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Show tickets, annual passes and a canal boat trip… Turn to page 145 WE VISIT


Where an industrial past has helped business boom


A fabulous coastal retreat at the river’s end

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WELCOME, DEAR READER… Publisher Dan Bromage Editor Kate Speedie Art Editor Tom Sullivan What’s On Editor Eluned Watson Production Editor Jo Williams Advertising Design Sarah Norman Designers Ella Knight Meryl McIntosh Staff Writers Catherine Buckley Sally Williams Sales & Marketing Pauline Jones Shona Newton Trudy Yeardley Distribution Paul Howard Finance & Accounts David Kynaston Nicky Kynaston Jane Osman Email Shire Magazine: editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk advertising@shiremagazine.co.uk


ere we are at the start of spring with yet another fresh edition of Shire for you, our lovely readers! It has been a great start to the year, with some lovely spring weather. And as the days get longer and warmer, it really is time to get out and about and make the most of what we have on offer nearby. And that’s where your trusty Shire team come in! As the garden season starts in earnest, we take a look at the magnificent places that are throwing open their gates once more. There are so many worth a visit, and thanks to incredible organisations such as the National Trust they are beautifully kept and display plants and flowers we wouldn’t normally get to admire. Before you start work on your own garden, why not check out our feature on page 62 to find a bit of horticultural inspiration? As well as looking forward and plotting new growth, we’ve also taken some time to look back at the history The lily pond terrace at Bodnant and heritage that make us who we are today on page Gardens, Tal-y-Cafn, near Colwyn Bay 67. Few eras have had as much impact on this region as the Romans – so we’ve taken a closer look at that great civilisation and how they transformed our local area, as well as where you can still see their ancient influence today. Elsewhere this issue, we have a packed weddings section for anyone getting hitched this year, as well as our usual full-to-bursting food section, brimming with recipes and foodie favourites to tempt your tastebuds. All your favourites can also be found within these pages, with art and crafts, books, homes, interiors, fashion, education and everything you have come to expect from Shire! Happy reading!


John Hargreaves, Gloria Mans, Sam Humphreys, P Parker, Clive Potter, John Stubbs, Helen Cooke, Pip Gale, Lizzie Deery, Ursula Kenny, James Gillespie, Graham Tinsley, Josef Herbert-Byrne

IN THIS ISSUE Be inspired to get out and about with our comprehensive local listings section, starting on page 6

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Step into history with our round-up of local Roman treasures on page 67

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SHIRE MAGAZINE is published bi-monthly by Superstar Publishing Ltd. Every effort is made to ensure that the information and advice contained in these articles is correct and appropriate, but no liability or responsibility for loss or damage to any person acting or refraining from action in reliance on or as a result of anything omitted from such articles can be, or is accepted by, the authors, the publishers, their employees or any other persons connected with Superstar Publishing Ltd. Views expressed by contributors to Shire magazine are not necessarily those of the magazine or of Superstar Publishing Ltd and should be attributed to the authors concerned. Save as expressively permitted by law no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written authority of the Publisher, acting for Shire magazine. Privacy Policy published online at www. shiremagazine.co.uk © 2019 Superstar Publishing Ltd, all rights reserved. Registered Number: 10604188.

Glorious gardens are all around us. Discover the best on page 62

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…


Tell us about your upcoming events. Just remember that we work in advance, so 1st April is the deadline for events in our 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:

with their name and anything else you want to tell us. See page 105 for further details.

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Get social Follow, like and friend us on Facebook and Instagram to be the first in line for event updates, competitions and more.

Reader poems Do you like penning the odd line? So do we! Send us your poems – we’d love to include them on our poetry page. See page 141 for more.

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March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

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Contents M A R C H & A P R I L 2 01 9

PAG E 6 7

6 What’s On Before you make any plans this Easter, check out what’s happening in North and Mid Wales, Cheshire, the Wirral and Shropshire, during the school holiday, Easter and beyond 18 Craig Revel Horwood We catch up with the Strictly judge we all love to hate as he prepares to take to the Llandudno stage in Annie

Explore the Roman treasures all around us, including Wroxeter

40 Ellesmere Port We head to the Cheshire town to discover what it offers tourists and residents alike

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Discover how the Wildlife Trust is protecting Anglesey Fens

Our women’s fashion round-up will ensure you step out in style

58 Big City A look at upcoming events in the big cities on our doorstep 60 Reviews Discover what our team think of the latest events and shows taking place across the region 62 Get Set For Gardens As the nation’s flowerbeds get ready to bloom, we take a closer look at the wonderful spaces worth visiting this spring 67 What Did The Romans Ever Do For Us? Step back in time with a look at the incredible impact the Romans had on our area

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PAG E 8 3 Local chef Graham Tinsley shares another fantastic recipe

It’s the perfect time of year to put on your running shoes

73 Holidays Plan a last-minute summer getaway or invest in a holiday home of your own 78 Aberdyfi We visit the picturesque coastal town of Aberdyfi, a natural gateway to Cardigan Bay 81 Restaurant Review We tuck into a sumptuous meal at The Yew Tree, Bunbury 83 Food & Drink A delicious fish recipe from Graham Tinsley, plus the best local food and drink 86 Active Get out and about this spring with our guide to local walks and cycling adventures

PAG E 6 2 We take a look at the many amazing gardens you can visit across the Shire area

PAG E 1 0 3 Add a little something special to your outside space this spring

PAG E 1 8 Craig Revel Horwood as you’ve never seen him before

89 Homes & Interiors Refresh your home with our tips on taps, plus the region’s antique treasure troves 95 Home Visit How one couple made extra room in their Oswestry property 99 Plants & Gardens Essential advice to prepare your garden for spring 103 Garden Shopping Outdoor gifts for all the family

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105 Pets & Wildlife The Shire region’s latest wildlife news, plus your pet pictures 109 Arts & Crafts Upcoming arts events and craft workshops, plus our regular photography competition 112 Walk On The Wild Side Show your animal instincts with these bright prints 115 Weddings Whether you’re getting married or attending a wedding, here’s all you need to know 121 Health & Beauty Look and feel your best this season with running tips and a look at meditation 124 Charities & Volunteering The latest from voluntary and charity organisations that do so much good for so many good causes across the area. 125 Meet The Expert We put our questions to orthopaedic consultant knee surgeon Mr Pete Gallacher 126 Walk It Off The latest men’s fashion for those who enjoy exploring the great outdoors 128 Retirement Living News on local care homes, plus a look at the increase in the state pension 130 Subscribe to Shire! Discover how you can make sure you never miss an edition 133 Open Your Mind A Wrexham Glyndwr University student explains the importance of attending open days 135 Schools The latest news from colleges and schools across the area 140 20 Questions Star of stage and screen Tony Maudsley, from ITV hit Benidorm, answers our tricky conundrums 141 Letters To The Editor We hand over to you! 142 Legal Eagle Our expert on why it’s so important to review your will 143 What’s In Your Stars? Check out what’s coming your way with our horoscope forecast provided by Gloria Mans 145 Competitions Don’t miss your chance to win some fabulous prizes in our exclusive Shire competitions – including an amazing opportunity to spend the day on the water

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Art and adventure at Galeri Caernarfon


2nd March, Wedding Open Day, Portmeirion View the village’s wedding and reception facilities, meet the wedding planners and talk with several local suppliers. All guests will receive a free goody bag and free glass of bubbly. Noon-3pm.

2nd March, Textile Folk Art, Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire Workshop with Anne Kelly, the award-winning author of Textile Folk Art (available to purchase in the gallery). In the first half of the session, visitors will produce a series of folk-influenced printed fabrics using a variety of found shapes and paper cuts, which can be used or converted into greetings cards, or incorporated into a large piece of work. £60, including lunch. 10.30am4.30pm. Call 01824 704774.

7th March, Wedding Open Evening, Kinmel Hotel & KinSpa, Abergele Discover North Wales enterprises and experts in all things marriage-related. 5.30pm-8pm. Free entry, free glass of bubby and free goody bag. Call 07725 257460.

glass to create three feathered friends. Materials Adventure Talk: Fell Running Legends, 2nd and tools provided. 11am. Tickets £50. March Four of the UK’s most celebrated fell and ultra-runners – Billy Bland, Carol Morgan, Lost Voice Steve Birkinshaw and Lowri Morgan DID YOU Guy, 25th April – discuss their achievements with KNOW? Following the Huw Jack Brassington. Followed by The Galeri’s café is unprecedented running film Conquering The Dragon. 7.30pm. Tickets £16. Pre-show pasta open from 9am to success of his party, 5.30pm-7pm, £8 per person. 10pm every day appearance on Britain’s Got Talent, Lee Ridley – Call 01286 685222 to book table. of the week the first stand-up comedian to use a communication aid – is setting out on a tour Luke Daniels & Nancy Kerr, 9th of the UK. Ages 14-plus. 7.30pm. Tickets £16. March Two of the British folk scene’s top performers perform their own and each The Amazing Bubble Man, 27th April other’s music. 7.30pm. Tickets £14. Louis Pearl has been thrilling audiences worldwide for more than 30 years with the art, Glass Bird Decoration Workshop, 23rd March magic, science and fun of bubbles. 6.30pm. Artist Verity Pulford helps you explore designing, Tickets £12. galericaernarfon.com use of watercolours, cutting glass and painting on

Folk from the Lebanon

9th March, Flea Market, Llandudno Town Hall More than 30 tables of antiques, collectables, toys, new and old, and more. Parking at rear of Town Hall. 9am-4pm. Admission 50p, including a free tea or coffee. Call 07989 955541.

16th March, Quirky Bird Felting Workshop, Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, Flintshire Create a felt bird with artist/ maker Ruth Packham using British wool fibre. Experience is not necessary, although some might help. 10am-1pm. £65, including lunch, tea, coffee and cake. Call 01244 533442.

Step back to the 1940s in Colwyn Bay Colwyn Bay goes back in time on 27th and 28th April for its annual Forties Festival, which is bigger and better than ever before. The action-packed weekend of family fun includes battle re-enactments, a Ballroom Blitz Dance and cookery demonstrations with a World War II twist. Colwyn Bay played a huge strategic role during WWII as headquarters for the Ministry of Food & Agriculture. The festival runs from 10am to 4pm on the Saturday and 11am to 4pm on the Sunday. www. facebook.com/ FortiesFestival

Folk music phenomenon The Trials Of Cato perform at Ty Pawb in Wrexham on 12th April. Originally hailing from North Wales and Yorkshire, while living in Lebanon the band spent a year boiling down the roots of their sound into a hybrid of traditional influences that intrigued Lebanese audiences in the country’s biggest venues. The Trials Of Cato moved back to the UK in 2016 and have since been performing tirelessly up and down the country, leading to BBC Radio 2’s Mark Radcliffe hailing them as ‘one of the real discoveries on the folk circuit in recent times’. The performance starts at 7.30pm and tickets £8. www.typawb.wales

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Celebrate Welsh wonders at Bangor’s Pontio Celebrating Dilys ElwynEdwards, 1st March A concert focusing on one of the principal composers of her generation, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year. Featuring soprano Elin Manahan Thomas, the National Poet of Wales Ifor ap Glyn and Bangor University’s Chamber Choir. 7.30pm. Tickets £14.

performed by Mid Wales Opera. Sung in English. Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £19. Barely Methodical Troupe: KIN, 15th March One of the UK’s hottest circus companies

is at the forefront of a new kind of physical performance, creating highly entertaining shows that mix showstopping acrobatics with the emotional punch of theatre. Ages eightplus. 8pm. Tickets £14. Kiri Pritchard-McLean: Victim, Complex, 12th April Pritchard-McLean has quietly been going mad for a few years and, to borrow a phrase from Uma Thurman, has been ‘waiting... to feel less angry’. It’s

Tosca, 14th March Power and passion collide in Puccini’s breathtaking masterpiece,

time to talk about victims, love and lies. 8pm. Tickets £12.50. Cabaret Pontio: Sian James, 12th April One of Wales’ foremost vocalists performs a selection of songs and instrumental pieces spanning a 30-year career, her latest album, Gosteg. 8pm. Tickets £14. www.pontio.co.uk

Top tip? Visit Bangor-on-Dee races Bangor-on-Dee racecourse hosts events throughout the year, including its Sky Sports Racing Day on 23rd March and Discovery Day on 13th April. Doors open at 11.30am, with the first race at 1.40pm. Tickets start at £7 if bought in advance. www.bangorondeeraces.co.uk

Stars of print and screen visit Comic Con Wales

Wales Comic Con returns to Glyndwr University’s William Aston Hall, Wrexham on 27th and 28th April. Meet comic book artists, actors – including Andrew Scott (Sherlock), Jennifer Morrison

(Once Upon A Time) and Michael Madsen (Reservoir Dogs), writers, sports personalities and more. Open 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sunday. www.walescomiccon.com

Great spring days out at GreenWood Nestled beneath the treetops at the foothills of Snowdonia National Park, GreenWood is a land full of outdoor fun and adventure waiting to be discovered. Be entertained in the Forest Theatre, get creative in the craft area and keep your eyes peeled for giant eggs on the free Easter trail, from 6th to 28th April. To celebrate Mother’s Day, mums get free entry on 30th and 31st March, while Ben

& Holly make a very special appearance on 7th April. Elsewhere, you can make a splash on the UK’s only solarpowered water ride, jump aboard the world’s first people powered rollercoaster and zoom down the longest sledge run in Wales. Children will love the super bouncy giant jumper, exploring TreeTop Towers and aiming for gold at archery. www. greenwoodfamilypark.co.uk March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 7

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What a line-up at Llangollen Railway!

Peppa Pig 2019, 23rd-24th March The cheeky little pig appears at intervals from 10.30am to 3.30pm on both days, so don’t forget your camera! Take a train to Carrog to see the magic show and take part in face painting available at intervals on platform 1 at Llangollen station. Tickets £19 adults, £11.50 children.

Real Ale Train, 30th March The train departs from Llangollen station at 6.30pm, taking a double return journey and arriving back around 9.30pm. Food is available from the station Café & Bar, as well as a barbecue on the platform. Tickets cost £18 in advance, including a free Llangollen Railway pint glass. Ales cost £3 a pint; wines and soft drinks are also available. Mother’s Day, 31st March Take a return trip through the Dee Valley, and enjoy an afternoon tea with a selection of finger sandwiches and sweet treats, with tea or coffee and a glass of bubbly. Departs 1pm. Tickets £32 adults, £17 children. 1940s Home Front Weekend, 13th-14th April Let Llangollen Railway transport you back in time, with re-enactments, vehicle displays, fancy dress, music and food of the era, plus unlimited steam train transport. Advance tickets cost from £23 for one day and £44 for two days for adults. www. llangollen-railway.co.uk

Something for everyone at Rhyl Pavilion

Sooty’s Magic Show, 10th March Izzy wizzy, let’s get busy! Direct from their hit ITV series, Sooty, Sweep and Soo – and Richard Cadell – will amaze audiences with impossible tricks and sidesplitting jokes. A spectacular treat for the whole family. 11am & 2.30pm. Tickets £14 adults, £12 children. Jason Manford: Muddle Class, 14th March Jason Manford is back with a wealth of new material about growing up working class and then finding that part of him has become middle class. 7.30pm. Tickets £28.50. Gruffydd Wyn, 22nd March An evening of popular classical music, delivered with vocal panache from the talented classical cross-

Track the Easter bunny at Bodnant Garden The Easter bunny has been up to his old tricks again, hiding chocolate eggs throughout Bodnant Garden in Conwy this Easter. From 10.30am to 2.30pm on 19th to 22nd April families are invited to follow the clues around the garden to find the carefully hidden chocolate as part of the Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt. The trail takes you through fields, woods, down hills and across streams to find out where the chocolate is hidden. Trail maps cost £2 and visitors will need to pre-book a one-hour slot online. Normal garden admission fees also apply. For more details and to book, visit www. nationaltrust. org.uk/bodnantgarden or call 0344 249 1895.

over artist from Anglesey, a finalist on Britain’s Got Talent. 7.30pm. Tickets £22.50. Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 26th-30th March Enjoy an unforgettable evening at Bill Kenwright’s production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s sparkling family musical. Show times vary. Tickets from £22.50. Beauty & The Beast, 18th & 19th April An Easter panto spectacular starring former Atomic Kitten Kerry Katona and Basil Brush. An allsinging, all-dancing, laugh-a-minute ride through the fun and frolics of pantoland. 2pm & 7pm. Tickets £16. www.rhylpavilion.co.uk

Get down to earth at Erddig

Adults and teenagers with a passion for nature are invited to join the Friends of Felin group at Erddig estate in Wrexham on 9th March and 13th April. The group meets on the second Saturday of every month, and the sessions run from 10am until 3pm at the Felin Pulestone Outdoor Centre, just off Hafod Road. The Friends of Felin meetings are free, although usual National Trust charges apply. Wear sturdy shoes, clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, and bring a packed lunch. To book a place, DID YOU email mieke.delathouwers KNOW? @nationaltrust.org.uk Building Erddig or call 01978 355314. bankrupted its www.nationaltrust. owner, Joshua org.uk/erddig


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The latest offerings at Stiwt Theatre


17th March, North Wales Wedding Fayre, Theatr Clwyd Bringing the best wedding suppliers in North Wales together to create your perfect day. Come along to see what is on offer and talk to the suppliers about your special day. Welcome drinks and goodie bags available. 11am-3pm. Admission free.

A Night At The Opera, 2nd March Rhos Male Voice Choir perform choruses and arias from famous operas for this St David’s Day concert. 7pm. Tickets £12. Motown Revue, 15th March Featuring Clyde Spencer (ex Drifters USA) and friends,

Cosi Fan Tutte, 13th April Swansea City Opera performs of Mozart’s uproarious comic opera. 7.30pm. Tickets £20. DID YOU

with support from Hayley-Ria Christian and her tribute to Gladys Knight. 7.30pm. Tickets £18.

Cwmni Frân Wen, KNOW? 26th-27th March McGuinness & Stiwt Theatre, Follow Glenda Whitham On near Wrexham, is as she battles to Tour, 24th April 93 years old live with severe TT racing legend in 2019 depression. The John McGuinness talks final instalment to James Whitham. of Aled Jones Williams’s 7.30pm. Tickets £30 Anweledig. Ages 14-plus. (including personalised photo). 12.30pm & 7.30pm. Tickets £15. www.stiwt.com

Best seats for the Bolshoi magical characters, including Princess Aurora performed by Olga Smirnova. The show starts at 3pm. On 7th April, experience The Golden Age, a refreshing and colourful dive into the roaring 20s. The performance starts at 4pm. Tickets for both cost £13. www.neuadddwyfor.com Experience the magic of Bolshoi Ballet captured live on stage and shown on the big screen at Neuadd Dwyfor in Pwllheli. See the classic production of The Sleeping Beauty on 10th March. The resplendent ballet features scores of

Spring forward at Chirk Castle Take in the views at Chirk Castle on the free Trust10 trail run on 24th March.The run takes place on the fourth Sunday of every month, starting at 9am with registration from 8am. National Trust admission applies. Call 01691 777701 or visit www.nationaltrust. org.uk/chirk-castle.

17th March, The Fox Antifreeze, Coed y Brenin Visitor Centre, Dolgellau Kick-start your riding year with this non-competitive, staggered-start, chip-timed, multi-lap mountain bike endurance challenge on the all-weather trails of Coed y Brenin Forest Park. 10am. £25.

19th-24th March, Coral Tour Championship 2019, Venue Cymru, Llandudno Snooker’s biggest stars compete for a top prize of £150,000 from a total prize fund of £375,000. 1pm & 7pm. Tickets from £11.50.

20th March, The Comedy Store, Theatr Colwyn, Colwyn Bay Don’t miss a sparkling line-up of comedians guaranteed to put a smile on your face. 7.30pm. £15.

23rd March, Great Orme Giant Walk, Bodafon Farm Park, Llandudno Treat yourself to this fantastic 10- or 20-mile walking challenge around the fabulous Great Orme, Llandudno. You’ll be accompanied by a fantastic group of people and looked after from start to finish by a team of professionals. Do the walk to raise funds for charity or simply to challenge yourself. Registration from noon. Entry from £20. Call 07525 625375.

Full steam ahead at Bala Lake Railway There are plenty of great events at Bala Lake Railways over the coming months. To celebrate St David’s Day on 1st March residents of North Wales ride for free. Watch paddle-boarders

Race The Train on 6th April, come along to the Heritage Centre opening on 15th April and take part in an Easter Egg Hunt on 19th to 22nd April. www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 11

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On stage at Theatr Clwyd, Mold

23rd March, The Devil’s Violin: Stolen, Shiloh Community Centre, Cwm Penmachno, Conwy The spellbinding fairytale of a young prince who falls endlessly down through the darkness. In a field of giant poppies, a beautiful old woman is trapped in a cottage nestled in a huge claw. Saddled horses stand frozen in a grey landscape, their missing riders lost to The Land of No Return. Daniel Morden’s tales of hope and adversity are accompanied by the exquisite strings of Oliver Wilson-Dickson and Sarah Moody. Ages 10-plus. 7.30pm. From £5. Call 01690 760539.

Twrw Twmpath: St. David’s Day Gig, 1st March A musical celebration of St. David’s Day bringing together two of Wales’s most exciting live bands, Candelas and HMS Morris, with a traditional Welsh ceilidh led by Aderyn Prin. 8pm. Tickets £10.

24th March, Open Day, Hawarden Old Castle, Flintshire Head to the big red gates opposite the Glynne Arms on foot and on up to the castle for some spectacular views. All entrance fees will be donated to Clwyd Special Riding School. 2pm-5pm. £3 adults, up to two children are free, further children £3.

24th March, Craft Fair, Theatr Clwyd, Mold More than 50 exhibitors showcasing the best local crafts, food and drink. 10am-4pm. For details on visiting or exhibiting email carole.jones@theatrclwyd.com.

Beer & Cider Festival, 2nd March A host of local breweries bring you the finest selection of beers and ciders, from classic IPAs and session ales to the strong porters. There will also be live music to keep you entertained as you hop from one brewery stand to the next, as well as food offerings. 2pm. Tickets £10. Friends Of Enemies, 16th March A Work In Progress event loosely based on the discovery of local family letters by Polly Wright, Friends Of Enemies explores the explosive impact that results

26th March, Conwy Seed Fair, Conwy High Street The 700-year-old Royal Charter Fair offers an abundance of seed and plant stalls, local honey and farmers’ market stalls including 50 varieties of seed potato. 9am-4pm. www. conwybeekeepers.org.uk

31st March, Denbighshire 5k, 10k and kids’ one-mile fun run, Denbigh Leisure Centre Kids’ race starts at 9am, the 5k starts at 9.30am and the 10k at 9.45am. Entry £16. Book online at www. bespokefitnessandevents.co.uk.

when an Italian prisoner of war, Mario Golinelli, is placed on Dai and Elizabeth Williams’s farm in the peaceful Vale of Clwyd during the last years of World War II. 8pm. Tickets £5. Gary Delaney: Gagster’s Paradise, 17th March One of Britain’s leading one-liner comics returns to the road with another onslaught of lean and expertly crafted gaggery. 7.30pm. Tickets £17.

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Russell Watson, 3rd April Join the four-time Brit Classical Award winner for a very special evening, accompanied by his pianist and guest choir. 7.30pm. Tickets £35. www.theatrclwyd.com

Buggy fit at Penrhyn Castle

All aboard the Snowdonian The aptly named Snowdonian takes its annual an 80-mile round trip through the glorious Snowdonia National Park on 13th April. The journey covers the full length of both the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways in one day. The Snowdonian will also be hauled by a variety of motive power. The event will raise funds for the Diamond Jubilee Appeal. For further details and bookings call 01766 515835 or email snowdonian@msn.com. For weekend packages including accommodation, call Ffestiniog Travel on 01766 512400.

Keeping fit with a baby is now easy thanks to buggy fitness sessions starting on 6th March at Penrhyn Castle, Bangor. The friendly workout session, led by a qualified instructor, will work to improve strength and stamina in a no-pressure environment. Sessions cost £6.50 or £4.50 if booked in a block of 10. Booking is essential. Call 07919 131516 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/penrhyn-castle.

Food for thought at Techniquest Discover the relevance of biology in everyday life with Disgusting Digestion, a family-friendly live science show at Techniquest Glyndwr in Wrexham until 17th March. Shows take place at 1pm and 3.30pm, with additional shows during busy periods according to demand. Entry costs £5.70. www.tqg.org.uk

12 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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In aid of

Clwyd Special Riding Centre

Family Fun Day & Dog Show Saturday 13th April 2019 11am to 3pm

INVITATION TO VIEW House & Garden Visits Rhododendrons & Azaleas Formal West Gardens

at Brynkinalt Hall, Chirk Lots of games & activities including a bouncy castle, slide, sideshows, zorbs, face painting, market stalls, pet related stalls, tombolas, raffles, refreshments and ‘pet a pony’.

also... Fun Dog Show Classes & Agility Ring

£1 entry fee per person

Please use the Trevor Road Entrance Llanfynydd, Flintshire LL11 5HN Tel: 01352 770446 Email: info@clwydspecialridingcentre.co.uk www.clwydspecialridingcentre.co.uk Clwyd Special Riding Centre Ltd. Registered Charity number: 1118241. Registered as a Company Limited by Guarantee in England and Wales number: 06033558

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Thurs 23rd May Tues 4th June Thurs 6th June

10.30am 10.30am 2.30pm

Tues 18th June Tues 25th June Mon 2nd Sept Tues 10th Sept

10.30am 10.30am 2.30pm 10.30am

Invitation to View is a unique scheme whereby people can visit any of 87 properties spread over 20 counties. Most are privately owned houses, rarely open to individual visitors, and many are family homes where guests are shown around by the owner.

ALL TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED PRIOR TO VISIT Tickets can be bought at Historic Houses Website www.historichouses.org and clicking on “tours” in the purple bar at the top of the Home page for more details. If people wish to book a ticket by phone, they should call 01946 690823 or a brochure can be requested by ringing 01284 827087. Group bookings (Min 20 to Max 35) are also available on other days by appointment. Please book direct through The Estate Office on 01691 773425 or email: kate@brynkinalt.co.uk

Brynkinalt, Chirk


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WELCOME TO SKY SPORTS RACING DAY Saturday 23 March 2019 Gates Open 11:30am

DISCOVERY DAY Saturday 13 April 2019 Gates Open 11:30am











Rediscover racing in heart of the North Wales countryside during the Year of Discovery. #BangorRaces #DiscoverNorthWales

01978 780 323 | bangorondeeraces.co.uk *Discounted ticket price available on pre-booked tickets only. ^Price is per person +VAT at the current prevailing rate.

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31st March, Mother’s Day Sunday Lunch, Springfield Hotel, Holywell A three-course carvery lunch with a free gift for all mums. £19.95 per adult, £9.95 per child, under-threes free. Call 01352 780503.

Soul, dance and history at Venue Cymru Collabro: Road To The Royal Albert Hall, 2nd March The musical theatre group are performing at a variety of intimate theatres and iconic venues before finishing at London’s Royal Albert Hall. 7.30pm. Tickets from £21. Billy Ocean, 6th March The biggest-selling black recording star Britain has ever produced has sold more than 30 million records

worldwide to date. 7.30pm. Tickets from £24. Anton & Erin, 7th March Join the nation’s favourite ballroom couple in their new, showstopping dance production. 7.30pm. Tickets from £37.50.

DID YOU KNOW? Billy Ocean used to work as a tailor on Savile Row

Seasonal delights at RSPB Conwy

Signs Of Spring, 16th March Find out how important the seasons is for wildlife. For ages 5-8. Nature’s Mums, 31st March Learn about how animal mothers look after their babies, and make a Mother’s Day gift. Ages 3-6. Easter Egg Hunt and Crafts, 21st April Follow the clues and see where they take you. Get handson with some Easter crafts too. Ages 3-8. For details of all events, visit www.rspb.org.uk.

An Evening With The Hairy Bikers, 16th March Big-hearted, down-to-earth cooks with a love of good food, Si and Dave have been cooking together for more than

20 years and have explored the length and breadth of the British Isles to discover recipes and create their own takes on classics. 7.30pm. Tickets from £21. Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors & Awful Egyptians, 27th-30th March Using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects, these two shows are guaranteed to thrill you and your children as historical events come alive on stage. Show times vary. Tickets from £17.50 adults and £13.50 children. www.venuecymru.co.uk

31st March-1st April, Easter Bunnies, Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog Join in the fun at the railway with Rufus the Rabbit. There’s chocolate for everyone who travels, but you have to find it first in the museum at Gelert’s Farm.

5th-7th April, Prisoner Official Convention Weekend, Portmeirion A celebration of one of the most influential television series of the 1960s. Call 01766 770000.

Orchestral manoeuvres in Wrexham •

William Aston Hall hosts Wrexham Symphony Orchestra’s 50th Anniversary Gala Concert on 4th May, conducted by Mark Lansom, in association with Llangollen International Eisteddfod and supported by Wrexham Business Professional Network. Future events include a concert on 8th June at the British Ironwork Centre. www.wrexhamorch.co.uk

8th April, Open Climb Snowdon Walk, Llanberis A full day’s walk on Snowdon, using the Pyg Track up and the Llanberis Path down. Meet at Snowdon Mountain Railway station at 8.45am. £35. www.climb-snowdon.co.uk

Rugby action at Zip World Stadium

14th April, Coast Half Marathon, The Promenade, Colwyn Bay This event showcases the amazing coastline from Porth Eirias to Prestatyn. Entry £26.

Some of the best young rugby talent in the world will be on display at Stadiwm Zip World, Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay when Wales face Ireland in the U20s Six Nations Championships on

13th April, Mold Record & CD Fair, Daniel Owen Community Centre, Mold Top record dealers from around the UK bring 23 stalls of rare and collectable music, vinyl, CDs, tapes, DVDs, memorabilia. 10am-4pm. Admission free.

15th March. Gates open 6.05pm for a 7.05pm kick-off. Tickets cost from £6 standing and £16 seated. Visit www.venuecymru. co.uk or www. wru.wales/ tickets or call 01492 872000.

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 15

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Magic and music at William Aston Hall

20th-21st April Welsh Craft & Art Fair, Y Ganolfan, Porthmadog A selection of premium crafters, with all items made in Wales. 9am-5pm. Admission 50p, including a free tea or coffee.

20th22nd April, Zorbing & Inflatable Assault Course, Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, Flintshire The expert team from iZorb bring a full selection of inflatables and zorbs for some serious Easter weekend fun. 10am-3pm. £3-£5 per person. No need to book.

20th-22nd April Easter Egg Hunt, Llanberis Lake Railway Look out for the eggs hidden along the way, with a prize for successful hunters. See www.lakerailway.co.uk for prices.

22nd April, Easter Bonnet Hunt, Gypsy Wood, Bontnewydd, Caernarfon Hunt for bonnets across the 20-acre site, plus train rides and animal interactions. £7.15 adults, £6.09 children.

Bay City Rollers, 10th March Les McKeown brings back the thrills and excitement of Rollermania, performing all the original hits including Bye Bye Baby, Shang-A-Lang and Give A Little Love. 7pm. Tickets £24.75. Henning Wehn: Get On With It, 30th March The latest show from the self-proclaimed German Comedy Ambassador is a much needed call to arms. Listen, everyone: stop pondering and hand-wringing. Instead get on your bike and put your face to the grindstone. 8pm. Tickets £22. The Rolling Stones Story, 5th April Relive hits such as Satisfaction, Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Honky Tonk Woman in this highenergy show. 7.30pm. Tickets £25.85.

27th April, Snowdon Sunrise with Reuben’s Retreat, Padarn Lake Hotel, Llanberis Trek to the summit of Snowdon in the early hours and watch the sunrise from the highest mountain in England and Wales. £40. Call 07525 625375.

Best foot forward for a run with stunning views

28th April, Maenan Hall Open Garden, Llanrwst Visit this beautiful four hectares on the slopes of the Conwy Valley, with dramatic views of Snowdonia. 10.30am-4.30pm. £4, children free. Call 01492 640441.

Whether you’re new to jogging or a seasoned runner, Jones Crisps Anglesey Half Marathon on 3rd March is an event that needs to be on your race calendar. The undulating yet quick route takes takes runners across the Menai Suspension Bridge and along the coast road to Beaumaris Castle and back. There is also 10k option, a bouncy castle and kids’ activities. The race starts at 9am and entry costs £33 to £35. www.alwaysaimhighevents.com

UB40, 17th April Birmingham’s worldfamous reggae stars UB40 celebrate their 40th anniversary with a 40-date tour across the UK. 7pm. Tickets £41.25.

DID YOU KNOW? UB40 have had more than 50 singles in the UK Single Chart

Britain’s Got Magic, 20thApril Experience the sensational magic of Christian Lee, who reached the live finals of Britain’s Got Talent in 2016. Joining Christian will be topclass magicians Oliver Tabor, Max Somerset and Richard Griffin, as well as ventriloquist Steve Hewlett. 7pm. Tickets £22. www.thewilliamastonhall.com

Cracking crafts at Wrexham Museum Wrexham Museum’s Make & Take sessions on 16th April will allow youngsters to create an Easter egg with a mythical twist as they decorate their very own dragon’s egg. There are three sessions perfect for ages of three upwards, at 10.30am, 11.30am and 1.15pm. Eggs cost £2.50 each. Limited spaces available. To book, call 01978 297460 or email museumeducation@wrexham.gov.uk.

Classics for all the family Take a journey into classical music with BBC National Orchestra Of Wales’ family concert on 31st March at Venue Cymru, Llandudno. The concert, which starts at 3pm, is the perfect introduction to the orchestra for all ages. Tickets cost £15, and family tickets are available. Call 0800 052 1812.

16 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Ben & Holly

are coming to GreenWood! Sunday 7th April Dydd Sul 7fed Ebrill




Meet your favourite characters from the show. They will be making personal appearances at intervals throughout the day. Don't forget your camera!

www.benandholly.tv Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom © ABD Ltd/Ent. One UK Ltd 2008. All Rights Reserved.

Book your GreenWood tickets online & save! greenwoodfamilypark.co.uk

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra Orchestra in Residence at Wrexham Glyndŵr University Honorary President: Professor Maria Hinfelaar www.wrexhamorch.co.uk Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

50th Anniversary Gala Concert with Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod

Stravinsky: The Firebird ebird (1919)

Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No. 2 Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade

Saturday May 4th, 2019 at 7.30pm

William Aston Hall, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Mold Road, Wrexham LL11 2AW Conductor: Mark Lansom Soloist: Vicky Yannoula Leader: Craig Clewley Tickets available from:

www.wrexhamorch.co.uk www.thewilliamastonhall.com (0844 249 1000) Wrexham Tourist Information Centre (01978 292015) Llangollen Tourist Information Centre (01978 860828) Rowanthorn Gift Shop, Oswestry (01691 238227) Family Ticket £20 (2 adults and up to 4 children); Balcony £12; Stalls £10 (Concessions £8); Students, school pupils and young children £2.

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Metal poles from £17.99 Venetian, Vertical and roller blinds We stock the largest selection of readymade curtains in the area.

SIMON BOYD www.simonboyd.com

KNUTSFORD WA16 6DD 01565 633855

SHREWSBURY SY1 1PB 01743 363006

CHESTER CH3 5UG 01244 311160

FACTORY OUTLET LL12 8LX 01978 854941

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He’s the Strictly Come Dancing judge everyone loves to hate, but Craig Revel Horwood has plenty more strings to his bow! After directing the huge Strictly live tour, he’s returning to the stage himself in an exciting new role at Venue Cymru


till drawing audiences of over 10 million in its 16th series, the phenomenon that is Strictly Come Dancing shows no signs of declining. Viewers young and old tune in week after week throughout the autumn to enjoy the dancing, the outfits, the glamour – and, of course, to hear the judges’ feedback. And since the very beginning, the comments everyone wants to hear most of all are Craig Revel Horwood’s! You don’t really know how well the celebrity has performed until the veteran judge has his say. So it is no surprise that thousands flocked to the Liverpool Echo Arena last month to catch Craig up close and


personal, dishing out his often brutal commentary, as part of the Strictly Come Dancing Live tour.

Sparkle and shine

Craig not only starred in but also directed the highoctane production – which, in 2019, saw all four of the current TV judges take part for the first time. Strictly Live is a serious undertaking that takes several months to plan and finalise. ‘That’s the concept, the lighting, the music, the dance routines – the whole shebang,’ Craig says. ‘Each year, the theme is different. The challenge is to better yourself every time, always trying to make it bolder, more theatrical.’ And Craig has plenty of tricks up his sleeve to add extra pizzazz. ‘I’m keen on fantastic costume changes. The sparkle you are able to achieve with all the lights in the arena is incredible. It’s really something seeing the celebrities and pros dazzle in front of your eyes!’ After playing to sell-out crowds around the country, the hugely successful 2019 tour ended in early

February – giving Craig the opportunity to take to the stage himself. Audiences and fans will get to see the 54-yearold in a very different guise during his one-week-only stop at Venue Cymru next month…

Dress to impress

The smash hit production of the musical Annie comes to Llandudno direct from London’s West End, with Craig taking on the hilarious role of the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Set in 1930s New York during the Great Depression, the show sees brave young Annie forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. Craig is looking forward to some dramatic costume changes of his own as he portrays the spiteful Miss Hannigan, who hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her real family… so you can be sure this is one show where Craig will be the one looking fab-u-lous!

18 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Bay City Rollers - 10th March Henning Wehn - 30th March The Rolling Stones Story - 5th April Abba Mania - 12th May Skindred - 16th May ELO Again - 17th May Neck Deep - 18th May Dear Zoo - 28th and 29th May Bluetones - 24th May Belinda Carlisle - 29th Sept for full listing of events go to:

thewilliamastonhall.com 0844 2491000 TICKET HOTLINE (Tickets ONLY) Wrexham Glyndwr University, Wrexham, LL11 2AW

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‘Interesting, engaging, funny’ ***** The Mirror

‘essential viewing’ **** The Independent

Off The Kerb Productions presents


GONNA BE ALRIGHT FRIDAY 15TH MARCH 2019 - 8.00PM Tickets £15 (Booking Fees apply) Age Recommendation 14+ (may include adult language)


01686 614 555

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

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Early-bird tickets for Hay Festival

1st March, St David’s Day Celebrations, National Library Of Wales, Aberystwyth Listen to a harpist while enjoying traditional Welsh food in the café and discover the stories of the saint in the extensive library.

•2nd March, Twisted Tales, Neuadd Dyfi,

Aberdyfi Owdyado Theatre brings a dark triple bill of unique comedies to the coastal resort. 7.30pm. £9, students £5.

2nd & 3rd March, Open Weekend, Lake Vyrnwy Get hands-on birdwatching experience during this open weekend, featuring the RSPB’s fantastic range of binoculars and telescopes, with help from friendly staff. 10.30am-4pm.

DID YOU KNOW? Julia Donaldson was Children’s Laureate from 2011 to 2013

The Hay Festival Wales 2019 doesn’t start until 23rd May, but organisers have made early bird tickets available for a number of events, giving a snapshot of the full programme that will be announced at the end of March. The events include conversations with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond (Upheaval), Nobel Prize-winning biologist Venki Ramakrishnan (Gene Machine), and award-winning novelist Leila Slimani (Adèle). Markus Zusak

100 Welsh women who changed history •

4th March, Greg Russell & Ciaran Algar, Theatr Mwldan, Cardigan Two-time BBC Radio 2 Folk Award winners Greg and Ciaran combine powerful vocals and driving guitar with fiddle playing. 7.30pm. £12.50.

5th March, Hayseed Dixie, Aberystwyth Arts Centre Through 17 years, 14 albums and more than 1,300 live shows, US band Hayseed Dixie have evolved into a proper force of rockgrass. 8pm. £18.50.

Aberystwyth University is marking International Women’s Day on 6th March by giving visitors the chance to discover 100 amazing women from the past and present who have worked for equality in Wales, with event including talks and live music. One of those being celebrated is Mavis Nicholson, who interviewed the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, David Bowie and Dudley Moore her talk show, Mavis On Four. She has also presented several radio shows including BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour and published a number of books. Women’s Equality Network Wales created a list of 100 Welsh women to mark the centenary of the Representation Of The People Act 1918, which granted women the right to vote. Five will be put to a public vote to decide who should be immortalised in a statue in Cardiff ’s Central Square.

will also discus The Book Thief in a special Hay Festival Book of the Month event, while Julia Donaldson presents her Gruffalo live show in the book’s 20th anniversairy year, and comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig offers her latest show. You can call the box offie on 01497 822629.

Hop on board a steam train for £1 Passengers can travel by train through stunning south Snowdonia for just £1 during Talyllyn Railway’s Local Residents’ Discount Weekend on 2nd and 3rd March. To qualify for the discount, pick up a local residents’ discount card from Tywyn Wharf gift shop and take it along on your day of travel. The cards also give holders 10 per cent off food and hot drinks in the café and shop, and 20 per cent off train tickets on timetabled trains. You can combine the trip by steam train with a walk, or explore the museum and rich heritage of the railway. Children can also enjoy the adventure playground at Abergynolwyn station. There are three departures every day from Tywyn Wharf station, at 10.50am, 12.15pm and 14.20pm. Call 01654 710472 for details.

20 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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St David’s Day winter warmer

Josh Widdicombe heads Machynlleth Comedy Festival Comedian and television presenter Josh Widdicombe is one of the big names who will providing the laughs at Machynlleth Comedy Festival from 3rd to 5th May. Other big names appearing at the hundreds of live shows throughout the friendly, historic

town include Mark Watson, Annie McGrath, Ray Badran and Sara Barron. The complete programme will be available from April at machcomedyfest.co.uk. Shows sell out fast, so it’s best to buy tickets in advance. If you’d rather take your pick of what’s available on the actual weekend,

Rich pickings in Brecon Rich Hall’s critically acclaimed Hoedown tour begins its second leg at Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon on 29th March. The US comedian’s BBC Four documentaries and BBC Radio 4 series Rich Hall’s (US Election) Breakdown have built him a new legion of followers, as has appearances on Have I Got News For You and QI. In this show, Hall attempts to dismantle the tenuous relationship between the US and the UK. But while Hoedown begins as a withering dissection of Trump’s America, but ends up being a celebration of Americana. You can expect stand-up, improvised ballads, cracking good musicianship and foot-stomping fun. www.brycheiniog.co.uk

there will be a festival box office at Owain Glyndwr Centre. The Beech Bar on the lawns of Y Plas has a free music programme, plus a 50-cask ‘festiv-ale’. There will also be free performances in the woodland pavilion, a family programme and pop-up performances.

Celebrate the national day of Wales on 1st March by riding in heated carriages on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway from Llanfair Caereinion to Castle Caereinion for a special return fare of £9 for adults and £4 for children All trains start and finish at Llanfair Caereinion at 11am, 12.45pm and 2.30pm. You can finish your day with a visit to Llanfair Caereinion station’s cosy tearoom. Tickets can be bought online or on the day. Other spring events include a chance to meet the Easter bunny on 20th, 21st and 22nd April and a celebration of WLLR’s links with Sierra Leone Railway on 27th April. www.wllr.org.uk

See historic hall’s gardens in full bloom

Spike Lee film in Montgomery Montgomery Movie Club presents BlacKkKlansman at the Dragon hotel on Market Square on 23rd March from 8pm. Directed by Spike Lee, and starring John David Washington and Adam Driver, it follows the incredible true story of Ron Stallworth, the first AfricanAmerican detective to serve in the Colorado Springs Police Department, who sets out to infiltrate and expose the Ku Klux Klan. Buy tickets on the door.

The pretty gardens of Abbey-Cwm-Hir Hall near Llandrindod Wells will be open to visitors this spring. There are woodland walks, lawns, courtyards and terraces, and a gypsy caravan and a shepherd’s hut overlooking the ruins of the 12thcentury Cistercian abbey. Local villagers help the Humpherston family keep the house and gardens open to the public. To book a tour call 01597 851727 or email info@abbeycwmhir.com. March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 21

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Countdown to Wales Rally GB

6th March, Nish Kumar, Aberystwyth Arts Centre The double Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee takes his new show on a national tour. Expect jokes about politics and humankind’s capacity for self-destruction. 8pm. £22.50.

6th March, Divided: Why We’re Living In An Age Of Walls, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon Tim Marshall, author of Prisoners Of Geography, talks about his latest book, which looks at the new era of tribalism we’re living in and the barricades that are going up. 7pm. £11.50.

The countdown to this autumn’s Wales Rally GB, which takes place from 3rd to 6th October, got under way at the beginning of January with the launch of the 2019 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) at the Autosport International Show at Birmingham NEC. All four major factory-backed teams – representing Citroën, Ford, Hyundai and Toyota – unveiled their cars and their driver line-ups. The 10-month global adventure kicked off in Monte Carlo and will conclude in Australia in November, shortly after racing through the hills of Mid Wales. All eyes will be on sport’s top gun, France’s Sébastien Ogier – the first man in history to win five Rally GBs. ‘Wales is a very special event for

me,’ he says. ‘I’ve managed to master the very tricky conditions several times now. Hopefully, I will be competitive once again in October.’

Jason Donovan at 50

8th March, Women Over Fifty Film Festival, Ceredigion Museum & Gallery, Aberystwyth Championing the work of older women on screen and behind the camera with a programme of 10 short films. £5-£6. 7pm.

8th March, Mica Jane, The Globe at Hay Indie folk singer songwriter. Her culturally mixed background has inspired her to write music that infuses different walks of life. 8pm. £5.

Eighties heartthrob Jason Donovan is extending his Amazing Midlife Crisis tour into 2019 with a final series of dates, including Newtown’s The Hafren on 14th March. The intimate evenings are a unique opportunity to see the singer and actor up close and personal like you’ve never seen him before. Celebrating his 50th birthday with a wealth of tantalising tales under his belt, Donovan’s autobiographical show zigzags through his life, covering Neighbours, Ten Good Reasons, Kylie, Joseph, I’m A Celebrity, Strictly and more. Tickets cost £27.50. www.thehafren.co.uk

Make your own guitar

Rhian ap Gruffydd

7th March, The Children Act, Dragon hotel, Montgomery Montgomery Movie Club presents The Children Act, directed by Richard Eyre and starring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci. Thompson plays a High Court judge confronted by the case of 17-year-old Adam, who needs a blood transfusion to halt his leukaemia but he and his parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses. 8pm.

Machynlleth’s Centre For Alternative Technology has a new course for spring, offering the chance to build an electric six-string steel guitar on 9th March. To ensure you leave with a working instrument, the design is much simplified but is constructed in a way that makes further upgrades – both technical and cosmetic – relatively easy. The course requires the use of basic hand tools – a hand saw, drill, screwdriver, rasp and sandpaper – and is based on repurposed wood and other materials. The course includes a basic introduction to stringed instruments. courses.cat.org.uk

Lead your dog around Powis Castle The beautifully kept gardens at Powis Castle, dogs only. The near Welshpool, are now open to dogs too. wider estate isn’t Dog owners can explore the small woodland, owned by the stroll through the Edwardian formal garden, National Trust and or simply find a quiet spot on the Italianate it asks you respect terraces to admire breathtaking the landowner’s views across the Severn valley. wishes by DID YOU Dogs are welcome in the not taking KNOW? main courtyard, garden, East your dog on Front, car park and path this land. The gardens at leading from the car park to Spare leads are available from the Powis Castle were ticket office, and bin are provided. the ticket office. Buildings first developed in The trial period runs until 31st March. are restricted to assistance

the 1680s

22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9NF

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01766 516024



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e n r u o b

r i a F

scape to the countryside between Welshpool and Newtown. E Fantastic places of interest within

35-mile radius include: Chirk Castle, Llangollen, Bala, Dolgellau, Lake Vrynwy RSPB, Welshpool, Coed y Dinas, Powis Castle, Newtown, Llanidloes, Hafren Forest, Machynlleth, Ynyshir RSPB, Borth, Devils Bridge, Aberystwyth, elan Valley, Abbey Cwm Hir, Whittington Castle, Ellesmere, Shrewsbury, Church Stretton, Ludlow, Craven Arms, Stiperstones, Long Mynd, Knighton, Clun Castle.

Open Easter to October Daily in School Holidays Closed Monday & Friday at other times

• Free Sat TV • Wi-Fi • Dog Owners Welcome Find us on Facebook

the new Oakdale Premier luxury 6 berth holiday Ehomexperience complete with sun deck!

Unique 2 mile miniature railway along the beaches of the stunning Mawddach Estuary in the shadow of the Cader Idris mountains

Mid Wales Opera:


Theatr Bryn Terfel 14 Mawrth | March 7.30pm £10-£19

National Dance Company Wales:


Theatr Bryn Terfel 19 Mawrth | March 7.15pm

ABERMULE, MONTGOMERY, POWYS, SY15 6NW • Tel: 01686 670 408 Email: park2006@btinternet.com


Thibaut Garcia

Neuadd Prichard-Jones Hall

29 Mawrth | March 7.30pm

Barely Methodical Troupe:


Theatr Bryn Terfel 15 Mawrth | March 8pm £10-£14

Gruffydd Wyn Theatr Bryn Terfel 13 Ebrill | April 7.30pm


£14/£12 gostyngiadau/concessions

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£20/£18 gostyngiadau/concessions

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Weaving and spinning at Wonderwool Wales More than 200 exhibitors will celebrate all things woolly at Wonderwool Wales, which takes place at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, from 27th to 28th April. The fun and friendly event is the premier wool and

World Book Day at Llanerchaeron

Llanerchaeron in Ceredigion is celebrating World Book Day on 7th March by stocking some of this year’s £1 titles. Children can use the token they receive at school or nursery to buy one of the World Book Day special editions. Will it be Cruella & Cadpig or Claude Best In Show for animal lovers? Underwater mysteries with Bad Mermaids? Or an epic Percy Jackson adventure? While they’re deciding, the family can take a spring walk around the elegant Georgian villa. Remarkably unaltered for more than 200 years, the selfsufficient estate includes a farm, walled gardens and lake. www.nationaltrust. org.uk/llanerchaeron

natural fibre festival in Wales. It covers all aspects of felting, knitting, weaving, spinning and crochet, and textile art, with raw materials, equipment, books and beautiful finished products available to buy. There are demonstrations taking place across the weekend,

DID YOU KNOW? Tickets for Wonderwool Wales cost £10. Under-16s are free and a selection of animals on display including sheep, angora rabbits and goats and alpacas. A series of Woolschools will also be running, which can be booked in advance online. There are camping facilities on site, and local accommodation. www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk

Kate Humble to speak at Crickhowell Walking Festival Kate Humble in conversation will be a highlight of Crickhowell Walking Festival, from 9th to 17th March. The BBC presenter will be at Clarence Hall, Crickhowell, from 7.30pm on 9th March to talk about her new book, Thinking On My Feet. The book records her walks throughout a year, capturing perspectives that only a journey

on foot allows. Something Humble explores in the book are the reasons why we walk - whether for creative energy, challenge or pleasure – and the therapeutic benefits, to motivate and spur you into action. The festival features fabulous guided walks in and around the Black Mountains in the Brecon Beacons, plus related talks. www.crickhowellfestival.com

Comedian Hal at Wyeside One of the UK’s top stand-up comedians, Hal Cruttenden, brings his wit to Wyeside Arts, Builth Wells, on 23rd March. Cruttenden, who was nominated for Best Club Comic at the 2012 Chortle

9th March, Tosca, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon Join Mid Wales Opera on tour this spring, as Puccini’s lavish score takes audiences on an emotional rollercoaster ride from tender love story through powerful brutality to ultimate tragedy. 7pm. £17-£19.

awards, originally trained as an actor and has appeared in Eastenders and Kavanagh QC. He has made several appearances on the BBC’s Live At The Apollo and Have I Got News For You, and is a popular panelist on The Great British Bake Off: An Extra Slice. All tickets cost £17. To book, call 01982 552555.

9th-10th March, Paranormal Investigations, Silver Mountain Experience, near Aberystwyth Join in the hunt for the truth, as the team use scientific methods and attuned senses to discover if ghosts exist in the Victorian mines. 10pm-2am. £24.95.

10th March, Milkshake! Live: Monkey’s Amazing Musical, Aberystwyth Arts Centre Starring Fireman Sam, Noddy, Shimmer & Shine, Digby Dragon and Nella the Princess Knight, this show has plenty of laughter, audience interaction and great fun for children. Noon & 3.30pm. £10-£16.

10th March, Discover Dark Skies, Tregaron Walking Club, Tregaron The area to the east of Teifi Pools is an internationally recognised Dark Sky Park – the only one in Wales. The walk starts at dusk from Ty’n Cwm and ascends to Teifi Pools and Claerddu bothy. 7pm.

11th March, A Star Is Born, Welshpool Town Hall Flicks In The Sticks brings the Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga smash hit to town. 7pm. £3.50.

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14th March, Clarinet: The Instrument Of The Devil, Welshpool Methodist Church Welshpool Music Club presents a light-hearted look at the clarinet family, with melodies performed by Chris Swan and Heather Gould. 7.30pm. £10.

16th March, Ian McKellen On Stage, The Hafren, Newtown Join Sir Ian, who is celebrating his 80th birthday by touring a new solo show to theatres around the UK. The show starts with Gandalf and may very well end with an invitation to act with Ian on stage. In between there will be anecdotes and acting. 7.30pm. £28.

Explore a treasure trove of antiques at the Royal Welsh Showground

Around 1,000 trade stands will be exhibiting their wares at the International Antiques Fair of Wales at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells, on 4th and 5th May. If you’re looking for something stylish and unique for your home, this is the place for you. The fair offers plenty of antiques and collectables, classic furniture, vintage clothing and fabrics,

22nd March, Are You Experienced? The Jimi Hendrix Tribute, Pavilion Mid Wales, Llandrindod Wells Are You Experienced? bring the music of Hendrix to a new and eager audience, as well as those that remember him the first time around. 8pm. £14.

22nd March, Meeting of the Arts Society Mid Wales and Borders, Royal Oak Hotel, Welshpool The speaker is Anthony Rayworth, whose topic is ‘Classical Gardens, A New Perspective’, in the The Royal Oak from 2.30pm with nonmembers welcome to attend, but a donation of £6 is requested towards costs. For more details contact avril@avrilhart. com or call 01938 555574.

27th March, Writing As A Creative Process: Text & Theory, Oriel Davies Gallery, Newtown Explore ways in which you can overcome fear and other barriers to writing, enabling you to tap into the ‘magic’ of your own innate creativity. Call 01686 625041.

DID YOU KNOW? The antiques fair returns to Builth Wells in September

plus architectural salvage and reclamation. Early trade entry on the Saturday is from 8.30am and 10am and costs £10. Entry from 10am to 5pm on both days costs £5. For further information, call 01584 873634.

RHAYADER ROUND THE LAKES 30K RACE Runners will be lining up on 2nd March to take part in the Rhayader Round The Lakes 30k race, organised by Rhayader Running Club. Registration starts at Rhayader Leisure Centre at 10am. As well as the main 30k distance, there is a five-mile run plus children’s events. For the kids race, orgainsers are asking runners to register at Rhayader Primary School before 10.50am. For both senior races, registration needs to be completed by 12.30pm in the main hall of the leisure centre. The Kids Race starts at 11am, the 30k race at 1pm and the five-mile event begins at 1.15pm. The bus leaves from outside the leisure centre at 12.45pm. For more information, email racedirector @rhayaderac.org.uk or visit www. rhayaderac.org.uk/roundthelakes.

Old favourite to appear at Fairbourne Steam Gala Fairbourne Miniature Railway welcomes a special guest at its annual Steam Gala, which takes place from 25th to 27th May – Katie. ‘We’re delighted to welcome a former Fairbourne locomotive, almost lost to legend,’ a spokesperson says. ‘Katie was built in 1896 by Sir Arthur Heywood to run at Eaton Hall near Chester, and finished her days at Fairbourne. Rescued from the dunes in 1974, her remains have been rebuilt and she is appearing in steam at Fairbourne for the first time since 1926.’ Katie will be accompanied by other engines and model displays. Children can also join an Easter egg hunt on 20th April. www.fairbournerailway.com

26 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Capturing lifeboats in a Victorian lens The National Library of Wales Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in Aberystwyth hosts Jack lifeboat stations in the UK and Lowe’s Lifeboat Station Project Ireland to photograph the on 6th March. volunteer crews DID YOU using the traditional Lowe has loved KNOW? lifeboats and Victorian wet-plate The RNLI was collodion process. photography since founded in 1824 he was a boy. His He has now epic project unites reached the halfand has saved these two passions: way point of his over 137,000 he plans to visit all odyssey and is ready lives 238 Royal National to share his journey.

Spring Festival bursts with new life The Royal Welsh Smallholding & Countryside Festival on 18th and 19th May is a fantastic way to celebrate new life and growth at the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells. It is jam-packed with piglets, chicks, ducklings foals, calves, horses and other animals taking part in a busy two-day schedule of competitions and displays. The Smallholders Centre will also help hobbyists with free talks and workshops. This is the ideal place to stock up on essentials from the agricultural and smallholding-themed tradestands, whether you’re after a couple of chickens to add to your flock, or a new solar project to enhance your smallholding. The Food Hall will also be bursting with regional producers from Wales and the border counties. www.rwas.wales

Future greats

The most talented young musicians in the land will be heading to Mid Wales on 27th April for the Gregynog Young Musician competition. Gregynog Young Musician is one of the most prestigious events of its kind, and is held annually at Gregynog Hall, which has a long history of association with music and the arts. Entrants must be aged 18 years and under and have reached grade 8 standard or equivalent on any orchestral instrument, brass band instrument or percussion. For more information, email sec@gregynogymc.co.uk, call 01743 892890 or visit www.gregynogymc.co.uk.

4th-6th April, The Sound Of Music, The Hafren, Newtown The hills are alive… The Newtown Musical Theatre Company brings this timeless family classic to life. 7.30pm. £15 adults, £12.50 concessions.

6th April, Whisky Tasting, Montgomery Town Hall, Montgomery As well as whisky tasting, there’s a haggis and mash supper. Other drinks are also available, including gin. Proceeds will be shared between Montgomery School and Middleton and Marsh School. £8 in advance, £10 on the door. To book, call 01686 669971.

6th April, Lambing On The Farm, RSPB Lake Vyrnwy, Llanwddyn Enjoy the spring sunshine by the stunning lake and get to know the spring’s newborn lambs, as they snuggle together and feed from ewes. 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm. £10 adults, £5 children. Call 01691 870278.

19th-22nd, Easter Egg Hunt, Welshpool town centre Families can pick up cards and information from Tourist Information Centre. Free.

20th April, Evening Of Rock’n’Roll, Church House, Welshpool Bring your own drinks. 7.30pm. Tickets £10 from Welshpool Jewellers. Call 07782 166342.

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1st March Mica Millar, Brasserie Abode Chester Mica’s powerful performances have established her as one of the North West’s most revered up-and-coming female artists. Her show brings together a soulful line-up of musicians with gospel-inspired harmonies and vocals that have been compared to the likes of Etta James, Janis Joplin, Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha Franklin. 7pm. Admission free.

Stellar line-up of chefs at Food & Drink Festival

1st-16th March, Inspired By…, Nantwich Museum Don’t miss your chance to catch this exhibition of contemporary textile art from IntaStitch, displaying a wide range of influences, interests and techniques. Admission free, donations appreciated.

2nd March, North Of England Orchid Show, Community Hall, Rixton See the wonderful blooms as many types of orchids are put on display and available to buy. 10.30am3pm, auction at 1.30pm. Admission free. orchid.org.uk

and the Good Food show Market Kitchen. Taste Cheshire Food & Drink Festival returns to Chester Racecourse from 20th to 22nd April, The festival will highlight the work of award-winning local cooking talent and offers boasting a stellar cast of superstar cooks, artisan food and drink exhibitors, and workshops. adults and children to chance to take part in cooking classes. There’s also a sausage This year’s festival features the best DID YOU competition, dog show and countless line-up of chefs yet, including Simon KNOW? tasty treats. Rimmer, star of Channel 4’s Sunday Simon Rimmer The festival Brunch (and, of course, Strictly Come originally studied is open from Dancing). Simon appears twice on 10am to 6pm the opening day, at noon and 3pm. fashion and on Saturday On Sunday 21st April, star of stage textile design and Sunday and and screen Andi Oliver appears at noon from 10am to and 3pm. The Great British Menu judge 5pm Monday. To find is a former singer and TV presenter who had out more visit www. her own cooking programme with singer Neneh chesterfoodanddrink.co.uk. Ticket prices start at Cherry. Monday 22nd April, meanwhile, sees Matt Tebbut of Saturday Kitchen take to the stage. As £8, or £10 on the day. We have a special offer for well as hosting the top-rated BBC programme, Shire readers: use code SHIRE20 and receive 20% off your booking! Turn to page 59 to find out more. Matt has appeared on Channel 4’s Food Unwrapped

Enjoy animal magic at Tatton •

2nd & 3rd, 9th & 10th March, Live Lambing Weekends, Reaseheath College, Nantwich A unique springtime experience for the whole family, with lots of fun children’s activities including competitions and colouring. 10am-4pm, last entry 3pm. Adults £8, children £5 (includes entry to the zoo).

2nd & 3rd March, Mind Body Spirit Event, Nantwich Civic Hall If you’re looking for complementary and alternative medicine, health and healing or spiritual upliftment, look no further than this popular event from Rosemary Douglas. Visit stands and stalls, meet the healers and join workshops. 10am5pm. Advance tickets £3.50 or £6 for two-day pass.

Spring has sprung on the farm at Tatton Park, Knutsford, bringing with it events that are sure to keep the whole family entertained. On 17th March, visitors are invited to come along to Adopt A Farm Animal Day. Meet the rare breed animals up for adoption, including Prancer the reindeer, Blossom the Clydesdale horse, Tamzin the Tamworth pig and Frosty the donkey. Lambing Week takes place from 6th to 14th April, when visitors can meet the newest additions to the farm and listen to informative talks by the farm’s staff on the imminent signs of lambing. If you’re really lucky you might even be able to see a lamb being born. For more information, visit www.tatton park.org.uk.

Arley Hall’s beautiful bluebells Experience the stunning sights and smells of the carpet of bluebells on a guided walk at Arley Hall and Gardens on 27th and 28th April. Enjoy huge carpets of bluebells, many other wild flowers and birdsong in the magnificent Big Wood, which isn’t normally open to visitors. The guided walk takes in the lake before returning through the Grove, Arley’s beautiful woodland garden. The walks last less than two hours on footpaths through woods and fields, lead by guides who will talk about the wildlife and the history of the agricultural estate. Booking is essential, and all visitors should wear waterproof clothing and footwear. Dogs are welcome on leads. Unfortunately the walks aren’t suitable for wheelchairs or pushchairs. Walks start at 11am and cost £8. To book, call 01565 777353 (ext 20). For further details, visit www.arleyhallandgardens.com.

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Family fun at Crewe Lyceum Tom Gates Live On Stage!, 27th February-2nd March Don’t miss Liz Pichon’s fantastic characters – including Tom and his annoying sister Delia, Marcus Meldrew and Mr Fullerman – as they come to life in this brand new story for the stage. Show times vary. Tickets from £13.50 adults, £10.50 children. The Glenn Miller Orchestra, 3rd March Hear the music that laid the foundations of pop as the world’s greatest Big Band transport you back to the 1940s with the fabulous harmonies of the Moonlight Serenaders and the sublime vocals of

Catherine Sykes and Mark Porter. 3pm. Tickets £23.50. Choreocracy, 4th March Record-breaking dance artist Tim Casson and Bafta award-winning digital artist Seb Lee-Delisle present a fun interactive dance show that puts the audience in control of the performance. 7.30pm. Tickets £17.50. Francis Rossi: I Talk Too Much, 31st March Legendary singer Francis Rossi shares the extraordinary secrets of his 50-plus years in rock’n’roll as he takes to the stage for an intimate evening. The founder,

lead singer and lead guitarist of Status Quo talks about his mishaps and adventures of life on the road with one of the UK’s biggest and most loved bands. 7.30pm. Tickets from £28.50. Rob Auton: The Talk Show, 26th April Since 2012, Rob has chosen a specific theme for his shows and challenged himself to create an hour of material on each subject, leading to sell-out shows at Edinburgh Fringe. Following his shows about hair, sleep, water, faces, the sky and the colour yellow, Rob Auton turns his attention to talking. 8pm. Tickets £13.50. www.crewelyceum.co.uk

Play time at Chester’s Forum Studio Theatre Two, 20th-23rd March Two is set in a pub owned by a bickering married couple bound together by the necessity of keeping the business afloat. This award-winning play by Jim Cartwright, writer of The Rise & Fall Of Little Voice, is full of humour, pathos and poetry. 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm matinee on Saturday. Tickets from £7. Charley’s Aunt, 2nd6th April Brandon Thomas’s farce is one of the great plays of the English stage. Jack Chesney

and Charley Wykeham are two Oxford undergraduates, hapless at life and hopeless in love. In an attempt to impress the women they love, the boys invite them to meet Charley’s wealthy aunt Donna Lucia. But when she cancels at the last minute, they turn to their friend Lord Fancourt Babberley, who in a frock and wig makes for a very convincing dowager aunt. 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm matinee on Saturday. From £7. Silly Cow, 23rd27th April In Ben Elton’s slick satire on

Up close with nature’s trailblazers An exhibition featuring people who shaped the way we think about green spaces opens at Dunham Massey, Altrincham on 23rd March. Faces Of Change: Nature’s Champions features

works from the National Portrait Gallery, including David Attenborough and horiculturist Gertrude Jekyll (right). www.nationaltrust. org.uk/dunham-massey

3rd March, Be Happy, Harry Hippo!, Waterside Plaza, Sale Harry Hippo has lost his smile. What will he do? Join Hodgepodge Theatre on its quest to deliver the ultimate pick-me-up to one of the world’s most massive mammals. 11am. From £7.

3rd March, Baby & Children’s Market Chester, Queens Park High School, Handbridge Nearly-new baby and children’s items from birth to eight years, including clothing, toys, books and pushchairs. From 10am11.30am. Adults £1, children free.

3rd March, Knutsford Makers Market, Princess Street One of the largest artisan markets of its type in the UK, with only the very finest food, drink, art and craft. 11am-4pm.

the viciousness of tabloid journalism, newspaper columnist Doris is about to discover that even journalists can’t escape reaping what they have sown, and that there’s nothing quite as dramatic as an actress’s revenge. 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm matinee on Saturday. Tickets from £7. www. tiptopproductions.co.uk

5th March, Sleepwalk Collective: Kourtney Kardashian, Axis Arts Centre, Crewe The final part of an accidental trilogy about high art and celebrity, following Kim Kardashian and Khloé Kardashian. 7.30pm. From £5.

6th March, Cheltenham Preview Evening, Chester Racecourse Join us in the County Stand for a special preview evening ahead of one of the biggest jump meetings of the year. 7pm. £20.

8th March, The LGBT Silent Disco, Weaver Hall Museum, Northwich Choose your groove and don your headphones for a fabulous night of fun and frolics. Featuring three decades of dancefloor fillers, all controlled by you. There is a licensed bar and refreshments. 7pm. Admission free. To book, call 01270 653150.

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Circus spectaculars

9th March, Alessandro Taverna (piano), Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre, Crewe Awardwinning pianist Alessandro Taverna returns for his third concert. 7.30pm. £16. To book, call 01477 537769.

DID YOU KNOW? World Circus Day takes place on 20th April 2019

9th March, Silversmithing – Rings And Things, The Potters Barn, Sandbach A one-day course teaching you how to make silver rings using traditional silversmith techniques. You’ll produce at least two rings during the day. 10am-4.30pm. Course costs £118 including an information pack, use of all tools and equipment, all materials and lunch. Call 01270 884080.

9th March, Makers Market, Market Square, Sandbach This fabulous market, which takes place on Sandbach’s historic cobbled square on the second Saturday of every month, features a superb selection of local food, drink, art and craft, children’s activities, music and performance. 10am-3pm.

Circus Funtasia is back – and it’s bigger and better than ever! The phenomenal live show goes beyond all your expectations and proves that the circus isn’t just for children. The audience can watch spectacular aerialists flying through the big top, wheel-of-death acrobats leaping dizzying heights, fire eaters, gymnasts and jugglers, comic moments, crazy motorbikes, the Geek, and much more! Catch Circus Funtastia at Verdin Exchange, Winsford, from 3rd to 7th April and Orford Park, Warrington, from 11th to 28th April. Opening night costs £7; other performances cost £12 for adults, £10 for children. www.circusfuntasia.co.uk

All that jazz in Nantwich Nantwich Jazz, Blues & Music Festival returns to the town from 18th to 22nd April, featuring 1990s rock band Cast as headliners, as well as ;egendary Whitesnake guitarist Bernie Marsden and Chris Helme, the former frontman of The Seahorses. With more than 140 concerts across the town, the event hopes to welcome music fans old and new. www.nantwichjazz.com

•11th March, Museum Explorers, Grosvenor Museum, Chester Come and explore nature’s changing seasons and discover lots of exciting things from the past through play, crafts, stories and songs. For children aged two to four, although younger siblings are welcome. 9.50am-11am. £2.

12th March, Our Disappearing Swifts: What Can We Do?, United Reformed Church, Macclesfield An illustrated talk by Tanya and Edmund Hoare for RSPB Macclesfield, looking at why the UK’s swift numbers are falling dramatically. Discover their behaviour, aerial lifestyle and research into migration, as well as considering what can be done to help the birds. Doors open 7.15pm. All welcome. Members £1, visitors £4.50.

If you’d like a more weird and wonderful circus experience, Cirque du Vulgar performs in Warrington on 20th and 27th April. This night of risqué live entertainment features stunning striptease routines, electrifying daredevil stunts, filthy comedy, naughty aerial acts and sexy strong men, and is strictly for over18s only. VIP tickets cost £25. Tiered seating is £15. Shropshire: Circus Funtasia is playing at Oswestry Showground from 20th March, with a Cirque de Vulgar show on 23rd March. Wrexham: Circus Funtasia is at Bryn Y Grog Farm, Marchweil from 27th March, with a Cirque de Vulgar show on 30th March. Find out more at www.cirquevulgar.com

Art nouveau in depth at Gladstones Library Art lecturer Adrian Summer delves into the history of art nouveau in The Whiplash Line: Art Nouveau & Symbolism at Gladstones Library in Hawarden from 8th to 10th March. The study course looks at the richness of art nouveau in the fine and decorative arts, including paintings, posters, textiles, furniture, ceramics and more, illustrated with beautiful colour slides. Residential prices start from £235, and non-residential prices from £160. Call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org.

Make Mum’s day at Cholmondeley Castle

Bunny Hop’s back in Knutsford

Treat mum to a day out to remember at Cholmondeley Castle on 31st March. The gardens here are famed for their early season colour and thousands of daffodils. Wander through the blooms and then enjoy some fine fare in the tearoom. The gardens are closed until 7th April except for this special event. Entry costs £8.50 for adults, £4 for children. www.cholmondeleycastle.com

Easter sees the return of the popular Bunny Hop on 20th April in Knutsford, as families search for bunnies hidden around the town centre and complete their postcards with the name of each bunny they find. Businesses will be joining in the fun, dressing up and giving out Easter treats. The event runs from 10am to 4pm. www.knutsford towncouncil.gov.uk

32 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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13th March Chester Music Society Celebrity Concert: Wihan and Sacconi Quartets, St Mary’s Creative Space, Chester Two illustrious string quartets combine forces for a programme of chamber music featuring Shostokovich’s Octet Op 11, Mendelssohn’s Octet E flat Op 20 and Enescu’s Octet in C Op 7. £16. Call 0333 666 3366.

Rock on at The Live Rooms Chester on to the scene in 2007, London Calling, 8th March The Lancashire Hotpots The UK’s premier Clash tribute have become a nationwide band pays homage to the band’s sensation – touring the UK with 1979 London Calling album by comedian Paddy McGuinness, playing the entire work in track playing Glastonbury sequence, followed by Festival and recording a best-of set that DID YOU sessions for BBC promises to KNOW? Radio 6 Music. With include songs The Clash’s some of daftest such as I Fought London Calling and catchiest songs The Law, was released around – including (White Man) In as a double Chippy Tea, I Fear Hammersmith album Ikea and Shopmobility Palais, and Should Scooter to name but a I Stay Or Should I few – the band have gained a Go. 7pm. Tickets £15. well-earned reputation for being the biggest party starters on The Lancashire Hotpots, the circuit. 7pm. Tickets £14. 30th March Since exploding

British Science Week at Jodrell Bank From 9th to 15th March, Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre in Macclesfield will be marking British Science Week with a host of events for all the family. Visitors can meet Barnes, Aberystwyth University’s model of the ExoMars Rover, take a journey through the history and achievements of scientists at Jodrell Bank, and tour the base of the impressive Lovell Telescope, while under-sevens can also join a fun-filled rocket trip into space. Entry costs £7.65 for adults and £5.85 for children. www. jodrellbank.net

Dreadzone, 13th April One of the most energetic, exciting and powerful live bands to emerge from the post-rave scene, Dreadzone have been releasing albums and progressively bettering, refining and perfecting their unique and inimitable take on dub since their inception in 1993. Still going strong after 25 years, they’ve also long been one of the best live bands around. Dreadzone are now focusing more on the electronic and dub elements of their stage show – a sound they developed in earlier years of Dreadzone. 7pm. Tickets £17.50. www. theliveroomschester.com

The hunt is on in Blakemere From 6th to 22nd April children aged three to 11 can help the Easter Bunny find his friends who are hiding around Blakemere Village in Northwich, and collect a prize. Blakemere Village is home to an independent collective of shops and attractions centred around a stunning Edwardian Courtyard.

Trail maps cost £3 per child from the visitor information centre from 10am to 4pm daily. www.blakemerevillage.com

16th March, 5ive, Mecca Bingo, Crewe A jam-packed night of entertainment featuring the band’s famous songs When The Lights Go Out, Keep On Movin’ and Got The Feelin’. Bingo is included, followed by a DJ to take you late into the night. Over-18s only. Doors open 5.30pm; last entry 7.30pm. Call 01270 219450.

Get onboard for a Mother’s Day treat Make Mothering Sunday extra special this year with a two-hour, family-friendly cruise along the River Dee with Chester Boat on 31st March. The Lady Diana will be dressed in her Sunday best as you sail out into the Cheshire

16th March, Martin Roscoe (piano) with Northern Chamber Orchestra, Macclesfield Heritage Centre Northern Chamber Orchestra brings variety to start the spring with Charles Gounod’s Petite Symphonie, Grazyna Bacewicz’s Concerto for Strings and Mozart’s Symphony No 35 ‘Haffner’. Vice president Martin Roscoe plays Schumann’s Piano Concerto, which the composer described as ‘a compromise between a symphony, a concerto and a huge sonata’. 7.30pm. Adults £21, under-18s free.

countryside. Enjoy a glass of prosecco on arrival (squash for the children) followed by a vintage-style tea prepared by King’s Acre Cupcakes. Trips leave at noon and 3pm. Tickets cost £27.50 for adults and £14 for children. www. chesterboat.co.uk

17th March, Look Good Feel Good, Chester Racecourse Sample Cheshire’s finest in health, beauty and fitness, with advice form experts and hair, make-up and skincare demonstrations. 11am-4pm. Admission free.

19th March, Spring Bird Walk, Hare Hill Join birdwatching experts Brian and Alison for an informative two-hour walk through Hare Hill garden and parkland. Learn to identify birdsong, and discover more about spring bird activity. No booking necessary. Children welcome. 1pm. Event is free, but normal admission charges apply.

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 35

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Spice of life at Parr Hall

21st March, Charity Dog Walk, Marbury Country Park, Northwich Take a walk to raise awareness on World Down Syndrome Day. 10am. Call 01606 246171.

23rd March, Moochathon, Hartford Hall, Northwich To celebrate World Down Syndrome Day 2019, Get Up For Down’s is holding its first ever Moochathon, a 21.3-mile circular walk for all the family. 9.30am start at Hartford Hall. £10 signup. www.getupfordowns.co.uk

30th March-7th April, Cheshire Residents’ Festival, Cheshire To mark English Tourism Week, several of Chester’s attractions will be offering free and discounted entry, free tours and other exciting opportunities for local residents to discover more about the county they live in.

30th March, The Roaring 20s, St Mary’s Creative Space, Chester Join Chester Bach Singers as they don their tap shoes, feather boas and pearls to enjoy music from the roaring 1920s. Fats Waller, George Gershwin and Cole Porter appear alongside an invitation to Tea For Two, while context is provided by choral music by Ralph Vaughan Williams and Arnold Bax, as well as Albert Ketelbey’s Bells Across The Meadows. Noël Coward may even appear. 3.30pm. £10.

Rhod Gilbert: Book Of John, 2nd March The multi-award-winning Welsh comedian is back with a brand new live show. In his sixyear break from stand-up, a lot has happened to Rhod – almost all of it bad. And just when he thought he’d hit rock bottom, he met a bloke called John. This show sees Rhod as funny as ever, but like never before: raw, personal and brutally honest. 8pm. Tickets from £27.50. Ben Fogle: Tales From The Wilderness, 7th March The much-loved TV adventurer recounts his thrilling tales from swimming with crocodiles to conquering Mount Everest, from crossing Antarctica to rowing the Atlantic, and from a year on an island in the Outer Hebrides to the world stinging nettle eating championships. 7.30pm. Tickets from £25.

DID YOU KNOW? Jasper Carrot’s real name is Robert Norman Davis

2nd & 3rd April, Red Riding Hood, Norton Priory Museum, Runcorn Fairytale themed family fun craft activities and trails. Can you help find the naughty wolf? Drop-in activities, no need to book. 11am-4pm. All activities included in the normal admission charges (adults £7.95, concessions £6.95, children £5.50, families £22.25).

2nd April–4th July, Abbey tours, Combermere Abbey, Nantwich Groups and individuals are invited to join tours of the historic abbey every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2nd April. Learn about the abbey’s fascinating 900-year journey from monastery to historic house – the characters, personalities and even the ghosts – all led by an expert guide. Pre-booking is essential. Call 01948 662880.

Jasper Carrott’s Stand Up & Rock, 22nd March The legendary comedian returns with a new stand-up show before introducing his musical friends. Jasper will be

Cathedral orchestral work Chester Philharmonic Orchestra performs at Chester Cathedral on 2nd March, playing Rachmaninoff ’s Isle Of The Dead, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Mussorgsky/Ravel’s Pictures At An Exhibition, conducted by David Chatwin. Starts at 7.30pm. Tickets from £9. www.chesterphilorchestra.co.uk

Brick art at Chester Zoo Discover the world’s biggest felines at Chester Zoo’s Lego Big Cats exhibition until 30th April. Get up close to 12 life-sized big cats that have been cleverly crafted using thousands of bricks. There will also be nine other smaller endangered animals made of Lego located around the zoo for you to find. Zoo tickets from £20. www. chesterzoo.org

joined by Bev Bevan, founding member of The Move and ELO, Geoff Turton from the Rockin Berries, and Suzi Woo. 7.30pm. Tickets from £27. Gabrielle, 29th March Pop favourite Gabrielle will be performing songs from her new album Under My Skin, as well as all her signature hits including Out Of Reach, Sunshine and Dreams. 7pm. Tickets from £25. Justin Moorhouse: Northern Joker, 20th & 21st April Justin isn’t certain about anything apart from his uncertainty – Brexit looms, it appears the Cold War is being rebooted and that’s before we begin to worry about what’s happening in America. Closer to home he’s starting to feel redundant: one kid is leaving home, the dog is getting older and doesn’t need much walking, and the youngest kid hits 13 and cancels the family subscription to The Beano. 7.30pm. Tickets from £5. parrhall.culturewarrington.org

Walking around the walls at Lyme Park

Lyme Park near Disley has miles of dry stone walling, all looked after by a team of volunteers. On 20th March and 24th April, you can walk along the walls to find out more about the conservation and restoration work. Meet at the information centre for this hilly, three-mile walk that offers fresh air, exercise and a lesson in dry stone walling. Appropriate footwear and clothing are recommended for the weather and terrain. The walk starts at 10am, returning at noon in time for a drink and a snack at the café and tearooms. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/lyme

36 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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3rd April, Lego Club, Sandbach Library Work as a team to construct your own grand designs at this themed monthly Lego-making session. Children must be accompanied by an adult. 3.30pm-4.30pm. Admission free. To book call 01270 375355.

Songs and laughter at The Storyhouse English Touring Opera: Idomeneo, 16th March ETO present a season of kings and queens in the battle for love, loyalty and power. Returning from the Trojan War and caught in a storm, King Idomeneo promises the raging seas he will sacrifice the first person he meets in return for his safe passage. Cruelly, the first person he encounters is his only son, Idamante. This is an opera that explores royalty, high ideals and deep emotions. Sung in Italian with English subtitles. 7.30pm. Tickets from £20.50. Annie, 25th-30th March The smash-hit production of Annie comes to Chester for one week only, direct from London’s West

End and starring Anita Dobson (EastEnders, Wicked) as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan. Show times vary. Tickets from £20.50. Dara O’Briain: Voice Of Reason, 1st-3rd April Dara is one of the most recognisable faces on British TV, as host of Mock The Week, Stargazing Live and Robot Wars. Catch one of the most charismatic, intelligent, fast-talking and funny live performers working today. 8pm. Tickets from £24.50. Zog, 5th-7th April Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler’s much-loved Zog comes to life in this magical

Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 16th20th April Bill Kenwright’s production of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical continues its record-breaking tour. The UK’s longest running musical is DID YOU packed with songs, KNOW? More than 20,000 including Any Dream Will Do and Close schools and Every Door To Me. amateur groups Show times vary. have staged Tickets from £20.50. Joseph www.storyhouse.com

Feathered friends at Blue Planet

It’s not all about fish at Blue Planet Aquarium in Ellesmere Port – the Dalmation pelicans in Pelican Cove are a popular exhibit with visiting families. The Dalmation pelican is the largest of seven species of pelican. They can grow up to 1.8m in height and have a wingspan of more than 3m when fully grown.

adaptation. Large in size and keen in nature, Zog is eager to win a golden star at Madam Dragon’s school, where dragons learn all the things that dragons need to know. Show times vary. Tickets £16 adults, £14 children.

Their diet consists mainly of fish, including carp, perch, trout and eels, but they have also been known to consume crustaceans, cephalopods, molluscs and amphibians. The International Union For Conservation Of Nature’s status of the Dalmation pelican has recently gone from ‘vulnerable’ to ‘near threatened’. Conservation measures have resulted in a population increase in Europe, with the largest colony of these birds residing in Greece. Blue Planet Aquarium offers 14 feeds and shows daily. Tickets from £17.10. www.blueplanetaquarium.com

Working history at Quarry Bank Explore the experiences of children who worked at Quarry Bank Mill in Wilmslow and discover how children’s rights have changed at the Rights Of The Child exhibition from 6th April. You can also see protest banners created with help from local schools. www.nationaltrust. org.uk/quarrybank

19th April, Spring Foraging, Marbury Country Park, Northwich Marbury’s mixture of open grassland, woodland and brooks makes it the perfect park for foraging. The course starts with a short introduction before a two-and-a-half hour walk around the deer park and the castle grounds, teaching you how to identify the different shoots, plants, flowers and mushrooms. Includes homemade refreshments and a wild lunch. Noon-3.30pm. £45. To book, call 01981 590604.

22nd April, Mixed Golf Open, Carden Park, Chester Head to Carden Park’s championship Nicklaus course for the annual Easter bank holiday golf open. Maximum handicap 24 (men). 36 (women). Tee times 8.35am-9.55am. Entry £22 per couple for members and £44 per couple for nonmembers. To book, call the golf team on 01829 731002.

27th April, The Alsager Craft & Gift Fair, Alsager Civic Enjoy shopping from a wide range of local artisans, crafters, makers and small businesses, all selling items you won’t find on the high street. The Craft & Gift Fair is being supported by family run tearoom The Honey Pot, which will be providing hot and cold drinks, along with various snacks, cakes, pastries and light snacks. 9am-1pm. Free parking and admission For more information, email jayne@jpeventsuk.com.

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Ellesmere Port Water, water everywhere…

The pretty village of Ellesmere Port in Cheshire has been a vital part of the UK’s waterways for centuries and still enjoys the benefits of its riverside setting today refine 12 million tonnes of oil each year, cinema, bowling, Freedome, golf and plenty Stanlow produces a sixth of the of other entertainment options as well. UK’s petrol and employs As well as the draw of countless DID YOU a huge local workforce. shopping opportunities, Ellesmere Port KNOW? Employment has used its waterside location to its The population opportunities were of Ellesmere Port advantage by opening a museum that boosted in 1962 with celebrates all things canal-related – the was 55,715 the arrival of Vauxhall National Waterways Museum, which is in 2011 Motors, which moved into home to the largest canal boat collection a site that was once the in the world and is visited by thousands of home of RAF Hooton Park. Beginning tourists every year. Another popular family with the production of smaller models, The canal is at the heart of Ellesmere’s story the plant quickly became synonymous with the Vauxhall Astra and to this day the s its name suggests, Ellesmere Port is built on the edge of an important town is known as ‘home of the Astra’. navigable route on the banks of the River Mersey where it meets the Ellesmere Canal. Commerce and convenience The canal – built by William Jessop and As Ellesmere Port’s population grew, Thomas Telford as part of an elaborate so did the area’s need for housing. New plan to link the rivers Severn, Mersey and developments appeared around the docks and smaller outlying communities Dee – never quite lived up to expectations when funds failed to materialise. But enough became established suburbs, such as National Waterways Museum work was done to make it a good base for Great and Little Sutton, Hooton, attraction is the Blue Planet Aquarium, canal boats, and throughout the industrial Whitby, Overpool and Rivacre. which opened in 1998 and gives visitors era that infrastructure allowed the area to Needing facilities to match, a thriving thrive as an economy and an employer. town centre was quickly established, and the a unique underwater view of species from rays to crabs and turtles, as well as the To this day, Ellesmere Port enjoys an Port Arcade shopping centre arrived in the largest collection of sharks in Europe. enviable bounty of businesses, serving not 1980s. But the real explosion in commerce only the northwest but much of the UK. came with the arrival of Cheshire Oaks – The town expanded Europe’s first designer THINGS TO SEE AND DO throughout the first outlet and the largest of National Waterways Museum half of the 20th century McArthurGlen’s villages, South Pier Road, Ellesmere Port thanks to the opening boasting 185 shop units on CH65 4FW; canalrivertrust.org.uk of the Manchester Ship a site of three hectares. The Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet & Canal in 1894 and the success of these world-class Coliseum Retail Park addition of the Stanlow shopping facilities attracted Junction 10 of the M53 Oil Refinery in the 1920s the neighbouring Coliseum Blue Planet Aquarium – still the second largest Shopping park too – which Next to Cheshire Oaks, CH65 9LF chemical works in the has an eye-watering array UK. With the capacity to Stanlow Oil Refinery of eateries, a huge multiplex

Images: © National Waterways Museum


40 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Music and mirth at Floral Pavilion out of the zoo and on to the stage in this live Tim Vine: Sunset Milk Idiot, 8th March musical spectacular. 2.30pm and 7pm. Tickets Tim Vine is back on tour, telling lots of silly new from £23 adults and £20 children. jokes, showing off new homemade props, singing some new daft ditties, and all DID YOU We’re Going On A Bear Hunt, 6th & with the appearance of confidence. The KNOW? 7th April Join the intrepid family of quantity won’t let up. This is comedy Avenue Q adventurers and their dog on a quest without a message. 8pm. Tickets £25.50. first opened to find a bear. Expect catchy songs, on Broadway interactive scenes, plenty of adventure Hello Again: The Story Of Neil in 2003 and a few surprises. Ages three-plus. Diamond, 14th March Starring Show times vary. Tickets £13.50. Brooklyn Creed & The Salvation Band, this tribute show is a wonderful Avenue Q, 8th-13th April A laugh-out loud celebration of Neil Diamond’s glittering show that’s had sell-out runs on Broadway, in the 50-year career. 7.30pm. Tickets £25. West End and all across the UK. A musical like no other. Show times vary. Tickets from £24. Madagascar The Musical, 19th-23rd March Join www.floralpavilion.com Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria as they bound

Lots to do at Ness Botanic Gardens Design Your Own Mother’s Day Card, 24th March Design your own personalised Mother’s Day card ready for the big day. And don’t forget to bring mum back to Ness on Mother’s Day itself as all mums go free. Noon3pm. Standard garden admission applies. The Very Hungry Rabbit Easter Trail, 30th March-30th April New for 2019, follow an interactive trail to find what the mischievous rabbit has been up to in the garden. Take

a stroll in gardens and see if you can spot the elusive Easter bunny! Normal admission applies, plus £1 for each trail. Up With The Lark, 13th April Experience nature at its most serene on this special spring walk with the RSPB, followed by a full English breakfast in the café. Expert guides from the RSPB will act as navigators through the beautiful backdrop of Ness Gardens, helping visitors to spot rare species. Bring binoculars. 7am-9am. Tickets cost £16. www.liverpool.ac.uk/ness-gardens

Floury fun at the Wirral Bake Off The Wirral Bake Off returns to Claremont Farm, Birkenhead, on 17th April, pitting some of the area’s best bakers against each other in a culinary contest. You can be part of the audience, helping to decide who should be crowned Wirral’s best baker 2019. The competition takes place upstairs

at the farm from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15.50 and must be booked in advance, and include a drink and several servings of delicious cake. All profits go o Me Again CIC, a charity that supports women who have been diagnosed with cancer. www.claremontfarm.co.uk

Easter boats in Ellesmere Port For the past 41 years, the colourful spectacle of the Easter Boat Gathering at Ellesmere Port has marked the official start of the boating season. The 42nd event, full of boats, music and more, continues this tradition from 19th to 22nd April. www. canalrivertrust.org.uk

8th-10th March, Gordale Craft & Gift Fair, Gordale Garden Centre, Burton Peruse beautiful blooms and gifts at this fair hosted by Creative Crafts. Admission free. 9.30am-5pm, Friday and Saturday; 11am-5pm Sunday.

15th March, Stitch A Garden, Shore Cottage Studio, Thurstaston A gentle introduction to creating your own textile art using a combination of needle-felting and hand-stitching to work on your original design. 10am3pm. £100, including materials, frame, lunch and refreshments. Booking essential. Email studio@ shorecottagestudio.com.

28th March, Wirral Bird Club: Shropshire’s Magnificent Peregrines, Kingsmead School Hall, Hoylake A talk looking at the habitats of peregrines and progress through a typical breeding season. 7.30pm-9pm. £4 on the door. Open to all.

11th April, NT Live: All About Eve, Vue Birkenhead Enjoy the best seats in the house for a live screening of the National Theatre’s All About Eve, starring Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Lily James (Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again), broadcast live from the West End. 7pm.

14th April, Craft & Gift Fair, Floral Pavilion, Wirral More than 50 craft and gift stalls including memorabilia, collectables, jewellery, candles, handbags, pottery, photography and more. 11am-4pm.

18th-21st April, Wirral Beer Festival, Hulme Hall, Port Sunlight Choose from 75 real ales, 100 craft beers, 20 continental and world beers, 50 ciders and 25 gins, plus wine and spirits.

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 43

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Coming to the Festival Drayton Centre


laughter of the 1950s and Misha Glenny: McMafia, 1960s. 3pm. Tickets £17.50. 15th March The journalist and author of McMafia lifts the lid Ivo Graham: Motion Sickness, on organized crime and 29th March The youngest its corrupt political DID YOU winner of the So You networks. 7.30pm. Think You’re Funny KNOW? Tickets £16.50. Award faces the future. McMafia was Those Were made into a BBC 8pm. Tickets £12. The Days, 23rd TV series starring Dunev String March Celebrate James Norton Quartet: Classical the music and

Alpacas aplenty at Telford International Centre

Hordes of alpacas and their owners are expected at the annual British Alpaca Society National Show at Telford International Centre from 23rd to 24th March. This show, one of the biggest alpaca events in

Europe, is open to the public and provides many attractions for everyone with an interest in alpacas. As well as the live judging of 600 animals from more than 100 exhibitors, visitors can enjoy the Fibre Zone competition, with classes for yarn, garments, homeware, toys and crafts, dozens of trade stands, regular displays and talks, and a café. Entry costs £2 per person for the Severn Hospice. basnationalshow.co.uk

2nd March, Makers Market, High Street, Whitchurch Artisan crafts and homemade produce from the local area. First Saturday of every month. 10am-4pm.

Music Series, 7th April Featuring Schubert’s Quartet In A Minor, paired with Shostakovich’s Quartet No8. 3pm. Tickets £10.

Jen Brister: Meaningless, 12th April Join Jen as she clutches at all the straws trying to make sense of it all. Starts 8pm. Tickets £12. www.festivaldraytoncentre.com

Celebrate food!

The Field To Fork Festival at Harper Adams University near Newport on 4th May is a celebration of all things edible, where our food comes from and how it gets to our plates. It promises something for all ages – if you like food, you’ll love it! Entry is free. www.fieldtoforkfestival.com

Artist Ian Phillips is hosting a two-day linocut workshop on 13th and 14th April at the Willow Art Gallery, Oswestry. Ian has been working in lino for more than 25 years and has a lot of experience in coaxing a

7th March, Oswestry School Recital Series: Pelléas Ensemble, Holy Trinity Church, Oswestry Formed at the Guildhall School Of Music & Drama in 2011, the Pelléas Ensemble recently won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award and the 2017 Elias Fawcett Award for Outstanding Chamber Ensemble at the Royal Overseas League competition. 7.30pm. £20 from Rowanthorn.

7th March, Frank Foucault, Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Oswestry Award-winning stand-up comedy. After successfully touring his solo show Shoes around various comedy festivals including Edinburgh Fringe, Frank has decided to come to Oswestry… because he’s a maverick like that. 8.30pm. £10. Call 01691 662196.

Lino course cuts to the chase wonderful print from everyone on his courses. Under Ian’s knowledgeable and sympathetic guidance, over the two days participants will learn how to turn a drawing or ideas into a reduction linocut print. The course, which takes place from 10am to 4pm on the two days, costs £120 per person, and all materials and tools will be provided. For more details, visit www. willowgallery oswestry.org.

2nd-31st March, Our Feathered Friends: Birds In Watercolour, Granary Art Gallery, Weston Park, Shifnal Award-winning artists Christina Hopkinson AGSA and John Horton exhibit together for the first time. Call 01952 852100.

Today’s the day… Until 28th April, you’re in for a big surprise at Shrewsbury Museum’s Bears! exhibition. Meet loveable bears like Winnie the Pooh as well as a scary bear under the stairs. With illustrations from Phillip Pullman, Michael Rosen and more. www. shrewsburymuseum.org.uk

8th-10th March, Circus Funtasia, Legges Way Car Park, Madeley, Telford Circus Funtasia is bigger and better than ever! The phenomenal live show proves that the circus isn’t just for kids. Show times vary. From £9.

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9th March, Managing The Mynd, Carding Mill Valley Pavilion, Church Stretton National Trust area ranger Patrick talks about heathland management. 6pm. £10. To book call 0344 249 1895.

10th March, Antiques, Collectors & Vintage Fair, Shrewsbury Town FC Find something to complement your home, collection or wardrobe. 9am-3.30pm. £2.

16th March, Blindside, Women’s Centre, Ludlow One-eyed storyteller and cancer survivor Stephanie Morin-Robert recounts her life as a feisty seven-year-old who wields her glass-eye as a superpower. 8pm. £10. To book, call 07950 678693.

The Place to be this spring Blake, 14th March The Brit Award winners perform the finest songs from all seven chart-topping albums, featuring songs from musicals, theatre, cinema and classical works. 7.30pm. Tickets £22.

DID YOU KNOW? Giovanni Pernice holds the world record for jive kicks and flicks

Jim Davidson, 15th March Jim returns with a new outrageous show. 7.30pm. Tickets £23.50.

Giovanni Pernice: Dance Is Life, 1st April The Strictly star raises the temperature kin this action-packed production combining his wit and charm, with outstanding music, sensational choreography, and stunning costumes. 8pm. Tickets £30.

Jimmy Buckley, 26th March One of Ireland’s best loved and most respected performers is not only a phenomenal singer but also a hilarious mimic of other stars. 7.30pm. Tickets £22.50.

Hormonal Housewives, 4th April No subject is taboo for Vicki Michelle and the girls – and no thought too private. 7.30pm. Tickets £26.50. www.theplacetelford.com

Celebrating 10 years of awe-inspiring movies

Easter tile drop-in workshop Create your own designs at family drop-in tile decorating workshops at Jackfield Tile Museum from 12th to 26th April. Designs can be as colourful and original as your imagination allows, and the Victorian tube lining technique will be used to decorate the tiles, which is just like icing a cake. Tiles costs £5, plus the museum admission fee of £9.95 for adults and £5.90 for children. The fun and informal sessions will take place Monday to Friday from 10am. Last admission is at 2.30pm. www.ironbridge.org.uk

16th March, Love Letters From Blackpool, Meole Brace Memorial Hall, Shrewsbury This comic theatre piece uses love letters, songs and poetry to answer the questions, ‘What is love?’ and ‘Is Blackpool still lovable?’ 7.30pm. £10. To book, call 01743 235384.

16th March, Newport Music Club: Beethoven In Wales, Cosy Hall, Newport Mary Hofman (violin) and Richard Ormrod (piano) perform all 10 Beethoven violin and piano sonatas in a series of concerts across Wales and Shropshire. 7.30pm. £13 (students £4).

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is celebrating its 10th year by bringing more than 100 adrenaline-packed shows to almost 60 venues, including Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn on 4th April. The tour features new films from the world’s most intrepid film-makers, including This Mountain Life, following Martina and her 60-year-old mother on an epic ski traverse from Vancouver to Alaska, and RJ Ripper, a mesmerising blend of mountain sports and Nepalese culture. www.banff-uk.com

Dancing in the streets at the Big Busk The Big Busk returns to Shrewsbury on 6th April after taking a rest in 2018. A celebration of community, music and talent, the remarkable event sees an abundance of talent descend on the town, bringing a carnival atmosphere. This year sees the return of reggae singer/songwriter Beth Prior fresh from her UK tour, as well as Jazz West Midlands, CoalTrain,

Top Bananas, Nikki Rous, Jayne Carpenter and Shrewsbury Morris Dancers. The original event was organised as a tribute to Ben Bebbington, who was killed in 2012 and would have turned 50 this year. It raises awareness and funds for the Shrewsbury Ark. www.the-bigbusk.co.uk

46 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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“If you want to get away from it all, then RSPB Ynys-hir is the place for you. With stunning views; woodlands awash with bluebells, and plenty of walks teeming with birds and wildlife, you’ll definitely be spoilt for choice. It’s also a great place for little ones to run wild and discover nature. My six year old can’t wait for our next visit.”

Our food is made by real people with produce reared or grown on our own farm using traditional methods that we have tried and tested. As it is made in small batches by hand, we are able to see, smell and taste it so can bring you great tasting real food. Don’t just take our word for it... visit us and you will find a range of products to taste in the shop or from our production counters. Where we can’t make it, we look to source locally which is why you will find that 80% of what we sell comes from Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Powys. Come and share our passion for great tasting local food at our one-of-a-kind food shopping venue. Real food, real people, real taste

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Step into the limelight in Bridgnorth


16th March, Peaky Blinders Evening, Albright Hussey Manor Hotel, Shrewsbury Grab a cap and waistcoat for a Peaky Blinders night with pizza, Peroni and prosecco. A donation will be made to Polly’s London Marathon fundraising campaign, helping raise money for the Leukaemia Care Charity. 7pm1am. £35. Call 01939 290523.

Now brings together a group Jo Harman, 9th March Widely of top-drawer musicians, regarded as one of Europe’s led by singer Sarah Miller finest ever soul/blues-fuelled and keyboard player Aidan voices, Jo remains a genreGoldstraw. 8pm. Tickets £16. defying, independently minded artist of Patrick Monahan, rare credibility. She DID YOU 30th March The recently released KNOW? her second studio The band Coldplay Edinburgh Fringe favourite performs album, People were originally his new stand-up We Become. 8pm. called Pectoralz show, #goals. 7.30pm. Tickets £16. Tickets £13. The Joni Mitchell The Rat Pack Is Back!, 6th Songbook, 16th March April The original Rat Pack This comprehensive survey show celebrates its 21st of Joni’s career by Both Sides

anniversary tour with special guest Charley Toulan as Marilyn Monroe, direct from London’s Leicester Square Theatre, The O2 and a Royal Command Performance. 8pm. Tickets £20. Viva La Coldplay, 27th April The tribue act recreate the anthology of Coldplay, performing more than two hours’ worth of material from 2000’s Parachutes to 2015’s A Head Full Of Dreams to delight both fans and novices alike. 8pm. Tickets £12. www.theatreonthesteps.co.uk

21st March, Mothers’ Day Market, Castle Square, Ludlow A special open-air market featuring a wide range of products sold by over 30 different stall holders.

Harmony flies in from across the pond US choir Northern Harmony bring their music and passion to Wem Town Hall on 13th March, with a large range of harmony songs from different cultures and centuries. Each song is introduced with interesting background information, and then sung with passion. Northern Harmony tour internationally

and their visits to Shropshire through Arts Alive are eagerly anticipated. Tickets cost £11 for adults and £5 for children. Those who want a bit more interaction can join a pre-concert workshop from 6pm for the chance to sing with the choir. For more information and to book tickets, call

It’s all about Eve at KinoKulture

Community cinema KinoKulture in Oswestry presents a live performance of Voices Of Eve by the LADS theatre group on 9th April.

Women from the theatre group bring you laughter and tears, poetry and song in this exquisite two-part evocation of womanhood – Out Of The Land by Polly Bolton and Gill McEvoy, and Fridge Magnet Syndrome by Michael Corbidge. The performance starts at 7.45pm and tickets cost £7.60. www.kinokulture.org.uk.

18th March, Shrewsbury 10k A true town race, with closed roads and a grand start and finish on the high street. Suitable for all abilities, with professional chip timing, medals and technical T-shirts for all competitors.

01939 232299 or visit www.wemtownhall.co.uk.

22nd March, Instructions For American Servicemen In Britain, Silvester Horne Institute, Church Stretton It’s 1942 and a horde of Yankee servicemen has just arrived in England – where the locals speak a strange dialect, boil all their food and talk endlessly about the weather. Enjoy a night of joyous laughter and silliness as a crack team of experts attempt to explain the rules of British life. 7.30pm. £12 adults, £8 children. To book, call 01694 720132.

Hop along to the Easter Grotto Experience the magic of Easter with a visit to the Easter Bunny’s Grotto at British Ironwork Centre near Oswestry. Visits are available from 17th to 19th April and 24th to 26th April between 10am and 2pm. It costs £6.50 per child and booking is essential. For more, visit www. britishiron workcentre. co.uk.

23rd-24th March, Shrewsbury Flea – Antique & Collectors Fair, West Mid Showground, Shrewsbury A fabulous mixture of antiques and collectables, antique furniture, vintage clothing and fabrics, architectural salvage, reclamation and those quirky stylish items to complement your home, with more than 100 traders. 8.30am-3.30pm Saturday, 9am-3pm Sunday. £2.50.

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29th March, A Regular Little Houdini, Alveley Parish Memorial Hall, nr Bridgnorth This play, set in the docklands of South Wales between 1905 and 1913, focuses on a boy obsessed with Harry Houdini. Through magical stories of cyclops, escapism and amazement, the boy conjures up a moving, fantastical slice of history. For ages 10plus. 7.30pm. £10 adults, £6 children. Call 01746 780478.

30th March, Charity Dinner Dance, Shrewsbury Town FC Drinks on arrival followed by a three-course dinner, charity auction and live music, in aid of the Harry Johnson Trust. Evening dress, black tie optional. £50. To book, email danceforthjt@gmail.com.

30th March–30th April, Shropshire Open Gardens, various locations The National Open Garden Scheme has 54 breathtaking private gardens open for charity in Shropshire, including Balmer Cottage, Welshampton on 30th March; Edge Villa, Yockleton on 7th April; The Mount, Bishops Castle on 27th April; and Brownhill House, Ruyton-XI-Towns on 30th April. www.ngs.org.uk

A slice of life at Theatre Severn The Full Monty, 4th-9th March Starring Gary Lucy, Andrew Dunn, Louis Emerick, Joe Gill, Kai Owen and James Redmond. 7.30pm & 2.30pm matinee. Tickets from £28.50. Art, 18th-23rd March One of the most successful plays ever features Nigel Havers, Denis Lawson and Stephen Tompkinson. 7.30pm & 2.30pm matinee. Tickets from £28.50.

1st-29th April, Diana Nuttall presents Mammoths In Shropshire, Lions in Venice, Much Wenlock Guildhall A unique exhibition depicting Shropshire and Venice as you’ve never seen them before. Selected dates throughout April. Call 01952 728242 for details.

4th April, Spring Greens Cookery Course, Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, Craven Arms Discover how to create exciting and nutritious vegetarian and vegan dishes with confidence, using seasonal herbs and fresh spring produce. 10am-2pm. £35 per person. Booking essential. Call 01588 676060.

DID YOU KNOW? Art was originally written in French, and premiered in 1994

Julian Clary: Born to Mince, 26th March Julian bares his soul as never before 7.30pm. Tickets £27.

Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors, 10th-14th April Historical figures come alive on stage. Show times vary. Tickets £16.50 adults, £13.50 children. Menopause The Musical, 23rd-24th April Celebration of women and ‘the Change’. 7.30pm. Tickets from £29. www.theatresevern.co.uk

Pitch perfect at Moor Park

Get on your bike for charity

Notos Quartet bring their talents together for an evening of chamber music at Henderson Hall, Moor Park, near Ludlow, on 30th March. Sindri Lederer (violin), Andrea Burger (viola), Philip Graham (cello) and Antonia Köster (piano) deliver a concert of music by Mozart, Françaix and Schumann. From 7.30pm to 9.30pm. Tickets cost £18, students £6. www.ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk

Celebrity supporters Carl Fogarty and Steve Parrish will be taking part in the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity Bike4Life Ride Out on 28th April. One of the biggest biker events in the country, the ride out attracts more than 12,000 bikers. Starting at Meole Brace, Shrewsbury, it finishes 23 miles away at RAF Cosford, home of the Bike4Life Festival. Crowds of people line the route to welcome the bikers to the festival, where you’ll be entertained by live bands, bike shows, trade stands and a food festival. The ride starts at Meole Brace Park & Ride at 11.30am. Registration costs £10. For more details visit www.bike4lifefest.com.

Plant fair at Alderford Lake

Weekend to celebrate song

The Plant Hunters’ Fair visits picturesque Alderford Lake near Whitchurch on 17th March from 10am to 4pm. The day offers the chance to view many highly respected specialist nurseries’ ranges of perennials, shrubs, trees, herbs, rare species and old heritage varieties with gardening experts on hand to give you the benefit of their experience. Entry to the fair is free and there is also free parking available. You can also take a lakeside walk (50p charge), then indulge in a delicious breakfast, lunch or afternoon tea from the lakeside café. For full details of the nurseries attending, please go to www.planthuntersfairs.co.uk.

Classical music fans should not miss Ludlow English Song Weekend from 5th to 7th April. The weekend is a unique celebration of poetry, music, culture, and ideas with events taking place at Ludlow Assembly Rooms and St Laurence’s Church. Special guests include acclaimed singers, composers, authors, musicians and presenters, including British soprano Susan Bullock CBE. See www. ludlowenglishsong weekend.com for the programme. Visit www. ludlowassemblyrooms. co.uk for tickets

50 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Cartoon festival is a big draw in Shrewsbury Shrewsbury Cartoon Festival features exhibitions of cartoon art, a cartoon trail around town throughout April, and a day of cartooning activity, Cartoonists Live, on 27th April. Each year the Festival adopts a theme for cartoonists to interpret, the 2019 theme will be revealed closer to the event. The result is a lot of original cartoons showing a lot of different styles and humour gathered together in one place. The main event is a selling exhibition of around 90 cartoons at Bear Steps Gallery. During Cartoonists Live, around 40 professional cartoonists from around the UK and overseas will be set loose on Shrewsbury to draw caricatures and cartoons for the public, with the main activity centering on the Square. The Cartoonists Live


6th April, Cantiones Chamber Choir, St Oswald’s Parish Church, Oswestry Featuring Antonín Dvořák’s Mass In D, Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cantata No.4, Claudio Monteverdi’s Beatus Vir and Samuel Barber’s Agnus Dei. Noon. £10, from Rowanthorn.

6th April, Honda Gold Wing light parade, Shrewsbury Riders and their amazing bikes will create a static display from noon to 4pm in Quarry Park. You can then see the light parade travelling through town after 8.15pm. The route will take them from Quarry to English Bridge, Wyle Cop, High Street, Barker Street, Smithfield Road, Castle Street, St Mary’s and Dogpole. In aid of Shropshire Autism Hub.

weekend offers the public the chance to see artists at work and the chance to have a go themselves. Cartoonists draw giant cartoons, create instant exhibitions, lead workshops and draw free caricatures. Most activities are free.

Rock on at Shrewsbury Fake Festival

Treats for all the family at Park Hall Farm

Fake Festival returns to Shrewsbury on 28th April, bringing a great line-up of ‘fake’ bands to Quarry Park. This year’s festival promises to be extra special, with six prolevel fake bands who are so good they’re almost the real deal. It will be another unmissable local party, so come join the music inside the famous giant marquee. The festival takes place from noon to 11pm. For details, visit www.fakefestivals.co.uk.

Looking for an eggs-citing day out for the kids? Park Hall Farm, near Oswestry, is full of surprises. From 8th to 26th April there are Crazy Egg Hunts in the hay, a Detective Hunt and Easter crafts. There are also lots of gorgeous lambs awaiting your visit – why not try bottle-feeding them?! There’s a new outdoor climbing frame and indoor playbarns too, with food is available in the tearooms. www.parkhallfarm.co.uk

7th April, Drifters National Open Day, Blackwater Meadow Marina, Ellesmere Try canal boating for free! Drifters Waterway Holidays and the Canal & River Trust are offering people the chance to try canal boating at no cost at 19 locations across England and Wales, including Blackwater Meadow Marina with ABC Boat Hire. The taster sessions will include free short trips on skippered narrowboats, as well as boat tours and holiday discounts. Suitable for people of all ages and no advanced booking is required. 11am-4pm. For details, call 01691 624391.

Intimate folk at Bridgnorth’s Castle Hall Live Arts at Much Wenlock The Wenlock Olympian Society Live Arts Festival takes place on 9th to 10th and 16th to 17th March. The 40th festival includes instrumental, vocal, dance and speech and drama (including creative writing) classes. Entry to the classes is open to girls and boys of school age, from reception to year 13, from Shropshire, Telford and further afield. The instrumental classes will be held in Holy Trinity DID YOU Church, Much Wenlock, KNOW? Performing arts with the rest taking place at were part of the William Brookes School. For more information, original Olympic visit www.wenlockGames olympian-society.org.uk.

Folk group Jon Boden & The Remnant Strings play the Castle Hall in Bridgnorth on 3rd March. Best known as lead singer of folk big band Bellowhead, Jon Boden has also developed his own songwriting on the albums Songs From the Floodplain and Afterglow. Usually touring as the 11-piece Jon Boden & The Remnant Kings, this smaller line-up offers a more intimate version of the material. Expect music from Jon’s solo albums and from across his career. Tickets cost £21.50 for adults, and £15 for under-18s. www.ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk

9th April, Exhibition On Screen: Rembrandt, Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury This film marks the 350th anniversary of Rembrandt’s death, and explores a major show of the artist’s works at the National Gallery and Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt’s life story is interwoven throughout, alongside behindthe-scenes preparations at the exhibition Noon. £12.

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14th April, Hardy Plant Society Shropshire Group Annual Plant Fair, Bayston Hill Memorial Hall, Shrewsbury This fair includes both invited nurseries and stalls devoted to members’ plants, and provides an excellent opportunity for members of the public to obtain expert advice and purchase plants that are ’something special’. This is an indoor event with light refreshments served throughout the day. Noon-3pm. Admission free.

17th April, Charity Lunch & Fashion Show, The Courtyard, Maesbrook, Oswestry Fashion by Out Of Town and Fab Feet, Oswestry. In aide of Macmillan Cancer Support and RJAH Orthopaedic Hospital League of Friends. Noon. £30. To book call 07718 540000.

Musical education with Shropshire Music Trust Tickets £15 adults, £7.50 for 25s and under, The Versatility Serenaders, 24th March, DID YOU £1 for 18s and under. Blackbourne Theatre, Prestfelde KNOW? School, Shrewsbury The Serenaders Hebrides Ensemble, 26th April, The bring to life some of the most The Music Hall Gateway, Shrewsbury The chamber entertaining and neglected music Strike of 1907 music collective offer a fascinating from the early 20th century, from lasted almost glimpse of Claude Debussy and the Edwardian recording studio and two weeks Leonard Bernstein at the beginning of parlour to concert hall and dance hall. their careers, Nigel Osborne’s intriguing Pioneering the authentic performance tale of travel to Burma and Antonin Dvorák’s movement of this musical epoch, the nostalgic masterpiece. 7.30pm. Tickets £16 adults, Versatility Serenaders take their audience on £8 for 25s and under, free for 18s and under. a journey through a variety of genres, paying www.shropshiremusictrust.co.uk entertaining tribute to Edwardian music. 3pm.

Fly into RAF Cosford for Easter trail RAF Cosford Museum springs into Easter with an exciting Animal Easter Trail around the museum hangars from 13th to 28th April. Help the Easter Bunny find all his animal friends and discover why they’re hiding under the aircraft. www.rafmuseum.org.uk

19th-20th April, Good Friday Family Day & Artisan Market, Bailey Head, Oswestry Expect of family activities, with games, rides, entertainment, face painting and an Easter hunt with prizes on Good Friday, followed by hand-picked Shropshirebased food and craft producers on Easter Saturday. 9am-3pm.

26th April, Kali, Clungunford Parish Hall, nr Craven Arms Join storyteller Emily Hennessey and sitar player extraordinaire Sheema Mukherjee for a white-knuckled tuc-tuc ride through sun-kissed palaces, fiend-infested forests and every cacophonous, saffronscented marketplace in between. 7.30pm. £10 adults, £5 children. Call 01588 660152.

27th April, Princess Afternoon Tea Party, The Peach Tree, Shrewsbury Meet Belle, Snow White and Moana and enjoy a afternoon tea. Fun for all the ‘royal’ family. £14.50. Booking essential. Call 01743 355055.

Happy Mondays at Eyton Races Enjoy the excitement of steeplechasing at one of the UK’s leading pointto-point courses on 22nd April and 6th May. Eyton Races is a great day out, and also has a public bar, Hound Parade, shopping opportunities and some of the best views in Shropshire. Gates open 11am. Admission is £10 per person; under-16s free. www.eyton-races.com

Get out and about for annual college fundraiser Derwen College near Oswestry is gearing up for one of its biggest fundraising events, the annual Derwen sponsored walk, on 31st March. The 10k walk, which starts and finishes at the college in Gobowen, is popular with students and their families as well as the local community. And for the first time this year, there will be the option to run the 10k route. Participants are asked to arrive at 10.30am, with the event starting at 11am. All walkers and runners will receive a complimentary soup and hot drink on finishing, and any mums taking part in the Mothering Sunday event will be rewarded with a free gift. To register, volunteer or sponsor a student visit www.derwen.ac.uk, email bookings@ derwen.ac.uk or call 01691 661234.

Weave a gift for Mum Make an open-sided basket to display fresh flowers at Dudmaston, near Bridgnorth, on 17th March. Join the talented Wild Craftist in the Garden Room from 1pm to 4pm. The workshop costs £40, and National Trust admission charges apply. Book at www.wildcraftist.nutickets.com. For events at Dudmaston Hall, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

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

27th February to 3rd March Over 300 talented young performers compete in this respected competition aimed at encouraging musical development. There are a huge number of classes using various instruments. The performances are free to watch and are held in local venues concluding with the Sunday final at Christchurch.

Oswestry Produce Market

20th April - 9am until 3pm Handpicked Shropshire based food and craft producers selling the best the County has to offer in the town centre.

WHAT’S ON in MAR & APR 19 Anton Benson Productions presents Beauty & the Beast Easter Pantomine Join the star-studded cast for an Easter

Panto extravaganza at Whitchurch Civic Centre on Wednesday 17th April 2019 starring Kerry Katona and Basil Brush.

Matinee show at 2pm, evening performance 6pm. Tel: 01948 665761. Ticket prices start from £11.00

Spring Fair Craft Market

Good Friday Family Day

19th April – 9am until 3pm Lots of family activities on the Bailey Head with stalls, games, rides, entertainment, face painting and Easter Hunt etc. Free prizes.

Neil Sands Productions presents Sentimental Journey Do It For David Event

11th May – Bailey Head Market event to promote the reduction of single use plastics and alternatives for a healthier environment. For further information call 01691 680222 or visit: www.oswestry-tc.gov.uk

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A brand new matinee show for 2019 with music from the 40s, 50s, 60s & 70s. Civic Centre, Fri 22nd March from 2pm

Whitchurch Civic Centre 10am – 2pm on Saturday 7th April – a celebration of Easter and Springtime

Whitchurch Makers Market First Saturday of every month throughout Whitchurch Town Centre. A host of stalls with a huge variety of locally produced goods.

All tickets available from https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/whitchurch-civic-centre or call the venue direct: 01948 665761 For more information about Whitchurch, Shropshire and our great town, What’s On and more, visit www.whitchurch.info

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Live life to the full

Specialist orthopaedic treatments covering a range of problems including joint replacement, upper limb surgery (shoulder, elbow and hand), spinal surgery, and lower limb surgery (hip, knee, foot and ankle) and sports injuries. Tel: 01691 404307 Email: Ludlow.Unit@rjah.nhs.uk www.rjah.nhs.uk/private

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Easter trail with a difference

Find your nearest Plant Hunters’ Fair 19th April, Whittington Castle A great opportunity to get out on Good Friday at the start of the country’s biggest gardening weekend. Specialist nurseries will bring a great range of perennials, shrubs, herbs, rare species and old heritage varieties to get your gardening season off to a great start. 10am-4pm. Free entry (£1 to park). 21st & 22nd April, The Dorothy Clive Garden, Willoughbridge, Market Drayton One of the best-loved garden events in the area woos visitors with a winning line-up of the best nurseries around, a charming and beautiful garden, and a truly relaxing and inviting atmosphere, in aid of Willoughbridge Garden Trust. 10am-5pm. £4.

27th April, Battlefield 1403, Shrewsbury As well as perusing the plants of many top nurseries, you can visit Battlefield 1403’s excellent farm shop, deli and Sparrow’s Café, all of which are a celebration of low food miles and fresh seasonal products with full traceability. 9.30am-4pm. Free entry. 5th & 6th May, Weston Park, Westonunder-Lizard, nr Shifnal This award-winning stately home, set in 1,000 acres of Capability Brown parkland, offers miles of woodland walks, lakes and formal gardens to explore. Children can let off steam in the Woodland Adventure Playground. 10am-5pm. £3. www.planthuntersfairs.co.uk

Festival is pure kids’ play

Make a pit stop at Enginuity You can meet a racing driver, get up close to a Formula 3 car and drive a virtual car at Pit Stop at Enginuity, Coalbrookdale, from 9th to 10th March. The day will be packed with fun and hands-on activities for visitors of all ages to enjoy, including having a go at changing a wheel on the F3 car. Ironbridge Gorge Museums have teamed up with the University of Wolverhampton Race team to stage the interactive event. As well as a Formula 3 Renault car, university students will be showcasing two Morgan cars and a Formula Student race car. In the Enginuity Theatre you can listen to Formula 3 driver Shane Kelly talk about his exciting career, while race engineer Matt Fenton will explain what’s needed to get a car race ready. You can also meet the School of Engineering students and hear about their choice of career. Tickets can be booked online or bought at the gate, and cost £7 for adults and £5 for children. Visit www.ironbridge.org.uk for further details.

Shropshire Kids Fest, which takes place on 11th and 12th May, promises to deliver everything a child could want – all in one place. There will be a huge water slide, the foamiest foam parties, a mega sports zone, massive inflatables, have-a-go music tent, Zorb balls, gokarts, circus tent, craft activities and more at the two-day festival in Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park. Don’t worry if your youngster is a little on the small side – there’s also an under-fives area with pint-size castles so they can have just as much fun as everyone else. Explorers Cookery will also be on hand to oversee Fun With Baking sessions throughout the weekend. Online tickets cost £4 for adults and £15 for children. www.shropshirekidsfest.co.uk

The Easter egg hunt at Attingham Park near Shrewsbury, which takes place on 13th and 14th, and 19th to 22nd April, has some creepy-crawly extras this year. You can discover what makes Attingham a Site of Special Scientific Interest (a SSSI) for bugs and beetles and follow a Cadbury Easter Egg Hunt trail to find out about our native minibeasts. £2.50 per trail. Usual National Trust admission charges apply. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ attingham-park

Fun at the Follies

Come along to the Follies at Hawkstone Park, near Shrewsbury, on 16th and 17th March and have a 4×4 taster experience for up to six people for only £10 per vehicle. Normal admission charges also apply. The sessions are subject to availability; email caroline. talbot@hawkstone.co.uk. If you’re looking for something a bit more sedate, why not treat your mum to lunch in Hawkstone’s stunning 1792 Bar & Grill for Morhther’ Day on 31st March, with a special offer of two courses for £20 per person or three courses for £25. And on 5th April, Hawstone is celebrating Tom Jones’s incredible career with A Night With Tom Jones, starring Daniel Chettoe. Tickets, including a three-course dinner, tribute show and disco, cost £29.95 poer person. To book either, call 01948 841769 or visit www. hawkstoneparkfollies.co.uk. March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 57

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Peter Andre, New Alexandra Theatre, 7th March It has been 25 years since Peter Andre burst on to the Australian music scene, and now the global media star is back with a 25-date tour. ‘This tour has been a long time in the making and I can’t wait to get back out on stage,’ says Andre.

The Magic Flute, Birmingham Hippodrome, 7th & 9th March The Welsh National Opera’s irresistible production transports you to a dream world where the mysterious Queen of the Night coaxes Tamino to rescue her beautiful daughter Pamina from the grip of the evil enchanter Sarastro.

Crufts, Birmingham NEC, 7th-10th March The greatest dog show in the world is back! Get your tickets now to Crufts 2019 for an unforgettable day out with thousands of dogs. Watch more than 22,000 dogs compete for the world famous title of Crufts Best In Show.


Shakin’ Stevens, St David’s Hall, 3rd March The platinum-selling entertainer and performer with four number ones to his name will be joined by his band to perform fan favourites, surprises and, of course, his much-loved hits including Oh Julie, Green Door and This Ole House.

Blue Planet II Live In Concert, Motorpoint Arena, 14th March See the wonders and mysteries of the planet’s oceans on a 200m2 4K ultra-HD LED screen, accompanied by the series’ original music performed live by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Macbeth, Wales Millennium Centre, 19th-23rd March The National Theatre, creators of War Horse and The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, bring this epic and visually daring production of Shakespeare’s most intense tragedy on a tour immediately following its sold-out run in London.


Gymnastics British Championships 2019, M&S Arena, 14th–17th March Are you ready to be wowed by the strength, power and amazing skills of Britain’s best gymnasts? Watch Olympic, Commonwealth and European stars battle it out for the prestigious British titles.

Kinky Boots, Empire Theatre, 26th March-6th April Charlie Price is struggling to continue the family business. With the shoe factory’s future hanging in the balance, help arrives in the spectacular form of Lola – a fabulous performer in need of some sturdy new stilettos.

Around the World in 80 Days, Playhouse Theatre, 17th-20th April The mysterious and fabulously wealthy Phileas Fogg wagers his life’s fortune that he can circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days. Join him and his loyal valet Passepartout in a race against the clock.



An Audience With Simon Reeve, Manchester Opera House, 7th April Hear the journalist recount tales from more than 15 years spent travelling to the most remote places on the planet, being chased by pirates, hounded by the Mafia and bombed by Colombian barons.

Ghost: The Musical, Palace Theatre, 16th-20th April The movie Ghost, starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg, was the highest-grossing film of 1990 and won an Oscar for screenwriter Bruce Joel Rubin, who has adapted his screenplay for this musical.

Take That, Manchester Arena, 22nd23rd & 25th-27th April This year marks Take That’s 30th anniversary in the music business. To celebrate this incredible milestone, their latest tour will see them performing all their much loved greatest hits live. They will be joined by special guest Rick Astley.

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Discover what Shire’s team thought of the concerts, live events and theatre they’ve seen over the past couple of months at local venues LIVERPOOL INTERNATIONAL HORSE SHOW, LIVERPOOL ECHO ARENA

It was a welcome decision by the organisers of this horsey highlight to return to Liverpool after the car park fire that broke out during last year’s show and destroyed 1,400 vehicles. It was great to see the amazing animals and riders back in the arena, and the crowd were delighted to show their support. The show itself was packed with excitement and entertainment – and not just for show-jumping fans, although that was definitely

the highlight. Working their way through several classes and into nail-biting jump-offs, contestants from all over the world battled it out with some stunning performances. The equine excitement was broken up with various shows, including freestyle motorcross and the Phoenix stunt riders, who combined horse riding with flame throwing. The Shetland Pony Grand National was a particular favourite with youngsters, and the Ride & Drive competition – with riders doing a round of jumps on horseback and then clearing cones in a car – was an interesting addition. The only drawback was the constant commentary, which was one long streaming advert for a vehicle manufacturer, which bordered on the moronic at times. But overall this was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and one we hope comes back to the arena for years to come. KS

‘Let life be filled with joy’, this was a grippingly acted drama. Verdi’s sublime score and the hugely expressive voices of the leads lifted Just when I thought the it to soaring heights. entertainment offer in Market Albanian soprano Ermonela Drayton couldn’t get any better, the Festival Centre has Jaho, playing the Parisian made a huge investment in courtesan, gave us unbridled strength and harrowing state-of-the-art lighting and weakness. She sang sound technology. so many high notes There could have been no better test with a sustained ‘The Festival than a performance softness that let Centre has you hear your own of La Traviata made a huge heart thumping. streamed live investment in from the Royal Charles state-of-theOpera House. Castronovo, as art lighting The experience her lover Alfredo, and sound brought backbone surpassed technology’ to their exquisite my wildest expectations. duets, then melted into mellowness. From our first Plácido Domingo also won sight of a solitary, morose the audience’s affection Violetta, crouched in front of the yet-to-open curtain, to the as Alfredo’s father, whose manipulative wrath turned to sordid bedroom in which she profound regret as he finally breathed her tubercular last, hugged the dying Violetta ‘like via opulent salon scenes in which the chorus declaimed a daughter’. JH


KINKY BOOTS, VENUE CYMRU This musical, fresh from the West End, was full of promise, with a slick stage show, top acting talent, great production team and musical score by none other than Cyndi Lauper. And when it arrived in Llandudno, it managed to deliver on pretty much all fronts. Having won every major best musical award going, including the 2016 Olivier Award for Best New Musical, it was no surprise it played to a packed house, but every line and every tune was delivered with the gusto to reach all corners as the audience were taken along for a whirlwind ride from the factory floor of Northampton to the glamorous catwalks of Milan! The cast were strong, with some hilarious smaller cameo roles as well as impressive leads, but the stand-out performance was


the truly excellent Kayi Ushe strutting his stuff as drag queen Lola. With enough sass and swagger to engage audiences young, old, male female and all those yet to make their minds up (as the line repeated throughout goes), his performance definitely stole the show. There were times when the script bordered on the schmaltzy, but overall it was sexy, sassy and sure to leave you feeling fabulous. KS

This year’s pantomime at Venue Cymru was a great, fun show, packed with something for everyone and starring The Wanted’s Tom Parker. Unfortunately, Tom was taken ill on the night we attended, so his part was played by Llandudno-grown talent Chris Bewsher, who did a fantastic job and was applauded by the whole cast at the final curtain. Our favourite characters were the Ugly Sisters, played by Bobby Delaney and Stephen McGlynn, who had the adults in stitches. Their outfits were fantastic and they interacted well with the audience. The songs and music – including hits from The Wanted, of course – were well chosen, and the choreography was great fun. You can see why the pantomimes at Venue Cymru are so popular – we look forward to seeing what they will be putting on next year. DB

IfIf you a show you have have a in Wales and the show happening Borders, anywherewe in can Wales send a reviewer and the Borders,–we and can can your send show a reviewer appear under thecan – and your show spotlight on these appear under the pages too! spotlight onEmail thesethe details to editorial@ pages too! Email shiremagazine.co.uk. details to editorial@ We look forward to shiremagazine.co.uk hearing from you!

60 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Get set for gardens… Now is the perfect time to get outside and appreciate the wonderful gardens all around us as they burst back into life


e are truly spoilt in our region by the number of formal, informal, traditional and unusual gardens that are lovingly tended and nurtured throughout the year for our benefit. Many are open to the public, either to fund their upkeep, to raise money for charity or just out of the benevolence and pride of their owners. Many local estates house rare and unusual species that were imported during Victorian times, making a garden day out the botanical equivalent of an exotic zoo visit. But you don’t have to be green-fingered to appreciate all they have to offer. Here are five alternative things to look for.

Explore orchards

3. Top topiary

1. Be a-maze-d

It’s claimed the art of trimming shrubs and trees into elaborate shapes was first introduced by the Romans and later encouraged by the Victorians. Whoever first took their secateurs to the conifers must be applauded as today we can admire many awe-inspiring creations.

If you’re out and about with children – who, let’s face it, are likely to lose interest in the plants – it’s always worth finding a garden that also has a maze. Challenge them to get into it and – more importantly – out again!

A highlight for many visitors – especially those less impressed by delicate blooms – is a traditional kitchen garden, many of which still supply food to their estates. Delight in the symmetrical layouts, admire the perfect pruning and marvel at the dedication to seedling sowing!

2. What’s in a name?

Rose gardens are a highlight of many estates. The traditional flower is tricky to tend but when well cared for produces an array of colours and fragrances that is one of horticulture’s most stunning displays.

GARDEN GREATS We round up the best horticultural day trips in the Shire region

North Wales

Bodnant Garden, Colwyn Bay Perched above the River Conwy, with views across the valley to the Snowdonia National Park. Bodrhyddan Garden, nr Rhuddlan Gorgeous gardens can be found on the estate that has been home to the Conwy family since the early 15th century.

4. Kitchen corner

Bodysgallen Hall, nr Llandudno Stunning, historic gardens. Chirk Castle Gardens, nr Wrexham The gardens at Chirk Castle were created from William Emes’ designs from the 18th century. The Dingle Garden, Powys Part formal garden, part

woodland with its own lake, this garden is a stunning yet serene place to visit. Erddig, nr Wrexham A unique family home with truly great gardens. The Garden House, Wrexham Five acres overlooking the river Dee on the Shropshire border.

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and go! Pen-y-Coed

Big Wood

Helmeth Hill

Feeling blue? A bluebell wood in bloom is one of the UK’s great seasonal highlights, and our friends at the Woodland Trust have hundreds you can visit for free to put a spring in your step


5. Animal magic

Younger visitors in particular may prefer a garden with wildlife to admire. Some estates have duck ponds that are home to rare and unusual breeds, while others have petting farms. Go to a water garden where the fish can be fed, or roam the grounds keeping your eyes and ears peeled for a resident peacock.

carpet of native bluebells is a great indicator of ancient woodland, one of the UK’s most precious habitats, covering just two per cent of the country. ‘Bluebell season, between April and May, is a beautiful time to visit out woods and see one of the nation’s stunning spectacles,’ says the Andy Bond from the Woodland Trust. This year, the trust is urging people to join its Bluebell Watch by letting it know where and when they see bluebells. This will help it understand the type of bluebells present in the UK. You can find your nearest wood at www.woodlandtrust. org.uk/visiting-woods. Such habitats are home to a delicate array of plants and animals, so the Woodland Trust asks that visitors to bluebell woods

stick to marked trails and avoid trampling the plants.

Shire showstoppers

Pen-y-Coed, Penmaenmawr, Conwy This attractive wood offers a mix of ancient semi-natural woodland with pockets of seasonal flowers such as bluebell and anemone, a conifer plantation that is gradually being replaced with broadleaves, archaeological features and lovely walks.

Big Wood, Runcorn, Cheshire Once part of the Norton Priory estate, the wood was then owned by the Brooke family, who created a more formal landscaped pleasure garden with a surfaced path, pond, ha-ha ditch and wall. DID YOU Helmeth Hill, They also planted a KNOW? Church Stretton, variety of ornamental Native bluebells Shropshire species, including have white or The ancient monkey puzzle cream-coloured woodland on and sugar maple. pollen Helmeth Hill has a The wood is circular path visitors can predominately broadleaf follow to explore a wealth of with oak, birch, willow, rowan ancient woodland species, and cherry, and it’s home to including small-leaved lime, a variety of wildlife including toothwort and wood sorrel. birds, grey squirrels and foxes. In the spring, areas are It harbours a beautiful array carpeted with bluebells. of bluebells in season.

Gregynog, Powys More than just fine gardens, Gregynog is renowned for its links with music, the arts and hospitality.

by Sir Clough WilliamEllis, who also created Portmerion, with magnificent views of the mountains.

Plas-yn-Rhiw, Pwllheli A pretty one-acre garden that is nestled at the foot of Mynydd Rhiw.

Powis Castle & Garden The famous 17th-century garden at Powis Castle was based on designs by William Winde.

Penrhyn Castle & Garden, nr Bangor Set against the Menai Strait and Snowdonia.

Plas Newydd, Anglesey Based on a scheme by landscape designer Humphry Repton, the garden is situated above the Menai Straits and has stunning views of Snowdonia.

Portmeirion Gardens Exploiting the mild climate has allowed the planting of exotic species, which means these gardens have much in common with Cornish gardens.


Plas Brondanw, Llanfrothen Edwardian garden created

Dorothy Clive Garden, nr Market Drayton Intimate and informal garden with lovely views over the Shropshire hills.

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Firm floral favourites Some gardens are legendary in horticultural circles and deserve their place at the top of lists for all garden lovers. Thanks to the National Trust, they are lovingly tended, beautifully presented and open to the public

Visit the kitchen garden

Cheshire’s best Tatton Park

The former head gardener’s cottage has been transformed into a beautiful tea room. Nestled in the Victorian walled gardens, it’s the perfect spot for a

relaxing lunch. Other highlights include a 19th-century fernery, a well-stocked kitchen garden and an impressive witch hazel in the Tower Garden.

Japanese Garden

Dudmaston, Bridgnorth Delightful gardens that are a mass of colour in the spring.

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

Adlington Hall & Gardens, nr Macclesfield Home to the same family for over 600 years.


Arley Hall & Garden, nr Northwich The gardens at date from the 1700s.

The Dower House Garden, Bridgnorth A 1.5-acre site within the grounds of Morville Hall. Hodnet Hall Gardens, Market Drayton Sixty acres

of woodland with collections of magnolias, camellias, azaleas, rhododendrons and great for early spring displays, including bluebells. Weston Park, Weston-underLizard, Shifnal A great example of an 18th-century landscape garden, where Capability Brown once worked.

Pictures: copyright National Trust

to the public. The opulently decorated early 19th-century With a stunning historical mansion provides a fine setting estate, neo-classical mansion, for the Egerton family’s 50 acres of landscaped gardens, extensive collections, and the 1,000 acres of deer park, a rare breeds farm and medieval old Victorian grandeur extends hall, there’s something into the garden, with its glasshouses, for everyone at Tatton. formal, Italian and The gardens in ‘Tatton is one Japanese gardens. Knutsford form part of the most of the estate that was The Japanese complete the property of the Garden is of particular historic interest. It was almost Egerton family for estates open to the public’ certainly the result nearly 400 years until of Alan de Tatton’s it was bequeathed visit to the Angloto the National Trust in 1958. It is Japanese Exhibition now financed and maintained in White City, London, in 1910, and is now rated as the by Cheshire East Council. Tatton is one of the most one of the finest examples of a Japanese garden in Europe. complete historic estates open

Abbeywood Gardens, nr Northwich The Rowlinson family has lived at Abbeywood since 1987 and made many improvements and additions to the gardens.

Bluebell Cottage Garden, nr Dutton Quiet two-acre garden packed with plants.

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Top in Shropshire Dudmaston

The incredibly well-preserved and cherished Dudmaston Hall sits enchanting wooded parkland and sweeping gardens hidden in the secluded Shropshire countryside. A much-loved property for over 875 years, Dudmaston is the home of Mr and Mrs Mark Hamilton-Russell, and you’ll find the family rooms scattered with photos and evidence of everyday life. But it’s outside that the estate really comes into its own, providing visitors with amazing vistas and tranquillity. The orchard is the perfect place for the children to let off steam, and you can get close to nature at Big Pool and on Dingle walk. The wider estate also has extensive walking routes for year-round enjoyment. The Dudmaston estate covers 3,000 acres of park and woodland, including the hall, four tenanted farms and the tiny village of Quatt. There are plenty of waymarked paths and trails to allow you to explore. As well as the ancient woodland, productive conifer

plantations and brimming pools, Dudmaston is a large working estate and is always busy with farming events and seasonal activities. There are many walking routes that cover hectares of the estate, and a meander through the

Stunning Erddig

Welsh wonder

Surprises await you

Dingle is certainly worth doing. The property produces a series of trails to make sure you get the most out of your garden visit, and of course the Shepherd’s Hut tea rooms are perfect for much-needed refreshments.

There’s plenty to see on the 3,000-acre estate

Capesthorne Hall Garden, Siddington Surrounding the hall of the same name, featuring woodland, parkland and lakes. Cholmondeley Castle Gardens, nr Malpas One of Cheshire’s Gardens of Distinction. Dunham Massey, Altrincham Lovely parkland and formal

gardens surrounding the early Georgian house. Hare Hill Gardens, nr Macclesfield A woodland garden with an historic walled garden at its heart. The Lovell Quinta Arboretum, Congleton A 28-acre arboretum created by Sir Bernard Lovell.

First to arrive are snowdrops, quickly followed by daffodils. At this time of year, the real treat are the tulips and the delicate snake’s head fritillary that arrive around Easter. The chequered native wildflower Fritillaria meleagris, with its delicate nodding pink-andpurple or white flower heads, is always worth a closer look. The orchards of fruit trees, which featured in Joshua Perfect for a spring walk Edisbury’s original garden plans for the historic hall, are also of interest throughout spring. More Erddig than 180 different varieties of The Erddig estate near apple are grown here, and the Wrexham is synonymous with delicate fruit blossom is trained days out in north Wales and along the garden walls and has something to offer visitors throughout the orchard, paving of every age. There’s a packed the way for thousands of bold calendar of special events, tulips on display in the Victorian walking tours, evening activites, parterre bedding scheme. group meetings, running races Erddig has two bedding and more but – ignoring for schemes – spring and summer. now the stunning house and In May, the cascading it’s incredible historic DID YOU Himalayan clematis collections – if a KNOW? tumbles from Wolf ’s relaxing wander You can explore Den into the Rose round some of north the earthworks Garden. Head Wales’s most beautiful of a motte and bailey castle into the den in late grounds is what you’re at Erddig spring and you’ll after, then Erddig is a also find a carpet of perfect day out for you. white flowering wild garlic. The planting schemes and Later into the summer, specimens on view in Erddig’s rare and unusual orchids 13.5-acre walled garden are peep into view along the truly amazing, starting from banks of the canal. the very first signs of spring. Lyme Park, nr Stockport Set at the foot of the Pennine Hills and famous for its deer herd.

Rode Hall, Scholar Green A Repton landscape surrounds the 18th-century house.

Ness Botanic Gardens, Wirral One of the finest gardens in north England.

Stonyford Cottage Gardens, Cuddington Created from a wetland area on the edge of Delamere Forest.

Norton Priory and Gardens, Runcorn Packed with nature and wildlife.

Tatton Park Gardens, Knutsford Hosts an RHS show.

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 65

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Explore Our New Show Home 13th & 14th April

Stunning new 2 bedroom apartments and 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes available.

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The modern world we live in is largely shaped by the events of the past, no matter how distant. Shire takes a look at the ancient Roman history that has made us who we are – and made our treasured local area what it is


ur area of Britain has been inhabited for so long, it’s difficult to know where to start when it comes to looking at the ancestors who did the most to shape us. Stone Age relics have been discovered across Shropshire; Cheshire was famously home to the preserved prehistoric Lindow Man; the Wirral is awash with Viking legends; and Wales has signs of human settlement going back more than 230,000 years. In short, populations have been happy to call this area home since well before the dawn of history. But having only so many pages to investigate our past, we have decided to focus on the myths, stories and legacy left


he arrival of Romans in Great Britain, which began with Julius Caesar’s first invasion attempt in 55BC, had an enormous influence on our way of life and left us with a considerably more civilised lifestyle than we had previously enjoyed. As the Romans spread north, Wales became a retreat for rebel forces for several decades until the Romans was able to lay claim to the whole of England and Wales by 77AD. Despite defeat, Roman Britain flourished under the new regime, and trade, industry,

Relive Roman times

development and the building of roads and forts began in earnest. Several towns and cities in our region were established by the Romans, including Chester, Whitchurch, Powys, Caernarfon and Wroxeter. As Wales took shape as a Roman military stronghold, a vast network of forts were constructed, all designed to be one day’s march apart, and many of which are still evident today. Further east, Chester established itself as a vital centre of Roman civilisation and has become a favourite with historians and archaeologists as more and more structures continue to be discovered. So prepare to travel back in time to get a feel for life in ancient Roman Shire-land!

by the civilisation that did so much for early Britain… the Romans.

Clues to our Roman past are all around us

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 67

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There are many sites of ancient interest where you can get a feel for the civilisation that established them and how they once lived. Here are three of our favourites

The foundations of Segontium

Segontium What? Remains of a Roman fort Where? Caernarfon, Gwynedd Then When the fringes of Britain,

including the rebellious and resistant Welsh tribes, gave in and succumbed to Roman control in 77AD, Segontium was established as a centrepoint of Roman control. With rebel forces still lurking in the surrounding area and attacks from all sides regular occurrences, a fort was built that housed 1,000 soldiers at its peak. Segontium was connected by a Roman road to the legionary base at Chester, and survived until the end of the Roman occupation in the fourth century AD. The site was later plundered to provide stone for Edward I’s castle at Caernarfon. Long after the final departure of the legions, Segontium passed into Welsh legend as Caer Aber Seint (‘the fort at the mouth of the river’) and is mentioned in ‘The Dream Of Macsen Wledig’ in the early tales of the Mabinogion.

Now Visitors to the site on the outskirts of

at the site, which is managed by the National Trust. There is also a museum providing background information and context.

Caernarfon can marvel at the remains of the fort while imagining what life would have been like for those who were stationed there. Most of the fort’s foundations are preserved

DID YOU KNOW? You can visit Segontium free of charge

Segontium was home to 1,000 soldiers at its peak

Wroxeter was once the fourth largest town in Roman Britain

Wroxeter Roman City What? A preserved Roman city Where? Wroxeter, Shropshire Then What is now known as Shropshire

was an active area for the Romans, with several temporary forts. This legionary fortress was established around the late 50s AD and became the base for the 14th Legion, and then the 20th. The fortress was located with its northern rampart on the highest point in Wroxeter, on a gently sloping plateau between two streams that cut off approaches to the fortress from the north and south. To the west, the fortress was protected by the River Severn, but to the east there was no natural defence. It thrived in such a strong defensive position and an entire community was stationed behind the main gate that faced westwards towards the approaching enemy. Transformed into a township around 90AD, Wroxeter – then known as Viriconium – became the fourth largest city

in the empire and was inhabited until the seventh century – long after the Romans had left – when it was abandoned.

Now Well-preserved evidence of life 2,000

years ago can be found at the site, which is today managed by English Heritage. Visitors can visit the granary, basilica, forum, colonnade, market hall and the remains of an enormous bath house. They can also explore a reconstructed townhouse and get a good understanding of the daily lives of the people who lived here with an audio tour and through their objects – found here and on display in the museum. There is also a viewing platform above the baths, which gives a good overall impression of the scale of the site and town that once spread over 78 hectares.

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Chester Roman Amphitheatre

Chester’s was the largest amphitheatre in Britain

What? Excavated Roman amphitheatre Where? Chester Then Chester, which was founded as

which underlines the importance of Roman Chester. The remains of the current amphitheatre date from around 280AD and it is thought that at its peak, the amphitheatre could have seated up to 8,000 people. The amphitheatre wasn’t in use for that long – by as early as 120AD it was derelict and being used as a rubbish tip. It was brought back into use 150 years later and was then in use until around 350AD. Houses were built on the site in the 13th century, and the amphitheatre was only uncovered in the 1950s.

a Roman fortress in the first century AD, is packed with Roman relics and historic tours, led by soldiers in full legionary garb, are an enjoyable and informative way to spend time here. One of the Roman highlights in the city is the amphitheatre, which is still a relatively new discovery by historical standards. The amphitheatre was built in the late first century, and was located just outside the south-east corner of the Roman legionary fortress. It was probably used Now About two-fifths of the oval for both entertainment and for practising amphitheatre is visible, with the rest lying military manoeuvres and weapon training. unexcavated behind the brick wall, but it There have been two still makes an impressive site. The stone-built amphitheatres on attraction draws visitors from far the site – and the one now on and wide, as well as historians and ‘Houses were display is the largest ever found television documentary makers from built on the in Britain. The first included around the world. Two entrances site in the access to the upper tiers of have been exposed and you can see 13th century’ seats via stairs on the rear wall some of the original stone wall that and had a small shrine next to lines the arena. Excavations in the its north entrance. The second 1960s suggested that the building provided seat access via vaulted stairways. was originally constructed entirely of wood, The two buildings differed from each other but further archaeological investigation and from all other British amphitheatres, in 2001 cast doubt on this theory.

Chester was once a Roman fortress

10 things the Romans invented that we still use today… 1. Strong roads 2. Arches in buildings 3. Plumbing and sewers 4. Surgical tools 5. Concrete 6. Newspapers 7. and bound books 8. Aquaducts 9. Postal service 10. Air conditioning

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Corwen Corwen Manor Manor 01490 01490 413196 413196 www.corwenmanor.co.uk www.corwenmanor.co.uk 88 London London Rd, Rd, Corwen, Corwen, Denbighshire, LL21 0DR Denbighshire, LL21 0DR 20582_Shire Magazine Half Page.qxp_Layout 1 14/12/2018 09:02 Page 1 T h e O l d U n i o n Wo r k h o u s e T h e O l d U n i o n Wo r k h o u s e

COPS will accommodate up to eight guests and the Court House up to four or both can be combined. Ideal for families, couples and small groups. Both grade II listed properties stand ordered and dignified in the heart of the town of Corwen, within the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

London Road, Corwen, Denbighshire LL21 0DP +44 (0) 1490 412 503 +44 (0) 7590 442 632 caroline@corwenoldpolicestation.co.uk www.corwenoldpolicestation.co.uk




your home from home Experience a world of luxury escapes, holiday homes and sumptuous lodges in North Wales, where you can enjoy open spaces, wonderful vistas and range of facilities designed to delight, pamper and revive your senses and soul.

ities ve-star facil

fi To find out more and to book your exclusive park visit CALL

01745 858 010



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entertaining activities


al holida

y homes

Holiday homes from only £54,995 *Applies to new customer purchases only on selected new and pre-owned models. No part exchange allowance can be used in conjunction with this offer.

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Luxurious glamping pods set in a peaceful setting on a working farm in the South Cheshire countryside.

We are more than just a Climbing Wall

Kids clubs, kids birthday parties, adult courses and coaching

FREE lifetime membership with Rope Safety or Bouldering Basics courses

01244 537 476 visit www.theboardroomClimbing.com

All fully heated, with en-suite, a double bed & kitchenette Each pod has a private patio area & BBQ Our site is adult only and open all year round We also have a 5 pitch CL caravan site

Please find us at www.bradleyhallruralescapes.co.uk Email: bhruralescapes@gmail.com Telephone: 07902 968783 Facebook: www.facebook.com/bradleyhallruralescapes

L k a w a H CARAVAN PARKke 01630 685209

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 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. 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.

We have 5 touring pitches each with a hook up and on hard standing, as well as 45 static caravan pitches.

Hawk Lake Caravan Park, North Lodge, Hawkstone Park, Marchamley, Nr Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY4 5GE

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Tel: 01630 685209 Mob: 07860 843341 www.hawklake.co.uk

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I ES Hartley offers unlimited mileage when you hire a motorhome


hen planning your next holiday, A range of layouts and berths are available within the fleet, including why not put the emphasis more two-, four- and six-berth motorhomes on how to get away than where to go? with a choice of layouts, such as single, Or if you already have plans in place to double and bunk beds. There are travel to an event or festival even some pet-friendly vehicles this year, why not rent a ‘You don’t just available so your four-legged motorhome to upgrade have to stay in friends can come with you. from a tent or save on the UK – you’re ES Hartley has an unlimited expensive hotel costs? insured to visit mileage policy, which means Touring Cars motorhome any European you don’t just have to stay in hire at ES Hartley offers country if you the UK. You are insured to visit a five-star luxury rental specify your any European country if you service. All rentals include arrangements specify your travel arrangements unlimited mileage, a when booking’ when booking your hire. luxury bed linen and For more information towel package, and a fully about hiring a motorhome, call the equipped kitchen, with collection and drop-off available seven days a week, team on 0151 350 6871 or email manchester@touringcars.eu. Quote from just £110 a day. The attention to ‘Shire’ to receive a free welcome detail means you can walk into your rental motorhome fully prepared gift on collection. Motorhome rental and ready for your trip – it’s just like is also available in Malaga, Spain – stepping into a five-star hotel room. contact the team for more details.

f you’re holidaying in Cheshire this year and would like a glimpse into the area’s proud past, Cholmondeley Castle, a few miles outside Malpas, is well worth a visit. The popular tourist attraction – and much-loved family home – hosts many events throughout the year, from concerts to car shows, in its ample grounds – which were once used to house the Czechoslovak Army during the Second World War. The surrounding estate also offers holiday cottages to let and the gardens are a horticultural delight for any greenfingered fans, while the farm packed with rare breeds – including a flock of llamas – will keep younger visitors entertained too. The romantic castle with Gothic-style arches, which was built in the early 19th century, stands high above a lake and is surrounded by sweeping lawns and mature trees, including cedars of Lebanon, oaks and chestnuts. The surrounding gardens provide a lovely mix of colour and height, with intriguing walks around the lake. www.cholmondeleycastle.com


enralley House is a luxury bed and breakfast located close to Rhayader town centre, which has a good selection of facilities including a variety of shops, cafés, pubs and a leisure centre, as well as parks and plenty of open spaces for outdoor activities. It’s a popular place to stay with walkers, motorists, motorcyclists, cyclists and birdwatchers, and benefits from off-street parking. The beautiful Georgian townhouse was built around 1774 and extended in 1876, and has a striking façade of local granite, and a stunning Victorian yellow brick rear overlooking a large, lush garden. It has been lovingly restored, retaining many of the original features to create a welcoming and relaxing environment.

The house has a lovely garden with views of the Elan Valley and surrounding countryside. The rural area has much to offer both those looking for a quiet, relaxing break and those who would prefer to experience Penralley House in Rhayader dates back to the 1770s one of the many outdoor challenges – this beautiful has proved enduringly popular with part of mid Wales caters to all. holidaymakers, many of whom come Penralley House was once owned back time and time again. Booking.com gives Penralley House an overall score of by the renowned surveyor Stephen Wiliam Williams, who was involved in 9.8 out of 10, while TripAdvisor rates it as the building of the famous Elan Valley five out of five. But don’t just take other guests’ words for it – if you’re thinking dams, served as sheriff of Radnorshire of visiting the Rhayader area this year, and was admitted as a fellow to the Royal Institute of British Architects in Penralley House offers you the luxury 1886. In the years since, the property bed and breakfast base to explore from. March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 73

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Bradley Hall has four glamping pods with unspoilt views all the way to Malpas



radley Hall is a 106-acre farm based in south Cheshire, where Anthony and Jane run a small suckler herd of Hereford cows and a five-pitch caravan site. At the end of last summer, the couple added to their accommodation by opening Bradley Hall Rural Escapes, consisting of four luxury glamping pods, situated on farmland with unspoilt views of Malpas. The adult-only site is open all year round. The aim is to create an upmarket glamping experience by providing a comfortable, enjoyable stay in one of the pods that leaves you feeling relaxed and refreshed. Each pod – Meadowsweet (wheelchair friendly), Harebell (dog friendly), Cowslip and Honeysuckle – is furnished to a high standard, fully heated and with an ensuite shower room. Each houses a double bed, with bedding, linen and towels, a Camp in comfort and style kitchenette with microwave, fridge, toaster, kettle, coffee machine and sink. Facilities are first-class

There is also a TV, hair dryer, crockery and cutlery. Outside is a private patio area with table and chairs and barbecue. Every guest is greeted with a Pods have private patios welcome pack consisting of bread from Huxleys Bakery in Malpas, a sweet treat, Cheshire butter, milk, chilled filtered tap water and ice. There will also be English breakfast tea, Nespresso coffee pods, sugar and basic cleaning products. Toiletries are available on request. Parking is outside ‘An the pod field, a short upmarket walk from the pods. glamping The Meadowsweet experience pod is just 40 metres that leaves from the parking area, you feeling is wheelchair friendly refreshed’ and suitable for guests with limited mobility. It has a larger bathroom with grab rails, shower seat and a call system. Harebell pod is furthest from the car park and is suitable for a maximum of two well behaved dogs, dependant on breed. For more information and to book, visit bradleyhallruralescapes.co.uk.


here is loads to explore in and around the Loggerheads country park and surrounding area of north Wales, but don’t miss the famous path of all – Offa’s Dyke. The Offa’s Dyke National Trail follows the Welsh/English border for 177 miles from Prestatyn in the north to Chepstow in the south, along the route of the earthworks supposedly instigated by Offa, King of Mercia, in the eighth century. Walking this path gives you fantastic opportunities to see the region’s beautiful landscapes and native wildlife. One of the most appealing sections runs between Llandegla and Bodfari, a 17.5-mile stretch easily accessible from Loggerheads, which includes Jubilee Tower at the top of Moel Famau, built to celebrate the 50th year of the reign of George III in 1810. You will also see a string of Iron Age and Bronze Age hillforts at Foel Fenlli, Moel Arthur and Penycloddiau, as well as stunning views across the Vale of Clwyd. From Bodfari it is just a matter of a short 12-mile trot to the northern end of the trail at Prestatyn, a section of the route that includes unique stone stiles and more amazing views to both east and west.

OWN YOUR OWN LODGE W ith four beautiful destinations along the north Wales coastline, Darwin Escapes offers holiday home ownership in luxurious lodges. The lodges include everything you could want in a home away from home, from fully fitted kitchens with wine coolers, to master bedrooms with king size beds, walk-in wardrobes and large en suites. You can enjoy the unbeatable sea views at Seaview Holiday Home Park while stretching out on your private decking. Alternatively, opt for a country club feel at New Pines Holiday Home Park – you’ll be surrounded by the Denbighshire countryside, only a few minutes from the seaside. Talacre Beach Holiday Home Park offers luxury lodge

living with a family-friendly atmosphere, ensuring a true work/life balance. And you’ll be inspired by the complete luxury at Aberconwy Resort & Spa, with Conwy Morfa beach nearby and Snowdonia provbiding a majestic backdrop. If you’re a business owner, you can also share your home away from home with your A Darwin Escapes Lodge – a luxurious home away from home staff and clients. Conduct meetings in an informal setting, relax with your clients, or offer a holiday restaurants and even an onsite spa at reward to a member of your team. Abercowny. Or enjoy a drink at our fully All our locations offer access to stocked bars – we are sure to have your five-star facilities, with indoor heated favourite tipple, and there’s a varied swimming pools, saunas, steam rooms, Costa Coffee menu on offer too.

74 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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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.


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01745 560 224

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s one of the largest canal boat rental companies in the UK, and with nearly 50 years of experience, it is no wonder Anglo Welsh Waterway Holidays has a great reputation for providing high-quality, exceptional-value canal boat holidays. Anglo Welsh has an impressive fleet of luxury narrowboats that you can climb aboard to head off for a holiday to remember. With a choice of more than 160 narrowboats from ten boat hire bases across England and Wales – including a brand new base at Whixhall Marina, open for 2019 – you’ll find every kind of canal holiday you could want. Anglo Welsh will happily help you choose ‘Explore a route that suits you and provide you with all the tuition you need to learn the ropes of villages and canal boat travel. towns along Whether you’re your route’ an experienced canal boater or a complete novice, highly qualified staff will take you through everything you need to know to operate a canal boat. Once your induction is complete, you can set off on your very own narrowboat holiday adventure, travelling at your own pace, watching out for wildlife and stopping off to enjoy canalside pubs and exploring villages and towns along your route. Enjoy canal life

Whether you want to test the waters with a short break on a relaxing route suitable for beginners, or take a longer, more challenging holiday afloat, Anglo Welsh has the perfect narrowboat holiday for you – and can help you decide on it. Once you have selected your starting point, take a look at the range of flexible canal boat interiors to Choose the boat and holiday to suit you see what works best for you – all Anglo Welsh’s canal boats are unique. Ranging in size from 32ft to 70ft, the boats provide accommodation for between two and 12 people. Once on board you’ll find all the comforts to make your floating holiday home a cosy place to be: bedding, towels, central heating, flushing toilets, showers, a TV/DVD player, WiFi and a well equipped kitchen with an oven, fridge, cooking utensils and crockery.

A little piece of heaven in the Clwyd Hills… B

Go Green for a great break There are vintage touches at Green Farm


bbey Green Farm offers a range of luxury accommodation with a converted farmhouse, a lodge and a small touring and camping park in a beautiful, peaceful location in the village of Whixall, near Whitchurch. All rooms have a seating area to relax in after a busy day, a flat-screen TV and luxurious The White Company bed linen. Every room has tea and coffee making facilities as well as bathrobes and free toiletries, and the owners leave homemade shortbread in the room as well. Free WiFi is offered across the site. Free private parking is available and there are bikes for hire if you want to explore the surrounding countryside – including some vintage 1940s bicycles which add to the charm of the idyllic location. The well-tended and classically English gardens attract a variety of birds and insects – perfect for taking in over afternoon tea, served on the farm terrace surrounded by Shropshire countryside. Other food options include breakfasts or bacon and egg rolls for guests every morning

– or if you have an urge for DIY dining, barbecues are allowed on site. You’ll find shops and supermarkets in nearby Wem and Whitchurch, both within 20 minutes’ drive. The family-run campsite at Abbey Green Farm is exclusively for adults. Nestled in a quiet and secluded location in picturesque countryside, it provides an ideal getaway with flat and spacious grass pitches, including electric hook-ups. Pets are welcome but must be kept on a lead at all times. The site is open from 14th April to 7th October and makes a perfect hideaway for relaxed touring and camping, as well as an ideal base for walking and cycling in Shropshire. Call 01948 880213.

ryn Bowlio Caravan Park is a three-star country caravan park in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the foot of Moel Famau in the Clywdian Range of hills. It is next to Loggerheads Country Park and the famous Offa’s Pitch your caravan or rent a cottage Dyke, ancient hill forts and Arthur’s Stone are all within easy reach. Bryn Bowlio offers 10 spaces for touring caravans, all of which are super pitches, and within the site you’ll find toilets, showers and a laundry room with a washing machine and dryer. As well as offering the perfect spot to pitch up, Bryn Bowlio also has accommodation available to rent in the form of two holiday cottages that are fully equipped with everything to make your stay a comfortable one. There is free WiFi available throughout and the site is in the perfect location with easy access to the historic market towns of Mold, Wrexham, Llangollen, Denbigh and Ruthin as well as magnificent Snowdonia. Activities available nearby include walking, birdwatching, cycling, mountain biking, hang gliding and canoeing, and you can visit the area’s many country pubs for great food and entertainment. Staying at Bryn Bowlio gives holidaymakers the perfect getaway in a site that’s within a short walk of a garage and shop, as well as two public houses serving delicious food. The site is right on the edge of some of the UK’s most scenic walks and outdoor activities and is reached easily from the M6, M56, A55 and the A5. Pay a visit, sit by the beautiful pond, feed the ducks and relax.

The facilities are a luxurious touch

76 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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CANAL BOAT HOLIDAYS DAY BOAT HIRE Welcome to the world of canal boat holidays with one of the largest canal boat hire companies in the UK, Anglo Welsh Waterway Holidays. With 50 years experience, over 160 narrow boats and a reputation for providing luxury, high quality, exceptional value narrow boat holidays, we look forward to introducing you to thousands of miles of beautiful canals and rivers in England and Wales.






9.30am until



Book your day on the water now and experience the beauty of the Great British Canals!

Call today: 0330 333 0590

*T's and C's apply

www.abcdayboathire.com WWW.ANGLOWELSH.CO.UK - 0117 304 1122


Bryn Bowlio Caravan Park Bryn Bowlio Caravan Park is a quiet country Caravan Park


It is set in an ‘Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ at the foot of Moel Famau. Our accommodation includes two holiday cottages which are available for hire. We have 10 spaces for touring caravans, all with super pitches. There are site toilets, showers and a laundry room with a washing machine and dryer. Free Wifi available.

Come and pay us a visit - discover this hidden gem for yourself. . David & Jill Fernyhough, Bryn Bowlio, Tafarn-Y-Gelyn, Llanferres, Denbighshire CH7 5SQ

t: 01352 810484 www.brynbowliocaravanpark.co.uk

Camping & Touring Park


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& ily Fam

g Do

Visit www.cheshirecatnarrowboats.co.uk Tel 07867 790195 anytime


Abbey Green Farm

Luxury Bed & Breakfast

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

y ndl frie


Spend a day exploring the beautiful Shropshire Union Canal aboard our 10 seater, self-drive Day Boat • Ideal for family celebrations and team-building days • All-weather accommodation • Easy to steer – no experience necessary • From just £110

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

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Aberdyfi Harbourside haven

The pretty village of Aberdyfi has drawn visitors to its seaside setting for centuries, but is also home to a small but thriving full-time community


track into the town as part of the military eaning ‘mouth of the River Dyfi’, the occupation of Wales around AD78, and village of Aberdyfi (or Aberdovey The picturesque harbour there is a well-documented case of a ship of in its anglicised form) is exactly that – the the Third Spanish Armada getting stuck in proportion of properties in the village are point the gentle river winds its way into the Dyfi estuary in 1597. Unable to leave the blue sea of Cardigan Bay. The peaceful second homes. And it is easy to see why. for 10 days, she finally sailed free only to be setting on the north side of the estuary is The attractive town centre is situated on captured by the waiting English fleet. home to 1,250 permanent the river and seafront, built around the residents but numbers original harbour, jetty and beach. Behind swell in the summer as it Industrial developments it, the steep hills and sheep farms provides holiday escape The village grew in the 1700s, climb above the coastal location DID YOU giving a picturesque appeal to thousands every year. with the appearance of several KNOW? Today it is best inns that are still popular that clearly delights visitors. The first ever known as a seaside today, including The Dovey Access from metropolitan Outward Bound resort with great beach, Inn, the Britannia Inn and areas is straightforward, and centre opened harbour, jetty and scenic the Penhelig Arms Hotel. Aberdyfi is perfect for those here in 1941 location to relax and looking for an active break While the harbour was unwind in. However, still busy and provided many – with plenty of watersports, the village was founded with an income at this time, the including sailing, sailboarding, fishing, boat The Dovey Inn around the harbour and addition of mining in the area also trips, and a summer regatta. There’s also shipbuilding industry, golf and no end of opportunities for those boosted the local economy. Copper adding mining operations as it grew and was mined on the site now occupied who love of walking and climbing. its own railway to help with transport. by Copperhill Street, lead in Penhelig Aberdyfi crops up throughout history – it and slate on the outskirts of town. THINGS TO SEE AND DO is suggested that the Romans established a These major exports, along with oak bark, ArtWorks Aberdyfi brought the port to its peak, with seven 16 Chapel Square, Aberdyfi LL35 0EL shipyards operating in Penhelig, where 45 www.artworksaberdyfi.co.uk sailing ships were built between 1840 and Dolgoch Falls 1880. This also led to the establishment Snowdonia National Park of a railway line and a station being www.visitsnowdonia.info built in the eastern part of the village.

The village today The town is located on the Dyfi estuary

These days Aberdyfi is best known as a haven for holidaymakers and a large

Talyllyn Railway Wharf Station, Neptune Road, Tywyn LL36 9EY www.talyllyn.co.uk

78 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

Town Visit Aberdyfi MarchApril 2019 jwDB.indd 1

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The best choice for holiday properties in & around Aberdyfi

your Book iday ol next H from


visit: www.dyfi-cottages.co.uk or phone: 01654 767 111


Penralley House Historic Luxury Bed and Breakfast in the heart of Wales

Located on the banks of the beautiful Tal-y-llyn Lake, the Tyn Y Cornel Hotel sits in the heart of the stunning mountain scenery of Mid-Wales. A perfect base for everyone who wants to explore the many local attractions, whether it’s climbing Cadair Idris, or simply relaxing by our glorious lake. Stay over and wake up to the mountains in one of our 21 individually designed rooms, all en-suite, the majority with lake views. Private fly fishing and boat hire is due to commence by May 2019.

Now licensed as a venue for Civil Wedding Ceremonies providing a memorable venue in which to celebrate, whether it be for a wedding, birthday party, christening or funeral wake for up to 120 guests.

It has been lovingly restored by Steve and Karen, retaining many of the original features to create a welcoming and relaxing environment. Open all day for Breakfast, Lunches, Evening, Meals, Tea/ Coffee & Cakes served in our lakeside restaurants and bars.

Tal Y Llyn, Tywyn, Gwynedd, LL36 9AJ

01654 782282 enquiries@tynycornel.com www.tynycornel.com

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A beautiful Georgian town house built about 1774 and extended in 1876, Penralley House has a striking façade of local granite, and a stunning Victorian yellow brick rear overlooking a lush large garden.

The house has a lovely garden with views to the Elan Valley and surrounding countryside. The Elan Valley reservoirs and estate are within 3 miles and

Gigrin farm, the Red Kite feeding station a few minutes drive along South Street. The rural area has much of interest to offer both those wanting a relaxing quiet break to those who want to experience one of the many outdoor challenges, take a look at our local area page for more information. This beautiful part of mid Wales can cater for all. The West Coast, Cambrian Mountains, Brecon Beacons, and Llanidloes are all within driving distance.

tel: 01597 811868 email: info@penralleyhouse.com www.penralleyhouse.com Penralley House, South Street, Rhayader, LD6 5BH

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Tasty, informal, relaxed and delicious

Come and join us in beautiful Montgomery for breakfast, light lunches, coffee and cake.

Tuesday to Saturday www.checkerswales.co.uk 01686 669 822 kathryn@checkerswales.co.uk QP forge copy.pdf



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Bespoke design for each species. Every purchase carries a twenty five year guarantee. The first choice of ornithologists and many professional naturalists, and of course the birds love them. Contact information. For full details of all our products. Go to :Website. www.impeckable.co.uk Facebook. Impeckable Nestboxes and Feeders Telephone. 07554 385878 E Mail. info@impeckable.co.uk Address. 25 High Street Brymbo Wrexham LL11 5BL

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Tempura prawns


The bar


Bunbury burger

The Yew Tree


Roast cod

The pub owned and run by Chester Race Company has recently announced a new chef


he Yew Tree, in the village of Bunbury near Tarporley, is a proper gastropub. It also has a vibrant bar area with an open fire, as well as several tables in quieter corners if that suits your mood. The equine influence of the new owners can be seen throughout the stylish and quirky interior, with touches such as horse-racing wallpaper. Sam Evans is the new manager at the Yew Tree, having taken charge last November. ‘I took over after Chester Race Company bought the Yew Tree in April,’ he says. ‘The specials are updated daily, depending on what produce is available, but we always keep our core gastropub dishes, like the Bunbury burger and fish and chips. We get people from all over the country to try the food, and they often come for a walk in the local Cheshire countryside too. ‘We try to source all our food as locally as we can – we’re talking to the village butcher at the moment. The only things on the menu not made here are ‘The Yew Tree the ketchup – by Heinz! – the ice cream, is a busy place which is from Cheshire Farm, and the that clearly bread, which is also baked locally. Our new has a loyal following in chef, Ben Ackland, is busy working with the local area suppliers to produce a brand-new menu plus attracts which will be launched later this month.’

Stunning starters

visitors from further afield’

On our visit, we found the table service is quick and efficient, and the waiting staff only too happy to help us with the menu – nothing is too much trouble. Our starters arrived in no time. The baked Camembert was served in its wooden casing and garnished with a sprig of thyme, with slivers of garlic pushed inside the melting centre. The tomato chutney was clearly homemade and was very fresh and tasty – somewhere between a chutney and a ratatouille. The caesar salad was expertly made, with large croutons sautéed as tradition demands. The chicken breast was succulent, served with a flavoured crispy skin. Our favourite starter, however, was the tempura prawns. The batter was cooked perfectly and

would have made any sushi chef proud. Instead of soy sauce and wasabi, the prawns were served with stir-fried peppers and a delicious sweet chilli mayonnaise which went well with the light batter in a successful twist on a classic dish.

Main attractions

When it came to the main courses, we all liked the slightly minted crushed peas that accompanied the fish and chips. Top marks also went to the tartare sauce – homemade, zingy, creamy and rich. The roast cod with tiger prawns was an accomplished dish, and really showed off a lovely piece of fish. The thick loin of cod was served on top of creamy mash, with the odd soft piece of leek and tiger prawn – and a generous portion of butter sauce. It really is hard to beat as comfort food! The signature Bunbury burger is a large homemade patty (surely bigger than 8oz!), topped with cheese melted over crispy bacon. Ours was juicy and filled with flavour, with tiny pieces of onion. The sweet, tangy barbecue sauce was a nice surprise – an idea Ben admits he borrowed from his time at The Ivy in London. The Yew Tree is a busy place that clearly has a loyal following in the local area and also attracts visitors from further afield. It’s the perfect spot all year round, too. ‘In the summer we have a beach hut bar in the garden, and we also hold events such as live bands and group dog walks – and look out for the outdoor cinema,’ says Sam. Check the pub’s website for details (see below). The bill Starters Classic caesar salad with creamy caesar dressing, croutons and chicken £13 Tempura prawns, green chilli stir-fry, sweet chilli mayo, charred lime £7.50 Thyme and garlic-spiked Camembert, toasted sourdough, tomato chutney £9 Main course Fish and chips – haddock, crispy batter, crushed peas, tartare sauce £11.50 Bunbury burger – 8oz homemade beef patty, sourdough bun, smoked streaky bacon, cheese, skin-on fries £12.50 Roast cod with tiger prawns, buttered mash, steamed leeks and beurre blanc £15 Dessert Cheshire Farm ice cream, three scoops £4.50

The Yew Tree Long Lane, Bunbury, Cheshire CW6 9RD 01829 304384; www.bunburyyewtree.co.uk

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 81

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

Warm, friendly & welcoming

• Set in stunning rural countryside, ideally suited for Snowdonia

Unit 1, St Mary’s Precinct, Church Street, Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5HX T: 01691 772602

• A traditional, family-run

• Open all day

Bellis Brothers Farm Shop & Garden Centre, Holt, Wrexham, LL13 9YU T: 01829 272030

• Function room available

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

• 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 www.bryntirioninn.co.uk


Opening Times

Tuesday to Saturday 9.30am to 5.00pm Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm Lewis’s Farm Shop Brook Cottage, Eyton Wrexham LL13 0SW

At Lewis’s Farm Shop, we aim to give our customers the best possible shopping experience with free parking, a warm welcome and quality produce that’s locally sourced and freshly prepared right here in our farm shop!

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01978 780852

hello@lewisfarmshop.com www.lewisfarmshop.com #yourlocalfarmshop

Photography: Ginger Pixie Photography

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Our resident food expert Graham Tinsley MBE, executive chef at Cheshire’s Carden Park Hotel, is fishing for compliments this spring as he looks at some of the incredibly delicious seafood available locally


inding wild-caught fish in the chiller cabinet at your local fishmonger or supermarket is proving tricky these days. Cast your eyes along the refrigerated counters: the salmon and trout are generally marked with stickers indicating their farmed origins in the UK or Norway; king prawns are nearly always cultivated in Indonesia, Ecuador or Honduras; even the sea bass, which should surely be the wildest of fish, are all too often farmed in Turkey and Greece. Farming does offer convenience to the consumer and retailer. You can have what you want, when you want it, to the size and quality you specify and at a regulated price. And admittedly, the quality of the

fish produced by farming is increasing. But personally I prefer to have nature and the season dictate the availability of the fish I offer my customers. In an ideal world, I think people should rely on what is landed each day – if it hasn’t been caught in the net, it won’t be on the supper plate tonight! I believe in the pleasure and sport of fishing and the delicious ritual of cooking the day’s catch. Unlike the rest of my food orders, which are left on my suppliers’

Beetroot cured wild trout with crème fraîche and pickled beetroot

Graham Tinsley


500g lean trimmed trout 1 lime Small stick of fresh horseradish, about 8cm 1 large golden beetroot 150ml crème fraîche Salad leaves Bread crisp


Graham prefers to use local trout in this recipe

voicemail each evening, I like to speak to with my local fishmonger every morning to find out what is available and, more importantly, what has been caught locally. This month’s recipe combines the flavours of wild trout with winter beets and the old preservation method of curing.


For the salt cure 1 raw beetroot, washed 150g sea salt 150g caster sugar 1tsp crushed white peppercorns For the pickling liquor 300ml white wine vinegar 100ml water 100g caster sugar tsp salt 6 cardamom pods 6 white peppercorns 2 star anise

1. Grate the raw beetroot and mix with the salt, sugar and pepper. Sprinkle over both sides of the trout, wrap tightly in cling film and place in the fridge with a heavy weight on top. Leave for two days. 2. Place the lime and the horseradish in the freezer and leave overnight until frozen solid. 3. Place all the ingredients for the pickling liquor in a pan and bring to the boil to infuse the spices. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 4. Peel the golden beetroot and cut into required shapes, then place in the pickling liquor and cook until tender. Leave in the liquor to cool. 5. Remove the trout from the fridge and unwrap it. Wash under cold running water and pat dry with a clean cloth. 6. Slice the trout as thinly as possible and serve with the beetroot, crème fraîche, salad and bread crisp. Before serving, grate over the horseradish and lime.

We’re celebrating a great local drinks maker with a range of award-winning juices


he secret to the delicious flavours found in Radnor Hills’ Heartsease Farm drinks range may well be found at source – literally! All seven of the premium sparkling drinks are made with Welsh spring water from the family farm in Powys. ‘Our Heartsease Farm range of drinks reflect the heritage of the farm and our passion for great flavours,’ says William Watkins, managing director of Radnor Hills, who has

managed the farm alongside his family since 1990. ‘We use only the best available ingredients from the countryside, blended with our own spring water, to traditional British recipes.’ State-of-the-art technology is used to extract the water, which is rich in trace minerals, and it’s then combined with a range of flavours to create the finished product. These include apple and rhubarb, elderflower pressé, traditional lemonade and strawberry and mint flavour. All products are bottled on the farm and lightly pasteurised to preserve quality, using natural ingredients and real fruit juices. Who needs booze when fruit juice can be so sophisticated? Now available at Morrison’s and Ocado, the drinks have been awarded many distinctions from the Great Taste Awards.

Farmer-entrepreneur William Watkins

Are you a local producer? Would like to see your foodie treats reviewed on these pages? Get in touch by emailing editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk or calling 01691 661270

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 83

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SPRING CLEAN YOUR DRINKING HABITS With new life and fresh starts in the air all around us, our wine columnist Pip Gale of Gales Wine Bar in Llangollen has some tips for freshening up your wine collection and consumption evil trick of ‘gifting it on’ at the next dinner party! What I would suggest is freezing it into ice cubes and keeping them for gravy, stock and sauces.


pring is here! We’ve survived the winter blues and now it’s time to really start the year. And nothing is better than a great big chuck-out, clean-up and fresh start with both space, stuff and habits – and that includes your wines. Here’s what you should do when you are in that frame of mind. Look through your wines and ask yourself, ‘Am I really going to drink that?’ No one likes to be wasteful, particularly when it comes to alcohol, but are you sure you’ll drink that cheap bottle that looks like a giant, brain-destroying, dayoff-work headache? Who knows how it even got there – left over from a party, a moment of well-intended frugality, or perhaps donated by the imps that pop up when you have drunk too much of the good stuff? Either way, now is the day. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not suggesting throwing it away or doing the

Refresh and replace

Now that the dross is out of your wine rack, it’s time to fill it. The next thing to chuck out is that habit of buying the same wine over and over. Sure, it’s comforting to have a great wine you know you’re going to like, a bit like going on holiday to the same place every year. But wouldn’t it be better to forgo that caravan trip to Anglesey and try somewhere properly overseas? I’ve spent my entire life around the wine trade, but I’m still learning and I try something new most days. So clear out that habit of staying safe, take the

plunge and put something new in your now empty, dustless wine storage.

Thinking ahead

Now that you’re streamlined and focused, let’s look forward. Here are some things for you to try this year. • Go to a wine tasting. You’re not learning about wine until you’re comparing wines side by side. Seek out a tasting event near you – you shouldn’t need to look too hard. • Go to a vineyard. There are plenty of good places to visit in the UK, or you can get on the Eurostar and explore some of the great wine regions practically on your doorstep. Nothing helps cement wine knowledge more than seeing where it’s made. • Find a wine friend. The one thing that helps the most in improving your wine game is finding other wine nuts to share a bottle or two with. As any runner will tell you, nothing pushes you further than a good partner. Happy spring cleaning!

FESTIVAL FEVER FOR DEDICATED DRINKERS Spring is the season to celebrate our fabulous brewers and the beers and ciders they create, according to local expert Chris Charters from CAMRA


his time of year sees the start of the beer and cider festivals. The cider and perry made last autumn is becoming ready to drink and cider nouveau festivals are held to select ciders and perries that are ready to be drunk, graded and classified. Cider and perry is similar the wine in its production, with its character depending on the previous summer. A hot summer produces more sugar and

flavour in the fruit, whereas a wet summer will produce large fruit with a higher water content. This is where the skill and experience of the cider producer comes in, as the varieties are blended to keep the flavour and strength consistent.

days the yeast will have converted the sugars to alcohol, and the ale is left to clear and mature, and is ready to drink. Beer is flavoured ale, which is usually done by adding hops to give a bitter flavour. There are several strains of hops, and all have different flavours Brewing and bottling that give the individual beers their Beer and ale have a different process distinct tastes. Hops can be added and can be made at any time of the in the brewing stage or by year. Ale is the simpler process: DID YOU dry hopping – putting hop barley grain is malted by having KNOW? pellets into the maturing water sprayed on it and allowed The world’s ale. Other herbs, fruits and to grow, which converts the biggest-selling ingredients can be added for grain’s starches into sugars; beer, Snow, is sold an different flavour (check when small shoots form, it is only in China the pump clip for details). baked. Depending on the length And whatever the flavour you of time and heat this creates a favour, there’s a festival to sample light to dark malt. This is then brewed a selection! You’ll find the dates and by steeping it in boiling water to extract venues of beer and cider festivals on the sugars and form wort. The wort is the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) left to cool, then yeast is added and the website at www.camra.org.uk fermentation process starts. After a few

84 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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WILDLIFE AND WONDER ON TWO WHEELS If you’re looking to take your cycling to the next level, why not sign up for an intrepid charity challenge this year? There are plenty available across the UK and further afield – so saddle up and set off for a good cause


and mountains all around. The challenge f you enjoy riding your bike through the local includes between five and nine hours of cycling scenery, just think how much you’d appreciate a day over six days on a mixture of dirt and being surrounded by the wonders of African nature as you pedal along. Sound appealing? paved roads, and participants will be staying at tented camps, guest houses, hunters’ Then check out this life-changing challenge on lodges and hotels. There’s a visit offer from Railway Children, a to Lake Natron, where thousands small children’s charity based of flamingos breed, and once the in Sandbach, Cheshire. In September Railway challenge is complete you’ll be taken on a game park safari. Children will be leading its But the adventure is about more first ever Ride Africa event than spotting zebras and exploring – an epic 455km adventure that will take cyclists from Tanzania – those taking part will also be helping the charity change the foothills of Kilimanjaro to Stay in local accommodation children’s lives with every passing the Serengeti. Adventurers mile. You will need to raise sponsorship to take will arrive at Kilimanjaro on 25th September, part, and you’ll also get to see how the money where they’ll be kitted out with their bikes and is spent with a visit to see the organisation’s equipment before heading off through the work in action. On a trip to Mwanza, where bushland, past a Railway Children project looks after young Maasai villages people living on the city’s streets, you’ll meet and through the the children whose lives they’re changing and Great Rift Valley. see how important it is to keep them safe. The six-day ride will tackle various Think you can handle it? Visit the website at terrains, with www.railwaychildren.org.uk/rideafrica incredible scenery See the African wildlife

THE WATKINS PATH In his regular column for Shire, Clive Williams tackles one of the routes that take you to the top of Snowdon


o reach the 1,085-metre summit of Snowdon, or Yr Wyddfa as it’s known in Welsh, there are several walking routes to choose from. By far the hardest is the notorious 923-metre Crib Goch, which is best left to experienced climbers and adrenaline junkies. A far easier and very popular route is the

The path gives panoramic views of Snowdon

Llanberis Path, which has the most gradual incline – although this also makes it the longest route. You can get a headstart by choosing the Miners or the Pyg Track, which start 359 metres above sea level at Pen-Y-Pass. But for me the best route is the one that starts nearest to sea level, so you gain as much height as possible and enjoy the most beautiful scenery – the Watkins Path.

The perfect path

The start of the Watkins Path

This route, ranked the second hardest, starts at a mere 63m above sea level. You begin in Nantgwynant at the Pont Bethania car park (LL55 4NR) . Cross the road and join the Watkins

Path, which heads through tranquil oak woodlands before opening up into an almost magical wilderness. Look out for the stone wall and gate (used as a filming location in 1960’s Carry On Up The Khyber) and the famous Gladstone Rock, on which the 83-year-old prime minister William Gladstone stood to open the path in 1892. Take care when venturing on this route – in the upper reaches there is a lot of scree – but the lower reaches make great walking. Always check conditions first and wear sensible walking clothes. For more information visit www.walkupsnowdon.co.uk


Looking for a short break to brighten up the gloomy winter? Then discover Llandrindod Wells and its surrounding area in unspoilt Mid Wales This Victorian spa town was once a bustling metropolis with illustrious visitors coming from as far afield as Germany and Persia to take the waters. Still an attractive town set amid scenic countryside, it has plenty of active highlights: The 13-acre lake, with its magnificent dragon statue, is a perfect place for a stroll and a coffee in the Lakeside Café. The Rock Park, which dates to the late 1860s, includes the original spa buildings, sculptures and an attractive woodland walk. You can even taste the famous mineral water. The National Cycle Museum has more than 260 cycles on display from an 18th century hobby horse and penny farthings to the latest carbon-fibre designs. Visit www.cyclemuseum.org.uk. The Elan Valley is the perfect place for winter walking and wildlife watching. The dams and reservoirs of the Elan Valley were built 100 years ago, and today there is open access to the 70 square mile estate. Visit www.elanvalley.org.uk.

86 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Home, Sweetlake Home

If you’re looking for a slice of luxury living in an exclusive new development in a stunning location then take a look at Sweetlake Meadow, whose beautiful new apartments are now on the market


ituated just outside of Shrewsbury’s vibrant town centre, the homes of Sweetlake Meadow are surrounded by the beautiful Shropshire hills. The development has been designed to create a community that welcomes people from all stages of life, and among its selection of townhouses, SJ Roberts Homes has created an array of two-bedroom apartments which are now available for you to reserve. All of the master bedrooms have also been fitted with en-suite bathroom facilities, guaranteeing that every morning starts with a refreshing touch of luxury. Meanwhile, each apartment is provided with two exclusive parking spaces, so that finding a home for your vehicles is as hassle-free as it should be. These properties benefit from a prime location just a fiveminute drive or a pleasant walk from Shrewsbury’s town centre. There is a range of amenities within walking distance, while treelined avenues and green space create a pleasant and friendly Apartments are luxuriously appointed atmosphere. Sweetlake Meadow is the perfect place to enjoy living in such a vibrant, historic town, while also making the most of the stunning local countryside.

Built to last

Sweetlake Meadow

SJ Roberts Homes has endeavoured to ensure that all its properties are brimming with convenience and quality. Every detail from the inside out has been designed to bring ease and tranquillity to the lives of each resident, and that is what makes the Sweetlake life so sweet. Available from £175,000, the apartments are available on a 999-year lease, and with no hidden ground rent costs, it doesn’t get much sweeter. Contact Debra at Sweetlake Meadow, Longden Road on 01743 368105 or email debra.armitage@sjrobertshomes.com. You can also visit www.sjrobertshomes.com for more information

ALL RHUG-GED UP Whether you’re keeping cosy in the winter or getting a good night’s sleep in the spring, nature’s way is the best method for regulating body temperature. And thanks to the sheep shearing at the Rhug Estate, we can all enjoy the wonder of wool


hink of uses for wool at this time of year and scarves, jumpers and blankets come to mind. But the Rhug Estate has ingeniously used the organic wool from its large flock of sheep to make highquality duvets and mattress toppers that don’t just keep you warm in the winter but can also regulate body temperature throughout the year. ‘We have to shear the sheep annually in the spring otherwise it can cause the animals ill health during the summer,’ says Lord Newborough, owner of Rhug organic farm. ‘And the price we were getting for the fleece was ridiculously low for such a high-quality product. With a flock of 3,500 breeding ewes at Rhug we had a lot of wool. I decided we had to make the best use out of the organic fleece.’

Newborough says the natural antibacterial properties of wool, along with its inherent ability to regulate both temperature and moisture, creates the best possible conditions for a healthy natural night’s sleep. ‘The duvet is as healthy and free of toxin material as you can get anywhere. No chemicals, no fire retardants, no man-made fibres. Just organic and sustainable – perfect. They look smart on the bed and it’s a smart decision to get one as a gift and for yourself!’ Wool duvets are sold by the gram weight of wool per square metre and are warmer than equivalent polyester or feather tog rating gram for gram, so a lighter weight can be used. Rhug Estate wool duvets are beautifully made using the finest natural materials including 100 per cent pure organic cotton casings and 100 per cent organic wool from organic sheep on the Rhug Estate. Visit the farm shop or go online to rhug.co.uk/shop/gifts March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 89

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TIME TO SHUTTER UP Dressing windows has never offered so much variety of style as it does now – with nets, curtains, blinds and shutters giving us more options than ever before. The experts from Lewis & Holmes in Oswestry share their tips on statement shutters


lantation shutters, which have become increasingly popular over the last couple of years, are a great solution to privacy issues and provide insulation for heat and noise. Here’s a brief guide to choosing your shutters – although remember that it can’t replace individual advice on what’s best for your particular windows. 1. Construction Shutters can be made from many materials, the most popular being high-density fibreboard, hardwood and PVC. Each has its own benefits for certain applications. Hardwood shutters are much lighter than HDF ones, and can be stained in various wood colours as well as painted. PVC shutters, meanwhile, are great for bathrooms where high moisture levels would affect HDF and wood.

Choose your material

2. Layout There are a range of frame options to suit various installations,

TAP IN TO YOUR STYLE Changing your taps can transform a kitchen or bathroom for relatively little investment. Here are our favourite current styles that offer the perfect finishing touch to any period of room

the most popular being an L frame that sits within the window recess and a Z frame, which overlaps the front of the recess and allows the panels to fold flat against the wall. You’ll also need to consider how many panels you need. 3. Colour The vast majority of shutters are white, as the louvres bounce light back into the room. However, greys are also popular and wood stains such as oak are always in demand. 4. Shape Shutters are very versatile and can be made to fit many awkwardly shaped windows – portholes, arched and triangles are all easily accommodated.

To discuss how shutters can give your home that luxurious contemporary look , call Lewis & Holmes on 01691 680111

Traditional mixer

A stunning way to finish off a period bathroom, the high-standing traditional mixer tap with attached shower hose creates a luxurious feel and evokes the Edwardian and Victorian glamour of a bygone era. Mixer taps also offer a practical way of filling a bath and ooze class in the right setting.

Joystick lever

Going as far as possible in the opposite direction, you can embrace modernity with a sleek, smooth and minimalistic levercontrolled modern mixer. A great way to bring a tired bathroom bang up to date and give a fresh finish without ripping out and replumbing – yet still a sensible and practical way to get your water flowing.

Waterfall fun

Shutters can fit all shapes

Create a real statement piece with a waterfall tap, which enables you to see the rushing water as it travels along the spout

and into your sink or bath. The water cascades in a wide torrent rather than a round spout, giving a good amount of soaking space too.

Kitchen cleaner

How many times have you got to the end of a particularly grubby sink full of dishes only to find the sink itself has a layer of grime? If you haven’t already considered a detachable hose on your tap, now’s the time. Simply pull it away from the fixed stand and you can quickly sluice all around your sink, leaving the whole area spotless and shining.

Go for gold

Currently making a big comeback is the gold tap – until recently considered truly naff or a throwback from decades gone by. Applied to modern metals, the glimmer of gold can be stunning in the right bathroom or kitchen setting, and these taps are available in high gloss, matt, rose gold or more of a coppery colour – all of which make a nice change from the familiar silver.

90 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Discover elegance Elizabeth Hart from Banquet House Antiques offers some advice on learning about antiques while enjoying a pleasant day out Bodrhyddan Hall


’ve found that visiting historic houses that are open to the public but remain in private ownership is an enjoyable and educational way of fine-tuning my antiquing skills. These houses represent the organic growth of a family residence over time, with each succeeding generation adding pieces they find beautiful and useful. Here, I’ve chosen three of my favourite houses in north Wales, each with an interesting story and reflecting the owner’s tastes and interests. Visit, enjoy a day out and learn how each owner chose the things for their home – the beauties of their time and the antiques of today. And when you’re in the neighbourhood, drop by the Banquet House in Rhuddlan (give us a call to make sure we are in!). We’d love to meet you, offer you a cup of tea, and talk about collecting and living with antiques!

collected by the ladies and set in a patchwork style over much of the interior of the house. The carvings came from broken-up furniture and church fittings, ranging from medieval to baroque, dominated by vernacular folk and Jacobean styles.

Gwydir Castle Llanrwst, Conwy

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the Gwydir estate Plas Newydd dining room belonged to the Wynn family, who were closely associated with the courts of Charles I and Charles II. In the early 20th century, the castle and its contents were sold Bodrhyddan Hall and key components of the interior were purchased by William Randolph Hearst and taken to storage in warehouses in New York. nr Rhuddlan, Clwyd The original house here was The castle is now privately owned by Peter Welford and Judy obtained from Henry VIII at the Corbett, the couple having purchased the castle in 1994. At that time, they began a programme of conservation with authenticity as time of the dissolution of the monasteries when the abbot and the main consideration. Part of that programme was identifying, locating and acquiring pieces his flock relocated to another site at Hendre Farm nearby, and the that once belonged in the Bodrhyddan ceramics present building was remodelled house but had been sold. A key find was the contents in the 1690s. The house is known for its collection of armour and militaria; however, the 9th Baron Langford, who died in 2017 at of the dining room. With the assistance and support of the age of 105, collected ceramics and added many pieces of tourist souvenir ceramics from places he visited. Those pieces are displayed Prince Charles, the dining alongside Minton, Royal room was acquired from DID YOU Doulton and Wedgwood the Metropolitan KNOW? Museum of Art in pieces of great value. Visitors to Plas New York City, to Newydd included which it had been Plas Newydd Shelley, Byron and Gwydir Hall donated by Hearst. Llangollen, Walter Scott The restoration continues, funded primarily by Denbighshire the current owners according to their philosophy, Plas Newydd was the home which is defined as follows: ‘Ancient houses like Gwydir of the Ladies of Llangollen, are the sum of their parts, historical as well as architectural. Lady Eleanor Butler and Sarah Ponsonby, for nearly 50 years, and But in addition, they evolve a particular frequency, over the centuries, which is specific to nowhere else. the house reflects their collecting interests. The most unusual ‘Gwydir has its own time, its own smell, its dense and layered feature is the panelling made of atmosphere, which amounts to the metaphysical equivalent of its pieces of reclaimed oak carvings archaeology; this represents, in short, the soul of the house.’ Wood panelling at Plas Newydd 92 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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e moved to Oswestry in 2017, having lived in Spain for 15 years. We liked our house because it was close to town, but in Spain we’d become used to an open living space and this house had one drawback – a very small lounge. ‘We first contacted Morgans to replace all the windows and doors. They changed them from white uPVC to wood effect, which looks much better on this house. We also asked them to take out a chimney breast we weren’t using, which gave us a lot more room both downstairs and upstairs. ‘We then went to a local architect firm to ask about creating more living space and possibly extending the house into the garden. They said we could get planning permission for a 6m extension and so we came up with a plan of what we wanted, which included a utility room and downstairs loo.’

Professional and friendly

‘Because we were happy with the job Morgans had done on the windows and chimney, we went back to them to see if they could build the extension too. We did get other quotes, but went with Morgans because they came across as professional and friendly, and we could see that they knew what they were talking about.

from the council, which had to inspect the ‘Paul was our project manager and there work at various stages. Morgans were very was no hassle at all. Morgans coordinated clean and tidy, and the quality of the work everyone – the engineer, the electrics, the was very good. We built our own house underfloor heating. We didn’t have to call in Spain, so we’ve done it all before and anyone! They held a site meeting at the know what good workmanship looks like! beginning of the project and got all the contractors together with a copy of the plans ‘The ceiling on the extension has two to work out the sequence of the work. lantern skylights and is made of rubber; during the cold weather its been lovely ‘All the walls were stripped and warm in here. Morgans also back to the brick, and they suggested that we get blinds inside were then insulated and ‘Morgans were the glazing on the patio doors, which replastered. We went on a very clean cruise for two weeks while has been terrific because it means you and tidy, and don’t have loose curtains getting in the the work was being done, the quality of way. It was Paul’s recommendation and tried to go away to see the work was – he said he wished he’d had friends and family as often very good’ them fitted on his patio doors! as we could throughout the build, because we could ‘We’re extremely happy with the results and have recommended trust Morgans to secure the Morgans to our next-door neighbours for house at the end of each day. Before the work they need doing!’ rear wall was knocked down, they even built a temporary wall inside the living area with a door that could be locked.’ CONTACT DETAILS

A perfect fit

The view from the garden of the extension

‘The kitchen was already ordered, so the dimensions built by Morgans had to be accurate – it worked out exactly right and the kitchen fit perfectly when it arrived. They also did the outside groundwork to prepare it for laying the paving, which we did ourselves. ‘The whole job took two to three months, and the only delays we experienced were

Morgans Group Agricultural, DIY & Builders Merchants Mile End Business Park, Oswestry Tel: 01691 671489 www.morgansltd.com Morgans Windows, Doors & Conservatories Tel: 01691 674088 www.morgansdoorsandwindows.com March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 95

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We thought we’d share with you some of the incredible feedback we’ve been getting from the businesses we work with across the region.


Shire Magazine Customers say…





EXPLORE NEW CHESTER HOBBIES AND From ancient dwelling PASTIMES TOcity to a modern TRY IN 2019



Riverside paradise in the heart of Shropshire

WIN An Aga woodstove, concert tickets, and afternoon tea… Turn to page 129

WIN Show tickets, annual passes and much more… Turn to page 145



F O O D & D R I N K | S H O P P I N G | A R T & C R A F TS | FAS H I O N | I N T E R I O R S TS05_Cover_novdec2018DB.indd 1

A village of strange stories and local legends

26/10/2018 12:03


The canalside setting where counties meet


40 years


of the RSPB’S Big Garden Birdwatch

We talk to pop legend Cyndi Lauper

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WW WW W. S.IS M W Chester Chester CH3 5UG CH3 5UG 01244 311160 01244 311160

Knutsford WA16 6D Knutsford WA16 01565 633855 01565 633855

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Factory Factory Outlet Outlet 01978 01978 854941 854941

“Working with Shire Magazine enables us to target readers across the region with a comprehensive guide to what’s happening, not just at Chester Racecourse, but throughout our restaurant venues and at our sister racecourse Bangor-on-Dee. The team provide us with a variety of opportunities to ensure our messaging and events resonate through reviews and editorial in addition to standard advertising placement.”

“As new clients to Shire Magazine we were delighted with their help in producing a new look to our existing advertisements – they came up with a fresh new approach which gave our ad a new lease of life and superbly promoted our bespoke manufacturing and our extensive stocks of readymade curtains and fabrics. The professional and personal approach of the sales team made them a joy to work with – nothing was too much trouble.”

Stephanie Hughes, Head of Marketing, Chester Race Company

Carla Huxley, Operations Director, Simon Boyd Ltd Chester CH3 5UG 01244 311160

“Of all the glossy magazines we use at Stokers Furniture, we believe Shire to be one of the best in the country. Full of interesting information, articles and features, Shire has plenty to offer its readers and it really helps us connect to our target market. The Shire team are friendly, helpful and a pleasure to deal with and one of our favourite advertising teams to work with.” Phil Sanders, Advertising & Promotions Manager, Stokers Fine Furniture

“With newspaper circulation dropping year on year, it was a challenge to find a print medium to reach our potential customers. Once we knew the team behind Shire magazine and understood the vision for the publication we were eager to be part of it. The quality of the magazine is equal to many that attract nearer a £5 price tag, filled with useful and informative articles, rather than simply packed with adverts. The adverts produced are well thought out and feature neatly against relevant sections or articles within the magazine. In addition, the editorial opportunities often prove equally as valuable as the advertising space, promoting key products and positioning us as experts in our field. Communication is fantastic and pro-active, with a real understanding of how a business might benefit from being in each issue. Shire Magazine is definitely one of the first mediums penned into our advertising schedule each year!” Wyn Williams, RN Williams & Sons

“We have worked with Shire since they began and have found the team always to be helpful, professional and supportive. They are brilliant at trying to include us when appropriate in features. The magazine is well read and we feel it is effective advertising. We see how well the public react to the magazine here in the centre as they pick up their free copies. Its a great read.” Janet Dallolio, Afonwen Craft & Antique Centre

“Shire magazine helps us to reach out to our audiences across the region with quality editorial, up-to-date features and advertorial support. Dan and the team at Shire are great to work with and it’s the type of magazine you want to pick up and delve into with a coffee to find out what’s on.”

Ben Walker, The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

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“Shire Magazine has proven to be a very important asset in the marketing of Premier Windows and Conservatories within the local area. Their team takes the time to understand our business which in turn leads to the designing of carefully constructed adverts. We have greatly benefited from their ‘at home with’ style features where our customers have been interviewed and their installations photographed professionally. We look forward to continued success due to our adverts appearing in Shire Magazine.” Caroline Chenery, Premier Windows

“We always know when a Shire magazine hits the shops, as it gets our phone ringing. The circulation area is really well suited to our target market, and the magazine has a quality feel. We certainly get results from our advertising. The team at Shire are always helpful and friendly, making the whole process hassle-free.” Linda Andrews, Cheshire Cat Narrowboat Holidays

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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.

Free Entry to Fair

Whitchurch SY1 3 3JQ 1 0am-4pm

1 0am-4pm Fair: £1 .00 (gardens optional)

Man & Van Services

We grow and sell our own houseplants, and sell gifts and vouchers

Covering North Wales & Cheshire

Tel: 01948 840630 OPEN

Monday to Saturday: 9am to 5pm Sunday: 10am xto 4pm

Whitchurch Road (A49), Prees, Shropshire SY13 2DD www.hollyfarmgardencentre.co.uk • Holly Farm Garden Centre

nr Chester CH64 4AY

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

Tel 07743 574852

greencroftremovals@btinternet.com • www.greencroftmanandvan.co.uk

Glyndwr Plants Spring Time! 24V/48V/80V


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

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Plants&Gardens FIRST BURST OF SPRING Most gardens are coming back to life at this time of year. But one definite sign that spring and summer are on their way is the sudden burst of flowers from the humble rhododendron in March and April


hododendrons are often more heat. Rhododendrons need grown for their spectacular moist but well-drained, acidic flowers, but with a sturdy, woody soil between pH 5.0 and 6.0 and dense shrub-like form they that is rich in organic matter also offer some lovely glossy – if these aren’t the conditions greenery throughout the year as in your garden, it may be best hedging and a border evergreen. to use a container where you Deciduous rhododendrons or can control the acidity easily. azaleas can also provide some Prepare before planting by good autumn colour to our digging in organic matter such gardens, but it’s without doubt as composted tree bark, leaf the spring flowers that mould, pine or spruce DID YOU gardeners love them needles, or composted KNOW? for, as the burst of chopped bracken. Cuttings can be pink, purple and white Rhododendrons are taken from the flowers lifts the spirits surface-rooting, so season’s growth and brightens the the roots should be in late summer garden after winter. just covered and not planted too deeply, then packed in with some Better late than never good mulch on the surface. If you’re not already sitting back and glorying at the sight of your rhododendrons, it’s Care and cultivation not too late to add them to Rhododendrons are thirsty the garden. If you choose the plants and grow best in areas right variety and the right of high rainfall. In dry spells they will need watering, but spot, they can be planted make sure you use rainwater up until the end of April. Choose a site with dappled whenever possible – tap water, shade in sheltered conditions especially in hard water districts, and ideally avoiding extremes contains too much calcium. In spring, they will appreciate – not deep shade, but not full sun either unless you choose a feeding with an application dwarf variety that can tolerate of ericaceous fertiliser (use

controlled-release pellets) but in general they are easy, low-maintenance plants once established. They don’t require much pruning either, other than the removal of dead wood and deadheading after flowering.

R. ‘Blue Peter’ This sun-tolerant variety has elegant, frilly lavender flowers that appear mid-spring. The hybrid shrub grows to a height of about four feet.

Our favourite five


Here are some of the best varieties available. Rhododendron ‘Windsong’ An unusual colour in flower, this evergreen features lush yellow blooms that combine well with its glossy green leaves.

Bright spring blooms

R. ‘Nova Zembla’ This can reach heights of up to eight feet, and has the potential to create a great hedge or large garden feature. It also brings a cluster of crimson blooms to a shady corner. R. ‘Bow Bells’ This variety sports light pink bell-shaped blooms and is known for its rounded foliage, which is bronze-coloured when young but matures to deep green.

Rhododendrons can be used as colourful hedging

R. ‘Boule de Neige’ Translating as ‘snowball’ in English, this variety loves deep shade and gives a proud show of big spheres of bright white flowers in spring.

Get your garden off to a great start this spring by visiting one of the many Plant Hunters’ Fairs taking place in the region. The fairs are great places to find plants from small specialist nurseries, and these enthusiastic people are on hand to give honest, straightforward advice. • 17th March, Alderford Lake, Whitchurch 10am-4pm; free • 24th March, Ness Botanic Gardens, Wirral 10am-4pm; £1 • 19th April, Whittington Castle, Oswestry 10am-4pm; £1 per car • 21st & 22nd April, Dorothy Clive Garden, Market Drayton 10am-5pm; £4 • 27th April, Battlefield 1403, Shrewsbury 9.30am-4pm; free • 28th April, Cholmondeley Castle, Malpas 10am5pm; £3.50 • 5th & 6th May, Weston Park, Shifnal 10am-5pm; £3 www.planthuntersfairs.co.uk

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 99

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BRING IN THE SPRING Add splashes of seasonal colour to your home with these arrangement tips from Dave Billington, a floristry technician at Reaseheath College, Nantwich


here’s no better herald of spring than a display of sweet-smelling, freshly cut early flowers spilling over the sides of a wicker basket. To create this quick but eyecatching display, Dave restricted his selection of cut flowers and foliage to the traditional spring colours of yellow, white and green, and chose varieties that would fill the room with a subtle perfume. You can personalise your arrangement by choosing different colours, by omitting perfumed flowers or by choosing a different-shaped container. ‘A simple colour combination looks fresh and

Dave’s selection

clean, while perfumed flowers bring the promise of longer days and warmer nights into your home,’ says Dave. ‘But it’s very much about personal choice – pop into your local florist shop or supermarket and select the flowers and

foliage that you find most attractive. Go for quality and freshness, and try to find perfect blooms which can be admired from all angles. ‘Remember it’s always worth looking for attractive evergreen leaves, colourful stems or spring bulbs or buds in your own garden. It’s easy to overlook what nature may have provided on your own doorstep.’

What you’ll need

To recreate the display that Dave has put together on these pages, you will need: •• Daffodils (preferably two bunches of different types – here, Dave has used a highly scented small narcissus and a more substantial variety to add height). Tulips are a good alternative •• Freesia for their white, highly scented flowers •• Mimosa for its glossy green leaves and tiny flower heads in greenish yellow •• Pistacia vera for its glossy green leaves •• Ranunculus for its elegant white flowers •• A wicker basket •• Half a block of oasis •• A piece of plastic or similar to line the basket and keep it waterproof •• Scissors

Step 1

Put the oasis in a bucket and cover with water. While it soaks, line your basket and lay out your flowers and foliage. Once the oasis is thoroughly wet, put it the basket.

Step 2

Trim the mimosa and pistacia, and insert it into the oasis piece by piece, working from the outside into the centre. Provide an even and natural-looking base, leaving small, randomly spaced gaps for your flowers.

Step 3

Add the daffodils and freesias, placing the tallest in the centre and the smallest on the outside to create a domed effect. To emphasise a natural look, put some flowers in upright and others at a slant, constantly checking the whole display from all angles. Reposition or replace flowers that don’t work together.

Regular columnist John Stubbs from Glyndwr Plants share his tips on how to plan for successful planting


t’s high time you made a start if you want to a garden that grows well this year. If you haven’t already given the vegetable plot a rough dig, now is the time. If you’ve had problems with wire worms in your potatoes, rough digging will open the soil

Prepare vegetable patches

and allow birds to get rid of the problem. After digging, cover the area with a good thick layer of well rotted farmyard manure. It’s a good time to give the greenhouse a good clean-out too. Check for broken panes of glass, disinfect the benches, clean the windows and get rid of any weeds that could harbour over-wintering pests. Finish pruning apples and pears. It can be a daunting task but approach it with a clear idea of what you’re going to take out and stop regularly to inspect your work – the aim is for a good outward-facing framework

Step 4

foliage spill over the sides of the wicker basket.

Step 6

Dress with a ribbon or personalised card. For more about Reaseheath’s floristry department, visit www.reaseheath.ac.uk/floristry

Step 4

Add the ranunculus, scattering them through the display for a natural effect.

Step 5

Fill in the edges, arranging it so the flowers and Step 5


Step 3

Step 2

with a clear centre. The next job is to plan a rotation for the vegetable plot. A traditional plan would look something like the following: Year 1 1. Potatoes

Year 2 1. Legumes

The final design

Rootgrow across the base. Place the tree or shrub in the hole, spreading the roots, add another teaspoonful of Rootgrow across the roots, and back fill.

Year 3 1. Brassica

2. Legumes

2. Brassica

2. Potatoes

3. Brassica

3. Potatoes

3. Legumes

This allows for a cleaning crop (potatoes) followed by legumes to restore the natural health of the ground. You can plant bare root trees and shrubs now the frosts have finished. Dig a hole at least twice as big as the root ball, push your fork into the base to aid drainage, add a couple of generous forkfuls of well-rotted manure, cover with 2.5cm soil and sprinkle a teaspoonful of

Sort out the greenhouse

Two trees to consider planting are Sorbus pseudohupehensis or ‘Pink Pagoda’, which has blue/green pinnate leaves on red stems and white flowers in spring followed by a profusion of vivid pink berries, and apple ‘Paradice Gold’, which produces wonderful late-picking apples.

100 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Make the most of your blooming spring garden with these fabulous gardening gifts for all the family Seletti concrete brogue shoe planter, £65, www.smithersofstamford.com

British bloom twine in a tin, £9.95, www.annabeljames.co.uk

British-made children’s leather aprons, £65 each, risdonandrisdon.co.uk

Small vintage gardener’s mug, £8.50, www. lauraleedesigns.co.uk

Children’s wheelbarrow, £29.99, www.dobbies.com

Bloomingville ceramic rose garden lantern, £75, www. beaumonde.co.uk

Stepped herb planter, £47.99 special offer. With three tiers of growth, this A-frame planter can be used for herbs or even as a flower planter. Made from pressuretreated FSC-certified timber. With 20% off, buy it now for only £47.99 at the Woodworks Garden Centre and Café, in Mold. www.woodworksgc.com

Firwood butterfly lantern, £24, www.dobbies.com Puck pot, from £9.99, www.dobbies.com

Show mum you love her this Mothering Sunday 31st March with a personalised rose. Black Birches of Hadnall Garden Centre & Tea Room near Shrewsbury is offering a Name Your Own Rose personalisation service. Choose from Classic Red, Blush Pink and Ivory White. The roses cost £24.99 and are prepared while the you wait by enjoying a complimentary hot drink in the tearoom. Each one is presented gift-wrapped with a coloured label and certificate depicting the rose, its chosen name and care instructions. www.blackbirches.co.uk

Painted wooden bird table, £75.99, www.morgansltd.com Outdoor candle holder, £10, www.rtdesigners.co.uk

Don’t forget to treat green-fingered mums on Mother’s Day, 31st March

Garden caddy, £24.95. www.annabeljames.co.uk March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 103

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Duration 1 Hour 2 Hour

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Child £ 5.00 £ 8.00

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22/02/2019 15:52

Pets&Wildlife CUTE PETS Sam gets dressed up for the occasion!

New project to create Anglesey haven

One-year-old Bengal kitten Khushi

Molly the nine-monthold cocker, enjoying the beach at Rhos-on-Sea

The Wildlife Trust has launched its latest initiative to create the perfect habitat to protect and enhance species living on the isle of Anglesey


he Anglesey fens – a special type of wetlands fed by mineral-rich water – once stretched over a wide area, but due to drainage and poor water quality are now few in number. This has had a detrimental effect on the area’s wildlife, which includes barn owls, red squirrels, water voles, fly orchids and the southern damselfly. The Wildlife Trust’s Anglesey Fens Living Landscape Project, funded by the North Wales Wildlife Trust and Natural Resources Wales, will be based in the hearts of Anglesey’s Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, between Henry Cook Llangefni, Pentraeth and Moelfre. It is a landscape of gently undulating valleys containing delicate fen wetlands in the lower areas and a range of land uses elsewhere, including farmland and caravan parks. The project will work Fly orchid to join up these areas and improve water quality, helping wildlife move around and find new places to live and feed.

‘This region is home to a wealth of iconic species and I’m looking forward to working with local communities so we can create a more connected and healthier environment for people and wildlife to live in DID YOU together,’ says Henry Cook, KNOW? Anglesey Fens Living Fens depend on Landscape Officer for lime-rich water from natural North Wales Wildlife Trust. springs ‘There will be opportunities to restore wetlands, help create wildflower meadows, plant trees and detect where rare species live. ‘Local communities, groups and volunteers will have the chance to get out into the countryside and making a difference to the landscape,’ says Molly Lovatt from Natural Resources Wales Can you help? There will be opportunities to learn new skills and discover more about the area, with activities posted on the North Wales Wildlife Trust website and on social media. Visit www.northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk/ anglesey-fens-living-landscape for details.

A new report shows several species of native Welsh bird to be in danger and highlights the vital role of citizen science, as our friends at the RSPB explain irds are powerful indicators of the health of our environment since many species sit at the top of their food chain. This is why the recent “State Of Birds In Wales” report is so important. The report shows that a number of species have already disappeared from Wales,

Daisy the Westie at Christmas

Cute and cuddly Aled

Play your part



Ozzie, relaxing in his favourite spot

including corn buntings, dotterels and nightingales, a result of their geographic ranges shrinking and impacting breeding populations. Wales is home to more than half of the UK’s breeding populations of the rare choughs, pied flycatchers and redstarts, as well as more than quarter of

the UK’s breeding populations of honey buzzards, goshawks, wood warblers, red kites and ravens. Over half of the world’s Manx shearwaters now breed on islands off the Pembrokeshire and one, Grassholm, holds the third largest gannetry in the UK. The number of curlews, golden plovers, black

Fudge, keeping his paws warm

WE WANT YOUR PETS! Send us a photo of your pet for inclusion in Shire. Email the picture, with the name of your pet, to editorial@shiremagazine. co.uk with ‘Cute Pets’ in the subject line.

grouse, red grouse and ring ouzels all declined. This is a critical time for nature in Wales, as the Welsh government is deciding what our environmental policy will look like after we leave the EU. Many bird monitoring schemes in Wales are led by nongovernmental organisations and rely on the remarkable efforts of volunteers. To find out more about how you can get involved, email cymru@rspb.org.uk.

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 105

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YOUR WILDLIFE NEEDS YOU IN 2019 Last year the government announced that 2019 would be the Year of the Environment. While this is true for a wildlife charity every year, Cheshire Wildlife Trust is asking everybody who loves nature to join their fight for the protection of our natural world


areas, providing the tools for people he latest “State Of Nature” report shows that we are losing our nation’s to connect with their environment through communications, school wildlife more rapidly than ever before. Since the 1930s, our barn owl population visits, events and groups. has decline by 66 per cent, with 99 per cent of our beautiful wildflower meadows Join the fight for nature also disappearing since the 1960s. The ‘Whether it be a hen harrier on a nature common frogs and water voles we used to reserve or a zebra slug in the garden, see as children have since seen a 90 per cent nature is fascinating,’ says Tracey Gibson of decline since the 1980s and 1990s. Cheshire Cheshire Wildlife Trust. ‘It’s also essential – Wildlife Trust is fighting to it’s literally the air that we breathe, the stop this and is calling for water we drink and the food we eat. We ‘Nature is your support by becoming a need to stop taking it for granted. As literally the air member of the organisation. a charity that receives no government we breathe, The trust manages homes funding, Cheshire Wildlife Trust can the water we for wildlife across more than only continue to protect wildlife with drink and the food we drink’ 40 nature reserves in the the support of dedicated members.’ area, with habitats ranging Membership to Cheshire Wildlife from grasslands and wet Trust includes a special welcome pack meadows, to reedbeds, coastal dunes and to get you started, including a guide to the woodland. The trust also ensures local local nature reserves in Cheshire. Members communities have access to these wild are also sent weekly email updates, as well

Help protect the wildlife near you

as two copies of wildlife magazine The Grebe every year and discounts across the Trust’s exciting programme of events. Younger supporters also get a special welcome pack and four copies of Wildlife Watch, aimed at inspiring a love of nature at an early age. Members also have the opportunity to volunteer and help wildlife first hand throughout the year. ‘We have exciting plans for 2019,’ says Tracey. ‘We’ve already planned lots of opportunities for members to get involved throughout the year, or simply be able to see how their support is helping on the ground. For more about membership, visit www. cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/membership.

Creatures safe after fire at zoo Animals lovers were shocked to hear about a fire at Chester Zoo at the end of last year, and zookeepers have now shared some images to reassure those people worried for the rare and special animals housed at Chester


uring the fire at Chester Zoo in December, a huge range of animals were led to safety by zookeepers and firefighters. These included all the mammals in the building affected, such as Sumatran orangutans and Sulawesi macaques, as well as a range of other species, from lizards to tortoises and birds. Conservationists have worked around the clock to relocate all the animals within the zoo’s 125 acres. They’ve also shared the first images of the species in their new homes ‘Everyone has pulled together and worked hard to relocate the many wonderful species whose homes were affected by the fire,’ says Mike Jordan, PETS SHOPPING

the zoo’s animal and plant director. ‘Our animal experts will now be keeping a very close eye on each and every one of them – helping them to fully settle in to their temporary accommodation.’ A conservation fundraising page was set up in response to a deluge of offers of support, as visitors asked how they could help or donate. ‘Knowing how much people are behind us has made this terribly difficult time a little easier to bear and we really have been bowled over by all of the support,’ says Jamie Christon, Chester Zoo’s chief operating officer. ‘We’re a conservation charity working to prevent extinction, and the overwhelming generosity of our supporters will enable us to deliver an incredible amount of conservation work for threatened species, both here in Chester and around the world.’

All mammals were led to safety in the fire

The animals are settling into new homes

Bradeley Green’s Spring Dog Walk

Put your best foot forward on Saturday 30th March and join Bradeley Green pet store for its Spring Walk. The walk will commence at 10am from Bradeley Green’s store in Whitchurch near Wrexham, where parking will be available and refreshments will be served on your return. The walk aims to cover approximately 10km (6.5 miles) in two hours, allowing you to take in

the breathtaking local scenery. The walk will involve the crossing of stiles and uneven terrain, which may be unsuitable for wheelchairs, prams and pushchairs. Each dog will receive a free doggy goody bag. It costs £2 to participate, with all proceeds going to Cancer Research UK. If you would like to join Bradeley Green for some fun and fresh air, call 01948 668100 for more information.

106 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Tues to Sat: 9am-4.30pm


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Manufacturers of Housing Poultry Housing (static & moveable) Multi-purpose Arks n Pygmy Goat Housing n Alpaca/Sheep Shelters n Runs & Enclosures n Aviaries Open Tuesday - Saturday n Pet Hutches & kennels 9.00am - 4.30pm n Bespoke orders Hope-Under-Dinmore, Leominster, HR6 0PX undertaken n n

Unit 2, Upper Buskwood Farm, Hope under Dinmore, Leominster HR6 0PX (Off the A49 through Hope Under Dinmore Village centre then follow the signs.) Tel: 01568 797314 www.wynnes.co.uk wynnesofdinmore WynnesOfDinmore


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01745 362 444

www.woodworkersuk.co.uk enquiries@woodworkersuk.co.uk 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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Specialists in Water Boreholes and Ground Source Heating

Dragon Drilling is the largest environmental drilling company in the UK and specialises in water and ground source heating borehole installations.

Their services are ideal for most applications, including rural homes, new build, retro-fit homes, leisure facilities, care homes, caravan parks and farms. A water borehole enables you to become independent of mains water, whilst ground source heating is a sustainable energy which allows your property to have a constant heat whilst earning money from the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive scheme. If you have high water or energy bills why not contact Dragon Drilling today for a free site assessment to see how they can start saving you money!

Visit our website to see our online shop and collection of pumps, pipework and fittings. For more information about our services, please contact us on 01824 707 777 or admin@dragondrilling.co.uk or visit our website at www.dragondrilling.co.uk

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2nd March, Charlotte’s Country Commissions Charlotte runs another one of her popular workshops. Bring a small item of your own furniture, and learn how to paint using chalk paint. Brushes and paint will be supplied on the day. The workshop costs £50 per person and runs from 10.30am to 3.30pm. Booking is essential. Please call Charlotte on 07803 313278 or email countrycommissions@gmail.com. 3rd & 5th March, Gillian Benjamin Local artist Gill returns with her lovely acrylic paintings featuring coastal scenes and landscapes. Gill has a strong and bold style to her work that captures a scene beautifully.

Helen (centre) with Wonderwool organisers

The 13th annual Wonderwool festival, celebrating all things woolly and Welsh, is giving one local textile artist the chance to shine with a top exhibition slot at the event


houghts of her home town on Aberaeron and the pretty, pastel-coloured houses that give its harbour its distinctive charm have inspired local textile artist Helen Evans to develop a prize-winning portfolio. While studying at Carmarthen School Of Art, the textiles graduate captured her memories of the views from her childhood home in Portland Place, Aberaeron, to produce a range of beautiful woven cushions. The stunning designs are influenced by the town harbour’s palette of colours and Regency architecture. Her work drew the attention of the organisers of Wonderwool Wales, the premier wool and natural fibre festival in Wales, who awarded Helen a special bursary to help her set up in business. ‘I was brought Helen was chosen up in Aberaeron, to receive the surrounded by the annual graduate colours and gorgeous shapes of the town, bursary of £1,000 but it wasn’t until I when judges said came to Carmarthen they were impressed that I realised how both by the quality embedded they were of her work and in my mind’ her business plan. ‘I’m absolutely ecstatic to have won,’ says Helen. ‘The bursary will go towards buying myself a loom so I can make exactly the same fabrics now I have left college. I am also starting up a business as Helen Margaret Textiles.’ Helen, 23, hopes her customers will include

7th & 8th March, Silver Jewellery By Sandra Sandra has some wonderful handmade pieces of eco silver jewellery, which she has cut, hammered and twisted to create her lovely collection of jewellery. She will be hard at work on both days, but is happy to stop and chat. 13th March, Handmade Cards by Angela Angela has a large and varied collection of handmade greetings cards, which cover most occasions – many can be boxed if wished.

visitors to Aberaeron who are as inspired by the town as she is. ‘I was brought up in Aberaeron, surrounded by the colours and

5th April, Weaving With Trevor Blackburn Trevor weaves many different items from various yarns, including scarves and cushion covers, and is also able to demonstrate how to use weaving sticks and lucets to make cords and other items.

Helen’s home-inspired work

gorgeous shapes of the town, but it wasn’t until I came to Carmarthen that I realised how embedded they were in my mind,’ says Helen. Visitors to Wonderwool Wales 2019 can look forward to admiring and buying Helen’s beautiful cushions, as part of her prize is the opportunity to showcase her creativity at the event at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells. Wonderwool Wales takes place from 27th to 28th April. Visit www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk for more information and to book tickets

16th April, Crafty Sisters Cymru The girls have a fabulous collection of jewellery, with some made from resin, fused glass and braided. They also have some handmade cards and various other gift items. 19th & 20th April, Jackie at Jewels Jackie has a large collection of handmade jewellery using many different beads and stones, and she is also able to carry out some repairs to your own pieces of jewellery. 24th & 25th April, Helen and Elaine Helen makes beautiful soft furnishings, including curtains and blinds, while Elaine specialised in gorgeous handmade jewellery. Both ladies will be working during these two days and are happy to talk.

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 109

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PHOTO competition PORTRAIT

9th March, North Wales Contemporary Craft Fair, MOSTYN, Llandudno More than 50 contemporary makers and artists from across the UK present their work for sale in the contemporary art gallery’s beautiful Edwardian spaces. The fair provides a fantastic opportunity to buy affordable and unique pieces direct from the artists. The event runs from 10.30am to 5pm and admission is free.

By Tracey Williams

From 16th March, Derek Boshier: It’s Only When The Tide Goes Out…, MOSTYN, Llandudno An exhibition of drawings, paintings, prints and videos, along with lesser known photographic and sculptural works and ephemera, from the personal collection of English pop artist Derek Boshier, who first came to prominence as part of the British pop art movement in the early 1960s. Until April 22nd, Julie Cope’s Grand Tour: The Story Of A Life by Grayson Perry, Ty Pawb, Wrexham A lavish and colourful exhibition by one of the UK’s most famous contemporary artists. Grayson Perry – who won the Turner Prize in 2003 – is known for his ceramic art, in which traditional decorative forms reveal more complex narratives and irreverent political statements. The work in this exhibition is based on a fictional character, Julie Cope, and the art represents ‘the trials, tribulations, celebrations and mistakes of an average life’. Calling all artisans! A run-down former railway building on the walkway at Meliden, Prestatyn, is undergoing a £1.2m revamp to transform it into a community hub. Artists, photographers, craft makers and food producers are being offered the chance to showcase their wares once the building – to be called Y Shed – opens. Anyone interested in displaying their work or selling their products should call Grŵp Cynefin on 0300 111 2122 or email yshed@grwpcynefin.org.

by Tracey Williams

By Beverley Davies

Family portrait by anon

By Beth Woods By Tommy

By Jenn

Thank you so much once again for rising to the challenge of our photo competition with your entries in the Portrait category. We’ve printed our favourites here and have been delighted as usual by the quality of our Shire snappers – and your interesting interpretations of the topic. For our next contest, we’re going to force you to get physical because we’d like you to enter images along the theme of Action. So get out there and get capturing the moment – whatever and wherever that is! Send your entries to us at editorial@ shiremagazine.co.uk and good luck!

110 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Banquet House Antiques Furniture, Ceramics, Silver and Objects of Art & Virtue

British Art Portfolio are delighted to return for the seventh consecutive year to The Sicily Oak Gallery for their Spring Exhibition of 20th 21st Century Art. Visitors will be warmly welcomed by Judy Bromley Davenport, who is hosting the exhibition. Prices will range from £200 - £10,500 with many under £500. British Art Portfolio will be showing a wide spectrum of drawings, paintings, signed prints and sculpture. Artists are carefully selected from all over Britain, young artists just starting out on their careers, to the well established and artistic stars such as Elizabeth Frink RA and Edward Bawden RA, and Scottish Academician, John Houston RSA. Also exhibiting will be Jill Barthorpe, Sue Campion, equestrian artist Jo Taylor as well as ceramicist, Melanie Legge who creates wonders out of glazed porcelain. British Art Portfolio will be introducing several new artists this year including sculptures by Lucy Lutyens and stunning landscapes by Andrew Farmer and Kirsty Whithers. For more information, please see www.britishartportfolio.co.uk

Exhibition dates: FRIDAY 26TH APRIL - MONDAY 6TH MAY 2019 Opening times: Daily 10am to 6pm (SUNDAYS 10am to 4pm)

Now open at Acorn Antiques Centre near Wrexham

Contact: Judy Bromley Davenport judybd@btinternet.com

www.banquethouseantiques.com Elizabeth Hart and David Persich - info@banquethouseantiques.com

tel: 07815 199702

+44 (0)1745 591942

Sicily Oak Gallery, Croxton Green Lane, Cholmondley, Malpas, Cheshire SY14 8HG

Afonwen North Wales


describe us in one word... ‘Fantastic’

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Homestyle Living, Gifts, Furniture, Antiques, Jewellery, Daily Craft Demonstrations and fabulous a Restaurant. Tel: Centre 01352 720965 or Restaurant 01352 720797

AFONWEN, Near Caerwys, CH7 5UB • Only 5mins off the A55 Junction31

OPEN Tuesday - Sunday • 9.30am – 5.30pm OPEN BANK HOLIDAYS MONDAYS E. antiques@afonwen.co.uk www.afonwen.co.uk

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Embrace your inner animal and opt for nature-inspired prints 1. Leopard-print midi dress, £45, www.missselfridge.com 2. Leopard-print fit and flare dress, £69, www.sosandar.com 3. F&F leopard-print swing dress, £18, www.tesco.com 4. Animal-print shirt dress, £16, www.matalan.co.uk 5. Lipsy London animal-print shirt, £28, www.next.co.uk/lipsy 6. Snakeskin maxi skirt, £42, www.glamorous.com 7. Roman animal-print necklace trim top, £28, Tweedmill Shopping Outlet, St Asaph; www.tweedmill.co.uk 8. Sandwich animal-print top, So Chic, Bangor, www.sochicbangor.co.uk 9. Joseph Ribkoff dress, So Chic, Bangor, www.sochicbangor.co.uk 10. Ruby Shoo Juno snake-effect crushed velvet shoe, £65, Tweedmill Shopping Outlet, St Asaph, www.tweedmill.co.uk










STYLIST’S TIP Brighten up snakeskin or animal print with a splash of spring yellow or pink


www.out-of-town-oswestry.co.uk Joseph Ribkoff

Snakeskin kitten heel, £36, www.evans.co.uk

Joseph Ribkoff Michaela Louisa

Michaela Louisa

Snakeskin belt, £6, www.dorothy perkins.com Bailey leopard crossbody bag, £39.50, www.oliver bonas.com

Leopard-print cuff, £2, www. primark.com 112 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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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.


• • • • • •



Opening times: Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday 9.30m - 5pm Evening appointments also available

Dressing you…Sizes 8-24 2019 COLLECTIONS NOW SHOWING Independent labels… in an Independent store Priding ourselves on a professional and friendly service www.sochicbangor.co.uk

01248 372283

email: info@sochicbangor.co.uk

154 High Street, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 1NU

Upper Brook Street, Oswestry, SY11 2TB Please call us for more information. OUT OF TOWN: 01691 670288 FAB FEET: 01691 655622 WWW.OUT-OF-TOWN-OSWESTRY.CO.UK

Our philsophy is simple...

It’s about beautiful individual haircuts and colours www.soulhair.co.uk 18-20 Castle Street, Shrewsbury SY1 2AT 01743 362 123 67a High Street Tarporley CW6 0DP 01829 730 433 13 Watergate Row, Chester CH1 2LE 01244 320014

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

Porters Delicatessen

Gregynog’s eye catching black and white Hall is the perfect wedding location, standing in glorious Grade 1 listed gardens offering inspirational opportunities for photographs. Four of the historic rooms are licensed for civil ceremonies, including the recently refurbished grand Music Room and the Blayney Room with its 17th century oak carvings.


Our head chef has designed a fantastic new range of wedding menus, using locally sourced Welsh ingredients, with wedding breakfast packages starting from £34.95 per person.


www.gregynog.org 01686 650224 enquiries@gregynog.org Located near Newtown Powys SY16 3PL

Find out more about weddings at Gregynog

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Tel: 07831 179976

swagr1@yahoo.co.uk www.allenegregory.photography

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Carden Park Hotel has a choice of venues


estled in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, Cheshire’s Hotel Of The Year, Carden Park Hotel, offers 1,000 acres of beautiful landscapes to prospective brides and grooms. And this year, the popular venue

Tailor the room to your requirements

has even more to offer those looking to get hitched in style, having introduced a newly refurbished Shooting Suite – a state-of-theart space that offers a flexible area suitable for wedding ceremonies and celebrations. The suite, which can accommodate up to 150 guests, is part of a recent investment that includes the £10m spa

The bar

that is set to open this summer, according to general manager Hamish Ferguson. The new space will include a purposebuilt bar area to provide room for arrival drinks, and the suite can be designed to suit a couple’s wishes with mood lighting and DID YOU ceiling spotlights. KNOW? Carden Park The new spa Hotel takes interior will have 14 inspiration from its treatment rooms idyllic surroundings, delivering a country house aesthetic with contemporary design features and elegant furnishings. It is a venue that suits all seasons: guests can cosy up in front of the open log fires in winter or take a stroll round the grounds in full bloom during spring and summer. Comfort and convenience Located just 20 minutes from Chester and within easy reach of cities including Liverpool and Manchester, Carden Park is perfectly located for those couples that want a country wedding that isn’t too far for guests to travel. There is a large front lawn and walled garden featuring an outdoor terrace and orangery. The grounds are also home to a vineyard, which produces its own sparkling wine – Carden Park Estate Reserve. Beautiful forest surrounds the hotel, which guests can explore at their leisure. And with 198 recently refurbished bedrooms and four luxury suites, guests can feel relaxed and at ease to enjoy the celebrations… Visit www.cardenpark.co.uk/ celebrate/weddings for more.

Treats to eat

When it comes to choosing the feast on your big day, you need to make sure you’ve got the perfect caterer for you. Hughes Caterers is based in Welshpool, Powys, from where it has been catering to all since 1908. The team specialises in private and public event catering, providing a superb service that ensures your event is both successful and memorable, with experience and expertise to ensure your event will be a total success. Hughes caters for occasions of all sizes and types, from private parties and weddings to corporate events. Whether you’re planning seated dining, a buffet or finger food, it will work with you to plan the perfect menu and management of your event, and can provide a complete catering service too. As well as the food, Hughes offers a range of services including seating plans, flower arrangements and the finest tableware and linen – everything you require to make your function enjoyable and memorable. The highly trained uniformed staff provide a professional and attentive level of service to ensure the day runs exactly as you wish. www.hughescaterers.co.uk

Stunning surroundings March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 115

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A range of outfits sold by So Chic, Bangor


the showroom in Ashton Hayes near Kelsall, there is also a shop in Oxford and an online store. The styling approach has always been to focus on the individual, so Olivia May’s extensive range of brands are handpicked by Ann and her team to create a unique style of dressing. At Olivia May you’re encouraged to explore your own look and work with the team to create a style with a difference. You can also book an individual appointment at a time to suit you. All of which makes choosing your outfits so easy, knowing you’re getting it right and perhaps trying a new look that suits you perfectly. www.oliviamay.org

hether you’re the mother of the bride or groom, or a wedding guest determined to impress, now is the time to make sure you’ve got the perfect outfit ready for this year’s wedding season. One place to check out is Olivia May, which has a showroom in Ashton Hayes, Cheshire. The boutique is synonymous with style and individuality – and the passion So Chic, an another awardof owner Ann Whorrall is winning ladies boutique plain to see from the moment selling beautiful clothing and you walk through the door, accessories for the discerning Xenia Design dress, from the fabulous styling woman, is situated on the high £304, Olivia May to the excellent service. street in the historic university Ann, a former teacher and town of Bangor. If you haven’t school inspector, had a vision to bring chosen your outfit for a wedding this year, exceptional contemporary clothing to an this is the place to go – especially if you audience who have an important role to play on the day. appreciate Stocking beautiful, elegant, timeless designer quality and great clothing and accessories, So Chic will help design, and who you choose the perfect outfit for you. are confident The boutique has gone from strength in their own to strength since skin. The result being established in is Olivia May, 2006, with a whole ‘Out Of Town which first floor of special carries labels opened five occasionwear added that are only years ago and in 2010. The shop has supplied to offers clothing, secured an excellent independent accessories, reputation and is retailers’ footwear and well known for its jewellery from stunning collections, niche designers impeccable who make a customer service and professional advice. Niu dress, £209, and Les real statement. The team’s expertise has been recognised Filles d’Ailleurs maxi coat, As well as by experts as well as customers, and the £353, Olivia May

boutique has received a host of awards from the Welsh National Wedding Awards, as well as being named Best Occasion Wear Shop in Wales in 2017. www.sochicbangor.co.uk Another popular dress shop worth visiting, this time in Oswestry, Shropshire, is Out Of Town, an established business operating since 1991 and now incorporating Fab Feet to offer shoppers a wide selection of ladies fashions, footwear and accessories, with styles to suit all occasions, casual or formal. Able Ronald Joyce dress, £699, to organise an and hat, £179, Out Of Town entire outfit, the shop caters for all ages and stocks sizes 8 to 22 in an extensive and ever-changing range carefully chosen to suit current fashions and lifestyles. Out Of Town carries labels that are only supplied to independent retailers, so you won’t see the collection on every high street, and the staff try to make shopping a pleasure. There’s plenty of time to browse, with expert advice and an alterations service available if needed, yet no pressure to buy. www.out-of-town-oswestry.co.uk

Condici hat and dress, £750, Out Of Town

Michaela Louisa dress, £230, Out Of Town

116 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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gs ed

We work with a host of iconic wedding venues across the North West and North Wales and can coordinate the perfect setting to your perfect day. Already found your location? We are experts at providing outdoor catering and will work collaboratively with you, to deliver memorable culinary moments for your wedding party.

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perfect venue

for a perfect day

Plas Isaf


Plas Isaf, Isaf Corwen, Denbighshire, LL21 0EW Tel: 01490 412 486 Mob: 07891 501 833 www.plas-isaf.co.uk

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Plas Isaf Country Barn & Gardens in Corwen, Denbighshire, is a 17th-century listed barn with spectacular views of the Dee Valley. The barn offers a wealth of versatility for an intimate gathering of 30 or a celebratory party of 300. Call 01490 412486 or visit www.plas-isaf.co.uk.

The Hand Hotel in Chirk, at the edge of the Ceiriog Valley, is one of the oldest hotels in north-east Wales. The team are proud of their attention to detail, from initial planning to the day itself, ensuring your wedding is as memorable as possible. Call 01691 773472 or see www.thehandhotelchirk.co.uk.

Carden Park near Chester is where all your wedding dreams can come true. Take your vows surrounded by 1,000 acres of countryside, with the team on hand to tailor your wedding to your requirements and work to make sure everything runs like clockwork. Call 01829 731000 or visit www.cardenpark.co.uk.

Gregynog Hall near Newtown, Powys, is a grand location that will impress your guests. This is the most romantic of locations, with cultural significance and laced with symbolism from the earliest times of the Princes of Wales. Call 01686 650224 or visit www.gregynog.org.

Hawkstone Park Hotel in the heart of Shropshire has 400 acres of beautiful scenery and Grade I listed grounds, offering a stunning location for your special day. Guests will feel extra-special in the refurbished function suites and guest rooms. Call 01948 841769 or visit www.hawkstone.co.uk.

Willington Hall in Tarporley is one of Cheshire’s best kept secrets. The main hall is adorned with chandeliers, while floorto-ceiling mirrors reflect the grand staircase, creating the most beautiful location for your grand entrance. Call 01829 752321 or visit www.willingtonhall.co.uk.

Brookhouse Mill is a 17thcentury mill in Denbigh, with an atmospheric restaurant that overlooks the river and gardens. With a fine a la carte menu, it’s the ideal venue for any occasion, from an intimate dinner for two to a 70-guest wedding. Call 01745 813377.

Tyn Dwr Hall, set in woodland near Llangollen, is a tranquil country escape. With five-star accommodation for up to 66 guests, stained-glass windows and romantic waterfalls surrounded by breathtaking scenery. Call 01978 884664 or visit www.tyndwrhall.co.uk.

Soughton Hall near Mold swept the board at the recent Welsh National Wedding Awards, claiming Best Venue in North Wales and also Best Venue in Wales. This is a stunning location that’s definitely worth a visit. Call 01352 840811 or visit www.soughtonhall.co.uk.

Portmeirion in north Wales is a wedding venue like no other. Spend your wedding day on a private peninsula surrounded by colourful buildings, sandy beaches and winding woodland, with a choice of three locations for the ceremony. Call 01766 770000 or visit www.portmeirion.wales.

Whittington Castle near Oswestry is an impressive slice of local history with a fascinating past dating back to 1222. The fairytale castle, ivy-clad walls, medieval moat and twin-towered gatehouse create the perfect romantic setting. Call 01691 662397 or visit www.whittingtoncastle.co.uk.

Holt Lodge Hotel near Wrexham enjoys far-reaching views of the surrounding countryside and is a sanctuary of tranquillity, with picturesque gardens and beautifully appointed function suites offering the perfect setting for celebrations. Call 01978 661002 or visit www.holtlodge.co.uk.

Thornton Manor in Cheshire can accommodate weddings of from 20 to 1,000 guests in its Waterside Pavilion, Lakeside Marquee, Walled Garden or Manor House, which is the former home of Lord Leverhulme. Call 0151 353 1155 or visit www.thorntonmanor.co.uk.

Château Rhianfa in Anglesey has earned a reputation as a premier wedding destination, with a range of wedding packages on offer for couples looking to take advantage of the hotel’s fairytale setting on their special day. Call 01248 880099 or visit www.chateaurhianfa.com.

Holiday Inn Chester South is top for convenience and location, which makes it a popular choice with couples who have friends and family travelling to their big day. Facilities including swimming pool, sauna, steam room and gym. Call 01244 688770 or visit www.hichestersouthhotel.co.uk.

Grosvenor Pulford Hotel is an award-winning wedding venue in Chester that has a team of wedding specialists who will take care of every detail, from your civil ceremony to your wedding breakfast and reception. Call 01244 572106 or visit www. grosvenorpulfordhotel.co.uk.

Photo: Sally Joanne Photography

With so many wedding venues in the area, picking the perfect place in which to tie the knot can be tricky. Here we’ve put together 16 of the best to help you make the right choice for you

118 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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PALM COURT PRESENTS... Afternoons and Evenings with First Class Entertainment From evenings of captivating live operatic performances to afternoons of relaxing Rat Pack and mesmerising magical illusions, our new series of Palm Court Presents... is not to be missed! Receive 20% discount* when dining on any of our Palm Court Presents dates – for dates and acts please visit www. grosvenorpulfordhotel.co.uk/events or call 01244 570560. *discount only applies on Palm Court Presents... dates and available on food only. Quote ‘SHIRE’ upon booking to qualify for this offer.

PALM COURT at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa Wrexham Road, Pulford, Chester, Cheshire CH4 9DG 01244 570560; www.grosvenorpulfordhotel.co.uk

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Send a poem of tender love, A GR a poem so personal from you, GIFT IEAT conveying your deepest heartfelt love, DEA a present given by few, give me the sentiments you want to say, and I will compose for you, eight verses of innermost feelings you have, on parchment well written I’ll do, thirty five pounds is how much it costs, for a poem your loved one will treasure, for ever and ever to stay in their heart, and remind them of you at their pleasure. as poem w “ Yourouching, antdI most etxactly whya” said nted to sa wa ily Davis Em

My poem will weave the name of your loved one and their personal attributes in a tender loving way. This may be for birthday, Christmas, Valentines day, Anniversary, Wedding, funeral or any other occasion. I also write speeches. Contact Brian Stone on 01691 652 956 or email brianstone212@btinternet.com

22/02/2019 16:16

Health&Beauty On the RUN Spring is peak marathon training season – but even if you don’t have a race coming up, it’s great to get out and run. Health and fitness expert Lizzy Deery of the University of Chester offers some tips for perfecting your performance


f you signed up for a 2019 challenge as a new year’s resolution, you’re likely to be well under way with your training by now – enjoying the fresh air, getting out with training buddies and taking in all that our area has to offer. Of course, you don’t need to be preparing for a race to do that! But while the benefits of regular aerobic exercise are numerous (reduced stress and anxiety, reduced risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, management of blood glucose, reduced back pain and improved sleep), the repetitive nature of running can put the body under a level of strain that it may not be ready to deal with. The good news is the risk of injury can be decreased if you follow these four simple tips.

1 Don’t neglect strength

work. Strength training is fundamental for reducing the risk of injury. Start by focusing on the core and glutes because these are among the key drivers in a strong running style. Strength training doesn’t need to mean spending hours under a barbell if that’s not your style. Pilates is a great option and there are lots of home workouts available for free online too.

2 Invest in regular

‘maintenance’ appointments. Prevention is always better than cure! The top athletes we see gracing our TV screens have regular massages built into their weekly training. We might

not have it put on a plate for us but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t invest in some maintenance treatments. There is no set rule for how often you should have these – you could schedule them monthly, after longer training events, or any time you feel the effects of your training schedule.

otherwise, sit this one out (and try something from points 1, 2 or 4 instead).

4 Never skip a rest day. It’s

tempting to believe that the hard work is done in the gym or pounding the pavement, but the research is clear – rest is just as important. Eight hours’ sleep is important, but if you struggle to achieve Pay attention to mileage that because of a busy life, overload. Doing too perhaps aim for just one much too quickly DID YOU extra hour each night in is a surefire way KNOW? the run-up to your event. to pick up an Ricardo Abad Avoiding screen time injury, and this ran a marathon in the hour before bed can ruin your every day for and caffeinated beverages marathon dreams 607 days at least four hours before as well as all the bed help improve your fun in the build-up! sleep quality. Entire rest A general rule of thumb is days should appear in your to avoid increases of more weekly schedule – they’re than 10 per cent weekly. hugely important to let the However, listen to your body body recover. If you can’t first and foremost, especially help but don your Lycra on if you are not following a your scheduled rest days, try personalised programme a low-intensity, low-impact – perhaps using a generic activity such as yoga. These programme obtained rest days let your muscles from race organisers, for recover and rebuild – this is example. If you’ve got a where the magic happens long run scheduled but that for performance! ankle niggle is telling you


Taking a closer look at some of the weird and wonderful myths surrounding caffeine Caffeine will make you dehydrated This is not strictly true. Although caffeine has a mild diuretic effect, making you lose more liquid, you tend to consume it the form of coffee or tea. The water in those drinks more than makes up for the dehydrating effects of the caffeine itself. Caffeine can help you lose weight It’s an ingredient found in many weightloss products because it slightly increases metabolism, which is helpful in the

process of shedding unwanted body fat. However, consuming it in order to diet, especially in a bar of chocolate or with cream and sugar in coffee, is hardly the right way to go about it. Caffeine makes your heart beat faster Definitely not true. In fact extensive research has been carried out in America, in which researchers questioned nearly 1,400 adults about their coffee, tea and chocolate intake. Then they tracked the participants’ heart rates for a full year. Although over 60 per cent of those tested consumed more than one caffeinated product every day, the researchers did not find any difference in their heart functions. March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 121

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Meditation Follow our tips on taking care of your nails to keep them in tip-top condition – strong, shiny and looking great!


ails aren’t always top priority in a beauty regime, but they should never be forgotten. Giving a bit of time and attention to your talons, beyond a snip to keep the length under control, can pay dividends – and not just for how you look and feel about yourself. Your nails are also indicators of your general health and a good way to gauge whether you’re eating and drinking the right things. Made up of a mixture of minerals, your nails are often the first things to let you know when something is missing. If they are dry, thin and starting to break easily, this could be a sign that you need more iron, protein and zinc in your diet (meat is the best food source of these). If they are soft and bend easily, consider increasing your intake of vitamin A and D (oily fish and green leafy vegetables), and if they are flaky it’s a clear indication that you need to drink more water.

Perfect presentation

Once your nails are in tip-top condition, keep them that way with regular grooming. Pretty much all manicurists agree on one thing: other than for a basic toenail trim, avoid using clippers. The harsh cutting method is likely to damage the nail and leave it ragged, so opt for filing instead – and only every do it in one direction and when your nails are dry.

WHAT The aim of meditation is to achieve a mentally and emotionally calm state. This is done by shutting out distractions using mindfulness techniques or by focusing your mind on a particular object or thought. It’s not quite that simple, though, because you have several file types to choose from! One popular choice is a metal file, which is a good option if you have quite strong nails but not if they are softer or weaker because it is quite abrasive. It’s particularly important with a metal file that you don’t saw it back and forth – this will really weaken the nail.

Filing system

If your nails are delicate it might be worth investing in a glass or crystal nail file. The glass will glide over the nail without tearing, which means you can file in both directions and still leave a smooth tip. Another popular choice is the emery board. These are cardboard with grains of sand adhered to them so the surface gently rubs the end of the nail off – sometimes leaving it a bit rough and needing to be finished with a board of a different grade. As a rule, if you’re a regular nail filer, you should hold on to your nail file for no longer than three months. Once you’ve got your nails in great condition and perfected the shape you want, it’s up to you how to decorate them! Try a home manicure or see a professional, get an acrylic set attached or experiment with gel nails… One thing’s for sure – these days there is no end to the options available to top off your talons!

Cedar House Clinic is pleased to introduce its new aesthetic practitioner, Chloe Layton, who joined the clinic in January. After gaining her qualification from the International School of Beauty Therapy (ISBT) in 2014, Chloe worked for Clarins, providing treatments within the company’s skin spas. Since then Chloe has progressed in the aesthetics industry to offer laser hair and tattoo removal, IPL treatments for thread veins, and HD brows, lash lifts, threading and a range of facial treatments. Chloe prides herself on a holistic approach to all aspects of treatment. Cedar House Clinic is currently offering the SmartXide facial rejuvenation with Chloe at £300 per session.

WHERE It has been practised for millennia throughout various religious traditions and beliefs, with evidence indicating that its origins lie in India around 1500BC, spreading to the rest of Asia in the 5th and 6th centuries BC. Since the 19th century, it has gradually made its way into other cultures, and now it is commonly practised in both private and business life. WHO While it does not necessarily treat mental health problems, many people find meditation a helpful way of relaxing and managing feelings of stress and anxiety and therefore of benefit in reducing depression and increasing well-being. Meditating at bedtime can also assist with poor sleeping.

HOW There are various schools of meditation, but all aim to quieten your mind and put you into a state of calm, stillness and rest. Learning how to relax into the proper meditative state takes practice, and there are many DVDs, apps and online videos that can teach you meditation exercises.

122 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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GREAT WALL WALK RAISES £2,500 FOR HOSPICE A finance worker from Oswestry has fulfilled a lifelong ambition to walk along the Great Wall of China, raising a whopping £2,500 for a Wrexham hospice


teph Edwards had long had both a desire to travel the world and an eagerness to challenge herself. So when Medwyn Edwards, director of Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management where Steph works as a paraplanner, alerted her to Nightingale House Hospice’s first ever international fundraising trek, the 27-year-old from Oswestry didn’t hesitate to put her name forward. ‘I was looking into doing something similar on my own last Christmas time,’ says Steph. ‘When I went back in to work in the new year, Medwyn, who is a trustee for Nightingale House, put a notice up about the trek. We work closely with Nightingale House, which is a well known local charity and is important for a lot of people. So it was nice to do this for them.’ She describes the views on the Steph on the Great Wall

20-mile trek as ‘breathtaking’ but Steph Edwards of Hadlow admits the Great Edwards in Wrexham, pictured Wall was nothing following her charity trek like she expected. ‘I expected it to be quite flat, but it turned out to be a lot more challenging than I thought. There are so many steps! Sometimes the drop doesn’t seem so bad because of the trees, but there are other parts where you really couldn’t look down.’

An extraordinary feat

More than £92,000 was raised by the Nightingale House trekkers. ‘We are very proud of Steph and the other 23 trekkers who took part,’ says Christine Dukes, grants and trust fundraiser at Nightingale House. ‘It was an extraordinary feat and we would like to thank everyone who trekked and everyone who supported them.’ For more about Nightingale House’s fundraising events, visit www.nightingalehouse.co.uk.

Chester’s Neuro Therapy Centre is granted funding for three-year ‘Access to Exercise’ programme


he Neuro Therapy Centre, Brio Leisure’s aquatherapy classes for people with MS Saltney, provides support for those with neurological and Parkinson’s, we decided to expand this idea to conditions including MS, ME and offer a wider range of ‘We can Parkinson’s, working activities,’ says centre offer a with Brio Leisure to director Jane Johnstonvariety of help 500 people Cree. ‘This means we treatment are able to offer a across North Wales, plans’ Cheshire and the variety of treatment plans and exercises Wirral. Now it has launched its Access to personalised to people’s Exercise project with Sport abilities and interests.’ England funding. Over the next three years, ‘Following the success of tailored activities will be

A swimming class for people with neurological conditions at Brio Leisure Ellesmere Port

available at Brio Leisure sites throughout Cheshire West and Chester in tandem with the advice and therapy services offered by the Neuro Therapy Centre. Visit neurotherapycentre.org.



ignature, the bhangra/ Michael Jackson tribute dance act who were runners-up in the second series of Britain’s Got Talent, Signature on stage will perform at the eighth annual A-T Spring Ball at Bolesworth Castle in Tattenhall on 8th June. Tickets are now on sale for the black-tie event organised by Vaughn Rawson, managing director of Wrexham-based Rawson Digital,

and his wife Joanne to help those living with the rare condition ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), a genetic disease that affects multiple systems of the human body. The children of close friends of Vaughn and Joanne have the disease, and the Rawsons have raised £230,000 towards research to speed up the process of identifying a cure or developing treatments to delay or prevent A-T. Vaughn, whose company supplies and maintains photocopiers and printers, saw last year’s event raise a whopping £30,000. He says, ‘I love the atmosphere every year and I’m excited to welcome Signature who I know will do a great job of entertaining the guests.’ For details visit www.atspringball.com.


lwyd Special Riding Centre, situated in a small valley in Flintshire offers children and adults with additional needs the opportunity to benefit from various forms of equine learning and therapy, improving communication, physical strength, coordination, confidence and wellbeing. With state-of-the-art accessible facilities, CSRC helps those with learning disability, physical disability, sight loss, limb loss, acquired brain injury, terminal illness and much, much more. To benefit from CSRC’s services or to volunteer, visit www. clwydspecialridingcentre. co.uk or call 01352 770446.

Cathedral Christmas tree winners announced

The festival raised £11,000 for Hospice of the Good Shepherd


hester Cathedral’s Christmas Tree Festival featured more than 50 majestic trees decorated by schools and businesses from the area. Birkenhead School’s tree proved most popular with visitors for the second year in a row. Justin Caroe of Hospice of the Good Shepherd, the festival’s chosen local charity, says, ‘We can’t thank everyone enough who visited and made a donation to the hospice. The amount raised will pay for one full day of hospice care which is an amazing feat.’

If you’d like a charity event featured on these pages, please email the details to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk 124 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Meet the Expert We talk to Mr Pete Gallacher, consultant orthopaedic knee surgeon at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry, about new developments in the field Pete Gallacher receiving his award


What do you specialise in at the RJAH?

Knee surgery and treating people with pain from arthritis or injury, from older patients to a wide range of sporting backgrounds.


What treatments can you offer?


Ligament reconstruction and cartilage injuries are repaired almost entirely by keyhole surgery, and that’s about onethird of my work here at the RJAH. Another big part of my work is preparing cartilage surface defects, some of which can be caused by traumatic injury, and some through no direct cause but rather through wear and tear, and the onset of early arthritis.


How can you extend the life of the knee joint?

These type of surgeries are about ‘joint preservation’, and the benefit is that the patient will avoid a joint replacement surgery, plus it will stop further damage and the progression of osteoarthritis. Joint preservation surgery can also include bone realignment surgery to change the way weight goes through the knee, to lessen the loading on the worn patches.


seeing good results with this technique, which in future will be done through keyhole surgery. ACI has now been approved by NICE nationally because it has great benefits for the patient. In future, we may be able to use generic chondrocyte material, which means we won’t have to take this directly from the patient.

What are the latest developments in the field?

We also can now offer ACI (autologous chondrocyte implantation) work to reconstruct the cartilage surface. This procedure has two stages. First, a sample of cartilage is taken from the patient’s knee, then over three weeks the cells (chondrocytes) are grown in a laboratory. These cells are then returned to the damaged patch on the patient’s knee, and kept in place to develop with a patch sewn over the defect. We’re

than two days old rather than frozen, so there availability of donors is very limited. Biological techniques can assist knee preservation and prevent the onset of arthritis, so they are a good first step in joint repair.


When is a knee replacement the best option?

or uni-compartmental knee replacement is that very often the ligaments are not affected),. This will always be an important part of the treatment options we can offer patients.


There is always a judgement Which other over whether such preservation surgery will make a difference, techniques are whether it will last and whether offered? We can also give a longer it will delay the degenerative working life to a symptoms. If you’re a knee joint with a very active older patient, ‘This new cartilage transplant a biological prevention technique procedure, whereby measure may be a better has now been a donated meniscus option for you. At a approved by NICE because it is used to replace certain time and patient has great patient age, a joint replacement the worn one. benefits’ This is done by is the better route keyhole surgery, because it has a more and although it is a difficult predictable outcome and means and technical operation, a second operation is avoided. it is a growing field. A knee replacement lasts We have found 15 to 20 years, and may last that the best even longer – it does depend results come on a patient’s lifestyle. Knee with cartilage replacements are around that is no one-third of my work here more – I do both full-knee and partial-knee replacements (the benefit of a partial

You recently won the hospital’s Patient Choice Award. How did you feel about that?

I was delighted to win the award! Members of the public were invited to nominate any staff member, and a shortlist of four was drawn up for a ballot and I won! I’m just doing my job – it’s humbling to think that people took the time to vote, but I’m no more worthy than all the other nominees. I just try to treat people the way I would like to be treated. The public are really engaged with this hospital – it has a huge ‘fan base’ and I think that’s because RJAH does go that extra mile. This is a culture that runs through the staff from top to bottom, and it’s made possible by the fact that most of what we do here is planned surgery, so we can concentrate on making sure the patient journey is a positive one from start to finish.

Mr Pete Gallacher MBChB FRCS (T&O)

Clinical/research Interests Sports injuries of the knee, acute knee injuries, cartilage regeneration techniques, ligament reconstruction, osteotomy, patello-femoral disorders, uni-compartmental knee replacement, primary and revision total knee replacement. Mr Gallacher underwent his specialist orthopaedic training on the highly regarded Oswestry training programme. He trained under Mr Dai Rees and the sports injuries team at Oswestry in addition to the knee specialists at both Stoke-on-Trent and Oswestry, and developed a sub-specialist interest in surgery around the knee. He underwent fellowship knee training in Sheffield and undertook a travelling fellowship in Europe supported by the British Association for Surgery of the Knee (BASK), visiting various European centres of excellence in knee surgery.

March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 125

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T. 01352 752632 E. info@vaughandavies.co.uk The Cross, Wrexham Street, Mold, Flintshire CH7 1ET Vaughan Davies Established 1938

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Retirement Living Apartments offer best of both worlds Making the choice to go into residential care isn’t an easy decision – but when the accommodation on offer is a luxury apartment in Caernarfon, it is possible to have both independence and access to care together,’ says Pendine Park proprietor Mario Kreft MBE. ‘We also provide a properly bilingual service because the Welsh language is central to the culture and the way of life in this area. There certainly isn’t anything like this in North Wales because essentially it’s “extra care plus plus”. ‘We have a track record of breaking new ground, and the arts provide the golden The apartments are designed to help couples stay together thread that runs through everything we do. In Caernarfon, we he Parc Bryn Seiont apartments in Caenarfon are set in five leafy acres have a gifted musician-in-residence, Nia Davies Williams, as well as an artiston the outskirts of town, next door to the award-winning Bryn Seiont Newydd care in-residence. We know from experience the positive influence that involving the home, which specialises in dementia care. arts can have on our residents, enriching The development, by the Pendine Park care and enhancing their quality of life.’ organisation, is the first of its kind in the UK and has been designed primarily to allow couples to stay together when one of them Putting family first has dementia and the other is finding it ‘We are constantly striving to improve difficult to cope. The luxury what we do, and the companion living ‘The arts apartments allow people to apartments are up there with some of the can have live independently while finest accommodation around,’ Mario a positive having access to 24/7 continues. ‘The early response has been influence support on their doorstep. overwhelming. We opened our first home for our ‘We’re very proud in 1985 because it enabled our grandparents residents’ of Parc Bryn Seiont, to be reunited, and it will be wonderful particularly because it fills to reunite other people who have been an important gap and enables people to stay separated because of their health needs as


Extra pounds in the pension pot The new financial year in April brings changes for those claiming their pension, as well as those saving for the future


eople claiming a state pension are due to see a slightly lower increase than usual to their payments from April compared with previous years. The state pension is set to increase by 2.6 per cent, compared to a three per cent increase last year. This means those entitled to the full new single-tier state pension will see payments increase by £4.25 a week to £168.60, or £8,767.20 a year. Those who receive the basic state pension will get a boost of £3.25 a week to £129.20, or £6,718.40 a year.

Spend your pennies wisely

Such increases won’t make a huge difference to most lifestyles, but here are a few ways you can spend the extra pounds. 1. £4.25 a week could pay for a cup of coffee and a biscuit or slice of cake at

Residents get both luxury and reassurance

well as providing luxury accommodation for individuals who need care.’ Parc Bryn Seiont and Bryn Seiont Newydd have won the praise of Cllr Dyfrig Siencyn, leader of Gwynedd County Council. ‘It’s a marvel, to be honest,’ he said. ‘The standard of the building, the standard of the resources they have – I don’t think you can get better. It’s the kind of place you’d wish to live in yourself. You can live independently there, but also you know that the care is available if you need it, and that reassurance is very important.’

Council leader Dyfrig Siencyn says ‘It’s a marvel’

4. Saving £3.25 for a fortnight could pay for a three-course meal – Hungry Horse’s Golden Years menu is £6.20. 5. If you saved your extra payment for a month, you could use it to keep in shape too – whichever amount you receive. A special rate is available at most gyms for around £14 to £18, or even as little as £9 a month with Brio Leisure (for over 75s).

Still working? Pension increases come in this April

your favourite independent coffee shop. 2. If you’re gaining £3.25 a week, you could pay for a trip to the cinema – Odeon’s ‘silver screenings’ for pensioners are only £3, and include tea and biscuits. 3. Save your extra pennies for three weeks and splash out on a senior citizen’s National Express card for £12.50 to open up a year of travel discounts.

There are also changes this April for those who are still saving for their retirement. Under auto-enrolment rules, workplace pension contributions will rise, with the minimum contribution from employees increasing from three to five per cent. Employer contributions are also going up, from two to three per cent. It may not seem like much, but it should help prepare for the day when you’re ready to take it easy, so start saving now for peace of mind in the future.

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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.

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

Company Matters Seize the day whatever your age

Our services can include: • visits to garden centres, coffee shops, the library, • visiting family and friends, • shopping, • trip to the beach, hill walking, • going to art exhibitions, museums, • anywhere you want to go with a little extra help. Anything to maintain your interest and give you something to look forward to because having company matters.


Experience “neighbourly living”, whether entertaining family, friends and neighbours in your apartment, or enjoying group activities in the communal lounges and safe outdoor spaces.


Profwch “byw â chymdogion” boed yn diddanu teulu, ffrindiau a chymdogion yn eich fflat, neu weithgareddau grŵp yn y lolfeydd cymunedol a mannau awyr agored diogel. FOR DETAILS CALL 01286 476 676 OR SEE OUR ADVERT OVERLEAF Am ragor o fanylion ffoniwch 01286 476 676 neu gweler yr hysbyseb drosodd


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Subscribe to SHIRE magazine, and never miss an issue again…

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 First Name: Surname: Address:

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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!

130 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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We are a family run business located in Wrexham, North Wales since 2007, we are willing to travel nationwide. We specialise in a red sports themed hearse and a Welsh dragon themed hearse, we also have a Mercedes-Benz E Class limousine. Our vehicles are for hire from us or your local funeral director at a competitive price. Find us on Facebook Email us on info@dgcarriagemasters.co.uk By phone on 01978 781473 or 07934 144531

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 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.

Enjoy the best of both worlds


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Open Your Mind A student whose studies have inspired her to teach others about science has praised Wrexham Glyndwr University’s open days for giving her a foothold in academia


andra Monica Ferreira her second year at Glyndwr. She has credited the university Neves, who lives in with building both her confidence and her networks. Penycae in Powys, decided ‘It’s easy to get involved in things here because the university is so to return to university after friendly – and all the staff and lecturers know who you are. You feel being passed over for a job. part of a community – not just a number. The support is also really After being turned down good right across the university. As a mature student, I sometimes for a full-time position as a find that I need help with new technology – but there are workshops laboratory technician, she on IT support, so in a short time you can learn what you need to.’ decided to build her skill Sandra has now been inspired to consider a new career as set in order to boost her a result of her studies – working in science education. ‘At the chances in her beginning, I wanted to do a lab job once I graduated – like Sandra Monica Ferreira chosen career the one I had been after,’ she says. ‘However, recently I – and visited have realised one of my skills is that I like dealing with ‘I like dealing Wrexham Glyndwr University to find out more people and that I’d maybe like to do something like with people. I want to about its science-based courses at an open day. She that – using my degree to teach or to work in science inspire the next enjoyed the experience so much she not only signed education. I want to inspire the next generation!’ generation!’ up for a degree but also became a student ambassador, As a student ambassador, Sandra is also now responsible inspiring other potential students at open days. for greeting potential students at open days – and is urging ‘I was working in a laboratory for a short period, anyone thinking about university to come along and find having got a job through an agency,’ she says. ‘They promised me out for themselves. ‘I think Glyndwr University has a lot of good it would lead to a full-time job, but it never happened – and that’s selling points,’ she says, ‘so I want to tell people all about them!’ when I started thinking about making a change. I decided to go to university to develop my qualifications and improve myself. First I went to college and got some GCSEs – and then I came to an open day at Glyndwr to look into what I could do here.’ Despite being nervous before the day, when she arrived Sandra was made to feel welcome and her concerns were set at ease by friendly staff. ‘I started in a room listening to a lecture on chemistry,’ says Sandra. ‘Lots of the staff came to talk to us, and it was great to meet them and see they weren’t scary – just a lot of nice people! ‘I’m from Portugal, and as someone who isn’t originally from Britain, I had a bit of insecurity before the day started – I was wondering if people would accept me and if I’d find things difficult. However, everyone at the university was so welcoming and made things really easy – the academics were really helpful.’ After her visit, Sandra signed up to study for a BSc in DID YOU Chemistry with Green Nanotechnology and she is now in Potential students at an open day

KNOW? The open day take s place from 10a m to 2pm

Discover what Wrexham Glyndwr University can offer you


f you’re interested in undergraduate study at Glyndwr University and would like to find out more about a particular course, discuss your options, or just discover exactly what the university has to offer, its next open day is on 2nd March. Lecturers and staff from departments across the university – as well as student ambassadors like Sandra – will be on hand to help provide answers. There will also be a series of talks, events and workshops throughout the day that enable

visitors to can get hands-on experience of the courses they intend to study. Wrexham Glyndwr University recently became a Top 100 University in the Guardian University Guide 2019, rising 24 places in the league tables – making it one of the top 10 rising universities in the UK. To find out more, visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk

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Please come for a tasteof Packwood... Senior School Production ‘Cleopatra’s ASP’ Saturday 23rd March Packwood Annual Cricket Festival (Y4/5) Thursday 6th June Junior School Production ‘Ali Baba and The Bongo Bandits’ Saturday 8th June

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www.packwood-haugh.co.uk Packwood Haugh School Ruyton XI Towns, Shrewsbury SY4 1HX Telephone 01939 260217

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Students with the Ironworks’ metal mesh gorilla


(l-r) Jack Clarke, Abi Lloyd, Harry Hughes, Liam Johnson, Pamela Parkes from Antiques Roadshow, Tom Berry and Cat Davies


group of students were director, publicist, editors, camera operators and more, with given behind-the-scenes Cat also taking the chance to access to Antiques Roadshow talk to presenter Fiona Bruce. during recent filming at Erddig. ‘It was a brilliant day!’ says The students, who are all studying media courses at Cat. ‘We never expected to walk and talk with Fiona Bruce – it Wrexham Glyndwr University, was well worth coming along! were given a tour of the much‘The best advice she gave loved programme, meeting me was to look not just at production staff, watching scenes being set up – and even catching presenting on its own, but to get to know everything first – up with presenter Fiona Bruce. learn how to tell a story and Six students went along: make that the way you work.’ Jack Clarke, Abi Lloyd, Harry ‘Getting hands-on Hughes and Liam ‘We never Johnson, who are experience is central to our expected studying BSc (Hons) courses at Glyndwr,’ says to walk Angela Ferguson, lecturer in television production and talk in journalism and media and technology; with Fiona communications, ‘whether Cat Davies, who is Bruce!’ that’s in our Creative studying broadcasting, journalism and media Industries Building, with communications; and Tom Berry, industry partners across the region – or even behind the who is on the NCTJ journalism scenes on one of the BBC’s course. The six were given the most popular programmes!’ chance to speak with the show’s


s part of its bid to be more environmentally friendly, Thomas Adams School in Wem has been taking part in an exceptional project to raise awareness for the importance of recycling and eco-conservation. The school will be working hard over the next few months to collect thousands of bottle tops for the creation of a sculpture, igniting its pupils’ imaginations by using general household waste to create art. The school’s Environmental Club approached the British Ironworks Centre to discuss their project ideas and asked them to create something inspiring for their bottle tops. Rising to the challenge, the British Ironworks team chose to create a metal mesh mountain

gorilla, which has been designed to hold more than one million bottle tops and will become the integral base for the bottle top sculpture. One of the world’s most endangered species, the mountain gorilla is the perfect symbol to help raise awareness for the protection of the environment and its species. Students from Thomas Adams School visited the British Ironworks Centre with one of their teachers, Maxine Turner, to put the finishing touches on their gorilla structure. The students helped the in-house blacksmith to complete the structure by welding the final few pieces together, completing the first leg of the sculpture’s journey.

First-hand account for pupils


group of Rydal Penrhos pupils got the chance to hear a Holocaust survivor’s experience first hand thanks to a special visit from Susan Pollack MBE. Susan Pollack (centre) spoke with staff and students As a special guest at the school, Susan ghetto in Vác, Hungary. From spoke with history pupils and there they were taken to an staff members about her ordeal internment camp before being during the Second World War. sent to Auschwitz-Birkenau, The visit was arranged where her mother was by North Wales Holocaust immediately sent to the gas Memorial Committee chambers. Susan was selected members Roy and Jackie to work, and remained in the Thurley, who also took time camp for around 10 weeks out of their schedule to spend before being sent to Guben in the morning at Rydal Penrhos. Germany to work as a slave Susan was born in 1930. labourer in an armaments Her uncle was murdered by factory, before being liberated Fascists and her father taken on 15th April 1945. to a concentration camp More than 50 members of after he agreed to attend a her family were killed during meeting to discuss the welfare the Holocaust. Susan lived in of Jewish families in 1944. Sweden after the war, before Susan never saw her father moving to Canada, where again and still is not sure she met and married a fellow whether he died in the camp survivor. She now has three or was deported elsewhere. children and six grandchildren When Susan and her family and lives in London, regularly were ordered to leave their sharing her testimony in home, they were all sent to a schools across the country.

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Manners firmly on the table at Packwood


eputy head Roy Chambers has been making sure good manners remain at the heart of life at Packwood Haugh School, Ruyton-XI-Towns, where children are encouraged to give way to others at doors and in corridors, respect adults, and be polite, kind and courteous. Packwood is also renowned Pupils take responsibility for its outstanding food, with former chef-owner of Drapers’ Manners help to make the Hall, Nigel Huxley, heading up right impression in interviews, the catering team. With a set in the competitive job market code of table manners, an ethos and in life in general, and of friendly quiet conversations the school received further and a teacher sitting at the training in making the right head of every table first impression from former interacting with the City economist, now head children, instilling of history and politics at ‘Top ‘top manners’ is Packwood, Nick Weston. manners top of the menu. The school is rightly extend At breakfast very proud of its pupils’ to the classroom’ club, lunch and academic achievements and dinner, children are its record of scholarships encouraged to take and bursaries to top responsibility for secondary schools across their own personal nutrition, the country. Increasingly some wellbeing and behaviour. Top senior school entrances include manners extend to the classroom interviews, so Packwood pupils too, where children stand up also receive extensive interview when an adult enters the room. practice and preparation.


Oliver (left) and Charlie (right) Miller proudly display their certificates



rothers Oliver and Charlie Miller from Oswestry School have received First Prize awards in Weston Park’s Halls Young Artist Competition. Now in its third year, the prestigious art competition attracted a high number of entries from schools across the region. This year’s theme was furniture and design, as Weston Park continues its commemoration of the work of Thomas Chippendale, the world famous Georgian furniture maker and interior designer. Faced with an undisputed range of talent, competition judge James Forster – paintings expert at Halls Fine Art – was set the difficult task of selecting the first, second and third prizes for both the primary and secondary school categories. James spent a good deal of time examining each work and deliberating before finally

making what he admitted was a far from easy decision. The Primary First Prize was awarded to Charlie Miller for ‘The Old Bedroom Chair’. ‘The composition is very bold and the printing skills of the artist are much in evidence,’ says James. ‘The simplicity of design and use of the eggplant leaves to soften the piece shows great confidence.’ The Secondary First Prize was awarded to Charlie’s older brother, Oliver, for ‘Nice Old Chairs Need A Nice Old Rug’. ‘This is a talented piece which has clearly involved a great deal of research, with chairs throughout history depicted,’ says James. ‘A vibrant piece which cleverly uses the rugs as a good foil for the chairs.’ The brothers received art materials and a Weston Park family annual pass along with their certificates. Oswestry School was also given £350 for its art faculty.

Bronze award for armed forces pledge Get out and about at a Myddelton summer camp


f you’re looking ahead to the summer holidays and not sure how to keep the children occupied, Myddelton School is running a residential summer camp for anyone aged 10 to 17. Whether they like water sports, camping, exploring caves and castles, or city adventures, the camp has plenty for everyone to enjoy. Set in the charming town of Denbigh, North Wales, The school’s camp offers endless opportunities. Campers will get to discover some of the UK’s most exciting outdoor activities and greatest cities while making new friends.

When it’s time to come back home to Myddelton, there are lots of fun activities and themed dinners to ensure everyone has a wonderful summer. You can be confident that children are in a safe and organised environment, with experienced staff providing the highest standards of welfare. The itinerary runs on a twoweek programme from 7th July to 18th August, and students can attend for a minimum of one week. The all-inclusive summer camp includes accommodation, meals, excursions and on-site activities for £750 per week. Call 01745 472206 for more details.


yddelton College, an independent coeducational school in Denbigh for students aged seven to 18 years, has extended its commitment to the armed forces and received a bronze award from the Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS), having already pledged to align its values with the Armed Forces Covenant. The second fastest growing independent school in the country has been recognised for its commitment to support those who serve or have served in the armed forces,

and their families. Furthermore, Myddelton College will offer a 20 per cent discount on school fees to the sons and daughters of serving or retired members of the armed forces, a gesture that aims to give something back to those who have served the country.

Myddelton College, Denbigh

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ollie Harrington, head of first team lacrosse at Moreton Hall School in Oswestry, has been named as one of the coaches who will lead England in the U19 World Championship in Canada this summer. ‘I’m so excited about taking the girls on this journey,’ says Hollie. ‘We have a fantastically talented squad who have made outstanding progress over the last four years. I’m looking forward to watching them perform on the world stage.’ Multiple training games against university and club teams will take place in preparation for the tournament. In addition, the team will tour the US in April. Hollie will be the coach for the midfield and centre draw, an area she specialises in having played centre for England in the world cup eight years ago. ‘Miss Harrington is such a great coach at the high


Hollie Harrington

performance level,’ says England World Championship squad member Milly Home. ‘Her people skills, knowledge and love of the game are perfect for her new role as world cup midfield coach. ‘She is respected and adored by all the under-19 England squad players. Everyone was so happy when she was announced and knew she deserved it.’ The Women’s Lacrosse U19 World Championships take place from 1st to the 10th August in Peterborough, Canada.



upils from Moreton First preparatory school in Oswestry took part in the First Lego League regional finals at Newcastle-underLyme College recently. A team of five boys from year 5 put their robotic skills to the test during the Into Orbit challenge, competing against students from across Staffordshire, Cheshire and Shropshire. In a bid to represent the region at the national finals later in the year, more than 17 teams designed and created their own robots to compete in as many space missions as possible in two and a half minutes, and developed a solution to a problem encountered by astronauts in long-term space flight. The competition is designed to inspire students to pursue STEM-based careers, as well as building important life skills and practical, hands-on experience they can use throughout their studies and in the future. During several months of planning for the tournament, Moreton First students gained experience with robotics and

Shropshire school recognised in top awards Shropshire school has been twice recognised among almost 250 entrants for a series of top awards. Ellesmere College was highly commended in both the Performing Arts and Sporting Achievement categories of the inaugural Independent Schools Of The Year awards, run Ellesmere College: highly commended by Independent School Parent magazine. ‘We’re delighted to have ‘We were delighted by the been highly commended in two breadth, depth and diversity categories for these awards,’ says of the entries submitted and Ellesmere College’s headmaster, hugely impressed by the Brendan Wignall. evidence of the work ‘Sporting ‘Both our sporting being undertaken by the provision is and performing arts independent education something provision is something sector across the UK,’ we are we are very proud of say the judges. ‘The very at Ellesmere College, stories told by the proud of’ and this recognition schools in their entries is a reflection on both were truly inspiring the facilities and talents of our and often humbling. students here, but also the hard ‘We believe the contribution work and dedication that our independent schools make teaching staff put in. We will to the life of the country is continue to strive to give our often undervalued and that students the best opportunities the benefits of an independent and best educational experience education should be better that suits each individual.’ recognised and acknowledged.’

Families plant 70 trees to create forest trail


Moreton First students Ned Scott, Jack Price, Oliver Earl, Gethin Kelly and Tom McInnes, with Mr Sutcliffe

developed their computerprogramming skills. ‘During the day, teams were put through their paces with a number of robot matches,’ says Ben Sutcliffe, a teacher at Moreton First. ‘The aim of the challenge was to score as many points as possible and demonstrate the skills they’ve developed throughout the time working on their projects. ‘The boys really enjoyed the event and although their robot, Henry, let them down when it really mattered – they decided he had stage fright – the referees and judges had lots of positive things to say about their work.’

arents and pupils from Abbey Gate College Infant and Junior School in the village of Aldford near Chester came together recently to plant 70 young trees to create a new forest trail for outdoor learning. Families were invited to sponsor a tree and participate in a tree planting afternoon. Nine different native tree species – including sweet cherry, downy and silver birch, field maple and hazel – were planted in the beautiful school grounds by pupils, parents, teachers and governors. Parents arrived with spades at the ready to plant their trees with the help of their children. Trees were tagged with a number and planted randomly to enable future generations to search for their family tree. The trees were planted to enhance the current outdoor learning facilities, which are designed to connect pupils to nature by providing rich learning experiences. During the

Pupils helped with the planting

afternoon, pupils learnt the Latin name of their tree and will also be involved in the maintenance and development of the forest trail over the coming years. ‘Pupils and their families will be encouraged to visit their trees and keep in touch with Abbey Gate College as they grow and progress through life,’ explains the Marie Hickey, headmistress of Abbey Gate College Infant and Junior School. ‘An enjoyable, educational and fulfilling afternoon was had by everyone.’

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The White House School

OPEN DAY Saturday 30th March 9.30am-1pm

Pupils’ conduct and attitudes to learning are exemplary…. “Pupils benefit from a broad and rich curriculum. Ofsted 2017

Come an d visit ou wonderf r u school! l

H BREAKFAST CLUB FROM 7.30 A.M. H AFTER SCHOOL CLUB TO 6.00 P.M. H EARLY YEARS FUNDING AVAILABLE Call now for more information: 01948 662730 The White House School, Heath Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 2AA Email: whitehouseschool@btconnect.com www.whitehouseshropshire.co.uk

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Tony Maudsley trained at the Royal Welsh College Of Music & Drama and has since become a regular on our television screens, most notably in ITV’s smash hit comedy Benidorm.. Now Tony has joined the cast of the brand new Benidorm Live stage show – which arrives at Venue Cymru in April










in Brighton and they’re in Liverpool. I’d have more peace of mind if they were around the corner.

What’s your full, real name (including any embarrassing middle names)?

I’ll keep them to myself or my bank will tell me off! What is your current job title/role?


Flashing the flesh in hot pants that most 50-year-olds would be arrested for wearing, as Kenneth Du Beke in Benidorm Live. Who shares your life? Partners, parents, children, animals…?

I’ve always fancied having a crack at playing Thenardier in Les Misérables. 13

Doing our Benidorm sketch at the Royal Variety Performance. What an honour and a big career tick. Worst moment of the past 12 months?



Hearing ITV had axed Benidorm. It makes me sad. Hearing the reaction we get every night from the Benidorm Live audiences, I think ITV got it wrong. If you could come back as an animal, what would you be and why?



“Daydream Believer” by the Monkees. It’s been my karaoke anthem for as long as I can remember and it’s also going to be my funeral song… though I might opt for the slower Vonda Shepard version. If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?





Who is your hero? How have they inspired you?

Julie Walters. I’ve been lucky enough to work with her and she’s a fine example of how to behave at work – no starry behaviour, ever! Everyone is happy to see her. I try very hard to be like her.


What is your worst fear or phobia?

Probably serious illness. The thought of getting ill and not being able to work again terrifies me. What would be the first thing you’d buy if you won the lottery?

I’d buy a bungalow near where I live for my mum and dad so they weren’t so far away from me. I live

Milk. Nice and cold with a digestive biscuit. Which reality TV show would you have the best chance of winning: Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off or I’m A Celebrity…?

What is your weakness or guilty pleasure?

My vape. Since packing in smoking five years ago I wear my vape around my neck like a dummy. If I lose it I panic. When did you last laugh uncontrollably?

Last night when Jake Canuso [Mateo] split his trousers when I was mid-flamenco with him during the show. They were black and his undies were bright white – so his backside was practically winking at the audience! You’re hosting a celebrity dinner party for four guests – who’s on the guest list?

Julie Walters, for reasons I’ve explained. Stephen Fry so I can marvel at his intelligence over pudding. Mary Berry so she could make the pudding and Adele because she seems like a proper nice girl and she could give us a post-dinner sing-song.

I’d love to be able to be invisible. Imagine the fun you could have. That and I’m just pure nosey!

‘I’d love to be able to be invisible… Imagine the fun you could have’

What is your favourite drink?

Oh definitely Bake Off. I love all things cake!

A goldfish – then no one would mind me forgetting my lines because of that four-second memory! What would be your desert island disc and what does it mean to you?

If you were representing your country in the Olympics, which sport would you choose?

I have no interest in sport! If I was forced to choose I’d be that fella who sits at the front of the boat shouting at the rowers while sipping a cappuccino.

All of the above, including a five-yearold Bichon Frise dog called Bosie. Highlight of the past 12 months?

What would be your dream job (other than your current role)?


Where is your favourite place in the world?

Brighton. I moved there last year and I love it. It’s one of the most diverse and accepting cities I’ve ever been to. It’s a happy place where anything goes and that suits me. I just wish it wasn’t so hilly. What is your proudest moment?

I recently won £20k on Tipping Point for a little struggling charity that is close to my heart. I was so chuffed to be able to do that for them. If you never thought Tipping Point was emotional… watch that episode when it airs!

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nother issue, another bulging postbag! Thank you as always to all the readers who have been in touch with the Shire team over the past couple of months. We love hearing from you and enjoy reading your letters, poems, submissions and suggestions, so do keep putting pen to paper, snapping pictures, composing poems and whatever else you want to do to keep in touch with us. We’ve printed some of our favourite contributions below and as always, we’re happy to get them so do keep them coming.

Send your emails to us at editorial@ shiremagazine.co.uk or contact us by post at the address below – the same place to send us an SAE for £1.60 if you have missed an issue or would like to buy an extra copy of the magazine. Don’t forget to tell us which edition you’re looking for and we’ll send one out to you. Don’t forget to look out for us on Facebook and Instagram, and check out our website at www.shiremagazine.co.uk too! Write to us at: Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR

Linger longer in Wales A new tourism project has been launched to encourage visitors to north-east Wales to make more of their stay. Stay, Eat, Do provides packages combining accommodation, food and activities across the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Wales’s largest AONB. It has been put together by the Clwydian Range Tourism Group. ‘We’re looking for clusters of businesses that can band together to provide a wide range of holidays,’ says project coordinator Julie Masters. ‘That could be hiking or cycling, a shared interest in heritage or wildlife, or in learning rural skills or experiencing Welsh culture.’ Any business interested in getting involved can contact Julie Masters by emailing julie.stayeatdo@gmail.com.


The Clwydian Range Tourism Group: (l-r) coordinator Julie Masters, activities providers Richard Haggerty and Carl Percival; Sue Hallows from Raven Inn; Jane Clough from Clwydian Range Tourism Group; Ceri Lloyd form Clwydian Range AONB; and Gwyn Rowlands from Cadwyn Clwyd

Literary carnival

Pick up your pen

Dear Shire, Wrexham Carnival Of Words returns from 27th April to 4th May, Amanda Prowse with headline authors including bestselling Amanda Alan Johnson Prowse, Deborah Moggach, Alison Weir, Alan Johnson and Myrddin Deborah Moggach ap Dafydd. Visit www. wrexhamcarnivalofwords. com for the full programme. Debbie

Dear Shire, Gladstone’s Library is welcoming submissions for its 2020 Writers In Residence and Politics In Residence programmes, from which a selection of contemporary writers will be chosen to reside at the library to focus on their current projects. The winning writers will each Be a writer in residence receive a month’s residency, during which 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. To enter, applicants must submit a one-page CV or biography, along with a copy of the book they would like the judges to consider, a statement defining ‘liberal values’, a description of the writing they plan to do while at the library, and their proposal for their evening event and day masterclass. Full details are available at www.gladstoneslibrary.org. The submission period closes on Friday 5th April 2019.

Can I please thank the person who was able to locate the issue I missed at the end of last year and posted it to me for a very reasonable postal charge. It’s that level of personal service that makes this wonderful magazine stand out from the rest. Anon I’m really enjoying Shire and am honoured to have had a poem and two photographs printed already. Keep up the good work! Helen Woodall

Searching for Shire

Walking festival

Aviation fair

Dear Shire, The Cheshire & North Wales Militaria & Aviation Fair takes place in Ellesmere Port on 31st March from 9am to 3pm. Admission costs £3, and is free for under-14s, with proceeds going towards maintaining the Griffin Trust’s historic vehicle collection and buildings. Spaces are still available for traders. Please call 0151 327 4701 or email griffin@griffintrust. org.uk for further details. Christine Thomas, honorary secretary and event organiser

I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the feature on new hobbies in the previous edition. I retired this year and have been looking for new things to do. I can’t wait to try some of the crafts suggested. Thank you, Shire! Edwina Skerrington, Powys

See the sights…

Join in the fun…

Scale new heights…

Dear Shire, The seventh Llangollen Walking Festival takes place from 4th to 6th May. All walks are within the beautiful landscape of the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley AONB, and the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct Unesco World Heritage Site. We roll out new events every year; for 2019, these include evening lectures and a dark skies walk. Many of our favourite walks are also taking place again this year. You can choose from a challenging 19 miles on Offa’s Dyke, a 15-mile wilderness walk with a steam train ride, three eight-mile walks with a local historian, a Nordic walking session, and more. Book your place online at www.llangollenwalkingfestival. co.uk or find us on Facebook. Mike Smart, organiser

Where your magazine is stocked? I picked up the December issue and it was brilliant for finding things to do further afield from where we live. Could you let me know where I might be able to pick up copies in the future please? Kath Ollivier Thanks for your letter and we’re glad you liked the magazine. Shire is available in supermarkets as soon as each issue comes out and can be picked up free from Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s – but they disappear fast! If you want to make sure you never miss a copy, you can sign up for a subscription and have the magazine delivered direct to you. See page 130 for details.

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A change in family circumstances and your will By Hannah Leese, SAS Daniels Solicitors

Hannah Leese is a senior associate in the dispute resolution team at SAS Daniels Solicitors and advises on a wide spectrum of legal matters. SAS Daniels offers a full range of legal services for your family and your business, including corporate and commercial, employment law and HR, dispute resolution, property law, family law and wills, trusts and probate. At SAS Daniels you’ll find specialist solicitors who can advise on making a will, estate planning and inheritance tax. For more information, call Hannah on 01260 282300 or email hannah.leese@sasdaniels.co.uk.


n modern society, our family circumstances are more diverse than ever before. Increasing numbers of people are remarrying and the term ‘blended’ families has been introduced to refer to those households in which children from previous relationships are being brought up together. But when your family circumstances change, it’s imperative to consider the position of your will. Recent research has revealed that nearly two-thirds of adults in the UK have not prepared a will. Perhaps even more concerning is that more than one million people have unknowingly revoked their will through remarriage, with the new spouse now in line to inherit. This means those remarrying could fail to make any or inadequate provision for their children from a previous relationship, which may lead to them being disinherited. To avoid this, it’s advised that everyone should review their will when their circumstances change or at least every five years. This can ensure the right people receive their inheritance and avoids the risk of someone benefiting from your estate when you don’t want them to.

Your family circumstances

Having a will avoids the estate being distributed under the intestacy rules,

This is especially important if you own significant assets or a complex portfolio of investments. Your estate could, for example, be comprised of various acres of agricultural land or include business assets. It’s important to think about how you would like to divide up such assets and to whom, especially if you wish for certain family members to carry on a family business following your death. Take a farming partnership as a specific example. In these circumstances, a solicitor could advise how partnership which means you can thoroughly shares or assets would be disposed of, plan for any dependent children from or how you’re able to leave an interest previous marriages and consider how in the business while giving powers they will be looked after when you’re for certain people to stay involved in no longer around. It also allows you to running the business – or, alternatively, leave something to other people who give them the freedom to exit the are not immediate family members, business if that is what they wish. if this is something you Additionally, if the value of your are thinking about. This estate is above the threshold for would not happen under inheritance tax and you have not ‘It’s important intestacy rules, as there sought tax and estate planning to keep an are set guidelines on the advice, your estate may pay open dialogue order of people to benefit. inheritance tax unnecessarily, with your For those who have which could result in less cash for family’ children from a previous your family. A solicitor can not only marriage and have set out your wishes clearly in a will, remarried, creating a but also provide you with thorough trust in a will could be beneficial. and sensible tax planning advice. The trust could ensure that the new spouse benefits from assets during The time to seek advice is now their lifetime, but that when they When family circumstances change pass away those assets pass to your – whether as a result of divorce, remarriage or otherwise – making a will children from a previous relationship. A key thing to consider with your may not feel like a priority. However, will from the outset is being able to there are clear benefits to making one. keep an open dialogue with your These include easing the burden on family members, despite this often family members who are dealing with resulting in difficult conversations. your estate, forward planning to minimise This will ensure that family members inheritance tax liabilities, and ensuring are clear on your wishes and your wishes are clearly set out. means there is less likelihood of a It can feel like a daunting and family dispute after your death. difficult task. However, discussing your wishes with a specialist solicitor Estate planning and seeking advice on your various Another essential thing to consider is options will alleviate the burden and ‘estate planning’ as early as possible. ensure you can continue to enjoy family life while having peace of mind that your affairs are in order.

‘Everyone should review their will when their circumstances change, or at least every five years’ 142 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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What’s in your stars? Aries

20th March – 20th April There’s always a shift in emphasis when planets change signs, and Uranus now being in Taurus begs the question, how secure are your finances? The key to safeguarding them is to invent ways of practical application to expenditure rather than splashing out. The material world isn’t your favourite realm but it will teach you a lesson unless you teach yourself.


21st June – 23rd July As a water sign, you need to learn to flow with the tide and not swim against it! Set your sails and plot your course but take notice of the weather conditions. With Saturn in your opposite sign of Capricorn, you have to negotiate a situation – don’t withdraw or confront, but anchor those overdeveloped emotions and wait for calmer seas ahead.


23rd September – 22nd October Your astrological element is air, which represents thoughts and ideas; your sign indicates expression and Libra is a mediator; while the full moon in March is a bringer of conclusion. Put the three together and you have the concept of sharing, caring and mutual understanding – vital for an ongoing project.


21st December – 20th January Too much introspection will send you into glum reflections, which will almost always be about the past and will slowly drip into your present. At the first sign of this you should call on your true goat self to butt through the walls of despair. The past is a foreign country and you don’t speak that language any longer!


20th April – 21st May You may be uncomfortable with change but it’s on the way. Uranus is now in your sign for the first time in 76 years, while massive global changes are afoot financially, politically and climatically. On a more personal level, you’ll start expressing yourself differently; even if you don’t encourage it, it will happen, moving you into a more exhilarating lifestyle.


23rd July – 23rd August The arc Jupiter is creating gives the opportunity for you to shine like the Leonids that fall from the constellation of Leo every November. The creative potential is enormous, so don’t rest on your laurels but enjoy the dance of life in all its glory. Existence is a graph of ups and downs, but currently good fortune says, ‘Go for it Leo!


23rd October – 22nd November Writer Aaron Hill once said, ‘Tender-handed stroke a nettle and it stings you for your pains; grasp it like someone of mettle, and it soft as silk remains.’ This applies to you now. Employ courage, determination and resolve to settle a tricky but solvable situation and the phoenix will once more rise from the ashes of an unavoidable potentially damaging incident.


20th January – 19th February Thought is the strongest power in the universe, after love. Everything comes from it: philosophy, art, invention and healing. Your ideals and ideas are being challenged and you must adapt to changes, but think strong and stay single-minded and overcome the challenge in your own unique way. After all, you’re nothing if not inventive.


21st May – 21st June The art of loving is in loving the art. The spring equinox marks a time for you when Mars soon moves into your sign and acts like Cupid, shooting arrows hither and thither, so be careful not to shoot yourself in the foot! Sorry to put a damper on things, but mixed messages will be the result if you’re too amorous.


23rd August – 23rd September The Maya people used crystals sacred to their sun god; the Apache used them to locate property or ponies stolen by other tribes; and nowadays some people use them to create a healing energy. But what you need is crystalclear thinking this spring and beyond to avoid taking on more than you can manage and spreading yourself too thin.


22nd November – 21st December You don’t like going back over old ground but you may have to because something needs to be slimmed down. Whatever this might be, it’s nothing serious – rather it’s a warning sign to trim some edges or risk overextending yourself. You are optimistic, enthusiastic and expansive – don’t change that. Just be a little more modest with the plans you’re making.


19th February – 20th March Spring kicks off with a new moon in Pisces, giving you the opportunity to reflect on recent events. Solomon, the biblical king noted for his infinite wisdom, is said to have chosen wisdom over wealth. Think on this because you have to make decisions about your life path. Wealth in some form will come through wise decisions. That’s the present day equivalent!

Gloria Mans studied astrology and astronomy over an intensive two-year period at the Faculty Of Astrological Studies in London 27 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 icon Valerie Singleton calls her ‘sensitive’. You can reach her at starglow@pc-q.net or via her website, www.gloriamans.com. March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 143

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With truly stunning views, Cedar Court is a Brand New luxury development in the heart of Colwyn Bay. Situated against this astonishing landscape, each apartment is architecturally designed and finished to the highest specification. A small handful of sea view apartments have just recently come to market, starting from just ÂŁ178,000. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact us today!



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Another edition of Shire, another chance to win some of our fabulous prizes – exclusive tickets available to our lovely readers. Get your entries in by the closing date and good luck!


You have to be in it to win it! Go on, enter today!


Our main competition in this issue is sure to make a splash – but hopefully our lucky winner won’t as they drift contentedly down to canal on a boat trip treat!

Congratulations to our lucky winners from the Jan/Feb issue!

We’re offering an amazing prize in this edition of Shire – the chance to spend a day afloat with the whole family! Anglo Welsh Boat Hire is offering a day’s boat hire trip for up to 10 people, starting from its new base in Whixall Marina, Whitchurch. Located on the Prees branch of the Llangollen Canal, Anglo Welsh is giving readers the chance to win this truly relaxing day trip exploring the picturesque surroundings with the entire family. With space for up to 10 people, and full heating, toilet and kitchenette facilities on board, the fantastic self-drive trip can be taken any time until 19th October 2019.

Roy and Janet, Wirral Holiday Inn

Rob, Colwyn Bay Plas Maenan

John, Shrewsbury Park Hall

John, Bala Pontio Arts Centre

Brian and Andrea, St Asaph Canal boat trip

Judy, Shropshire Aga wood stove

Training and tranquility

There’s no need for trepidation if you’ve never been on a canal boat before – a full 45 minutes of nationally accredited tuition will be given prior to your departure, covering everything you need to know to operate your canal boat. You can then set off on your narrow boat holiday adventure, travelling at your own pace, watching out for wildlife and stopping off to enjoy canalside pubs and exploring villages, towns and cities along your route. So prepare to relax and enjoy the sunlight glinting on slow-flowing rivers, the lap of water on wood, the beautiful countryside at your feet, access to some of our finest cultural cities and the shared camaraderie of fellow boaters… To be in with a chance of winning a relaxing day on the canal with Anglo Welsh Boat Hire, complete the form below and send it to us by the closing date, 15th April 2019.

WIN! A family ticket to Cadbury World Birmingham

During the Easter holidays, Cadbury World presents a new stage show with Mr Cadbury’s Parrot, Creme Egg, the Caramel Bunny and Freddo, and from 19th to 22nd April the Bournvillebased attraction is expecting a visit from the Easter Bunny.

WIN! Two County Enclosure badges to City Day at Chester Racecourse

The opening day of Boodles May Festival on 8th May celebrates the history of racing at Chester and the racecourse’s position within the city, with the opportunity to witness some serious competition for the Derby and Oaks.

WIN! Two tickets to the concert of your choice during Whittington Music Festival

This international event, which runs from 21st to 26th May, brings a taste of Prague to the Welsh borders with six concerts of folk-inspired music by composers including Dvorak and Smetana performed by world-class musicians.

WIN! A family ticket to the Shropshire County Agricultural Show

The show, which takes place at the West Midlands Showground on 25th May, caters for a wider audience than ever before and offers something for everyone without losing sight of its main goal – promoting role of agriculture.

CLOSING DATE: 15th April

CLOSING DATE: 15th April

CLOSING DATE: 15th April

CLOSING DATE: 15th April

WIN! A family pass to the 1,000 Engine Rally in Astle Park, Chelford, Cheshire

WIN! A family pass to Kids Fest Shrewsbury at Quarry Park

WIN! A pair of tickets to see the weird and wonderful Cirque du Vulgar in Winsford

WIN! A family ticket to the jaw-dropping Cirque Funtastia in Winsford

There’s something to appeal to every grease monkey from 15th-16th June, with stationary engines, tractors, steam engines, motorcycles, cars and military vehicles on show, as well as autojumble, food stalls and trade stands.

A ticket for two adults and two children to the ultimate day out for kids, which takes place on 11th and 12th May with a huge waterslide, foam parties, inflatables, go music tent, Zorb balls, go-karts, circus tent, craft activities and more!

This over-18s night of risqué live entertainment is described as ‘Britain’s naughtiest circus’ and combines circus, burlesque and stunts. It takes place in Warrington on 20th and 27th April.

This phenomenal live show proves the circus isn't just for kids. See spectacular aerialists, acrobats leaping dizzying heights, fearless fire eaters, gymnasts, jugglers and so much more when it stops in Winsford from 3rd to 7th April.

CLOSING DATE: 15th April

CLOSING DATE: 15th April

CLOSING DATE: 15th April


HOW TO ENTER: Fill in the form with your answer circled (you’ll need to read the magazine to find it!), and include your name, address and daytime contact number. Send it by the closing date to Competitions, 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. 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. For full details of our Privacy Policy, please go to www.shiremagazine.co.uk.

Q: When was the RNLI founded? a) 1813 b) 1824 c) 1847

Name Address




Daytime contact number


Email (please complete)


Please send me further information about Shire magazine March/April 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 145

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COMING NEXT ISSUE Your next edition of Shire will, hopefully, arrive alongside a bit of early summer sun! Our May and June issue will have all the usual regulars you’ve come to expect, plus loads of special features – so don’t miss picking up your copy so you’re ready to shine!

M A K E W H AT ’ S I N S I D E C O U N T

Our homes and interiors section will be packed with advice on the best accessories for your home, as well as offering practical solutions to heating and general homecare. We’ll also have the latest column from our antiques expert and the latest tips on interior design.


GET SET FOR SUMMER Warmer days and better weather are on the way – we promise! Our health and beauty experts will guide you in those vital preparations and make sure those bits that have been under wraps all winter are ready for unveiling, while our fashion and style guides will make sure you know what’s hot for when it gets hot!

FOOD FOR THOUGHT Discover the latest culinary offering from chef Graham Tinsley, who will be tempting your tastebuds with yet another delicious dish. Graham is more than just a food expert – he’s an ambassador for our fabulous local cuisine, championing the area’s produce.


Meet Deborah Butler, a talented Liverpool artist inspired by the rugged North Wales coastline, who has been wowing visitors to her exhibition with her paintings of the rocky coves, cliffs and shimmering beaches that surround the gallery where they’re on display – Plas Glyn-y-Weddw near Pwllheli

Top holiday destinations If you haven’t already booked your summer break, don’t panic! Our regional holiday guide will give you the lowdown on the best holiday parks, canal boats and motorhome hire in the area so you can make your getaway a great one.

D O N ’ T F O R G E T…

Glorious gardens

Funny guy Comedian and television star Marcus Brigstocke reveals a bit more about himself and his background when he answers our searching 20 questions, while another wellknown face will be the focus of our celebrity interview. YO U R T OW N

Discover the secrets of our local towns and villages, as we take a closer look at Nantwich, Colwyn Bay and Llangollen.


The dedicated and hard-working Shire team will report back on all the shows and events they’ve been lucky enough to attend in the region over the past few months.

With summer definitely under way, our garden coverage is positively blooming! As well as our regular plant and flower columns, and practical gardening advice, we also take a look at some of the incredible private gardens that are throwing open their doors as part of this year’s National Garden Scheme.

Don’t go anywhere until you’ve checked our What’s On guide for May and June – including all the halfterm and early summer outdoors events you need to know about. The next edition of Shire will include our terrific 60-page guide to all the activities going on across the region.

GET IN TOUCH Shire wants to hear from you! 1. Tell us about your upcoming events We work in advance, so 1st April is the deadline to let us know about events for our May/June 2019 issue. 2. Share your reader stories Have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We would love to share it with our readers. Send us an email and don’t forget to include a picture or two! 3. Contribute to one of our pages Send all your submissions and pictures by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk or call 01691 661270. You can also get in touch via social media – just search for ‘Shire Magazine’ on Facebook or Instagram.

146 SHIRE MAGAZINE | March/April 2019

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Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine March-April 2019  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, crafts, kitc...

Shire Magazine March-April 2019  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, crafts, kitc...

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