard animals • Starter herds

• Free tiled or laminate floor with all conservatories • PLEASE ASK FOR A FREE NO OBLIGATION QUOTATION

Visit our large lifestyle showrooms in Mold or Caernarfon: Mon-Fri 9am-5pm. Sat & Sun 10am-4pm. Caernarfon closed Sun.


Mold: 01352 758812 Caernarfon: 01286 672935 Chester: 01244 879818

MOLD: Bromfield Industrial Estate, Mold Flintshire CH7 1HA

We also sell good quality alpacas as:

Please contact us for details Mulberry Grange, Red Hall Lane, Higher Penley, Wrexham, LL13 ONA Tel: 07713 639 447 Email: PART OF THE WALL-LAG GROUP OF COMPANIES

CAERNARFON: Crown Street, Caernarfon LL55 1SY

We’re 4 miles north of Ellesmere


Derwas of Welshpool

iss ’t m Don Esse on the demo er y y 15th k o a co , at rsd Thu 6-8pm ol o ch p r h a s M Wel m the owroo Sh

Our family run business has been established for over 50 years in Welshpool. We are not afraid to evolve with the times, but still hold firm to the traditional key principles of friendly service and quality products.

Cookery Demonstrations

Our services • Installations of wood/multifuel appliances and fireplaces • CCTV camera services • Chimney Lining • Chimney sweeping • Stove servicing • Cowls and birdguards fitted.

We have regular cookery demonstrations and events at our showroom, contact us to be invited to the next demonstration.

Save 5% on Esse stoves place your order to beat the price rise on April 1st

We stock Aga, Arada, Dovre, Esse, Flamerite, HWAM, Jotul, MCZ, Nestor Martin, Percy Doughty, Stovax, Yeoman.

You will find the Derwas Group showrooms at: Derwas of Welshpool Dragon Works Henfaes Lane Industrial Estate Welshpool Powys SY21 7BE T: 01938 552246

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Our other showrooms: Ironcraft Fires & Stoves 115-116 Frankwell Shrewsbury, SY3 8JU T: 01743 231 773

Derwas Machynlleth 9 Heol Maengwyn Machynlleth SY20 8AA T: 01654 702623

16/02/2018 16:01

Homes&Interiors If you go down to the woods today…

Fancy a bespoke treehouse for the kids?

Why not opt for a sleek but natural outdoor home office

With spring well and truly in the air, it’s time to freshen up our homes and revitalise our outdoor areas. One couple from Prestatyn is bringing the natural wonder of wood to gardens across the Shire patch


hether you love the outdoors best or just need to escape the confines of your four walls every so often, the trend for outdoor living is one that has boomed over the last few years. With more of us looking to utilise every extra inch of space it’s well worth looking for the opportunities hidden at the bottom of the garden. Prestatyn-based couple Will and Vikki Hammond are providing just the inspiration you need to ‘branch’ out as the passionate woodworkers have a bolthole idea for everyone and every budget.

The wonder of wood ‘We are both experienced

woodsfolk and have a passion for sustainable woodland management and the use of locally sourced materials. We have a very simple ethos and believe that a well-managed woodland can provide everything we need from food and firewood to furniture and homes,’ says Will. ‘We’re lucky enough to be based in a beautiful woodland in Snowdonia and use long standing traditional methods to manage our woodlands in a sustainable and environmentally sensitive way. As well as day-to-day management we also manufacture products that utilise every part of the woodland.’

Learning from the master

‘We both trained and worked with master craftsman Ben Law whose woodland house was voted the best Grand Design’s episode ever, and we

DID YOU KNOW? The world’s biggest tree house is a 97ft tall structure!

also love to share what we know. Learning, teaching and sharing this knowledge is the key to ensuring that woodland skills are kept alive. So we also host and organise a range of courses throughout the year aimed at making woodland life accessible to all.’ Will and Vikki met while working in the woods and at one point lived in a tiny 12ft long log cabin for a year – they are truly passionate about all things timber. Not only can they design and create garden structures for your home, they can help you design a bespoke project too, so if you’re planning to go wild in the woods and swap home life for hut life, they’ll have all the expert advice you need!



n eye-catching and comfortable new stool is coming to an outlet near you now that the Rhug Estate shop will be stocking the popular Baa Stool. This sheepskin furniture brand is handmade in Denbighshire, just down the road from the Rhug Estate, and has gathered fans around the world for its quirky style and quality finish.

The company was founded by upholsterer Michelle Bartleet-Greavey who was inspired to create sheepskin footstools after staring at the sheep in the fields surrounding her workshop and likening them to woolly footstools. With removable sheepskin covers, they have various styles and colours available. Go Baa-rmy!

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 85

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Design minds open doors on new store A community group is tackling the stigma surrounding mental health while launching a new venture selling eye-catching designs for the home, all of which are made or designed by those referred through mental health schemes


ommunity Interest Company, Designs in Mind has taken out a permanent lease on a shop in Cross Street, Oswestry, following a successful trial period as a pop-up shop there earlier this year. Jolt sells vibrant homeware and prints in bold colours and patterns and provides workshops for the public to try their hand at screen printing and lino printing. ‘We opened Jolt following an extremely successful trial period earlier in the year. The shop is next door to our Designs in Mind studio and is in an ideal location,’ says Jo Watkins, from Designs in Mind. ‘We moved out after our trial period but when the call came that the premises were still available

we moved back in. It is the first time we have had a retail presence and it’s a natural expansion. Our aim is to sell lots of items now and draw as many people as possible into the shop in our challenge to take the stigma out of mental health. ‘Most of the products we sell are designed by members who have been referred to our studio through the mental health scheme and we sell products from other like-minded companies, with a focus on tackling care for mental health. Our aim is to make mental health challenges part of regular debate and an ideal way of doing this is to produce things we can sell and generate public interest - challenging the low expectations

Designs in Mind: making mental health part of the debate

that surround our makers.’ For more information visit www. or drop into Jolt.

Add some colour to your home with Jolt

Range cookers make a home… There’s nothing better than the warmth and comfort offered by a traditional range cooker. Saxon Home Care’s expert Gareth Mostyn explains here how they have evolved to offer us a thoroughly modern cooking and heating experience today


ange cookers have come a long way from the old noisy ovens many of us know and love. Still built to last, but with a keen eye on the environment, today’s versions are topped with all the style that only comes with owning a range cooker. A range cooker really does become the focal point of any home. You can huddle around it on cold winter mornings, you can leave your soup simmering on the hotplate throughout the day to emit the wonderful aromas all around the home… you can even dry clothes on them! CHOICES, CHOICES… Now though, you have even more choice than ever before. The AGA Rayburn brand is still going strong – offering a choice of gas, oil or solid fuel, to provide cooking, domestic hot water, and central heating. You also have the Everhot electric range cooker which is fast growing in its popularity. The cast iron doors and hob lids give the

aesthetics of a traditional range cooker, but with all the efficiency and ease of electric – and they come in a variety of colours to suit any décor! For the historians among us, there is also the brilliant ESSE Cookers established in 1854. Offering both solid fuel and electric in a timeless cast iron fashion, their cookers really have stood the test of time – and with a fantastic aftercare team that are the envy of the range cooker world! EXPERT ADVICE For those new to what a range cooker can do – or for those that own a range cooker, but feel they are not getting the most out of its cooking prowess – why not come along to our showroom in Chirk on Saturday 26th May – where Aga Rayburn’s resident chef will be showing all that can be done with a Rayburn range cooker. This is an opportunity not to be missed that will inspire you to make the most of your ‘range’ of options!

86 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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off purchases over


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Enjoy shopping in a relaxed atmosphere – discover traditional Welsh bed covers, woven throws and picnic rugs, country & outdoor clothing, sheepskin slippers, crafts and gifts for the home & garden. Relax in our café – famous for home-made cheese scones, afternoon teas and a tempting selection of cakes and drinks. We also have dog-friendly grounds and a woodland walk to King Arthur’s Stone to explore.

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We can offer our customers fully finished energy rated windows and doors, both double and triple glazed, in a choice of soft wood, hard wood or Accoya. We can also offer passive windows and slimline double glazing for conservation work if required. Windows: Casement, Storm-proof, Sliding sash - traditional cords and weights or springs. Doors & Bi-folding doors, Stairs - Traditional or modern. Conservatories & Orangeries.

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A room of We visit Mr & Mrs Beech, near Mold, and see inside their fantastic new bespoke living place – designed and installed by Premier Windows & Conservatories to complement their historic barn conversion


herb garden he installation has been finished since used to,’ adds summer last year,’ Mrs Beech says, ‘and now Mrs Beech, ‘so we’ve had the chance to live with it has completely we employed changed the way we use the house, it’s been really a gardener to surprising! As you get older, you need more light come and move to do things, so I enjoy doing crafts in the new some of the conservatory. We entertain friends and family and bigger plants usually have breakfast there too, it’s lovely.’ we wanted to Mr Beech says: ‘The stone walls that make up save, including the base are 18 inches thick, and sympathetic to a French rose the existing barn conversion, which we moved into (a ‘blush in 2005 as a new development. The foundations noisette’) from my Mum’s garden. were started in February last year, there was a lot of ‘We had three quotes, two from local companies ground work to build solid foundations necessary to and one from a national company’ says Mr support the stone walls. Premier Windows had to Beech. ‘The choice we made, going with Premier match the stone on the house walls, and were able Windows, was based on the sympathetic design to use some of the old stone in the original garden (which was important – as an historic wall, so it matches perfectly. barn conversion special consent is required ‘For the design, we originally thought ‘We said for this kind of development), and the we wanted a pitched roof, to enclose the wanted realistic costs. In the end, we chose uPVC front door, but then saw we could have new room over timber for the frame as there is zero a bigger conservatory by enclosing two of with lots of maintenance and a 10 year warranty. the house windows, and converting one light. And Premier did a great job – they were able into a doorway into the house. With barn we got it!’ to exactly match the existing uPVC door conversations you can often find that the panels with the front door. We’re really windows are smaller than other houses, so happy with it!’ we wanted new room with lots of light. And we got it – we’re going to have blinds fitted to the ceiling panels to stop it getting too bright Premier Windows and Conservatories in the summer! Premier Windows also installed Moreton Business Park, Gledrid, Nr. Chirk, underfloor heating, and it can get quite warm in LL14 5DG. Tel: 01691 773993 here, which we can control remotely with an app.’ ‘The base of the new conservatory sits where my March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 89

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Glyndwr Plants

Ternhill Farm House Wild Shropshire is taking root! Whilst ‘Pop ups’ were fun and a great opportunity to visit beautiful venues around the country we have decided to get all grown up and open permanently at The Farm House at Ternhill. Whilst we may be

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

dropping the ‘Pop up’ label everything else remains the same, if not better! You’ll still get the very best of Shropshire on several plates, along with matched wine flights all compiled by James and his team.

We will be open every FRIDAY and SATURDAY. We look forward to welcoming you to our next chapter. A RESTAURANT by JAMES SHERWIN

our usiness i ee right at home in

Relax in our coffee shop or on the patio and enjoy a selection of our scrumptious homemade cakes and scones. Choose from our menu of delicious light lunches, freshly ground coffees and various teas too.

Magazine rea o ing age and ad ice for ome and arden in aga ine ele one 01691 661270 or email advertising@

Coffee shop 01490 413 688 | Garden Centre 01490 413 313 The Centre is on the A5104, half a mile out of Corwen


• Bespoke service: Order your own design, colours and size • Free delivery for sizes over 6ftx8ft • Provide maintenance: Repair, Restoration and Cleaning

Tue - Sat 10am ‘til 5pm 8 Riverside Shopping Centre, Shrewsbury SY1 1PH

Tel: 01743 236 436 Mob: 07865 051 928

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Man & Van Services

Covering North Wales & Cheshire

Removals • Deliveries & Collections • Short & Long Distance • Domestic & Commercial •

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This season heralds the start of spring with rich moss greens, natural finishes and warm earthy hues…


Sleep easy: Tetrad Harris Tweed Eriskay bed frame, from £1070 for a double, Snuggle up: St David’s Cross throw in ‘Pine’, £149, Warm the cockles: Charnwood SLX20i wood burner, £1,473.90 (other colours available)

What a dish: Leaf bowl, £5.99, www.

Vintage style: authentic 1960s West German green vase, £13.50. Go to whitchurchantiquesemporium

Smart storage: Oak Marlborough three door wardrobe, £679,

Shine on: Retro floor chrome arc lamp with shade available In 12 colours, £219.00,

Totally floored: Serengeti green and white tribal print rug, 110cm X 60cm, £42.99,


Keep it green: KitchenCraft Living Nostalgia range, from £7.49, available at Coed-y-Dinas, Welshpool, Spring scent: Four new aromas to choose from entitled ‘Enjoy the simple things’ from Yankee Candle, starting from £1.79, Cosy couch: British-made Alstons Stockholm twoseater sofa starting at £679,

Groovy green: Truedor composite door in Brunswick Green, for enquiries visit


Natural tones: Welsh tapestry bedspread ‘T3 25’ available in cushion covers; £38, throws; £125, bedspreads from £220 at Trefriw Woollen Mills,

Spell it out: Leuchtturm1917 medium (A5) notebook lines in army green, £14.95, Write Here, www. writeherekite

Keep out the spring draughts with this ’Dotty Sheep’ print draught excluder from Ulster Weavers, £19.99, Go to www.

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 91

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GARDEN GATES… The days are getting longer and the weather is warmer, so it can only mean one thing… it’s time to get out and admire the dozens of local gardens open to the public!

Gardens to visit in…



pring is definitely in the air and although some of you dedicated gardeners have been toiling through the winter months, for many of us now is the time to get back outdoors. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your own green-fingered endeavours or just fancy a day out to be impressed and inspired – the Shire patch is packed with glorious gardens for the public to enjoy. While a few of them have kept the visitors coming through the chilly season with snowdrop walks and other winter wonders, for most the gates are just creaking open to launch into the new season. We’ve tried to put together a full list of what is worth seeing where, but we’re bound to have missed a few but here are our pick of the area’s finest outdoor displays.

WESTON PARK Wander around Weston Park

E D I TO R ’ S P I C K

for garden grandeur If you’re looking for a stunning example of formal, planted gardens then look no further than Weston Park in Shropshire, where Capability Brown clearly showed off his skills. The grounds include sweeping avenues, sunken gardens, rose walks, pools and promenades that perfectly encapsulate the elegance of the era they were planted in. Dorothy Clive Garden, near Market Drayton An intimate and informal with lovely views over the Shropshire hills.

of magnolias, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons and great for early spring displays including bluebells. The Dower House Garden A 1.5-acre site within the grounds of Morville Hall, near Bridgnorth in Shropshire.

DID YOU KNOW? Rose oil can fight depression, boost self-esteem and treat wounds

Weston Park Garden A great example of an 18th century landscape garden where Capability Brown once worked.

Stroll around Dudmaston in spring

Dudmaston House and Garden Dudmaston has delightful gardens which are a mass of colour in the spring. Hodnet Hall Gardens 60 acres of woodland with collections

Wollerton Old Hall Garden, Market Drayton Wollerton Old Hall Garden has a long and colourful history.

Wollerton Old Hall’s magnolias

92 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Enjoy the waterfall at Ness

E D I TO R ’ S P I C K

for unusual specimens

Walk the intrepid route through the gardens

Gardens to visit in…

the park and gardens at Lyme Park are set on the foot of the Pennine Hills.

CHESHIRE Abbeywood Gardens near Northwich in Cheshire Since 1987, The Rowlinson family have lived at Abbeywood and made many improvements to the gardens. Adlington Hall and Gardens, near Macclesfield Home to the same family for over 600 years, Adlington Hall is situated in the heart of Cheshire Arley Hall & Garden, near Northwich The gardens at Arley Hall date from around the 1700s. Bluebell Cottage Garden, near Dutton This quiet and well-hidden two-acre garden is packed with plants and rich in wildlife. Capesthorne Hall Garden Surrounding the stunning hall of the same name, The Capesthorne

You can’t beat a botanical garden for transporting you to foreign lands just by surrounding you with weird and wonderful plantings from far and wide. The gardens at Ness on the Wirral are a perfect example of this and a hidden gem with specimens from the far east still blooming that were introduced by the plant potty merchant who established the grounds back in 1898. Today there’s still an emphasis on research and horticultural study as well as an award-winning tea room too!

Garden features woodland, parkland, and lakes. Cholmondeley Castle Gardens, near Malpas Cholmondeley Castle is one of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction. Dunham Massey Garden Lovely parklands and formal gardens surround the early Georgian House at Dunham Massey. Hare Hill Gardens, near Macclesfield This is a delightful 10-acre woodland garden with azaleas, rhododendrons with a walled garden at its heart. Lyme Park Gardens near Stockport Famous for its resident deer herd,

DID YOU KNOW? Plants regulate the water cycle and purify the earth’s water

Ness Botanic Gardens, Wirral Ness Botanic Gardens was lovingly created by a cotton merchant and is now one of the finest gardens in the north

Norton Priory and Gardens, at Runcorn Packed with nature and wildlife, Norton Priory has a great garden. Rode Hall & Gardens A Repton garden landscape surrounds the eighteenth century house containing fine portraits, furniture and porcelain. Stonyford Cottage Gardens, Cuddington The gardens are family owned and were created from a wetland area around a tranquil lake in a sheltered valley on the edge of Delamere Forest. Tatton Park Gardens Covering over 50-acres, much of the gardens were designed by Lewis Wyatt in the 1800s and are a home to the annual RHS show. The Lovell Quinta Arboretum This beautiful 28-acre arboretum at The Quinta was created by Sir Bernard Lovell.

Take in the spring air at Lyme Park, a stunning Cheshire stately home March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 93

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Gardens to visit in…


for wooded wonderland If you prefer your garden explorations to be a little less formally planned then head to Bodnant Gardens in Conwy for a slightly wilder ride. The main areas are stunning in their way – typical of the time, they involve Italianate terraces, formal lawns and orderly plantings… but delve a little deeper for the best bits. A second part of the garden, the Dell, dips down into the dense woodland and follows the stream through towering trees and at this time of year, rhododendrons absolutely burst with colour… a great garden to visit and to discover the best of both worlds.

Go exploring at Bodnant Gardens, famed for its varied plant species

Plas Newydd Garden, Anglesey Based on a Henry Repton design, the garden is situated above the Menai Straits and boasts lovely views of the Snowdonia mountains Bodnant Garden, Conwy Perched above the River Conwy, this stunning garden has views across the valley to the Snowdonia National Park.

of tender exotic genera and species in common with so many beautiful Cornish gardens. Bodrhyddan Garden, near Rhuddlan Gorgeous gardens at the home of the Conwy family since the early 15th century.

Bodysgallen Hall Garden, near Llandudno The gardens are not only completely stunning but are truly historic.

The Garden House, Wrexham Five acres of garden overlooking the Welsh river Dee on the Welsh/ Shropshire border. A garden that is truly breathtaking!

Penrhyn Castle Gardens, Gwynedd The castle gardens are set against the backdrop of the Menai Straits and Snowdonia.

Plas-yn-Rhiw Gardens, Gwynedd This pretty one-acre garden nestles at the foot of Mynydd Rhiw. Portmeirion Gardens Exploiting the very mild climate at Portmeirion has allowed plantings

The Dingle Garden, Powys DID YOU Part formal and part KNOW? woodland with its Gardens might look own lake and pretty but they also a stunning yet help clean the air we breathe serene place to visit. Chirk Castle Gardens, near Wrexham The gardens at Chirk Castle were created from William Emes’ designs from the 18th century.

Erddig House and Gardens, Wrexham A unique family home with truly great gardens.

Plas Brondanw Garden, Gwynedd This Edwardian garden was created by Sir Clough William-Ellis and has magnificent views of the mountains.

Powis Castle was based on designs from William Winde.

Appreciate the architecture at Portmeirion

Gregynog Garden, in Powys More than just fine gardens to visit, Gregynog has always been renowned for its links with music, the arts and hospitality. Powis Castle and Garden This famous 17th century garden at

Eighteenth century garden design at Chirk Castle

94 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Plants&Gardens Spring is invariably a busy time for gardeners. Holly Farm Garden Centre near Whitchurch has some golden advice for stealing a march on summer

Spring is in the air at a Plant Hunter’s Fair

Primroses are always a welcome sight in spring

Spring in bloom Y

ellow daffodils, crisp white snowdrops and carpets of bluebells – in March the first signs of spring appear as our gardens come alive with bright, fresh spring colours signaling the start of the warmer weather and longer days on the horizon – and there’s plenty to keep us busy in the garden. Fresh spring colours A splash of brightly coloured primroses in a spring planter, paired with lemon yellow daffodils, adds an instant touch of spring your porch or patio. A glazed, frost proof pot is a great investment which can be re-planted throughout the seasons. To make the most of their short flowering season, deadhead any daffodils in your garden as soon as they begin to look untidy. Remove the crimpled flower heads, leaving foliage intact, to keep daffodils looking crisp and fresh throughout spring and allowing energy to be put back into the bulb to fuel next year’s growth

DID YOU KNOW? Daffodils are a flower that symbolises friendship

of the weeds before they multiply over the summer. Once tidy, prepare the ground for planting by digging over the soil and leveling it. March is a good time to mulch your borders, top your freshly dug borders with a 5cm (2 inches) layer of compost, manure or leaf mould, locking in moisture and nutrients. Then, as the harsh, cold frosts of winter subside, take time on a fresh spring morning to walk around your garden checking for frost damage and remove any affected stems from plants. Look ahead to summer March is the perfect time to plan your summer garden be it a new border, patio or vegetable plot. Take time to choose and sow flower seeds for summer, annuals and perennials such as calendula, dahlia, cosmos or snapdragon which are great for pollinating insects like butterflies and bees.

Dates for your diary

In the veg garden Roasted, baked, boiled or chipped, potatoes are a staple and taste even better when grown in your own vegetable garden. For crops in June or July plant first early seed potatoes in late March. Even in a small garden, without a vegetable patch, small crops of new potatoes can be grown in a deep container. Sow early broad beans and peas, calabrese broccoli, lettuces and onion outdoors, cover with fleece or cloches if cooler weather is forecast. Sow tender crops like aubergines, chillies and tomatoes indoors to protect them from frost. Whilst a greenhouse is ideal, a sun room, conservatory or window sill can also be used to grow on seedlings. Take care of your lawn, borders and beds Weed and tidy your borders to get ahead

There’s nothing like getting out in the garden in March and April, digging over the soil and getting ready for a summer of bloom and fragrance. It’s also a great time to revamp beds and borders casting a critical eye over everything, finding gaps and perhaps shifting out those plants that aren’t pulling their weight anymore. There’s nowhere better to find something new, unusual and exciting to fill those gaps or perk up a dull corner than a Plant Hunters’ Fair. The mix of nurseries ensures there’s something for every type of garden; little gems to tempt the most discerning plant person and lots of help and advice for the new or less experienced gardener. Each of these fairs is hosted by a great garden or countryside venue. In most cases there is free entry to the plant fair or reduced entry prices to the garden with the fair included. Every fair features some of the most highly respected nurseries around, including RHS medallists, National Collection Holders and small specialist growers. You can find out which nurseries will be at each event and see the full calendar of fairs by visiting Sunday 18th March, Alderford Lake, Whitchurch, 10am-4pm, Fair: free entry Sunday 25th March, Ness Botanic Gardens, Wirral, 10am-4pm, Fair: £1 Good Friday 30th March, Whittington Castle, Oswestry, 10am-4pm, £1 per car Sunday 1st-Monday 2nd April, Dorothy Clive Garden, Market Drayton, 10am-5pm, Gardens and Fair: £4 Saturday 21st April, Battlefield 1403, Shrewsbury, 9.30am-4pm Fair: free Sunday 29th April, Cholmondeley Castle, Malpas, 10am-5pm Gardens and Fair: £3.50 Sunday 6th-Monday 7th May, Weston Park, Shifnal, 10am-5pm Gardens and Fair: £3

Plant your pots and pretty up the patio

96 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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HOLLY FARM is a family-run

garden centre and traditional growing nursery in North Shropshire, offering a wide selection of plants, coffee shop and friendly advice.

Primroses Flower & vegetable seeds Frost proof ceramic garden pots • Logs available ALL YEAR ROUND • Seasoned Hardwood or Softwood • Kiln-dried Kindling • Large Bulk Bags from £50 • Kiln-dried Jumbo Bulk Bags from only £125 Tel: 01978 824 624 or: 07864 602 455

Composts, garden tools & equipment Seed potatoes & onion sets


MondaySaturday: 9am-5pm Sunday: 10am-4pm


01948 840 630

Whitchurch Road (A49), Prees, Shropshire, SY13 2DD Holly Farm Garden Centre

Jacksons Boutique Garden Centre Winners of six national awards

get ready for Spring Helping you

Garden Centre | Interiors | Cafe | Fashion | Gifts Jacksonsgardencentre • • T: 01745 570680 Jacksons Garden Centre, Trelawnyd, Nr Dyserth, North Wales LL18 6EB

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Over the garden gate Our local expert, John Stubbs of Corwen’s Glyndwr Plants looks at the new growth that spring will bring

DID YOU KNOW? Grow daffodils and sweet peas in March; lilac, tulips and jasmine in April

can be successfully grown on a windowsill. The young leaves can be harvested between seven and twenty days after sowing and are packed with nutrients.

Get ready to germinate seeds

Now that the first flowers and bulbs have begun, it’s time to begin our soil preparations for vegetable growing. Do not be too hasty to plant seed if the soil is not warm enough, the seed will be slow to germinate and in some cases may not germinate at all, so be patient. Apply a couple of handfuls per square meter of Growmore or blood fish and bone fertilizer to the prepared seedbed and incorporate into the soil. For an early vegetable crop to Get digging! plug the ‘hungry gap’ (the time between mid March and the end of May when the over wintered crops are finishing and the new season crops are not ready), consider using cloches to warm the soil and bring the new crops to mature early. Lots of leafy veg will grow well under cloches or for something in vogue how about micro greens which

Plan ahead for rose success This is a good time to replenish the soil for pot grown roses. Remove the top two inches of soil, apply a good Grow food in small spaces quality six month slow-release balanced fertilizer. It is low in nitrogen so you don’t get lots of foliage and few flowers, refill the pot with a good quality herbaceous compost – don’t use multipurpose compost as it is too fine. Shrubs and trees in the garden will also benefit from a good feed. I would recommend one to two handfuls per square meter. Keep plenty of horticultural fleece ready at hand to protect young emerging shoots, young leaves and fruit flowers in case of frost. New plants to look for Camellia ‘Volunteer’: a dark green foliage with beautiful dark pink double peony flowers. Dwarf Rhododendron ‘Tinkerbird’: a rarity in the dwarf rhododendron world with a scented white flower with a chocolate spotted throat, Euonymus Eldorado: a small shrub with striking yellow leaves, great in a pot.

Take care to protect new plants


Celebrate a new season in the garden with our special spring selection

This decorative outdoor clock makes an ideal gift for for family or friends. Made from pine and finished with a long lasting durable paint. Kensington large square wooden clock, £49.99, This charming willow basket can be used in a wide variety of ways in your home and garden. It’s perfect as a flower basket to collect the first spring blooms. Ella James natural willow flower basket, £32,

Get your lawn ready with Evergreen Complete 4 in 1 Lawn Food, £17.99, Coedy-Dinas Welshpool, This sweet hanging bird feeder features a delightful motif on the top of a caged feeder. Finished in a shabby chic white. Antique white bird feeder, £10, www.

This sturdy timber planter is ideal for growing all types of vegetables, particularly deep rooted ones such as carrots and potatoes, plus there is no need to bend when planting as it comes raised on four steady legs. Deep wooden planter, £64.99,

Welcome in the spring with a unique table display Floristry expert from Reaseheath College Dave Billington has created a simple but effective spring table centre with a foraging feel Materials • Wood off-cuts to give a square base and rounded offcuts for the uprights • Hyacinth bulbs mixed colours and waxed white • Ranunculus ‘cappu super’ • Mini tulips or daffodils • Spagnum moss • Stachys byzantia silver • Sempervivum • Assorted feathers • Wood glue • Bullion wire • Test tubes • Dress pins • Scissors Step 1 Arrange your wood offcuts on the base. Once you’re happy with your design, glue them in place. Step 2 Place, then glue test tubes so they’re ready to receive flowers. Wrap some of them with Stemtex tape to give a natural bark effect. Step 3 Fill in the gaps around the offcuts and tubes with bulbs. When happy with their positioning, glue in place so they don’t slide off the base. Step 4 Carefully fill test tubes with water. Then introduce the flowers as single heads and place them in the test tubes. Leave some foliage on the stem for a natural look. Step 5 Add a few twigs then fresh or dried moss, a few succulents and feathers for added interest. You can add dress pins in a matching colour to finish. After care: spritz the bulbs and succulents and top up the test tubes regularly. If kept in a fairly cool place it should last around ten days. replace the flowers as they fade.

98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Adult £ 10.00 £ 16.00


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Child £ 5.00 £ 8.00

• Daily trips from New Quay, Ceredigion, Wales, SA45 9NW • Dogs welcome Group discounts Ask for details •

All photographs taken by our skippers during recent trips

Check us out on YouTube:

Tel 01545 560 800 / 375 Email Contact Jonathan Evans 099_SHIRE_MA2018.indd 1


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Pets&Wildlife CUTE PETS 21-year-old Tabitha relaxes next to the fire in her cosy basket (and looks pretty stylish too!)

The bog has been restored and is helping the wildlife thrive once more

Volunteers transform RSPB Ynys-hir

Harvey the Cocker Spaniel on a long walk through the snow

Three employees from Amey Contracting, along with locals and reserve staff have renovated a bog and turned it into a haven for wildlife


everyone involved. Yet, thanks to very kind offers pecies of damselflies and rare bog bush crickets by local Amey contractors, along with our usual have a brighter future at RSPB Ynys-hir volunteers and reserve staff, this bog is now an thanks to a day’s volunteering work by locals. A oasis for wildlife again.’ once pristine looking bog had fallen into disarray, with birch saplings growing, drying out the bog Havens and habitats and shading out unusual habitats that are crucial The Bog bush-cricket, one of ten bushto wonderful wildlife. DID YOU cricket species found in the UK, is bright Local Amey contractors kindly KNOW? green underneath, brown along its sides volunteered their precious time to Damselflies are and either brown or green along its back. help remove the scrub and the birch one of the most It relies on bogs for its habitat, making saplings. They spent the day clearing ancient of the RSPB Ynys-hir crucial to its future in the birch saplings with chainsaws, whilst flying insects Wales. Damselflies such as the emerald, volunteers and reserve staff were on common blue, azure and the UK-wide hand with a tractor, clearing the waste left scarce small-red tend to stay close to the water’s behind, working together to create favourable edge and stand to benefit from the now transformed conditions so wildlife thrives. bog. RSPB Cymru Volunteer Development Officer, RSPB Ynys-hir site manager, David Anning, Emily Sinclair, adds: ‘This work highlights the explains: ‘Getting this once wonderful bog back in remarkable effect volunteering has on nature.’ For the best possible condition was a reserve priority. information on RSPB volunteering opportunities, Seeing the bog’s condition worsen over the course visit of the past few years was very upsetting for

Sue Deakin’s pony, Milo, is happy to be out in the winter weather!

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



heshire Wildlife Trust has been able to create a network of new meadows thanks to supporters of its ‘Save Our Marvellous Meadows Appeal’. Nearly £12,000, has been raised to date, which will help the Trust continue its campaign to restore 100 hectares of species-rich grassland in Cheshire, within the next 10 years. Supporters of the appeal were invited to a special plug planting event at the Trust’s Swettenham Meadows Nature Reserve, where they planted some perennial wildflowers including bee favourite, meadow vetchling and bird’s-foot trefoil.

Cheshire has lost 99% of its meadows over the last 60 years through changes in farming practices and a lack of awareness around the importance of grasslands. ‘Specialist pollinators such as bees, butterflies, hoverflies and moths are in rapid decline, due to this loss in our region’s landscape,’ explains Martin Varley, director of Conservation at Cheshire Wildlife Trust. ‘Insect-feeding small mammals and birds such as the yellow wagtail, lapwing and skylark have all also been impacted by the losses.’ To pledge your support or help the project visit

The wildflower plug planting session at Swettenham Meadows

100 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Spring is an ideal time to spot the water vole

C Lady’s smock is a pretty flower native to the UK

heshire Wildlife Trust is encouraging people to keep their eyes open when visiting Wirral’s coastline. Five Portuguese man-o-war jellyfish were found washed up on Walney Island in Cumbria at the end of last year, meaning that there is every chance they could be found along our shores as they slowly drift up the Irish Sea. 2017 saw the highest number of Portuguese man-o-war strandings for years on beaches in the South West but only as far north as Pembrokeshire in Wales and Dublin in Ireland. These beautiful creatures are not ‘true jellyfish’ but siphonophores – a group of highly specialised clones called ‘zooids’ that all work together as one animal. They have a bright blue-purple float, shaped like a Cornish pasty, which floats on the sea surface and blue tentacles that hang below the surface, stretching over 10 metres in length. Beware though, as they can still give a nasty sting even when dead!

Watch out for toads crossing roads!

His work has been widely published in books, magazines and calendars and although he travels a great deal in search of subjects to see and photograph, naturalist and wildlife photographer, Jonathan Need, says he is happiest spending time in his local area in the Snowdonia National Park...


he spring months are ideal to be outdoors looking for wildlife. When night time temperatures rise above 5°c, toads emerge from hibernation and return to their familial breeding ponds – you may well see them migrating across roads on their route to their destination. In damp margins at the edge of the ponds, uncut meadows or marshy areas, keep a look out for lady’s smock also known

ponds is still relatively sparse, as cuckoo flower as it usually it can be a good time of year to flowers around the time of the spot Britain’s fastest declining cuckoo’s arrival. This delightful mammal – the water plant is native to the vole which lives along UK and bears clusters edges of slow moving of flowers each with ‘Listen out waterways. Listen out four petals flushed for the for the characteristic pink or lilac growing characteristic tell-tale ‘plop’ as the on slender stems. The tell-tale ‘plop’ vole enters the water. orange tip butterfly as the vole enters the As with all wildlife, lays its eggs on the water’ patience is a virtue flower stem and the when hoping to spot lava feed on the water voles – but then developing seed pods. again, there is always something else to see while you wait. www. Keep your eyes peeled While vegetation around


Pawfect presents See in the spring with some fab new buys for your pets…

Bath time: Dry your pet in double quick time with this fast drying super-soft pet towel, £14.99,

Clean up: Keep your messy eaters contained with this cool ‘Eat up and carry on’ dinner mate mat, £8,

Stylish slumber: Crafted in bent oak or walnut plywood the Mia Cara Covo frame is strong and sturdy. Small dogs love the enclosed form and the raised rear adds a snug feel. The cover is easily removable and washable. £600,

Watch the birdie: This pretty, frost-resistant petal feeder can be planted in your flower bed, lawn or pot. Fill with seed and wait for the garden birds to come. £7.99, www.

Hot house: Re-home reptiles in style with this Exo Terra glass terrarium with front window ventilation, dual glass doors, stainless steel mesh cover, locks to prevent escape, and closable inlets for wires and tubing, £147.19,

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 101

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10 great reasons to advertise with


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

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

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


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

SHIRE magazine distribution


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

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



Some of our supermarket stands being used on location

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

Call now on 01691 661270 or email to find out more. 102_SHIRE_MA2018.indd 1

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Arts&Crafts A CELEBRATION OF LOCATION Cheshire-based artist Julia Seaton has been taking inspiration from the scenes around her – and has created an affordable, contemporary collection of open edition ‘poster style’ prints that capture the beauty of the North West and beyond


as she feels she can convey an eaturing scenes from across understanding of ‘place’ better the region, Julia Seaton’s this way: ‘Having always worked artwork depicts scenes from in design, and with a love for familiar and recognisable travel and getting out and places including Liverpool, the about, it seemed like a natural Wirral, North Wales, The Lake progression for me to create District, Cheshire, Derbyshire graphic depictions of some of and beyond. my favourite places. My initial She says: ‘I’ve always loved designs were of West Kirby and the classic travel posters of New Brighton, and I was thrilled the early twentieth century. when I started getting a good As well as evoking nostalgia, response selling them they bring back happy in a Wirral gallery’. memories of holidays ‘People will Spurred on by this and special places, and always be success, Julia went on I hope to capture this drawn to to create scenes from in my prints’. images of across the North West Rather than simply places that and now has her work replicating the colour have a special in a selection of art and style used in the meaning’ galleries and gift shops original travel posters, across the country and Julia has used a modern her own online shop. palette, clean lines and ‘I think people will always be her own style to add a modern drawn to images of places that edge to her designs. ‘I aim to have special meanings to them, create a simplified realism along where they have grown up, spent with a nostalgic feel,’ she says. their life or holidayed and I hope Julia has many years my images can capture some of commercial experience working these memories in a sentimental in the creative industry, and has way so they can share in my worked in illustration, animation celebration of the wonderful and graphic design. With a keen places we have here in the North interest in photography, Julia West, Wales and further afield’. prefers to work from her own photographs and recollections,

Ty Pawb will open to the public on Easter Weekend, the occasion marked with the Dydd Llun Pawb parade and launching ‘Is This Planet Earth?’, the first exhibition in the new gallery. The huge project was made possible thanks to major capital grants from the Arts Council of Wales, Wrexham Council and the Welsh government and incorporates the new Oriel Wrecsam gallery. It has been a huge undertaking from all involved – from the initial planning stages through to the hard work of contractors Wynne Construction who carried out the transformation. The title of Ty Pawb was chosen after a public vote and the community has embraced


The brand new £2.3 million development in Wrexham is transforming the former market hall into a cultural hub for arts and crafts

the development, which will bring together arts, markets and community work within the former Peoples’ Market on Market Street.


communities, which brings in influences and expertise from across Wales and beyond, as well as working closely with local partners and artists,’ she comments.

Jo Marsh, arts lead for Wrexham Council and creative director at Oriel Wrecsam, will take on the role of creative director at Ty Pawb and is excited about the hub’s future: ‘Looking ahead to the plans and vision for Ty Pawb, my approach is to design and deliver an artistic programme that is genuinely beneficial to Wrexham

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ARTS & CRAFTS AFONWEN EVENTS 1st & 2nd March, Sandra Roberts with Hand made silver jewellery This is Sandra’s first visit to us with her hand twisted silver jewellery made using silver wire.

3rd & 4th March, Stitch work with Sue Brand Sue has a gorgeous selection of bags, bunting, aprons and cushions using many on trend materials.


BEHIND THE FRAME 16 February 2018 – 1 September 2018, in the Gregynog Gallery at the National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth


‘It is ironic that I am the most loved and most honoured Welsh artist of all time and yet I am hated by the art world.’ Kyffin Williams

n exhibition to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of the defining Welsh artists of the 20th century – Sir Kyffin Williams. Kyffin’s style has become the epitome of the nation, and his work a definition of Welshness. On display will be his iconic impasto landscapes of Wales and vigorous portraits of local and national personalities. There will also be an opportunity to view lesser-known works by the artist previously unseen by the public, which include his preparatory drawings, sketchbooks and archive material. The relationship between the Library and the artist first began in 1949 at the start of Kyffin’s career when the library first purchased one of his paintings. From this point onwards this patronage was cultivated through consistent purchases, donations and exhibitions until his death in September 2006 when the Library was bequeathed a generous part of his estate. The existing collection, together with the bequest, forms the largest most comprehensive collection of material relating to Kyffin Williams in existence. This exhibition – presented in the Library’s prestigious Gregynog Gallery – will give visitors an insight into the man behind the frame, through his art, archives and his own words.

27th & 28th March, Cherry Bea – Jewellery with Elaine Come and see Elaine’s lovely collection of beaded jewellery, she is also happy to carry out repairs. Helen is joining Elaine with her beautiful home furnishings: cushions, curtains and blinds as well as aprons and other stitch work. Thursday 29th March, Gill Benjamin Local artist Gill Benjamin will be visiting us with her water colours and acrylics working on canvas. Gill is a new artist to us and paints mainly North Wales landscapes Good Friday & Easter Saturday Artist Thelma Evans has been visiting us for many years now and is always a popular artist painting on canvas in her very distinct style and fine detail.

Kyffin Williams © NLW

Easter Sunday & Monday, Crafty Sisters Fused glass jewellery, fine braided jewellery, handmade cards and felt work and more. 7th & 8th April Encaustic art with Linda Morris Have a go with hot wax art – it’s amazing what you can do and Linda is a fantastic teacher. All proceeds go to brain tumour research. 12th & 13th April, Earth Deva Marie has a fascinating collection of statues, jewellery and art works with a mythical and mystical theme. Marie creates goddesses, fairies, cats, wolves and mushrooms, all to her own original designs.

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O pen all over E aster • A ntiq ue, Vintage & M odern F urniture • O ak, M ahogany & P ine • Edwardian, Victorian, A rt D eco & R etro to the 7 0 ’ s • C abinets full of B eswick, M oorcroft, D oulton, Worcester, Silver J ewellery & C rystal • H ome A ccessories: vintage, antiq ue & modern M irrors & L amps, plus C hina & T ea Sets • D aily C raft D emonstrations • M orning C offee • L unch & A fternoon T ea - where ‘ H O M EM A D E’ is our speciality!

• We are proud to use fresh, local produce!

A F O N WEN , N EA R O P E N: T uesday – Sunday, 9 .3 0 am – 5 .3 0 pm

O pen bank holiday M ondays T: 0 1 3 5 2 7 2 0 9 6 5 or 0 1 3 5 2 7 2 0 7 9 7 ( Edenshine)

Adnodd cymunedol diwylliannol newydd i Wrecsam, gan ddod â chelfyddydau a marchnadoedd at ei gilydd o fewn yr un ôl troed. Yn agor ym Mhasg 2018.

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C A ER WY S, C H 7 5 U B

( O nly 5 minutes off the A 5 5 junction 3 1 )

E : antiq ues@ W:

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

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PHOTO COMPETITION ‘Winter Wonderland’

Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw, Pwllheli, until 18th March An exhibition to celebrate the legacy of Gwyneth and Dafydd ap Tomos, who saved the Plas from dereliction in the last quarter of the 20th century. Work by Gwyneth and a selection of gallery artists, old and new. Group exhibition Petals and Claws celebrates the 50th anniversary of Alan Garner’s novel The Owl Service, based on the story of Blodeuwedd, a woman created from flowers and later turned into an owl in The Mabinogion.

Winter Wonderland by Roger Fox from Conwy

Winter Wonderland 2 by Roger Fox from Conwy

Sunshine and snow at Wistaston and beyond Jonathan White

ArtWork Studios & Gallery, Northwich, 10th March-30th April The Artworks Studios, who have called the Printworks in Navigation Road home for the last three years, are moving into Witton House on Leicester Street Roundabout. An exhibition is being held from 10th March in the new building with a display from studio artist Jane Bedford from 12-4pm, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

An Erdigg Winter by the National Trust’s Lorraine Elliott

A Winter Wonderland by Mal

Williamson Art Gallery, Birkenhead, The Dragons of the Pool, until March 18th An exhibition telling the little known story of the Chinese seamen who were secretly deported from the UK at the end of the Second World War, many of whom had travelled to England as part of the war effort. They were forcibly repatriated to China. The Dragons of the Pool, will document the stories of the surviving children of the seamen for the first time. Oriel Davies Gallery, Powys, until April 11th The gallery’s season launches with two new exhibitions, A Sound Not Meant To Be Heard by Anthony Shapland explores sound, silence, speech and communication, through expanded moving image work. Speakable Things by Freya Dooley combines literary and pop culture references to create fragmented monologues, and autobiographical semi-fictions.

St Oswald’s at Oswestry by Tudor Humphreys

Oswestry Hillfort in winter by Graham Mitchell

The new Mersey Gateway bridge in Runcorn, as seen on a winter evening from Spike Island Widnes by Eric Twist

Once again we have been delighted by the standard and quantity of images you sent in to us for our last photo competition – clearly the Winter Wonderland topic inspired you all! We have printed some of our favourites here and even if we’re all feeling a bit more spring-like it’s lovely to look back over the beautiful crisp, cold scenes you managed to capture. The subject for our May/June edition is Floral Glory. Email your pictures to no later than 1st April.

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Create Nostalgia

Opening Times: Wed, Thurs and Sat 10.30am ~ 4.00pm, or by appointment, or visit our website: (not all items sold in the shop are listed on our website)

01352 771359

Contact Mary or Pam ~ Telephone or Email y, ia, Tri Th kin, lg ta s o N d o Create Lane, Pontyb n Tir y Fro r Mold, CH7 4TU Nea

Abbeyfield Colwyn Bay Society offer an independent sheltered environment for the elderly and we are very proud of our three houses Are you tired of living alone and shopping and preparing meals for one ? At Abbeyfield we aim to provide a peaceful and friendly atmosphere where residents can maintain their independence within a home from home environment. We provide two home cooked meals in a friendly communal atmosphere, your accommodation is cleaned and washing and ironing undertaken weekly. Community Alarm service is provided for your piece of mind and all bills are paid for.

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Abbeyfield now have a "Try before you buy" room. Why not see what Abbeyfield is all about or stay with us when your family go on holiday

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C HEESE Wedding Cakes Beautiful, Different, Adventurous. Eye catching, Delicious, Affordable. Private tastings recommended – Talk to us now!

Porters Delicatessen

A fantastic wedding venue Call us now to find out more

Standing majestically in the heart of the beautiful Conwy Valley, with the foothills of the Snowdonia range as a dramatic backdrop, a warm welcome awaits you here at Maenan Abbey. Our 14 bedrooms are all individually designed and incorporate Four Poster rooms with jacuzzis, two bedroomed family suites and a flexible mixture of double and twin rooms. After a long day exploring some of the many attractions that the area has to offer you can unwind in our friendly bar or relaxing lounge. Tel 01492 660247

Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Breaks Available

Maenan Abbey Hotel, Maenan, Llanrwst, LL26 0UL

SEVEN nights ~ £395 per person

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TWO nights ~ £135 per person THREE nights ~ £195 per person (£15 supplement if including a Saturday)

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Your big day We all know how much is involved when it comes to planning a wedding, so let us help ease the stress with a round-up of some of the best local services and suppliers that can help you achieve the ultimate wedded bliss…

Top spots to tie the knot

Maenan Abbey is a charming hotel which is full of character and privately owned and run. Guests will arrive in the grand entrance hall with its galleried landing and blazing log fire in winter and feel welcomed to your wedding in style. A great deal of refurbishment has been carried out recently including to the magnificent lobby, elegant bar, several of the bedrooms and the exquisite dining room. The pricing policy for weddings is fair and open. Unlike many hotels, only an £80 room hire fee is charged if you are holding your ceremony at the hotel. Otherwise, the cost of function room hire is incorporated into menu prices. The team has years of experience and will leave you with the peace of mind that no detail has been overlooked and that your special day will leave you with many happy memories for years to come. They can also recommend florists, photographers, chauffeurs, cake makers, pianists harpists, musicians and bands and will go to great lengths to ensure that every detail of your special day is perfect.

Plas Isaf offers a stunning wedding venue in the 17th century listed barn which is ideally situated, with some of the most spectacular views of the Dee Valley. Elegant surroundings and a warm ambience set the scene for your special day, while the barn offers a wealth of versatility, with impressive oak trusses and slate floors, which makes it a blank canvas. A marquee is positioned next to the barn, which overlooks the open countryside, creating the opportunity for an intimate gathering or a celebratory party from 30 to 300 guests. With the help and dedication of the team, every effort is made to ensure that your wedding will be the most memorable day of your life. If you’re considering the venue now is the perfect time to visit with an open day and wedding fayre on the 29th April from 11am to 4pm. It will be the ideal opportunity to see the barn and marquee set up for different wedding styles and the florist, photographer and more suppliers will be around for you to talk to and gather ideas.

Gregynog Hall really is the most romantic of locations, laced with symbolism from the earliest times of the Princes of Wales and cultural significance. It is a grand location that will impress your guests with the exquisite good taste of the Davies Sisters, in a building where Renoirs, Monets and Picassos once hung and Rodin’s sculptures still stand. If you wish to hire the whole house, then bespoke packages including the bridal suite are available, providing both privacy and exclusiveness for your wedding.

With glorious Grade I listed gardens, the grounds offer inspirational opportunities for photographs with a majestic backdrop of fountains, trees and rhododendrons while the team offer a genuinely warm Welsh welcome and are focused on providing the best service available. Gregynog prides itself on its flexibility, imagination and insight, to create individual weddings and personalised packages and even have two helicopter landing positions for those who want to fly in or out from local airports.

It’s not official until the rings are on the fingers so an important part of the day to get right is the wedding band itself. Local jeweller Mark Jones from The Ring Workshop explains his approach: ‘Shaping wedding rings to perfectly complement a customer’s engagement ring probably represents 40 per cent of our business, but I’m always surprised at how few high street jewellers offer this service. Most of our jobs will start with a wax, a medium that can be carved, shaped and filed into a model. It should fit the customer’s engagement ring perfectly and have a complementary width, profile and proportion. Once approved, the wax is cast, hand-finished and hallmarked, creating masterpiece – a ring as unique as your relationship!’

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WEDDINGS CAKE IT OR FA K E I T ? So Chic is an award winning ladies’ boutique selling beautiful clothing and accessories for the discerning woman, situated on the high street in the historic university town of Bangor. Established in 2006, So Chic has secured an excellent reputation for the stunning collections, impeccable customer service and professional advice. The team’s expertise has been recognised by experts as well as customers and they have a whole host of awards from the Welsh National Wedding Awards as well as having been named Best Occasion Wear Shop in Wales last year.

Charlotte James Gown Hire is the place to go if you’re looking for the perfect wedding outfit this season. Rather than spend hundreds of pounds on a dress you might only wear once, why not pop in to Charlotte James in Broughton and browse the stunning outfits available to hire for the day instead? The rails are packed with designer clothes, many of which you would never find elsewhere, and with 25 years of experience, the team at Charlotte James are experts at helping you choose the perfect look for you to suit your budget. Why not look and feel a million dollars without costing it?

Daniella of Nantwich is well worth a visit for wedding guests that want to stand out. Manager Jean and her team provide a friendly, relaxed atmosphere to achieve an elegant, chic and stylish appearance for every customer. The store stocks designer labels including Michaela Louisa, Anna Montana, Picadilly, Faber, Marble, Frank Lyman and more - in sizes from 10 to 24. With a fantastic range of shoes, jewellery, hats, fascinators and scarves, they stock the finishing touches to create the perfect look whatever your style.

Grosvenor Classic Cars have amassed a range of elegant vehicles which make the perfect wedding cars for those who want to make sure they arrive in style. With leading manufacturers such as Daimler, Mercedes, Beauford and Jaguar, you know you’ll travel in comfort whichever vehicle you choose. The team can recommend cars for the bridesmaids, groomsmen and bridal couple themselves and each car is finished to exacting standards both inside and out and available in cream, black or white and even peacock blue. These well maintained and low mileage vehicles are driven by experienced chauffeurs in full uniform. Edwardian cars have 1920s chauffeur uniforms complete with cap and long black

boots, whereas the Bentleys and Mercedes drivers wear toning suits, black shoes, gloves and cap. Each wedding car will be prepared and dressed with colour co-ordinated bows and ribbons. On the leather upholstery beside you, you will find beautiful silk flowers and you may pop open the complimentary half bottle of champagne to enjoy en route in the crystal glasses provided. With so many other things to plan and decisions to make for your wedding day it can be very easy to overlook the finer details when choosing a wedding car service. Grosvenor Wedding Cars has compiled a handy list of considerations: 1) Make sure that you view the cars you intend to use before booking so that you know exactly

what you’re getting 2) Agree how long you will have the use of the cars for on the day 3) Ensure that you know exactly how many people to transport so there is space for everyone! 4) Confirm what flowers will be used on the cars to coordinate with your scheme 5) Do you want champagne in the car?

Porters Deli in Llangollen can offer something a little bit different for your wedding celebration, especially if you don’t have a particularly sweet tooth: three tiers of cheese! The Porters team has plenty of experience in creating these showpiece wedding cakes which have really taken off in the last few years. They stock at least 60 different cheeses but can source others and can accommodate special requests. This classic, showtopping centre-piece comprises seven tiers, starting with Gorwydd Caerffili, the famous Black Bomber, Perl Wen, Perl Las, Y Fenni, Golden Cenarth and finally topped with a little Pant-ysgawn goat’s cheese. It’s pretty cost effective too with prices starting from £2 per person.

6) Find out how the chauffeurs will be dressed on the day 7) Does the wedding car company provide a backup plan if your chosen car breaks down before or on your wedding day? 8) If there are children under 12 years of age travelling, check that there are seat belts fitted, that child seats can be fitted or boosters are supplied.

Choose from a stunning range of vintage or classic cars

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Ultimate LPhuxanurtoym

Rolls Royce

SHAPED WEDDING RINGS In jewellery, as with many things, there’s only one substitute for size…the PERFECT FIT!

Bygone Years

Edwardian Beauties

Grosvenor Wedding Cars houses one of Cheshire and the Wirral’s most exclusive collections of superbly presented luxury wedding GROSVENOR WEDDING CARS cars. We are very privileged to be able to offer these cars for hire through our highly professional, chauffeur driven service. These beautifully presented prestige classics provide the perfect way for you to arrive in style! Our cars are all beautifully presented and

can be paired in similar colours to provide

for example: Our latest additions, Branford

Classic/Elite 5 & 7 Seaters. Cream Edwardian Bridal Car paired with our Cream 6 door

You are more than welcome to pay us a visit and view our full range of vehicles, just call John Martin on:

Tel: 0800 999 5151 Mobile: 07523 176699

Daimler carrying capacity of 7 people. Beauford

or email:

our matching 6 door Daimler carrying capacity

Grosvenor Wedding Cars, Littleton Hall, Littleton Lane, Chester CH3 7DJ.

Open Top Tourer in blue and silver paired with of 6 people. All of our cars will be dressed for

Do you have an unusual engagement ring?

Have you struggled to find the perfect wedding ring?


the occasion and will be chauffeur driven by our very experienced, uniformed drivers.



perfect venue

Plas Isaf

We’re here to help, whatever your requirements.

At The Ring Workshop we specialise in handmade wedding rings to fit all shapes and sizes of engagement ring.


for a perfect day


2018 11am - 4pm

Plas Isaf, Corwen, Denbighshire, LL21 0EW Tel: 01490 412 486 Mob: 07891 501 833

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The team at Shropshire Petals, the place where they grow their own confetti!

No wedding is complete without some floral features – from stunning table centres and church pew ends to buttonholes and bouquets, even the confetti thrown over the happy couple. One Shropshire company has just the stuff to ensure a shower of perfect petals

It’s all about that confetti moment!

The confetti moment is one of the most iconic from any wedding and is traditionally done straight after the wedding ceremony to mark the celebration of a newly married couple as well as one of the photographic highlights. These days venue can be quite specific about what they allow to be scattered and where – with biodegradable, natural petals being preferred by most. A growing business Shropshire Petals, based in Newport, grow natural petal confetti and wheat on their farm which was originally an arable farm owned

by the Bubb family. The company started by growing a selection of flowers, which they dried and sold at local WI markets and to wholesalers. After an enquiry from a customer asking if their petals could be dyed and used for confetti, they realised that their delphiniums were perfect to be used as confetti as they are light, small and have beautiful natural colours, so no dyes would be needed. In 2005, Shropshire Petals was born and they now have a wide range of petals to choose from in an array of colours to match or contrast with any theme. Nature’s choice Natural petal confetti is 100 per cent biodegradable and eco-friendly. The petals will naturally disappear within a few days,

Shropshire Petals grow every bloom on site

just like blossom fallen from a tree. They are grown on the farm and carefully tended to for months before they bloom, with lots of watering, weeding and care. When they are ready for cropping, the flowers are picked by hand, transported back to the ‘Petal Shed’ where each petal is delicately taken off the stems by hand, naturally airdried and lovingly hand-packed for Choose a colour to suit each order. When it comes to choosing your confetti, you can create your own unique mix or simply choose your favourite colours. Celebrity fans Celebs are getting in on the trend too. Most recently Duncan Bannatyne and Jacqueline Jossa used Shropshire Petals at their lavish nuptials and they have also been part of the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations! Why not support a local family firm whose business is positively blooming…

Wedding award for top team Shropshire Farm Weddings were revealed as the winners of the Best Event Team category at the Wedding Industry Awards in Birmingham. The awards recognise and reward excellence in the wedding industry and are presented in 25 categories across seven geographical regions of England. Shropshire Farm Weddings, run by the team at The Wroxeter Hotel, near Shrewsbury, host weddings at Morrells Wood Farm and have helped 13 couples marry, or celebrate in the rural setting

since its launch. The team scooped the Best Newcomer Award last year, and the venture has gone from strength to strength. Wroxeter Hotel owners Ed and Hannah Hall and Morrells Wood Farm owners Derek and Sue Harper were among the team that took to the stage to collect the gong. Hannah comments: ‘It is the brides and grooms who vote in these awards and we are so grateful to all of those who voted, and so glad we were able to be part of their special day!’’

A winning team: Shropshire Farm Weddings

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Herald a new season with these bright and beautiful style picks…

In the pink: Wallis pink waterfall coat, £65, pink sequin knit, £40, blue jeans, £35,

Lady in red: Joseph Ribkoff red dress style 173411, £215, So Chic Bangor,

Red stripe: Foil Clothing red geometric stripe dress, £65, Out of Town, Oswestry

Flower power: Roman orchid floral print chiffon overlay dress £45, Tweed Mill

If you have any special spring events where you need to dress to impress, this Frank Lyman navy lace dress is sure to hit the mark! £195, from Daniella of Nantwich

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Add some spring charm to your wardrobe with these sweet accessories In the bag: College bag in Spring Flower, £35.99, Corwen Manor Craft Centre,

Spring flowers: Ronin Blossom bracelet, £18, Ismays of Ellesmere

Make a splash: Lunar garden flower wellies, £23.95, www.


Bee-autiful: Olivia Burton 3D bee embellished silver mesh watch, £155,

These oh-so-soft socks are made from 100% British Alpaca. Breathable, natural and local, they are a total treat for your toes! John Arbon alpaca dress/walking socks, from £15, Mulberry Alpacas

Dress to impress: 421a dress by Betty n Co, £80,

Blue blooms: Marine tones earrings, £7.99,

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









O pening times: M onday - F riday 1 0 am - 5 pm, Saturday 9 .3 0 m - 5 pm Evening appointments also available

Sizes 10 - 24

0 1 2 4 8 3 7 2 2 8 3

email: info@ or: info@

15 4 High Street, Bangor, G wynedd, LL5 7 1NU

(formally Dresses at Julie’s)

Ladies Clothing



lus Accessories Sizes 8 – 30, p

Special Occasions Evening Dresses Prom Dresses Cruise Dresses All sizes catered for



Hopkins Passage Broad Street Welshpool Powys SY21 7SE

16 High St Ellesmere SY12 0EP Tel: 01691 623 931 OPENING TIMES: Tues ~ Fri, 10am ~ 5pm Sat 10am ~ 4pm (Sun & Mon: Seasonal/By appointment)

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07891 136936 mywardrobebyteresajayne

16/02/2018 16:06


If you’re one of the six million people in the UK who suffer from migraines you’ll know just how debilitating they can be. We’ve taken a closer look at the problem, and what help there is available


t is estimated that 15 per cent of the world’s population are struck down by regular and often crippling migraines – making it the most common neurological condition in the developed world. In fact more people battle the challenges the condition brings than those that suffer from asthma, epilepsy and diabetes combined. For many the effects can be hard to manage – with more than half of migraine sufferers experiencing sever impairment during an attack – and more than 75 per cent of sufferers have at least one attack per month. Women tend to be the TRIED AND TESTED

We are still suffering the ravages of winter so to help keep our hard-working digits in tip top condition, we put three hand creams to the test

worst affected, probably due to hormones, and the condition normally develops post-puberty – peaking during 35 and 45 years of age. Often dismissed as little more than a bad headache, the impact of migraines on the country should not be overlooked. However, it remains the least publicly funded of all neurological illnesses relative to its economic impact. The UK population loses 25 million days from work or school each year because of migraine and that absenteeism alone costs £2.25 billion per year while the cost to the NHS is estimated at around WINN

PAIN MANAGEMENT The impact migraine has on the sufferer themselves can vary widely – from dizziness and nausea, to vision impairment and of course intense, often throbbing pain in the head. Many sufferers cannot stand light and sound during an episode and most will struggle to continue normal activities. There are mixed medical and alternative opinions on how best to treat migraines, but the following suggestions

are generally accepted as being helpful. 1.Sleeping, or at least lying in a dark room 2.Over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen 3.Triptans – stronger pain relief available on prescription from your GP 4.Anti-nausea tablets – to control the feelings brought on by migraines or the treatment for them 5.Acupunture can really help improve the symptoms too. 6.Transcranial magnetic stimulation – newly approved by NICE, this alternative treatment is showing promising results.

Aveda Hand Relief, £19.50, www. This is a lovely cream to use and provided our hands with plenty of moisture and zero greasiness. It contains organic fruit acids and even has liquorice in it. It claims to contain anti-ageing properties and while the smell is meant to provide a de-stressing aroma, it wasn’t our favourite scent. 8/10

Neutrogena’s New Norwegian Formula AntiAgeing Hand Cream £4.99, www. This contains SPF 25 which is always a good start. We appreciate an anti ageing cream with sun protection and this was easily absorbed. It sorted out dry skin in no time and had a fresh and pretty neutral fragrance. And all for under a fiver! 9/10

£150 million per year, mostly from the costs of prescription drugs and GP visits.


L’Occitane Shea Butter Hand Cream £12, www.loccitane. We love this cream! Not only does it smell incredible but the shea butter formulation melts into the skin and leaves no trace of grease, and seemed to work pretty much instantly and lasted for absolutely hours! We used the handbag sized 30ml, but there is a huge 150ml available to keep at home too. 10/10

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Create a light and pretty spring look with these essential makeup buys

Spring clean your beauty routine Sam Humphreys, beauty lecturer at North Shropshire College, gives her tips for recovering from the winter months


ith the warmer seasons fast approaching, it’s time to think about your ‘beauty spring clean’. Cold weather, central heating and stuffy workplaces all contribute to some form of damage to our hair, skin and nails. By the time the warmer weather approaches, many women in the UK are less than eager to bare their flesh! Prepared as early as possible for those days of lighter and lesser clothing and start with

and if false nails have been worn, then discolouration of the nail plates can be unsightly. Opt for a weekly treatment to get them into a tip top condition such as a manicure with a polish, buffed finish or French finish to get a natural look. For hair removal, a continuous hair removal waxing method will in the long term destroy the hair roots, thus leaving the body with very little or lack of hair growth in the

treated area – and a key job in preparation for the spring. More recently, women have opted for laser hair removal which has also proved to be a very effective hair removal method.

a pedicure. NSC offers luxury pedicures, treating nails, cuticles and hard skin followed by a hydrating mask and a foot massage to wake up the circulation. NAIL IT Most women will have experienced dry and chapped hands during the winter too

GLOW FOR IT Knowing that the hands, feet and hair-free body are being dealt with, adding a little tan for a subtle healthy glow is another great way to start thinking about the summer. The final ‘spring clean’ steps include eye treatments which incorporate lash and brow tinting and brow shaping. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s certainly a beauty treatment worth trying. At the NSC salon we will work on the feet, hands, skin and eyebrows to help you start the spring with a fresh frame of mind. To book call 01691 688 000 or 688 060.


Guerlain expands its famous Aqua Allegoria series and introduces the Pamplelune eau de toilette. It offers the spirit of grapefruit and a note of bergamot. It evokes a feeling of dawn, windows open, sun rising and the warmth of the morning all around. It’s early spring in a bottle! 75ml, £48.50,

Flawless base: Estée Lauder Double Wear Nude Water Fresh Makeup is a fluid, longwear makeup that feels like you have nothing on. Moves comfortably with your skin, looks fresh and natural. £32.50, So cheeky: Stila Convertible Color Dual Lip and Cheek Cream in Gerbera is for use on both lips and cheeks, providing a sheer wash of glowy colour in a peach tone. £16, Get the glow: The Bobbi Brown Highlighting Power in Opal Glow is a highwattage luminising powder. The superfine formula gives a lit-fromwithin glow. £35.50,

All the gloss: Lipstick Queen Big Bang Lipgloss in Infinite, is super-moisturising. The shea butter leaves lips beautifully soft and it’s enriched with ultranourishing antioxidant Vitamin E and a stickiness-free serum. £22,

Bat those lashes: There’s no smudging, clumping, or flaking with NARS Audacious Mascara. With over 200 molded bristles and lengthening hooks, the lash-catching brush evenly grips and coats lashes from roots to tips. £22,

Time to line: We absolutely love MAC’s Kohl Liner in Teddy as it’s perfect for a soft spring look. This soft–on pencil lines, defines and shades the eyes with MAC’s rich colour and a silky–smooth, matte/pearl finish. £14.50,

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 117

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With so many people starting the New Year with a new diet plan we’re busting some of the many myths around eating as we head into the spring

We all know that keeping active keeps us in better health – but Lizzy Deery from the University of Chester’s department of Clinical Sciences & Nutrition says its the little things that really help...


re you sitting comfortably? Good! Or maybe not. Experts have made no secret of the fact that exercise is a potent form of medicine, and that we should be aiming to get more; accruing a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week. This has been shown to have benefits on physical and psychological wellbeing, with research dating as far back as the 1950s when it was shown that active bus conductors had lower incidence of heart disease than less active bus conductors. More recently however, there’s been a movement toward decreasing time spent sitting daily, even if it’s simply replaced with standing. We’re being encouraged to have walking meetings at work, move bins away from our desks to break

‘sitting-disease’. Sitting time up sitting time, to visit colleagues can accumulate quite easily with messages instead of sending throughout a day. Take into emails, and the once-novel account a one-hour commute sit-stand desk is now becoming daily, an eight-hour working day common place in the workplace. which may be predominantly So is sitting time something sedentary, an hour browsing which should be on your radar? screen devices or watching Well yes, according to research TV in the evening and you’ve even if you’re someone who accumulated 10 hours of goes to the gym or sitting! This, according to exercises regularly. Standing time a 2013 meta-analysis of Many researchers is something studies, is associated with a have shown that that should 34 per cent higher mortality there are associations be on your risk taking exercise into between time spent radar even if account. sitting and the you regularly But there is good news! development of exercise It has been shown that diseases such as type it is in fact how often we II diabetes, or the break up this sitting time, ill-health of blood with standing, walking, moving vessels which can be linked to and exercise that is important heart disease. Moreover, it has to health. So perhaps a walking been reported that sitting impacts meeting after lunch? Or ten upon blood flow not only around minutes standing after a meal to the body, but also to the brain, sort the dishes? Set a timer every and this has been linked with hour to remind you to stand up, feelings of wellbeing, productivity have a stretch, maybe refill your and fatigue. This link between water or make a tea? Perhaps sitting and health risk has been stand up during all advert breaks shown to be independent of during your daily TV viewing. physical activity, meaning even Give it some thought – small those who are regularly active changes can add up! within the recommendations are not completely immune to

WITH COMPLEMENTS WHAT? Reflexology is a non-intrusive complementary health therapy, based on the theory that different points on the feet, lower leg, hands, face or ears correspond with different areas of the body. WHERE? The art of reflexology dates back to Ancient Egypt, India and China, but the wider practice of the therapy was not introduced to the West until Dr William Fitzgerald introduced it as ‘Zone therapy’. This was then further developed in the 1930’s

by Eunice Ingham who believed that congestion or tension in any part of the foot is mirrored in the corresponding part of the body WHO? Practitioners say that reflexology can be received by anyone at any age, and is suitable from newborn babies to those receiving end of life care, and everyone in between. HOW? The theory is that reflexology helps the body to restore its balance naturally. The therapist

uses their hands to apply pressure to the feet, lower leg, hands, ears or face, and the experience should be relaxing, often resulting in better sleeping habits and generally improved well-being.

1) Eating carrots helps you see in the dark This myth was promoted particularly during the Second World War by the Ministry of Food, but rather than helping a war torn country to survive the difficulties caused by blackouts, it was actually a response to the country’s oversupply of carrots! The humble vegetable contains plenty of vitamin A, and without that your eyes would suffer, but it is no better for your eyesight – by day or night – than most other fruit and veg! 2) An apple a day keeps the doctor away Apples are good for you, and generally eating plenty of fresh fruit is bound to give a healthier general lifestyle than say, a fast food and high sugar diet, but the consumption of apples alone can’t honestly promise to keep you in perfect health. 3) Eating before swimming is dangerous The old saying that you should wait at least 30 minutes after eating before you swim is based on the idea that after a big meal, blood will be diverted away from your arms and legs to your digestive system instead. This could leave your limbs with too little blood flow to function properly and put you at risk of drowning. In reality, our bodies have enough blood in them to cope with the rigours of eating so this is highly unlikely. More common could be some cramp or stomach discomfort – the same amount as you’d get doing any vigorous exercise straight after a big meal.

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Inspiration from the next generation


Emma celebrating on graduation day with her daughter, Eryn

Many families find juggling work and children a challenge, but for some the extra hurdle of trying to study at the same time as looking after little ones can be a real problem. But thanks to university access courses and a wide range of degree options at Glyndwr University, one mum has managed to make it work

orking mums should use their children as was meant to be. I wanted a job – a profession – inspiration rather than a barrier to realising of which my baby would be proud.’ their career dreams, according to a nurse who Coping with the demands of motherhood did just that and transformed her life through and study were initially a struggle, says Emma, education after becoming a parent at 18. but with determination and support from the Emma Louise Jones was working in a university, she found a solution. convenience store in her home town, Chirk, as a new mum when she decided to follow her Missed moments lifelong ambition of becoming a nurse. Lacking the ‘As the first year progressed I started to wobble formal qualifications needed to study for a degree as I was missing important milestones with my straight away, she enrolled on an Access to Higher daughter Eryn. She was starting to walk and talk Education course. This led to a place and I was angry I had started working on Wrexham Glyndwr University’s BN on a career after she was born, not ‘I always had (Hons) Adult Nursing degree, which before. But I told myself that I didn’t the instinct Emma completed in September 2010. start working on a career before that that fear kills Since qualifying, she’s been working in a time because I didn’t have a reason, more dreams residential college for young adults with Eryn was the reason.’ than failure learning disabilities, training care staff. ever will’ Emma uses her nursing skills daily to train care staff in tasks such as Determination and ambition record keeping, medication training, ‘I worried a lot about failing,’ Emma says, ‘but epilepsy and diabetes care – but one day hopes to I always stuck to the instinct that fear kills more return to the classroom. dreams than failure ever will. It’s still possible to ‘I found that I love to teach and I would love study while supporting a young family and you can to influence young mums who want to make achieve anything if you put your mind to it. something out of their lives but are too afraid or ‘I have always wanted to be a nurse as I felt don’t have the confidence to make the necessary a sense of satisfaction when I helped people steps. I don’t think you actually believe that until you go through it and what’s stronger is if you’re from a young age. But after leaving school I was already in love with my now husband and put doing it for someone else. I never gave up when it future career plans on the back burner. I very was hard, when I was tired, when I wanted to stay quickly became pregnant and distinctly remember at home with my daughter. I carried on because I had her as my driving force.’ standing at the tills knowing it was not where I

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 119

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There’s still a chill in the air so stay warm and stylish with our pick of spring jackets…

Stay snug: Barbour Petrel jacket from Vaughan , Davies, £199, www.

Country: This Barbour Rydal waterproof jacket is perfect for outdoors and offers comfort and style, £155,

Classic: If you’re looking for a classic British made design try this semiplain Norfolk jacket in marine, £450, Polo time: Next striped polo shirt, £28, Smart scarf: J by Jasper Conran striped scarf in grey £50,

CHALLENGED This season embraces the vertical stripe and proves it’s not just for suits…

Belt up: Striped elasticated woven belt In navy and red, £12.95, www. cherrytreecountryclothing.

Getting shirty: Burton Menswear London, jacket: £40, polo shirt: £25, trousers: £50

Stomp it: Men’s at Dune Challenger Boot, £120, www.

Keep time: Lacoste Men’s 12.12. watch with black steel strap, £125,

Retro: A smart golf jacket like this Calvin Klein men’s Golf 365 jacket holds its own time and again, £60,

120 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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Join the

Join the

Editorial Team

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


Due to our growth, there is now an opportunity for a new member to join the team, to work from home helping the editorial team put each issue together. A flair for writing, and being able to research stories are what is most important in the role. We are offering a part time position, involved in writing stories, picture research, proof reading copy and everything else required to create a high quality colour glossy with 100,000 readers! About You You are a proactive self-starter who enjoys working on your own initiative, and are curious and bright like all good journalists. You are highly organised, and have good computer skills. Above all else, you are a keen and hardworking individual, who wants to succeed in magazine journalism.

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


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

Please email with a covering letter and your CV to, marked ‘Work from home/Editorial’ as the subject.

Please email with a covering letter and your CV to, marked ‘Work from home’ as the subject to find out more.

Would you like to deliver Shire Magazine? Shire Magazine is looking to engage a self-employed multi drop driver with access to their own vehicle to make part-time set-route deliveries of Shire Magazine. You will cover the truly beautiful region of North and Mid Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire, delivering Shire Magazine to hundreds of outlets as each new issue comes out.

Requirements: • Access to your own vehicle in good condition • To provide services for the distribution of SHIRE Magazine • Use of SATNAV to follow pre-planned delivery sequence • Can demonstrate up to date insurance policies

The successful candidate will: • Be hard working and self-motivated • Be able to speak, read and write English to a good standard • Have a Full EU Driving Licence • Have multi drop experience (not essential) • Be smart in appearance • May visit up to 40 sites per day • Keeps accurate records of deliveries and customer authorisation and ensure all documentation is submitted on time • Properly uses and maintains delivery equipment • Drives safely and follow all laws and rules of driving to maintain a safe and healthy work environment • Keeps own vehicle well-maintained, has fuel, oil and is ready to drive • Follows pre-planned route accurately • Maintains communication with management

Payment: • Services are paid on a weekly basis direct to your bank account • A weekly self-billed invoice will be provided to you.

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To apply: Please lease email or call (01691) 6 1270, or send a letter to: Shire Magazine Distribution PO Box 276 Oswestry SY10 1FR

16/02/2018 16:07

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Top of the Class Runaway medal success for trio


hree Oswestry School pupils came away with medals after taking part in time trials for the British schools’ modern biathlon championships held in Nottingham recently. Competitors run and swim times are converted to points, with the final positions being decided by the total number of points achieved overall after both disciplines. Josh Counter

received a bronze medal after finishing 3rd in his age group (U14 boys). Emma Bates also received a bronze medal in the U11 girls while her brother Matthew came second in the U13 boys category and came away with a silver medal. Preliminery results will be combined to create a British Ranking List and qualifying teams can enter for the final championships

Independent honour for prep school


t the end of last year, Oswestry School received notification that, following the application and subsequent scrutiny of its quality, the prep school, Bellan House, has been accepted into The Independent Association of Prep Schools (IAPS). To be eligible for membership of this prestigious group schools must reach a very high standard, with strict criteria on teaching a broad curriculum, maintaining excellent standards of pastoral care and keeping staff members’ professional development training up to date. Each school must also be committed to delivering an excellent, well-rounded education to the pupils in their care. All schools within the group offer world-class education and care. Claire Belk, head of Bellan House, comments: ‘This is a commendable achievement for us and something of which we can feel very justifiably proud. It is confirmation of the high quality provision and commitment to the wellbeing of our pupils that we know is the intrinsic fabric of the Bellan experience.’

Top two for woolly award


he stunning work of two BA Textiles graduates from Carmarthen School of Art has been recognised by a new bursary from the premier wool festival of Wales. Wonderwool Wales has set up a bursary scheme for students graduating from the BA Textiles; knit, weave and mixed media course at Carmarthen School of Art, part of Coleg Sir Gâr in Carmarthen. Students Kathleen Lloyd from Carmarthen and Julia Davies from Llandysul have become the first to benefit and were presented with their awards during their degree show. Wonderwool Wales organisers had only intended to award one bursary, but could not choose between the two shortlisted candidates, who each

received a cheque for £1000 and the chance to showcase their work at Wonderwool Wales at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells on 28th-29th April. Show organiser Chrissie Menzies says: ‘We visited the degree show and had a lovely day meeting with and chatting to the students who had all produced some amazing work. It was a very hard choice which is why we have ended up awarding two bursaries in this, the inaugural year of the bursary scheme.’

Kathleen and Julia with the Wonder Wool team

Medal winners: Josh Counter, Emma Bates and Matthew Bates

Oswestry School at national table tennis final


strong team of players headed to Telford Langley School to take part in the Shropshire schools county table tennis championship recently. Sixth Form pupil Kevin Shen, from Oswestry School, took the U19 champion title and will now head to Wolverhampton in April for the national finals. Along with Kevin’s success medals were also issued to Sixth Form pupils Omar Elbasiouny

and Tom Mercer plus U16 players Bohdan Shevchenco and Michael Samsittikul.

Kevin Shen with his U19 trophy

The Firs celebrate LAMDA success


he Firs School children celebrated an impressive 16 Distinctions and 13 Merits out of 29 entrants to The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examination board. The children who took the exam all received written feedback and a certificate from LAMDA examination board. Lucy Davies, headteacher at The Firs School comments: ‘The aims of the examination are to help improve children’s self-

confidence, together with their public speaking and performing skills and this is something we feel is very important at The Firs School. We are delighted with how well the children have done and are very proud of them all.’

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Michael Owen opens all-weather pitch

The new bike tracks are proving popular



hildren at a Midlands school are enjoying some exciting new mountain bike cycling adventures. The pupils of Abberley Hall School at Great Witley have helped to build mountain bike tracks, which can be used in the day and evening, up and down hills and through woodlands within the grounds. The youngsters assisted with designing the challenging network of trails and have a new workshop where they can repair and maintain their cycles: ‘We have a very adventurous outdoor ethos at Abberley and the school is

lucky enough to be set in a beautiful 90 acre site on top of a hill so this activity is ideal for us,’ explains teacher Michael Raven, who has also worked in the mountain bike industry in the UK and the French Alps. The school holds weekly mountain biking sessions throughout the summer and autumn terms for girls and boys aged eight to 13 and a bright rechargeable lighting system has been installed to allow evening rides. Abberley’s evening activity programme also includes fencing, electronics and shooting.

Former Abbey Gate College Pupil hits the high notes on ITV’s The Voice


ormer Abbey Gate College pupil, Emily Burnett gave a rousing rendition of Delibes’ Flower Duet on ITV’s hit show The Voice. Emily performed alongside Sophie Rohan as opera duo Belle Voci, meaning ‘beautiful voices’ in Italian. The pair met while working at The Yew Tree Inn in Bunbury, Cheshire and soon discovered a shared love of opera. During her time at Abbey Gate College Emily was awarded the Daphne Herbert Choral Scholarship for her contribution to singing by director of music, Stewart Smith. Mr Smith, now retired comments: ‘Emily was an outstanding singer and all round musician at school. She was a regular soloist with the Chapel Choir singing in the UK and abroad, and was a delight to work with in both class and in concerts.’ Emily went on to successfully graduate from Durham University with a BA (Hons) Dunelm Degree in music, gaining a First in both her Final

Recital performance and Contemporary Recital. In 2015 Emily co-founded the opera duo Belle Voci, performing to audiences at Bolesworth International and Liverpool International Horse Show at Liverpool Echo Arena. Following their outstanding performance on the TV show, Emily and Sophie will go on to be coached by American singer and judge, Jennifer Hudson during the competition.

Michael Owen enjoys opening the new pitch at Abbey Gate College


bbey Gate College recently welcomed former Premier League and England footballer, Michael Owen to formally open the school’s much anticipated, state-of-the-art all-weather pitch. Special guest and patron of the fundraising committee, Michael Owen unveiled the new facility alongside headmistress, Tracy Pollard and chair to the governors, Felicity Taylor. Following the

ribbon cutting and speeches, pupils watched as Michael Owen concluded the ceremony by scoring three goals from the centre of the pitch, much to the delight of the crowd. The full size, floodlit all-weather pitch is the best national standard hockey facility in the North West. It’s also suitable for playing tennis, football training and skills-based activities.

Writer revisits roots


hildren’s author and former Rydal Penrhos pupil Natalie Pritchard and her dog Alfie Doodle visited the school recently and spent the morning with pupils across all age groups. The visit formed part of Rydal Penrhos’ Book Fair, aimed at encouraging reading for pleasure during the holidays. During the sessions each pupil got the chance to get up close and personal with the pooch, who is the star behind the books A Dog Lover’s Dream and A Dog Lover’s Nightmare at Christmas, in addition to asking Mrs Pritchard different


Rydal Penrhos pupil is set to continue his education at one of the world’s most well-renowned universities. Ben Gibson, an Upper Sixth Form pupil at the school, has been offered a conditional place at Cambridge University after impressing throughout the strenuous selection process, which receives more than 15,000 applications each year.

Alfie Doodle steals the show

questions regarding the stories. Deputy head Alison Hind, says: ‘It was fantastic to welcome Natalie and Alfie Doodle back to Rydal Penrhos. Everyone got an enormous amount from their visit and they really loved hearing about the different stories Natalie has written. I, on behalf of the school would like to thank her for visiting us.’ The 17-yearold student plans to study history providing he achieves the Ben Gibson necessary A-Level qualifications needed to seal his place at one of the finest higher education establishments in the world.


Emily and Sophie are Belle Vochi

enerous pupils at Rydal Penrhos took part in a special fundraising initiative in aid of a well-known national maritime charity. Volunteers from the school participated in their annual bag packing fundraising drive at Morrisons, Colwyn Bay on 27th January, with all proceeds going towards the RNLI. The students and teachers raised an impressive £820.28 for their efforts.

The fundraisers at work

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Modern Approach

Open Days

Traditional Values

22nd and 23rd March 2018

Haberdashers’ Adams High Street, Newport Shropshire, TF10 7BD

Connect with us

To find out more please visit

01952 953810


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Derwen College’s female footballers prepare to kick off a new season


Anya Lonergan (pictured with her mother and sister)

Scolarship and summer school success


wo pupils from Shrewsbury High School are celebrating after receiving offers from two highly prestigious establishments. Shrewsbury Year 8 pupil, Freddie Faragher, has been awarded a scholarship to study trumpet and piano at The Purcell School in Hertfordshire, the oldest specialist music school in England. Further up the school, Sixth Former Anya

Lonergan is celebrating after being offered a place at the highly prestigious John Locke Institute Summer School in Northern France where she will study philosophy, politics and economics alongside the other students. Freddie Faragher

STEM excellence for Shrewsbury


hrewsbury High School is celebrating after becoming the only Shropshire School to have been shortlisted in this year’s TES Independent School Awards. The School was recognised in the Strategic Education Initiative category for how well it encourages girls to pursue careers and degrees in areas of science, technology, mathematics, engineering and related STEM disciplines when nationally the trends are so poor, particularly in co-ed senior schools. Headmaster Michael

Getty says: ‘Girls now pursuing these careers in such volume is important as it challenges the stereotype that only boys and men gravitate towards these kinds of professions.’

Girls are choosing STEM subjects



orth Shropshire College (NSC) and Herefordshire and Ludlow College have agreed to seek a merger. This newly merged organisation hopes to enable students in both communities

to benefit from good quality education and a broader range of courses and facilities. Gillian Richards, chair of governors at NSC says: ‘I look forward to the exciting developments ahead.’

STAR CYCLING North Shropshire College (NSC) student George Evans, 20, has a keen passion for cycling and had an excellent start to his athletic career, including a win in the Welsh Elite Time Trial Championships and a fifth place in the Amateur World Time Trial Championships in Albi, France.

George crosses the line

emale footballers at Dewen College are looking forward to their first game of the season after receiving support and training from Chester Football Club. Chester FC Community Trust continues its commitment to encouraging football at grass roots level working alongside young adults at the college for students with learning difficulties and disabilities. The club has provided weekly training for Derwen’s growing female football team, as well as free kit and opportunities to attend Chester FC games and

experience behind the scenes tours. The women working with the Chester FC Community Trust, are aged between 16-25, and thoroughly enjoy the fun, fitness and football, having played their first match this January.

Final countdown for college


specialist residential college, near Oswestry, has been shortlisted in the prestigious TES Further Education Awards. Derwen College, based in Gobowen, has been named as a finalist in two categories of the awards which are regarded as the ‘Oscars’ of the further education calendar. The nominations are for both the ‘Specialist Provider of the Year’ and ‘Employer Engagement’ award in the annual celebration of excellence across the further education sector. The awards are now in their seventh year, and received a record number of entries for 2018. The ‘Specialist Provider of the Year’ gong is a new category for 2018 which aims to recognise the sector’s diversity and excellence. The

‘Employer Engagement’ award focuses on strategic and innovative approaches in delivering employers’ workforce development needs. Meryl Green, vice CEO and principal of Derwen College says: ‘To be shortlisted from such a large pool of excellent colleges is an honour, and we look forward to finding out if we will be named overall winners soon.’

Two TES nominations for Derwen

Oxbridge success for Adams pupils


ine pupils at Haberdashers’ Adams are celebrating having received offers for Oxford or Cambridge University. The offers have been made for a wide variety of subjects including music, engineering, law, physics and medicine. Headmaster Gary Hickey praised the hard work of the pupils as well as the work staff do to help pupils prepare for the Oxbridge entry process. ‘Applications to Oxford and Cambridge are increasingly competitive with only one in every five applications normally being successful. As a school we regularly defy that statistic and this year has been no exception with over 50% of those applying having been offered a place. This is a reflection not only of the hard work and talent of the

The successful students

pupils and staff to prepare for the admissions process. I offer my warmest congratulations to all of the successful pupils as well as those who weren’t so successful as I know how hard they have worked to reach this point.’ Head of Sixth Form and careers, Belinda Hayes, adds, ‘I’m delighted for the pupils and am looking forward to seeing how they progress from here.’

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Co-ed 7 -18 Day and Boarding

Lower School Open Morning Saturday 17th March 10am-12noon Providing pupils with the tools to learn, be creative, athletic and succeed. • Flexible transport options available. • Offering GCSEs, A-Levels and the International Baccalaureate qualifications. • Scholarships available for talented students. • 7 Sporting academies. To book you place please contact:

For further details please contact: Ellesmere College, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 9AB Tel: 01691 622 321 @ellesmerecoll


OPEN MORNING Senior: Friday 27 April (9.30am) Prep: Saturday 28 April (9.30am) Boys & Girls • 2 ½ - 18 • GCSE, A-level & BTEC • Day, weekly & flexi boarding places available A thriving school situated on the stunning North Wales coast • Learning, Living, Leading and Listening To book your place contact or call 01492 530155

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Chemists of the future


wo Shropshire students are celebrating after being offered places to study at Cambridge University starting this September. Currently studying at Ellesmere College, Victor Zhou, 19, and Wayne Wang, 17, have just secured places at one of England’s top universities having impressed throughout their time in Shropshire. Wayne has been offered a place at Gonville and Cauis

College to study engineering and Victor has accepted a place at Trinity College to study computer science. The offer comes after both were recognised as being within the top 10 per cent of chemists in the country. Wayne and Victor, who both moved from China to study at Ellesmere College in year twelve, achieved gold awards in last year’s 49th International Chemistry Olympiad. The event, only open to the brightest chemists in the country, included a written paper on real-world chemistry problems. The pair have also both worked on a project with local communities and schools in Tanzania to improve the environment and the facilities for young children.

Five offers for Moreton clarinet star


to go to music conservatoire to ifted clarinettist, Jemima study music and performance. Pickersgill, has achieved Over the years Jemima has had a full house of five unconditional to be very dedicated and put in offers from the Royal College many hours of practice every day of Music, Guildhall School to work towards that goal. She of Music and Drama, the has also been studying Royal Scottish at the Junior Royal Conservatoire, Northern College of Birmingham Music on Saturdays Conservatoire and for the last six years, the Royal Northern in addition to life at College of Music. Moreton. The music Jemima’s passion department is so proud for music has been of what she’s achieved evident throughout and wishes her luck in her time at Moreton choosing which course and it has been a long to accept! term ambition for her Jemima Pickersgill

The wonder of Welsh

Little Welsh language learners


any people believe that Welsh, a minority language spoken in just one small pocket of the world, is unimportant, unnecessary and that teaching it distracts children from learning other, more widely used languages. However, in the last few decades, Wales has reclaimed its native tongue. At Moreton First, there is a thriving Welsh Club, and for good reason!

Several children joined Moreton First near Oswestry, with a strong command of the language and didn’t want to forget it. It plays an important part in their cultural identity and being so close to the Welsh border, it is a great time to start learning the language. Alice, in Year 5 and a member of the Welsh Club, comments: ‘I live in Wales so when I speak Welsh I don’t feel different, I feel part of the community.’ Kate, also Year 5 adds: ‘We learn lots about Wales and have many opportunities to speak in Welsh.’ Head of Moreton First, Catherine Ford, says: ‘We encourage all children to be proud of their heritage. Welsh Club has been a very popular addition to the timetable!’

Mark Roberts, headmaster at Myddelton College

A happy student is a happy adult


hildren spend a lot of time in school. It is where they learn, develop their interests and is the place around which they build their social circles. For many children school is their lives! I was lucky, I mostly enjoyed school and had a positive experience of education. But even I still remember those periods of time at school when I was being bullied, felt less valued by the teacher or where I struggled with the level of the work. I remember clearly just how massively important that felt to me at the time and what a huge impact it had on my happiness. As a geography teacher I’ve always said that it is as important to me that students love my subject as well as learn in my classroom. As headteacher I’ve carried on this belief and integrated it into the wider

school. I want my students to love school and look forward to coming in every day. Happy children are productive children and become well-rounded adults who contribute positively to society. Several studies have shown that childhood emotional health and kind, helpful behaviour are the greatest predictors of life satisfaction as an adult. So shouldn’t all schools place greater emphasis on helping to create a supportive and comfortable environment in which children can be happy? At Myddelton, everyone’s welcome providing you work hard and live by our values of fellowship, scholarship and resilience. If you would like to learn more our Open Morning is on 12th March from 10am-1pm and in the evening from 7-8pm.

Connecting to the digital classroom

Studying in the cloud

Paperless learning is the future


log in to OneNote the day before a lesson to see lesson plans and materials in advance. The switch will save around £100,000 a year which goes a long way towards off-setting the £150,000 set-up cost of a paper-free environment. As a Microsoft showcase school, the first one in North Wales, Myddelton benefits from 5Ghz wireless technology and super-fast internet capablity.

yddelton College in Denbigh has embraced technology in the classroom, allowing pupils to work on tablets, using digital pens. The college has done away with all but one of its printers, switching to mobile and cloud technology to underpin learning. Teachers put work online and can even mark ‘live’, in real time, with pupils watching. Students

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The Thomas Adams School Wem, Shropshire

Academic excellence in a caring environment The Thomas Adams School incorporating Adams College (Sixth Form) and Adams House (Boarding for the School and College)

Please contact us to arrange an individual tour of the School or College

Thomas Adams School and Adams College, SY4 5UB For further information contact us on 01939 237000 or email

Adams House Boarding for Thomas Adams School and College

Judged outstanding by Ofsted March 2017

"The boarding staff team is dedicated and goes that extra mile to enhance the experiences and future opportunities of young people." "Young people have a highly inclusive, yet individualised and well-planned boarding experience that enables them to make significant strides in their educational, personal, and social development"

Step into Adams House and you’ll instantly feel at home. Catering for boys and girls between 11 and 19 and with a capacity of up to 65 boarders, we’ve been welcoming students from the UK and across the world for many years

"They all receive a warm and inclusive welcome from everyone and quickly feel part of the boarding and wider school community. This sensitive and caring approach is indicative of the ethos of the boarding staff team" “Young people acknowledge the positive impact that boarding has on their educational progress”

For more information or to apply, please visit our website, email or alternatively call us on 01939 233311

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17 Castle Street, Llangollen Tel: 01978 861963 Email:

CAFE & BOOKS Open 7 days a week One of the biggest collections of second hand books in Wales, with over 100,000 titles in stock, this long-established bookshop is a treasure trove of second hand books. Come and browse our shelves, packed with just about every subject under the sun, in a relaxed family friendly atmosphere.

I can write an original personal poem for any occasion, b e it love, b ereavement, humour, thanks or anything else. J ust a few personal details will enab le me to write an original, touching poem that I will send you on a parchment type of paper. Contact Brian Stone on 01691 65 2 95 6 or email b rianstone212@ b

I f you want to learn to play the

contact BRI A N STO NE . He offers one-to-one tuition in a music studio b ased in O swestry. Brian has over 5 0 years of experience (including teaching A drian Spillett, BBC’ s Y oung Musician of the Y ear), performing, composing and conducting, and has b een an examiner for the G uildhall for 17 years and for the LCM for 9 years.

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Brian has taught at E llesmere College, O swestry School, P ackwood, Moreton Hall and most schools in north Shropshire, and currently plays in various b ands, groups and orchestras and conducts nine percussion ensemb les with an age range from 7 to 60. Brian Stone Telephone: 01691 65 2 95 6 E mail: b rianstone212@ b

Having dreamt of being an author for most of his life, Shire talks to the man from Shrewsbury who has taken the plunge


ary Yates first decided that writing was for him over a decade ago – but the reality of life, work and the need to pay the bills meant he followed a career in retail rather than following his dreams. But that all changed when he met the love of his life, Vicki – a woman that made him realise that his happiness was more important than his worklife. Now after boldly leaving his job to take up writing full time, Gary has a book on the shelves and his fingers crossed for a bright writing future. ‘I’ve worked in retail since I left school as initially, I had no clue what I wanted to do,’ explains Gary. ‘Then, almost by accident, I started writing with a friend. We were both working in Woolworths at the time and would often draw humour from everyday encounters with customers and colleagues. Over the course of a few years we worked on a six part comedy drama following the trials and tribulations of staff working in a failing retail store. Little did we know that our vision would become reality when the recession hit the UK and Woolworths went under.’ CLIMBING THE CAREER LADDER Having no success with the original script, Gary, put aside his writing aspirations and committed to a full time retail career, working through the ranks to become a store assistant manager. Then a few years ago, he attended a creative writing course and was amazed at the confidence it gave him. But with increasing responsibility at work, his writing was put on the back-burner. But then Gary, who lives in Minsterley, met Vicki and realised that there was more to life than working to pay the bills: ‘Two years ago, I made the most difficult decision of my life. I quit my job, moved back with my parents and decided that if I don’t try to do what makes me most happy, I’ll regret it for the rest of my life. And what makes me happiest, is writing,’ he smiles. SUCCESS STORY Now Gary’s written and self-published his first book, Preselected, a story following the lives of those saved after a global catastrophe which is available to buy or download on Amazon. ‘It’s been hard work and at times I doubted myself. But now, I’m the author of my first published book. If only one copy ever exists and it sits on my very own bookshelf, I’ll never regret the decision I made. I did something that only a small percentage of the population can say: “I wrote a novel.”’

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BOOK EV E N TS Until 30th April Gladstone’s Library is now open for submissions for its 2019 Writers in Residence programme, from which a selection of the best contemporary writers will be chosen to reside at the Hawarden library to focus on their current projects. The winning writers will each receive a month’s residency at the Library during which time they will blog about their stay, run a creative writing workshop and host an ‘Evening With’ event. They will each receive full board and lodging, travel expenses, and an honorarium of £100 per week. For more information visit online at 8th March Join Booka Bookshop in Oswestry for an evening in the company of Ben Aaronovitch as he talks about his bestselling PC Grant series which started with Rivers of London and after six books sees the first novella, The Furthest Station, published in paperback this month. Tickets cost £7 (£3 redeemable against a signed copy of any book in the series) and are available from the shop while the evening will be held at The Wynnstay Hotel, Church Street, 7pm. 13th March Lingham’s book shop in Heswall is thrilled to welcome home grown Wirral-born author Luca Veste talking about his scary new crime thriller, The Bone Keeper. Twenty years ago, four teenagers went exploring in the local woods, trying to find to the supposed home of The Bone Keeper. Only three returned. This gripping tale will be introduced by the author at this launch event, costing £6 per ticket, with £5 redeemable against the book and doors opening at 6.30pm. 16th-18th March Literature Wales is promoting a creative writing course and retreat in spectacular Snowdonia for three days of inspiration and motivation this spring. The course is held at the spectacular Victorian manor house set in its own woodland and gardens, Plas Tan Y Bwlch. The main focus of the course, entitled Place… A sense of Space, is responding to environments and recording personal responses through creative writing, and it costs between £190 and £210.


Once again our friends from Lingham’s Independent Bookshop in Heswall have rounded up the best reads and books to look out for as we head into spring Educated byTara Westover Tara’s book Educated is described as a memoir. It is about Tara’s life as a Mormon, living off the grid in Idaho. The scenery is painted in a beautiful manner, with harsh winters and baking summers but her family is ruled by a stern, fanatical man, who perpetually preparing for the end of the world in ways which will make you gasp out loud. The book is narrated by Tara, and will grip you, squeeze your soul and fill your heart with sadness, love and incredulity that Tara survives her life in Idaho and becomes the author of this beautifully written book as well as the woman she is today.

NOT EVEN A REMINDER by Patricia Parker Gone for good, not even a reminder, Where once the houses stood. Tall, terraced with backyards open To neighbours who were good. They’d listen to problems. Help out when times were hard, Chatted over washing lines, Across the cobbled yard. The yard was always bustling, Comings and goings, day and night, Popping to the shed for coal, Or loo, by candlelight. That trip was very creepy As coat clad, we picked our way And, unlatched the wooden door For, a very short stay. For inside, there were spiders, And a disinfectant smell, The only light was moonlight, Which through the fretwork fell. Then, a dash across the cobbles, Wash down in old stone sink, Hot water from the singing kettle And, a warming bedtime drink. With bottle wrapped in woolly sock Up, creaky stairs would tread From, cold lino floor, a mighty leap Into a feather bed. Blankets were made of warm Welsh wool, Sheets of flannelette . The moon would pass the window And, peep through lacy net. As if to say, it’s time to sleep, So, close those weary eyes, Dream sweet dreams, till morning breaks And, bird song fills the skies. Sadly, sadly, long ago, The singing had to stop, For, where the terraced houses stood, There’s a garage and a shop.

Child Finder by Rene Denfield You go for a walk with your family in the snow, take eyes off your child for a few seconds and she is gone. A frantic search in the deep snow reveals her footsteps then they just disappear. This is the story of a young family whose daughter has gone missing and their search for her over many years. The family decide to employ Naomi who is known as The Child Finder, a young woman with a natural instinct to find children who have been lost. Although at times it is harrowing from the point of view of a missing child, this is also a take of strength and family – an atmospheric, moving page turner. The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd Dennis Danson has been falsely imprisoned and is awaiting his fate on death row. He is the subject of a documentary containing evidence he didn’t commit the crime. The story causes an online outrage and is closely followed by Samantha, a teacher in the UK. A pen friendship begins and Samantha decides to join the campaign and goes to visit him. He is everything she has wanted and more, but is he as innocent as all make out? Does Samantha really want to know the truth? A dark, psychological thriller.

We want your poems! Please keep sending us your poems, we will print our favourites in each edition and share your creative spirit with our readers! Send your poetry submissions to editorial@

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Volunteering Community crafting, a challenging cross-country walk and centenary celebrations, we take a look at the wonderful charitable activities going on across our region

Get walking for the Llangollen Round Judith Smith, organiser of the Llangollen Round Challenge, explains what’s in store for walkers this year and her hopes of hitting their £500,000 target


ave you heard of the Tour de Mont Blanc? A ramble in the Alpine foothills with the great mountain itself as the centrepiece? Strange as it may seem, and on a rather different scale, the Llangollen Round was conceived as its inverse – a circular route visiting all the summits around the Vale of Llangollen, with the town just in sight in the valley below. Llangollen has always been strong in its support of Cancer Research – my parents started the first such group here 60 years ago, and in 2011, the 33-mile Round was created to raise funds for Cancer Research UK. Today the Llangollen Round has its own logo and waymarks, and booklets describing its route are on sale online as well as in bookshops and the Tourist Information Centre in Llangollen. They bring in a steady trickle of money

all year round, but that trickle terrain. Back at base the Red Cross are in attendance, and even the airbecomes a torrent when the ambulance is at the ready, although triennial Challenge in held. The we’ve never needed them yet. At idea of the Challenge is to walk the whole route in either one the end of the day there are medals or two days (two-day entrants and certificates for everyone, food in the restaurant, and the Town are bussed back from the midCrier out to welcome point and returned everyone home. next morning), and ‘This year we believe me, however After the 2015 expect 500 it’s done, this is no Challenge a group of walkers and us were taken around stroll in the park! hope to raise the Cancer Research Sponsorship monies £50,00 so get UK laboratories in are truly hard-earned, your entry in Manchester where but we aim to help sooner rather every entrant achieve they showed their than later!’ work in progress and their goal. The route told us that the sums is well-waymarked, we had brought in would keep with five checkpoints carrying a research worker for a whole food and water, and marshals year! We raised £37,000 in 2012, from Llangollen Ramblers, who know the Round well, are out £45,000 in 2015 and this year we expect 500 walkers and hope to there to give advice. For anyone raise £50,000. But above all, the getting into difficulties, there are Challenge is fun, and we aim to cars always on standby, including make this third event the best yet. those capable of crossing rough



new not-for-profit community crafting venture has started up in Llandudno, taking place from 1.30pm-4.30pm on Mondays at St John’s Church Hall on Mostyn Street. CrafTeaNooners, launched by Aulwyn Latham and Rita Raweil, aims to encourage absolute beginners to get together with experienced, friendly crafters who are happy to help others and share their knowledge. Aulwyn says: ‘Anyone that has an inclination to learn a new craft, but is unsure if they would like it, and naturally doesn’t want to spend any money in case they don’t, could try a taster session.’ The group will have a Scan N Cut meet up, where people can see how their scanned images or photos can be turned into cut designs. The Knit & Natter corner covers spinning, weaving, knitting, crochet, sewing, card and jewellery creating, colouring books and more. Beginners can try their hand at knitting or crocheting squares to make blankets which will be donated to a local homeless charity as well as learning to make baby hats, for premature baby units. Crafters who wish to sell their items can rent one of eight tables on a first-comefirst-served basis, bookable a week in advance. There will also be a café, where tea, coffee and cake will be available for a small fee.’ Visit Facebook or call 07730 499858 for more.

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Mold branch of NWCR. GRANDMOTHER who The modest mum-ofworks for a Flintshire two, who also has two firm has dedicated nearly grandsons, says: ‘This is two decades of her life to something I enjoy doing helping raise more than outside of work. I’ve been £500,000 for Cancer involved there now for 19 Research. Chris Whitbread, years and we’ve raised 69, has been quite a lot of a pivotal DID YOU money in member of the KNOW? that time. Mold branch The UK’s oldest ‘Last year we of North registered charity raised £34,000 West Cancer dates from 12th and a few years Research Century ago we made (NWCR) since over £55,000! 1998. She lost ‘People like to see her dad Jack to cancer money stay in the area who was first diagnosed rather than a national pot. aged 49 and his family The money goes to our watched him battle against research bases in Liverpool, the disease for 15 years. Lancaster and Bangor.’ When she was asked by NWCR is the only a good friend to join the independent cancer cause, she didn’t hesitate research charity fighting and has since dedicated the toughest cancers in much of her free time from North West England and her job at TDC Services in North Wales. Ewloe to supporting the

The gift that keeps on giving It’s not something you hear every day, but a charity in South Shropshire has handed over a cheque for more than £1,500 to another charity…


he Furniture Scheme, which supports local people in crisis or in need, has honoured its commitment to give Severn Hospice 10 per cent of the first year earnings made at the charity bookshop that it opened in the Square, Craven Arms, after taking over the lease from the Severn Hospice shop. Jean Jarvis MBE, chief executive of The Furniture Scheme, explains: ‘This was a well-supported shop and we were so impressed by the dedication and commitment of the local volunteers. The Furniture Scheme has great respect for Severn Hospice and the fantastic work it does and we are glad both charities have been able to benefit from a successful year of trading under new ownership. ‘We would like to thank

the local people for their continued generous support and our volunteers for the hard work they do.’ The Charity Book Shop is open six days a week and has 28 volunteers. Ms Jarvis said the book shop fits well with The Furniture Scheme ethos of reusing and recycling and complements their bookshop in Ludlow. ‘When we closed the book shop in Craven Arms we know a lot of people were disappointed,’ adds John Carberry from Severn Hospice, ‘So when we heard The Furniture Scheme wanted to help support us as well it was a great surprise. Bookworms in the town have been quietly helping us all year and we are so pleased with the money raised.’ For more information visit

PET CHARITY CELEBRATES ITS CENTENERY Pet wellbeing charity the PDSA, which runs pet hospitals as well as charity shops across the Shire patch, turned 100 at the end of last year and is celebrating a century of providing care for companion animals across the country.

In 1917 the charity’s founder, Maria Dickin, first set up a dispensary for sick animals of the poor in London’s east end. Over the following years its work spread in response to public demand and PDSA now operates 48 hospitals across the UK, supported by a national chain of 130 shops and a dedicated army of volunteers. Senior vet at Huyton PDSA Pet Hospital, Matt

Forshaw explains: ‘The story of PDSA is a truly remarkable journey from such humble beginnings during WWI. Since then we have provided an astonishing 100 million treatments to 20 million beloved pets. ‘It costs £60 million to deliver our veterinary services alone and, with no government funding, we rely entirely on the goodwill of our supporters. I’d appeal to anyone who believes in PDSA to pledge their support.’

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nce again you, our readers, have been busy putting pen to paper over the winter months and we have been delighted to sort through a bulging postbag for this edition’s letters page. We love to hear from you, whether in response to something we’ve written or with news and views of your own, so do keep writing in to the address shown. Our favourite correspondences will end up in print, and remember to send a picture if it is relevant. Post them or email us at The best way to never miss an issue is to subscribe! You can have every copy delivered to your door as soon as it comes out – you’ll never have to rush to the supermarket again!

DELIGHTFUL DISCOVERIES ‘We’ve just spent an idyllic week at Ash Barn, Near Mellington Hall in Shropshire, and what a delight it was! We enjoyed heavy snow and walked the Kerryridge into Bishops Castle, finding the Three Tuns pub, but the jewel in the crown for me, following a great day in the snow and a slog over beautiful countryside was finding Mellington Hall. We’d been walking miles in blizzard conditions (including a seven-year-old with leaky wellies and a snow-beaten cocker spaniel) when finally broke through the trees, guided by the sunny rays piercing the landscape, and found Mellington Hall. We were welcomed in muddy

SUBSCRIPTION REQUEST ‘I spotted a copy of your fabulous new magazine at Tyn-yCoed in Capel Curig and was delighted to finally find a quality magazine promoting events and businesses in North Wales. You have knocked the other Wales magazines into a cocked hat. I’m keen to subscribe in order to have a copy available for our visitors here in Llanrwst, but on reading the information page it seems the only way to obtain a copy of the magazine is by sending an SAE with £1.60 postage. The other issue I have with this method of obtaining the magazine, is that without knowing the release date, I will not have the latest issue hot off the press. Please could you supply us with a list of the stockists so we can collect a copy from there. I hope to become one of your regular readers.’ Rosie Ellis

A great way to keep sign up to newsletters is through our website and we’re now on Facebook and Instagram. Message us, tag us and connect on social media and be the first in line for weekly events updates, great pictures, competitions and more…

Write to us at… Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry Shropshire SY10 1FR

boots, soaked spaniel and all by Alistair the landlord who ushered us in to sit by the fire, and like a Dickensian scene we relaxed under the large Christmas tree, twinkling with mixed colours and Victorian baubles as if we’d stumbled back 150 years. Alistair even offered to run all seven of us, not forgetting Harvey the cocker spaniel, back home. The reason for my letter is not only to highlight Mellington Hall and the true gentlemanly behaviour by

Art sale returns ‘You readers may be interested to know that Mold’s ancient St Mary’s parish church, which stands impressively at the top of the Flintshire town’s Upper High Street, will be transformed into an art gallery for the 10th year running in May. The popular Virgin Art exhibition and sale, which has raised over £25,000 for church funds since its launch in 2009, will open to the public from 7th-12th May.The closing date for entries is 16th April, and full details can be found at www.

• Thanks Rosie. Having listened to our reader feedback, we’ve introduced a new subscription service! See opposite for details. Shire editorial team

MISSING COIN MYSTERY ‘I am hoping your readers may be able to help me. Two of the smallest exhibits have gone missing last week from the UK’s National Cycle Museum charity in Llandrindod Wells. They are an old penny and a farthing

Alistair and his team but the second delight for me was finding Shire Magazine on his coffee table as we all sat there warming our tootsies as it just represents the true nature of our wonderful country... how do I subscribe and get a copy sent to me?’ Gary Linnell • What great feedback Gary! You can now receive a copy on subscription – see the page opposite for how to apply. Shire editorial team

A small committee of church members has already started on the organisation of what has become an established feature in the market town’s annual festivals programme and is now one of the largest art events in the region, with over 300 exhibits in each of the last five years. Many exhibits are for sale to members of the public, with a percentage of the proceeds going to church funds. It is hoped that a series of workshops by a local artist will again be held at the town’s Bryn Coch Primary School, to provide Year Four pupils with a basic introduction to art and an opportunity to visit the exhibition.’ Gordon Smith coin, normally on display in the area where the Penny Farthing cycles are exhibited. Overseas visitors and children are always fascinated to see the ancient coins especially when they are told that the most famous Victorian cycle was nicknamed after them. The tiny farthing shows the wren, the smallest bird on

READER F E E D B AC K ‘Thank you so much for yet another brilliant Shire Magazine. I love it and keep recommending it to my friends. It’s a great read and full of interesting articles as well as having a good guide to local events. The editorial content is of such a high quality I can hardly believe I am getting all this for free! Keep up the good work.’ Susan Taylor ‘I just wanted to say thank you so much for the tickets we won in your competition to see Birdsong. We found it a wonderful production and enjoyed the show very much.’ Val Webb ‘Many thanks for the tickets to the theatre at New Brighton, we had a really good evening out and what a great venue. Hoping to go again.’ Tania McGee ‘Please note that under the page detailing your magazine distribution, you placed Neston under the Wirral section. The town now comes under the Cheshire (West Cheshire) area. Thank you for such a marvellous magazine.’ Gaynor (from Neston) ‘I noticed on your distribution areas that you have put Connahs Quay under Cheshire. It is actually in North Wales.’ Jan Edwards Thanks for pointing out those quibbles on the distribution areas both of you – we shall endeavour to make sure it is accurate from now on! Shire editorial team

the smallest British coin, and it was worth a quarter of a penny. If anyone has replacement coins they could donate, please email uk or send to National Cycle Museum, Automobile Place, Temple Street, Llandrindod Wells, Powys LD1 5DL.’ Freda Davies

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Subscribe to SHIRE magazine, and never miss an issue again…





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

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

Imagine having every copy of SHIRE Magazine delivered to your door as soon as it is printed. You’ll never worry again about missing an issue! SHIRE Magazine is essential local reading, packed with great features and the best What’s On guide to our area. Simply fill in the order form below, choose how many issues you would like to receive, and send with your cheque to: SHIRE Magazine Subscriptions, PO Box 276, Oswestry SY10 1FR Mr/Mrs/Miss/Other (please specify) First Name: Surname: Address:

18th-25th November , Stone Cold Murder, Players Theatre, Cheadle Hulme Strangers, a dark past and a desperate fight for survival. This amateur thriller production by James Cawood is presented by arrangeme nt with Josef Weinberge r Ltd. Please note there is no sunday performance. 7.45pm. Tickets £9. 19th November , Christmas Craft Fair, The Larkhill Timperley Handmade Centre, Crafts for Christmas from the local craft group and other be showcasing crafters who will a range of wares The local craft group usually meet on the second Thursday morning and fourth of the month 10am-12pm. Entry adults 50p, ages 16 and under go free. Event open from 11am-3pm.

What’s on at Cre we

What’s on at Storyhouse

An Evening with the Flying Scotsman, Crewe them all! Be the Lyceum first Theatre, 30th Novembe for Crewe’s magical to book Featuring Nick Hooton, Carrie pantomime. r, 7.30pm Award-winning With comedy Laurence and Pip television legends Cannon Johnson. Get programme maker, & Ball returning ready for an evening David to lead the cast, Parker, spent 12 there’s comedy, fast-moving, farcical of slick, months filming sensational song fun and the rebuilding and dance numbers, bawdy sexual innuendo of The Not Scotsman, regarded Flying costumes and specialfabulous suitable for under 16s. as the world’s most by many effects. Tickets famous steam engine. But from £18. DID YOU Sarah Millican: the year was Control anything but a KNOW? Enthusiast, 2nd bed of roses. In this illustrated Sinbad the Panto originat talk ed in February, 7.30pm discusses the challengeDavid Seaman 16th Funny, century frank s and Italy and successes involved The Adult unapologetically from ‘comme with filming dia across a year with Panto, 19th filthy, Sarah Millican a team of dell’arte ’ street craftsman under January, 7.30pm discusses rescue extraordinary theatre men, pressure. £14, concessio The Market farting in hospital ns £12. pants, Theatre Company what can happen return at a bra Snow White and to bring to life fitting, the benefits the Seven the story of of casserole, Dwarfs, 16th Decembe Sinbad and his plus tips on how epic adventure to talk to shop s -7th January, various r across the seas assistants and the to defeat the times correct way Mirror, mirror, one-eyed monster to eat a biscuit. on the wall, don’t For age 16+. miss the fairest with corny jokes, packing it Tickets £30.50. pantomime of raunchy plots and blatant sexual Call 01270 368 innuendo! 242 www.crewelyceum. or visit

Festive fun at Quarry Bank

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


Meet Rudolph and his friends

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

| November/ December



Lyceum Theatre

Loom and Doom Mystery Dinner, Murder 18th Novemb er, 7pm-10p m There’s been a murder at the Mill, who’s behind Enjoy a two-cour the crime? se dinner and solve the mystery. Meet in the Grant Room welcome drinks, bar for before dinner and the mysteriou s murder unfolds. Period costume encouraged! Suitable for 16+. Tickets cost £37.50. Christmas in the Gardens This special , 29th Novemb baby er-7th storytelling and and toddler (excluding Christma January play session includes a private s Day), 10.30am-4pm to Father Christmafamily visit Quarry Bank s and gardens will a gift. Suitable be open across for children the aged six months festive planting winter with to five years. Tickets Experience the and activities. £9, adults free. festive display spectacular in the glass Meet Father house, make Christmas, 2nd, wreaths and 3rd, 9th, 10th, explore the Christma Enjoy festive 16th, 17th Dec s trail. activities, storytelling, games, Baby and Toddler private family crafts and Father Christma meet visits to Father Christmas and 15th Decembe s, 1st, 8th, r child. Booking a gift. £9 per essential. www.nationaltrus

Hollie McNish: Plum, 17th–19th Novemb er Plum is a wise, sometimes rude and piercingly candid account of Hollie memories from McNish’s to attempted childhood adulthood. A book about growing up, about guilt, flesh, fruit, friendships, work and the urgent and play – need to find a voice for her poems. Hollie, winner Runaway Rudolph , 18th of this year’s November-2nd magical, mystical, January Ted Hughes illuminated The magical herd trail, as the gardens waterside reflection Prize for of deer return of Dunham s. Complete this winter but Massey become your stroll under Poetry, can you find all a wonderland of the eight? The deer is guest winter lights. There’s spiced cider, mulled stars with will appear in somethin wine resident or hot g locations around for everyone at chocolate whilst the park and this festive time the artist for garden so you of year as the one roasting chestnuts aroma of will need a garden the annual mile sparkling fills the air ticket to spot them path winds its before shopping Chester Literature way through the all. for gifts. Festival trail, normal admission £2 per historic woodland at Storyhouse. Tickets cost £16 in Tickets £10, applies. 10.30am-3.30pm. seats are unreserv after dark experienc a magical children £10, under for adults, ed. e. 5s go free. Wrap up Father Christma warm as the s The Secret Seven, Christmas at Dunham on your way through sees you trail takes place 1st Decembe outside in the Massey r-14th January Get the festive tunnels, a swaying twinkling garden. Every Storyhouse vibe on this day in Decembe lawn of fibre celebrates its r optic colour and excluding first Christmas 25th. 4.45pm-8 beside glowing pm. Enid Blyton’s by bringing www.nationaltrust beloved The Secret Seven to the stage for the first time ever! In this, their Chester Cathedra adventure, they first ever l will be filled with the sound of strange clues on the trail the thirteenth From 24th Novembe of Christmas on century them through which lead r-30th 9th December Monk’s Dining the December, enjoy as the Cathedra Hall. to the old house, village a heartl Choir presents For more informati and a warming and memorab Joyeux mystery! Will on visit it be solved Directed by Philip Noel! le www.chestercathe in festive event for time for Christma Rushforth, it all . will sing a selection are adults £26, s? Tickets generations. Along the lantern carols for everyone of traditional under 12, £19.50.children route you’ll see to enjoy

Reindeer spotting and

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

magnificent animal-inspired fairy tale

scenes that will whisk you away to another world. The lantern route will be the brim with sacks filled to of lantern toys and boxes of lantern presents with appearanc from Father Christma es s and his helpers. You can also post your own letters to Father Christmas so bring them along! Suitable for all ages. Tickets from £5-£12.50 , booking in advance is advised by calling 01244 380280 or visit www.ches

festive lights at Dunham Mass ey

A Joyeux Noel

at Chester Cathe dral

from 7pm-9pm. There will also be seasonal readings and also make an evening you can enjoy some pre-conce of it and rt dining in

Guns blaze for

the Battle of Nantw ich

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

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

The Play That Goes Wrong, 29th January3rd February 7.30pm , Fawlty Towers meets Noises Off in this multi winning, West awardEnd smashhit comedy. The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on a 1920s murder mystery, but as the title suggests , everything that can go wrong, does. As the accidentthespians battle prone on against all the odds to reach their final curtain call, hilarious results ensue. Don’t miss this brilliantly funny comedy that is bound to leave you aching with laughter. Tickets £16.50-£29.50.Fo r more information and to book tickets visit online www.storyhouse. at com.




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Choose which deal you’d like to go for: 12 months subscription (6 issues) - £19.95 24 months subscription (12 issues) - £34.95 You can pay the full amount by cheque or cash. I enclose a cheque / cash amount for £__________, payable to SHIRE Magazine for which I will receive the next _______ issues of SHIRE Magazine posted to the address provided (UK only).

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Post this form with your cheque to: SHIRE Magazine Subscriptions, PO Box 276, Oswestry SY10 1FR If you have any queries, just call (01691) 661270 and our friendly staff will help!

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 135

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What’s in your Stars? Aries: 20th March – 20th April

Spring’s almost here and a blue moon month in March focuses on a health and wellbeing exercise programme and close relationships. Your sign Aries rules the head, you often bang heads to get your point across, try not to, it’ll stop giving you all those headaches. A period of uncertainty’s coming to an end, prepare for more stability and less disruption!

Cancer: 21st June – 23rd July

Dreams can be actioned say the Chinese of this time of year represented by the Green Dragon and with Neptune in such a creative angle to your solar sign it’s a given. Creatively you can fashion a silk purse out of a sow’s ear – your hopes, ambitions and desires are rolled into a pipe dream you don’t consider a reality. Think again!

Libra: 23rd September – 22nd October

Your astrological colour is blue for balance and it is also known as a healing colour. A breach in your life, be it with officialdom, co-workers or even a close relative, needs closing up. Follow the conventional approach and use ingenuity to get things moving but don’t compromise your high ideals. This is the message of your zodiac colour!

Capricorn: 21st December – 20th January

Saturn moving across your solar sign’s considered a wet blanket, making everything you do seem harder than usual. There’s more to it though, this important passage of energy represents a period in which order and organisation’s required. That’s why it’s not much fun! You were born to be responsible and this time span is sending this message your way.

Taurus: 20th April – 21st May

The simplicity within you can create havoc because you look at a person as a possession! Demands for exclusivity are based on fear and insecurity - a learning curve here. We own nothing in this life we’re merely caretakers be it of a child or of a relationship. Surrender to this Taurus and find liberation from your greatest torment.

Leo: 23rd July – 23rd August

There are some who even in a Golden Age would complain everything looked yellow, but very rarely will they be a Leo. In fact this Easter the colour is of particular significance for you, I cannot say any more than that because I don’t know. What I do know is how big a part you’ll play in a forthcoming production.

Gemini: 21st May – 21st June

There are two great moments in the year’s cycle of vegetation and one of them begins at Equinox. A metaphor for you perhaps to plant the seeds of a new method of communication and watch it grow. Be it professional or personal, whichever it is one thing’s for sure, you’re cultivating something quite special in the world of ideas and images.

Virgo: 23rd August – 23rd September

You’re very discriminating with a clear mind and glamour free sense of values which you’ve needed because change and crisis-ridden events have made you unsure of yourself. Everything alive forms an atmosphere around itself and the out-of-the-blue events that have caused calamity are now giving way to a more tranquil energy. Praise be indeed!

Scorpio: 23rd October – 22nd November

Well now, a waxing moon was, in days of old, said to be when individuals prospered, so two full moons in March suggest some part of your life certainly can flourish. A note of caution however, because of the Yin and Yang nature of existence, don’t sit on your laurels, keep working at what’s most successful to make the best of the prophecy!

Aquarius: 20th January – 19th February

You may often be accused of taking a detached view when what’s wanted is a show of feelings. Whilst you cannot change your essential character you can change an attitude. Living in your head’s all very well for that’s where your best ideas come from but try wearing your heart on your sleeve occasionally and see the difference it makes.

Sagittarius: 22nd November – 21st December

The horse was first domesticated in about 1750BC but been part of your astrological glyph much longer. Mythically, it’s half horse, half human. Some say it means reaching out for your better nature – nonsense, some horses are better than some humans. I’d say you need swift action to deal with a crisis and strength to see it through. Horse power!

Pisces: 19th February – 20th March

You’re the master/mistress of disguise making it hard for people to assess you. You’ve an overwhelming vulnerability which is probably why you hide your self under so many different identities. You’re a bit like Antarctica, the least explored continent except that you’re not cold. In fact it’s your warmth which is now showing clearly the real person beneath the masks!

Gloria studied astrology and astronomy over an intensive two year period at The Faculty of Astrological Studies in London twenty seven years ago. She has since written for many publications, appeared numerous times on television and has an impressive client list. The legendary Fay Weldon calls her ‘magic’ and the BBC’s icon Valerie Singleton calls her ‘sensitive’. You can reach her on starglow@pc-q. net or through her website: 136 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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SHIRE MAGAZINE’S FANTASTIC COMPETITIONS! Once again Shire Magazine is packed with amazing opportunities with a huge range of fabulous competition prizes. There are days out, theatre trips and show tickets to suit everyone so make sure you get your entry in to be in with a chance of winning. Send the entry form below, or a copy of it, or a postcard with your details on, to us before the closing date and good luck!

Congratulations to our lucky winners from the November/ December issue!

Alison, Nantwich, Tickets for Crewe Lyceum

WIN: Two tickets to one of the six concerts of the sixth Whittington International Chamber Music Festival (15th-20th May) where 15 world-class musicians are set to perform a week-long Fantasia featuring 17 British composers. Young people between eight and 25 go free anyway, so the winners can bring the family! CLOSING DATE: 1st April WIN: A pair of tickets to enjoy the ultimate Simon and Garfunkel tribute act as part of Festival Drayton at the Festival Drayton Centre on 2nd June. Tap your toes and sing along to all the old favourites from yesteryear. CLOSING DATE: 1st April

Andrew and Lynda, Wem, Family tickets for WSO

Geraldine, Shrewsbury, Family tickets for WSO

Julie, Chester, Tickets for Venue Cymru performance

WIN: A pair of tickets to the Royal Welsh Spring Festival, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells over the weekend of 19th and 20th May. Children go free so this is your chance to enjoy a family day out making the most of this fantastic weekend-long celebration of smallholding and rural life. CLOSING DATE: 1st April

WIN: A pair of tickets for the performance of Tosca at Venue Cymru on 18th April. The exquisite melodies and orchestration, and fabulous arias that have made Tosca one of the best-loved operas. CLOSING DATE: 25th March

Michelle, Flintshire, Pontio comedy show tickets

Mrs Parsons, Crewe, White water rafting experience

WIN: A delicious afternoon tea treat for two people in the inspiring surroundings of Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden. The prize will include a sumptuous platter of sweet and savoury delicacies and can be claimed on any weekday up until 30th November this year between 3pm-4pm, served in the cosy Food for Thought cafe. CLOSING DATE: 1st April

WIN: One of two family tickets to hear Mahler’s earth-shattering Ninth Symphony at the William Aston Hall on 19th May, performed by the Wrexham Symphony Orchestra. A night of rousing and uplifting music will impress music lovers of any age. CLOSING DATE: 1st April

Tania, Oswestry, Tickets for Crewe Lyceum

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Enter today and you could win!

Val from Whitchurch, Tickets for Floral Pavilion

WIN: A free ticket to take the whole family along to the Welshpool Festival of Transport in June. Experience the beauty of traveling by age old steam methods on this fully restored heritage line – the lucky winners can enjoy a return trip on the railway for two adults and two children on either the Saturday 23rd or Sunday 24th June of the Transport Festival weekend. CLOSING DATE: 1st April

WIN: A trip aboard the carriages of the Vale of Rheidol Railway. We have a family ticket for two adults and two children to join an adventure through the countryside on this restored railway that has been delighting passengers for decades. Enjoy the stunning surroundings and reminisce about the golden age of steam. CLOSING DATE: 1st April

WIN: A pair of tickets to see The Crucible at Chester’s Storyhouse theatre on its opening weekend on 16th June. Arthur Miller’s shattering tale of the Salem witch trials will be performed by 30 actors, eight musicians, a chorus of 15 and three actors from Storyhouse and the University of Chester’s MA Drama Programme. CLOSING DATE: 1st April

HOW TO ENTER: Simply fill in the form with your answer circled (you’ll need to read the magazine to find it!), and include your name, address and daytime contact number. Send it by the closing date to Tickets Competition, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 1FR. Winners will be notified by email, so don’t forget to include your email address and daytime telephone number. Question: St David was reputed to have survived on what? a) Milk and cabbage b) Ale and carrots c) Water and leeks

Name Address

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Daytime Contact Number



Email (please complete)



Please do not send me any other information

RULES OF THE COMPETITIONS DATA PROTECTION NOTICE Superstar Publishing Ltd will use your information for administration and analysis purposes and may contact you from time to time with relevant offers, information or for research purposes. Your details will not be passed on to third parties except the sponsors of these competitions. Please tick the relevant box if you do not wish to be contacted. COMPETITION RULES The promoter of these competitions is Shire Magazine, Superstar Publishing, PO Box 276, Oswestry, SY10 1FR. The competitions are open to all readers of our magazine and viewers of our websites except employees of the prize providers. The winner(s) will be the first person or persons drawn after the closing date who has completed the correct answer. No cash alternative is available. The winners names can be obtained by writing to the competition address with a self-addressed envelope after the closing date. The winner agrees to participate in any follow-up publicity and must provide a photograph to be published in the following issue to claim their prize. Superstar Publishing may print the name only of entrants to this competition in subsequent issue(s) of Shire Magazine. This is to enable competition entrants to fairly claim a promotional offer, for competition entrants only. By entering this competition you are giving permission for Shire Magazine to print your name only. No personal information will be printed. No purchase necessary, answers on a postcard are accepted.

March/April 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 137

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COMING NEXT ISSUE Looking ahead to the warmer days of May and June we’re busy planning a great next edition of Shire Magazine and we think there’ll be something for everyone inside! All your favourite regulars will be there and we’ve also included the following features among others…

Water, water everywhere…



As such a huge part of our industrial heritage and tourism relies on it, we’ll take a look at the canals and waterways that have such historic significance to the area.

Best foot forward… Get your wardrobe ready for warmer weather as we head into the new season for fashion and beauty. YO U R T O W N

As always we’ll be visiting a few local locations, with a focus on the popular towns of Aberystwyth and Knutsford…

There’s no better place than the Shire patch to get out and stretch your legs so we’re looking at some of the wonderful walks, hearty hikes and robust rambles you can tackle nearby. D O N ’ T F O R G E T…

Our packed, 65-page guide to What’s On across the region will keep you informed of the events and special occasions not to be missed during May and June. With shows and fairs, concerts and festivals there’s something for everyone in this comprehensive section.

GET IN TOUCH! …at Shire Magazine, we want to hear from you!

Something fishy… Graham Tinsley MBE will be back again to tempt your tastebuds and next time our resident chef has some seafood suggestions for you to sample... delicious!

1. Tell us about your upcoming events: Just remember that we work in advance so 1st April is the deadline for events news for the next issue, May/June. 2. Share your reader stories: Have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We’d like to feature it in the next issue to share with our readers. Send us an email, and don’t forget to include a picture or two! 3. We have lots of pages for readers to contribute to: Send all your submissions and pictures by email to or just call us on 01691 661 270. You can also get in touch via social media just search for ‘Shire Magazine’ on Facebook or Instagram

138 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2018

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“The contribution of curricular and co-curricular provision is excellent” ISI Inspection 2016

For boys and girls aged 4 – 18 600 years of academic excellence Outstanding ISI report Set in 50 outstanding Shropshire acres Day, full and weekly boarding 140_SHIRE_MA2018.indd 1

16/02/2018 17:00

Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine March-April 2018  

Whats on, magazine, days out, events, North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Herefordshire, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, art...

Shire Magazine March-April 2018  

Whats on, magazine, days out, events, North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Herefordshire, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, art...

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