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in the country





STEAMING AHEAD Exciting times for our historic steam trains

ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR County shows to kick off the summer



The enduring appeal of our favourite seaside resort


A day out at Herefordshire’s prettiest historic town


Shares his fab asparagus and duck egg recipe

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01244 312888 | www.chesterstoves.co.uk Kitchen Street, Chester, CH1 4JH 01745 582254 | www.rnwilliams.co.uk Chester Street, St Asaph, LL17 0RE 02_SHIRE_MJ2017.indd 1

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Welcome to your new SHIRE MAGAZINE Publisher Dan Bromage dan@shiremagazine.co.uk Editor Kate Speedie kate@shiremagazine.co.uk Production Editor & Stylist Verity Gough verity@shiremagazine.co.uk Art Editor Tom Sullivan Designer Tristan King Staff Writer Laura Clinton Editorial editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk Advertising advertising@shiremagazine.co.uk Contributors Dr Paula Hamilton, Gloria Mans, P Parker, John Stubbs, Dr Peter Barling, Helen Cooke, Jenn McKinney, Lizzie Parker, Ursula Kenny, Lynne Allbutt, James Gillespie, Bryn Williams. And a big thanks to our receptionist Georgie. Shire Magazine, Superstar Publishing Ltd, PO Box 276, Oswestry Shropshire SY10 1FR


ello and welcome to the first edition of Shire Magazine, a brand new bi-monthly lifestyle publication aimed at recognising and championing the people and places you love. We hope you enjoy reading the features and articles we have put together – it may be a new magazine, but the team that have brought it to you have many years of experience between them so hopefully there will be a something for every reader to appreciate within our pages. Not only that, but we are delighted to welcome an extremely high standard of regular writers on board. If you look at the calibre of our contributors, from food and wine columnists with excellent credentials to health and wellbeing experts with impressive qualifications, you’ll see that we are aiming to provide quality content throughout. Grosvenor Bridge, Chester The magazine reaches throughout our local region stretching from North and Mid Wales, through Cheshire and the Wirral, to Shropshire and Herefordshire so whether you live, work or are just visiting our patch, we’d love to hear from you. One of the most important sections of our magazine is the comprehensive What’s On guide that covers most of the vast range of events going on – but we know there will be some we have missed. So please do get in touch and tell us about things you know are happening, or incredible stories of your own you’d like to share. We have photography competitions and poetry pages which we’re going to fill with your contributions. We hope you’ll want to get involved with us so we can all celebrate everything that makes us so proud to live and work in this amazing region. Can’t wait to hear from you at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk, Kate IN THIS ISSUE

Telephone: 01691 661270 www.shiremagazine.co.uk

WHAT’S ON If it’s worth going to, it’ll be in our fabulous and comprehensive guide starting on page 6!

Shire Magazine (Print) ISSN 2514-3913 Shire Magazine (Online) ISSN 2514-3921

The PEFC logo and labels are globally trusted trademarks. They identify merchandise and goods from forests that are managed sustainably.

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 Dan Bromage, acting for Shire Magazine or Superstar Publishing Ltd. © 2017 Superstar Publishing Ltd, all rights reserved. Registered Number: 10604188.


Head over to page 129 to see the great prizes you could win this issue!

Read about local Wildlife (p70) and our Heritage Steam feature (p66)

GET IN TOUCH! At Shire Magazine, we want to hear from you… is the deadline for events news for the next issue, July/August

2 Email: editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk Online: www.shiremagazine.co.uk


Tell us about your upcoming events. Just remember that we work in advance so June 1st

Share your reader stories – have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We’d like to feature it in the next issue to share with our readers. Send us an email, and don’t forget to include a picture or two! See page 127 for more


We have lots of things for readers to contribute to – the best way to send your submissions and information is by email or post. Reader photos – taken a great

shot recently? You don’t have to be a pro – email your best effort and you might get picked! See page 93 for more Reader poems – do you like penning the odd line? So do we! Send us your poems, we’d love to include them on our poetry page. See page 124 for more Cute pets – is your pet the love of your life? Send a snap with their name, age and anything else you want to tell us. See page 101 for more Charities – is there a particular charity you support you’d like us to feature. Drop us a line!

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Cerddorfa Ffilharmonig Frenhinol Lerpwl Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Bach Concerti Theatr Bryn Terfel Nos Fercher 10 Mai, 7.30pm £18 safonol / £16 dros 60 / £10 myfyrwyr a rhai dan 18

Wednesday 10 May, 7.30pm £18 standard / £16 over 60s / £10 students and under 18s

Mappa Mundi + Theatr Mwldan


The Trials of Oscar Wilde Theatr Bryn Terfel Nos Wener 12 Mai, 7.30pm £14/£12 gostyngiadau

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Off The Kerb Productions

Andy Parsons Peak Bullsh*t Theatr Bryn Terfel Nos Fercher 31 Mai, 8pm £15

Wednesday 31 May, 8pm £15

Friday 12 May, 7.30pm £14/£12 concessions

Cabaret Pontio

Al Lewis Band Theatr Bryn Terfel Nos Wener 9 Mehefin, 8pm £14/£13 gostyngiadau

Circolombia Acelere

Friday 9 June, 8pm

Theatr Bryn Terfel, £15/£10

£14/£13 concessions

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21 Gorffennaf/July, 6pm + 8.30pm 22 Gorffennaf/July, 2pm + 7pm 23 Gorffennaf/July, 2pm + 7pm

Theatr Bryn Terfel 7+9 Awst 2017, 8pm

7+9 August 2017, 8pm

£15 safonol / £13 dros 60 / £12 myfyrwyr a dan 18 oed

£15 standard / £13 over 60s / £12 students and under 18s

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Contents MAY / J U N E 2 01 7

Discover more about the secretive pine marten Read about the wonderfully rich, railway heritage of North Wales

Page 6-55 What’s On The ultimate guide to what’s going on across the region with our comprehensive listings section. Our packed events diary stretches from North and Mid Wales, across Cheshire, including the Wirral, through Shropshire and into Herefordshire so there’s something there for everyone

94 Soughton Hall Uncover an Edwardian gem with a nostalgic look back at Soughton Hall, now fully restored to its former glory

56 Big Cities Don’t forget to check out what’s going on further afield in the big cities on our doorstep

101 Pets & Wildlife Animal lovers will enjoy our creature features – with a look at a local rescue centre caring for the area’s owls as well as some cute pet portraits!

57 Celebrity Kicking off our regular celebrity slot, we talk to local legend Aled Jones about his latest tour

PAG E 5 8 Find out what not to miss at the region’s county shows PAG E 7 0

Save the bees! Read how you can help these wonderful insects

Our fashion columnists give their pick of those must-have spring buys

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PAG E S 8 7 & 9 8 Kitchen and home shopping to drool over! Find the best secret spots in our Gardens section

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58 County Shows Spring into action with the start of the county show season as we look at this great British tradition and how it continues to thrive across the region 62 Day Out We visit Llangollen Wharf and meet some very interesting horses on the canal 64 Town Visit We visit the seaside town of Llandudno to explore its enduring appeal and find why they keep coming back! 66 Steaming Ahead A closer look at some of the historic steam railway lines in the area that help us embrace a proud industrial past 70 Local Wildlife Take a minute to appreciate the weird and wonderful flora and fauna all around us with this in depth report on local wildlife 76 Town Visit Our second feature on the places that make up our region examines the past, present and thriving future of Leominster 78 Holidays Looking for holiday inspiration? Check out our guide to some of the top holiday parks in the area

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We have lots of fab tickets up for grabs on our competition page! Turn to page 129 now…

PAG E 8 2 Try our resident chef Bryn‘s delicious light lunch recipe

80 Hotel Review We visit Maenan Abbey, deep in the heart of North Wales 81 Active We talk to Harriet Foden at Oneplanet adventure about her love of outdoor sports 82 Food & Drink Our great gastronomic guide introduces celebrity chef Bryn Williams as our food writer extraordinaire as well as wine wizard James Gillespie 88 Arts & Crafts Our packed arts section looks at the current project by local artist Cefyn Burgess, exhibitions in the area and some photography to inspire you

97 Homes & Interiors Great style ideas for your home, and some sound energy advice from the experts

102 Gardens Our gardens section includes details of the forthcoming North Wales Festival of Gardens as well as a how-to guide from horticulture experts at Reaseheath College in Nantwich 107 Fashion & Beauty Find out what the next trends will be with our fabulous fashion and beauty guide 114 Health & Wellbeing With advice from medical, wellbeing and family experts 118 Schools News Make sure to take a look at what’s going on in education with our round-up of news from schools, colleges and training providers 122 Books Keep reading to find out what to keep reading – our guide to book events, signings, writing workshops and new releases as well as an interview with Wirral author Stephen Harding 124 Poetry Take inspiration from our featured poetry, and feel free to put pen to paper for the next edition 125 Horoscope Check out what’s coming your way in the stars… 126 Volunteering & Charity Meet the people that do so much good for the worthwhile charities across the region 127 Reader Story We hear how fast-thinking colleagues helped save Trevor Fletcher’s life 128 Coming Next Issue Find out what to look forward to in our bumper summer issue 129 COMPETTIONS Enter now to win! We have tickets to give away for eight different fantastic local shows and events. Don’t delay, enter today! 130 Last Word Lynne Allbutt on cave diving, cartoons and the joys of finally turning 50

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Birds of Bodnant Garden


13th-14th May, Adult Masterclasses: Janet Bolton Fabric Workshop, Ruthin Craft Centre This two-day workshop allows students to work directly with their chosen fabrics to create compositions instead of working from design drawings. Suitable for intermediate level. Booking essential. www. ruthincraft centre.org.uk

14th May, Open Garden, Maenan Hall, Llanrwst The gardens will be open for charity as part of the National Garden Scheme. Explore four hectares on the slopes of the Conwy Valley, with dramatic views of Snowdonia, set amongst mature hardwoods. Enjoy sweeping lawns, copious specimen shrubs and trees, many originating at Bodnant.

20th-21st May, Colwyn Forties Festival of Food and Fun Dancing to 40s music at The Blitz Ball and Sunday’s Battle of Parc Eirias are the highlights of the sixth 1940s festival in Colwyn Bay. Enjoy music from The Glamourphones and plenty of wartime joie de vivre!

21st May–25th June, Open Garden at Llys-y-Gwynt, Bangor This glorious garden complete with Bronze Age burial cairn ponds, bridges and waterfall will be open to visitors as part ofthe National Garden Scheme.

24th May, Afternoon Tea Social Event, Rhuddlan Golf Club Home Instead Senior Care invites visitors to Afternoon Tea Enjoy a tea or coffee, a scone with jam and cream, as well as a selection of sandwiches. Open to all older people, groups, clubs, carers and support workers.

Have your binoculars at the ready to catch a glimpse of a variety of birds at the National Trust’s Bodnant Garden in Conwy. Led by a specialist from Birdwatching Trips, find out about the species that live in the garden and how to identify them by sight and sound. No experience necessary but note there are steep paths and steps within the garden and suitable clothing and footwear for the weather is advised. Events will take place on Friday 16th June, Monday 31st July and Monday 14th August, all from 11am-12pm. Call 01492 650460 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Bala Lake Railway On May 6th join the celebrations to mark 50 years in preservation of the Maid Marian. It was 50 years ago to this date that the engine was rescued from Dinorwic Quarry for preservation by the Maid Marian Locomotive Fund. To celebrate this event she will be running in her original cabless (Dinorwic Quarry) form during 2017 with her original bunkers and replacement dumb buffers. Plus there will be the Bala Model Railway Show & Bala Lake Festival of Transport on May 27th and 28th. These are two great family shows on one weekend at either end of the railway. www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk

Touched by Greatness at the Wrexham County Borough Museum and Archives Timed to coincide with Wales’s first appearance at an international football finals since 1958, this exhibition, which runs until 3rd June chronicles the heroic endeavours of the Wales’s greatest footballers. The team has become one of the unifiers of Wales and its star players – John Charles, Ian Rush, Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale, some of the most famous Welshmen in the world. www.wrexham.gov.uk

Nantclwyd y Dre, Ruthin: Beastly Bug Hunt, 8th May A guided nature hunt around The Lord’s Garden to identify and learn about the fascinating bugs that live here. Email heritage@ denbighshire. gov.uk or call 01824 709822 for info. Plas Newydd, Llangollen Orienteering and Badge Making, 13th May Drop in to see how quickly you can finish this Orienteering challenge. Admission cost only applies for the event, there is no need to book. Contact plasnewydd@ denbighshire.gov.uk, or call 01978 862834 Ruthin Gaol Captured on Camera, 1st June In connection with the Year of Legends in Wales, come and create your own legendary prisoners. Be featured on a wanted poster, create your own backstories and crimes. General admission applies and each wanted poster costs £1. Arty Day at the Gaol, 1st July Come and learn how to draw pastel portraits from the staff at Ruthin Gaol. Fun for the family at all ages! Limited spaces. Call 01824 708281 Introduction to Horticulture, 10th July Gardeners at Our Lord’s Garden, Sheila and Hayley will introduce you to the newly revitalised gardens at Nantclwyd Y Dre. Call 01824 708232 to book.

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What’s on at Clwyd Theatr Cymru

The Importance of Being Earnest, 4th-27th May A new production by Richard Fitch of Oscar Wilde’s evergreen farce comes to Mold. This classic comedy poking fun at social manners and the etiquette of the time contains a complex plot, but that’s never Beaumaris Castle will welcome House of the Black Star Medieval Society between 27th and 29th May, put anyone off. And, of who will recreate life in the castle as it was back in its heyday. See it transformed back to the medieval days course, ask anyone to during a fun action-packed weekend. There will be a chance for children and adults to be involved quote a line from the play and it’s likely that an with a spear drill, try on some knight’s armour and watch the archers show off their skills. over-emphasised There will be lots of crafts and demonstrations of medieval life in the village, an opportunity performance of to meet birds of prey and learn how they were used to hunt and visitors can shout for their ‘A Handbag?’ favourite knight as they do battle in the fight arena. www.beaumaris.com DID YOU KNOW? will ensue. The In 1348 a third of the very earnest Jack Worthing Welsh population is in Love with perished from the Gwendolen Fairfax, daughter Black Death of the daunting The All Wales Boat Show 2017 takes place between Lady Bracknell and cousin of his friend 9th and 11th June in Conwy Quays Marina in the Algernon. Jack had stunning castle town of Conwy. It will be the third time this been found in a handbag event will have taken place at the marina. The show, now in its on Victoria Station in fifth year, is a celebratory festival of all water-based activities and London, so no marriage is unique to the region. Discover a huge range of exhibitors, show can take place until his parentage is traced. Much events and activities where you can have a go too. It’s a must-visit farcial fun ensues! for any boat owner, watersport-lovers or family looking for a great

Beaumaris Earns a Black Star

Sail away to Conwy

day out. Sailing and power boats will be on show at Conwy Quays Marina. The land-based show will be free to All Wales Boat Show visitors and boating enthusiasts can purchase pontoon tickets to gain access to the boats on display (restricted access). Visit www. allwalesboatshow.com or call 01248 810594

Tasty treats on offer at Plas Newydd House Plas Newydd House and Gardens, Anglesey, is hosting two Tasting Weekends so visitors can sample some of the amazing produce stocked in the shops before the tough decisions of what to buy to take home to enjoy. There will be a whole host of yummy samples to try on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th May, 11am-4pm, from locally made biscuits to jams, preserves and even cider! As well as taking in the beautiful mansion and gardens, visitors can stick to

the food theme and indulge at the eateries on site – The Old Dairy, The Mansion Tearoom and if it’s a sunny day, take advantage of the outside seating area at The Sunroom. Try the locally produced Môn ar Lwy ice cream, including the exclusive Ginger Nut flavour - in honour of the late Marquess’

favourite biscuit! The Tasting Weekend is free, but normal admission charges apply for the venue.Booking is not needed. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Tristan and Yseult, 27th June-1st July This love story and a tragedy rolled into one, also brings a touch of comedy. King Mark is at war as he rules with his head, but not his heart. The twist in the tale is that he never counted on falling head over heels in love with the sister of his enemy. The knife is further turned when the enigmatic Tristan arrives on the scene. It’s a night of comedy, live music, grand passions and tender truths all part of an irresistible night of love. Performed by Cornish-based Kneehigh, one of the UK’s most exciting theatre companies. world. www.theatrclwyd.com or call 01352 701521

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Giant bug invasion at Erddig Throughout May and June


Visitors will be invited to find the ten naughty pests using a discovery trail in the house and garden. Local artist, Josie Rayworth has been commissioned to craft the huge creatures. She says: ‘They’re not the prettiest commission I’ve had in my career, but it’s been fascinating learning about the havoc they can cause. I’ll The imposing view of Conwy Castle across the river from Deganwy never look at my curtains or bugs in the same way again!’ Demonstration of Clog them as Zulu is shown in Althought they might seem like Making at Criccieth Castle Harlech Castle at 6.30pm. harmless creepy crawlies, the Come and meet Trefor Adults £6.50, family £19.30 Owen, a local clog maker, (two adults and up to three damage they cause to stately on 10th May, 11am-4pm, children under 16), homes houses like Erddig and learn about the history senior citizens, can cost thousands to of clog making and the students and repair. Joining the types of wood and leather children under house bugs this year displays. Cost is £5 for 16 £4.20. DID YOU KNOW? adult, £14.95 for families will be seven garden The Penny Farthing (two adults and up to three The Wise bugs to discover children under 16), and Woman and was originally called all carved by artist £3.30 for senior citizens, the Surgeon ‘The Ordinary Bicycle’ in residence, world students and children under at Plas Mawr or ‘High Wheeler’ renowned chainsaw 16. Members go free. Spend 27th28th May carver Simon Medieval Weekend at exploring Tudor O’Rouke. Beaumaris Castle The House of the Black Star Medieval Society will transform Beaumaris Castle to its heyday during a fun medieval weekend on 27th-29th May. Try on some knights armour and watch the archers show off their skills. With crafts and demonstrations of medieval life in the village and you can meet the birds of prey and learn how they were used to hunt. There will also be stalls selling crafts and refreshments. Join in the fun 11am-4pm.

medicine - from amputating a limb using the ‘latest’ surgical equipment to herbal medicines designed to relieve the symptoms of the common cold and bubonic

Fancy trying Victorian cycling? This event allows you to experience these wonderful cycles in amongst the beautiful setting of Erddig. Normal admission prices apply.

Castle and marina at Caernarfon

plague. 11am-4pm. Adults £6.50, family £19.30.

Harlech Castle

Men of Harlech ‘Men of Harlech’ is the castle’s legendary song which is sung in the film Zulu. On 27th May, 11am4pm, meet the regiment that were at Rorke’s drift, and then on 28th May join

Mr Phoebus and his unique Penny Farthing Experience Days, 27th, 28th & 29th May

An Evening with Elizabeth I at Raglan Castle On 23rd June, historian Lesley Smith will transport you to the world of Raleigh, Drake and Shakespeare, with one of history’s mightiest monarchs at the peak of her reign. Relive the history of the Virgin Queen of England. Tickets £10, available from Raglan Castle on 01291 69022 www.cadw.gov.wales

Top of the Tree at Erddig, 1st June

If climbing a massive tree is top of your bucket list, this could be a not-to-be-missed event as The Great Big Tree Climbing Company is back at Erddig! A team of tree climbing experts will guide you up Erddig’s trees using ropes and harnesses. Once you’re kitted out, you’ll get an opportunity to see the 1,200acre estate from a different perspective. Booking is essential as places are limited. For ages six and above only. For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ erddig or call 01978 355314

Caerwys Agricultural Show This annual show brings together the best of local talent and livestock to provide a great family day out. It takes place on Saturday 10th June at the Caerwys Showground. There will be classic and vintage vehicles and an array of stalls showcasing floral art, produce and photography as well as the poultry categories. The main rings hosts a packed out schedule for livestock classes along with the horse show. www.caerwysshow.org.uk

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27th-28th May, Conwy Pirate Weekend, Quayside You be invited t’ enjoy a swashbucklin’ weekend o’ entertainment in Conwy! Land lubbers will enjoy this free event but any donated doubloons be welcome. Conwy is a gritty, dark stoned fortress which has the rare ability to evoke an authentic medieval atmosphere, perfect for pint-sized pirates!

Loggfest weekend! This years Loggfest, from 2nd -4th June will follow a similar format to last year’s event. On the Country Park there will be a bouncy castle, craft stalls, face painting, birds of prey and much more. This takes place on all three days. In the Colomendy Centre behind We Three Loggerheads the 200 metre zip wire will available for all festival attendees, there will also be organised tree climbing for the kids (Saturday and Sunday only). At the local garage there will be the usual vintage and classic car show (Sunday only). We Three Loggerheads will feature live music, DJ, Welsh cask ales and ciders, outside bars, hog roast and a BBQ. For more information, visit www.loggfest.co.uk or call 01352 810337

Machynlleth Market Under the gaze of Machynlleth’s Victorian clock tower, on Wednesday 7th May the weekly market on Maengwyn Street is open for business. With a friendly, community feel, there are stalls selling pet food and vacuum cleaner spares alongside others loaded with books, beads, organic fruit, speciality cheeses and cottage garden plants. Come along and browse, pick up a bargain and enjoy the atomosphere!

Get fit at Chirk Castle For those looking to take up running, where better than in the grounds of the magnificent Chirk Castle? In partnership with Sport Wales the Castle has developed a series of social runs led by accredited, friendly volunteers. From 6th May weekly on Saturdays throughout the year, the Beginner Running Club is a great way to boost fitness and confidence and meet new people. Run duration is around an hour and the group is aimed at beginners - under 18s to be accompanied by an adult. Runners are advised to wear suitable clothing and footwear for running. There is a limited number of places for each session so please email carl.green@nationaltrust. org.uk to book or visit Go online to www. nationaltrust.org.uk

Penrhyn Castle BBC Flog It! Valuation day The popular BBC One antiques programme presented by Paul Martin, comes to Penrhyn Castle on 4th May, 9.30am-4pm! Members of the public are invited to visit with up to three antiques or collectables they might be interested in selling. Once valued, the owner and a team of experts decide whether an object is filmed and from there it will be sent to Rogers Jones Auctioneers in Colwyn Bay for inclusion in their sale on 23rd May. Entry to the castle will be free and limited to those wishing to have items valued only. Gardens will be open as usual. Booking is not necessary.

‘State or Slate?’ by Walker & Bromwich The final year of Artists in Residence, in collaboration with the Arts Council of Wales, will culminate in a spectacular exhibition by renowned artists Walker & Bromwich. The first day of the exhibition will be on 1st July until 8th Octoberfrom 12pm5pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

28th May – 2nd June, Puppet Half Term Treat at Harlequin Puppet Theatre, Conwy. Toys on Parade is a musical fantasy on the String Puppet Stage. Includes the Marionette Cabaret and children from the audience helping Mr Bimbamboozle with his magic tricks. Show at 3pm each day.

29th May, Prestatyn Classic Car Show The largest free Classic Car Show in North Wales. Over 350 cars and motorbikes, live music, children’s entertainment and stalls all held in the centre of Prestatyn.

30th May, Fun Day at Beddgelert Celebrate the year of legends near Gelert’s grave. There will be a host of activities from kite flying, wild art, wellythrowing and storytelling.

4th June, The Great Straight Raft Run, Y Felinheli, Caernarfon. A raft run like no other which is held annually on the majestic waters of the Menai Strait. Starting from the old slate port of Felinheli, the rafts proceed past historic Plas Newydd and on towards Porthaethwy (Menai Bridge). The run starts at 2pm and proceeds go to charity.

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Pontio Shows in May and June Monteverdi Singers and Orchestra Theatr Bryn Terfel, 20 May The Monteverdi Singers is a chamber choir of about 40 singers with a repertoire extending from the Reformation to the present day. In its fifty years the choir has performed music from many parts of the world, some never before sung in North Wales. Opera first for Bangor Pontio, 25th May Y Twr – The Tower – a new opera by Guto Puw, with a libretto by Gwyneth Glyn based on her stage play of the same name. It’s an intimate story of love and life

from Music Theatre Wales, often regarded as the UK’s leading new opera company and the Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, the Welsh-language national theatre company, based on the work of one of Wales’ most important playwrights. Exploring the extremes of emotion experienced by two lovers over the course of a lifetime together, Gwenlyn Parry’s acclaimed play is brought to new life in the form of a touching and lyrical new opera by composer Guto Puw and singer-songwriterplaywright Gwyneth Glyn. The performance will be sung in Welsh with English subtitles. The production is presented by the

Sherman Theatre and the Vale of Glamorgan Festival 2017. A Midsummer Night’s Dream Pontio, 15th June By William Shakespeare Music: Felix Mendelssohn Ballet Cymru presents a stunning version of Shakespeare’s most magical play. This funny and heartwarming adaptation features vibrant classical choreography danced by some of the finest dancers around. Mendelssohn’s joyous music is interpreted by artistic director Darius James and highlights radiant costumes, sets and video projection. The Queen of the Fairies Titania, and Puck the mischievous messenger, inhabit the supernatural fairy kingdom. Bottom and his boot-wearing

“Rude Mechanicals” present their famous play Pyramus and Thisbe. And finally, the lovers, caught in a thrilling web of mistaken identity and confusion finally find their way through the Athenian forest to an unforgettable and joyous reconciliation. Ballet Cymru is a young, vital group of dancers who are pushing back the barriers of classical ballet. Using powerful and timeless stories the company challenges its dancers to interpret some of the finest characters in literature. www.pontio.co.uk

What’s On at William Aston Hall

Tchaikovsky and Rachmaninov, 6th May The young, highly-acclaimed pianist William Bracken returns as soloist for a performance of Tchaikovsky’s ever popular First Piano Concerto on 6th May at William Aston Hall. From its dramatic opening, through the romantic slow movement and into the rousing finale, this is one of the most wellknown piano concertos in the repertoire. Wrexham Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestra in Residence at Glyndŵr University, continues the concert season with Rachmaninov ‘s masterful Symphony No3 – a piece that fuses the composer’s typical romantic tunes with a more contemporized jazz feel. The programme also includes Liadov’s The Enchanted Lake.

Aled Jones, 8th May Aled Jones MBE has achieved the monumental feat of topping the Classical Album Chart not once, but twice this year with his Classic FM albums One Voice and One Voice at Christmas. Aled released his first duet album, One Voice, following the discovery of the last ever recordings of him as a boy. A unique concept, the album dominated the number one position in the Classical Chart for a staggering 14 weeks. Now, with One Voice at Christmas, Classic FM presenter Aled has matched that feat, with the album going straight to the top of the Classical Album Chart in its first week of release. Cinderella, 18th May Vienna Festival Ballet is proud to present the classic tale of Cinderella, one of the bestknown rags-to-riches fairy tales of all time. A mistreated

Andy Parsons, 26th May Take a risk. Put on your lucky pants and your party shoes – and get yourself on a night out. Or maybe come out dressed in a binbag, top hat and clogs. We could all use a laugh. As seen on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo, Q.I. - and repeated on Dave.

young girl, a glass slipper, two comical ugly step-sisters and a handsome prince combine to make the perfect piece of story-telling. Vienna Festival Ballet’s production of Cinderella is based on the traditional story, the ballet will surely touch and reach out to everyone’s heart, with its combination of pure classical dancing and a touch of pantomime. The music contains a collection of Rossini’s most famous operatic achievements and has been especially arranged for Vienna Festival Ballet.

Faith - George Michael The Legacy, 10th June This show is a stunning celebration of one the greatest singer –songwriters of all time. Featuring international George Michael tribute Wayne Dilks and his 8 piece band, take a musical journey of 35 years of hit records, using actual video footage from The George Michael ‘25 Live Tour’ in this 2-hour spellbinding spectacle. www.glyndwr.ac.uk or call 0844 888 9991

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Festival of Gardens North Wales Set within some of the finest mountain, lake and coastal scenery in Britain, The Festival of Gardens will bring you 15 glorious days of more than 20 of the great gardens of Snowdonia and North Wales. On every morning, afternoon and evening of the 15 days of the festival there will be at least one special event happening in at Ffestiniog and Welsh least one of the gardens. In total there will be close on 100 events Highland Railways staged over the Festival period Saturday 27th May - Sunday 11th The Snowdonian Limited June. Supported by North Wales Tourism, the festival dates is a magnificent train have been deliberately chosen to follow on straight after the RHS journey which will run Chelsea Flower Show and to cover the Spring Bank Holiday on 10th June offering an period. They also coincide with late-spring flowering displays, 80 mile round trip over which include rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, tulips the whole railway with a variety of motive and flowering cherries, making this one of the very power. First Class DID YOU best times of year to visit the great gardens of North is £400 and Third Wales. Events include behind the scenes guided KNOW? Class is £180. The National Garden tours, meet the The train will gardener walks, depart around Scheme has been 9.15am and going since 1859 and workshops, return by 7.15pm. musical so far donated over concerts, garden The route will be Porthmadog £50 million to visits by vintage – Caernarfon – charities! steam train, openBlaenau Ffestiniog – Porthmadog. There air plays, historical rewill be a light breakfast enactments, lectures, photographic workshops, children’s. Visit on the train and a hog trails, art and sculpture exhibitions, garden inspired poetry roast and workshop visit and prose, gardeners’ question times, competitions with prizes, at Dinas. Afternoon tea plant sales, themed garden lunches and more. More than 20 of will be at Tan-y-bwlch and it will be non-stop the finest gardens in the region will host a varied and entertaining Garrett Porthmadog – programme of events and activities. Gardens include Aber Artro, Caernarfon. It is hoped Bodnant, Chirk Castle, The Dingle, Erddig Gregynog, Gwydir that the historic carriage Castle, Nanhoron, Portmeirion, Powis Castle and the Welsh number 14 will be included Mountain Zoo Gardens. www.gardensnorthwales.co.uk in train as a Club Car dispensing refreshments including Snowdonian Real Ale. This train is being run to raise funds for The Diamond Jubilee Appeal. For further details and bookings call 01766 515836 or email snowdonian@msn.com


5th-9th June, Old Time Dancing Holiday at Central Promenade, Llandudno Strap on your sparkly shoes and try Traditional Old Time Dancing to the music of organist David Ingley during four evenings and two mornings at the Kensington Hotel. Cost is £200 for members of the English National Old Time Dance Society or £225 for non members.

10th June, Denbigh Record and CD Fair Over 30 stalls of rare and collectable music, vinyl, CDs, tapes, DVDs and memorabilia. Held at Denbigh Town Hall where there will be top record dealers attending from around the UK. 10am-4pm. Free entry.

16th-18th June, Women’s Festival of Music and Arts, Llangollen Town Hall Experience a bevvy of brilliant music events from the Bavarian Night on 16th with Oom-pah Band 7pm11pm, a Motown Evening on 17th, 8pm-11pm, plus two days of workshops, stalls, music and dance whilst raising money for three charities.

Get on The Chippy Train! Take a ride on the ‘Chippy Train on May 30th. Enjoy a slap-up meal of Steak Pie & Chips for £6.75, then sit back, relax and view the spectacular scenery from the train as you ride through the Snowdonia National Park. Fares apply in addition to food prices. Various departure times and dates are available and booking is essential. www.festrail.co.uk

Llanberis Lake Railway Treat the dad or grandad in your life with an extra special day out at Llanberis Lake Railway. On 18th June it is full steam ahead for the Llanberis Father’s Day Special! All fathers (and granddads) travelling with their children will receive a free slice of delcious homemade Bara Brith and a cuppa of their choice in the station café before

travelling in style back to the station. For more information visit www.lake-railway.co.uk

28th June – 2nd July, Hijinx Unity Festival, Caernarfon Spectacular circus, theatre, dance and music acts will fill Caernarfon Castle, Victoria Dock, the Town Square and Galeri Arts Centre for this year’s Hijinx Unity Festival, which celebrates the best inclusive and disability arts from around the world, with performances from France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Ethiopia. The performers include artists who have physical or learning disabilities.

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

Bwydlen newydd ar gael…

New menu now being served… Swyddfa docynnau Box Office

01286 685 222 I archebu bwrdd To reserve a table

01286 685 200

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Oriau agor y gegin am y tymor Kitchen opening hours for the summer Llun - Mawrth Monday - Tuesday

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Mercher - Iau 08:00 Wednesday – Thursday Gwener – Sadwrn

- 20:00

08:00 - 21:00

Friday - Saturday

*gwasanaeth bar yn unig ar y Sul (cacennau ac ati ar gael)

*bar service only on Sunday (cakes etc. available)

Bwydlen sy’n cynnig y gorau o gynnyrch ffres, tymhorol lleol mewn lleoliad godidog! A menu that showcases fresh, seasonal, locally sourced produce from land and sea – in a stunning location! Prydau arbennig wyrthnosol hefyd ar gael 12_SHIRE_MJ2017.indd 1

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Stories from the past

In 2017 Wales is celebrating its epic past, present and future. Wales will be bringing the past to life like never before, with attractions, events and activities at legendary locations across the country. At GreenWood Forest Park, home to the world’s first people powered roller coaster - the Green Dragon, listen to Welsh legends come to life through the storytelling sessions. These take place on 1st, 29th and 31st May. Whilst sitting around the giant stones of Poets Corner you can listen to the tales of the Mabinogion and marvel at the majestic Snowdon mountain range in the background. Become a legend yourself and try out the new optical illusion and be transformed into a real life Welsh Giant, or you can shrink your parents! Visit www. greenwoodforestpark. co.uk or call 01248 670076

Focus on the music

Wales has always had an enviable reputation for its musical prowess, and nowhere is that more apparent than at FOCUSWales – an annual, multi-venue festival that takes place in Wrexham each spring. The festival will show just how intact that reputation really is. Now in its sixth year and held entirely indoors, Wrexham will welcome more than 5,000 guests over the course of three action-packed days, starting on 12th May. There’s not only the chance to hear 200+ bands representing the finest emerging musical talent Wales has to offer, but there’ll also be music industry panels and discussions, as well as stand-up comedy, film and interactive art displays to enjoy. www.focuswales.com

Making it Worth the Walk Help turn Wrexham pink at the Ladies’ Midnight Walk on 17th June at 10.30pm by joining the town’s biggest girl’s night out and raise money for Nightingale House hospice. The annual event sees hundreds of women step out on the streets and light up the night. Every step will make a difference to local people suffering life-limiting illnesses. Starting from Llwyn Isaf, the route will be fully marshalled and ladies taking part will also receive a souvenir t-shirt and a sweet treat! Registration closes on 2nd June. www. nightingalehouse. co.uk

Awards for Llechwedd Deep Mine Tour The Llechwedd Deep Mine Tour has been shortlisted for this year’s national Museums & Heritage Awards with its digital re-telling of Victorian mine industry. The heritage experience, based near Blaenau Ffestiniog in Snowdonia, saw off tough competition from all over the UK to be named as a finalist. The new tour brings to life the harsh reality of the Victorian slate mine industry in North Wales. Clever use of cutting-edge technology including light projections, video, 3D audio and special effects vividly brings to life the working life of the men and boys who produced the slate which roofed so much of the world. Many of Llechwedd’s guides, who accompany visitors on the tour, have worked in the slate industry, whilst others have family connections stretching back generations. It makes for thoughtful and compelling storytelling. The winners will be announced on 17 May. Visit www.llechwedd-slate-caverns.co.uk or call 01766 830 306

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What’s On at Galeri Caenarfon


•1st July, Dawn Walk, St

Asaph Cathedral Take part in this annual 10km/6.2mile Dawn Walk between 5am-8am starting and finishing at St. Asaph Cathedral. The event has raised over £80,000 for hospice care in the last six years. Entry is open to all over the age of 10 and dogs on leads are welcome. Entry is £10 or £25 if you wish not to collect sponsorship. Entry forms available from the fundraising office at St Kentigern Hospice.

1st-2nd July, North Wales N Gauge Show, Conwy A popular annual event for all ages with model railway layouts, trade stands and demonstrations. Tickets cost £4 for adults, £2 for children Large pay and display car park adjacent.

10th-13th July, Lotus 7 60th Celebrations, Portmeirion Village Light, agile and super cool, these sexy little numbers gained iconic status after appearing with Patrick McGoohan in the cult 1960s TV series The Prisoner. So, it’s only natural that the Lotus 7 birthday celebrations should take place in Portmeirion this summer. Expect a dazzling display of desirable driving and a few other surprises to boot.

Poetry and Pictures Come Together, Galeri Caernarfon This unique exhibition combines images and poetry. Its title Engluniau is a play on words. Llun means image and an Englyn is a four-line verse in strict metre, which is unique to Wales. Each line contains a repeating patter of consonants and accents. Poems have inspired Gareth Owen’s work in the past, but this is the first time he uses his own stanzas as part of his work. Using paper collage, the artists explores a variety of themes in his poems – such as commemorative, political, religious, artistic and conceptual stanzas. The exhibition, which runs until 2nd June, coincides with his autobiography which is being published by Gwasg Carreg Gwalch.

National Theatre Live

Obsession Jude Law stars in the stage production of Obsession, broadcast live from the Barbican Theatre in London on 11th May, a new stage adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s 1943 film. Gino is a drifter, downat-heel and magnetically handsome. At a road side restaurant he encounters

husband and wife, Giuseppe and Giovanna. Irresistibly attracted to each other, Gino and Giovanna begin a fiery affair and plot to murder her husband. But, in this chilling tale of passion and destruction, the crime only serves to tear them apart.

What’s on at Gladstone’s Library Above Us Only Sky: Discovering a God that is All Around Us, 18th May - 20th May This course includes entry to God as The Luminous Web: A Public Lecture with Robin Meyers, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Professor of Social Justice at Oklahoma City University, author, widely-travelled lecturer and preacher on behalf of Progressive Christianity.

Crime’s the Word Held between 9th and 11th June in association with the Crime Writers’ Association and The Salomé An occupied Detection Club to desert nation. A celebrate the launch radical from the of a new Crime wilderness WIN! WIN! Writing Archive on hunger WIN! WIN! at Gladstone’s strike. A See our ticket Library, this event girl whose brings some of mysterious competition prizes dance will up for grabs on page the UK’s most well-known change the 129, enter today to crime writers and course of the most exciting the world. win a prize! contemporary crime This charged fiction to North Wales. retelling on 22nd June turns the biblical tale on its head. Stories or Histories? A www.galericaernarfon.com Masterclass with Political Writer in Residence Caroline Shenton How can you write engaging and gripping history, biography, or other lifewriting within the constraints of known fact? This masterclass discusses the perils and pleasures of using original sources creatively. £35 inc lunch.

Back in Time at Rhuddlan •

14th-15th July, Welshpool Country and Western Music Festival The show opens with the traditional Western charge down the bank, 50 Westerners in traditional costume with (replica) guns blazing with accompanying music. Enjoy live country bands at the festival located at Powis Estate County Showground. Open from 12pm on 13th July. Free camping, caravanning and showers in the ticket price.

Join us at Rhuddlan on 28th and 29th May and be transported into the very heart of early medieval Wales. Come and meet our historical characters and experience a spectacular battle reenactment! Rhuddlan Castle will celebrate the 850th anniversary of the last medieval siege of Rhuddlan, fought in an age long before the construction of Edward’s castle. We will take you back to the age of the Welsh Prince Owain Gwynedd and the Lord Rhys and to the year 1166 AD, the year Wales united and defeated the forces of King Henry II. You will be able to walk amongst the Welsh and AngloNorman (Angevin) encampments, talk to the warriors, traders and camp followers. Visit www.cadw.gov.wales/events or call 01443 336000

The End of Europe: An Evening with Political Writer in Residence James Kirchick Author of The End of Europe: Dictators, Demagogues and the Coming Dark Age, examines a continent in crisis. Tickets are priced at £15 which includes a copy of his book. For more information, visit www.gladstoneslibrary. org or call 01244 532350

14 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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

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The Welsh Highland Railway is so much more than "just another narrow-gauge railway". Our trains take you on a fifty mile round trip, from 'coast-to-coast', through the very heart of the beautiful Snowdonia National Park, climbing across the foothills of Snowdon (the highest mountain in England and Wales) along the way. Ride in bright, modern, comfortable and spacious carriages; choose the luxury of travelling First Class in a Pullman or Observation Saloon. Throughout the train large windows ensure the best possible views of the passing scenery. On-train catering is available on all our services - ranging from simple snacks and light refreshments through to freshly cooked meals, prepared to order and brought to your table by our friendly buffet stewards.

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20/02/2017 19:04

Our station at Caernarfon is ideally situated, being just a few miles from the A55 Expressway across the North Wales coast. A frequent bus service from Bangor mainline station also provides a convenient way to reach Caernarfon. A scenic steam-hauled journey on the railway provides a full-day out, with time to explore the harbour town of Porthmadog before returning to Caernarfon. Make the most of North Wales and ride the railway as part of a mini-break. The area has a wide range of quality accommodation, and has activities and attractions to suit all tastes. Visit soon - we'd love to see you here..!

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GreenWood Forest Park,

Combine History and Family Fun!



y l i m a F d e k c a A Fun P Adventure

• Complimentary cheese and beer on the 4.30pm Llechwedd Deep Mine Tour* • First tours of the day Early Bird ticket available for the Quarry Explorer and Llechwedd Deep Mine*

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Llangollen Horsedrawn Boat Centre HORSEDRAWN BOAT TRIPS Enjoy the peace and tranquility of a horsedrawn boat trip on the upper reaches of the Llangollen Canal, pulled by one of our gorgeous heavy horses. Boats are covered for all weather trips. 2 hour and 45 minute trips are available.

*T’s and C’s apply

Boat trips along the Dee Valley World Heritage site

e R k a a i lway L a l a B Llanuwchllyn, Bala, LL23 7DD


njoy a nine-mile return journey by narrow-gauge steam train through the beautiful lake and mountain scenery of Southern Snowdonia. • Café and Gift Shop • Visit the Engine Sheds • Step inside a working Signal Box

www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk Lunches & Welsh Cream Teas can be provided either on board the trip or in our tearoom

AQUEDUCT CRUISES A 2 hour cruise on our fully weather-proofed, centrally heated boat over the mighty Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, a World Heritage site. Full commentary with bar and snacks available.

Bank Holiday Weekend Events


01978 860702 www.horsedrawnboats.co.uk

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Bala Model Show

Llangollen Est.


Ysgol y Berwyn, Bala Tel: 01678 540 666

27TH & 28TH May Festival of Transport Llanuwchllyn, next to station Tel: 01678 530 408

Park once to visit both shows and ride the train !

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Neuadd Dwyfor

Ensemble Cymru Coffee Concert, 8th May Mozart and Arnold Bax feature amongst today’s composers with a range of musical styles. Music for flute, violin, viola, cello and harp. Tickets £7.50/£3. National Theatre Live: Obsession, May 11th A drifter meets a married

couple and begins a fiery affair with Giovanna, leading to a plot to murder her husband. With Jude law, broadcast live from London’s Barbican Theatre. Tickets £10. RSC Live Anthony and Cleopatra, 24th May Torn between love and duty, Mark Antony’s military brilliance deserts him, and his passion leads to a tragic end in one of Shakespeare’s evergreen tales of lust and violence. Tickets £13/£10. Llwybr Mellt, 2nd June A puppet show for the whole family in which Ella is concerned about melting

Llangollen Railway Victorian Weekend Enjoy a truly memorable day out at the Llangollen Railway’s Victorian Weekend this May. Experience life as it was over 100 years ago through the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the recreated Victorian era. The event takes place on 13th14th May from 10am. Victorian characters will give a fascinating insight into different aspects of Victorian life on and off the rails. Step on board one of the historic steam-hauled trains and journey 10 miles through the picturesque Dee Valley to the town of Corwen. Take a look inside the Victorian station at Berwyn and discover what life was like for a Victorian stationmaster. Learn new skills in the tented circus workshop and witness displays by costumed street entertainers before marveling at the sight of Queen Victoria and her royal entourage visiting the Dee Valley. You will witness traditional railway sights as parcels and goods are loaded and unloaded along the line and explore original documents and artefacts charting the construction of the railway back in the 1860s. Classic Transport Weekend This wondeful weekend event which is held on 1st – 2nd July incorporates a nostalgic travel back in time to the classic transport of the day. Enjoy an intensive timetable of stunning steam, diesel and heritage railcars and see what these vintage classic vehicles were like in their heyday. There is a classic bus service which will be running between Glyndyfrdwy and Corwen (10am to 5pm), along with a vintage vehicle display at Glyndyfrdwy. If you are interested in exhibiting your classic vehicle, please contact info@llangollen-railway.co.uk. For ticket information, pricing and to book any of the events taking place over May, June and July 2017 please visit www.llangollen-railway.co.uk

ice caps and the connection between ice, eels and changing landscapes. At Theatr Byd Bychan with a workshop 2pm – 4pm. Tickets £6.

Cyngerdd Concert, 23rd June Compere Dilwyn Morgan guides us through an evening in Welsh of the best of local talents. Tickets £10.

Clouds Harp Arad Goch Oes Rhaid I Quartet, 9th Mi Ddeffro? DID YOU June 30th June KNOW? A classical An interactive cross-over, Elizabethan theatres production for taking their young children were also used for inspiration bear baiting, gambling (2-8) and their from Celtic families which and other immoral folk music, includes music, purposes! jazz, blues, dance, flying, dreams and dance. With and a magical world Elfair Grug Dyer, where socks turn into Rebecca Mills, Esther Swift breakfast – a real feast for the and Angelina Warburton. imagination! 7.30pm. Tickets are £10 and £8. www.gwynedd.llyw.cymru

Theatr Colwyn Dementia friendly film screening of Summer Holiday (U) Join Cliff Richard and Una Stubbs on May 11th at 2.30pm for a screening of this 1963 musical about a group of friends touring Europe in a double decker bus! This is a screening for people with dementia, memory loss and their family, friends and carers but is open to the general public. Please note that pastoral care is not provided, a friend, family member or carer must also attend.

National Theatre LIVE: Peter Pan (PG) Captured live at the National Theatre, a recorded performance of JM Barrie’s much-loved tale will be screened on 10th June at 2.30pm. Tickets £12, £8 child. www.theatrcolwyn.co.uk

The Welsh Highland Heritage Railway This railway has been running trains since 1980. They operate a two-foot gauge railway from their station in Porthmadog out into the countryside to Pen-y-Mount Junction; on the return journey all trains stop at the engine sheds and museum at Gelert’s Farm. For visitors there is an excellent tearoom, reputedly the best railway bookshop in the UK, traditional wooden carriages with slam-shut doors, and traditional Edmondson-type card tickets clipped by the guard. Younger passengers may be asked to help the guard operate the signals and change the points at Pen-y-Mount Station, and they have have a hands-on interactive museum at Gelert’s Farm where visitors are invited to climb into locomotives and press buttons and you can even ride a runaway train simulator. Pay once and ride all day! On the 17th and 18th June all children who bring a Teddy Bear with them travel free for the Teddy Bear’s Picnic event! Visit their website for train times and details of other special events at www.whr.co.uk

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Ales on the Rails Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway

What’s on at Venue Cymru

Anyone with a penchant for ale should head to Porthmadog from 19th21st May and take a tasty trip. The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway Million Dollar Quartet, Society’s Real Ale Festival 8th-13th May The show that delighted audiences is a highlight of the in the West End, Broadway railway’s year. This is the and Las Vegas comes to 13th time that the highly Llandudno. This worldwide popular and successful event is taking place and it will include the smash-hit musical is inspired usual eclectic mix of a fine selection of real ales and ciders combined by the famous recording session organised by with a variety of music, fine food and, of course, steam-hauled trains. legendary record producer In common with previous years, there will once again be a large Sam Phillips - played by selection of beers available at the festival’s main site at Dinas. As well Jason Donovan – the as a wide range of new beers to choose from there will of course be a man who brought the fine selection from Porthmadog’s Purple Moose brewery. The four recording stars together to create event also has its own website – www.rail-ale.com – where music history. full details will be available. For more information, visit GET IN On December www.festrail.co.uk or call 01766 516000 TOUCH! 4, 1956 Elvis

What’s on at Techniquest In the Garden, 8th May Through the grass and down the path, there’s lots to see out in the garden. Take your toddlers along to Techniquest where their imaginations can run wild with themes such as the seaside, the garden and superheroes! Techniquest offer special days for toddlers and playgroups with a different theme at each event as well as lots of storytelling plus fun make and take activities to enjoy.

women ordering anything other than a glass of white wine (or fruit based drink). A Night of ELO: ELO Again, 16th June A Night of ELO performed by ELO Again pays tribute to the beautifully crafted songs of Jeff Lynne and ELO. Mr Blue Sky, Livin’ Thing, Showdown, Telephone Line plus many more. The whole experience is a professional re-enactment of an ELO concert with live cellos and the infamous blue violin mixed with great sound reproduction, light show and visual effects. You will revel in ELO’s unique symphonic rock style and hear some of the most unforgettable classic rock and pop songs of our generation.

Tell us about any events in your local area – just email editorial@ shiremagazine. co.uk

Superheros, 12th June Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s time for the Toddler Day Superheroes! Medieval Engineering, 17-18th June at Chirk Castle

Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. The show features a score of rock hits including Blue Suede Shoes, Fever, That’s All Right, Sixteen Tons, Great Balls of Fire, Walk the Line, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going’ On, Who Do You Love?, Hound Dog and many more.

The Seaside, 10th July Come with us for an adventure down by the sea. www.tqg.org.uk

Stiwt Wrexham Join the Stiwt Wrexham for an evening with the Froncysyllte Male Voice Choir in aid of Welsh Air Ambulance and supported by Cantorion Rhos. The concert takes place on 13th May, 7.30pm10pm, tickets cost £12 and £10. The Stiwt presents the best of local indie, alternative and blues rock at Rhos Rocks. Featuring: Lady and the Tramps, Rattlesnake Sheiks, Eight foot Square, C F Jones and Boneslum, and Leaving Dakota. The event will take place on 20th May, 6pm-11pm. Tickets are £8 and there will be a fully licensed bar and hot food available. To book visit www.stiwt.com

Let’s Go Backwards Together: Al Murray, 20th May We live in troubling times. Europe. The NHS. Whatever the hell is going on in the Middle East. The gathering storm of fortnightly bin collections? Who knows where it will all end. Watch the one man who will answer the call of destiny even though it’s an unlisted number. Watch the one man who will call time on tyranny even though he isn’t quite sure what it means. Watch the one man who isn’t afraid to say no to

Jools Holland and his Rhythm and Blues Orchestra, 5th July One of the UK’s biggest musical stars comes to North Wales, along with the incomparable Ruby Turner, Louise Marshall and Beth Rowley will join the party on vocals, together with the musicianship of original Squeeze drummer Gilson Lavis. Nearly 30 years ago Jools formed The Jools Holland Big Band, comprising himself and Gilson Lavis, which has gradually developed into the current 20-piece Rhythm and Blues Orchestra. Perhaps best known for his annual New Years’ Eve ‘Hootenanny’, Holland has worked with a host of big name artists such as Sting, Chrissie Hynde, George Harrison, Norah Jones, Eric Clapton, Robert Plant and many more. www.venuecymru.co.uk

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10th May, Vox Fortura Semi-finalists on Britain’s Got Talent, Vox Fortura stormed the competition with a powerhouse display of vocal panache and won the hearts of all four judges! Performing some of your favourite Motown songs and classical standards at Theatr Brycheiniog Canal Wharf, Brecon. Tickets £22.50.

Aberystwyth Arts Centre Festival Reception: An Evening Of Books And Buildings

A growing awareness of the landscape and buildings that have shaped Wales is reflected in recent research and books. Join a panel of guest speakers who will share their favourite building in Wales including poet Gillian Clarke and architectural historian and author Dr Mark Baker. The talk takes place on 9th May and is followed by a drinks reception and book-browsing.

10th, 17th, 24th May, Legends and Stories On this tour from Cambrian Safaris Devil’s Bridge, explore the stories of a variety of periods of history right up to the present day from The North Ceredigion countryside. Cost is £40.

•12th May, Crawlback

See South Wales based Rhythm and Blues band, Crawlback featuring harmonica-player and singer Johnny Bird, blues singer Bella Collins on bass and vocals, Nigel “Barney” Barnett on guitar and drummer Sean McNicholas. 8pm at The Globe at Hay, Hay-on-Wye. Tickets £5.

13th May, Woodland Birds Guided Walk Join experienced bird watcher, Janice Vincett, for a stroll through the woodlands around Pen y Garreg to spot and identify the birds around.

20th May, Cheese and Wine Evening The annual Cheese and Wine Evening at Llanfechain Memorial Hall will include a presentation from David Lock, Head Gardener at Chirk Castle. Tickets: £6 for adults and £4 for children.


A new world music band, Khamira features three musicians from India and four from Wales fusing elements of Welsh folk, Indian classical, jazz and rock – a truly unique experience! Suhail Yusuf Khan’s virtuosic Serengi and vocals dovetails with Tomos Williams’ trumpet, Vishal Nagar’s tabla joins in a feast of rhythms and syncopations with Mark O’Connor’s drum kit, while Aditya Balani’s soaring guitar solos are supported by Dave Jones’ keyboard and Aidan Thorne’s bass. Khamira will be playing Aberystwyth on 26th May as a part of a prestigious week-long tour of Wales – their first ever performances in Wales and the UK.

CBeebies’ favourite double act is coming to town!

The Fairbourne Railway’s Steam Gala

See Chris and Pui from Show Me Show Me on 31st May in their very own stage show with the toys and characters from their hit TV programme. Incy Wincy, Twinkle, Old MacDonald, Humpty, Granny Humpty and many more of your favourite Chris and Pui characters will be dropping in along with the toys Tom, Momo, Teddington, Stuffy and Miss Mouse. You can bring your character toy along too but please look after it! Catch the Gingerbread Man, marvel at the Ugly Duckling becoming a beautiful swan and oooh and aaah as Miss Mouse attempts to zoom, zoom, zoom to the cheesy moon in her rocket. With songs, comedy sketches, a dash of magic and heaps of joining in, this is a family show for children aged two to a 102!

Ceramics Festival

The 16th International Ceramics Festival, returns to Aberystwyth Arts Centre from 30th June – 2nd July with a host of international ceramicists demonstrating their work. Go online to www. aberystwythartscentre.co.uk

This year the hugely popular Steam Gala will run an extensive timetable across all three days of 27th-29th May with all available locos in service. Attractions will include passenger rides on the 15 inch gauge dual gauge section alongside Beach Road, featuring the return of iconic Fairbourne loco Sian, after an absence of 30 years, hauling vintage rolling stock. There will also be 7 inch and 5 inch gauge miniature railways, live steam models, craft stalls, traders and family attractions, plus the resident indoor G scale garden line. Free admission to site but charges apply for train rides. www. fairbournerailway.com

May Half Term Fun at Llanerchaeron As the days get warmer and evenings become longer, May half-term is the perfect time to head outdoors and get closer to nature. Llanerchaeron is an elegant Georgian villa, set in the wooded Aeron valley. Remarkably unaltered for over 200 years, this selfsufficient estate includes a farm, walled gardens and lake. From 27th May – 4th June, 10.30am-5pm, there will be a programme of action-packed events and activities every day to keep everyone entertained. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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Powis Castle Gregynog Hall ABBA Tribute Night Join Agnetha and AnniFrid for the sounds of Abba on 5th May. Enjoy a light buffet and become a Dancing Queen or King for the night. Tickets £30. Doors open at 7pm. Booking essential. Pots & Plants Festival This unique event brings together some of the country’s finest potters and plant nurseries in a beautiful historic garden setting on 20th – 21st May, 10am-5pm. Buy hand-crafted pots and sculptures by studio potters and artists and rare or unusual plants from specialist nurseries. It is a wonderful opportunity to pick up valuable advice from nursery owners and talk to the potters and sculptors about their passion for clay and other materials. Entry is £5 inclusive of parking. For more information about the event. NGS Garden Open Day Explore the Grade 1 listed gardens on 11th June, 11am-4pm, in aid of the National Garden Scheme. Adults £3 and children £1. Courtyard Café will be open. Summer Wine Tasting Enjoy a relaxed evening in the courtyard on 22nd June from 7pm – 10pm and sample wine perfect for summer drinking. To compliment the wine there will be an antipasti platter. Wine can be purchased on the evening. £15 per tiicket. Bonhams Valuation Day Specialists will be at Gregynog Hall on 3rd July, 11am – 3pm, for free auction valuations for pictures, silver and jewellery, works of art, books, furniture and general antiques. www.gregynog.org

North Wales Festival of Gardens Laid out in the early 18th century the gardens feature the finest remaining examples of Italian terraces in Britain. From 27th May – 11th June, 10am-5pm, explore richly planted herbaceous borders, enormous yew hedges, lead statuary, an orangery and peaceful woodland. Also visit the world-class collections in the castle itself. In the early 20th Century, the 4th Earl of Powis and his wife, Lady Violet, redecorated much of the castle and brought the garden back to life, introducing new varieties from all over the world. The world-famous garden, overhung with clipped yews, shelters rare and tender plants is laid out under the influence of Italian and French styles. It retains its original lead statues and an orangery on the terraces. Powis is undoubtedly a garden for all seasons. For more information and ticket prices call 01938 551944 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Corris Railway Gala Day

Welshpool and Llanfair Light Rail

Fish and Chips Evening Train Travel on the special evening train from Llanfair Caereinion and at Welshpool where you will be served your choice of meal to enjoy on the return journey, with a pause at Castle Caereinion (weather permitting). Ordinary fares apply on the daytime service, but special fares will be applicable on the evening Fish and Chips Train on 27th May. Advance booking essential. Welsh Tea Train Return journey from Llanfair Caereinion to Welshpool, leaving Llanfair at 1.50pm. Travel in the luxurious tea train featuring the first class Sierra Leone Railway carriage and cosy Austrian tea car en route to Welshpool or return, with Welsh sweet and savoury tea served at your seat in one direction. Full silver and linen service. Special fares will apply on the Welsh Tea Train events on 10th June and 9th July, but ordinary fares apply on the ordinary ‘Yellow’ service.

The Corris Railway will be hosting its 2017 event on Sunday Father’s Day 28th May. The day will feature a variety of train formations Any father accompanied working between Corris station and Maespoeth Junction by his child on Father’s including steam and diesel haulage and at least one Day on 18th June DID YOU travels at the child demonstration gravity train running down from Corris KNOW? price and gets to the Junction. There will be free conducted tours of a workshop The first ever the original locomotive shed and the carriage shed tour. Multiple Father’s Day generations at Maespoeth Junction where visitors will be able welcome! celebration was to see the work in progress on the building of new Normal fares held in Spokane, carriages for the line and components for the next apply on all trains. Washington steam engine now being built which are all part of the revival of the railway. The Railway’s Museum and in 1910 Canada Day! shop at Corris will be open and light refreshments will be Make the Station’s Canadian General Manager available. www.corris.co.uk

Welshpool Carnival Join the festivities this Spring Bank Holiday, Monday 29th May, for a traditional parade of floats through the town centre as well as fun and games at the recreation ground. The parade will leave the Berriew Street car park at 1pm and go around the town before ending at the Maes Y Dre Recreation Ground. Attractions include a donkey derby, cavemen with their car, crazy golf, ferret racing and a mobile piano playing nun! www.visitwales.com

feel at home on July 1st as the W&L turns Canadian for the day! Meet special guests and celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Conferderation. Plot your friends and relations on a map of Canada, win souvenir prizes, admire Canadian railway posters and travel free if you a valid Canadian passport. Ordinary train fares and concessions apply.

For more information, timetables and to book tickets visit www.wllr.org.uk

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20th-21st May, Cannondale British Enduro Series Round 2 at Dyfi The second round of the Cannondale British Enduro Series takes place in the amazing Dyfi Forest, Machynlleth. There’s a team on hand to offer tyre sales and advice to riders and find out more about its high quality MTB range.

21st May, Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival Held at the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth, there will be a challenge suited to all with a series of thrilling races on offer. Runners can take part in the Half Marathon and 10k distances as well as a 3km Family Fun Trail and Toddlers Challenge. There’ll also be a Corporate Challenge, giving companies and their staff the opportunity to team up to raise money, or simply get fit and have fun. The scenic courses take in the valleys, fields, woodland tracks and stunning forestry above the Royal Welsh Showground, with views of the iconic sites.

22nd-30th May, Aberystwyth Cycle Festival Some of Britain’s top cyclists will make a rare appearance in Mid Wales. There’s town centre criterium racing, downhill mountain biking and a mass participation ride – the Continental Welsh Wild West Sportive, covering all the best roads in Ceredigion. The flagship event is the televised ‘Tour Series’ professional race to the famous promenade. Festival-goers can watch the action and also experience beautiful Ceredigion on their own bikes.

28th May, Montgomeryshire Vintage Club Tractor Road Run A relaxed friendly road run for vintage and classic tractors and 4x4s. 10am start on local roads and tracks, then a refreshment stop at Neuadd Bridge Caravan Park. Take a mixture of minor public and private roads then end with a BBQ mid-afternoon.

Wyeside Arts Centre Builth Wells Youth Drama Group For children aged 8-13, this group takes place at the Market Theatre at Wyeside every Tuesday during term time from 4.30pm-6pm. For further details please contact Mid Powys Youth Theatre’s Artistic Director Ralph Bolland on 07810350994. Artist’s Garden: An American Impression Following the smash hit Painting the Modern Garden: Monet to Matisse comes a new film based on the hugely popular exhibition, The Artist’s Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, from the Florence Griswold Museum in Connecticut. This mesmerising film is a feast for the eyes. Watch it on 9th May at 7.30pm in the Market Theatre, Tickets are £12.50 or £11.50 concession. Have-a-go Shakespeare! Have-a-go Shakespeare meet in Wyeside’s Gallery on alternate Friday mornings from 10.30am1pm to explore Shakespeare text in reading and performance. The next events are on 12th and 26th May and 9th June. Call 01597 811487 for more details.

Three Ballets – The Dream, Symphonic Variations and Marguerite and Armand The Dream is part of a mixed programme of works by its founder Choreographer Frederick Ashton. Screened live on 7th June at 7.15pm in the Market Theatre, £17 or £15 concessions.

Lisa Knapp Live Live music from Lisa Knapp will take place on 15th June at 7:30pm in the Market Theatre. Expect tracks from her two stunning albums as well as a taste of her third solo album, Til April is Dead – A Garland of May Songs soon to be released. Tickets cost £13.50 (£12.50 conc.)

Phill Jupitus - Juplicity Join stand-up comedian, poet, improviser, and TV stalwart Phill Jupitus for over an hour of tales, laughs and diversions on 7th July at £8pm in the Market Theatre. Watch in delight and/ or horror as this experienced funny man smashes laughs out of the chaos of his own life and the uncertain world that surrounds it, suitable only for 14 years and over. Tickets cost £14.

The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth Wildlife Wanderer Dr Rhys Jones talks to wildlife photographer David Bailey on 6th May from 2pm-3.45pm with doors opening at 1.30pm. Tickets £6. Measuring the Meadows A day symposium to evaluate the development of estate mapping and its value in portraying the historical landscape. The event takes place in partnership with the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales on 12th May from 9.45am4.30pm. Tickets cost £20 which includes a buffet lunch. There will also be bilingual presentations.

Me, the Media and Family History Come along on 13th May to a free ticketed event that sees Cat Whiteaway use her numerous and varied experiences whilst working for the BBC over the past 15 years, to explore the role of the media and the parallel Jeremy Hardy Live rise in popularity of family Jeremy Hardy has history, in an internet been a stand-up free era, also known as pre – Who for 33 years and Do You Think in 2014, the WIN! WIN! WIN! You Are. Also, tenth series of 10am-4pm there Turn to p129 for a Jeremy Hardy will be talks, chance to win our Speaks to the presentations fabulous ticket and stands and Nation was at 11am sees the broadcast on competitions! official opening Radio 4. He is of the Fallen Poets also on the road Exhibition which all year round and commemorates 100 years since the deaths has never stopped doing of poets, Hedd Wyn and live shows since 1984. Join him Edward Thomas. at the Market

Theatre on 8th July at 8pm, suitable for 14+ only. Tickets £14 (£5 conc.) www.wyeside. co.uk

Guided Tours Take a 30 min guided tour and presentations on the Library’s collections and history every Monday morning and Wednesday afternoon. www.llgc.org.uk

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Gregynog Festival


Wales’ oldest classical music festival returns to venues in Aberystwyth, Gregynog, Chirk and Harlech between Friday 16th June – Sunday 16th July. Kicking off in Aberystwyth on the 16th June, The National Library of Wales’ collections have inspired this year’s curation on the theme of Pagentry, and items will be on special display. On 17th – 18th June, in Gregynog, the work of Arnold Dolmetsch and the early music revival at the start of the 20th century is featured with a special introductory talk by Jeanne Dolmetsch,

Amy Dickinson

grand-daughter of Arnold and Musical Director of the Dolmetsch Foundation. With performances on 16th June – 2nd July from Danish recorder virtuoso Michala Petri and Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani and the Ricercar Consort from Belgium on 18th June. Over at Chirk Castle on the 23rd – 25th, Australian saxophonist Amy Dickson, pianist Llyr Williams and clarinettist Robert Plane with the Gould Piano Trio will be performing. The festival concludes in Harlech from 28th-2nd July. www. gwylgregynogfestival.org

Clare Hammond


2nd June, Tadpole Toddle Come and look at pond animals in your own tray at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre and take a toddle to our own small pond. Suitable for younger children under the age of five.

10th-11th June, Man v Horse Marathon See man and horse pitted against each other over the mountainous terrain surrounding Llanwrtyd Wells in this longest standing and now internationally acclaimed event. Free entry!

Joy Dunlop

Llyr Williams

Michala Petri & Mahan Esfahani

Michala Petri

Paul Dooley

Rex Lawson

Philippe Pierlot

Robert Plane


Thomas Dunford

17th June, Needlefelting Classes Take part in the Furzie Wool Sculpture Course. Learn how to needle felt with wool, how to make a wire armature and felting kit and tools. All your materials including wool, a light lunch, tea and coffee are included in the price of £65. The course runs from 10am4.30pm at The Globe at Hay Newport Street, Hayon-Wye. Booking essential.

23rd June, “This is me” Shirley Bassey Tribute Show The UK’s number 1 Shirley Bassey tribute will be appearing live for one night only at Theatr Bryncheiniog. Doors open at 7pm, for the performance at 7.30pm Tickets from £15.

Mawddach Paddlesports Festival Canoes and rafts will take to the water at this two-day charity festival with opportunities for novices to try canoeing, rowing and stand-up paddle-boarding. Now in its sixth year, the event takes place upon the River Mawddach/Afon Mawddach, Barmouth on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th July. The main events include the Hope House Raft Race, the Mawddach Challenge Raft Race, the Mawddach Marathon and the Mawddach Ascent. www.merionethyachtclub.co.uk

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Theatre Hafren


Eddie The Eagle: Try Hard

24th June, Rotary across Wales Walk The full walk is 41.4 miles, but it is possible to partake in shorter sections – 26, 16 or 6 miles. The shorter section is ideal for children and families. The full walk starts just south of Machynlleth. Other sections start at Staylittle, Llandinam or the Devils Elbow. Transport is provided from Newtown to the start points. The walk ends at the Anchor. Transport back to Newtown is available from the Anchor.

1st July, Ponthafren: Open Garden for NGS Interesting community garden on the banks of the River Severn run and maintained totally by volunteers. Includes sensory garden, herbs, scented plants and shrubs and vegetable plot.Ponthafren is a registered charity for people with mental health issues or those that feel lonely or isolated.

9th–22nd July, Pembrokeshire Craft Makers Exhibition An arts and crafts exhibition by members of West Wales group Pembrokeshire Craft Makers showing unique handmade arts and crafts of quality and originality. There is no admission fee. Open daily 10am– 5pm and Sunday 1pm – 5pm at The Guildhall in Cardigan.

Montgomery County Festival Choir

Conducted by Patrick Larley Festival Orchestra led by Anne Tupling on 6th May at 7.30pm. Soloists Soprano Sarah Ann Cromwell, Mezzo Cathy Bell and Bro Hafren Children’s Choir conducted by Ann Evans. Tickets £12, children and students £6 and family £30.

Let’s Hang On This award-winning production (pictured above), endorsed by Frankie Valli himself, takes place on 11th May at 7.45pm and celebrates the music of one of popular music’s most successful bands of all time. With an anthology of classic hits including Grease, December 1963 (Oh What a Night!), Sherry, Can’t Take My Eyes Off You, Beggin’, Walk Like A Man, Big Girls Don’t Cry, and many more! Tickets £23.50, concessions £22.50.

13th July, Penglaneinon Shearing Join the annual task of sheep shearing at Penglaneinon Farm, Claerwen Valley. Witness the modern and traditional methods whilst enjoying a nice cup of tea and demonstration of spinning wool. Weather dependent event from 1.30pm - 3.30pm.


London Classic Theatre presents Terry Johnson’s hilarious farce on 12th May at 7.45pm. Sigmund Freud has fled Nazioccupied Austria and settled in leafy Swiss Cottage. The ageing Freud intends to spend his last days in peaceful contemplation but, when Salvador Dali pays a visit and discovers a naked woman in the closet, eye-popping mayhem ensues. Tickets £11, Drama Special £9.

The Grimethorpe Colliery Band

Celebrating its centenary year with the history of the organisation stretching as far back as WWI, the band has been National and Open Champions on numerous occasions, making Grimethorpe Colliery Band the world’s leading brass band, even featuring in the hit movie Brassed Off. Prepare to be entertained on 13th May from 7.30pm. Tickets £12, family £32.

Joel Dommett

Eddie talks through his incredible life on 31st May. From self-learning ski-jumping and being shunned by the sporting establishment, to the extensive surgery to rebuild his face and body following years of spectacular crashes on the snow as he set out to break world-records in stunt jumping. Tickets £16, concessions £15

Whitney: Queen Of The Night

A stunning celebration on 1st June at 7.30pm of the music and life of one of the greatest singers of our time. This award winning production features a stellar lineup with rising West End star Rebecca Freckleton delivering a powerhouse and breathtaking performance as Whitney. Tickets £23, concessions £22.

Giovanni Pernice:

Fresh from his ‘il Ballo è Vita’ DID YOU hugely memorable (Dance is KNOW? performance on Life) The Cowardly 2016’s I’m A Giovanni Pernice Lion costume in the Celebrity Get and Luba original Oz movie Me Out Of Here, Mushtuk, from one of the UK’s weighed 100lbs and Strictly Come most energetic was made with Dancing, star on and exciting real lion pelts! 8th July at 7.45pm. comedians returns to Enjoy the story set in the road with his solo a Sicilian Caffè/Bar, where show, Joel Dommett: LIVE on Giovanni thinks he has found 26th May at 8pm. Tickets £15, love, but not everything is as it students £10, conc. £10, family seems. Tickets £28, conc. £25.

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Gregynog G

rade 1 listed gardens within a national nature reserve. Magnificent yew hedge, rhododendrons, water and rose gardens with ancient oaks forming an SSSI. Colour-coded woodland walks through 750 acres of beautiful and varied landscapes.

According to CADW, ‘one of the most important parks and gardens in Powys, dating from at least the 1500’s’.

Garden admission £3 per person. Estate admission administered via a £2.50 car parking charge also applies.

Telephone: 01686 650 224 Website: www.gregynog.org Located near Newtown, Powys, SY16 3PW

Historic house hotel with conferences and weddings. Courtyard café and shop with special events throughout the year.




THE MUSIC OF FRANKIE VALLI & THE FOUR SEASONS Take a step back in time with classic hits including Grease, Sherry, Can’t Take My Eyes off You, Walk Like A Man, and many more. TICKETS £23.50 | CONCESSIONS £22.50



Grimethorpe Colliery Band have been National and Open Champions on numerous occasions making them the world’s leading Brass Band. TICKETS £12 | CONCESSIONS £10 | CHILDREN £6 FAMILY OF 4 (MIN. 2 CHILDREN) £32



Pageantry 16 June - 2 July 2017


01970 632800

gw ˆ yl gregynog festival

ABERYSTWYTH 16 JUNE Paul Dooley // Thomas Dunford GREGYNOG 17-18 JUNE Michala Petri // Mahan Esfahani // Ricercar Consort CHIRK 23-25 JUNE Amy Dickson // Robert Plane // Gould Piano Trio // Llyˆr Williams HARLECH 28 JUNE-2 JULY Narek Hakhnazaryan // Sara Trickey // Clare Hammond Joy Dunlop // Rex Lawson // Light, Ladd & Emberton // Septura

01686 207100 www.gregynogfestival.org


Eddie talks through his incredible life-journey, from self-learning ski-jumping and being shunned by the sporting establishment, to the extensive surgery to rebuild his face and body. TICKETS £16 | CONCESSIONS £15

BOX OFFICE: 01686 614555 www.thehafren.co.uk | boxoffice@thehafren.co.uk The Hafren, Llanidloes Road, Newtown, Powys SY16 4HU

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LWAY I A R N Y L L TALY veryone

out for e a great day

■ Steam through the very beautiful Fathew valley - a timeless and magical journey ■ Walks, waterfalls and play area ■ Licensed cafes, shop and museum ■ Explore Tywyn and beyond Gorsaf Wharf Station, Tywyn LL36 9EY 01654 710472 enquiries@talyllyn.co.uk www.talyllyn.co.uk Photo Credits: Dan Wyre, Darren Turner & Barbara Fuller


1 ST MAY 2017 – 31 ST OCTOBER 2017

Sian Returns to The Fairbourne Railway For

The Fairbourne Railway’s Steam Gala

OFFER 1: Dinner, Bed & Breakfast 2 nights - ONLY £115 per person, per break 3 nights - ONLY £149 per person, per break (Excludes Bank Holidays)


OFFER 2 : Bank Holiday Break Bed & Breakfast, Any 3 nights - ONLY £118 per person, per break CHILDREN HALF PRICE ON ALL BREAKS


Arbour Hotel, The Promenade, Barmouth, Gwynnedd, LL42 1NE Tel: 01341 280459 • www.arbour-hotel.co.uk

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27th 28th & 29th May 2017 Sian will be giving rides over the newly extended 15 inch gauge track. Intensive service ● all available locos in service ● 7 ¼ & 5 in gauge train rides● model railways ● model railway exhibition ● stalls

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Talyllyn Railway The train will depart from Tywyn Wharf Station at 11.15am on Thursday mornings on 8th June, 15th June, 22nd June, 29th June, 6th July, 13th July and 20th July. The return to Tywyn Wharf will be by 3.12pm where you will be served a Victorian tea in King’s Licensed Cafe. £29.50 adults, £9 under 15s, free under 5 and £17 for members.

Try your hand at handicrafts If you enjoy arts and crafts, then this is the weekend for you! Based at Abergynolwyn, feel free to come and have a wander around the various craft stalls from 20th–21st May. Ranging from wet felting to basket weaving to jewellery making, this is an event suitable for all ages. Activities for Children Enjoy a range of childrens’ activities in the Slater Room from 27th May – 2nd June. Kids can play puzzles, colouring, Lego and building blocks while the parents can have a nice relaxing tea break in King’s Café downstairs.

Hi-de-hi Murder MysteryTrain Join in and relive the Butlin’s Holiday Camp Fun for a HiDe-Hi all day party and a HiDe-Hi Murder Mystery Train in the evening on 30th May. Peter Sam’s Party! Come and join Peter Sam and his friends for some fun and activities! Peter Sam’s special train will leave Tywyn Wharf station for Abergynolwyn at

Father’s Day On 18th June join Talyllyn Railway for Father’s Day Steam and Sunday Lunch. Why not treat your Dad to Sunday Lunch before a steam train ride up the scenic Fathew Valley.

9.45am on 1st June. Take part in a family ‘Spot Peter Sam’ competition up and down the line as well as various activities based at both Tywyn and Abergynolwyn stations. Take a miniature Midsummer Night’s Steam train rides, Doctor Humyar’s – Swing & Gin puppet theatre, Take a trip back to the craft activities, a roaring 1920s on 24th treasure hunt, June with a flapperDID YOU badge making, tastic 1920s dance KNOW? face painting, on the Saturday balloon Gin was first night and Lindy modelling, Hop dancers created in 1689 and station on the stations. the earliest known shuttle train For lovers of with Peter food pairing was gin, why not Sam, shuttles take a trip to with gingerbread behind the Gin Palace at in 1731! Rusty to Abergynowlwyn. Nant Gwernol and return and Beer Festival the “Railway Adventure” Sample a wide range of playground and picnic area. refreshing real ales and locally made ciders from Victorian Train Experience around the local area on Enjoy a unique day out for 1st-2nd July at Tywyn Wharf enthusiasts and anyone with Station. One not to miss! an interest in the past as you journey in Victorian carriages For more information and to behind an original Talyllyn book call 01654 710472 or locomotive, with a conducted visit www.talyllyn.co.uk tour, stops for photographs and a museum tour. The Talyllyn Railway is probably alone in still being able to run its complete original passenger train dating from the 1860s, and invites you to enjoy a conducted tour featuring this unique train, travelling in the original coaches behind an original locomotive.

The sky’s the limit for Welshpool air show The Bob Jones Memorial Air Show and Festival of Transport will take place on Sunday 11th June at Welshpool Airport. It promises once again to be a fantastic family day out featuring daring performances of aerial manoeuvring and aircraft new and old. On the ground there will be the Festival of Transport with classic private and military cars, bikes, vans and larger vehicles all with a variety of trade stands. Visit www.welshpoolairshow.co.uk

The Royal Welsh Agricultural Society Spring Festival The two-day festival takes place from Saturday 20th to Sunday 21st May at the Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd. Its action-packed programme of entertainment and educational activities, free workshops, displays and main ring performances offers the perfect family day out. See over 1,300 livestock, poultry and horses, hundreds of tradestands, the only Premier Open Dog Show to be held in Wales, children’s activities, local food and drink, vintage machinery, auction, country leisure and much more. www.rwas.wales

Summer Evenings and Music on the Train at Vale of Rheidol Railway Jump aboard for a stunning train ride through the Rheidol Valley on Wednesday 31st May accompanied by live acoustic sessions from local musicians. Each artist will play a set in each of the carriages whilst the train travels up into the Cambrian Mountains from Aberystwyth. The Summer Evening Excursions depart Aberystwyth at 6pm and arriving back at 9pm. www.rheidolrailway.co.uk

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What’s On at The Live Rooms


1st May - 30th June, Celebration Afternoon Tea, Hollin Hall, Macclesfield Spend a pleasant afternoon supping tea and quaffing cakes at Hollin Hall’s Traditional Afternoon Tea. Sample finger sandwiches, mini patisserie, homemade scones with clotted cream and preserves and a choice of tea or coffee at this tasty spread through May and June.

5th-6th May, The Gin Society Festival, Chester Town Hall Celebrate all things gin! Try over 80 different flavours, garnishes and mixers. Enjoy Prosecco cocktails, live music and entertainment, a Gin Guide booklet and your very own goblet to sup from. This is one brilliant (and boozy) fest not to be missed.

What’s on at Little Moreton Hall Ceramics at the Hall, 10th May Crockery lovers and historians rejoice as the Hall brings out its finest antique ceramics to show off to the public and offers a number of talks and daily activities. Dreamtime Tudor Style, 29th May Ever wanted to know more about the meaning of your dreams? The Tudors were fascinated by them, and Little Moreton Hall’s new dream tent, designed by Wild Rumpus is the perfect environment to find out more as part of its ‘How we used to sleep’ project. EVENT Midsummer Celebrations, 18th - 19th June Get down and Tudor with it at this year’s Midsummer shindig. Give thanks for the crops, sun and rain and try your hand at Tudor dancing. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

The Christians, 21st May Best known for their incredible string of hits during the late 80s including Forgotten Town, Ideal World, Born Again, Harvest for the World, the socially-aware band is now celebrating an impressive 30 years in the business with this high– energy, top–ten–hits– packed European tour.

MassMatiks, 22nd June London– based MassMatiks SHOUT-OUT! bring their own Email editorial@ unique brand of shiremagazine.co.uk alternative rock to kick–off the first with any events you night of Chester would like to see in Live 2017. This Brit the next (July/ four–piece have August) issue! been selling out venues across the UK with their high–octane performance.

‘Glastonbury for kids’ at Arley Hall • 13th May, The Great British

Dog Walk, Lyme Park Come on this charity walk aimed at dog lovers of all ages. With stalls, gifts, crafts and refreshments, participants will be helping to raise vital funds so more life-changing hearing dogs can be trained. Go to www. hearingdogs.org.uk to find out more about how you can help.

• 13th May, Northern

Chamber Orchestra with Lara Melda, The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield Pianist, Lara Melda - the 2010 BBC Young Musician winner joins NCO for an evening of music. From folk-inspired works of Grieg and Vaughan Williams to Beethoven’s ‘Romance in F’.

The Geronimo Family Festival – dubbed as ‘Glastonbury for Kids’, is back at Arley Hall and Gardens, Northwich from 27th - 29th May. This year expect an array of TV stars from CBeebies, CBBC and ITV who will take centre stage throughout the day. Families can pitch their tents or park their motorhomes, kick-back and enjoy the festivities. This year’s theme is Princesses, Knights and Dragons and dressing up is highly encouraged. Older children are well catered for in the Digital Zone, where they can meet famous YouTubers and gamers and try out a range of state-of-the-art tech. Youngsters can pop in to the circus tent for fun and frolics, while the arena hosts jousting, fencing and motorbike trickery which is guaranteed to keep the dads happy. Mobile climbing walls, cardboard workshops and the Bear Grylls Assault Course will exhaust the little ones, while parents can browse the stalls and enjoy the array of delicious festival food and drink. www.geronimofest.com

The Smyths, Strangeways Tour, 8th July

Internationally acclaimed tribute band, The Smyths, present the show they believe The Smiths would have played to promote Strangeways in 1987/88. Plenty of hits, b-sides and other classic tracks. Visit www.theliverooms.com

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Bank holiday fun at the Great Spring Show


May Bank Holiday sees the return of the Great Spring Show at the Cheshire Showground in Knutsford, where the nature, food and family is the order of the weekend from 25th-29th May. This year, the event is split into four areas; The Great British Outdoors, celebrating outdoor

living, wildlife, sports and fitness and hobbies; FoodFest NorthWest featuring World Street Food Court and freshly prepared signature street food dishes from across the globe; Charity Fest North West showcasing local musical legends and hit-makers who will be performing to raise funds for three worthy charities; Cancer Research UK, British Kidney Patients Association and Help Musicians. The line-up includes Brian & Michael,

Dougie James, Soul Train, George Borowski, The Clik, Babalola, northern soul star Johnny Pryers, solo acts Rebecca Whitehead and January Butler, electro-loopers Sound of Thieves and motown favourite, Soulvation. Sky-Fest features a giant kite display, kite workshops, drone and model aircraft demos and a birdsof-prey display. Plus plenty of entertainment, 100 crafters and artisans and food demos by top Cheshire chefs. Visit www. thegreatspringshow.com

What’s On at Crewe Lyceum Theatre Spamalot, 10th–11th May This fun-loving comedy musical brings together the best ever Monty Python sketches to audiences new and old. It follows King Arthur and his knights in their quest to find the Holy Grail – a must see for Python fans. Al Murray: The Pub Landlord - Let’s Go Backwards Together, 19th May The Pub Landlord embarks on his own campaign to make Britain great again in his brand new, critically-acclaimed show. Drawing on local and national politics entwined with his own unique brand of philosophy, Al will have audiences clutching their sides. The Sooty Show, 21st May, 2.30pm Back with a brand new show, the cheeky little bear and pals return in a fun-filled extravaganza. Expect magic, music and mayhem Sooty-style, with buckets of audience participation thrown in for good measure. A treat for Sooty fans old and new. There’s even a chance to meet the team after the show. Street Dance Academy’s Annual Showcase, 26th - 27th May Cheshire’s youngest dancing talent comes together for this explosive nonstop street dance show. Showcasing their impressive moves from solo spots to crew pieces against the back-drop of a thumping soundtrack, it’s a show that the whole family will love. The Carpenters’ Story, 23rd June This award-winning production celebrates the timeless music of The Carpenters and features acclaimed international star, Claire Furley as Karen Carpenter. Fantastic production values, pitch perfect performances and classic Carpenters’ hits including Close To You, Superstar and Please Mr Postman make it a must-see for music lovers. Strictly Murder, 3rd - 5th July Lies, subterfuge and murder abound in this dark, fast-moving thriller set in April 1939. An English couple living in Provence aren’t quite what they seem.

Crewe Steampunk Convivial This wonderful annual celebration takes place in the heart of Crewe, long noted for its connection with the Victorian Steampunk movement on the 27th-29th May. Experience plenty of Steampunk-inspired fun and frolics, great live entertainment and evening shows. The line up of performers includes: BB BlackDog, Kiss Like Ether, Victor and The Bully, Ichabod Steam and his Animatronic Band, Scarlet Butterfly, Moth, The Wattingers, Gurdybird, Lux Delioux, Erwyd Le Fol, The RetroClones, Foxee Stole, Greg Chapman, The Time Travelling Tea Tent, Moments in Time, Shoot The Vampire, and Jezebel Steele’s Fabulous Burlesque Show. As well as the regular features such as Steampunk Town Criers, croquet games, Steampunk Market, The Palace of Curiosities, Victorian blacksmith, buskers and plenty of food and drink. www.crewesteampunk-convivial.co.uk

20th May, The French Connection, Chester Cathedral The Chester Music Society Choir presents an evening of atmospheric late 19th century French music with pieces by Gabriel Fauré and César Franck, as well as Gounod’s St Cecilia Mass. Graham Eccles also performs on the magnificent Chester Cathedral organ.

20th-21st May, Simply Cheshire Spring Shopping Fair, Arley Hall, Nantwich Shop till you drop at Simply Cheshire’s fabulous Spring Food, Home and Gift Fair. Hosted at Arley Hall and Gardens, 80 plus handpicked exhibitors exclusively from Cheshire will showcase the best of the region’s artisan food, gorgeous gifts, beautiful accessories for the home and garden, handmade jewellery and much more. To get your tickets and a full list of what’s on and who’s exhibiting visit.

21st May, Specialist Plant Fair, Cholmondeley Castle Gardens Pick up plants for the coming seasons – half price entry to the gardens included.

May 25th-27th, Traction Engine Rally, Ashley Hall Back for its third year, Ashley Hall welcomes this steam spectacular just a hop, skip and a jump from the M56 and M6 motorways. See top steam fair attractions; steam engines, classic cars, vintage tractors, motorcycles, commercials and cars, fairground organs and miniature steam engines. Visit www.outdoorshows.co.uk for the full programme of fun!

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26th May, Craft & Chat, Weaver Hall Get your craft-on with like-minded crafters at these recently launched craft sessions. Learn new skills, enjoy a chat and a cuppa all in the relaxed setting of Weaver Hall Museum’s café. With demos and project challenges, its ideal for all levels of experience.

• 11th June, Bike Chester

Bring along your wheels to this one-day cycling event. Pick one of three breathtaking routes, enjoy the regular feed stations, great signage and mechanical support for those who might need it. And of course a shiny winners’ medal at the end. Go to www.bikechester.co.uk to find out how to take part.

• 17th June, Dog Fest, Arley

Hall & Gardens Professor Noel Fitzpatrick, Channel 4’s Supervet, is the host this year at Dog Fest. Bring your beloved pet to join in the action-packed activities including agility sessions, dog training and diving, grooming plus gifts and treats galore! Noel also leads a number of walks across the duration of the event.

• 24th - 25th June, Chester’s

Midsummer Watch Parade, Chester city centre Britain’s oldest and most colourful parade returns to Chester this June. Dating to 1498, this medieval parade, complete with the famous ‘Chester Family of Giants’, is the highlight of summer in Chester. See angels and devils, elephants and castles, Cupid, unicorns and much more besides. Visit www. midsummerwatch.co.uk for the full programme of what’s on during the parade.

What’s On at Cholmondeley Castle Professor Humo’s Punch & Judy Show, 14th May Step back into yesteryear with a good old fashioned Punch and Judy Show. A firm family favourite, Professor Humo’s Punch & Judy returns with two half hour performances at the Tea Room - a treat for audiences, young and old! Jazz in the Gardens, 29th May While away a pleasant summer’s afternoon listening to the relaxing sounds of The Robin Joiner Quartet performing its jazz repertoire. Enjoy old favourites from Gershwin, Mancini, Cole Porter and Jobim all set against the backdrop of the stunning Cholmondeley Gardens. Pimms anyone? Wild Flower and Orchard Walk, 14th June The Gardens Team takes nature lovers on an informal walk and talk amongst the naturalised grass areas at Cholmondeley. Discover the fine populations of Common Spotted Orchid. Keen botanists might even spot the pretty Ox-Eye Daisies along the route.

What’s On at The Forum Studio Theatre

April In Paris, 7th-10th June This heart-warming comedy tells the story of a Yorkshire couple, Bet and Al whose mundane life takes a turn when Bet wins a ‘Romantic Break to Paris’ competition in a magazine. The holiday for two has a profound effect on the way they look at the world around them once they return home. Written by John Godber, the play is a witty yet touching depiction of love, life and Brits abroad.

Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon, 24th-25th June Take part in an open-water swim in the Deer Park Mere, a cycle race which circumnavigates Bickerton Hill before a final run through the Estate grounds. www.cholmondeleycastle.com

Searching for Dark Energy Discover more about the theory of dark energy in a thought-provoking lecture by Professor Isobel Hook on Thursday 25th May at Jodrill Bank. The talk: Searching for Dark Energy: Measuring the Universe with Supernovae, delves deeper into the research compiled by the two teams of astronomers that discovered the existence of ‘Dark Energy’ and the unstoppable expansion of the universe. This 2011 Nobel Physics Prize-winning work has spawned a number of projects to improve, understand and explain the results. The Professor will also reveal her predictions for the future of supernova cosmology and the new state-of-the-art super telescopes, currently under construction, which will help to uncover further mysteries of the hidden universe. In addition to the talk, pre-event dining will be available on The Plant Pavilion Cafe. Go to www.jodrellbank.net

Broadway Baby, 24th and 25th June A collection of songs, dances and scenes from the most popular Broadway and West End shows performed by the talented pupils from Theatretrain School in Chester. On Saturday 24th June the 2pm performance will be joined by pupils from Ysgol Bryn Coch and Mold After School Club. On Sunday 25th June the 2pm performance will be joined by Theatretrain’s youngest members, TT Minis, who will be debuting in this showcase. www.tiptopproductions. co.uk (01244 314296)

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What’s On at Tatton Park The Tatton Park Country Show, 13th to 14th May Now in its fourth year, this familyfriendly event has something for everyone. From the Cavalry of Heroes Jousting Team and Jez Avery’s Stunt Bikes and Buggies to terrier racing, birds of prey flying displays and the everpopular children’s petting pens. There is a jam-packed day of entertainment, food and fun to be had! A Day in the Life of a Victorian Servant, Wednesday 31st May Experience life as a scullery maid or servant and see the realities of life ’below stairs’ in this fun and educational event. Participants will help clean and prepare the house for a VIP guest with royal connections! Recommended for children aged between 7 and 11 years. The Tatton Park Classic Car Spectacular with Giant Cheshire Autojumble, 3rd - 4th June Classic car enthusiasts will be in heaven as one of Britain’s best and most popular classic car events returns again to Tatton Hall. Featuring car club displays from Jaguar, Lotus, Mercedes Benz, Ford and all the classics of yesteryear as well as over 2,000 classic, vintage and performance cars to ooh and ah over.

Medieval Fayre, 17th - 18th June Good food, good ale and summer solstice celebrations abound at this year’s Medieval Fayre. Re-enactors and authentic traders and artisans make this a fun and atmospheric event for all the family. The Old Hall will also be open for tours and there will plenty of jousting fun culminating in the Battle of Tatton Field each day. Summer Deer Walk, 28th June Celebrating the red and fallow deer which have been free to roam the parkland for centuries, this series of guided evening walks with Tatton Park’s rangers are a must for animal lovers. Suitable for age 8 upwards. www.tattonpark.org.uk or call 01625 374400

Giddy up for Bolesworth International Horse Festival Come along to this must-visit event held at Bolesworth Castle in Tattenhall, from the 14th-18th June. Set to be the most anticipated equestrian event of the year, Bolesworth International hosts all kinds of attractions, from the International Showjumping competition and Elite Auction, to the exciting Puissance. Ladies Day, held on Saturday 17th June, showcases pro showjumping, the Dog Show, International Water Festival and a live music concert, while Sunday is the Equerry Grand Prix Day. Watch kids pairing up with pros in the Fancy Dress Mini Major followed by the Bolesworth International Grand Prix where the top riders compete for £75,000 prize. Enjoy fab food, drink and live music plus much, much more. Visit www.bolesworthinternational.com

Step back into time at Congleton Museum The Royal Cheshire County Show

Back on 20th-21st June at Tabley Showground in Knutsford, see the best of Cheshire’s livestock; light and heavy horses, show jumping, poultry, pygmy goats, pigeons, cavies, rabbits and its famous Congleton Museum runs a dog show. Browse trade stalls, series of walks and taste local foods, boutique talks throughout cheeses and meats May and June: and watch live DID YOU ‘A Pub Crawl demos. Visit www. KNOW? Through royalcheshireshow. As well as its cheese, org for a full Time’ on 7th May, Cheshire is best programme of picks out the attractions. known for its salt inns, drinking and silk! holes and taverns with great historical interest. ‘All Change at Crewe/Congleton’ on May 25th, hosted by Ian Doughty, explores what the town would have looked like had the 12 proposals to Malfest 2017 celebrates construct a railway through the centre between 1825the best of local culture 1853 been successful. ‘The Soak up the finest art, music Importance of Water’, on and performance at Malfest 4th June visits the streams, from 19th- 21st May. From gullies and waterways that Art exhitions, performance, shaped the town’s textile and celebrations of Shakespeare’s tanning trades. ‘Civil War in 400 year anniversary, music Congleton’ on 22nd June, and poetry, plus a Celebrity discusses life during the Civil Charity Cricket Match War of 1861. Finally, ‘Mill between the cast of Channel Walks and Industrial Yarns’ 4 TV’s ‘Hollyoaks’ and The takes visitors on the trail of Malpas Festival XI there is the silk mills. Visit www. something for everyone. congletonmuseum.co.uk Visit www.malfest.com

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CHESHIRE WHAT’S ON Enjoy Eaton Estates Open Days The Eaton Hall Gardens Charity Open Days are held four times a year to raise funds for charities local to the Cheshire estate. In 2016 they raised more than £66,000 for good causes with over 11,500 visitors passing through the gates. The 2017 Garden Open Days will be held on Sunday 16 April, Sunday 28 May, Sunday 30 July and Sunday 27 August. Gates open at 10.30am until 5pm, last admission is 4.30pm. All proceeds are given to charity, and entry includes access to the carriage museum, family history room, military museum and stables. Bring a picnic, and dogs should be kept on a lead. Visit www. eatonestate.co.uk

Bringing music to the masses Outdoor Adventures, 30th May – 2nd June Find some fun outdoor adventures for all the family this half term. Get closer to nature and tick off some ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾’ along the way. Spring in the Garden, May-June Highlights in the Garden at Dunham Massey in May through to June include swathes of bluebells, displays of tulips and thousands of roses ready to burst into bloom. The perfect backdrop for (as the song goes)…lazing on a sunny afternoon. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 8th July Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Shakespeare’s most romantic comedy in this wonderful open air play in held in the Dunham Massey gardens. Bring a blanket... www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Floating Fridays! Make your Friday night tea time more memorable by eating it while cruising down the beautiful River Dee. Now in its third year, Chester Boats Fish & Chip Supper is back by popular demand. The two hour cruise takes in some of the most breathtaking local scenery while your delicious fish supper will be delivered hot and fresh from one of the city’s best fish and chip shops. A well stocked bar and a few games of Bingo – complete with prizes to be won, make this a fun, familyfriendly cruise to ease you gently into the weekend. Visit www.chesterboat.co.uk or call 01244 325394

Wilf Platt

What’s On at Dunham Massey

Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival

Chester Live - the Middlewich hosts its famous community based, Folk and Boat Festival (FAB multi venue live music Festival) again this year on the event, takes place the 16th-18th June for a weekend 22nd – 25th June across the city of Chester. of fabulous folk and roots The festival aims to music. With the 2016 event introduce people of drawing crowds of over 30,000 all ages and ethnic people, 2017 is set to have even backgrounds to local more music and entertainment. live acts from Chester and surrounding areas As well as attractions and incorporates free alongside the canal, the entry to live music whole town becomes events across DID YOU part of the festival, the city. The with street line-up so far KNOW? includes The performers, a Vikings excelled at Sundowners, parade, dance The Jarvis preserving cod which workshops, Brothers, they dried and Morris dancing, Arms & salted for long artists from all Hearts. Participating over the world, a voyages venues include large marquee for The Live Rooms, concerts, as well as a The Cornerhouse, The variety of other venues around Golden Eagle, The Piper, the town and in the pubs. and Telford’s Warehouse. www.chesterlive.co.uk The line-up so far includes

headliners ‘The Sundowners’ and folk artist, Emma Stevens. Concerts will be held at Market Fields, along the canals, plus fringe events and a ceilidh every night at the Civic Hall. www.middlewich.org.uk

Place your bets at Eyton Races Fancy a flutter? This years Eyton Races on 1st May are a great day out for the whole family. Enjoy the excitement of steeplechasing at one of the UK’s leading point-to-point courses, have a bet with the bookmakers and pitch up with a picnic and watch the action. Meet the Hounds in the Hound Parade, browse trade stands, see the fairground and children’s entertainment plus enjoy a pint at the famous public bar by the finishing post. Go online to www. eyton-races.com to find out more.

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Eaton Hall Gardens Charity Open Day Sunday 28 May 2017


Charity open day attractions • • • •

88 acres of gardens Rhododendron Walk Dragon Garden Charity stalls



Chester Wind Band Gun dog displays Lamb National Carriage Museum


Gates open 10.30am to 5pm Parking from 10am / Last entry 4.30pm £8 Adults / £2 Children /£18 Family

Family – two adults & two children, additional children £1. Cash only. All proceeds to: – The Lions Club of Chester – Chester Aid to the Homeless – Mothers Union Chester Diocese – West Cheshire Foodbank

Eaton Park, Eccleston, Chester CH4 9ET Tel 01244 684400 Entrance via Eccleston /Aldford/ Belgrave Gates (Coaches Belgrave Gate only) Dogs welcome but must be kept on a lead

For full details see www.eatonestate.co.uk

01244 532350

01244 532350





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11 May – 27 August

03/04/2017 10:55:02

Performed on the new Storyhouse Stage and at the award-winning Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre. Indoors or out – the choice is yours...

BOOK NOW storyhouse.com @storyhouselive

*Excludes The Beggar’s Opera and Alice’s Half-Term Wonderland

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

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

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

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

Cruises for all Occasions with ChesterBoat

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

Grandparents’ Day Vintage Afternoon Tea Cruise Sunday 10th September at 12 Noon and 3pm. With delicious homemade sandwiches, scones and cakes, tea and Prosecco. Adults £27.50 Children £13.50 (Under 4s sail free).

Fish & Chip Friday Cruise

Payday Friday Curry & Quiz Cruise

2 Hour Cruise on the first Friday of the month from May to September. Sailing at 7:30PM. With fish & chips and optional Bingo. Adults £20 Children £10.00.

Last Friday of May to September at 7:30pm. With Indian buffet and fun general knowledge quiz. Adults £26 each or £94 for team of 4. Children £13.

2 Hour Iron Bridge Cruise to Eaton Estate Daily in Whit Week, July & August. Weekends only in May, June & September. Sailing 12 Noon & 2:30pm.

Half Hour City Cruise Daily until 5th November: 11am-4pm. Or combine either cruise with an open top bus tour.

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

Cruise tickets are cheaper booked online. For full details, enquiries & bookings, connect with us via:

www.chesterboat.co.uk • enquiries@chesterboat.co.uk • 01244 325394

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Storyhouse Opens in Chester


Simple, sleek design

• June 25th, Lyme’s Trust 10k

Trail Run, Lyme National Trust, Disley, Stockport Get your running gear on, dust off your trainers and get fit for charity at this month’s Lyme Trust trail run. Free registration available. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

The brand new state-of-the-art theatre space in Chester

Acoustics are second-to-none

Storyhouse, the people behind the summer’s Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre have been busy working on a major new arts building with Cheshire West and Chester Council. Storyhouse is Chester’s new £37 million cultural centre, housing two state of the art theatres, a cinema, library, restaurant and two bars, and it opens on 11th May. Storyhouse’s opening season will see a company of 26 actors performing four plays, over four months, across two venues – 120 performances in total. You can see three of the shows – Alice in Wonderland, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar – in both Storyhouse and at Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre. For full listings, times and ticket info visit www.storyhousetheatre.co.uk The Beggar’s Opera: A Pox-Ridden Musical Comedy, Thursday 11 May Saturday 19 August Adults only. The Beggar’s Opera opens Chester’s new theatre with a filthy, hilarious version of the first ever popular musical; the story of Mack the Knife. Specially written for the opening of the venue, the ultimate riotous immorality tale is directed by Storyhouse’s artistic director, founder of the hugely popular Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre. Not for the faint-hearted! Alice in Wonderland Friday 19th May – Sunday 9th July (and at Grosvenor Park Theatre from Friday 15th July – Sunday 20th August) This May half-term, Storyhouse is going down the rabbit hole for a carnival of kids’ treats. Not only does it include tickets for Storyhouse’s own major new production of Alice in Wonderland, but you can enjoy tea with the Mad Hatter, access all area passes, dressing up, and more… Alice’s Half-Term Wonderland is £15 for a ticket to the show and all extras (open to all attendees). There’s no limit to how may kids (and adults!) you can bring at that price, making it perfect for busy half-term parents. Buy any ticket for Alice in Wonderland during half-term and enjoy the fun! Curiouser and curiouser…

• June 25th, Race for Life,

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Friday 9th June – Sunday 16th July (and WIN! at Grosvenor Park WIN! WIN! theatre from Friday Enter our fabulous 21st July to Sunday ticket competitions 27th August) In a carnival of colour on page 129 and win and celebration; tickets to great Storyhouse’s Alex shows! Clifton directs Shakespeare’s most popular play. Choose between visiting Storyhouse or Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre for the performance. The play tells the tale of a midsummer night, when four young lovers flee Athens and lose themselves in woodland wilderness, falling under the spell of the outrageous and unpredictable fairy king and queen in a magical world. Julius Caesar, Friday 23rd June – Sunday 30th July (and at Grosvenor Park theatre from 3rd August – 27th August) In an age of political uncertainty and controversial leaders, Shakespeare’s immortal and gripping thriller is given new relevance and a contemporary twist. Loyalty collides with ambition in the ultimate tale of popular leadership, rise to power, and winning over the people.

Wirral, Birkenhead Park, Ashville Road, Birkenhead 5k or 10k? The Wirral Race for Life brings together millions of women who have one thing in common – they want to beat cancer. This ever-popular fun run, in aid of Cancer Research, can be hopped, walked, jogged or sprinted, it all helps! www. raceforlife.cancerresearchuk.org

• 30th June, Electro80s,

Crosville Club, Crewe Dig out your new romantic gear and embrace the armflinging dances of the 80s with pop classics featuring Red, Blue, Green and Robotic dancer Manochrome. This live show celebrates golden oldies like Fade to Grey and Just Can’t Get Enough.

1st July, Special Guided Walk – Photography, Dunham Massey, Altrincham Sling on your camera and lace up those walking boots! Come and join other ramblers for a special walk around the beautiful grounds of the National Trust’s Dunham Massey. Starting at the Clock Tower, the walk lasts approximately two hours and goes at a gentle pace.

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Floral Pavilion Theatre


Chocolate, bread and foraging at Claremont Farm •

22nd April-21st May, Expressive Art on the Mersey from Claire McCarthy Based on views of the River Mersey, Maritime industries and its historic Mersey Ferry crossing and people. Claire McCarthy is an artist based in Liverpool who started painting and sailing on the Mersey in June 2016. 10am-5pm, Wednesday - Sunday. Free entry but donations welcomed. Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Birkenhead.

•18th May, New Plant Fair:

‘Alpines For All’ Meet the growers, sales of interesting and unusual plants from specialist nurseries and members of the Alpine Garden Society Wirral and West Cheshire Group. Demonstrations and lots of free advice and information. Plant display of plants from all around the world. Refreshments available in the café in the hall. All undercover. Free admission and parking. 10am-3pm at Thornton Hough Village Hall.

1st June, Neston Ladies Day Get your walking boots and gladrags on for The Ladies’ Day Walk! This is a free event and marks the highlight in the social calendar of the Neston Female Society. The Walk starts at 2.30pm from Neston Town Centre Cheshire.

Tell us about the events in your area! Email editorial@ shiremagazine. co.uk

Spend a fantastic morning of Wild Foraging on this walk on 13th May, 10am -1pm. Learn how to correctly identify and pick a wonderful variety of edible plants, flowers and foliage. Explore Claremont’s fields, woods, brooks and ancient hedgerows before cooking the foraged finds into various wild teas and dishes on an open fire. £25 per person. Then on 25th June there’s a two hour Chocolate Workshop. Hear how chocolate makes it from the bean to the bar, then demo various techniques before creating your own masterpieces to take home. £35 which includes a hot chocolate drink. Get a slice of the action with nutritionist Deborah Thackeray, and make own gluten-free bread on 2nd July, 9.30am-3pm. Learn how to make some of the best GF loaves, baguettes, soda bread and sweet brioche. £100 which includes all ingredients and a delicious gluten free lunch. Other food allergies/intolerances can be accommodated. Visit www.claremontfarm.co.uk for more information.

Hillbark Players return with Hamlet Founded in 1964 and now the longest-established openair Shakespeare company in England’s North West, Hillbark Players productions form a unique part of Wirral’s cultural heritage, and continue to attract the very best directorial, design and performing talent from across Merseyside and Cheshire, North Wales and even further afield, producing top-quality ‘traditional’ productions. With the audience all under-cover in purpose-built stands in this magical ‘theatre-inthe-woods’ setting in Royden Park, Frankby, it’s only the actors who occasionally get wet! In 2009 the company branched out from staging comedies with an unforgettable production of Macbeth. And this year, the same production team have reunited to produce a boldly atmospheric and compelling production of Shakespeare’s ultimate drama – Hamlet. A ghostly visitor with a shocking secret, a daughter devastated by loss, a world turned upside down by betrayal, mistrust and madness. Rulers, a dysfunctional Danish family, revenge – and murder! www.hillbarkplayers.co.uk

The Good Old Days of Variety, 10th May, 2pm Starring comedy act The Grumbleweeds with West End singers and live band, and legendary TV and recording star Tammy Jones. I’m Still Standing – The Elton John Songbook, 21st May, 7.30pm The ‘Ultimate Elton’ Paul Bacon, delivers a truly wonderful tribute to Elton John. The Kop’s Roman Carnival, 26th May, 7:30pm Anfield legends Ian Callaghan, Jimmy Case and Phil Neal join John Keith to discuss LFC’s European Cup win at Rome’s Olympic Stadium back in May 1977.

Cinderella – presented by Vienna Festival Ballet, 4th June, 5pm Vienna Festival Ballet perform the classic tale of Cinderella one of the best-known rags-to-riches fairy tales of all time. Tickets £23.50 or £21.50 concessions. Dylan and Cohen – Songs of the Poets, 16th June, 7.30pm Hand in Hand Theatre perform a fantastic celebration of the work of these two great songwriters. Irby Dance Studio Presents Let’s Dance Around The World, 8th-9th July, 2:30pm Alively entertaining dance show production full of talented dancers for all! www.floralpavilion.com

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Port Sunlight Exhibition ‘What’s Behind the U?’ is the new exhibition at Port Sunlight running since 1st April. Since the beginnings of Port Sunlight in 1888 to today’s global company, Unilever make some of the world’s most popular brands. This special exhibition, in partnership with Unilever’s Archives and Records Management Team, uncovers the amazing innovations and fascinating stories behind Unilever’s many products and lets you discover what is made behind the Port Sunlight factory wall. Other events include Toys of the Past – Victorian Games and Crafts in the Lyceum on 31st May - 1st June; Port Sunlight 10K Race throughout the village on 18th June, and a Handmade Fair of vintage-inspired crafts at the Old School Room in the Lyceum on 1st July. For more information visit www.portsunlightvillage.com

West Kirby Arts Centre

Family Seaside Festival A brand new three-day family festival will take place from 27th-29th May, in New Brighton between Fort Perch Rock and the Floral Pavilion Theatre. Expect seaside-themed entertainment, home-grown seasonal food featuring a host of regional producers and spring menus from local chefs, restaurants and food businesses. There will also be a gin garden, artisan market, cookery demos, craft beer zone or dabble in a cocktail class or two. There will be live music from sea shanty choruses to acoustic performances, with musical entertainment taking place throughout the festival site. Punch and Judy style puppet shows, funfair, an on-site crafter van, planting workshops and bush craft classes. Tickets cost £5 for adults and £3 for childrens. Visit www.seaside-festival.co.uk for info.

Inspired by tradition Visit the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port to see a temporary textile exhibition created and installed by A Level students from Grange School, Hartford. The exhibition, on view until 5th May, is inspired by folk art and traditional canal boat art, using applique and screenprinting. www.canalrivertrust.org.uk

What is the Future of Our NHS? Join Alex Scott-Samuel and Kevin Donovan for a free talk on 12th May. Doors open at 7pm with the talks starting at 7.15pm. Donations welcomed to TTWK – Transition Town West Kirby. Join Trevor Carter, The Bard of Windmill Hill Storyteller of the Year, at West Kirby Arts Centre on 20th July. Trevor entertains with comic stories, poems and satire, he will turn the absurd, bewildering and frequently frustrating aspects of modern life into laughter fodder for you! With witty, ironic and waspish social comment, this is cerebral stand-up at its best. Praised by the BBC’s Dr Phil Hammond for the range and depth of his work, this could be just the prescription you need. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets £6. For more information and to book, visit www. westkirbyartscentre.org.uk

Wirral Live will be Madness! The Libertines, Little Mix and Madness will be headlining Wirral Live this May at Prenton Park, the home of Tranmere Rovers FC. On Friday 19th May, The Farm will support ‘80s favourites Madness followed by The Libertines taking centre stage on Saturday 20th with special guest performances from Wirral band The Coral along with Reverend and The Makers. Hit-busting Girl band Little Mix will close the three-day music event on Sunday 21st following performances from the excellent Bronnie and Connor Maynard. To purchase tickets visit www.wirral.live and www.seetickets.com

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Wirral Folk Festival

An eclectic mix of folk and acoustic music, dance, comedy, poetry and crafts awaits those planning a weekend at the thirteenth Wirral Folk Festival from Thursday 1st to Sunday 4th June. It is being held at The Whitby Club and Grounds in Ellesmere Port where there will be caravan and camping availability on site with showers, plus real ale, good food and plenty of great local produce. Acts will include Blackbeard’s Tea Party who will be performing on the Sunday. With plenty of festival activities to keep the kids happy, it’s a great family event too! Tickets are being held at 2016 prices so to view options and to book call 0151 6520734 or visit www.wirralfolkonthe coast.com


Wirral Potters Exhibition at Williamson Art Gallery

11th June, Beside the Seaside Walk Join The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity for a day out where everyone can take part. Choose a 5k or 8k walk along Crosby Promenade and back along the beach, taking in Antony Gormley’s famous DID YOU iron men. Live music and a Pooch Parade to show off KNOW? your dogs, with lots of The oldest prizes including Best in Show, Ultimate Cutie and known pottery Clatterbridge Mascot. fragments date Adults and children 10 and over £5, children under from 140010 go free! Entry into 1200 B.C. Pooch Parade £5 via online registration.

Come and meet the Wirral Potters where there will be an opportunity to buy directly from the artisans. The Showcase Exhibition within the Della Robbia pottery collection at the Williamson Art Gallery allows each member of the group to exhibit four pieces of work over the six weeks of the exhibition. There will also be a table sale where the group will be able to display a greater range of work to purchase. During the course of the weekend, members will hold a series of demonstrations of how to produce their work, ranging from throwing, hand building and decorating. The exhibition runs from 13th May – 25th June and the demonstrations and sale will be held on 20th – 21st May. Wirral Potters was founded in 1973 by a group of enthusiastic local potters, eager to exchange ideas, develop their craft and hold annual exhibitions of their work. The first exhibition was held in the disused waiting room of Hoylake Station. Since then, the group has been invited to hold exhibitions throughout the North West. Full members have successfully exhibited at Potfest as well as having their work for sale in a number of well-known galleries throughout the country. An Associate Membership is open to aspiring potters who perhaps do not have the knowledge or set up to work independently. Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. www.williamsonartgallery.org

9th July, Parkgate Carnival A family fun day at Neston Cricket Club with kid’s amusements, live music, craft and food fair, entertainment arena, a human table football competition, cake competition, Wimbledon afternoon tea and more! The Batala Mersey Samba Drumming Band will open the event at 12pm. £1 per adult, children free when accompanied by an adult. From 11.30am - 7pm 7pm.

Get pedalling to raise money for Bloodwise

Use your pedal power at the Wirral Bikeathon to help smash the £1million milestone of money raised for the charity Bloodwise. Not only that, one lucky bike rider will win a Chris Boardman bike! The event, which takes place on

Saturday 11th June, has been raising money for the charity ‘Bloodwise’, which is the new name for Leukeamia and Lymphoma Research, since its first Bikeathon in 1999 with the total currently standing at £880,000. Participants can opt

for a more gentle 14 miles or go for the 28 mile ride around the Wirral with Arrow Country Park being the start, mid-point and finish area. There will be live music and The Red Room Café will be providing hot food for riders and supporters. To sign up visit the website www.wirralbikeathon.com

9th July, It’s A Knockout family fun day Bop your family and friends for fun and for charity at this Wirral Hospice St John’s Charity event! From 10am-6pm at Birkenhead Park.

3rd June, 17th June, 1st July, Lydiate Scouts Car Boot Sale Outdoor car boot sale at Lydiate Parish Hall Field. Indoor café and toilet facilities. 6am-12pm. Sellers £7 per car, £10 large van, buyers 40p per person, under 18s free.

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WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 6th May – 13th May

6th May, Felt Workshop with Louise Spencer, Dorothy Clive Garden Try your hand at felting with Louise, an experienced felt and silk artist who takes her inspiration from nature

•7th May, Jewellery Making

Masterclass with Angela Smith, Dorothy Clive Garden Learn how to make a necklace, bracelet and earrings at this half-day workshop with Stafford-based jewellery maker, Angela Smith.

10th May 2017, Bluebells of Dudmaston, at Severn Valley Country Park Enjoy a nine mile bluebell walk along the river to the park past the estate lakes and the village of Quatt. Stop for a packed lunch before a pleasant wander back.

Arts Alive Shropshire Ellesmere College Arts Centre, Open Sky: Scorched Saturday 20th May A decorated WWII veteran of a bloody desert war sits in the armchair of his rest home, his memories tattooed upon his body. Dementia strikes. Ink comes alive as stories of love and war. ‘Scorched’ is a challenging and beautiful piece.

Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Oswestry Laboratorium Piesni, Sunday 2nd July Using traditional, polyphonic singing this fabulous all female group perform songs from all over the world, mainly: Ukraine, Balkans, Poland, Belarus, Georgia, Scandinavia and many other places. They sing a capella as well as with shaman drums and other ethnic instruments adding voice improvisations, inspired by sounds of nature, often intuitive, wild and feminine.

Merry medieval mayhem at Whittington Castle •

13th-14th May, Shropshire Kids’ Festival, The Quarry Park, Shrewsbury After last year’s roaring success, this fun festival is back and offers families two days of activities from circus skills and performances to storytelling and the everpopular exotic zoo as well as food, drink, crafts, arts and much, much more.

13th May, Masterclass with Suree Coates - Thai Chef of the Year 2016, Apley Home Farm Chef Suree shows you how to cook her signature fragrant Thai dishes using the finest local ingredients, including Apley’s own walled garden produce & butchery meats. This interactive masterclass offers top tips, tastings and take-home samples. A 2-course meal at the Apley Creamery Cafe is included in the ticket price too.

Summer fun at Attingham Park

The House of the Blackstar – Living History Day, 14th May Watch the medieval re-enactment society which covers the historical period between 1240 to 1350, as they fight to the death to protect their women and children. The House of the Black Star regularly give demonstrations of life and death at Whittington Castle throughout the summer months. Join them on parade through the castle, see sword and spear drills, weapons displays and learn more about leather work, medieval medicine, dentists and herbs.

Cotswold Outdoor Camping Weekend, 27th May Learn from the experts at Cotswold Outdoor so you’re fully prepared for a season of sleeping outdoors. Browse an extensive range of tents and camping kit, take part in fun family activities and get expert advice on all aspects of outdoor living.

Deer Park Safari, 30th May These gentle and timid creatures are a sight to behold at Attingham Park, and one of the reasons that visitors flock here each year. The Deer Park Safari is the perfect way to spot the does and bucks or even some little fawns. Hop on the tractor and trailer to see how many you can spot.

The Merry Wives of Windsor, 25th May The Festival Players Theatre Company brings you this hilarious and colourful Shakespearean comedy in an all-male, fast paced, costumed production. Directed by Michael Dyer with music by Johnny Coppin, the story tells of Falstaff, a foolish knight who schemes to woo two married women in order to secure their husband’s money. Car Boot Sale, 28th May & 11th June One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, so make sure you hot foot it down to the Castle early to bag the bargains. Whittington Medieval Guild – Living History Display, 4th June Step back into the golden age of Whittington Castle. See individual craft workers and historical interpreters demonstrate the practical skills of medieval life as well as the clothing worn during the first quarter of the 14th century. www. whittingtoncastle.co.uk

Midsummer Night’s Dream with the Pantaloons, 23rd June Experience this Shakespearean classic as never before with The Pantaloons unique and hilarious take on Midsummer Night’s Dream. Attingham Mansion is the perfect backdrop for this comedy so sit back and enjoy! www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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Open Cockpits Evening at RAF Cosford

What’s on at Festival Drayton Centre Band of The Cheshire Constabulary, 6th May Formed in 1967, this traditional brass band has played at many prestigious venues and even performed at Royal events. With a wide concert repertoire, its Drum Corps will also be performing alongside. Peter Pan - Recorded Live, 10th June JM Barrie’s beloved tale of the boy who never grew up delights children and adults alike. Recorded live at The National Theatre as a co-production with Bristol Old Vic, Shropshire audiences are able to watch and enjoy this timeless classic. Tom Hart Dyke: ’From Captivity to a Castle’, 30th June Plant Hunter, Horticulturist and TV Presenter Tom Hart Dyke is best known for his kidnapping during an expedition to the Columbian jungle in 2000. Hear his tales first hand in this engaging talk. Dr Phil Hammond Live, 8th July Well-loved Doctor, broadcaster and journalist, Dr Phil, presents an evening of live comedy, chat and observation hot from his sellout Edinburgh Festival fringe show. www. festivaldraytoncentre. com

Stories and wild art at Dudmaston Storytelling: Springtime tales, 21st May

If you love stories of springtime, then you’ll adore Simon, the Storybodger who will take you on a guided story walk through the dingle and around the big pool. Make sure you keep listening as there will be plenty of woodland trivia along the way.

The Great Big Tree Climb, 30th May

Take in the fresh country air – and views – of Dudmaston from the tallest trees on the estate with the simple pleasure of tree climbing at the Great Big Tree Climb. Then zip wire back down!

Get up close and personal with a wide range of aircraft at RAF Cosford. Taking place on Friday 19th and Friday 20th May, plane enthsiasts can get a feel for what it must’ve been like to sit in the pilot’s seat of some of the world’s most impressive aircraft including; transport planes, jet fighters and unique research airframes. A limited number of visitors will be admitted so booking is advised. There will also be after-hours access to the museum so visitors can soak up the history of these incredible aircraft. Tickets cost £12.50. www.rafmuseum.org.uk

Celebrate our Shropshire Lads, 18th June Bring Dad along this Father’s Day for plenty of traditional fun and games. Brew beer, check out the classic cars in the orchard and watch Dad hone his archery skills!

Make some wild art, 29th May

Hunt for natural materials from the orchard and garden to make wild art!

Digiscoping in the garden, 30th May


The best trees to climb are weeping willows, crab apples and oaks

Ever heard of a digiscope? This special type of telescope uses a smartphone to capture close ups and this is your opportunity to discover things in the garden that aren’t easily seen with the naked eye.

The Comedy of Errors, 1st July

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men will be performing Shakespeare’s most hilarious farce, The Comedy of Errors. Bring a chair, a blanket and a picnic then sit back and enjoy a glorious evening watching this funny production in the open air. With an all-male cast, expect laughs aplenty! www.nationaltrust.org.uk

These boots were made for walking

Getting Foodie with it Fill your belly with the finest local fare at this year’s Whitchurch Food and Drink Festival which returns on 20th - 21st May. Held at The Civic Centre and Market Hall in the centre of town, this free event boasts a live cookery demo kitchen, cocktail making, producer awards, outdoor food court area, delicious hot food, mouth-watering cakes and chocolates, hand-whipped icecream as well as colourful jams, pickles and olives. Kids will love the fun foodie activities. Great British Bake-Off winner from series 2, Jo Wheatley will be cooking live and judging the town cake competition. Go online to www.whitchurch foodanddrink.com

Whitchurch Walking Festival returns on Friday 12th of May until Sunday 14th May. Join other ramblers for three days of walking opportunities and activities around Whitchurch and the surrounding countryside. With an evening celebration, it’s a great event to get fit, take in the sights and support the local community. www.whitchurchwalkers.co.uk

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•13th May, Mental Awareness

Day, Oswestry Market & Hermon Arts Centre Find info and advice from experts on mental health issues at the Bailey Head and round the corner at Hermon’s Chapel.

Tipitina In Concert, 13th May, Wem Town Hall Preston-based band fronted by Debbie Jones on vocals and Justin Randall on piano, play an eclectic mix of New Orleans boogie, blues, barrelhouse and gospel.

14th May, Wedlock Half Marathon Get your running gear on! Start in Much Wenlock and run along footpaths, trails, bridlepaths and lanes passing through Ironbridge. Medals for those who complete the run!

What’s On at Iron Bridge 12th annual Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival, 1st–7th May

Museums at Night 1960s party 20th May, Enginuity

Fifty-seven free, guided walks make this the biggest in the West Midlands and one of the best in the country; 32 are themed walks from 2-10 miles and 25 are longer routes for the more experienced.

1920s Music Hall Evening, 26th May, Blists Hill Victorian Town

Transport yourself back to the roaring 1920s with an evening of nostalgic 20s music, dancing and light entertainment.Enjoy a delicious feast of steak pie with spinach, carrots and boiled potatoes, with rice pudding to follow. After supper, it’s time to dance the night away at the music hall. Dressing up is positively encouraged!

Ironbridge Road Run, 13th May

Over 30 steam machines will take part in a DID YOU challenging road run around the KNOW? •20th May, Book and Vinyl Ironbridge Over 10.5 million Fair, Hermon Gorge where Arts Centre people in the UK Browse a good engines and regularly go for a range of books drivers will be and records run! Now where are tested with steep climbs and gentle while listening to those trainers… some live grooves descents, passing by historic points of at this regular event. interest around the Museum and Gorge.

As part of the nationwide Museums at Night Festival, and in celebration of the Museum’s 50th anniversary, Enginuity is holding a free entry, 1960s party. Play old favourites such as Twister, Operation, Kerplunk and Mousetrap and FabLab will be open for activities too. Grownups can enjoy a Babycham or Blue Nun from the cash bar. Enter our 60s costume competition to be in with a chance of winning a Family Annual Passport. From 5.30pm - 10pm.

Superheroes, Superpowers and Super Days Out, 25th May - 4th June

Experience a range of superhero-themed activities, workshops and demos at the Museum sites. Try tile decorating with your favourite superhero or villain at Jackfield Tile Museum or ceramic painting and claymodelling at Coalport China Museum.

Steampunk Festival, 1st - 2nd July

Lace up your corsets, button your waiscoats, polish your goggles, and adjust your pocket watches. It’s time to go back in time as Ironbridge gears up for its first ever Steampunk Festival over at Blists Hill!

20th May, The Great Summer Garden Event, Cound Hall British Red Cross welcomes visitors the beautiful parkland surrounding Cound Hall. With specialist plant exhibitors, gardening products, home and gift stalls and delicious food, what better way to spend a Saturday afternoon?

20th May, Scorched, Ellesmere Arts Centre A unique production telling the story of a decorated WWII veteran suffering with dementia. His past, inspired by the writer’s own grandfather, is told through physical theatre, projection, design and music.

What’s On at Theatre on the Steps, Bridgnorth Viva La Coldplay, 6th May This incredible tribute band is said to sound so like the real thing, that if you closed you eyes, you would think Chris Martin himself was crooning. Viva La Coldplay perform the complete anthology of hits including material from the first album, Parachutes and the 2015 hit album, A Head Full of Dreams.

is Hats Off to Led Zeppelin. Managed by none other than Warren Grant, the son of Led Zep’s own manager, Peter, you know you are hearing as close to the genuine article as you can get. Forget naff tribute wannabes, this is one of the most engaging, powerful and exciting performances on the Rock n Roll circuit this year.

Hats Off to Led Zeppelin, 27th May Led Zeppelin’s No1 tribute band is back on tour. Feel the raw power and musical integrity that

Happy Families, 3rd June The Albrighton Players present John Godber’s Happy Families. It portrays an ordinary family coping with seismic changes, including bereavement, joy, sorrow and loss. Despite its emotional content, the play brings a warmth and humour to the audience, as only Godber can provide.

Strictly Abba, 16th June Abba fans love a good tribute, and they don’t come any better than Strictly Abba. Always a sell-out, this is an authentic and accurate tribute to Abba. Expect all the hits, plenty of dancing and Abba’s signature 70s costumes. Goodnight Mr Tom, 22nd June Michelle Magorian’s novel is brought to life by David Wood. Set during the buildup to WWII, the play follows two evacuees and elderly recluse, Mr Tom. Oakley, with whom they become friends. www. theatreonthesteps.co.uk

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Ludlow Castle Spring Marches Transport Festival 13th and 14th May Like a beer festival but better. Take 200 real ales, 60 passionate, local food and drink producers, mix in toe-tapping live music, over 180 spectacular classic cars what do you get? The Ludlow Spring Festival, of course! Family Medieval Entertainment 29th May The Freemen of Gwent bring the castle to medieval life. With crafts, soldiers and knights, training sessions, fighting and archery! Antiques Fair 10th June in The Beacon Rooms of Castle House Entry £1.00, children free. For further information www.ludlowcastle.com

Mid Shropshire Vintage Rally, 1st - 2nd July, Agricultural Show Ground, Shrewsbury This year’s MSVC Show in Shrewsbury will bring in the crowds with its mix of vintage vehicles of every kind including cars, motor bikes, tractors, military vehicles, steam engines, stationary engines, Land Rovers, commercials and many interesting static exhibits. This year’s special tractor category will be Ford and Fordson tractors. There are craft and trade stalls, fairground rides, shire horses and a well-stocked beer tent.  On Saturday the Wirral Pipe band performs and on Sunday its the turn of the The Prestwick Trio Steel Band. www. midshropshirevintageclub.com

11th June 2017, Cosford Air Show, RAF Museum Cosford A number of star attractions have confirmed their attendance at the RAF Cosford Air Show and are set to wow the crowds as part of the flying display on Sunday 11th June. Annual highlights of the Air Show for many visitors, the RAF Red Arrows display team, will once again be demonstrating their world-famous flying skills with their thrilling display. The team have recently returned from an epic three-month tour of Asia showing the ‘Best of British’ which included their first ever display flown in the Republic of China. Also expect to see the Swiss PC-7 Team and RAF’s Eurofighter Typhoon – the Royal Air Force’s primary air defence fighter, with a delta-wing construction and a top speed of over 1500 miles per hour, will also be showcased in the flying display. Other highlights will include a parachute jump from the RAF Falcons, solo display from the RAF Tutor and a unique flypast from the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight to celebrate their 60th anniversary. See displays from a variety of aircraft and on the ground with hundreds of exhibits, stalls, trade stands, military demonstrations and children’s entertainment. Wing Commander Chris Jones, Air Show Chairman, said: “We’re thrilled to be offering such a diverse array of aircraft as part of our six-hour flying display in the skies above RAF Cosford, the home of RAF engineering. This year’s flying display is really shaping up.” Visitors are advised to buy their tickets early to avoid disappointment. Early bird tickets are currently priced at £22.00 per adult (under 16s go free) visit www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

21st May, Macmillan Classic Vehicle Day, Eaton Manor Enjoy classic vehicles in all their splendour at this event organised by Macmillan. With exhibits from local clubs; The Bishops Castle Railway Society and Scalextric will also be racing on the super large track.

21st May, Disco Day, Cae Glas Park, Oswestry Free family disco fun in the award winning Cae Glas Park in the centre of Oswestry aimed at children, with amusements, food and fun.

27th May, Shropshire County Show, Shropshire Agricultural Ground Celebrating rural Shropshire at its finest, this family-friendly event brings together the best farmers, crafters and more. See our feature on page 58 for much more info…

27th May, Let’s Rock - The Retro Festival, The Quarry Park Get your disco bobblers on and prepare for an 80s takeover as the Quarry Park becomes part of the nationwide series of Let’s Rock concerts. Spandau Ballet’s Tony Hadley, Billy Ocean, ABC, Nik Kershaw and Shrewsbury favourites, T’Pau will be performing their golden oldies.

Eat, drink and be Mere-y! Foodies delight! The Ellesmere Food & Drink Festival 2017 is back for its 11 year. Eat, drink, nosh and nibble all weekend of 17th and 18th June, which is also Father’s Day, making it the perfect place to bring Dad to do what he loves best - eating! With plenty of food and drink events spread across Ellesmere, including at the Market Hall and the Town Hall, revellers will be able to munch their way around town. Showcasing impressive varieties of top quality produce, from fruit, vegetables, cheeses, meat products, ice cream, wines, beers to homemade chocolates and preserves all from local and regional producers, suppliers, restaurants and more. You might have to add a few new holes to the old belt…

7th June 2017 - 11th June, English Hayden Festival, St Leonard’s Church, Bridgnorth An eclectic array of the music of Joseph Haydn and his contemporaries will be performed in St. Leonard’s Church by various soloists, quartets and quintets. Also featuring music from Michael Haydn, Beethoven, Mozart, Mendelssohn, Abel, C.P.E.Bach, Hummel, Cannabich, Linley and others.

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What’s on at The Place, Oakengates Theatre, Telford

The Legend Continues... Starring ‘Navi’, 18th May Star Performer, Navi, has been taking British theatres by storm with his performance of Michael Jackson’s hit singles. This high octane performance will have audiences doubting their eyes! Navi himself is the only MJ impersonator ever to have been invited to Neverland and, as he bears a strong resemblance to the man himself, was often used as a decoy. Delboy & Rodney Sitcom Experience, 26th May The Laughlines cast performs the critically acclaimed Sitcom Experience, a live situation comedy dining extravaganza. Meet Del, Rodney, Uncle Albert, Boycie and Trigger as they launch into an evening

Ludlow Spring Festival, 13th-14th May, Ludlow Castle Ludlow’s Spring Festival offers visitors over 200 real ales as part of the SIBA Beer Fest. Taste the best of local food and drink producers, take part in a variety of fun activities, see the stunning classic car exhibition and enjoy live music across the two-day event. Try interactive chef sessions, take a brewery tour and follow a food trails throughout the town. Go online to www. ludlowspringfestival.co.uk

Katy Brand, I Was A Teenage Christian – On Tour, 8th June Bringing her hit Edinburgh Festival comedy show to UK audiences, Katy Brand’s new show is a hilarious retelling of her self-imposed conversion and total immersion in evangelical Christianity as a teenager. Since her early stand-up gigs in London pubs, Katy has forged a name for herself on the British comedy scene, toured the country with her one-woman show, won a British Comedy Award for Katy Brand’s Big Ass Show and written a novel! Been quite busy then…

Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, 24th-25th June From the makers of Peppa Pig comes this BAFTA award-winning television animation live on stage. Meet Princess Holly and her best friend Ben Elf. There is plenty Antique Market, 12th of fun and May Browse antique games with Gaston the Win! Win! Win! and collectables for sale on the Bailey Ladybird, Check out our fab Nanny Youth Market, 17th Plum competitions on May Local schools and King and colleges will Thistle. page 129 be holding their Expect very own market in magic, Oswestry. mayhem and jelly – lots and Charity Market, 2nd June lots of jelly! A great spot to pick up local produce and help a The Dreamboys, 28th June good cause at the same The UK’s top male strip show time. makes for the best girls’ night out in town. This two-hour Shropshire Produce show of stripping hunks and Market, 17th June rippling torsos will leave Handpicked Shropshire audiences breathless! based food and craft producers selling the best www.theplacetelford.com the county has to offer.

Artisan and Gardening Market, 26th May Browse plant stalls, get gardening advice or discover more about local wildlife and healthy eating.

Festival time at Severn Valley Railway Spring Diesel Festival, 18th, 19th & 20th May

Enjoy three days of heritage and modern diesel locomotives, home-fleet action, evening running and a couple of guest appearances. Listen out for the sounds of English Electric, Maybach and Sulzer diesel engines! The event marks the 30th anniversary of the first Severn Valley Railway Diesel Gala and celebrates two other milestones: the 40th anniversary of the last Class 52 runs, and the 25th anniversary of the first Class 50 runs on the SVR.

Step Back to the 1940s, June 24th & 25th and July 1st & 2nd

Dress off your pillbox hat, don your suit and head back to the 1940s. See re-enactors on the stations and on the trains as they tell the wartime story. Music from Battle Big Band Show, vintage bus rides from Kidderminster plus a vintage marketplace, caravan display and plenty of reenactments en route, it’s a full day of vintage fun. www.svr.co.uk

Artisan Market, 30th June Buy everything from sausages, cheese and cakes to alcohol and edible gifts. www. oswestrymarket.co.uk

Ahoy land lubbers! It’s Shrewsbury River Fest visitshrewsbury.co.uk

of parody and slapstick fun. The cast delivers some of the most well loved and well known lines in British situation-comedy. Expect audience participation!

Get fresh at Oswestry Town Market

The fifth Shrewsbury River Festival is back on Sunday 4th June at the Quarry Park and on the River Severn. The event attracts families and boating fans from across the region for fun, free activities and water safety awareness. This year theme is pirates so embrace your inner Black Beard and get into the spirit of the festival. Go online to www.shrewsbury riverfestival.co.uk

44 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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WHAT’S ON SHROPSHIRE Beethoven in the Borders

Whittington International Chamber Music Festival is back on 16th-21st May for a celebration of all things Beethoven. A sequence of six concerts entitled ‘Beethoven in the Borders’ exploring the enormous variety and dramatic range of the chamber music of Beethoven (1770-1827), will be performed at Whittington Church. The festival kicks off with a free event (payable for non National Trust Members) at 2pm on the Sunday 15th May in the woodland of Chirk Castle where musicians will perform a short concert. The Elias String Quartet will be ensemble in residence for the 2017 concerts as well as principal players from the London Symphony Orchestra. www.whittingtonmusic festival.org.uk

Clwyd Vintage Vehicle Rally & Craft Show

If you love vintage cars and fabulous handmade crafts, you’re in luck! On 17-18th June, the Clwyd Annual Vintage Vehicle and Machinery Rally & Craft Show returns to Oswestry Showground. The Clwyd Axe Men team are giving demonstrations and Close Encounters will be there with their birds of prey and the chance to hold them! See steam engines; vintage commercials vintage caravans, painted organs, classic cars, pedal cycles, motor cycles and more! Go to www.cvvms.co.uk

Gig Guide Professor Elemental, The Hive, Shrewsbury, 17th May If you enjoy steampunk and so-called ‘chap hop’ music, you’ll love Brighton-based Professor Elemental who will be performing tracks from his debut album, The Indifference Engine, (2010) with numbers such as Splendid, Fighting Trousers and A Fete Worse Than Death. Acoustic Festival of Britain, Uttoxeter Racecourse, 2nd to 4th June This annual ‘unplugged’ music fest held at Uttoxeter Racecourse features acoustic music from genres including blues, festival, folk, jazz and rock. With four stages, comedy, food and craft stalls, bar, Fair Trade area, children’s zone and glamping, it’s set to be a jam-packed weekend of music, culture and more. Rod Stewart, Greenhous Meadow Stadium, Shrewsbury, 7th June Pop-rock music icon, Rod Stewart needs no introduction. This concert sees him perform many of his solo hits including Maggie May, Sailing, I Don’t Want To Talk About It and Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?.

Richard Digance, Birchmeadow Centre, Broseley, 10th June An evening of folk and comedy from East London’s Richard Digence, a Bafta-nominated comedian and folk singer best known for his TV show, A Dabble of Digance.


4th June, Ifton Brass, Cae Glas Park, Oswestry A day of free family music in the park. With food stalls, a bar, craft traders and more.

6th June, Guided Tour of Stokesay Court, Onibury A magnificent example of a Grade II late-Victorian mansion set in extensive landscaped grounds. This is a still-lived in private home that is open to visitors as an exclusive group tours.

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe Together Again, Walcot Hall – Lydbury North, 20th June Michael’s success in British theatre has seen this Olivier-award-winning actor and singer perform in some of the biggest West End stage shows including Les Misérables, Aspects of Love, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Hairspray. He joins forces with the popular English tenor, Alfie Boe, for an explosive performance not to be missed. Alix Perez, The Buttermarket/ Cellars, 7th July Belgian DJ, Alix Perez plays thumping Drum n Bass with plenty of singles featuring his mix of Liquid V, Creative Source and Hospital.

Rhyme Around The World at Shrewsbury Museum Children love rhymes, and this exhibition, which runs until 7th May, showcases the beautiful artwork by many of the UK’s bestloved, best-selling and acclaimed illustrators including; Robert Ingpen, Shirley Hughes, Axel Scheffler, Emily Gravett, Mini Grey, Jessica Ahlberg and Polly Dunbar. These original works offer an immersive and insightful environment where youngsters can learn new and well-loved ones rhymes. www.shrewsburymuseum.org.uk

11th June, Carrie Elkin, Henry Tudor House Hear the incredible and emotionally charged voice of Carrie Elkin as she performs her unique blend of Americana, Folk, and Indie Rock in what hopes to be an intimate and exceptional gig.

18th June, Chill Out Sunday, Cae Glas Park. Listen to some ambient grooves, chill, relax and unwind as a variety of live music is performed for the crowds. Sit back and soak up the atmosphere, man!

7th - 9th July, Wenlock Olympian Games, Wenlock Sports Centre. The Olympian Games were founded in 1861 through the initiative of William Penny Brookes and each year they are held and celebrated across the town. From golf to archery, each sport is represented.

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SHROPSHIRE WHAT’S ON What’s on in Whitchurch

What’s On at Theatre Severn

Worldwide Whitchurch Weekend, 2nd – 4th June, Whitchurch Bring & Share supper and choral concert in Whitchurch Civic Centre beginning at 6pm. Saturday 3rd June – large programme of events including Party In The Park from 1pm in Jubilee Park. Sunday 4th June – programme of events coming together to a ‘farewell brunch’ at 12 noon in the Civic Centre. Go to www.whitchurch.info for more information.

Events Listing

to leave an impression on audiences, old and new.

The Simon & Garfunkel Story, 13th May This sell-out show charts the story of the famous singing duo. DID YOU Fantastic production including original film KNOW? footage, the show There have been an covers all the wellloved hits including incredible 410 film Mrs Robinson, Cecilia, and TV versions of Homeward Bound Shakespeare’s and more.

6th May & 3rd June, Makers’ Market throughout the town centre. Saturday 6th May, St Alkmund’s concert series ‘Mostly Mozart’ – 7.30pm Mozart Requiem. 6th May, Geocaching event at Dearnford Lake. Come and learn what fun geocaching can be. 7th May, Dearnford Lake car boot supporting plays! Parkinsons UK, gates open to sellers at 9am and to buyers at 9.30am. 12th to 14th May, Whitchurch Walking Festival. Programme available on www.whitchurchwalkers.co.uk 12th May, Flicks in the Sticks presents Mile… Mile & a Half in Talbot Theatre at 7.30pm – part of the Walking Festival programme 13th May, Ceilidh at the Brownlow Centre with local band Jigsmith, food included, real ale bar open to public see www. whitchurchwalkers.co.uk for tickets 20th – 21st May, Whitchurch Food & Drink Festival, throughout Whitchurch Civic Centre. This is the fourth festival back in the Civic Centre with stalls, demonstrations, music and celebrity chefs! 20th May and 17th June, Trevanion & Dean Auction of Fine Art, Antiques and Collectables, www.trevanionanddean.com 11th June, Jimmy Cricket @TheCivic from 2.30pm, tickets available from the Community Hub 10th and Sunday 11th June, UK Trifest 2017 at Dearnford Lake. The ultimate test! 21st June, The Lord Chamberlain’s Men perform Shakespeare’s ‘Comedy of Errors’ at Dearnford Lake, starting at 7.30pm.

Reginald D Hunter, 24th May Back in the UK with his ‘searing social commentary,’ Reginald D Hunter’s one man show has been praised by critics. Expect, honesty, social observation and poised, provocative witticisms from the American misfit. The Searchers, 27th May With a career spanning five decades, this band is known and loved for such hits as Sweets For My Sweet, Needles and Pins, and Sugar and Spice. As well as their best-loved songs, lesser known B-sides, anecdotes and stories from their hey-days.

Food glorious food Now in its fifth year, Shrewsbury Food Festival just gets bigger and better. Drawing crowds of over 26,000 people last year, is is back again at The Quarry and across Shrewsbury on 24th-25th June. Over 220 of the region’s finest artisan food and drink producers are set to showcase their wares; from delicious street food stalls to gastronomic fare to tantalise the tastebuds. Take part in Chef Club, create sumptuous puds or roll sushi with a team of top chefs. See live cooking demos with the creme de la creme of the region’s chefs. Enjoy the live music on the Buttermarket Unsigned Stage while the Children’s Zone offers petting animals, creepy crawlies from Dudley Zoo and tons of art activities. Tickets are £7 per adult and £15 for a family. www.shrewsburyfoodfestival.co.uk

Cats, 7th-20th June Set in a larger-than-life junk yard, this emotional and exciting musical, based on T. S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, has been performed across theatres since 1980. Featuring songs like Memory, Mr Mistoffelees, Macavity and The Jellicle Ball, it’s a magical show sure

The Kilkennys, 25th June See the Irish Folk band that’s taking the world by storm, fresh from their recent European and US tours. Be transported on a journey into the ballads of traditional Irish music as well as new material that offers you a night of the very best craic!

Othello, 28th June Global opera sensation, Jonas Kaufmann takes on the mighty Othello in a new production by Olivier Award-winning director Keith Warner. Verdi’s passionate retelling of this

Shakespearean tragedy is a treat for opera lovers, and with the full force of The Royal Opera House orchestra and Chorus and an exceptional cast, it’s an experience not to be missed. The Glenn Miller Orchestra, 2nd July Legendary bandleader Ray McVay presents his latest offering, and introduced the vocal

talents of Mark Porter and Catherine Sykes. With harmonies from the Moonlight Serenaders, jazz sounds from the Uptown Hall Gang and plenty of Glenn Miller favourites! www.theatresevern.co.uk

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ANTIQUES MARKET 12th May and 11th August 2017

A huge collection of antique traders. Bailey Head.

SHROPSHIRE PRODUCE MARKET 17th June 2017 OSWESTRY FOOD AND DRINK FESTIVAL 15th–16th July 2017 Town centre annual event celebrating the best from local producers.


Advice, plants, wildlife and more. Bailey Head.

CHARITY MARKET 2nd June 2017

Local charities raising money.









For further information call 01691 680222 or visit: www.oswestry-tc.gov.uk

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1st JULY 2017

12.30 - 5.00pm

The Marches School, Morda Road, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 2AR

Stallholders booking form online

01691 664407 www.marchesschool.co.uk

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What’s on at Arts Alive


4th May, National Mills Weekend, Hereford Waterworks Museum See the museum in-steam with the wind and water turbines on display at this unique look at Hereford’s watery history!

What’s on at Berrington Hall Family Saturday Fun with The Courtyard Theatre, 13th May and 10th June Berrington Hall has teamed up with The Courtyard Theatre to bring visitors a day of Georgian-inspired games and crafts aimed at children of all ages. Pineapple Pioneers, 27th May An event celebrating all things pineapple! Look out for the eighteenth-century-inspired pavilion in the gardens at Berrington, or become a fruit pioneer and find out about the discovery and use of pineapples in stately homes like Berrington back in the 18th century in this unique day out.

6th May, The Land Beneath Your Feet - Geology Walk, Croft Castle and Parkland Learn all about the geological features and significance of this beautiful area on a walk led by the Croft Castle geology champions. Explore Fishpool Valley and its two quarries and take in the views at the summit of Croft Ambrey, a notable Iron Age Hill Fort.

Look! Look! Look! 27th May A brand new installation in Berrington’s Walled Garden created by internationally renowned artists, Heather and Ivan Morrison, will be open to the public, and offers a modern twist on the traditional walled garden. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

•14th May, Hereford Festival

of Running, Hereford Leisure Centre Runners of all ages and abilities join together for this unique event which boasts the Hereford Marathon; the only single lap marathon in the area, and one which takes in 26.2 miles of beautiful countryside. With four distances; Hereford Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K and 5K runs, there’s something for all runners, whatever their age or ability. Proceeds go to St Michael’s Hospice.

Danzas, Playhouse Cinema, Community Centre, Leominster, Herefordshire This Montreal Guitar Trio’s rearranged classical pieces, well known covers adapted for three guitars and original compositions marry passionate virtuosity with a stealthy sense of humour. Call 01568 616460 for more info and prices.

Everything Fitz, 18th May Richards’ Castle Village Hall Fiddling, stepdancing siblings from Ottawa, Canada; Tom, Kerry & Julie Fitzgerald, perform a high-energy fiddling and step dancing act to get audiences up on their feet.

6th-7th May, Peppa Pig and George visit Severn Valley Railway, Kidderminster, Worcestershire Everyone’s favourite little pig Peppa and her brother George, will be popping along to the station. Magic Shows will also be taking place throughout the day with A Box of Tricks. The ticket permits travel on the Railway for the whole day.

Gone Cuckoo, Market Theatre, Ledbury A storyteller and musician follow the trail of this creature that has a special place in our culture as bringer of spring. This performance by Malcolm and Joshua Green take the audience on an adventure alongside the cuckoo; from the North York Moors, to its touch-down in The Sahara Desert. www. themarkettheatre.com

Children’s Trails at the Weir Garden Discover what creatures and plants live down at The Weir Gardens on selected dates through May and June. Pick up a trail sheet from reception and set off along this naturally managed river bank garden. Run through wild flowers, shrubs and trees, stroll down to the river meadow past the boat house and rockery; and stop off at a natural play area for a riverside picnic. Collect a prize at the end too! www.nationaltrust.org

Call Mr Robeson: A Life With Songs, 10th June, Playhouse Cinema, Leominster Go on a roller-coaster journey through actor, singer and activist Paul Robeson’s remarkable and dramatic life. renditions of iconic songs. www. artsalive. co.uk

50 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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What’s on at Brockhampton Estate


artists will be able to develop confidence in quick sketching and mixing paints to achieve required colour and tone. May half term and The Secret Garden Family Trail, 27th May This half-term, families can join in lots of fun activities such as following The Secret Garden family trail around the manor house and orchards and join Mr Dennett for a spot of gardening, build a den, climb a tree or hunt for bugs around the estate and on the natural play trail. Open farm Sunday at Warren Farm, 11th June Discover how they care for animals, create award winning produce and go on a tractor trailer ride around the farm. With refreshments and cream teas direct from the farm kitchen. One of the many beautiful houses at Brockhampton

Rangers Adventure Day, 13th May Brush up on your countryside skills with this bushcraft day at Brockhampton, in association with Really Rural. Learn how to build a shelter, make fire without matches and make gypsy flowers with forester Maurice Clother. Oil Painting Evening Course with Artist in Residence Fiona Potter, 18th May Under the tuition of experienced artist Fiona, participants will be able to enjoy learning and painting outside or ‘plein air’ using the medium of oil paints. Over the duration of the course budding

Father’s Day BBQ, Beer and Ceilidh Band, 18th June Dads, grandads and their families are welcomed to a special barbeque, band and beers day in celebration of Father’s Day. Relax in the lovely setting of Brockhampton DIARY DATE with lunchtime Don’t forget it’s food, good music and beer in the Father’s Day on open air. www. 18th June! nationaltrust. org.uk

Spring Flower Fair at Hergest Croft Gardens

14th and 21st May, Wild Food Foraging, Wenlock Edge Find and pick your own lunch at this event for foragers. See what edible delights can be found at Wilderhope and learn how to identify different edible and poisonous species. Head back to the Manor house to learn how to process the plants and enjoy a wild edible lunch.

•27th May, Whalebone:

Mirabilia Tour, Farlow & Oreton Village Hall, Oregon, Cleobury Mortimer, Worcestershire An evening of eclectic acoustic music from award-winning instrumental trio that blend Celtic folk with rock, Americana and Eastern European tradition. Their use of unusual instruments has earned them fans across the UK, US and Canada.

Pop over to Hergest Croft Gardens for an auction and event in aid of The Midland Air Ambulance, Monday 1st May. This is the charity responsible for funding and operating three air ambulances serving the communities of six Midlands Counties; Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and West Midlands. See a wide variety of plant nurseries, browse local craft and produce stalls and enjoy a free guided walk in the afternoon. www.hergest.co.uk

28th-29th May, Ivy Croft Open Garden for NGS, Ivy Croft, Leominster Visit this stunning rural garden, meadow, wood and orchard, teaming with wildlife and plants. Delicious homemade teas available too!

30th May, Life Drawing, Upstair in De Koffie Pot Get arty at this sociable life drawing class where all abilities are welcome. Relax and sketch the variety of life models. BYO art materials.

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3rd, 4th June, 10th and 11th June, Mistletoe Lodge Open Garden for NGS, Bredenbury Explore this tranquil ‘hidden gem’ full of lush planting centred around a natural pond. There is also a mixed media art exhibition entitled ’Coast and Garden’, delicious Homemade cakes, teas and coffee to enjoy in the garden.

Remi Harris Project at Conquest With credentials including performing at Buckingham Palace, Montreal Jazz Festival, BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall with Jamie Cullum, on BBC 4 Television and live on BBC Radio 2 and 3, this vibrant guitarist returns to Conquest on Friday 12th May. Remi’s blend of music draws on inspiration from gypsy swing, Jazz, blues, rock, heavy metal, electronic and world music. www.conquest-theatre.co.uk/shows

Hellensmusic Festival is back from 3rd to 7th May. Nestled in the village of Much Marcle, this music event brings together world-class concerts and masterclasses. Featuring celebrated pianist Christian Blackshaw and musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and a performance from award-winning Cantabile Girls’ Choir from the Hereford Cathedral School. www.hellensmusic.com

What’s on at The Courtyard

•10th June, Orgasmic Cider

Company Open Day, Great Parton Farm, Eardisley Cider lovers rejoice - get down to Great Parton Farm for a free family fun day. Keep youngsters occupied with tractor rides and a treasure hunt, buy local crafts, eat BBQ food and try apple and pear juice tasting while the adults sample the strong stuff.

11th June, Teme Valley Market, Knightwick, Worcestershire The oldest farmers’ market in the country, Teme Valley has been trading since October 1998. Situated in the heart of the Worcestershire/Herefordshire countryside alongside the river Teme, it showcases the best of local produce.

The Celtic Tenors, 5th May Having already achieved a double-platinum debut album, topped the charts in Ireland and Germany, scored a number two hit in the UK, and clocked up seven topselling albums, The Celtic Tenors are back on a global tour with their brand of classical music infused with their Irish influence. Expect haunting renditions of Danny Boy coupled with exhilarating classics like Nessun Dorma.

11th June, Billionaire Boy Outside Theatre, Load Street Bewdley, Worcestershire A quirky performance telling the tale of David Walliams book of the same name. Father and son Len and Joe Spud strike it rich when they invent a new toilet roll. Bring a picnic and settle in for the day to watch this fun family play in the beautiful QEII Gardens.

Hellensmusic Pub Concert, 6th May, The Feathers Hotel, Ledbury Hellensmusic launches its first ever pub concert held at The Feathers

Hotel in Ledbury on 6th May. Enjoy a blend of dazzling and toe-tapping folk, classical and world music with local ales on tap. Hellensmusic joint artistic director, Máté Szűcs is joined by gypsy musicians Béla Farkas and Julien Quentin on a journey of unexpected pairings and unforgettable tunes. Smother, 22nd June This raw, contemporary hiphop performance straight from Edinburgh Fringe tells the tale of two young mens’ broken encounter from award-winning choreographer, Andrea Walker. Age 12 +.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ballet Cymru, 29th June Ballet Cymru presents Shakespeare’s most magical play in this heart-warming adaptation featuring expressive choreography, radiant costumes, sets and video projection.

May-we-go-round? 6th July A funny, energetic performance by the winners of The Pebble Trust Brighton Fringe Award 2016 which follows the story of a girl that discovers her diary from the age of 10, devoted entirely to the detailed records of her many loves. www.courtyard.org.uk

52 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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What’s on at Eastnor Castle

What’s on at Malvern Theatres Orchestra of the Swan Jennifer Pike Plays Mozart, 10th May, Forum Theatre

Puppets tell the tale of four Eric Carles classics; The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse, Mister Seahorse, The Very Lonely Firefly and of course The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Vintage Eastnor, 28th - 29th May Vintage engines, cream teas, giant garden games, model steam engine rides, a carousel and chair swings are some of the wonderful activities on offer at this fun nostalgic event. Runaround Days, 30th May - 1st June The ideal opportunity for children to let off some steam in the great outdoors this half term. With a nature quiz and activity check-list to complete. FBI Academy, 4th June Fancy yourself as the next Bond or like the idea of having a good snoop? This fun event shows you how to check finger prints, dust for clues, search for evidence and check DNA in a specially created giant crime scene. Family Fun Day, 11th June Fly down the zip wire across Valley Lawn and play lots of garden games at this super family fun day out. Food and stalls plus much more. Cliff Richard Concert, 17th June Celebrating the release of his latest album; Just Fabulous Rock N Roll,

the nation’s favourite hitmaker, Cliff Richards will kick off his highly awaited summer tour at Eastnor Castle. Tickets available from wwwlivenation.co.uk. Mini Wildplay, 18th June Little ones can get gorgeously grubby in the Mud Kitchen, go bughunting in the woods, find the perfect spot to build a den and follow the rope trail! Lots of great activities in the great outdoors.

El Dorado Festival, 30th June - 3rd July An intimate and enchanting boutique festival from the nation’s favourite party starters - Cirque Du Soleil. Festival goers will find ambient music, theatre and performance and games in this intimate and whimsical festival. Visit www.facebook. com/ElDoradoFestival for more info and the line-up as it is announced. Visit www.eastnor.co.uk for more information

The youngest ever winner of BBC2’s Young Musician of the Year, Jennifer – then aged just 12, wowed audiences with her musicianship. Following success at age 15 as the BBC Young generation Artist, Jennifer comes to The Forum Theatre with a solo concert that will delight and astonish in equal measure. Street Child, 15th - 20th May Malvern Theatres Players present Berlie Doherty’s Carnegie Medal-winning book Street Child which tells the story of Jim Jarvis, a boy left alone when his mother dies in a poor area of Victorian London and his subsequent meeting with Dr Barnardo. The Very Hungry Caterpillar Munch, munch, munch, The Very Hungry Caterpillar is munching his way through the pages and straight into the theatres with Jonathan Rockefeller’s critically acclaimed production.

The Mikado, 4th-8th July, Festival Theatre An all-male version of a much-loved Gilbert & Sullivan classic sees director Sasha Regan return with this

entertaining opera located in the land of Titipu. Fans will love the colourful renditions of A Wand’ring Minstrel I, Three Little Maids, Willow Tit Willow and Some Day it Might Happen. Jasper Carrott Stand-Up and Rock, 21st-23rd June, Forum Theatre Back to his very best, Jasper Carrott regales the audience of his own brand of hilarious observational comedy accompanied by some of the country’s finest musicians. Visit www.malvern-theatres. co.uk for more details and booking information.

May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 53

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Gig Guide


Linerunners, De Koffee Pot, Hereford, 5th May Percussion-loving band with a penchant for driving bass and loudhailers, Hereford’s Linerunners perform original material with influences from Nick Cave, Joy Division, Leonard Cohen and PJ Harvey. Free entry. www.herefordleftbank.com

11th June, Kidderminster Luxury Wedding Fayre, Gainsborough House Hotel, Kidderminster Meet local wedding suppliers face-toface and enjoy plenty of live entertainment, discounts, offers and free tasters, in fact, you’ll find everything you need to plan your big day in one place.

Crawlback, The Globe at Hay, 12th May Four-piece south Wales band play soulful rhythm and blues, with harmonica-player and singer Johnny Bird, Cardiff-based blues singer Bella Collins on bass and vocals. www.globeathay.org Mallyfest, Baskerville Hall, Clyro, near Hay-on-Wye, July 1st DID YOU This annual music celebrates the memory KNOW? of Mally Powell, lead singer of cult glam disco funk band Zip Zip Undo Me life The Romans named and a flamboyant member of the prethe month of June Brit pop scene. after Juno, queen of

the gods; patroness

Hey Little Monster Presents: Britpop & 90’s Night, The Booth Hall, 3rd June of weddings The Booth Hall hosts two live sets of 90’s classics brought to you by the brilliant 90’s Tribute Band: The Britpop Boys. In addition to local DJs there will be a raffle and silent auction. Proceeds go to Kirsty Morris who is trekking 55km along The Great Wall of China in aid of St Michael’s Hospice. Richard Navarro, Globe at the Hay, 10th June Richard Navarro takes you on a voyage with his storytelling intertwined with folk melody. An outstanding performer, with a unique sound that swaps between intimate and epic. www.globeathay.org

17th June, The Paint Runner and Foam Zone Afterparty, King George V Playing Fields, Hereford Celebrating health, happiness, and creativity, while also giving something back to your local community. Run, jog or walk this 5K event dressed in white and collect your colours as you pass through five colour-blasting stations. Music from DJ Roddy Hankins will help you on your way followed by the Foam Zone after party!

Michael Ball and Alfie Boe, Eastnor Castle, 11th June These two power houses join forces for a not-to-be missed, must-see concert at Eastnor Castle. www.livenation.co.uk Hereford Heavy presents Heavy Live 4, The Booth Hall, 23rd June Enemo-J, We Come From Ashes and The Seventh Circle play to a hungry metal-loving crowd at this wellsupported event. Expect it loud and fierce.

22nd June, Off Grid Gourmet Supper Club, The Globe at Hay Sample and taste offerings from new head chef, Hugh at this communal dining experience. Bespoke menus are created around the individuals who have booked for a unique menu.

27th June, Science Café, The Globe at Hay Meeting on the fourth Tuesday of every month, this group looks at selected topics for discussion and dissects science-related news items. Join in and learn!

6th July, Salsa Classes, Upstairs in De Koffie Pot Get your hips swaying and join in at this fun exercise class which blends the latin dances in a sociable and friendly environment.

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Twelfth Night, The Royal Exchange, 13th April-20th May Washed up on the shores of Illyria after a ship-wreck, Viola disguising herself as a man, finds a job, and love. Muddled in mistaken identities problems ensue! www.royalexchange.co.uk

Take That – Wonderland Live, Manchester Arena, 18th-20th May, 25th-27th May TT are back in their hometown and better still, the band’s main stage will be in the centre of the arena floor, giving fans a truly unique and memorable experience! www.manchester-arena.com

Penn and Teller, O2 Apollo, 10th-11th June For nearly 40 years this duo have defied labels, (and often physics and good taste), by redefining the genre of magic and comedy. Penn and Teller show no signs of slowing down. www.o2apollomanchester.

Key 103 Summer Live 2017, Manchester Arena, 15th July The biggest pop event in Manchester’s calendar returns to Manchester for a night of amazing live music from some of the biggest stars on the planet. Full line up to be announced soon. www.manchester-arena.com


Harry Potter In Concert With Full Live Orchestra, Echo Arena, 18th May Hear a full live orchestra perform John Williams’ unforgettable score from across the entire The Harry Potter film series while watching on a giant screen! www.echoarena.com

Romeo and Juliet, Everyman Playhouse, 27th May-7th June The Everyman Company and actors from Young Everyman Playhouse, unite to celebrate one of Shakespeare’s most popular plays; the age-old, brutal tale of love and family. www.everymanplayhouse.

Russell Brand – RE:BIRTH, ACC Echo Arena, 24th-25th June What is real? Who are we? Where did this baby come from? Russell ponders these questions while unravelling the matrix of media, politics, sex, fatherhood and death. www.echoarena.com

La Cage Aux Folles, Empire Theatre, 4th-8th July Bill Kenwright presents a brand new spectacular version of the much-loved musical, a lavishly produced performance and funny tale of unconditional love and family values. www.atgtickets.com


Micky Flanagan, Barclaycard Arena, 18th20th May and 1st June Micky Flanagan is back on tour with his brand new show An’ Another Fing... Tickets are set to fly out the doors so grab yours quick and get ready to laugh! www.barclaycardarena.

Dirty Dancing, New Alexandra, 29th May-3rd June A wonderful live experience, full of passion and romance, heart-pounding music and sensationally sexy dancing, a record-breaking musical in an all new production. www.atgtickets.com

Elton John, The Genting Arena, 7th June Pop icon Elton John ends a spectacular year in Birmingham. He released his 33rd studio album Wonderful Crazy Night to rapturous applause, and wowed UK audiences. www.gentingarena.co.uk

The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, The Hippodrome, 4th-8th July Winner of seven Olivier Awards and five Tonys including ‘Best Play’, go and see Mark Haddon’s best-selling novel brought dramatically to life on stage. www.birmingham



Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Wales Millennium Centre, 9th May This sensational touring production retells the Biblical story of Joseph, his eleven brothers and that coat of many colours. www.wmc.org.uk

Good Mourning Mrs Brown: Mrs Brown’s Boys, Motorpoint Arena, 14th June Recently voted as the Best British Sitcom of the 21st century by the Radio Times, Mrs B will be taking over some of country’s biggest venues in this hilarious show. www.motorpointarenacardiff.

Robbie Williams Principality Stadium, 21st June Since embarking on a solo career, Robbie’s notched up a steady stream of hit singles and album. See him perform live, with support act Erasure! www.principalitystadium. wales

Funny Girl – The Musical, Wales Millennium Centre, 4th-8th July Funny Girl is based on the life and career of Fanny Brice, whose vocal talents and comedic ability saw her rise from Brooklyn music hall singer to Broadway star. www.wmc.org.uk

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LOCAL LEGEND BACK TO FIND SINGING SENSATIONS OF THE FUTURE Bangor-born singing sensation Aled Jones is on home turf this May for a mini tour celebrating choral singing. The 46-year-old captured the hearts of the nation singing Walking In The Air, from the 80s smash-hit animated film The Snowman, and has remained popular ever since. Aled talks to Shire Magazine about what he is hoping to find as he searches the nation for choirs to join him onstage…


led Jones will be visiting William Aston Hall in Wrexham for one night only this month as part of an exclusive five-venue tour and the one-time schoolboy soprano will be joined on stage by local choirs who have been applying in their hundreds to sing alongside him. Adults, children, professionals and amateurs have all been clamouring for the once-ina-lifetime opportunity and Aled says the standard of those competing to enter has been impressive: ‘’I’m really excited about hitting the road again and singing in these fabulous venues. I’m a firm believer that we have the greatest choral tradition here in the UK and I’m really excited to be sharing the stage and singing with some of our greatest choirs.’ Hoping to discover future singing stars, the former child prodigy is planning to encourage talented performers to take to the stage and carve out their own careers in the spotlight. Discovered as a child, Aled was one of the world’s most successful boy sopranos after making his professional debut aged just 12 performing the role of the Angel in Handel’s Oratorio Jeptha on BBC2 and BBC Radio 3.

By the time Walking In The Air was released in 1985 he had already produced 12 albums and in the decades since he’s released 31, selling over eight million records to date. 2016 was another yet amazing success for Aled who released One Voice, an album that went on to take number three in the album chart and held the top spot in the classical album chart for 14 weeks, making him the best-selling classical artist of the year. Born and bred in Bangor, and only speaking Welsh until he was six, Aled is particularly looking forward to returning to his native North Wales on Monday 8th May, for the Wrexham concert. Now a regular on TV, presenting Songs Of Praise and the ITV Weekend series, Aled has a popular weekly radio slot on Classic FM. One genre he vows not to be lured into is reality television, despite an enjoyable spell on Strictly Come Dancing in 2004. Happy to take part in the series as he learnt a new skill, got fit and had fun, he maintains that will be his one and only concession so fans won’t be seeing him in the jungle or ski jumping anytime soon! Go to www.seetickets.com

A L E D ’ S J O U R N E Y: F R O M C H O I R B OY TO H O U S E H O L D N A M E 1970 Born in Bangor 1979 Joined the choir of Bangor Cathedral 1981 Became lead soloist 1982 Won the Cerdd Dant solo competitions for competitors under 12 at the Urdd Eisteddfod. 1985 Reached number 5 in the charts with the cover version of Walking In The Air 1985 Was the subject of BBC documentary The Treble 1986 Career paused as voice

broke but first autobiography published 1990 Acting debut at the Royal Theatre, Northampton 1995 Took lead role in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat 1996-1997 Toured in a large production of Hard Times 2004 Became a contestant on series 2 of BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, making it to week seven and into the Christmas Special

2005 Launched second autobiography 2006 Presented Good Morning Sunday on BBC Radio 2 2008 Played the lead role of Caracatus Potts in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang 2010 Took over from Sarah Kennedy presenting on BBC Radio 2 2011 Began presenting Escape to the Country for BBC

2012 Replaced Adrian Chiles as regular presenter of ITV’s Daybreak programme 2013 Awarded the MBE for his services to music and broadcasting 2014 Began presenting the Weekend morning television show 2014 Nominated as an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music

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It’s showtime! Once seen as the realm of the landed gentry or a meeting point for farmers, the traditional county show is a longstanding part of British culture. Today, attendance is not limited to those planning to purchase a pig – the remit has been widened to attract a larger audience. They still celebrate all things agricultural, but there’s a focus on entertainment, rural pursuits and championing our countryside and everything it gives us. So grab your Barbour jackets, get your wellies on, jump in the Landrover and head out for some county show action…

Reverend Libby Lane presents the winner’s cup at the Cheshire Show


Show jumping is a large part of the event


eading the way in the history of county shows, the Cheshire Show has been the region’s premier agricultural event for over 175 years. In honour of its proud past, it was bestowed with the status of having a ‘royal’ title last year and since 2016 has been known as the Royal Cheshire County Show. Organisers announced last month that this year’s president will be The Right Reverend Libby Lane – Bishop of Stockport, who made history as the first female Bishop in England: ‘It is an unexpected honour to be asked to be President this year, and I accept the invitation with a clear desire to learn more from this community and be an

Immerse yourself in all things agricultural

of bringing them all together to show and advocate for them. My husband George and compare their produce is still key to the ethos I look forward to being on the showground of the Cheshire Show today although the throughout the show, and I hope that farming landscape has changed dramatically this role might enable me to better serve since its inauguration. Cheshire, not just for those few days in June The county boasted around 20,000 but all year and beyond,’ she commented. farmers 100 years ago, today there are This year the event falls across June approximately 2000 – all the more reason to 20th and 21st and is expected to attract celebrate and champion every one of them at many thousands of visitors to Tabley in events such as the RCCS. Knutsford over the two days – a far cry With its roots firmly embedded in from its humble beginnings when the farming, the 2017 show original Cheshire Agricultural will, as always, hold many Society came up with the idea 100 years ago, competition classes for cattle, in 1838. The inspiration came Cheshire boasted from the group’s President at the 20,000 farmers. sheep, pigs and dairy goats, but will also include hundreds time, Field Marshall Viscount Today there are Combermere, who was one 2,000 – all the more of classes for light and heavy of The Duke of Wellington’s reason to celebrate horses, show jumping, rare generals at Waterloo. and champion every breeds of livestock, poultry, Born into a landowning family, one of them pygmy goats, pigeons, cavies, rabbits and a dog show. he had travelled much in England Foodies are well catered and had observed better farming for with the Roberts Bakery Food Hall and practice in the drier regions of England Food Live Theatre and The Sainsbury’s than in his native Cheshire. He persuaded Agri Centre while general entertainment his fellow Cheshire landowners to organise will be provided by dozens of groups and a series of competitions to encourage better associations from across the area. farming methods and thus the founding principles of the county show were born. The CAS became a role model for other agricultural societies in England with varied success, although Cheshire has remained a leader in the field due to its unusual farming structure. Not only is the county home to huge private estate family farms, such as Grosvenor, Wilbraham, Cholmondeley, Legh, Warburton, Davenport, Leycester and Edgerton, it also houses hundreds of cottage farms and small holdings. The policy Families are intergral to the success of RCCS

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Flowers, bunnies, music and more

The finest breeds of cattle are on show

While the main ring will cater for all traditional agricultural attractions such as cattle competitions, livestock shows, horse displays and sheep spectaculars there is also a range of exhibits to suit every visitor of every age. Be sure to leave time to explore some of the lesser known show stoppers... Highlights Always a popular event for entrants as much as visitors, the Cheshire Floral Design Competition never fails to wow the

Don’t forget the poultry!

public when they visit the NAFAS Floral Marquee. This year there will be over 100 floral displays to view interpreting the title given of What a Wonderful World. There will also be hands-on areas where both adults and children can have a go at making something to take home. The annual Poultry and Egg Competition is also likely to impress with its high standard of exhibits shown in the Fur and Feather Marquee where over 200 classes are judged comprising of over 700 birds. From Bantams to Turkeys, Old English Game to Waterfowl, there is something for everyone and the What a handsome chap chance to admire some rather weird and wonderful special breeds. If you’re looking for animal magic, don’t forget to hop on down to the Rabbit Show where there will be no fewer than 113 classes covering Fancy, Lops, Fur and Rex, as well as including seven junior classes, all competing to be show Champion Rabbit. There will also be a huge range of guinea pigs battling it out for the title of Best Cavy. A particular favourite, and vital part of

Entries to the arts and crafts competitions

the show, is the WI Marquee where this year there will be a spectacular showcase of the combined skills of all the members of Cheshire’s 200 WIs. They have been working hard to make this year’s show a success and will be demonstrating an amazing range of skills within 10 competitive classes of crafts, cookery, photography and flower arranging. Best of the rest… See one of the largest open dog shows in the region, with 500 classes and more than 100 different breeds on display, or browse the vintage machinery and take a look back to the machinery of yesteryear. In The Village Green escape the hustle and bustle with music and dance performances from Sandbach UA3 Brass Band, The Jill Fielding Band, The Wilmslow Rock Choir, morris dancers, jazz bands and many more.

Triple the fun at The Royal Three Counties Show

Expect the very best livestock in the region


he Royal Three Counties Show makes a welcome return to the Three Counties Showground in Malvern this June, running from Friday 17 to Sunday 19. Celebrating the best of agriculture across Herefordshire, Worcestershire and

The event promises to be educational as Gloucestershire and promising to be an well as fun as the nation’s favourite farmer, enjoyable experience for all ages, the show BBC Countryfile star is a highlight of the region’s The nation’s favourite and official Royal Three calendar and attracts many farmer, BBC Countryfile Counties ambassador, Adam thousands of visitors. star Adam Henson, Henson returns to head Head of shows Diana will be on hand to up the Ask the Farmer Walton explains: ‘We’re really answer visitors vital ring giving visitors young looking forward to this year’s and old alike the chance to show. It’s shaping up to be one farming questions ask questions about their of the best yet, with lots of exciting new features, including the National favourite farmyard friends. Children can try their hand at learning to be a soldier and Junior Dairy Show and an open-air theatre where experts in the sporting, gardening and business world give exclusive talks throughout the three day event. ‘It promises to be a fantastic day out for all the family to enjoy. The annually anticipated event will provide visitors with a whole host of fun activities, displays and entertainment whilst bringing together the very best in local produce and farming.’ Visitors can expect to get their pulses racing in the main arena with daredevil displays from the likes of the Bolddog Lings motorcross display team and the Red Devils parachute display team. The arena will also showcase the finest in livestock with a sheepdog display on the Sunday, daily Princess Anne talking to exhibitors in 2016 animal parades, show jumping and lots more.

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HRH Princess Anne opened last year’s event

stars and experts in the sporting, gardening and business world give exclusive talks throughout the three-day event. Other hotspots for the family to enjoy include the Active Avenue, where visitors can take part in and watch various sporting activities, a Wildlife Area headed up by Worcestershire Wildlife Trust and a Hotspot Trail around the showground. The Royal Three Counties Show will also provide a feast suitable for the finest foodies. The Main Hall will showcase the finest local and artisan produce, whilst the Food and Drink pavilion will feature the very best regional and national food and drink products. The Cookery Theatre also makes a return and will have a Gloucestershire

Specialist vehicles will be on display

theme on one day with an appearance from Felice Tocchini. For information, ticket prices and for full details of everything happening at the show, visit www.threecounties.co.uk

experience walking through battle in the Living Village as The Woodvilles create an interactive and educational re-enactment of historical Gloucester battles. A new open-air theatre will also feature at this year’s show. Hosted by Sky Sports and BBC Presenter Jill Douglas, the Wellington Boot Theatre will allow visitors to get an up close and personal audience experience as

Military displays are sure to impress

It’s a must-see event for groups and schools

The finest livestock, daring displays and galloping acrobats! Devils, are back jumping from altitudes of up to 10,000 feet, freefalling at speeds of up to 120 miles per hour, and performing ‘canopy formations’ and trailing smoke. A highlight of the show has to be the Grand Parade Of Livestock held every day when all the finest exhibits have their

Prize livestock will be on display

There is so much going on at the Three Counties Show this year, we can’t possible mention it all, but alongside the main exhibits there are some more unusual elements to explore. Located in between the Main Arena and Farming Village is the Herefordshire Hub dedicated to celebrating all things from the countryside, and you attend demos by some of the counties’ finest companies including Weston’s Cider, Eat Sleep Live Herefordshire and the National Trust. Adrenaline junkies will love the actionpacked performances from the UK’s number one motorcycle display team Bolddog Lings. Not only that, but the British Army’s official parachute display team, The Red

from Malaysia, Taiwan, Ecuador, Holland, Denmark, Germany and the UK will be a popular attraction and several of these different cultivated varieties will be on sale. Best of the rest… Hot Air Balloons will take to the sky at the end of every day if the weather allows, and displays include galloping horseback acrobats as well as a lumberjack display team. There will be falconry demonstrations, sheep shearing competitions, Shetland ponies performing for visitors and even the Quack Pack – a team of herding ducks.

Enjoy music from the marching band

moment of glory. On the Sunday, the rare and minority breeds join the parade. The huge climbing poles at the heart of the Forestry Area are not to be missed, and are scaled once again by competitors from around the country, racing against the clock in the Pole Climbing Championships. An international Orchid Exhibition of exquisite plants by specialist growers

The real ale tent is always popular

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Pulling out all the stops for The Shropshire County Show are available on the day, no expense (within reason) spared. I have not let them down and believe the non-stop programme we have booked will thrill everyone. ‘We really have got something for everyone this year, from the superb Kids’ Zone which features everything from spiders to a climbing wall, to the main ring entertainment which is headlined by the

Adrenalin junkies will love the BMX track

Eat, drink and be very merry with the creme of Shropshire produce


he Shropshire County Show is one of There will be lots of free children’s activities the oldest surviving agricultural shows in the Kids’ Zone, which will be bigger than ever before, including the Animal Man, in the country and has been representing the very best of agriculture across the Magic Kev, a BMX track, hay bale maze – and a very special county for over 140 years. The show is This year it will be held on guest still to be announced. a great chance The ever-popular tractor pulling Saturday, 27th May, at the West to boast about will be back, as well as a much Mids Showground, and organisers the wonderful have vowed to make it even more larger horse show following things on offer a reduction in horse classes attractive to families and people of in Shropshire last year. There will also be the all ages and from all backgrounds. The team behind the event, the finest displays of cattle, sheep, poultry and other animals. Ian Bebbington, Shropshire and West Midlands Agricultural society director, explains: ‘The committee Society, are pulling out all the stops to of volunteers organising the show are really provide a blend of family entertainment and excited about the range of entertainment traditional agricultural displays. they have put together this year. ‘As each successful year passes we are determined to make the next show even better than the last. It is still very much a community event, and we hope the farming community and everyone else in Shropshire will come together as always to help make the show another great success. ‘The show committee has given me the authority to book the best attractions that Fabulous farm machinery on display

Imps motorcycle display team. ‘There’s also the fantastic young farmers float parade at the end of the day, hundreds of trade stands featuring agricultural machinery, arts and crafts, the region’s finest food and drink and much more besides.’ The show is a great opportunity to boast about the diverse things on offer in Shropshire. It’s a celebration of the rural community and chance to highlight the role it plays in our daily lives. www.westmidshowground.com

The best of Shropshire’s farming community



nother local celebration of smallholding and rural life taking place is the Royal Welsh Spring Festival, which will be held on 20th and 21st May this year at Llanelwedd. A very popular weekend-long event in the spring show season, the two-day festival, with its action-packed programme of entertainment and educational activities, free workshops, displays and main ring performances offers the perfect family day out. Offering a taster of things to come later in the summer when the same organisers present the Royal Welsh Show from 24th to 27th July, this smaller festival is a great event in its own right and this year all children under 16 are able to go along for free. With over 1,300 livestock, poultry and horses, hundreds of trade stands, the only Premier Open Dog Show to be held in Wales, children’s activities, a food and drink quarter, vintage

machinery, auction, country leisure and much more, the event has something for everyone. It will be opening late into the evening on the Saturday so visitors can relax and enjoy some local bands, street food and hopefully some summer sun. To be in with a chance of winning tickets see our competition on page 130. Visit www.rwas.wales

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DAY TRIP WO R L D H E R I TAG E S I T E This World Heritage Site can be enjoyed on the boat trips from Llangollen Wharf. Although the outstanding feature of the World Heritage Site is the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct it actually runs from Gledrid Bridge near Rhoswiel to the Horseshoe Falls on the River Dee, and crosses the border into England. The main features of the site are Chirk Aqueduct and tunnel, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the Horseshoe Falls, demonstrating the very best of late 18th century engineering.

Horse-drawn boats are an important part of Llangollen’s canal heritage

Harnessing the horse power Nicky Lincoln tells us about the history of Llangollen’s horse-drawn canal boats and the hard-working horses that attract tourists from near and far… DID YOU when they’re around three KNOW? or four-years-old. The Romans ‘Pulling a canal boat is used mules to very different from pulling haul boats on the waterways a cart as it’s not constant in the UK pressure on the collar, so the horse has to get used to that. The pressure goes tight, then slack, as the boat moves through the water. The boat weighs seven tonnes (without counting the people on board), but you’d be surprised how easy they are to pull through the water. You need a sensible horse that’s not easily frightened by anything else because they see people, dogs, canoes, and bikes all going past them which they have to ignore. They all have very different characters – Harley doesn’t like seeing canoes out of the water for some reason, Visitors come from all over the world for the trips and gets a bit upset by the sight of dogs swimming – I don’t think he can work out what they are! he horse-drawn boat rides have been here ‘There are now only three or four working since 1884. Past the marina, this canal is horse-drawn boat trips left in the UK, so you too shallow for powered boats, so its only horse realise how special this attraction is, and how it’s drawn boats that can go all the way up to the an important part of our heritage. Horseshoe Falls. This canal was originally built ‘We run about 10 or 12 trips as a feeder canal to the aqueduct, every day, and can carry up to 50 it’s only designed to run water ‘There are only three people on each boat. We take group off the river Dee, which feeds the or four horse-drawn bookings from all over; Germany, whole Shropshire canal system. boat trip attractions in the US, Australia – as well as UK The money ran out after the huge the UK, so you realise tourists. We also run a two-hour cost of building the Pontcysyllte how special this is’ trip, which goes all the way to the Aqueduct, so there wasn’t enough to Horseshoe Fall and we have two day build a canal to Chester as originally boats, which people can hire from planned, and by that time the railways had taken 9.30am to 5pm to go in the other direction over over the transportation of most of the heavy goods. the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct to Froncysyllte. So this part of the canal has stayed this ‘One thing we get asked a lot is whether the way ever since. horses like pulling the boats but you can tell they’re ‘We have five horses – Hercules, Harvey, Taffy, excited to come here. They get to pull the boat Geordie and Stanley, they’re all ‘cobs’, which are a maximum of four times each day, and love the just like Shire horses, only not as tall (a Shire horse attention they get from all the visitors. The horses would bang their heads on the underside of the do take quite a lot of looking after, but they’re bridge!) They have come from all over the country, totally worth it – after all, we wouldn’t be able and a horse starts training to pull a canal boat to do any of this without them!’

For a 45-minute trip to the Horseshoe Falls from Llangollen, the ticket prices are: adults £7, kids £3.50, family ticket £18 for two adults and two children. For more information, go to www.horsedrawnboats.co.uk or call 01978 860702.


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Less than 2 miles from Powis Castl e

Home & Garden Centre • Country Store • Restaurant • Seasonal Events • Foodhall FA M O U S B R A N D S , G R E AT V A LU E

coedydinas.co.uk Welshpool, SY21 8RP

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A VERY REAL WONDERLAND There can be few locations that perfectly sum up a British seaside resort quite like Llandudno on the North Wales coast of Conwy

LLANDUDNO The famous Victorian pier is a highlight of any visitor’s trip to the town

Lewis Carroll’s White Rabbit statue


he thriving coastal town has been a firm favourite with families since Victorian visitors identified it as a beautiful bathing beach and is now the largest seaside resort in Wales. And it is easy to understand that enduring appeal. The population of 20,000 who are lucky enough to call Llandudno home has developed from ancient origins with evidence of Stone, Bronze and Iron Age settlements having been found. Seafarers have referred to the Great Orme on the prominent headland as a locating point for hundreds of years and today’s town is still a beacon for day trippers as well as holidaymakers alongside the permanent residents. The main appeal – all two miles of it – is clear. The bay is a deserving

winner of the Blue Flag Award it holds and one of the best in Wales. A vast beach and shingle stretch of curved, sheltered beach stretching between the headlands of the Great Orme and Little Orme is backed by an impressive white Victorian promenade making the scene truly worthy of the many picture postcards it dominates. Now housing a range of high-end hotels as well as homely B&Bs and everything in between, the prom continues to the end of the north shore where it juts out to form Llandudno’s famous pier.

About town

The award-winning structure was built in 1878, extended in 1884, and is now Grade II listed. It holds the title of the longest pier in Wales at 700 metres and houses a bar, a café, fairground rides, amusement arcades, shops kiosks and in the summer months Professor Codman’s Punch and Judy Show – a family favourite established in 1860. Running along the sea front, the parade is also backed with the fields of Bodafon Hall Farm and at the opposite end from the pier, it comes to an end to form a large, outdoor paddling pool for children. Looming protectively over the town of Llandudno, The Great Orme stands at 207 metres high and is mostly owned by Mostyn Estates. At its peak, The

Llandudno was originally going to be called Port Wrexham!

shags, Summit Hotel was once the guillemots, home of boxer Randolph Turpin and numerous gulls. but now stands as a tourist Access to the hillside is attraction with the only other simple. Walkers will enjoy the full time residents being the herd gentle incline and make use of of wild Kashmiri goats that roam the many footpaths to explore the slopes. it, but both The Great Orme They have bred, and Tramway and the Llandudno thrived, from an original small Cable Car operate to whisk collection of animals gifted visitors to the summit in style. to Lord Mostyn from Queen When Queen Victoria Victoria, and they are now celebrated her Golden Jubilee joined by several rare and in 1887, Lord Mostyn gifted endangered species inhabiting the town a former quarry called the mountainside. Happy Valley. The Peregrine falcons The promenade area was landscaped have made their houses high-end and developed home on the Great into gardens, Orme and a there hotels as well golf courses and is one species of as homely B&Bs wild cotoneaster and everything in putting greens and incorporated which can only be between a popular open-air found on the peak. theatre. This was Its sheer limestone then linked to the town with cliffs make ideal nesting sites the Great Orme Cabin Lift for a wide variety of sea birds, in 1969 that takes passengers including razorbills, puffins, to the summit of the Great kittiwakes, fulmars, cormorants,

The town is surrounded by breathtaking scenery

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Visitors to Llandudno on why they’re come to town: James and Melissa, North Wales ‘We’ve both been here before, we’re from Prestatyn and Flintshire. We’re here to walk along the front, get a bit of fresh air, and go for lunch at Harveys.’ Alice and Matt, Cheshire ‘We came here to walk the dog along the sunny beach. I always use to come here as a child, and I liked it.’ Tom and Sophie, Mid Wales ‘We’re both farmers, and we’ve just finished lambing, so on a day off we wanted to come to the beach because we came here as kids.’

See the pretty painted houses and grand hotels along the coastline

Orme on what remains Britain’s longest single-stage cabin lift. Happy Valley has played host to several stages of the musical Eisteddfod over the years and although the theatre closed in 1985 the area has been reborn after the golf courses were transformed into an artificial ski slope and toboggan run as part of the town’s millennium

celebrations, ensuring it remains a popular attraction today. Another major draw to Llandudno is its renowned theatre and conference centre, Venue Cymru, built in 1994 and famed for its productions that include orchestral concerts, ballets, circuses and pantomimes. The famous author of Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll was born in Cheshire and the family had a home in Llandudno where it’s rumoured the writer found inspiration for several stories. There is a white rabbit statue in honour of the link and an app-driven trail around the town. Whether you follow the route or just make the most of the pretty town, stunning beach and breath-taking scenery – you’re sure to find a bit of your own ‘wonderland’ in Llandudno.

Michal, Anna and Jacob from Wrexham ‘It’s our first time here, and we like it. Its great for kids, and Jacob wants to go on a boat trip from the pier.’

Dave and David, Gorsworth, Cheshire ‘We like the sea front – it’s traditional, and much better than Blackpool!’

CONTACTS Llandudno Cable Car, North Parade, Llandudno, LL30 2LP Tel: 01492 877205

James and Andrea, from Newport, Shropshire ‘The sun was out so we wanted to head to the nearest beach, and the pictures of Llandudno looked nice.’

Llandudno Pier, North Parade, Llandudno, LL30 2LP Tel: 01492 876258 Venue Cymru, The Promenade, Penrhyn Crescent, Llandudno LL30 1BB Tel: 01492 872000 www.venuecymru.co.uk

P. Parker

Llandudno Ski and Snowboard Centre, Great Orme, Llandudno, LL30 2LR Tel: 01492 874707

Chris and Shelby, Milton Keynes ‘We heard this was a nice place, so we came up for the weekend, and we also did Bounce Below at Blaenau Ffestiniog. Great fish and chips here!’

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Whether you’re a train enthusiast, tourist or simply appreciate a good view, there’s a rich heritage to be explored along the rails of North and Mid Wales


reat Britain has harboured a proud heritage of steam hauled rail ever since the method of transport was first dreamed up by Richard Trevithick. This pioneering Cornishman operated what is considered to have been the world’s first railway journey on 21 February 1804, when his steam locomotive hauled a train from the Pen-y-darren ironworks, near Merthyr Tydfil. His groundbreaking discovery secured Wales as a leader in the field and the area continues to boast proud links with this method of transport. The rest of the North West has enhanced this reputation, none more so than when Robert Stephenson built his famous Rocket which was entered in and won the Rainhill Trials – a success that led to the Liverpool and Manchester Railway opening a year later, in 1830. It was the first steam powered railway in the world for passenger and goods trains and sparked a passion for train transport, in

particular steam hauled, which the area still embraces today. Now operated purely for tourism and enthusiasts to enjoy, we are lucky enough to be surrounded by meticulously restored and cared for heritage lines that not only celebrate the golden age of steam and reflect the romance of travel in times gone by, but also make the most of the stunning scenery and landscapes that surround us. In our feature we have picked out just a few that deserve a mention as a great way to explore the area and enjoy a journey back in time.

The resplendant steam engine is still going strong

See some of the most stunning local scenery

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Age and beauty with Ffestiniog


t is no wonder that our region boasts from sea level into the so many delightful steam rail lines and mountains through visitor attractions when it is home to the tranquil pastures oldest railway company in the world – the and magnificent Ffestiniog Railway. forests, past lakes Originally built to serve the slate industry and waterfalls, round of Blaenau Ffestiniog, the line used to be tight bends (even operated by gravity. Wagons laden with a complete spiral) slate rumbled down the hillside, kept clinging to the side under control by intrepid brakesmen who of the mountain or leapt from wagon to wagon tightening or tunnelling through it. loosening the brakes while their colleague on Looking forward the front wagon blew his horn to warn others to the 2017 summer Relax, unwind and enjoy breathtaking landscapes along the railway line of its passage. season, Chris Parry Steam locomotives were introduced in from The Ffestiniog Porthmadog provided the connection with the 1860s and, today, some of those same Railway says: ‘Here at the Ffestiniog and Ffestiniog Railway and together the lines little engines haul carriages of holidaymakers Welsh Highland Railways we’re looking offer travellers some of the most appealing through the stunning scenery of the forward to a very busy 2017 to build on rail journeys in the country. Snowdonia National Park our success last year. We Those looking to With 200 years of proud have a lot of new exciting TRAVEL IN STYLE truly appreciate the developments in the pipeline, history and some of the most The opportunity to travel in an open splendour of the comfortable carriages on any not least of which is our £1.5 carriage behind the world’s most powerful preserved railway, this train line golden age of steam million station being built in narrow gauge steam locomotives will appeal certainly knows a bit about what can pay a little extra Caernarfon which is due to to any rail enthusiast and those looking to for sumptuous first makes a journey special. open next year. admire the scenery will appreciate the trip class style Based in stunning ‘This should significantly though the Aberglaslyn Pass - voted the surroundings, the Ffestiniog improve the quality of our most beautiful place in the UK by members Railway allows you to step back offer to customers which is of the National Trust. Between the two in time to a more civilised age, while relaxing something we are always striving to achieve.’ organisations there is a wide range of full and enjoying the scenery in comfort, with Not only that, the railway links to and half day excursions available and helpful at-seat buffet service, snacks, refreshments another equally enchanting one – the Welsh staff are on hand to share their knowledge plus a bar featuring locally-brewed awardHighland Railway – giving a total of 40 and passion for this ancient form of travel. winning real ale. miles of Snowdonian surroundings to explore They welcome dogs and bikes and there are The Ffestiniog Railway still operates by scenic rail. This second line operates buffets on all trains while those looking to three of its original locomotives and carriages between Caernarfon and Porthmadog, and truly appreciate the splendour of the golden taking passengers on a 13½-mile journey was completely rebuilt by volunteers at a age of steam can pay a little extra to travel from the harbour in Porthmadog to the slatecost of £28 million after the original railway in the sumptuous style of one of the First quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog. closed in 1936. A further £1.25 million Class Pullman carriages. Find out more at The historic trains climb over 700 feet two-platform layout at Harbour Station at www.festrail.co.uk.

Take in the air on the WLLR he Welshpool and Llanfair Light Railway was opened in 1903 to link the market town of Welshpool to the rural community of Llanfair Caereinion. Now it operates as a thriving tourist service for all the family and a welcome change from the rush of everyday life. As the line was originally built as a ‘light railway’, which at the time avoided some of the costs of full railway construction, the narrow gauge allows for tight curves and steep gradients, enabling the line to follow the contours of the stunning surrounding countryside. The line was closed in 1956 to passengers and freight, but in 1963 a group of enthusiasts began to progressively re-open the line until it became the railway you see today. Now drawing visitors from far and wide, the line boasts many unusual features – not least its carriages that come from Hungary and Austria. Their unique design gives passengers access to the enclosed seating area via an open balcony - a great way to watch the world go by. For more information on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway visit www.www.wllr.org.uk

David Marsh

David Marsh


Wind your way through steep gorges, across viaducts and valleys

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Enjoy the majestic scenery in our region by rail


here are many more small and historically important or interesting steam trains operated in the region – as tourist attractions or by enthusiasts for their own enjoyment. We can’t feature them all here but we have rounded up a few more (not to mention the Talyllyn Railway, the Vale of Rheidol Railway, and more!), so if you’re planning to visit a heritage train in the coming months it may be worth checking out the following as well as those featured in these pages… Snowdon Mountain Railway has been described as one of the most unique and wonderful railway journeys in the world. Since 1896 visitors have been travelling to Llanberis, to experience the unique rail journey to the summit of the highest mountain in Wales and England. www.snowdonrailway.co.uk The Talyllyn Railway is a historic narrow-gauge steam railway, set in the beautiful mid-Wales countryside. Running from Tywyn to Abergynolwyn and Nant Gwernol, the line passes the delightful Dolgoch Falls and there are excellent forest walks at Nant Gwernol. www.talyllyn.co.uk

Enjoy afternoon tea at Bala

Take in the mid-Wales scenery

Bala Lake Railway offers a delightful nine-mile return journey alongside Bala Lake, through the beautiful Snowdonia National Park. The narrow gauge steam trains give excellent views of the lake amid its surrounding scenery including the nearby mountains of Arenig Fawr, Aran Benllyn and Aran Fawddwy. www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk

The Severn Valley Railway is a full-size standard-gauge railway line, running regular, mainly steam-hauled, passenger trains 16 miles between Kidderminster in Worcestershire and Bridgnorth in Shropshire. www.svr.co.uk

Steam along 16 miles of Severn Valley Railway

Trams and Trains at Telford


he Telford Steam Railway is built on a rail legacy that stretches back to the very beginnings of the industry. The existing locomotive shed, was based around the building used in 1860 to facilitate the transfer of goods from the Severn Junction Railway to the Coalbrook Company’s narrow gauge plateway system. Although the line enjoyed a long and productive service, the opening of the first section of the Severn Junction Railway from Ketley to Horsehay, its origins can be traced back to when blast furnaces at Horsehay made it a vital element of the industry from 1755. By the late 19th century the booming mining business, Coalbrookdale Company relied on the railway to transport raw materials until 1886 when The Horsehay Company was

established on the site. It was a pioneer in the fabrication of bridges which were assembled on-site before disassembly and transport to the furthermost corners of the British Empire. For the next 40 years, the yard at Horsehay was a scene of intense activity with 10 sidings and works access lines with a capacity of over 200 wagons. After the line ceased to operate in 1964 it took the vision of a dedicated group of enthusiasts to recreate and restore aspects of the historic Telford Steam Railway, (originally called Telford Horsehay Steam Trust) Many years of commitment and refurbishment later the line now boasts a steam hauled tourist train trip and one of the UK’s only remaining steam tram journeys in operation today. www.telfordsteamrailway.co.uk

Lakeside leisure on the Llanberis


or the ultimate relaxing rail experience, the Llanberis Lake Railway gives passengers the chance to discover the timeless appeal of narrow-gauge steam trains as well as the perfect way to savour the grandeur of Snowdonia. The little steam engines take in a five-mile return journey alongside Lake Padarn, past the 13th century Dolbadarn Castle, birthplace of the Welsh Prince Llywelyn the Great, across possibly Britain’s shortest river and alongside the twin lakes of Llanberis. Through the Padarn Country Park the train joins the historic 1845 slate railway route to run along the shores of Lake Padarn to Penllyn, and giving stunning views of Snowdon. There’s a short stop at Cei Llydan, a beautifully tranquil place that’s ideal for a lakeside picnic, and at Gilfach Ddu, where you can visit the National Slate Museum and you can also get the chance to watch the driver stoking the fire or the engine taking water. Make the most of the scenery with a stroll along one of the country park’s woodland paths or a walk by the lake. The five-mile return trip takes around 60 minutes, and all trains are hauled by one of the vintage steam engines rescued from the nearby Dinorwic slate quarries and lovingly restored. Don’t forget your camera! www.lake-railway.co.uk.

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David Wilcock


Explore several stations of particular historical interest along the route

Recreated with passion and precision


nother vital part of our local steam heritage is the delightful Llangollen Railway – the only standard gauge heritage railway in North Wales. Located in an idyllic spot beside the historic Dee Bridge, built in 1345, and in the centre of the lovely town of Llangollen town is where the line begins. From there it takes passengers on a relaxing 10 mile route through the stunning Dee Valley to the pretty town of Corwen, following the river Dee, an area classed as a Site of Special Scientific Interest for its entire length. In its day the Llangollen Railway went all the way from Ruabon to Barmouth, taking people to the seaside on holiday and transporting various goods including slate and chemicals.

Barbara Fuller

THE RAILWAY OF THE PEOPLE In 1965 the old main line closed to passenger traffic, ceasing to transport goods in 1968. Much of the infrastructure, including track, operating functions, signals and stations was demolished but the original station buildings at Llangollen, Berwyn and Carrog survived. The Llangollen Railway of today was

See the winding and wonderful River Dee

started in 1975 by a group of rail enthusiasts. Corwen, that have visited shops and cafes. They saw the appeal to tourists for a scenic Completing the station will not only benefit heritage line through the Dee Valley and Llangollen Railway but it will also benefit that vision has been realised with the popular the people of Corwen by bringing in visitors attraction you can see today. and linking the crossroads of North Wales They launched their refurbished line in to the rest of the Dee Valley.’ 1975 with just 60 feet of track Most tours are hauled by at Llangollen Station, but have the railway’s steam engines, but Reconstructions steadily expanded ever since. there are also diesel locomotives at Llangollen Berwyn was reached in 1985, that run some trips and Heritage have been done Deeside in 1990, Glyndyfrdwy in Railcar services on selected days with historical 1993 and Carrog in 1996. throughout the season. accuracy and Dedicated and committed Highlights include Berwyn the attention to teams set about recreating Station which stands out from detail is second the destroyed signal boxes at the others as it has a very to none Llangollen Goods Junction, different design and it’s one of Deeside Halt, Glyndyfrdwy and the most photographed stations Carrog and now they are fully operational – visitors can even stay in the former once again. Every reconstruction has been stationmaster’s house as a holiday let. done with historical accuracy and the Llangollen Railway offers a sample of the attention to detail is second to none. All sights and sounds of yesteryear and passes the stations along the track are of a typical through some of the finest natural beauty Victorian design and each uses the true North Wales has to offer as the train gently 1950s Great Western colour schemes. meanders through the Dee Valley. For Speaking about the gradual more information or to book tickets visit transformation of the line, commercial www.llangollen-railway.co.uk manager Liz McGuinness explains: ‘In 1975 the first open day was held at Llangollen ALL BOOKED UP station and over 1500 visitors attended. It The Great Little Trains of Wales Association is took from 1975 to 1996 to finally reach bringing out a brand new guidebook that will Carrog station. help any enthusiast find and enjoy the best of ‘Llangollen railway is now at an exciting the area’s steam and hobby railways. Big Train meets Little Train will provide stage in its development; we are launching everything you need to plan your very own the second phase of our share offer to help us Welsh railway adventure! See the online raise £325,000 to realise our dream of having version at www.bigtrainlittletrain.com and coming soon there will also be a section where a terminus station in Corwen. visitors can share their own itineraries, photos ‘The temporary station has so far and travellers’ tips. brought 6,000 additional passengers in to

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Our region is spoilt with the rich variety of wildlife we have all around us and the range of beautiful habitats that help it to thrive. With some rare and endangered species calling our natural spaces home, as well as a wealth of thriving creatures to appreciate, what better time to celebrate our local flora and fauna – and the people that work hard to protect it, than spring?

Creating a buzz about bees


ver recent years the plight of the the time to get involved and do your bit Valley Brewery to get people thinking about humble bumble bee and his fellow for the bees. protecting the bees that visit their gardens. pollinators has been brought to our Ellie Brodie, senior policy manager from The group will be out and about in their attention as loss of habitat and the use The Wildlife Trusts, says: ‘Anyone can take ‘Hive’ tent at events across the county this of pesticides has left the species in grave action to help wild bees whether you have summer, including Gardens in the Wild danger. a wall for vertical planting, window box, or and the Hellens Garden Festival, as well as In the countryside, 97 per cent of back garden. running a workshop on bumblebee ecology lowland meadow has already been lost and ‘It’s easy to plant a bee haven and it’s fun on 16th June. The Trust are also running the dramatic decrease in suitable habitats choosing between bee-friendly beauties such ‘pollinator audits’ on their 55 nature reserves isn’t just confined to rural areas. as borage, foxglove and honeysuckle.’ in Herefordshire this summer to ensure they The network of 15 million gardens that The Trust has produced a bee-friendly provide the perfect places for pollinators once formed ‘green corridors’ for wildlife are gardening guide which is available now to to flourish. disappearing at an alarming rate too and it download and there will be a range of events Other local branches of the Wildlife is not just bees that are suffering because of under the banner of Bee Creative in the Trust all have their own list of events and this change to our landscape. visits to help promote the plight of Over the past 50 years we’ve seen the bees, and to educate local people declines in two thirds of the UK’s on how they can help. plant and animal species and many The best starting point for of our common garden species – potential bee ambassadors, is to hedgehogs, house sparrows, starlings download the wild bee-friendly and common frogs, for example – gardening guide Get Your Garden are increasingly endangered. Buzzing For Bees at www. But we can all help change this wildaboutgardensweek.org. – our own gardens have enormous uk. Here you can find out about potential to act as mini-nature how to enter the Wildlife Trust’s reserves as they cover about 270,000 Bee Creative photo competition hectares which is more than the area which is open to gardeners, groups, of all the national nature reserves in schools and individuals. Entrants the UK. are encouraged to share how they’ve In cities and towns the number welcomed wild bees into their There are lots of ways to get involved and do your bit for bees of front gardens that have been paved gardens by posting a picture on social over has tripled in a decade and over five Garden running from now through until media using the hashtag #wildaboutgardens million now have no plants growing in November, when bees will be seeking out and the category being entered – of their them at all. autumnal nesting sites. bee-friendly area, whether that be a tailorIn order to try and tackle the problem Helen Bostock, senior horticultural made bee home, flower-packed border or The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) and advisor at the RHS said: ‘A healthy garden is a wall that bees have made their own. The The Wildlife Trusts have joined forces to buzzing with bees and other pollinators. By competition, and other bee-friendly events, urge gardeners to do more to help protect providing nesting sites and growing nectar will culminate with the celebration our 250 species of native British bees. and pollen rich flowers, gardeners can and of all things buzzing during Share The two charities will be arming do support a wide variety of bumblebee and Wild About Gardens Week your wildlife gardeners with the advice, insights and solitary bees.’ which will run from 23thphotos by inspiration they need to create habitats that In Herefordshire, the Herefordshire 29th October. Visit www. sending them support wild bees as they emerge from their Wildlife Trust has launched their pollinators wildaboutgardensweek. into editorial@ nests in spring to forage for food so now is campaign with sponsorship from Wye org.uk for more info. shiremagazine. co.uk

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Special celebrations at South Stack Spot seals, marine birds and flourishing wildlife in this beautiful region


he RSPB base at South Stack on the isle of Anglesey has been synonymous with wonderful wildlife for decades and is celebrating its 40th birthday this year. With a range of special events planned, the reserve, which is home to some stunning displays of birdlife as well as rare breeds and visiting species, has enhanced its facilities to encourage even more of the local community to get involved and embrace the natural beauty of the site. Councillor Ann Kennedy, Mayor of Holyhead, explains: ‘This is a very special year for RSPB South Stack as it celebrates 40 years of actively working for Take in the breathtaking scenery conservation

Dolphin-spotting boat trips In New Quay on the beautiful mid Wales coast, there is an opportunity to see dolphins at close range with the Dolphin-spotting boat trip. Operating from New Quay for over 60 years, it provides safe, enjoyable and informative trips for all ages. Large, stable passenger boats Ermol 5 and Ermol 6 will take you along six miles of coast, part of a special area of conservation. Dolphins come right up to their boats even with new born calves. Socialising and hunting, some can even be seen breaching up to five meters into the air! As the recommended boat operator for the last seven years, official monitoring is also undertaken by the Sea Watch Foundation on the boats. Harbour porpoise can be spotted too, and Atlantic grey seals can be seen bobbing their heads out of the water and on rocks. There are also approximately 5,000 breeding pairs of birds at the colony. Fulmars, kittiwakes, cormorants, shags, oystercatchers and gulls are also abundant. Tickets can be bought on the main pier or call 01545 560800. Visit www. newquayboattrips.co.uk to find out more.

within our communities to ensure a future for the nature that brings so much pleasure to us. The history, breath-taking landscape and wonderful wildlife and marine life make this reserve one of Anglesey’s treasures and it’s literally right on our doorstep.’ Visitors can explore the new play area which boasts one of the best views in Wales, visit the nature garden, check in with the residents staying at the mini beast hotel or hire Wildlife Explorer backpacks and head out on an adventure. ‘We have three new trails for visitors to choose from: Chough trail – a 6km (2 hour) route around Holyhead Mountain; Dragonfly trail – 1.5km (1 hour) family-friendly trail; and the 1km (45 minutes) Puffin trail,’ adds site manager, Laura Kudelska. For more information call 01407 762100 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/southstack

Do your bit for the birds

Calling all bird and wildlife fans to help RSPB Conwy


his spring the brilliant birdlife of North Wales has been given a £33,600 boost thanks to the generous support of the Heritage Lottery Fund. Now RSPB Conwy is looking to expand its team of wildlife volunteers with 20 new recruits who will provide live wildlife interpretation and naturebased storytelling to visitors. Julian Hughes, RSPB Conwy site manager, explains: ‘I’m very excited to see what opportunities this initiative will bring and to work with some new volunteers that will help us make this vision a reality. So if you’re passionate about wildlife and would like to be a part of our fantastic team, then we would love to hear from you.’ Contact eleri.wynne@rspb.org.uk or call 02920 353007 for more information.

Situated just off the A55, on the banks of the Conwy estuary, with magnificent views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle, RSPB Conwy is delightful at any time of year. The reserve, open daily from 9.30am-5pm with free entry for RSPB members, it’s home to a vast array of wildlife, including some important species of wading birds. Explore the wetland, discover frogs, dragonflies and butterflies in summer, or marvel at thousands of waterbirds on the estuary in winter. With quizzes, trails with viewpoints and hides to make the most of your trip. Call 01492 584091 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/conwy

Breathtaking scenery and an abundance of wildlife makes RSPB Lake Vyrnwy a magical and unforgettable day out for the whole family. Open from 10.30am to 5pm between April and October and 10.30am to 4pm between November and March, visitors can watch spring’s new arrivals being born on a trip to the organic farm or look out for peregrines swooping and diving, hunting for prey over the lakeside hide. Children can explore the animal puzzle trail and mini-beast area or visit the natural play area with its log beams to walk on, tree stumps to jump from, bird’s nests to play in, branches and leaves for den-building, a mud kitchen to cook tasty treats, and much more. Free admission. Call 01691 870278 or visit rspb.org.uk/lakevyrnwy Visit RSPB Ynys-hir for woodlands, wetlands and wonderful wildlife in the heart of the stunning Dyfi Estuary – a serene wetland paradise just waiting to be explored. Lapwings, otters, pied flycatchers, redstart, red kites and ospreys all await you or you can pick up an explorer kit and have a go at pond dipping. Children will have so much fun discovering all kinds of interesting creatures, visiting the hides and enjoying a picnic. Open daily from dawn till dusk. Free entry for RSPB members Call 01654 700222 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/ynys-hir

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WILDLIFE TRUSTS What do they do?

There are 47 individual Wildlife Trusts covering the whole of the UK, all working for an environment rich in wildlife for everyone. With more than 800,000 members, including 150,000 members of the junior branch Wildlife Watch, the charity cares for around 300 nature reserves and every year advises thousands of landowners and organisations on how to manage their land for wildlife. They also run marine conservation projects around the UK, collecting vital data on the state of our seas and celebrating our amazing marine wildlife. Each Wildlife Trust works within local communities and welcomes millions of visitors to their reserves to inform and inspire them about the future of their area. www.wildlifetrusts.org

Fabulous Forest School for Cheshire kids


heshire Wildlife Trust has just been awarded £9,900 from the Heritage Lottery Fund to create a new Forest School at its Education is key to sustainability Quinta Nature Reserve at Swettenham, Cheshire. The Forest School will attract visits from local schools encouraging children to get outdoors to learn more about wildlife and connect with nature. The project will improve the accessibility and learning resources at the reserve enabling a wide range of nature study activities to take place from exploring the reserve’s ancient woodland through to sweep netting in the wildflower rich meadows to discover mini-beasts. ‘Our initial focus is on enabling the site to be used by visiting school groups to encourage them to learn about their natural heritage through fun activities. Children learn by doing, and the activities that we will be able to run will enable them to get close to nature. My hope is that

the children will then encourage their families to visit the site to show them what they have learnt,’ explains Nick Rowles from Cheshire Wildlife Trust. The funding will open some of the inaccessible sloping parts of the reserve through pathways and steps, and enable better facilities for children and families including an all-weather outdoor classroom and a stream dipping platform. The funding will also be used to help Cheshire Wildlife Trust provide nature-related activities for up to 600 children from local schools. The Quinta Nature Reserve has a range of habitats, including a plantation woodland, ancient woodland, two meadows and a stream. Cheshire Wildlife Trust have managed the plantation to encourage woodland regeneration and improve species diversity especially butterflies and wildflowers. ‘Schools across Cheshire have been invited to take part in the Forest School and wildlife discovery days at Quinta Nature Reserve and we know what a difference these sessions make to the children – not only in developing their learning but also in their Tell us social skills and confidence,’ all about your wildlife adds Nick. Visit www. initiatives – email cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk

Super furry animals

Keep a look-out for the rare pine marten


ew people realise that Shropshire is home to the only known wild colony of pine martens in England, and these cute but coy mammals have become something of a pet project for Stuart Edmunds of the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. His passion for the protection of the species has meant the family group has thrived and is one of the attractions that brings wildlife lovers to the area again and again. Here he explains how his fascination began: ‘During the summer of 1986, I went on a family holiday to Aviemore in the Highlands of Scotland. On that trip, I was fortunate enough to see a wild mammal completely unknown to me. It was large, with a bushy tail, and it hopped effortlessly, leaping onto the side of a large Scots Pine and dashing vertically to the canopy above. I immediately referred to my junior collection of nature books and identified the mammal in question as Martes martes or pine marten. ‘Since that sighting almost 30 years ago, pine martens have done surprisingly

well in Scotland, spreading out from their stronghold in the Great Glen as far east at Aberdeen and south of Glasgow. It is now estimated that pine marten numbers are above 4,000 in Scotland. The story isn’t so positive for England and Wales. These large members of the mustelid family, viewed as a pest by gamekeepers and valued for their thick fur, were hunted to the verge of extinction in Wales and have been presumed extinct in England since the 1950s. ‘In 2009 I became involved with the recently-formed Shropshire Mammal Group and contacted Vincent Wildlife Trust, which had been running a pine marten surveillance project for over 10 years, and they informed me that they had also been keeping a record of the sightings recorded in Shropshire. I co-ordinated the first pine marten survey in Shropshire to delve further into the sightings that had previously been rejected. ‘Survey after survey took place as I visited several sighting locations across Shropshire with a group of committed volunteers in search of road kill martens, footprints in mud and most importantly: pine marten scat. Then on 6th July, 2015, I heard that a photographer Chris Pearce, had seen a pine marten in Shropshire. Within hours, I was on my way to the location, deploying camera traps, hardly expecting the animal to still be around. But what I discovered not one, but two pine martens: one adult female and one juvenile. This was the first evidence that there is a small population of pine martens

editorial@ shiremagazine. co.uk

Careful woodland management is needed

inhabiting the woodland of south Shropshire. The martens, presumed extinct in England could’ve been living under our noses all along, perhaps even a type that was thought to have died out over 100 years ago. We need to monitor the pine martens in Shropshire and raise awareness of the need to protect the habitat that pine martens depend on and work with woodland managers to benefit these incredible creatures.’ SHROPSHIRE WILDLIFE PINE MARTEN FACTS • Once widespread across the UK, they suffered a massive decline in the 19th century due to woodland clearances and persecution • They are much larger than their smaller cousins: stoats, weasels and polecats • Bilberries make up to a third of their summer diet but they also eat small mammals and birds •The average life expectancy of a marten in the wild is 3-4 years, it can be up to 18 years in captivity

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family fun… RSPB Conwy

rspb.org.uk/conwy 01492 584091 LL31 9XZ

Duration 1 Hour 2 Hour

Adult £ 10.00 £ 16.00

RSPB Lake Vyrnwy

rspb.org.uk/lakevyrnwy 01691 870278 SY10 0LZ

And get

closer to nature on our reserves this spring

RSPB South Stack

RSPB Ynys-hir

rspb.org.uk/southstack 01407 762100 LL65 1YH

rspb.org.uk/ynys-hir 01654 700222 SY20 8TA

Image: David Tipling (rspb-images.com). The RSPB is a registered charity in England & Wales 207076, in Scotland SC037654. 830-2289-16-17

Enjoy some

Child £ 5.00 £ 8.00

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

All photographs taken by our skippers during recent trips

Check us out on YouTube: www.youtube.com/channel/UCIECu-AuA2teYZM88CFAz2g

Tel 01545 560 800 / 375 Email info@newquayboattrips.co.uk Contact Jonathan Evans

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28/04/2017 14:44

Holiday Home Ownership i n North Wales

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

01286 830205


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

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

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

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Creating the perfect wetlands for wildlife at Lugg Valley

Volunteers can help make Bodenham Lake a wetland wonder


cross Herefordshire, dedicated staff and volunteers from the local Wildlife Trust have a range of projects and missions on the go – all with the aim to enhance and protect the wildlife native to the area. Lugg Valley, is the ongoing project at Bodenham Lake and it has seen what was once a series of gravel pits, become a lake, surrounding damp meadows and an orchard nature reserve. Lugg Wetland Gem, is the latest project that’s been put

in motion and it’s set to create a true wildlife haven at this idyllic site. Restoration work includes re-profiling areas of the lake’s steep sides, creating shallower banks and encouraging reed beds

Hole-up in a hide and birdwatch

had plenty sign up to help to establish. This habitat is with the project. We hope essential for iconic wetland to build volunteer teams to species including bearded tits, monitor numbers of mammals bitterns and reed warblers but it is becoming increasingly scarce (including otters), crayfish and other key species at the lake across the UK. at the start of the project and Floating islands and an in the following years to see osprey platform will be erected how the work has helped their in the hope that ospreys will populations. We’ll also need stop here during their migration hands-on help to plant the and maybe even breed at the reeds and other site. The work is being practical tasks. funded by grants from ‘Bodenham Lake ‘Bodenham the Heritage is especially Lake is especially Lottery and important as important as there European Regional there are few are few large bodies Development Fund. large bodies of of open water in The Lugg living open water in Herefordshire so we landscape officer at Herefordshire’ need to make the the Trust, Sophie habitat as perfect as Cowling, will be we can to encourage leading the project ospreys, bittern and bearded tits and is keen to get lots of to breed here,’ she adds. people involved from the local With a second bird hide, community. ‘Herefordshire villages have donated by the Herefordshire Ornithological Club, due to a strong sense of community be installed this summer, and Bodenham is no exception,’ a new pond-dipping pool and she explains. ‘People here are platform there’s plenty to see passionate about this landscape, and do at Bodenham Lake. and the nature reserve in www. herefordshirewt co.uk particular, and we’ve already

Giving a helping hand to Herefordshire’s nature reserves


erefordshire is often described as England’s most rural county, with a rich mosaic landscape of small fields, ancient hedgerows and wooded hills. From the Black Mountains in the west to the Malvern Hills in the east and the majestic sweep of the Wye Valley, the county embodies the finer characteristics of a rapidly vanishing traditional landscape. Spread across this beautiful county are 55 nature reserves under the care of Herefordshire Wildlife Trust, including some of the most unspoilt woodlands, meadows, orchards and wetlands in Herefordshire, which greatly contribute to the richness of our landscape. Some are very small, comprising only a couple of fields, whilst others are as large as the footprint of Kington – but they all need your help. Nature reserves are vital for wildlife and the habitats within them have to be carefully managed. This year, Herefordshire Wildlife Trust has launched an appeal to raise £40,000 for improvement works needed across their reserves over the next few years. Herefordshire Wildlife Trust estates manager, James Hitchcock explains: ‘These reserves represent some of the best examples in the county of ancient woodland, wildflower meadows and wetlands. As a charity we are reliant on people’s generosity and support to continue our work – we can’t do it without the support of people in the local area who visit our sites. A donation £35 could pay for five metres of hedge laying or £150 for 20 square metres of coppicing. We want people to care for our landscapes and take action for wildlife across the county and a visit to a beautiful nature reserve can inspire that.’ To donate to the appeal, or to discover more about Herefordshire Wildlife Trust’s nature reserves visit www.herefordshirewt.org

Go otter spotting

Enjoy the flora and fauna

See grass species in the wetland

Spot rare species of wetland birds

May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 75

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28/04/2017 13:22


Let Leominster

P. Parker

cast its spell on you

From stately homes to cobbled streets and medieval houses, Leominster has it all


ccupying a prime spot and nestled in the beautiful border countryside between England and Wales, Leominster is one of Herefordshire’s prettiest and most historic ancient towns. Pronounced ‘Lemster’ the market town is said to date back to the 7th Century and may have been named after a group of clergymen, or a minster, found in the district of Lene or Leon. However, an alternative theory suggests that it was named after Earl Leofric – the husband of famous naked horsewoman, Lady Godiva!

Whichever theory is most accurate, there is no doubting the historical links to the town, which still boasts a proud architectural legacy to this day. There are examples of pre-Norman structures to be found and the Priory Church, formerly a monastery founded in 663 AD, was once an important religious base within the UK. As well as the priory there is evidence of Saxon sites

of worship in Leominster and a well-documented history of the town’s battles including the dissolution as well as invasions from Welsh forces. The town’s rich history is still evident today and many of its most striking buildings have been lovingly preserved. Many shops and homes along Drapers Lane and School Lane demonstrate their classic medieval build with timbered overhangs visible, while Georgian splendour can also be

and prosperity to establish found along Broad Street. the town and its community. Once famous for its textile Today’s population industry, Leominster was of approximately home to one of the first 11,000 people enjoy four cotton mills in the Leominster a pedestrianised town world and the historical was home centre, perfect for the home of Ryeland sheep, to one of the first four bustling weekly market a breed once famous cotton mills held at Corn Square, for its wool, known as whereas the original ‘Lemster ore’. in the world market would have Considered the taken place at The most valuable of Buttercross on the corner of all wools traded in Europe High Street. during the Middle Ages, this commerce provided the wealth

History buffs will love the medieval architecture

About town

This area housed Grange Court, built in 1633, which operated as the town hall before it was moved to its current site in 1856. Now, The Buttercross serves as a community centre and local heritage hub while the Friday market complements the range of small independent shops alongside high street names and a fine selection of cafes, bars and specialist outlets. Leominster lies 12 miles north of the city of Hereford and seven miles south of the Shropshire border and is the largest of the five towns (Leominster, Ross-on-Wye, Ledbury, Bromyard and Kington) in the county. On the outskirts there is a wealth of things to do and see. There is an attractive woodland nature reserve at Queenswood Country Park with excellent walks and

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And here’s what the good people of Leominster have to say… Chloe ‘We come here shopping, and love the antiques shops. We live 10 minutes up the road, and it’s a great little market town, we love the place’..’

See the beautiful Priory Church in the centre of town

many footpaths to explore while further north the area is home to not one, but two, National Trust sites – Berrington Hall and Croft Castle. The gardens in particular are worth a visit at Berrington, designed by the famous Capability Brown, and if you prefer interiors, Croft Castle is home to an impressive

collection of paintings and antique furniture. Wine lovers should visit Bodenham, where Broadfield Vineyards grow a selection of English wines, and cheeselovers should make a detour to Monkland Cheese Dairy where they can see Little Hereford Cheese being made traditionally or even enjoy one of the cheese experience days. History buffs will love Leominster – the more morbid of them will enjoy the ducking stool on display in The Priory. With information on the last incumbent Jenny Pipes plus a depiction of its use on the town DID YOU clock, there’s KNOW? no doubt that There’s another Leominster Leominster in had links to Massachusettes, witchcraft – USA! but today the town is just as likely to enchant visitors.

CONTACTS Monkland Cheese Dairy, The Pleck, Monkland, Leominster, HR6 9DB. Tel: 01568 720307 www.monklandcheesedairy.co.uk Broadfield Court Vineyard Estate, Bowley Lane, Bodenham, HR1 3LG Tel: 01568 797483 www.broadfieldcourt.co.uk Berrington Hall, near Leominster, HR6 0DW. Tel: 01568 615721 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/berrington-hall Croft Castle, Yarpole, near Leominster HR6 9PW Tel: 01568 782120 www.nationaltrust.org.uk/croft-castle-and-parkland Queenswood Country Park and Arboretum, Dinmore Hill, Leominster, HR6 0PY Tel: 01432 530088 www.woodlandtrust.org.uk

Ian ‘I was born here, was a resident for 30 years, and now I’ve moved back. I love everything about the place – the buildings and Corn Square.’ Sue ‘It has a good community feel. Most people help each other out. Great for evenings out, nice pubs and we love the Leominster Festival in July. This town has nice places to eat too.’’ Katie ‘I like Grange Court, the gallery and the coffee shop and what they’ve done to the place, and the gardens look nice.’

Dave ‘This place has very unpretentious people who are really friendly, it truly is what you see is what you get. Leominster has a really good market on Fridays.’

Pat ‘This park is the jewel in our crown in Leominster. I only live just off the grange, I’ve got a perfectly good garden, but I like to come here every day.’

Bran ‘The best thing about Leominster is the acceptance of the people. I’ve been here 30 years now, and originally was an outsider, and I’ve found people very welcoming, so much so that I set up an antiques shop in town.’

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A sanctuary nestled between the snow and the sand I

f you’re looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, look no further than the idyllic haven found at West Point Beach Resort. This small, select park offers holiday home owners the perfect sanctuary – ideal for those seeking peace and quiet among some of the most spectacular views in Snowdonia. West Point is a luxury sea front caravan and lodge park located in the ideal destination set on its own stretch of beach and with

a stunning mountain backdrop. The park offers a selection of holiday homes for sale, as well as touring pitches, and top-ofthe-range waterfront lodges – all boasting the very best in quality, style and taste. Residents at this exclusive resort enjoy an excellent service perfected over a combined the doorstep as is a variety of experience of more than 55 years. fishing spots. Abersoch and the The friendly staff, panoramic picturesque village of Portmeirion views and premium pitches are a short distance away while make West Point Beach Resort Caernarfon, the original capital of the perfect home-away-fromWales, with its stunning home retreat in a truly Friendly staff, mediaeval fortress and enviable location. Holiday panoramic views castle, is the closest town. home owners have the and premium It’s the perfect place to opportunity to explore pitches make spend a day wandering some of Wales’s most West Point a the cobbled streets and stunning locations – the home-frombrowsing the boutiques Llyn Peninsula, the isle of home retreat and gift shops. For more Anglesey and Snowdonia info and to book your own National Park are all just a slice of paradise, call 01286 830205 20-30 minute drive away. Mountain or visit www.westpointresort.co.uk. walks and coastal paths are on

Where mountains meet the sea


oliday home hunters would be advised to pay a visit to the beautifully located Dinlle Caravan Park and Campsite situated on the west coast of North Wales near Caernarfon and just a stone’s throw away from an expanse of golden sandy beach where the water is clean, clear and blue. This award winning caravan park enjoys spectacular views of the beautiful Snowdonia mountain range and is simply the perfect holiday location. The residents’ facilities are excellent and feature an outdoor heated pool and sun deck

with seating, loungers and parasols. There are adequate facilities provided for tourers and campers including food preparation areas, dish washing, electrical hook-ups, laundrette and shower areas. The entertainment facilities offer something for everyone. Visitors can relax in Ransons’ conservatory bar or enjoy the large and busy Castaway family bar. The combination of facilities, quality and location means it is no surprise visitors come back as often as possible to make the most of their own holiday haven.

Don’t forget to enter our photography competition on page 90!

Glowing reviews from holidays makers include comments like: ‘A fabulous park with excellent facilities for all the family,’ and ‘A lovely site offering the peace and quiet we like. The staff could not be more helpful or friendly!’ It’s clear that visitors to Dinlle give it a resounding thumbs up. So if you like long sandy beaches stretching in both directions, opportunities to walk this beautiful region and top quality holiday homes to relax in at the end of a busy and fulfilling day, then call 0800 9173170 or visit www.thornleyleisure. co.uk for full details and pricing options. Happy holidays!

78 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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28/04/2017 13:38


Cheshire Cat Narrowboats

Derek Quilliam



fter a busy winter of painting and maintenance work, the team at Cheshire Cat Narrowboat Holidays are looking forward to the new season. The latest addition to their fleet, a 6 berth boat called Maple Leaf, has recently been launched with a splash of Champagne in the historic Ellesmere Dry Dock. Bookings for Holly Day, the day hire boat, are coming thick and fast: “We have exactly twice as many bookings for her as we had at the same point last year,” says Linda Andrews, co-owner of the narrowboat fleet. “We are advising booking well in advance, especially for weekends and the school holidays.” The fleet operates out of Overwater Marina near Nantwich, a stunning location to start your holiday or day out. The marina has won numerous awards, including Marina of the Year three years running, and this year the prestigious Marina of Distinction accolade. Call 07867 790195 or visit www.cheshirecatnarrowboats.co.uk

No visit to the Gwynedd coast would be complete without a trip to Caernarfon and holidaymakers in the area will be delighted to find themselves within easy reach to explore this ancient town. Situated on the eastern shore of the Menai Strait opposite the isle of Anglesey, it is a royal port town made famous for its stunning fortifications. The mighty Caernarfon Castle is possibly the most famous in Wales and its sheer scale and commanding presence easily set it apart from the rest. Its construction began in

1283, under Edward I, as the definitive chapter in his conquest of Wales, and was constructed as a military stronghold and as a seat of government and royal palace. The castle gained worldwide fame in 1969 as the setting for the Investiture of Prince Charles as Prince of Wales and it has been awarded World Heritage Site status. Day trippers can also visit the Museum of Air and Flying, go on a Slateworks tour, or just browse and enjoy the myriad of shops, pubs and cafés scattered around the walls and old cobbled streets.


If you’re holidaying on the North Wales coast and seeking a typical seaside town to visit during your stay, make sure to save some time to spend at Colwyn Bay. Established back in 1844 with just a small grouping of homes and farms where the community of Old Colwyn stands today, Colwyn Bay has since expanded to become a thriving and enduringly-popular coastal town. Beautifully kept, the town has received eight gold awards in the Wales in Bloom competition and the idyllic beachside setting make it the perfect picture postcard setting. It also boasts a historic

and ornate Victorian pier and the stunning Eirias Park is a must-see. The long promenade follows the vast sweep of golden sand from Old Colwyn to Penrhyn Bay and gives easy access to the wonderful beaches, pier and harbour at Rhos-on-Sea. If you enjoy sight-seeing by bicycle, there is a cycle track which links all the town’s main attractions. On the beach there are also separate slipways provided along the promenade for fishing, sailing, and jet skiing. If you fancy heading inland, there’s an impressive zoo to visit for a day in the mountains nearby.

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MAENAN ABBEY We sent two lucky reviewers for dinner, bed and breakfast at Maenan Abbey Hotel in Llanwrst, North Wales


fter checking in to our room, complete with four-poster bed and Versace wallpaper, we go downstairs to sample an icecold glass of very good and reasonably priced Vognier. Our table is ready in 10 minutes, we’re taken through to the dining room, where we enjoy our starters. The ravioli came with a lemony dressing, and the filling was nicely rich with seafood flavours. Cooked al dente, with a soft shrimp filling which contrasted nicely with the firm, almost leathery texture of the fresh pasta. The good quality food and sensible prices are The avocado side serving was also a nice one reason why we’re so busy. We find guests compliment to the ravioli pieces, which return to stay with us time and time again.’ were quite large, each piece big enough to And so to our main courses. The lamb accommodate ample filling. was a spectacular dish. Done medium rare The scallops came served in a silver (with just a touch of pink running through pot, a half dozen scallops on a bed of leeks, the middle when cut), this rack of lamb was surrounded by a thick lemony sweet dressing served on the most sinful bed of – it reminded us of lemon curd or creamy cabbage, with sweet roasted On a bed a lemon posset, which was carrots, and two servings of fine of buttery, a very novel flavour to run the beans wrapped in crispy pancetta scallops through, (served with creamy mash bacon. The plated jug of gravy was their beards on as we preferred). comes served some of the tastiest we have tried in The leeks were tart and very a thick, meaty, oniony, a contrast to the lemon juicy, beautiful a long while. On top of all this, the berry and mint side dressing with dressing. The scallops were only piece of white cider vinegar and chopped onion was just cooked, keeping their soft, monkfish tail a sharp counterpoint to the meat juicy texture. and roast vegetables. We thought the During dinner, chatting to added decoration were figs – they actually David, manager of the Maenan Abbey turned out to be baby aubergines, lightly Hotel, he says: ‘The meals here are very good cooked, and another tasty touch. value – Nigel does a great job of putting it All eyes, however, were turned to all together and we keep the prices realistic, the monkfish. This is comfort food par which I think our customers appreciate. excellance. On a bed of buttery, creamy mash comes served a thick, meaty, juicy, beautiful piece of white monkfish tail. There really is nothing else you need. To finish, we enjoyed some excellent champagne ice cream (very sweet and you can taste the bubbles), with coffee and sampled some excellent specialty gins (Monkey 47, from Germany) in the drawing room with David, the manager. ‘Nigel the chef and I decided to take over the lease and manage the hotel ourselves in 2014, and we haven’t looked back since. We’ve never

been busier, we’re doing more weddings – as a licensed premises guests can have their ceremony in the main dining room and we can seat 100 guests with the same number for as sit-down meal,’ he explains. After a peaceful night’s sleep, breakfast was a very welcome full Welsh with all the trimmings. The fried bread, bacon, black pudding and sausage did our waistlines no good at all but by that point, we were past caring and just happy to enjoy this great food in a wonderful Welsh setting of Llanwrst, charging our batteries for the day’s walking ahead… THE BILL – £25 per diner Starters Roast scallops with steamed leeks and a lemon emulsion Scampi ravioli with an avocado pulp Entrées Monkfish tail with gingered king prawns and lemon potatoes Cannon of lamb loin with a redcurrant and mint tartar Dessert Champagne ice cream for two, freshly brewed coffee and mints

Maenan Abbey Hotel Llanrwst LL26 0UL 01492 660247 www.maenanabbey.co.uk Three nights dinner, bed and breakfast from £185 per person (£195 if including Saturday) Two nights dinner, bed and breakfast from £130 per person (£145 if including Saturday)

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28/04/2017 14:00



Chris Eastwood Media

There’s more than meets the eye at Oneplanet Adventure

Remember it’s not just for mountain bikers; Oneplanet Adventure is open to all


f you go down to the woods today, be sure of a big surprise. Walkers, runners, cake enthusiasts, families, even birdwatchers will find something to ignite their passion for the great outdoors at Oneplanet Adventure. For bird lovers, walks lead by the RSPB to spot black grouse and nightjars are a must-do. The award-winning cafe makes the best cakes and bacon butties – perfect for fueling-up before you set off on an adventure. Explore the 650 hectares

those seeking a more of forest with signposted adrenaline filled visit, the trails on foot, or by MTB trails are perfect. The bike; the trails all vary in Red Route is loads distance and of fun even when grade so they You can be are suitable it’s wet as it offers strolling through more grip and for everyone, the woods, doesn’t have such especially feeding geese on an up-hill gradient. children the reservoir, or If you are one for dragging their whizzing down chasing Strava parents out the bike trails to get muddy. times, you’re in The walking trails are ideal for those who want to take in the spectacular scenery or experience a relaxing visit to the hills of North Wales. For

Harriet Foden says:

good company, as there are lots of others to provide you with tonnes of (virtual) competition. Oneplanet Adventure is located just off the

‘I work in the Bike Shop at Oneplanet Adventure, and I’ve been biking for years but only really became more serious about it recently. A riding trip to the alps certainly helped and now I can’t get enough. Extreme sports in general make me really happy. Working in this fantastic environment checks so many boxes: walking, climbing and especially biking, it really is an awesome place!’

DID YOU KNOW? The first example of a mountain bike was way back in 1896!

A525 from Wrexham towards Ruthin making it easily accessible from Manchester and Liverpool. In just over an hour you can be strolling through the woods, feeding the geese on the reservoir, or whizzing down the bike trails with the wind in your face. It’s the perfect escape from busy city life. So get out into the open space, and start your own adventure! For more information, visit www.oneplanet adventure.com

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY: 30th April Black Grouse Walk with the RSPB 7th May Welsh XC Round 2 7th May Black Grouse Walk with the RSPB 17th May Demo Evening with Orange mountain bikes

May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 81

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28/04/2017 12:42

Asparagus with a duck egg dressing Whip up a simple supper or light lunch with Bryn Williams elegant dish using spring produce


there’s plenty on sale now from ight now we’re seeing local producers, at farmers’ a bounty of wonderful markets, independent green vegetables, which taste best grocers and farm shops. when picked and cooked, fresh Cooking asparagus is very from the garden. Supermarkets easy, you really don’t need any mean that cooks have constant special pans. Make sure you’ve access to so many ingredients, pared away the hard, fibrous right across the year. But the base of the stalk before cooking. taste and texture of seasonal, If you just want the tips, keep freshly harvested vegetables and the stems to use later in stir fries fruits can’t be beaten. and quiches or to add flavour to Asparagus really marks the a chicken or fish dish. start of spring for me, as it Drop the spears into fast works with so many other foods; boiling, lightly salted water for alongside pan-fried fresh salmon just a few minutes: they will go or chargrilled on a griddle pan bright green when they’ve ready. with a Welsh lamb steak, boiled If you don’t want to use them and chilled in a salad with straight away, then plunge them crumbly Caerphilly cheese, or into some ice-cold water. Keep simply steamed and dipped into the cooking water if you can, as a soft-boiled free range egg. it makes a great quick stock for The classic pairing is with soup or sauce. Alternatively, put hollandaise, a French sauce the spears in a steaming basket made of melted butter, fresh egg with a little water underneath. yolks, lemon juice and a little Cover and cook for three mustard or a pinch of cayenne. minutes. The following recipe is Alternatively, try wrapping simple to make yet looks elegant skinned plaice, flounder or sole on the plate. If you can’t get fillets around a small bundle of duck eggs, replace with quail’s spears, then steam and serve or fresh, free-range hen eggs with béarnaise sauce – and reduce the cooking a concoction of egg time. Make the dressing yolks, butter, vinegar TOP TIP! first: it looks a lot, but and tarragon. Swap duck can be kept in a sealed If you don’t eggs for quail’s container in the fridge have room in your or fresh, freefor up to one month. garden – or the range hen It’s wonderful to quickly patience – to grow eggs dress a fresh salad. your own asparagus,

Recipe (serves 4) 20 asparagus stems, peeled and hard base removed 3 duck eggs 100ml Odette’s dressing (see below) Salt and pepper 2 tbs parsley, finely chopped Odette’s dressing (makes 1200ml) 1 litre vegetable oil 20g salt 1 tablespoon white peppercorns lightly crushed 1 shallot peeled and finely chopped 200ml white wine vinegar 50g Dijon mustard 50g English mustard Method If you can, make the dressing the day before, so the flavours can infuse. Mix all the ingredients together and keep in the fridge for 24 hours. Pass through a large hand sieve to make it smooth and then pass through a finer sieve. Cook the duck’s eggs for 4 minutes in boiling water – hen’s or quail’s eggs will require less time, as the yolk needs to be just set. Remove, then peel off the egg shells whilst still warm. Chop coarsely, making sure that you keep all the yolk. Cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 3-4 mins until soft. Remove, drain and keep warm. Measure out 100ml of the pre-mixed dressing, add the chopped eggs, mix well then add salt and pepper to taste. Add the finely chopped parsley. Share the asparagus between four plates, pour over the dressing and serve immediately whilst everything is still hot.

Fresh new look for Lewis’s Farm Shop Lewis’s Farm Shop has long since acquired a reputation for offering locally sourced and freshly prepared quality produce. The award-winning farm shop, which is idyllically situated in Eyton in Wrexham, has always enjoyed a regular customer base and steady trade. Now owners Mark and Jayne Lewis want to widen the appeal of their business by investing in a vibrant, new, branding.They invested in a new logo, and website to help increase the shop’s online presence and offers are regularly promoted via social media. ‘Our farm shop operates in a very traditional way and is stocked with a huge range of exciting produce. We are incredibly passionate about good food and committed to offering an affordable and friendly service. We want our new branding to help us stand out and attract local food

lovers who may not have visited us before,’ explains Mark. The in-house butchery sources meat locally and customers can watch it being prepared. The kitchen team can also be seen baking cakes, pies, quiches and pastries six days a week. The deli sells a tasty selection of homemade produce and delicious local cheeses. Go to www. lewisfarmshop. com for more

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28/04/2017 13:27


A white wine to welcome in the spring by James Gillespie




hef Bryn Williams has cooked for Royalty, the cream of British showbiz and a host of culinary critics, who have all been wowed by his immaculate, modern European style of cooking using the very best of Welsh produce. Now widely regarded as one of the UK’s best chefs, Bryn is head chef and owner of Odette’s Restaurant in Primrose Hill, London. His latest venture is Porth Eirias on Colwyn Bay’s waterfront. The kitchen is just metres away from the Welsh produce that he meticulously sources for Odette’s. Growing up as part of a large farming family, Bryn’s love for cooking began as a teenager when he worked at a local bakery in Denbigh, and he went on to train at Coleg Llandrillo in Rhos on Sea. He’s since worked in some of the capital’s most prestigious kitchens with stellar chefs including Marco Pierre White at The Criterion and Michel Roux Jnr at Le Gavroche, plus Michelin starred restaurants in London and Nice.

While still a sous chef, Bryn was chosen to compete for Wales in the first series of BBC1’s Great British Menu, where he triumphed with his fish course; pan-fried turbot with oxtail and cockles, which he cooked for the Queen’s Birthday Banquet. His series on S4C Cegin Bryn (Bryn’s Kitchen) is inspired by his recipe books, reflecting the Welsh influences on his cooking and commitment to local produce. He was also a judge on S4’s popular reality culinary shows with Dudley Newbery. The 39-year-old has cooked alongside Myleene Klass on GMTV and is a regular on BBC’s Saturday Kitchen, UKTV’s Market Kitchen and ITV’s This Morning, as well as at major food festivals, and has created recipes for Morrison’s M Kitchen range, Virgin Trains and worked with Fortnum and Mason to create Cymruinfluenced dishes exclusively for the world-renowned store’s food hall. He was also made a member of Gorsedd of Bards at the National Eisteddfod.

he word ‘seasonality’ applies to wine drinking just as much as to the different types of food that we eat at any given time of the year. As warmer weather approaches, big, rich, red wines tend to stay in the rack waiting for next autumn and winter’s log fires and hearty stews, while out come the kinds of wines that will need chilling in order to provide refreshment, the quenching of thirst and appropriate accompaniment for salads. While some light reds and rosés will do this job – we are nevertheless talking essentially about white wines. Springtime and summer are their true moment to shine. Fermented away from skins, many white wines are all about liveliness, zingy-ness and refreshing acidity and as a new summer appears on the horizon I always think it is a good time to bring to the party some of the flavours of white grape varieties that we may not have previously experienced. Classic white grape varieties, such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Riesling, need no introduction but I want to flag up a variety with which you may be less acquainted. Last week, with a touch of blue sky above me, I re-tasted some lovely white wines from the Vermentino grape from Sardinia and Corsica – where it is queen among white grapes for sipping in seaside cafés, bars and restaurants. Its weight and mouth-feel will, as always, depend on how long the grapes

have been left to ripen but its homelands are places of sunshine and as a result it will never really be a thin watery cool-climate style of wine but will have good richness, weight and ripe fruit character. It has a refreshing lemony-ness, minerality and slight florality that is its hallmark when made in dry style. The same Vermentino grape is also grown around Liguria and Tuscany and at various places along Provence and the Languedoc’s Mediterranean coast where it is confusingly known as Rolle. Ask your local wine merchant about them (Italian or French) and enjoy!


James Gillespie has 32 years’ experience in the wine trade, much of it spent travelling through the wine-making regions of Europe and the New World. He is a specialist in food and wine matching and judges many wine competitions, as well as being vastly experienced in presenting and speaking at themed wine tastings and dinners. James was given the title of UK Wine Hero in 2007 and is the only person ever to be granted this honour by Wine & Spirit Magazine as ‘the person most able to explain, enthuse and

create interest in discovering more about wine’. He’s written monthly columns for several publications and we are delighted that he will be writing the regular drinks column for Shire Magazine. You can contact him at james@touchstonewines.co.uk

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Locally made wild garlic pesto


ighly commended at the 2016 Great British Food awards, the Bridge Lodges’ wild garlic leaf pesto is this season’s must-have product at Porter’s Delicatessen. Using the wild garlic leaves growing naturally around their home on the banks of the River Dee, Lily and Angus have created a delicious product which rivals any pesto from Italy. The leaves are carefully dried then mixed with Halen Mon salt to

produce a deliciously different condiment. Using only four ingredients, this fresh-tasting pesto contains no additives, preservatives or colourings and a vegan version has also been added to the range this year. Pick up a jar at Porter’s Deli, Market Street, Llangollen. www.portersdeli.co.uk

Spotting the Dog-friendly pubs This issue we’re looking at pubs that welcome pooches so you and your four-legged friends can pop out for a pint or two together CHESHIRE The Tigers Head, Pytchleys Hollow, Norley, Frodsham This pub offers a warm welcome for dogs and drinkers alike with free doggie biscuits available on the bar and a bowl of water for every canine customer. The Fishpool Inn, Fishpool Lane, Delamere featuring a special indoor area for dogs, this newly renovated pub is a firm favourite and keeps owners coming back time and again. SHROPSHIRE The Prince Of Wales, Bynner Street, Shrewsbury Hard to beat on a warm day, the landlady of this pub will often find a cooling Oxo lolly for hot hounds as well as free biccies on the bar – just don’t let any four legged friends on the bowling green. The Woodman, Coton Hill, Shrewsbury Doggie visitors get a collection of pork scratchings kept just for them, bowls of water on request and the freedom of the pub. NORTH WALES The Pengwern Arms, Church Square, Llan Ffestiniog Dogs are made so welcome in this friendly pub that they provide not just a bowl of water, but a sausage meal for dogs features as part of the food menu. The Fountain Inn, Betws y Coed With a bowl of water on arrival, and a special doggy bag to keep the hounds happy, this scores high in the pet-friendly stakes! MID WALES/HEREFORDSHIRE The New Inn, Fownhope Visiting dogs are very welcome at this pub which serves a great range of homemade food and not just for the human guests with popular doggie burgers on the menu too. The Tarrington Arms, Tarrington, Hereford Situated right next to the Camping and Caravanning Club site, it’s ideal for dogs!

Support your local farmers’ market and get the very best, and freshest, food available NORTH WALES Mold Farmers’ Market St Mary’s Church Hall, 9am-2pm – 1st Sat each month Wrexham Farmers’ Market Queen’s Square, 9.30am-1pm – 3rd Fri of every month Anglesey Farmers’ Market David Hughes School, Menai Bridge, 10am-2pm – 3rd Sat of every month Colwyn Bay Farmers’ Market Bayview Shopping Centre 9am-3pm – every Thurs Conwy Farmers’ Market RSPB Nature Reserve, Llandudno Junction, 9am-2pm – last Weds each month Dolgellau Farmers’ Market Eldon Square, 10am-2pm – 3rd Sun of every month Glyndwr Farmers’ Market Rhug Estate, Corwen, 10am-4pm – 1st Sun each month (until Oct) Porthmadog Local Produce Markets, Porthmadog Arts Centre, Y-Ganolfan, 9am-2pm – last Sat of every month MID WALES Brecon (Brecknock) Farmers’ Market, Market Hall, Brecon 10am-2pm – 2nd Sat of every month Knighton Community Market Community Centre 2nd & 4th Sat each month Llangedwyn Farmers’ Market Llangedwyn CiW School, Powys Market held in the school hall once every half term, 3pm-5.30pm Llangynidr Farmers’ & Producers market, The Village Hall, Llangynidr, Crickhowell, 10.30am1.30pm – last Sun of the month Presteigne Farmers’ Market Radnorshire Arms Hotel, Presteigne, 9am-1pm – 1st Sat each month Welshpool Farmers’ Market, Town Hall, Broad Street, 9am-2pm – 1st Sat each month CHESHIRE Alderley Edge Farmers’ Market Aldeli, Wilmslow Road, 10am2pm – 2nd Sun each month Cheadle Hulme Farmers’ Market The Kenilworth, Cheadle Hulme 10am-2pm – 4th Sat each month Chester Farmers’ Market, Town Hall, Chester, 3rd Sat each month Knutsford Artisan Market Princess Street, Knutsford, 11am4pm – 1st Sun of the month Macclesfield Treacle Market Town centre and square, 10am3.30pm – last Sun of the month Middlewich Artisan Market Wheelock Street, Middlewich,

10am-4pm – last Sat each month Nantwich Farmers’ Market Nantwich Town Square, 9am-2pm – last Sat of every month Rode Hall Farmers’ Market Rode Hall, Scholar Green, 9am2.30pm – 1st Sat of every month Sandbach Farmers’ Market Cobbled Square, 8.30am-1.30pm – 2nd Sat of every month Saughall Ethical Food Market Vernon Institute, opposite the Greyhound Inn, 9am-12pm on Sat West Kirby Farmers’ Market St Andrew’s Church Hall, Graham Road, 9am-1pm – every 4th Sat Wirral Farmers’ Market New Ferry Village Hall, Grove Street, New Ferry, 9am-1pm – 2nd Sat of every month SHROPSHIRE Cleobury Country Farmers’ Market, In and around St Mary’s Church, Cleobury Mortimer 9.30am-12.30pm – every 3rd Sat Market Drayton Library Sq/Cheshire St 10am-2pm - Quarterly on Sun 10th July, 18th Sept, 11th Dec. Bishop’s Castle Farmers’ Market Town Hall & Market Sq 8.30am-1.30pm – every 3rd Sat Craven Arms Discovery Centre 9am-1pm – 1st Sat of the month Shifnal, Bradford Street/Cheapside 9am-3pm – Sat 18th June, 16th July, 17th Sept, 26th Nov Harper Adams, University Campus, 10am-2pm, Sun 9th June Ludlow, Castle Square, 9am-2pm – 2nd & 4th Thurs of the month Much Wenlock, Guild Hall, 9am1pm – 1st & 3rd Fri of the month Oswestry, Bailey Head, 9am-1pm – last Fri of the month Shrewsbury, The Square, 9am4pm – 1st Fri of the month Ironbridge Farmers’ Market, The Wharfage Car Park, 10am-3pm – 1st Sun each month until October Whitchurch, Civic Centre, 8am12pm – 1st Sat each month HEREFORDSHIRE Hereford, High Town – weekly on Thurs, monthly 1st Sat each month Hay-on-Wye, weekly on Thurs in Memorial Square, Butter Market and around the Clock Tower Kington on Fri at the Market Hall Ross-on-Wye Market Hall – 1st Fri of the month Leominster, Corn Square – 2nd Sat of every month Kington, Market Hall – 3rd Sat of the month Belmont, Tesco – every 3rd Sun Ledbury, Market House – 4th Fri of the month

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• Freshly prepared local beef, lamb, pork and chicken • Award-winning sausages and home cured black bacon • Bistro-style burgers and kebabs • Homemade pies, quiches, cakes and scones • Large deli counter • Welsh and English cheeses • Free range eggs • Seasonal fruit and vegetables • Speciality preserves and condiments


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Sleek & modern living We visit Elizabeth and John in Rhyl to take a tour of their new kitchen…


e bought this house two years ago,’ says John, ‘but we didn’t move in for 12 months as we had the whole place stripped out and redone – every wall was plastered, every floor relaid. So we were starting with an empty room for the kitchen, and called in Conels Kitchens.’ ‘Daris and Sue came round and spent a fair amount of time here discussing what we wanted from our kitchen,’ says Elizabeth. ‘They emailed over the initial designs in just a few days. He managed to get an island into the middle of the room straight away, and sent over a 3D drawing plus floor plans so we got a really good idea of the finished space. ‘Originally, this was just a corridor kitchen with a downstairs cloakroom and utility room at the back. But after discussing what we wanted with Daris they were able to redraw the plans to create a lot more space, and have a counter return at the end with a wine cooler fridge, by knocking down the exterior

‘We went for broke,’ says John. ‘We wall. This meant we could add a utility room decided rather than do it piecemeal we at the end of the kitchen, which has got my should do the whole thing properly and washing machine and dryer, with choose the things we wanted a sink and extra storage. Plus we straight away rather than got the added lantern skylight to ‘I just had to waiting and adding them later. flood the area with light. have a separate During this house renovation ‘We went to Conels several ‘baking station’ we also had the garden times to look at the plans, and re-paved and lawn re-laid Daris and Sue were great in getting with a worktop as well. Daris installed the the drawings just right with these and cupboards units himself and relaid the changes. We’d never had granite where I keep all ‘Karndean’ kitchen floor as worktops before, but we love it – it my equipment’ part of the work.’ looks so sleek and its very easy to keep clean. I was very definite that I wanted a monochrome look – the Bringing it all together white cabinets with the dark grey granite. ‘Daris and Sue work together – Sue does the We wanted it to be sleek and modern, with designs on the computer and was great at integrated handles on the gloss-finished doors. coming up with ideas and suggestions,’ says Previously we had a wooden kitchen with Elizabeth. ‘They gave us a list of different brass handles, so this is a complete change. In cookers and fridges to choose from, and gave the showroom we could see all the different us very sensible advice on which ones to go granite tops to choose the exact colour there.’ for – we settled on the Hotpoint ones as they said the aftercare was excellent, and we’ve been really happy with them – I’ve always wanted an oven off the floor, and it’s great to use. I love baking and cake decorating as it’s a hobby of mine) so I just had to have a separate ‘baking station’ with a worktop and cupboards where I keep all my equipment.’ John adds: ‘We went away on holiday for two weeks with the kitchen being an empty shell, and when we came back it was all fitted! We could trust and rely on Daris to get the fitting done and manage everything – they didn’t need to call us once when we were away. They also installed fitted cupboards into our main bedroom at the same time, which we’re really happy with. In the kitchen, they suggested the hot top and water filter unit – we hadn’t even thought of having one. It’s all inbuilt under the sink, made by Franke, and now we’ve got it we can’t image living without one!’

Conels Kitchens & Bedrooms, Kinmel Bay Visit www.conels.co.uk 0800 774 7804 01745 350236

86 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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S EpaL Sr T PA PanRneEl thTis seTasY el st ft on’s trend fo so

The Aga Cookware range features a quirky retro cooker print; Double Oven Glove, £25; Iconic Chef’s Pad, £14; Iconic Gauntlet, £23, www.rnwilliams.co.uk

Ch … tchen must-haves hues with these ki

Elevate your cakes, literally, with this Cath Kidston cake stand featuring a Daisies & Roses border print, £36, Pickles and Co in Oswestry. For the full range visit www. cathkidston.com

Keep it simple with Oliver Bonas’ range of pastel kitchenware; Ocha Stackable Mug Range, £7.50; Ocha Teapot £25, www.oliverbonas.com

This pretty-in-pink stand mixer will add a retro vibe to any kitchen. Comes in other adorable shades too; SMEG SMF01PBUK 50’s Retro Stand Mixer in Pastel Pink, £349, www.currys.co.uk

Soft pastel tones are ideal for adding a spring feel this season; Pastel Bowls, £3.99, www.tkmaxx.com

Kitchens never looked so good – we adore this Aga 60 in Duck Egg, £5695, www.rnwilliams.co.uk


How cute are these spice tins? Little pops of colour give the kitchen a lift – and your cooking too. Set of 6 Pantry Design Spice Tins, £9.95, www.dotcomgiftshop.com

Limited Edition Oliver Bonas Heart Teaspoons, Set of 4, £19, www.oliverbonas.com

Pop over to TK Maxx to pick up this super-cute range of pastel coloured items (above). From bowls to cookie cutters, all your baking needs are covered, www.tkmaxx.com.


Coffee lovers can maintain their sense of style with this cute pink espresso coffee pot, £16.95, www.dotcomgiftshop.com

Make your morning coffee in style with this Francis Francis X1 Espresso Machine, £399, www.espressocrazy.com

Present your dinner in style with this soft violet coloured Le Cruset casserole dish, £12.99, www.upstairsdownstairs.co.uk

May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 87

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CREATIVITY TO CROSS BOUNDARIES They say that truly great art transcends all – and that seems to be the case for one North Wales artist who has used his creativity to cross boundaries


Cefyn’s project with local residents is proving popular

different collages. One, which is being done efyn Burgess, a textile artist based at in Caernarfon shows the buildings and life Ruthin Craft Centre, has taken his work in Snowdonia and Caernarfon in particular,’ to the other side of the world to celebrate explains Cefyn. ‘The second, which we are local links with the ancient communities doing here in Wrexham will look at the of Argentina, simultaneously crossing age buildings and skyline of Liverpool, which barriers to get locals involved in his projects. is where the Welsh migrants sailed from, Having previously worked with famous and the third will depict the immigrants fashion houses designing fabrics for Paul final destination which is the beach at Porth Smith, Liberty, Medici and Gallery 5, Cefyn Madryn, Patagonia where they landed. has now concentrated on bringing his work ‘Once we have done the to a wider audience with the three collages we will cut, eventual aim being iron and sew the textiles to a collaborative project between Trelew in South make a tapestry telling the old and young. America has held on three stories as one.’ Working with local school to its proud ancestry At the same time the children and residents of four with Welsh-speaking Pendine Park organisation’s Wrexham care homes, the artist schools and strong artist in residence Sarah is bringing the creativity of traditions Edwards is working with the generations together while residents to create a 3D exploring the area’s Patagonian model of the clipper ship, connections. the Mimosa, that took the first settlers to Ever since a small Welsh colony settled Patagonia in 1865. there 150 years ago, the city of Trelew in ‘When it’s finished, we’ll photograph the South America has held on to its proud model and the tapestry and make a print ancestry with Welsh-speaking schools and from the image. strong traditions. Cefyn visited the country ‘The residents here at Wrexham are and worked with youngsters from Ysgol yr creating mono prints Hendre in the Patagonian city to produce depicting Liverpool tapestries depicting life on the River Camwy. buildings that the The tapestries have been exhibited at Galeri, Welsh immigrants Caernarfon and pupils of Ysgol Yr Hendre in would have seen Caernarfon are also involved in the project. as they sailed from the port on board PATAGONIA CONNECTIONS the Mimosa. Cefyn says the aim is for children and ‘They are doing residents of the Pendine Park care homes a wonderful job and involved; Bryn Bella, Highfield, Penybryn producing some and Bodlondeb, to work together to collect fantastic work. It’s stories and images of life in North Wales. great that we even These will then be used to create a series have a resident of tapestries which will be hung in Pendine who hails from Park care homes and tell the story of those Birkenhead and early Welsh pioneers. grew up opposite the ‘The idea is to produce three very

Mersey front at Liverpool.’ ‘We are making our model of the Mimosa from chicken wire and papier maché. Once we have finished it will stand 3ft high and will be 4ft long,’ adds Sarah. ‘I’m really looking forward to seeing the finished tapestry and our Mimosa model. It will be something residents can be very proud of.’ BUILDING PROJECTS Stroke victim Tony Ithell, 58, a resident of the Penybryn brain injury and neurological care home, grew up in Birkenhead and says he has really enjoyed making mono prints of the Liver Building: ‘It’s been fantastic. Being from Merseyside I know the Liver Building really well. It’s the first time I’ve done this but it’s been really good and I’m pleased with my work,’ he says.Fellow Penybryn resident Sian Walley, 45, adds: ‘It’s really educational and something different. I didn’t know anything about Patagonia.’ Likewise, Highfield House resident Steven Ferrier, 55, also enjoyed making mono prints for the project. ‘It’s a really interesting project and I’m enjoying what we are doing. It’s going to look good when it’s finished.’

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Sculpture: Bob Knowles

Watercolours: Shona Coppin



Sat 20th & Sun 21st – Local Artist Thelma Evans Thelma paints on canvas. She has a distinctive style with detailed paintings of many local landscapes and floral designs. Thelma has some prints available of her work as well.

Thursday 1st – Knitting and Crochet with Di Pop along and see Di working with her hand knitting and crochet work.

Tues 23rd & Wed 24th – Jewels & Crafts Jackie will be with us both days with her wonderful collection of jewellery and crafts. She has designs for all ages and styles using some semi-precious beads.  Jackie is very happy to carry out repairs and re-stringing as well as commission work.  Thursday 25th & Fri 26th – Earth Deva  Marie makes a variety mystical and mythical items from small dragons, fairies, goddesses and wolves to cats and jewellery. Each one has been created from a mould she designs and makes and hand-paints each and every piece.

Textiles: Ros Hornbuckle

Mo Vyse


Oils: Amanda Oliphant

Suzette Smart

Artists open doors for weekend event T

Sat 27th, Sun 28th & Mon 29th – Encaustic Art with Linda Morris Pop along and have a go with Linda, you can create the most gorgeous pictures using hot irons and wax. Linda is a wonderful teacher and is delighted to guide you through the skills of making your own picture. All proceeds go to brain tumour research. 

Sat 3rd & Sun 4th – Liz Femme Fatale Liz will have her full summer collection with her of beautiful evening and day bags. Liz also makes accessories, fascinators and scarves for special occasions. Drop in and have a chat about your personal requirements.

Tues 6th & Wed 7th – Painting in Silk with Mair Morgan Mair is a really talented sillk artis. She will be working both days while at the centre and has a fabulous collection of scarves, ties, cards, cushions and pictures all made from her hand-painted silks.

SNAP HAPPY! Enter our photography competition on page 93

his June, Wirral will once again throw open its studio doors for the eighth annual Wirral Open Studios Tour. With 50 artists available across 30 venues, the weekend of 10th and 11th June is a great date for the diary if you fancy an artistic amble around this creative peninsula. Artists’ studios, homes, gardens and exhibition spaces will welcome visitors to see, chat and engage with painters, photographers, printmakers, potters, glass designers, illustrators and textile artists. The informal and relaxing setting allows visitors to understand the artists’ inspirations and creative techniques, share in their passion for creative arts and help celebrate this eminently popular culture-filled Wirral weekend. With more than 1500 people visiting the event from across the North West in 2015 and 2016, the tour has continued to grow in popularity and reputation since its inception in 2009. As all work for sale, visitors will also have the opportunity to take away a piece of original art to treasure. Download a map and plan your tour route around the exhibiting artists via www.wirralart.com. The same weekend sees neighbouring creatives in Shropshire also inviting the public to visit and explore their work with the Borderland Visual Arts Open Studios. Running from 10am to 5pm, and again the following weekend on the 17th and 18th June, this thriving artists’ community based in Oswestry and the Borders, is once again throwing open its doors to visitors. Since 1999, this annual show has attracted many visitors from across the region, and this year promises to be exceptional, with 15 studios showing the work of 30 artists. Not only is this a unique opportunity to meet talented artists working in their studios but The Willow Gallery in Oswestry will be presenting a rich variety of work by emerging and established artists from painters, cermacists, sculptors and textile artists to screenprinters to woodcarvers and photographers. This year, the Open Studio event encourages visitors to create their own unique souvenir, by collecting a miniature original print from a hand-cut block at each studio they visit. www.borderlandvisualarts.com

Tuesday 30th – Natalie Griffiths Most of Natalie’s work is mainly around character-based imagery and hand lettering. Natalie is also able to take commissions such as stylised pet portraits, character portraits and unique personalised gifts, signs, house plaques, and so much more.

Thursday 8th – Card Making with Yvonne Why not have a go your self and book a two-hour training course? Yvonne supplies all the materials and help you need to design and make your own cards. She will also have a selection of beautiful cards with her that she has made ready for you to buy. Fri 9th – Weaving with Trevor Blackburn Trevor brings with him a variety of looms and tools for his weaving and will be busy working all day. He has a wonderful collection of scarves in many colours and styles. Why not have a go as well as Trevor is delighted for you to have a go yourself. Sat 10th & Sun 11th – Jewels crafts Jackie is with us for the weekend with her beautiful beaded jewellery.  She has a varied collection of stones and beads and creates beautiful pieces for all occasions. 

Wed 31st – Susie Q: Crochet Work & Knitting Susie has created some gorgeous work with babies clothes, ladies cardigans, hats and some fabulous toys ideal for little hands to hold and play with.

Tues 13th & Wed 14th – Polymer Clay Jewellery with Eileen Evans Pop along and see Eileen working, she brings all her equipment with her so is able to create pieces from start to finish while she is there. Her colour range is vast and she creates designs for all.

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A stunning view of the Castell y Gwent summit, with Glyder Fawr in the distance



Joe Cornish at work

Tryfan: breathtaking scenery

f you need any extra inspiration to enter our photography competition over the coming months – have a look at the work of this acclaimed photographer who is heading to North Wales to give a personal insight into his work. Influential landscape and travel photographer Joe Cornish will be the main speaker at a photographic show on Saturday 27th May. The annual event, organised by Cambrian

Learn to document our rich and beautiful landscapes

Photography in Colwyn Bay, is a mecca for hundreds of camera fans from across the UK looking to check out workshops and new equipment on offer from the top manufacturers. Joe, an honorary fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, will present his lecture called Landscape Photography 1980-2017: Evolution and Revolution, at 10am in the Antioch Chapel, Abergele Road, Colwyn Bay.

Snowdon ridges from Glyderau

90 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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Achievement awards • Trophies • Gifts •

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Brian has taught at Ellesmere College, Oswestry School, Packwood, Moreton Hall and most schools in north Shropshire, and currently plays in various bands, groups and orchestras and conducts nine percussion ensembles with an age range from 7 to 60. Brian Stone Telephone: 01691 652 956 Email: brianstone212@btinternet.com

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ere at Shire Magazine we love stunning images – and we’re hoping you do too. Our photography section is an opportunity for everyone to see your best pictures in print, whether you take them specifically for us or jsut for yourself – we just want to share your creative talents with our readers. Each edition we will feature a competition to tease out the finest local photographers and then we’ll choose our favourites to share with our readers. Although we can’t offer any prizes, we hope you’ll enjoy seeing your name and images in print, and the pride that goes with being picked by our dedicated team! For our first edition we’ve called on our contacts to help us and below we can show you a


selection of both professional DID YOU and amateur snappers and KNOW? their take on the topic The first camera ‘Spring has sprung’. As our was invented in next magazine covers the 1040 in Cairo! period of July and August, we’d like to propose a suitably seasonal subject of ‘On my holidays’ which you can interpret however you wish! Email the pictures you would like us to consider to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk, with Photography in the subject line, by June 10th. The quality needs to be good enough to print so please send high resolution images. We look forward to seeing what you come up with – happy snapping!

The Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy, 6th May – 10th June An exhibition to welcome new members from those Academicians elected to the RCA in 2016. Work from Gareth Nash, Alan Palmer, Josh Bowe, David Brightmore, Mick Brown, Ann Catrin Evans, Susan Gathercole, Gareth Griffith, David Jones and Elfyn Lewis. www.rcaconwy.org Oriel Plas Glyn Y Weddw, Pwllheli, 13th May – 16th July New work will be on show to visitors by popular gallery artist, Sian McGill who comes from South Wales. www.oriel.org.uk Oriel Kyffin Williams, Anglesey 29th April – 4th June Diary of a Year and Other Thoughts is a new exhibition from Philippa Jacobs. She describes the work as a response to her changing environment. www.kyffinwilliams. info Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno, 6th May, 11am to 5pm The gallery will be running an artist-led screenprinting masterclass for 14 to 18-yearolds. Using newsprint to cut hand-drawn stencils, students will make multiple screen prints to create layered and fully realised images which may be figurative, abstract or a mixture of both. £12.50 per workshop. www.mostyn.org

Wes Webster

Glenn Jenkinson

Glenn Jenkinson

Graham Mitchell

Graham Mitchell

The Watergate Street Gallery, Chester, from 11th June running for one month Bernhard Vogel: Life In Colour marks the first in this series of exhibitions the gallery has planned over the coming year to commemorate its 21st birthday. Bernhard Vogel’s work uses vivid colours and bold brushstrokes and has steadily gained prominence throughout Europe. www. watergatestreetgallery.co.uk Lady Lever Art Gallery, Birkenhead, 26th May until the 24th September An exhibition featuring an intriguing series of colourful Ukiyo-e wood block prints depicting the contemporary culture of nineteenth century Japan. On loan from local collector Frank Milner, it comprises more than 40 prints from the likes of Kuniyoshi, Kunisada and Kunichika. www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk

Wes Webster

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Will Bankes returned to his family’s former home, Soughton Hall, to meet with new owner James Ramsbottom of Elle R Leisure

Here at Shire Magazine we know our readers will have fond memories of times gone by and quite often a wealth of information and pictures to share with us. We would be delighted to feature some of these in a regular page of nostalgia so please do send any stories and old pictures in to us at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk, with Nostalgia marked clearly in the subject line. To start us off in this edition we’d like to share the story below of Soughton Hall and its intriguing past, some of which has only been uncovered after a recent refurbishment…


Soughton Hall pictured as a home in 1974

century family scandal. ill Bankes is the greatgrandson of the last He met with Soughton Hall Hotel’s new owner James people to live in the stunning mansion Soughton Hall, Ramsbottom whose company near Northop in Elle R Leisure took over the former Flintshire. The hall has He revisited Bishop’s palace a year welcomed his family’s former celebrity guests ago and has since home recently such as Richard completed a £150,000 following an appeal Burton and King refurbishment at the for information Juan Carlos I of luxury North Wales wedding venue. from its new owners Spain and during his trip It was built in 1714 by Edward Conway and down memory lane, Will shared photos of an Edwardian high remodelled by the famous Sir society wedding and a 19th Charles Barry whose iconic

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Will Bankes is pictured with the new owner of Soughton Hall Hotel, James Ramsbottom

work includes the Houses of Parliament and Highclere Castle of Downton Abbey fame. Will, a 42-year-old solicitor and father-of-three, brought with him several hard bound books full of photos, newspaper

just what you expect from a great-grandmother. Very kindly and interested in what you were up to as a little person. She was a lovely lady. “We did spend a Christmas there one time when I was about five and I also have vivid memories of driving my grandmother’s car down the long drive, sitting on her knee. It was a fascinating place to visit as a child.” It was Will’s great, great great, great uncle, William John Bankes, who was responsible for turning it into the magnificent building which visitors see today. Will said: “He inherited Soughton Hall pictured as a home in 1974.

responsible for the Soughton Hall here today. It is believed that William commissioned Sir Charles to revamp Soughton Hall sometime shortly after he inherited it. New owner James Ramsbottom, said: “It has been a pleasure to meet with Will and learn more about his family who

Will’s grandfather John Wynne is pictured on the far left in his role as High Sheriff.

Great grandparents and last residents of Soughton Hall, Wynne and ‘Te Te’ Bankes are pictured in 1974.

cuttings and other records collected by his ancestors and now passed down to his care. His great grandparents, Wynne and Elizabeth (known to the family as ‘Te Te’) Bankes were the last people to live in the Grade II* listed building which was sold as a hotel in the 1980s and has since welcomed celebrity guests such as Richard Burton and King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Will said: “We used to visit my great-grandmother Te Te and have tea with her in the library at Soughton. She was

Soughton Hall from his brother. William John was a well-known society figure and friend of the poet Lord Byron. He was also gay, something that was illegal in those times, so he fled into exile to Europe. “On his travels, he acquired a lot of art work and was passionate about getting them back to his homes in the UK. He really was a pioneering traveller and collector.” William John Bankes was also friends with the great Sir Charles Barry who is largely

have played such an important part in Soughton Hall’s history. “It is such a grand house and it is terrific to learn that it has such an interesting history to accompany it. We are asked all the time by our guests about the history of the Hall and we feel

it is part of our responsibility as the new owners of the building to tell them as much as we can about it.” The spectacular venue is popular with brides and this was also the case back at the turn of the last century depicted by beautiful photos of a highsociety wedding at Soughton. Will said: “My great grandfather’s sister Ruth held her wedding reception at Soughton in 1912. She married a gentleman called Charles Dougdale – what a spectacular setting for a wedding!” He added: “It is lovely to see the house being used, renovated and cared for. It is beginning a new and exciting chapter in its history under the ownership of James and I wish him and his team all the very best in running it for years to come.” To find out more about Soughton Hall Hotel visit www.soughtonhallhotel.co.uk, call 01352 840 811 or email info@soughtonhall.co.uk

A photo of Soughton Hall taken in 1868 with the Bankes family enjoying the day on one of the building’s impressive front balconies.

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From little acorns… Carol Pryce, owner of Acorn Antiques, tells us how she and her husband have created a thriving antique centre in Gwersyllt near Wrexham sized areas for customers to ‘We started here in October wander – people like burrowing 2009 – we had a furniture shop through to find things, and in Wrexham, and originally we’ve made each area look a bit thought this place would be an like a room set so visitors can extension to that store. As soon visualise how their purchases as we realised it was going to be will look in their successful, we gave own homes. up the shop in the ‘After a visit ‘We’re up to 50 middle of Wrexham from BBC1’s traders in the antique after Eagles Meadow Antiques Road centre now, with was built and moved Show, we a growing waiting list, everything here. always see a so we’ve added more ‘We put in the big increase in space to cope with coffee shop straight the demand! We get away, and put visitors’ a real cross-section walls up inside the of visitors – from building (which was the genuine antique dealers to essentially an open warehouse people looking for nice things when we took it over). We for their homes. The traders here wanted there to be lots of room-

Acorn Antiques has a vast range of antiques and quirky collectibles

have very low rates and after a visit from Antiques Road Show (three times now) we always get a big increase in visitors for a few months afterwards. ‘It’s hard to say what the most popular items are here amongst all the antiques and collectibles we have. Regular shoppers often head straight to their favourite cabinets to see what’s new on display.

‘The cafe, open from 10am4pm, is very popular. The food is home cooked (I bake the bread myself ), and meals are cooked fresh on site. ‘We get lots of comments about the centre’s name and its connection to those famous Victoria Wood sketches, but we just liked it!’ Visit www. acornantiqueswales.com or call 01978 754090 to find out more.

Heat your home from the ground up What is ground-source heating? We talk to Andrea Ellison at Dragon Drilling in Corwen


round source heat pumps (GSHPs) use pipes which are buried outside to extract heat from the ground. This heat is fed into the home to provide heating and hot water as Andrea explains: ‘The GSHP pumps a special mixture of water and antifreeze through pipework which is buried outside. This pipe absorbs the natural and constant heat from the ground around it into the fluid, and this heat is passed into the house. The temperature underground stays at a fairly constant level at around 11ºC, which means the heat pump can be used throughout the year unlike solar panels which only work during the daytime. To save space you can install a vertical loop down into the ground to a depth of up to 100 metres for a typical domestic home. All you need is space to drill the borehole – a typical driveway is adequate. This green energy, helps reduce your carbon footprint. Heat pumps need electricity to run, but the heat

they extract from the ground is more than the energy required to run the pump and is constantly being renewed naturally, making the system carbon positive. ‘Only companies like ours, with all our design and

installation experience, can get the full benefit out of a GSHP installation for the homeowners. You really need to understand of the building and the local geology,’ she adds. Since ground source heat pumps work best when producing heat at a lower

temperature than traditional boilers, it’s essential that your home is well insulated and draught-proofed for system to be effective and are often best with underfloor heating systems or radiator-based systems. ‘We’ve been working on the design of heated wall installation too,’ says Andrea, ‘It’s ideal for homeowners who want to get the best out of the system but don’t have a floor suitable to install underfloor heating.’ There are also other benefits. It can save money because of the energy being absorbed from the naturally occurring heat in the ground making them much cheaper to run than a direct electric heating system, oil boilers and even gas boilers. As the heat pumps are automated, they need much less work than biomass boilers, and save space – no need to store fuel. Safe, quiet and unobtrusive, they can be placed out-of-sight and for homeowners require no planning permission. They are similar size to a fridge and work on similar principles. ‘We’re busier than ever here

The UK is rated the 12th most ecofriendly country in the world!

at Dragon Drilling,’ says Andrea. ‘We’ve seen an increase in demand across the county as homeowners are realising the benefits they bring.’

Renewable Heat Incentive Owners of ground source heat pumps systems (and other eligible renewable heat technologies) installed in domestic properties can apply for RHI – a financial incentive receivable over seven years. The RHI provides a recently increased incentive for owners to invest in ground source heat pumps from now until the RHI ends in March 2021. The payments are based on the size of the system installed, the energy rating of your home and the ‘deemed use’ as it is not metered. Find our more online at www. energysaving trust.org.

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Flora and Fauna Spring is in the air with our round-up of the freshest homeware and gift items guaranteed to bring a burst of nature into your home… THREE OF THE BEST…

Console tables

Vintage Star Throw in Blossom, 150x180cm, £145 (available up to kingsize) www.melintregwynt.co.uk

Heathcote & Ivory Vintage Fabric & Flowers Body Kit Tin £10, www.meirionmill.co.uk

Pretty but practical Willis & Gambier Malvern Console Table, £429, www.shannonsales.co.uk Easter Bunny Cloche £12.99, www.tkmaxx.com

Vintage Star Cushion in Mint, 45x45cm – £55, 30x30cm – £45 www.melintregwynt.co.uk Floral Chair £49.99, www. tkmaxx.com

Sturdy but stylish Willis & Gambier Gloucester 3 door Sideboard, £799, www.shannonsales.co.uk

Ducks Salt and Pepper set £16, www.daisypark.co.uk Hanging Ceramic Cat Plate £4, George Home, www.direct. asda.com

Frith Sculpture ‘Alarmed Hare’ £42.99, www. villagecrafts.net

Yankee Candles Red Raspberry, £21.99, from www.tweedmill. co.uk

Simple and chic Skandi Walnut Console Table with Drawer, £375, www.dunelm.com

W E L OV E …

Oilcloth This Prestigious Harriet Vintage Matt PVC oilcloth from Textile Express in Oswestry, is ideal for adding a touch of farmyard chic to your dining space, £12.50 per metre, www.textileexpressfabrics.co.uk

98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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Show Dates Shropshire Show ..........................................Sat. 27th May Caerwys Show..............................................Sat. 10th June Cheshire Show .............................................Tues. 20th & Wed. 21st June North Wales Country Fair (Rhug Estate, Corwen) .................................Sat. 8th & Sun. 9th July Nantwich .......................................................Wed. 26th July Oswestry .......................................................Sat. 5th August Bryneglwys ...................................................Sun. 6th August Anglesey .......................................................Tues. 15th & Wed. 16th August Denbigh.........................................................Thurs. 17th August Merioneth Show, Tywyn................................Wed. 23rd August


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28/04/2017 14:45


Dream homes


This issue, we feature Chelwood Barn, near Llandrindod Wells, which is on the market for £625,000. This is a stunning barn conversion is in an idyllic rural location, with its own lake, 16 acres of land, and an indoor swimming pool…


helwood Barn is a stunning barn conversion based on one of the original Careg-Wiber barns. The name actually means ‘rock of the flying serpent’ and is connected with the old legend of the terrifying winged serpent of Radnorshire. This beast, as legend has it, flew across the Wye into Breconshire, and was said to caused a great deal of damage in the region. The conversion of the old barn into a home that could accommodate a family of five with three boisterous boys, providing a safe and peaceful environment for their formative years, was

a challenge that was relished by the owners. Now that those boisterous boys have grown up and are living in different parts of the country, pursuing their own dreams, it’s time for the owners of Chelwood to move on and let another family experience the delights of raising their own children in this truly idyllic and picturesque location.

Balcony, central heating, double glazing, fireplace. indoor swimming pool, wood floors, garden, own lake, five bedrooms. Ground floor: reception hall, living room, kitchen/dining room, utility room, shower room, study, garage. Lower ground floor: lower lounge, heated indoor pool, shower room. First floor: five bedrooms, two bathrooms.

Marketed by Gwalia Residential Sales and Lettings 3 High Street, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 6AG, www.gwaliaproperties.co.uk

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VISITORS HAVE A HOOT AT RESCUE CENTRE The Owls Trust, based in Llandudno, is not just a vital rescue centre tending to injured, orphaned and endangered birds. It’s also a key educational project and a great family day out too…


ased at Bodafon Farm Park just off the prom, the charity has a number of sanctuary owls on display for the public to meet. These are just a few of the birds the dedicated team of volunteers deal with 365 days a year as their overall goal is always to treat, rehabilitate and release the owls they rescue back in to the wild. However, when that is not possible, having some of these beautiful birds at their base gives the Trust the opportunity to help educate and share their work with the public and they actively encourage visitors of all ages. The Owls Trust became a registered charity in 2001 after recognising an urgent need for an organisation to rescue owls and birds of prey in North Wales. When they are not dealing with emergencies, the team carry out regular educational visits to schools and colleges, tailored to meet the requirements of the National Curriculum, providing a very personal experience for the youngsters, many of whom may be meeting an owl for the very first time. They also tour fairs and

exhibitions with their more transportable birds and share their passion for owls and birds of prey at every given opportunity. Over the years the Trust has

been lucky enough to attract the patronage of two wellknown local people who are now supporters of their work. The first is the former RSPB officer turned TV wildlife presenter Iolo Williams, who grew up in Llanwddyn near Lake Vyrnwy. He has become a regular in the media – on TV, radio and in newspapers – making a name for himself as a leading expert on Welsh birdlife and in 2002 he was welcomed to The Owls Trust as Honorary Patron. Wildlife and landscape painter Philip Snow whose work is found in some 70 books, many magazines, original and reproduction prints, cards, reserve maps and leaflets as well as several major national and private collections and is also a proud patron of the charity. The Owl’s Trust enjoys introducing people to its residents and visitors will get to see some of the most exciting

Beautiful Bo proving she’s every bit the top model!


Send us your favourite pictures to editorial@ shiremagazine. co.uk

owls in the whole of Wales on display. All have names and very individual characters and if you call the Trust in advance of your visit they will gladly share their time and knowledge with you on a personal tour. The charity is staffed and operated entirely by volunteers and each ‘inmate’ has a collection box at their enclosure so you can donate any spare change you have to them and help the charity – you can even adopt an owl! Each year, the Trust receives a huge number of injured owls, hawks and falcons requiring remedial care. Many have been entangled in barbed wire, poisoned by toxic chemicals, hit by cars, collided with power

Here is Bourneville the cat doing what he does best on his favourite fox cushion

Hercules is an Asian Forest Scorpion. He’s gloss black but glows like this under a UV light

Max the cat demanding food in his own usual subtle way...

lines or simply orphaned. Spring and summer nesting seasons are when members of the public regularly find young birds out of the nest and seemingly on their own. If you do, get in touch with a centre – and to be careful as, when frightened, these birds can lash out and give a nasty wound with their talons. Failing that, wrap the bird in a coat or towel and take it gently to the nearest place where you can find help. Visit www.owlstrust.org.uk or call 01492 870719.

This is Ringo, a 2.5-year-old Sproodle (he’s half springer spaniel and half miniature poodle). He won first prize in ‘Most Handsome Dog’ at a Cheshire show!

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Three of the best… patio furniture sets

Horticultural heaven

This attractive Abbey Square Table Set carries a 10 year guarantee and is FSC approved. Available in a round table version too, it offers, sociable and spacious seating for gardens and patios, £329.99, www.zest4leisure.co.uk. The Hampshire Arbour with built in storage makes it a practical yet stylish addition to the garden, £339.99, www. zest4leisure. co.uk

Add a pop of colour with this bright blue Bistro Set with Folding Chairs, £69.99, from www. homebase. co.uk

Several of the regions majestic castle gardens will be open to the public

There’s no better season to celebrate our gardens and this year it’s being done in style with a 16-day event showcasing the very best horticultural highlights of our region



We love the botanical print that is adorning just about everything from furnishings to fashion. Take the trend into your green spaces with these fab finds… Gardening Gloves, 5.99; Patterned Gardening Trowel, both from www. homesense. co.uk.

Berrington Vine Ceramic Flower Pots from the National Trust Glasshouse Garden Collection, small pot – £6, large pot – £10, www.shop. nationaltrust.org.uk A super bright LED hand torch with pretty floral design, £9, www. wynnstayonline.co.uk

he second Festival of Gardens North Wales runs from Saturday 27th May, until Sunday 11th June, and a total of 24 stunning gardens across the region will throw open their gates to thousands of visitors. The festival, which is being supported by the Welsh Government, will be officially opened at the beautiful Plas Tan y Bwlch gardens near Maentwrog in Gwynedd by Gardener’s Question Time chairman and former BBC TV weatherman Peter Gibbs. ‘A lot of people, including gardeners, don’t realise how many different gardens there are in North Wales,’ says Peter. ‘Apart from the large, well known National Trust ones there are also lots of fantastic smaller gardens and without this sort of festival they wouldn’t get noticed by the kind of people who would really enjoy them. ‘For instance, there’s Crug Farm Plants near Caernarfon which Peter Gibbs features many plants you just don’t see anywhere else. The couple who run it, Bleddyn and Sue Wynn-Jones who I know from Gardeners’ Question Time, have brought in plants, some of which are absolutely unique, from places like Taiwan which grow at altitude and have to deal with

DID YOU KNOW? There are 23 castles in North Wales

the sort of conditions you’d see in North Wales. ‘They are also now starting to contribute to conservation by sending some of these plants to countries across the world. ‘It’s a great honour to be invited to open the festival and I’m really looking forward to what should be a memorable occasion in a wonderful part of the world,’ he adds. Peter, who’s had his key role on Gardeners’ Question Time for over 10 years, describes himself a ‘very keen gardener’ and admits this puts him in a fortunate position when it comes to getting the best advice. ‘I’m very lucky to have all those experts on tap and if I do have problems in my own garden I know exactly who to call on for help,’ he laughs. More than 100 unique events are planned over the 16 days of the festival at gardens taking part including musical performances,

Don’t forget your camera to capture the views

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From the landscaped lawns of stately homes to wild cottage gardens, North Wales has it all!

orienteering sessions, treasure hunts, bug hunts, gardening lectures, family treasure hunts, children’s trails and plant sales. The festival dates have been arranged to coincide with late-spring flowering displays, which will include rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias, tulips and flowering cherries,

Go tree climbing or visit riverside beauty spots

making this one of the best times of the year to visit the great gardens of North Wales. Last year’s inaugural Festival of Gardens North Wales brought almost 44,000 visitors flocking to the beauty spots involved and this

time the event is spreading over four extra days with even more gardens taking part. A packed programme of events, ranging from behind the scenes guided tours and photography competitions to a squirrel watch and a vintage car rally will be staged at various gardens as the festival unfolds. North Wales gardens on show Jim Jones, managing director of North Wales Tourism, who organised the event, explains: ‘North Wales has some of the most beautiful gardens in the UK and this event is all about showing them off to as many people as possible. ‘This is the second year of the festival and it’s going from strength to strength. It’s an excellent example of what can be achieved when North Wales gets together for a particular offer – in this case its wonderful gardens. We have some of the most beautiful in the UK, including some real hidden gems, and this is about showing them off to as many people as possible.’ Special advisor to the festival once again is gardens guru Tony Russell, who is based

From woodland walks to the perfect picnic spots, there’s so many fabulous sights to see

Discover a wealth of hidden gems

at Plas Tan y Bwlch and renowned as one of Britain’s leading experts on trees and shrubs. He adds: ‘Having launched the festival in 2016, I am delighted to see it develop and grow into such an exciting event. ‘I’ve worked in horticulture for over 30 years, and I can honestly say there is nothing quite like the festival held in any other part of Britain.’ For more information about the festival visit www.gardensnorthwales.co.uk

See splendid secret gardens

Experience the best in seasonal planting

It’s the season for…Chimineas While the summer sun is still not at its hottest, keep the evenings cosy outdoors with a chiminea or fire pit. We love the Jumbo Mexican Chimenea in Tibor Green which comes with the stand and lid. See the full range at www.saxonhomecare.com, prices start from £79.99. Now all you need is some comfy seating and some friends and family to join you!

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GARDENS OV E R T H E G A R D E N G AT E By John Stubbs of Glyndwr Plant Centre in Corwen Hellebore’s season The standout plant so far this season has been the Hellebore. They’ve just been amazing, having flowered from mid December until early April. What more could you ask from a plant? Now’s the time to give them a feed of slow release fertilizer and a good mulch of well rotted farmyard manure and they will give you a repeat performance later in the year. Vegetable garden We have had some great sunny days but the soil is still cold. To ensure successful seed germination the seedbed needs to be a minimum of 8˚ to 10˚ centigrade, so cover the area to be seeded with plastic and this will help to warm the soil. You will then be able to direct sow into a warm seedbed and have better results. Keep a close eye on your seedlings as they can dry quickly in warm sun and drying winds.

Make flowers the focus of your outdoor dining Each issue, experts from the horticultural department at Reaseheath College in Nantwich will divulge their top tips on everything from gardening to floristry. Here they show us how to create a stunning floral table centrepiece to wow your guests Step 1 Trim your oasis so that it sits just below the rim of your container and within your dish, then soak by placing in a bowl of water TOP TIP Let the oasis gently float on top of the water until it turns dark green

Step 2 Tape the oasis to your dish

Now’s the time to make the most of the longer days and (hopefully) sunny weather with a barbecue or party for your family and friends. Whether it’s a birthday, sporting event or the end of exams, there’s bound to be a reason to celebrate – and a floral table design adds the finishing touch. Floristry lecturer Helen Cooke has plenty of ideas which are simple, inexpensive and splendidly effective. Here she shares one of her suggestions, so let’s get creative...

For Helen’s design you will need: Hanging tomatoes A tomato that is worth looking for is Ambrosia – a wonderful mini plum variety that produces amazing crops. To get children into the fun of gardening, plant a hanging basket with tomatoes; you will need the following: 1 x 14” wicker hanging basket 2 x tumbler tomato plants To make life easy there is no need to pinch the side shoots. As soon as the first flowers show, begin feeding once a week with tomato feed, keep the basket moist but not wet. They will provide oodles of good tasting mini tomatoes – great fun for children. Flower Border A wonderful addition to the shrub border that is now more widely available is Viburnum Kilimanjaro Sunset. This was a Chelsea Show plant of the year in 2015. This is an easy low maintenance shrub with elegant pure white lace cap flowers on neat tiered branches; it flowers throughout the summer and then turns the border into a fire bonanza; the foliage turning into deep gold, orange and burnt bronze. It also has small black fruits for the birds in the winter, a great plant for all gardens.

Step 3 Cover the whole piece of oasis with small bits of foliage. Start at the edges and work upwards, aiming at creating a domed effect

Spring is here… so let’s celebrate!

Step 4 Put some filler in the bottom of your container, sit the oasis onto this base and carefully add filler to the sides so the oasis is hidden

TOP TIP You can buy materials marked * from your local florist’s shop

1 A clear glass or Perspex container, square or round, from your kitchen cupboards – vintage glass is ideal otherwise buy a suitable container from a garden centre, home interior store or charity shop 2 One third of a block of oasis* 3 A mixed bunch of flowers with straight stems (Helen has used dianthus, spray dianthus and chrysanthemums) Choose colours to match your event (e.g., red, white and blue), stick to one colour or go multi coloured * 4 Pot tape * 5 Midolino sticks in a bright colour * or wooden kebab sticks 6 Sisal (pink in this instance) * 7 Wispy bear grass or similar * 8 A small dish or saucer 9 Kitchen scissors and sharp knife 10 Some filling for the sides of your container. Helen has used small wooden blocks, but you could use slices of citrus fruits, retro sweets like Liquorice Allsorts or even Lego to echo your theme 11 A few fronds of garden foliage (Helen has used leather leaf )

Step 5 Add smaller flowers individually. Trim so they sit at the same height as the foliage. Strip leaves of a few larger flowers and add as a focal centre Step 6 Fill in any remaining gaps (Helen uses green spray chrysanthemum ‘Kermit’), and wisps of sisal

Step 7 Add finishing touches with a few strands of ornamental grasses and customise with skewers of berries or marsh mallows Step 8 Display and wait for the compliments! TOP TIP For maximum impact, make sure the flowers do not touch each other

Interested in learning more? Contact Sue Poole about their award winning floristry department on 01270 613213 suep@reaseheath.ac.uk or visit www.reaseheath.ac.uk. Images courtesy of Paul Daniels.

104 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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HIRE MAGAZINE editorial is focussed on lifestyle topics that local readers care about the most:

O Weddings – your complete guide for local weddings

O What’s On – a comprehensive guide O Food & Drink – where to buy the best local produce O Hotel & Restaurant reviews

O Schools – open days, school news and scholarship days O Finance & legal – expert advice for readers O Volunteering & charity

O Homes – kitchens, bathrooms, furniture

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O Gardens – garden advice and garden shopping O Arts & Crafts – local artists plus exhibitions and crafts

O Competitions – sponsor a prize, these are hugely popular with our readers!

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O Holidays – the best spots for a UK holiday

Spring May/June issue published first week of May

O Outdoor Activities – professional activity providers

Summer July/Aug issue published first week of July

O Health & Beauty – expert health advice and new

Autumn Sept/Oct issue published first week of September


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Winter Nov/Dec issue published first week of November

FEATURES LIST 2017 O Spring • The Great Outdoors • Steam Railways • Local Wildlife • Half Term Events • Stately Homes • Walking Routes O Summer • Summer Events • Rivers and Lakes • The Welsh Coast • Al Fresco Dining • Summer Breaks • School Holiday Fun O Autumn • Heritage Open Days • Autumn Harvest • Food Festivals • Halloween • Autumn Colour • Welsh Castles O Winter • Christmas Fairs • Gift Buying Guide • New Year's Parties • Christmas Recipes • Pantos Guide • Christmas Trains

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Stay hydrated: S’well Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle 0.5L, £35 www. amara.com

Narrow, wide, horizontal, whichever way you wear them, stripes are here to stay

At the club: Newgate Clocks Club Military Watch, £139 www.amara.com



Subtle stripe: Wandsworth Stripe Trousers, £55, www.whitestuff.com

Keep it classic: Two Scale Short Sleeve Stripe Crew T-Shirt, £39 www.jigsaw-online.com

Vintage style: Kangol Antique Hold-all, £17 www.sportsdirect.com


Best foot forward: Brown Brogues, £30 www.mandco.com

Our pick of the top gifts Tech-savvy: Save your change and charge with the SEYVR Phone Charging Leather Wallet, £49.95, www. cuckooland.com

Well oiled: Keep beards in tip-top condition with Johnny’s Chop Shop Beard Oil, £6, www.topman.com

Make it personal: Personalised Tie Hanger allows a message of up to 22 characters, £12.99, www.gettingpersonal.co.uk

May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 107

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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.

– busy being fabulous –



Voted BEST OCCASION WEAR shop in North Wales SIX YEARS RUNNING 2010 – 2016



Opening Times: 9am – 5pm Monday to Saturday. Appointments available.

29 Beam Street Nantwich Cheshire CW5 5NA Tel: 01270 629 202 www.daniellaof nantwich.co.uk


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


01248 372283

154 High Street, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 1NU

email: carysd@tiscali.co.uk or: info@sochicbangor.co.uk

n fa shio ! r u o e to pro ducts l y t s Adds with y our red on o ur fe atu touch to page hio n et in r fash t you p age s? G n a W g in . sho pp ut how .. o d n fi

mail .uk 0 o r e az ine. co 7 2 1 66 ire mag 1691 sh Ca ll 0 rti sing@ e adv


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uote ‘ADVT 10’


e manufacture traditional Welsh bedspreads, travelling rugs and tweeds from the raw wool and generate our own electricity using machines which are over 50 years old. Our products plus soft furnishings and accessories made up in our fabrics are available exclusively in our shop together with pure wool knitwear and sheepskin products.

Mill museum open: Monday – Friday (except Bank Holidays) Shop open daily

Trefriw Woollen Mills, Main Road, Trefriw, Conwy Valley, LL27 0NQ T: 01492 640462 W: www.t-w-m.co.uk

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An established family business • Tel:

01978 437029

www.cherrytreecountryclothing.com • 19 Well St, Ruthin, LL15 1AE

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In the pink: Joseph Ribkoff Dress, So Chic Bangor 01248 372283

Vogue Magazine 2017

Magnificient magenta: Mortimer pink heeled sandals by Dune London, £65, www.dunelondon.com

WALK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE Embrace this season’s trend for super-strong colour (not for shrinking violets)

Royal blue: Bright blue contrast lace briefs, £19 www.newlook.com

Fruit loops: Bimba y Lola hoop earrings, £59 www.bimbaylola.com

Wild watch: Thomas Sabo Women’s Rebel Spirit yellow gold mesh & green face watch, £210, www.mococo. co.uk Groovy green: Lunar Sweden short wellie, £23.50, www. cherrytreecountry clothing.com

Red alert: Bright red Lima handbag, £35 www.tweedmill.co.uk Lady in red: Frank Lyman Dress (sizes 10-24), £169, www. daniellaof nantwich. co.uk

Good vibes: Vibe stripe scarf £26 www.oliverbonas.com

Green-eyed: Green Long Sleeve Top, £22, www.mandco.co.uk

Mellow yellow: Crocus cardi, £49.95 www.whitestuff.com

Dancing shoes: Van Dal Merriweather Colbalt Blue Ballet Pump, £72, Fab Feet, www.out-oftown-oswestry.co.uk

Orange crush: Petite women’s orange trousers, £22, www.mandco.co.uk

May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 109

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S T Y L E T O TA K E YO U F R O M SPRING TO SUMMER Wouldn’t it be great to never say those immortal words: ‘I have nothing to wear’? Ceri and Anthea from Toggs & Cloggs can help…

As the weather warms up and a season of fairs and festivals gets under way, we salute the humble poncho

A stylish coat like this Adini Onslow Brompton Weave Coat, £72, www. adinionline. co.uk is ideal for fresh spring days and will keep you looking smart and stylish

A pair of silver sandals or summer shoes will go with most of your wardrobe from light trousers to summer dresses. Gabor Obsession Silver Wedge Espadrille Sandals, £89.99, www. toggsandcloggs.co.uk, are on trend with a white sole and a simple clean design. They give you height with ultimate comfort, perfect for a long summer’s day

Cropped, skinny or straight leg, a great fitting and comfortable pair of jeans is a wardrobe essential, like these Superdry Imogen Slim Jeans, £54, www. superdry.com

Throw all your essentials into the Superdry Beach Celia Tote Bag, £34.99, www.superdry.com. This stylish bag is a must for the season – big on style in classic navy and white with tan handles.

A Breton striped top is the easiest piece to wear this spring. Team this Seasalt Sailor Shirt, £29.99, www. seasaltcornwall.co.uk with cropped trousers for cool, casual look

A long statement necklace instantly upgrades an outfit and can be worn from day into evening. We love Tilley and Grace’s Annabel turquoise and silver and gold filigree disc necklace, £29.99, www.toggsand cloggs.co.uk

Teal sweater poncho in a blend of silk and cotton by Aine, £98 from Trefriw Woollen Mills, www.t-w-m.co.uk

Soft and feminine in pink, Vera Mont Robe Legere 11, £160, www.veramont.com

A figure flattering summer dress can be worn with a simple cardigan for a casual lunch, or be accessorised with pretty jewellery for a day at the races. Adini Kew Dress in Silver Floral print, £52.50, www.adinionline.co.uk

Linen Silk Mix Poncho, £89, www. jigsaw-online.com

A beautiful scarf is a chic accessory that instantly completes an outfit. It will keep you warm on cooler evenings but won’t make you too hot as the weather improves. Tilley and Grace Angel Fish Silk Scarf, £27.99, www. toggsandcloggs.co.uk

110 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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

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Three of the best… Spring/Summer 2017 catwalks were awash with models sporting punchy red lips and minimal makeup. We love this super-chic look so we asked vintage hair and makeup artists, The Blusherettes (www.theblusherettes.com) to test three red lipsticks and give us their verdict on colour, durability, moisture and bleed-factor TRIED AND TESTED: RED LIPSTICKS

Rimmel London Kate Moss Lasting Finish Matt Lipstick #110, £5.49, Superdrug This was such a vibrant colour, hardly any bleed and really stained the lips. Even after coffee and lunch it was still there but needed a freshen up. It’s a little drying as it’s a matt lipstick, but for the price, it was great. 8/10

Autograph Moisture Colour Lipstick in Editor’s Pick, £10, M&S A mid price-point lipstick and surprisingly creamy for a matt colour. It’s a nice shade but doesn’t have the bright pop of red we love. It smells nice though, didn’t bleed much and lasted well. 7/10

Nars Pure Red Matt Lipstick in Vesuvio, £21, www.narscosmetics.co.uk



The priciest of the bunch coming in at £21, this lipstick is proof that you really do get you pay for. The texture felt luxurious on the lip and is such a beautiful vibrant shade of red. It has tons of moisture and it lasted really well, it only needed a quick top up after a good few hours. 9/10

We can’t turn back the clock but there are a few things we can do to help skin look its best and reduce the appearance of ageing. Hollie Manning, beauty and massage therapist at Pamper Treat Repeat, shares her skincare tips…

Exfoliate As we get older, skin cell renewal slows down so we need to give it a helping hand. Use a scrub once or twice a week to brighten up a dull complexion and help skin regain its healthy glow. Need a harder working treatment? Try microdermabrasion. This treatment exfoliates, rejuvenates and results in firmer, more youthful-looking skin. Stay hydrated Dehydration will cause fine lines to appear, particularly around the eyes. Drink plenty of water as it also rids the body of toxins and boosts energy. Book a facial Take the guesswork out of which products you should be using on your skin by seeing

a professional. Discover your skin type, get solutions to issues and find the right products for you (and enjoy a pamper too!) Have a good skincare routine Cleanse, tone and moisturise morning and night and always remove your make up. Washing your face thoroughly before bed will remove bacteria and dirt that can cause problems for your skin while you sleep. Clean your phone screen? It might seem obvious, but phone screens carry lots of bacteria which can cause acne and breakouts so give your screen a regular clean! www.facebook.com/pampertreatrepeat

112 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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Keep your peepers in tip-top condition with these beauty buys Modern lifestyles can play havoc with our eyes. From staring at screens, driving long distance and wearing contact lenses, to central heating or air conditioning in our homes, they can all cause irritation. Try these eye-soothing solutions and feel bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in no time… Fruit Eye Masks, £2, www.uk.flyingtiger.com A fruity looking but cool little number that refreshes tired eyes. Just pop in the fridge to activate the gel and place onto your eyes…and relax! Moulded Eyemask, £5, marksandspencer.com Ideal for travellers, this ultra light luxury moulded eye mask prevents light disturbing your sleep so you can drift off to dreamland. Estee Lauder Stress Relief Eye Mask, £28 for 10 packettes, Boots Anti-stress and antifatigue ingredients relax, refresh and reduce puffiness in the skin around the eyes.

Optrex ActiMist™ 2in1 Eye Spray for Dry + Irritated eyes, £15.31, Lloyds Pharmacy Rid yourself of dry and irritated eyes with Optrex’s latest spray that will sooth and calm them in one quick spritz.

Liz Earle Superskin Eye Cream, £35 for 15ml, John Lewis Slow the ageing process and firm and brighten the delicate eye contour with this luxe botanical hydrating cream.


During the Spring/Summer 2017 fashion shows, high ponytails were swinging down the catwalk. Perfect for work, this is one hairstyle that can go from the office to the bar, it’s slick, slick, slick! Here’s how to create this high-end look in a few simple steps Step 1 The best way to work out the placement for your ponytail is to align it with where your cheekbones are and follow it up diagnonally, pulling the hair back at that point. Use a soft brush and hairspray to brush the hair upwards, smoothing constantly. Step 2 Smooth Tie the hair securely with two hair elastics then create a ‘skinny braid’ by taking a section of hair from under the ponytail, braiding it then wrapping it around the base of the ponytail, securing with a couple of hair clips or pins. Step 4 Add volume by back-combing the ponytail in the middle and at the roots and spray liberally with texturizing spray. Step 5 Finish off by smoothing with your brush and help tame any flyaway hairs with plenty of hairspray. WISH LIST

Manicure Kit, £10, The Vintage Cosmetics Company Keep your nails in tip-top condition with this rather pretty little manicure set. Available from Boots, Superdrug, John Lewis and www. thevintagecosmeticcompany.com Lip primer, £7.99, H&M Make your lipstick last and last and avoid it bleeding below the lip line with this fab lip primer.

May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 113

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The risks of high blood pressure


After seeing his GP, a father explains to his daughter what the doctor said about his diagnosis of hypertension… by Dr Barling – ‘So Dad, what did the doctor have to say?’ – ‘Well I’ve got high blood pressure or hypertension and he seemed pretty confident in this. He made several measurements of my blood pressure over a few weeks and the figures were all elevated.’ – ‘What does that mean?’ – ‘He said they were all blood pressures of 140 over 90. I understand that these figures mean that you’re at a greater risk of complications. He then said I had a risk of stroke of between 35 and 40 per cent.’ – ‘Mum, you were there – what else did the doctor say?’ – ‘He did say quite a lot and it was a good thing that I was there because clearly Dad was upset so I listened carefully and got some information leaflets as well. He said that it was very easy to measure blood pressure at home by buying a validated

– ‘Did the doctor mention machine such as an Omron diet at all?’ which could be obtained from – ‘Yes he said that the first and any pharmacy. An alternative important thing in diet is to to this was using a 24-hour reduce his salt. Processed foods ambulatory monitor where you tend to have considerable salt wear a blood pressure machine added. The easy way to check for a whole day and night and these is to look at the packet or the it takes your blood pressure container that the food is in and every half hour. He was quite it’ll mention what the salt load is. encouraging in saying that And if we pick out foods that are treatment for blood pressure that have lower salt this will have a reduced the risk of strokes definite effect on your and heart attacks Dad’s blood pressure. considerably – in ‘There are great We’re going on what’s fact strokes could be benefits from called a Mediterranean reduced by 35 to 40 lowering your diet which basically per cent, and heart blood pressure means a diet that is has attacks by 15 to 25 by self treatment a high consumption per cent and very methods’ of olive oil, vegetables significantly heart and fruits, and a failure can be reduced moderate to high consumption of by up to 64 per cent, plus there fish instead of meat. are benefits to help prevent kidney disease.’ – ‘What happens then?’ – ‘Well that sounds pretty good Mum. How do we do it?’ – ‘Well there are lots of things that can be done by your Dad himself. He can increase his walking to at least 30 minutes two to three times a week at a reasonable pace. He must lose some weight and as you know he’s a little bit tubby so he could lose maybe five kilograms which is not too difficult. And that would benefit his blood pressure. He should also reduce his alcohol a bit.’

– ‘The doctor said that when you’ve started all these self treatment methods, it will be worth recording blood pressure with your home machine and seeing if there’s been any improvement. If the blood pressure still remains elevated over 140/90 then the doctor would have to start using some drugs to modify the pressure. He said that the top figure was the most important figure as this was the one associated with complications. He also

Dr Peter Barling is a retired local practitioner, who trained in Birmingham and London, and worked as a doctor for 42 years, 37 of these as a GP, in Banff, Alberta and Oswestry, Shropshire

mentioned research published in 2015 called the Sprint Study which was done on nearly 10,000 patients, all over 50 years old. It showed that intensive lowering of blood pressure to below 120 caused a significant reduction in fatal and non-fatal complications; heart failure reduction by 34-38 per cent; heart attack reduction by 43 per cent and deaths from all causes by 27 per cent!’ – ‘You know Mum, this all makes sense. There are loads of benefits to lowering your blood pressure by self treatment methods. If medication is needed you can get your blood pressure right down – and intensive lowering of blood pressure can be even more beneficial. It was worth having your blood pressure checked and monitored.’ – ‘Yes I’ll see the nurse for routine follow ups on six monthly basis and having Mum there was very useful!’

114 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2017

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Health & Wellbeing In this edition of Shire Magazine experts from the University of Chester offer us their advice and guidance on aspects of health that are vital to the wellbeing of all of us. With thoughts turning to the summer months ahead, Lizzie Parker (lecturer in Exercise and Nutrition Science in the department of Clinical Science and Nutrition) and her colleague Ursula Kenny (lecturer in Clinical Sciences and Nutrition) show us how to approach the coming season in a happy, healthy way Lizzie Parker

Ursula Kenny

With the summer holidays fast approaching, it is easy to slip into the annual ‘Summer Body Panic’ state of mind. Most of us welcome the summer season with open arms, however some dread its approach due to a lack of body-confidence. In an attempt to address perceived flaws, extreme strategies are too often drawn upon, which can be damaging to both our physical and mental wellbeing. Societal influences, particularly the mass-media, can contribute to the perception of body ideals. The images portrayed in the media are unrealistic and often unattainable, yet we still feel a pressure to conform to these ideals. Moreover, the multitude of solutions marketed to us in the media do not promote positive body image – in fact, they increasingly convince us that we should be dissatisfied with and need to act on our appearance, in order to meet the ‘beach body’ ideal. It’s tempting to succumb to this pressure, but it does not benefit our health. Here are our tips to help you achieve a body that you are both happy and confident with, ahead of the summer months, in a more realistic and health-promoting way. DO NOT DIET

Crash diets are marketed everywhere you look, they work, but only in the short term. Research shows that those who maintain weight loss long-term, follow a balanced, non-restrictive diet. Avoid strict dietary plans and take control of your own food intake. Plan ahead and take healthy snacks with you when you’re out and about so you’re always ahead of the game!


Don’t set unrealistic or unhealthy goals, then punish yourself for failing to meet your own expectations. Be kind to your body, respect it and focus on what your body can do, rather than how it looks. This instantly helps you to become more body positive. Note down the things you’re grateful for being able to do with your body to help boost this body positivity.

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Don’t compare yourself to others, instead celebrate your individuality and accept that your appearance is unique. Promote individuality within your friendship or work circles as this creates a body-positive environment for yourself and for those around you. Think about things you admire in these people – it often won’t be bodyimage based, so why judge yourself that way? Again, jot down the top qualities you’d like people to associate with you – loyalty, your smile, your laugh. Be positive and share it around your friends and colleagues!

Aim to be active for at least 30 minutes every day, 5 days a week. The good news is that this can be accumulated in 10 minute blocks throughout the day and the more you can break up your sitting time, and move more (outside of sport or exercise), the better it is for your health and the lower your risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes and it helps sustain long-term weight loss. Think outside of the gym – can you walk more during your day, take the stairs instead of the lift? Research shows a link between TV viewing time and disease risk, so swap the telly for a brisk walk instead, burn some calories and boost vitamin D too!



TAKING CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH It’s Mental Health Awareness Week from 8th – 15th May. We asked The Mental Health Foundation for its advice on how to keep mental health issues at bay 1. Talk about your feelings This can help you stay in good mental health and deal with times when you feel troubled. 2. Keep active Regular exercise boosts self-esteem, helps you concentrate, sleep, and look and feel better. 3. Eat well What we eat may affect how we feel. Three meals a day or five smaller snacks throughout the day, plus plenty of water, is ideal for maintaining good mental health. Limit highcaffeine, sugary drinks and alcohol. 4. Drink sensibly We often drink alcohol to change our mood; to deal with fear or loneliness, but the effect is only temporary. Occasional light drinking is perfectly healthy and enjoyable for most people. Stay within the recommended daily alcohol limits: three to four units a day for men; two to three units a day for women. 5. Keep in touch Strong family ties and supportive friends can help you deal with the stresses

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of life, make you feel cared for, help keep you active, grounded and help solve practical problems. 6. Ask for help If things are getting too much for you, ask for help. Your family or friends may be able to offer practical help or a listening ear. Local services are there to help you too. 7. Take a break A change of scene is good for your mental health. It could be a five-minute pause from cleaning, a half-hour lunch break at work, or a weekend exploring somewhere new. 8. Do something you are good at What do you love doing? What activities can you lose yourself in? What did you love doing in the past? Enjoying yourself can help beat stress and doing something you’re good at can really help boost your self-esteem. 9. Accept who you are Be proud of who you are, accept the things you may not be good at, but focus on what you can do well. 10. Care for others Helping out can make us feel needed and valued. It helps us to see the world from another angle and puts our own problems into perspective. www. mentalhealth.org.uk

In our health section we plan to bust some health myths every edition – and we’re starting by debunking several popular theories surrounding the drinking of alcohol 1) The ‘hair of the dog’ theory People often say that they can only cure a hangover by drinking more alcohol the following morning – but this won’t help your recovery. It’s more likely to prolong the suffering and actually make it worse as you are just adding more alcohol to the problem! Another ‘cure’ often suggested is to drink coffee after alcohol – but seeing as coffee is a diuretic it will only make you more dehydrated and feel even worse. 2) Eating at the same time as drinking alcohol stops you getting drunk You do feel the effects of alcohol quicker on an empty stomach, but having eaten first only delays the absorption into your system. So while eating first could mean the slower absorption keeps a hangover at bay better, it won’t stop it entering your bloodstream. Not only that, if you decided to eat a big meal after drinking, it won’t help how you feel at all. 3) Wine before beer and you’ll feel queer; beer before wine and you’ll feel fine There’s little evidence to back up this theory as the order you consume alcohol in doesn’t have much impact on how you feel. That said, someone who mixes their drinks could lose track of their consumption levels more easily and thus feel worse the next day. To prove the unlikely truth of the myth remember the alternative saying… ‘Beer before liquor, never sicker; liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. Confused? Stick with the old adage: ‘Better safe than sorry’ instead!

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Doing gender on the school agenda

Dr Paula Hamilton, an education expert at Glyndwr University, discusses the deeper impact behind some of the things we might all say and do that potentially gender stereotype our children. It started many years ago and is still prevalent today in homes and schools. So next time you tell your husband For more to ‘man-up’, or suggest your son is health and a disorganised mess because he’s a boy wellbeing stories turn to while begging your daughter to behave page 114 in a more ladylike manner, think again…


ender expectations are deeply embedded within the fabric of society. It can start with the unthinking use of a common phrase or a throwaway line between family members, and the primary school classroom is no exception. Despite various policies and strategies aimed at addressing this issue, it remains prevalent in primary schools, potentially limiting children’s learning, achievements, behaviour and choices. One responsibility of a teacher is to empower young people to make life and career choices; promoting equality by deconstructing boundaries. Unfortunately, gender differences are so deeply rooted within our culture that they’ve become normalised, making it hard to think differently. It is not uncommon for teachers to fall short by introducing gender bias through the language they use, the subjects they encourage pupils to study and the way they interact with girls and boys. Stereotypes which enter the classroom commonly position girls as

‘articulate, organised, tidy, diligent, cooperative and gossipy’ and boys as ‘aggressive, dominating, loud, disorganised, untidy and easily distracted.’ Traditionally certain subjects have been labelled as being gender biased; boys lean towards science, maths and IT and girls English, art, domestic science and modern languages. Such perceptions date back to the first Education Act (1870) which gave all children, aged five to 13 the right to a universal education.

Reverting to type It was the same for much of the late twentieth century; needlework and cookery remained compulsory for girls until the late 1970s. Girls were encouraged to follow domestic, service sector or secretarial roles and steered away from subjects such as science and maths. The introduction of the National Curriculum in 1988 had a significant impact on gender equity as it required all children to follow the same core subjects. However, when choice is reintroduced post-16, many young people revert back to sex-typed subject courses. This is shown through the persistent trend

Dr Paula Hamilton is programme leader in Education and Childhood Studies at Wrexham Glyndwr University. Find out more about courses available at www.glyndwr.ac.uk or call 01978 293439.

in A-level choice. The main subjects studied by males are physics, maths and economics whereas females opt for English, biology and psychology, according to the Institute of Physics (2013). Consequently, these subject choices influence the careers young people enter; 82 per cent of workers in caring and leisure services and 77 per cent of administrative and secretarial workers are female, while 67 per cent of managers and senior officials and 80 per cent of science, engineering and technology professionals are male. A more critical style of thinking is required about the ways in which gender inequality and perceptions dictate teaching practices. Teachers need to become more aware of the constraints and incorporate multiple ways of reacting in order to broaden the scope for children throughout their education. To thrive in a truly equal society we must start over, and re-examine how we talk to, treat, educate and expect our children to behave both at home and at school. May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 117

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SCHOOLS NEWS Read about the wonderful achievements, show-stopping successes and exciting news from the bright young things at our regions schools, colleges and universities

Glyndwr leading the way on youth work

Peter Rushforth using his skills in a butchery competition

Butchery star Peter is top of the chops


Journal Young Butcher of the eter Rushforth’s career Year title, represented the UK decision to opt for an in a European Young Butchers apprenticeship instead of Competition and was runner up continuing his academic studies in the Premier Young Butchers at university is paying dividends contest during 2016. for the 21-year-old. His success is down to hard The multi-award-winning work, dedication and support butcher from Leeswood, North from his employers, Clive and Wales has just returned from Gail Swan at Swan’s Farm Shop, the United States after securing Treuddyn, Mold and Cambrian a scholarship from Meat Training Company. Promotion Wales/Hybu Cig Peter started working Cymru to study the His success Saturdays at the farm development and use is down to shop to earn pocket of beef forequarter hard work, money and left college and related products. Just a day after dedication with three A levels. Rather than university, returning to the UK, and great he opted to become an he was adding another support apprentice butcher. He’s award to his bulging now one month away trophy cabinet, after from completing the Higher being named Higher Apprentice Apprenticeship – the academic of the Year by the Cambrian equivalent of a degree. Training Company. Cambrian Training Company, The award capped delivers apprenticeships to 1,200 a memorable 12 months for learners and works with around Peter who won a WorldSkills 400 employers across Wales. gold medal, the Meat Trades

Jess Achilleos (right) and Hayley Douglas (centre) with Ann Lyn Robinson, youth work strategy manager for Welsh Government


top Wrexham university will be spearheading a government review into the future of youth work in Wales after being chosen to take on the project. Wrexham Glyndwr University is to gather feedback on the National Youth Work Strategy for Wales 2014-18 and report to Welsh Government on its findings. The university received a £25,000 grant to take on the project, which will be led by Jess Achilleos and Hayley Douglas, lecturers in Youth and Community Work. They will engage with all 22 local authorities and dozens of voluntary groups to gauge how successful the present plan has been. ‘We’ll be working with all councils and organisations in other sectors to determine how the current strategy can be improved,” said Jess. ‘This

is a vital piece of work for the sector, but also for Wrexham Glyndwr University and our youth work degree, so we are honoured to be taking it forward and leading on the project.’ The research will also seek the opinions of young people and the key objectives of the evaluation are to ‘identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats’ of the strategy and any gaps in its direction. Youth work is an ‘intrinsic element’ of the Welsh Government’s focus, which seeks to ensure that all 11 to 25-year-olds have the services, support and experience they need to achieve their potential and ‘advance their life chances.’ ‘We will concentrate on North Wales and the east of the country, while Cardiff Metropolitan University covers the west and the south. Susanne will lead the consultation with the voluntary sector,’ added Jess. ‘Wrexham Glyndwr University’s presence in the sector has grown in past years because we believe so strongly in youth work provision and quality, which is why we pursued this and so proud to be leading on future improvements in the sector.’ Visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk for more info on BA (Hons) Youth and Community work.



opular TV scientist and presenter Professor Robert Winston will be visiting Oswestry this June to speak at The Marches Festival of Education. In the 1970s Lord Winston was made famous by his discoveries and advances to fertility treatments and he has gone on to become a household name as well as renowned expert in the field.

His TV programmes about children and families such as The Secret Life of Twins and Child of Our Time have become staples of the viewing schedules for millions and The Human Body scooped a BAFTA award. However, Robert continues to run research programmes at Imperial College London and to date has written over 300 scientific publications.

He is also chairman of the Genesis Research Trust – a charity which raised over £13 million to establish the Institute of Reproductive and Developmental Biology and which now funds high quality research into women’s health and babies. Sarah Longville, executive headteacher of The Marches Academy Trust said: ‘I’m thrilled that Professor Robert Winston will be joining us at our Festival of Education

and look forward to him delivering a scientific perspective to child development and learning, based upon his extensive research.’ The Festival of Education is on 29th June at The Marches School in Oswestry, Shropshire. For further information on the festival programme, speakers and more, please visit www. marcheseducation.com.

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All change at Moor Park as school pupils take to the stage


t is an exciting time for staff and students at Moor Park school near Ludlow as work to develop the Early Years areas opens up more opportunities across the school. In May 2016, the Early Years setting was once again graded as Outstanding by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. It currently consists of Tick Tock Nursery and a dedicated Nursery and Kindergarten, going into Reception, and now the decision

has been made to amalgamate the provision to create one cohesive 0-5 Early Years unit. This will boast bright and spacious rooms, fit for purpose and fully equipped to meet the needs of each age group. A clever use of space means that there is more room for the children, with plenty of scope for the required sleeping rooms, toilets, changing spaces and other facilities. The addition of a ‘snug’ gives the children the required

quiet space for stories and sleeping, whereas the dedicated baby sleep room will be fitted with mood lighting and have a special space for breastfeeding mums. There will also be a Performing Arts Centre at Moor Park which will incorporate a classroom for music teaching, ensemble performance space, specialist music practice rooms, dedicated space for drama and dance teaching, storage for musical

instruments and props, office spaces, a staff room, toilets and other facilities. If you would like to tour the school, or have any questions about these facilities, please do not hesitate to contact the registrar by email at: head@moorpark.org.uk.


Student Harriett Bailey studying in South Africa


orth Shropshire College (NSC) Level 5 Animal Science students have recently returned from an educational research trip to South Africa as part of their foundation degree. The group stayed at the Mankwe Game Reserve in North West Province; a dedicated field education and research site. The team

at the reserve were extremely knowledgeable and helped the students complete their projects, while teaching them about the fascinating natural history of South Africa. The students took part in various research activities including bird spotting, game walks and soil sampling. NSC student Harriett Bailey said: ‘The South Africa Trip was action-packed and such a brilliant learning experience. I collected research on dung beetle behaviour and will be sharing these findings with a wider research programme.’ The data collected by the students is now being used in their own projects to draw conclusions of their work.

Super citizens get top honour


wo pupils from Oswestry School recently attended the awards ceremony for the High Sheriff of Shropshire’s Outstanding Young Citizenship Award 2017. Sixth Form student Will Simpson and 1st Form pupil Tom Evans attended the prize giving held on Monday 20th March at Shrewsbury College. In front of a packed audience the High Sheriff, dressed in ceremonial splendour, praised the work of young people across the county in bringing about positive change to their communities. Will was singled out for his voluntary contributions at Shropshire Sailing club, scouting, and his enthusiastic embracing of all things CCF

(Combined Cadet Force). Tom was nominated for his outstanding charity work, including his pink sheep and Christmas cards in aid of Cancer Research. He’s raised almost £20,000 and has been crowned Junior Young Shepherd of 2016; Young Handler of the year by the Kerry Hill Flock Society for the third year running as well as appearing in a TV documentary for BBC2 Wales.

Sophie Chambers and Katy Tilston of Hadlow Edwards Wealth Management

Bright young business stars from Wrexham firm earn their place in new talent academy


Wrexham Glyndwr University, WO bright young business Bangor University, Coleg stars from a Wrexham Cambria and Grwp Llandrillo finance firm have been selected Menai. Medwyn Edwards, to be part of a new North Wales director of Hadlow Edwards, Young Talent Academy. said: ‘The company is delighted Katy Tilston and Sophie to have been part of this very Chambers, both 26 and team exciting and innovative project leaders at Hadlow Edwards which aims to give the cream of Wealth Management in Regent young business talent the various Street, have been put forward skills they will need to enhance for the newly formed academy their own careers and benefit which is designed to keep the their employers. cream of the region’s aspiring ‘Another major commerce leaders in North Wales. It gives young aim is to help retain the kind of people in Young people, aged business North Wales who will between 18-30, will take talent the part in the 15-month various skills be of crucial importance to the future success programme, which kicks they will need and prosperity of the off in April, and Katy of to succeed region. Both Katy and Broughton and Sophie Sophie are the perfect of Saltney are two of candidates to lead the way on the the first group of students to be course and we wish them every enrolled in the academy which success with their studies.’ is receiving major backing from For more information on their employer. the North Wales Young Talent The business skills scheme, Academy as an employer or which is part funded by potential recruit, please call employers, forms part of the Gaenor Roberts or Rachel North Wales Business Academy, Allen on 01978 293375 or email a £4.4 million European Social gaenor.roberts@glyndwr.ac.uk. Fund (ESF) project involving

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Shrewsbury High School’s gymnastic genius!


Richard Noble with Paul Hinkins, chair of the governing corporation at TCAT, and the Bloodhound car



and manufacturing, involving supersonic car which is over 350 companies and aiming to break the world universities. At full speed, it land speed record proved a huge will cover a mile in 3.6 seconds hit during its week-long stay at – that’s the equivalent of 4.5 Telford College of Arts football pitches laid end-to-end, and Technology. every second. As well as getting More than 700 students from to see the vehicle itself, a host of schools and TCAT students also colleges were involved At full built and raced their in the Bloodhound speed, the own miniature rocketproject, an interactive Bloodhound powered cars under touring roadshow will cover one the watchful eye of promoting the value of mile in 3.6 Bloodhound engineers. careers in engineering. seconds It was all part of Bloodhound is a week of activities, planning to become centred around the promotion of the first car to smash through STEM subjects. The highlight the 1,000mph barrier, and is due being a visit from Bloodhound to begin its first test runs in the project director Richard Noble, south of England this summer. who held the world land speed The car is the product of record from 1983 to 1997. eight years of research, design

categories. Gymnastics coach at hrewsbury High School the school, Sarah-Jane Howard is celebrating a clutch was delighted with how all the of medals after a successful girls performed, adding: ‘A competition for both prep special mention must go to Year and senior gymnasts at the 6 pupil Aemilia Orr who stepped Midlands Independent School into the prep team with 48 hours Gymnastics Championships notice, and came into school in held in Lincolnshire. Founded her holidays to learn a complex in 1998, the championships and choreographed routine!’ are a tough two-day weekend competition for girls, boys and mixed teams – both advanced and novice gymnasts. Shrewsbury High came away with Bronze for the Senior A Team, Bronze for the Prep A Team, and Silver for the Senior B team. On top of the team success, Lilia Banks won an individual bronze, with Evee Stevenson-Lea Shrewsbury High Prep and Senior gymnasts taking fourth in their

Top choices for pupils

Pupils urged to put pen to paper for WWII competition


special competition open to all children in the area has been arranged for this year’s Colwyn Bay Forties Festival from 20th - 21st May. Youngsters have been set a task by the Festival and Rydal Penrhos School of writing a story set during the Second World War, and the competition is open to both Primary and Year 7-9 pupils. Story ideas children may want to look at include; evacuees in Colwyn Bay, air raids, watching aeroplanes take off/return from fighting, letters from war, surviving on rations, an undercover mission, VE Day or the D-Day landings. The stories, which should be between 250-500 words, will be judged in two categories by Rydal Penrhos staff members including

headmaster Simon Smith, and the deadline for entries is Saturday 13th May. The winning entries will receive a special prize presented during the weekend’s festivities. Susan Hogan, director of communications at Rydal Penrhos, said: ‘This competition has been set-up so that children can explore their creative side while also finding out more about what life was like during the War. We hope that as many schools and children across the region get involved and we are looking forward to reading the entries.’ To submit an entry to the competition, email SHogan@ rydalpenrhos.com or send by post to Susan Hogan, Rydal Penrhos School, Pwllycrochan Ave, Conwy LL29 7BT.


he Firs School Chester is once again celebrating the fact that all their Year 6 pupils have received offers and accepted places at their first choice of Secondary Schools. Many pupils have found themselves with a dilemma of being offered several places. Four pupils have also been offered academic scholarships. Pupils will be heading to Calday Grange Grammar School, West Kirby Grammar School, Abbey Gate College, King’s School, Ruthin School, Upton School, Christleton High School and Ellesmere College. Headteacher Lucy

Davies said: ‘We are very proud of our pupils for working so hard to achieve their first choice Secondary School and 25 per cent of them receiving a scholarship. ‘We start to prepare pupils for the rigorous entrance procedures well in advance with our comprehensive transfer programme. Our Gifted and Talented Programme starts in Year 2 ensuring that pupils who show a special talent or gift for an area such as maths, English, music, drama etc are provided lots of extra-curricular opportunities to really progress themselves.’

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01691 688080 WWW.NSC.AC.UK


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Wolves Community Trust the official charity of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club

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More than just an education... Start your journey and see how we can make your child #RealiseTheirPotential To book a tour or for more information call 01492 530155 or email admissions@rydalpenrhos.com

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Author and renowned Viking expert Professor Stephen Harding has just launched his latest novel following tales of Scandinavian adventure… ith current TV dramas making Viking culture a hot from those times. The village of Thingwall was in fact topic, Stephen is hoping that Ingrimund’s Saga, a an important meeting place for Vikings, home to its new edition of an earlier novel he put together in 2000, ‘parliament’ at the time and the local football team, will capitalise on the current popularity of Tranmere, takes its title from Old Norse the ancient race. language. The word ‘tran’ meant a crane ‘Thingwall was an ‘The Vikings seem to go in and out of bird and ‘mere’ is a sandbank – other local important meeting fashion, alternately being cool or uncool, so place for Vikings, and places have shown clear links to a Viking let’s hope the re-release of this book has home to a ‘parliament’, past as well; Thor’s Rock at Thurstaston is been timed to coincide with the current and Meols was once a surrounded in Viking myth, and Meols was trend,’ he says. once home to a Viking sea port. Viking sea port’ Stephen, who was born in Wallasey and Such rich heritage sparked a fascination went to Wallasey Grammar School on the in the young Stephen who listened to his Wirral, has been interested in the Vikings grandfather’s tales with awe – going on since his childhood on the peninsular, which to spend much of his life researching and has strong links with the ancient settlers. writing about Wirral and its Viking past. Ingrimund’s Saga tells the story of He is now scientific advisor to the a particular group of Vikings from Norway, University of Nottingham’s Centre for the and explains how they were expelled Study of the Viking Age and has written from that country and travelled across or co-authored five previous books on to Scotland and then down the Irish Sea Vikings, and has another one, Science looking for somewhere to call home. And The Vikings, due to be published next ‘They attempted to settle in Anglesey month. He is now acknowledged as such an but were sent packing,’ Stephen explains. ‘Then they expert in the field that he was knighted by Norway’s came to some agreement with the English ruler of King Harald V for his work in spreading knowledge of the time and were able to base themselves around the Vikings in Britain. This is the highest honour that the Chester area, spreading around the River Dee, the can be conferred on a citizen of another country and Wirral and North Wales. one Stephen is very proud of, alongside the fact that ‘Those areas are rich in Viking place names, fellow Viking buff and former TV presenter Magnus archaeology and customs to this day and the book Magnusson wrote the original introduction to his book, should explain all those links and that history in a way ‘Sadly Magnus has died since then, so in this edition I that is designed to be written for anyone to read, have added a dedication to him. whether they have a prior interest in Vikings or not.’ ‘The book also includes results from a huge DNA Stephen’s obsession with all things Viking first came study we carried out several years ago on male family about after his grandfather explained to him the origins members living in areas known to have Viking family of many Wirral places and organisations that stem names since before 1600. They had over 50 per cent Scandinavian heritage! ‘Knowing more about these links gives local people a greater sense of pride as it was once such a vital hub for the country and the Vikings, and their impact on the area, was a big part of that,’ concludes Stephen.

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Join fellow bookworms for an evening in the company of Alys Fowler, talking on the subject of her new book Hidden Nature: A Voyage Of Discovery. Organised by Booka Bookshop in Oswestry, the award-winning writer, presenter and passionate gardener will be discussing her adventures as she set out in an inflatable kayak to explore Birmingham’s canal network. The Wynnstay Hotel, Church Street, Oswestry, 7pm for 7.30pm £10 without book (£5 can go towards book) or £20 to include signed copy. Tickets from www.bookabookshop.co.uk 3RD MAY

David Baldacci has sold over 100 million copies of his 33 novels. All have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels have been translated into more than 45 languages and sold in more than 80 countries; over 110 million copies are in print worldwide. David has also published six novels for younger readers. Launching his latest book, The Fix, he has agreed to appear at just two independent bookshops in the UK, and Lingham’s in Heswall on the Wirral, is one of them. Tickets are available from the store on Telegraph Road, Heswall or via Eventbrite. Torintone Suite, Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa, Thornton Hough Doors open 7.30pm for 8.00pm £16.99 (includes copy of The Fix) 8TH MAY Poetry in Presteigne is hosting its regular evening of poetry at the Radnorshire Arms Hotel, featuring John Barnie, reading from his latest collection Wind playing with a man’s hat and Giles Turnbull, a blind poet who will be reading from his latest pamphlet Dressing Up. The evening includes book sales and Q&A session. The Radnorshire Arms Hotel, High Street, Presteigne, 7.30pm £5 on the door (£2 students)

Not one but TWO Sunday Times Bestsellers are visiting Linghams in Heswall: Milly Johnson, talking about her new book Queen of Wishful Thinking which has sold over one million copies worldwide, and Jane Costello taking about her book Summer Nights at the Moonlight Hotel. Linghams Book Shop, Telegraph Road, Heswall, 6.30pm for 7pm Tickets £8 (£5 towards either book) Call 0151 342 7290 for tickets 11TH MAY AND 11TH JUNE Bring your favourite published poems to Wenlock Books’ morning of poetry and breakfast. May’s theme is ‘about the woodlands I will go’ and June’s theme is ‘longest day’. Tea On The Square, Much Wenlock, 8.45am for 9am, £7 to include breakfast 11TH JUNE An all-day book and craft market is being held in Ludlow in June attracting a range of stalls, exhibitors, buyers and sellers. Castle Square, Ludlow www.ludlow.org.uk 17TH JUNE

A day-long creative writing workshop entitled Writing On The Pier will take the sea as its theme, using the very special vantage position of Penarth Pier. There will be plenty of watching and recording, listening and musing in the open air, gathering raw material to serve as prompts for the memory and the imagination. You’ll be based in our own private room in the beautiful pavilion, with views over-looking the Bristol Channel. Here, you will write, share and reflect upon your original sea-inspired Tell us works. Writers of all levels will find about your a warm welcome and a supportive book events! atmosphere. Email editorial@ £50 (£40 unwaged) shiremagazine. Pre-booking is essential co.uk www.literaturewales.org

10TH MAY Professor Stephen Harding launches his new book on Viking adventures at Linghams. Linghams Book Shop, Telegraph Road, Heswall, 6.30 for 7pm Tickets £5.00 (redeemable against book) Call 0151 342 7290 for tickets

21ST JUNE National Writing Day is a celebration of writing creatively. Poems, stories, letters, raps, songs, scripts and more – schools, libraries, writing groups and communities across the country are being encouraged to share in this celebration through a series of events and activities. www.firststory.org.uk

Jane Costello, Summer Nights at the Moonlit Hotel Jane is a local lass and a very popular author. Her stories are fantastic summer reads and her latest one does not disappoint. Lauren returns to a favourite hotel which sits on the shores of Lake Windermere with a couple of friends to learn how to salsa. Great story with believable characters and beautiful descriptions of the Lake District.

Edward Docx Let Go My Hand Edward Docx, nominee of the Man-Booker Prize for Self Help, writes a darkly comic but very moving modern tale of the love between a son, his brothers and their father. The characters or vividly and richly described as the brothers and their dying father travel together across Europe on one last trip. The book asks the fundamental questions about how we live and how we love and ultimately what is it DID YOU that really KNOW? matters in John James the end. Audubon’s Birds of America sold for £10m in 2010

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MANFRED 2017 marks the 200th anniversary of Lord Byron’s epic masterpiece, Manfred, so what better way to kick off our poetry section than by sharing the opening excerpt from that dramatic poem. In future editions we invite you to submit your own works to share and will feature the team’s favourites here. Shorter verse, haiku and even limericks are welcome – but if you follow the pattern of Lord Byron himself we’re unlikely to have the column inches to do your creativity justice! Please keep submissions to under 300 words and send them for our consideration to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk with ‘Poetry’ in the subject area. We look forward to reading them!

Poem for the Day 9 to 5 by Brian Stone As you set off for your day The job may seem quite boring And you might find along the way You’re tempted to be snoring Yet when you’re there and greeted by One smiling face to cheer you The day picks up and gains a laugh To have some friends so near you So soon it is now half past three And you have learnt some scandal From Dave the guy who made the tea Hot love someone can’t handle Almost sad to leave it there It’s five to five we’re leaving Time to make my own hot scandal Let’s go home get weaving.

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THE LAMP must be replenish’d, but even then It will not burn so long as I must watch. My slumbers – if I slumber – are not sleep, But a continuance of enduring thought, Which then I can resist not: in my heart There is a vigil, and these eyes but close To look within; and yet I live, and bear The aspect and the form of breathing men. But grief should be the instructor of the wise; Sorrow is knowledge: they who know the most Must mourn the deepest o’er the fatal truth, The Tree of Knowledge is not that of Life. Philosophy and science, and the springs Of wonder, and the wisdom of the world, I have essay’d, and in my mind there is A power to make these subject to itself – But they avail not: I have done men good, And I have met with good even among men – But this avail’d not: I have had my foes, And none have baffled, many fallen before me – But this avail’d not: – Good, or evil, life, Powers, passions, all I see in other beings, Have been to me as rain unto the sands, Since that all – nameless hour. I have no dread, And feel the curse to have no natural fear, Nor fluttering throb, that beats with hopes or wishes, Or lurking love of something on the earth. Now to my task. – Mysterious Agency! Ye spirits of the unbounded Universe, Whom I have sought in darkness and in light! Ye, who do compass earth about, and dwell In subtler essence! ye, to whom the tops Of mountains inaccessible are haunts, And earth’s and ocean’s caves familiar things – I call upon ye by the written charm Which gives me power upon you – Rise! Appear! [A pause. They come not yet. – Now by the voice of him Who is the first among you; by this sign, Which makes you tremble; by the claims of him Who is undying, – Rise! Appear! – Appear! [A pause. If it be so. – Spirits of earth and air, Ye shall not thus elude me: by a power, Deeper than all yet urged, a tyrant – spell, Which had its birthplace in a star condemn’d, The burning wreck of a demolish’d world, A wandering hell in the eternal space; By the strong curse which is upon my soul, The thought which is within me and around me, I do compel ye to my will. Appear!

We will endeavour to include long and shorter poems each edition so just to encourage contributors of briefer verse, we have decided to share one of our favourite limericks with you. As May 12th 2017, is actually National Limerick Day it seems only fair to acknowledge Edward Lear – the man credited with creating this particular poetic form who was born on that date in 1812. Here, for your inspiration, is There Was A Young Lady, by Edward Lear.

There was a Young Lady whose chin Resembled the point of a pin; So she had it made sharp, and purchased a harp, And played several tunes with her chin.

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What’s in your Stars? Aries: 20th March – 20th April Things are looking more straightforward although a storm’s gathering on the domestic front. To avoid emotional confrontation heed this little guide and you may side-step delicate issues. We are given two eyes, two ears but only one tongue so try to see and hear more than you speak. Hostile advances will attract hostile responses, tit for tat is so draining!

Cancer: 21st June – 23rd July Crabs and Crabettes have great survival skills and you’ve needed them. The future is a mirror with no glass so why look into it? The present is where you stand and you’ve a great deal to be thankful for if you think about it. Keep the faith, no bird soars too high if soaring with its own wings.

Libra: 23rd September – 22nd October Argumentative? Me? Never! But you are, although you do try to look at things from both angles. More serious debating is usually to test the responses of your twin flame to assure their love for you. You really don’t need this sort of guarantee now because your charm and easy-going nature is attracting all you want, need and desire.

Capricorn: 21st December – 20th January

Your sign element is earth which is why your practical and dependable nature is as solid as the ground beneath your feet. There’s a lot being asked of you now so rather than thinking people are taking advantage, celebrate the qualities they’ve come to admire about you. You’re not being taken for granted, you’re being relied upon. Big difference.

Taurus: 20th April – 21st May Placid you may be but not so when your feelings are aroused especially if a flirt’s in your orbit, then horns are lowered and nostrils flare. If someone’s wandering eye gives you cause for suspicion, hold fast – jealousy always finds more than it’s looking for so bear in mind that a wandering eye is vastly inferior to a wandering heart.

Gemini: 21st May – 21st June If you’d lived in England in 1752 and had gone to bed on the evening of September 2nd, you’d have woken up to the morning of September 14th. Why was this? Eleven days had been erased to give birth to the Gregorian calendar. You’ve been losing time and now must make up for it and for you, there’s no excuse!

Leo: 23rd July – 23rd August Every king is descended from a beggar and every beggar from a king. Remember this when someone tries to pull rank. This says something about equality and the game of chess being played in your orbit to those ends. Someone should be reminded that at the end of every game both king and pawn go back into the same box. Checkmate!

Virgo: 23rd August – 23rd September Being the sign associated with harvest it’s true to say you reap what you sow, but planting seeds past their sell-by date isn’t allowing you to sow well. The outer planet Neptune in Pisces symbolises ideals but let them prove their worth before making them a reality, that way, you cannot be accused of confusing the issue.

Scorpio: 23rd October – 22nd November Miners dig deep to find gold, oil, emeralds – riches for sure, perhaps not your life script, however there are other treasures buried within, including endurance, courage and willpower. These will see you through a tricky patch. They may not buy the house of your dreams or an island in the sun but they’ll buy you time – a precious commodity currently.

Sagittarius: 22nd November – 21st December Saturn’s movement highlights the archer, one of your sign’s archetypes, the message here is to aim high. Don’t worry about scoring points, this is about hitting the right spot and your target is wide so you really cannot miss. As long as you’re sincere of heart, your inner archer will perform well. Wisdom is your arrow head!

Aquarius: 20th January – 19th February ‘This is the dawning of the age of Aquarius’, lyrics to an old song but nobody knows when it began because of something called Precession of the Equinoxes. However a new dawn’s beginning for you which isn’t light years away. Your planetary ruler Uranus has rings but nobody runs rings around you! A free spirit’s emerging and you’ll soon feel its power.

Pisces: February 19th – March 20th The Boat was a sign often found on Egyptian tombs signalling a means of transport and it’s an important hieroglyph to meditate on now. It promises that if you’re prepared to look beyond the immediate for an answer to a puzzle, it will be resolved. Three words to add here are: problem, reaction, solution!

Gloria Mans studied astrology and astronomy over an intensive two year period at The Faculty of Astrological Studies in London twenty-seven years ago. She has since written for many publications, appeared numerous times on television and has an impressive client list. The legendary Fay Weldon calls her ‘magic’ and the BBC’s icon Valerie Singleton calls her ‘sensitive’. You can reach her by email on starglow@pc-q.net or through her website: www.gloriamans.com

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Advance Brighter Futures This is a mental health and wellbeing charity, established in Wrexham since 1992. Their services offer people a confidential space to build emotional wellbeing and resilience, helping people get on track to where they want to be or to recover from a particularly bad period of their life. They currently have a number of volunteering vacancies: group activity volunteers, volunteer ambassadors, rural activities volunteers, moving forward mentors, female postnatal depression mentor, walk volunteer, male postnatal depression mentor, gardening volunteer, relaxation volunteer, volunteer project worker – table tennis, volunteer trustee and volunteer receptionist. These current vacancies are for anybody over the age of 18. They give comprehensive training, pay travelling expenses and will be able to provide references. Visit www. advancebrighterfutures

Age UK Cheshire

It is often said that time is the greatest gift that you can give, and with that in mind we are on the lookout for individuals and couples who are able to share the gift of time with an older person in their area. Sharing Time is a new scheme to connect people and create friendships to reduce social isolation and loneliness. We will match participants with an older person who would benefit from having someone come and visit them regularly, whether that’s once a week over a cup of tea, or experiencing new places together. We would ask that you are able to commit to visiting for a minimum of one hour per week; a weekday, evening or at a weekend. We are very proud that over 350 people in Cheshire volunteer to help our charity on a regular basis. We are always on the lookout for volunteers to help support our services, work in our shops and help with Let us fundraising know about activities. the charities Visit www. you support. ageuk.org. uk for more. Email editorial@

shiremagazine. co.uk

Let them Eat Cake! Hope House is celebrating its 21st birthday this year, and asking all cake lovers, coffee drinkers, brilliant bakers and party animals to ‘eat cake’ and raise funds for the children and families they care for. However you choose to help them celebrate – a coffee morning with friends, a bake off in the office or a big birthday bash, the money you raise from your ‘eat cake’ event will help Hope House continue to provide specialist nursing and palliative care for children who are not expected to reach adulthood. With children’s hospices in Oswestry and Conwy, they provide counselling, support, empathy and understanding for their families too. The charity needs to raise £6 million this year to continue helping local children and their families, so every cake sold helps. Getting involved is a piece of cake! Sign up and you’ll be sent a fundraising kit jam-packed with everything you need to set up your event. www.hopehouse.org.uk

Join the Thunderclap for Foster Care Fortnight! Foster Care Fortnight is The Fostering Network’s annual campaign to raise the profile of fostering and to show how foster care transforms lives. It is also the UK’s biggest foster carer recruitment campaign. Foster Care Fortnight 2017 will take place 8th-21st May. Established for almost 20 years, the campaign showcases the commitment, passion and dedication of foster carers. It also supports fostering services to highlight the need for more foster carers. 9,070 new foster families are needed in the next year to care for children, with the greatest need being for foster carers for older children, sibling groups, disabled children and unaccompanied asylum seeking children. On 8th May you could show your support by joining the Thunderclap – a coordinated, mass social media posting to raise awareness of a specific message to a larger audience – in our case, the transformational power of fostering. Just use the hashtag #FCF17 along with #ProudtoFoster and #ProudtoSupportFostering. Download and print off a placard, take a photo of your family and share using the hashtags! www.thefosteringnetwork.org.uk

The Crazy Colour Dash for The Hospice of the Good Shepherd

Walk or run your way past colourful paint stations, fun surprises and test yourself with army and wacky style obstacles on The Crazy Colour Dash in aid of Hospice of the Good Shepherd on 11th June at Whitby Sports and Social Club, Chester. The 3K route offers three waves for participants to choose from: Sky Blue Wave at 11am-12.30pm is for children under 12 (over four years) and families. Then there are two Red Thunder Waves, the first is 1pm-2.30pm and the second is 2.30pm-4pm and are for those over 12. Food and drink will be available to purchase. The Hospice of the Good Shepherd aims to provide the highest quality and standards of specialist palliative care and services for patients, their families and carers. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.ticketquarter. co.uk or call 01244 851811.

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation Wirral Coastal Walk Take part in a wonderful 15 mile coastal walk from Seacombe Ferry Terminal to Wirral Country Park Visitor Centre at Thurstaston on 18th June. This year the Foundation is seeking a minimum of 127 people to join the team because every day in the UK alone 127 people are diagnosed with lung cancer. The registration fee is £5 for adults and just £1 for children under 10 along

with a minimum sponsorship of £25. The walk’s four and 10 mile completion points make it accessible to all ages and abilities. Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation is

a registered charity which aims to provide help and hope to people affected by lung cancer. Founded in 1990, it’s the only UK charity to focus solely on lung cancer care and has a dual focus – saving lives and supporting people affected by lung cancer by funding research into the prevention of lung cancer, supporting lung cancer patients by running support groups and other measures. www.roycastle.org

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Trevor Fletcher understands the vital role our emergency services play

People lead extraordinary lives. This issue Trevor Fletcher from the Wirral a chance wants to thank medics and air ambulance heroes who saved his life after a sudden heart attack at work in Flintshire…


hen 60-year-old Trevor Fletcher turned up for work at the Toyota factory in Deeside on the morning of September 7th last year, he had no idea it would be a day that changed his life forever. He was going about his cleaning duties as normal, but popped out for some fresh air as he wasn’t feeling too well. The next thing the father-of-four remembers is waking up in hospital with his family around him overwhelmed with worry. Luckily, thanks to quick-thinking colleagues and professionals, Trevor has made a full recovery despite having been clinically ‘dead’ for an hour before his life was dramatically saved by a North Wales flying doctor. Trevor, from Birkenhead, explains: ‘I was amazed when I discovered that I had been flown to hospital after I was taken ill at work. I said to my colleagues I felt unwell and was going out for some fresh air. When I didn’t come back they went to find me – and a security guard found me unconscious. I was given CPR by a first-aider and then the defibrillator machine was used. The

first I knew was waking up in hospital. I don’t remember being on the helicopter or in Glan Clwyd, because they kept me unconscious while I was being treated.’

‘The helicopter was able to reach him quickly and had an expert on board, and finally he was flown directly to a specialist cardiac centre. Without all these stages, he probably won’t have made it. This is a real example of how everybody working LIFE SAVING TEAM WORK together has saved a life – from the For those fully conscious, the drama workmate giving mouth to unfolded quickly at Toyota as mouth resuscitation as soon as Dr John Glen arrived with the ‘Without the Trevor was found and being rest of his emergency team on helicopter and flown quickly to the right board the North Wales Air the expert hospital through to the specialist Ambulance. Dr Glen, help on board, intensive care he received on the a consultant anaesthetist with he probably ward. It is fair to say that he’d Betsi Cadwaladr University wouldn’t have been dead for almost an hour Health Board, managed to made it’ when we started to work on him, revive Trevor, and with fellow although the CPR meant that medics, took him to Ysbyty blood was still moving around his body Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan, where he and so keeping his brain going.’ was treated in the specialist cardiac centre Dr Glen – who splits his time between before being transferred to Arrowe Park. Glan Clwyd’s ICU and the Emergency ‘Once the flying medics were alerted, Medical Retrieval and Transfer Service it took us 15 minutes from our base in Cymru (EMRTS), a team of medics who Welshpool to fly to Deeside. There we fly with the Wales Air Ambulance charity found Trevor unconscious and being treated – added: ‘It’s great to see him up and about by paramedics, who were working hard to and looking so well. It’s why I do this job.’ keep him breathing,’ says Dr Glen. Trevor is now back at work and has quit smoking and started exercising to keep himself in better health. His workmates in the Unite union at Deeside have donated £250 to the Wales Air Ambulance, and long-term supporter Toyota UK has previously raised over £28,000. ‘It’s thanks to these people that I am alive today. I simply can’t thank everybody enough for saving me,’ concludes Trevor. We want to share your dramatic stories, celebrate amazing achievements and champion all that makes our area and its people so special. Every edition we’ll pick out one reader’s story to turn into a bigger article so do keep in touch by emailing us at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk

May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 127

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COMING NEXT ISSUE In our next edition covering July and August we’ll be getting ready for the summer with help from our regular contributors plus in-depth features. Don’t miss your copy, which will be available in from the first week of July!




Brace yourself for some flower power as show season starts! Looking at the world famous RHS and its annual exhibition in Cheshire as well as the Shrewsbury Flower Show that brings a burst of colour to the town, we embrace the floral glory of all things flowery in our super summer special.


BRILLIANT BARBECUES Gourmet grilling with our resident celebrity chef Bryn Williams

HEALTHY HOLIDAYS Top tips for travellers from our wellbeing experts at Chester University


When we are surrounded by award-winning stretches of golden sand, historic piers and promenades and picturesque seaside towns, what better time to celebrate the fabulous coastlines we have on our doorstep? Our special report will look at the biggest, the best, the cleanest, the calmest, the most popular and even the little known secret beaches we can all enjoy this summer.

Wines to while away a summer day as recommended by wine guru James Gillespie

THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE AIR Don’t miss our guide to making the most of the light nights and warmer weather as we look at the range of festivals planned for the season, celebrating everything from music to sports, as well as a full programme of open air cinema events and theatre productions.

YOUR TOWN Our area focus features for the July/August edition will look at the Cheshire market town of Congleton, the Shropshire favourite Wem and the enduringly popular resort of Porthmadog in North Wales.

W H AT E L S E ?

Don’t forget our fabulous and essential 60-page What’s On guide to all the events across the area, all the latest summer styles in fashion, sneak peaks at new releases in books, cultural inspiration from our arts section and all the usual poetry, education, readers’ letters and much, much more...

GET IN TOUCH! At Shire Magazine, we want to hear from you… 1. Tell us about your upcoming events. Just remember that we work in advance so June 1st is the deadline for events news for the next issue, July/August. 2. Share your reader stories – have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We’d like to feature it in the next issue to share with our readers. Send us an email, and don’t forget to include a picture or two! See page 127 for a great example… 3. We have lots of things for readers to contribute to – send all your submissions and information by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk

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SHIRE MAGAZINE’S FANTASTIC TICKET COMPETITION Shire Magazine is delighted to offer you, our lovely readers, the chance to win tickets to some amazing shows. Send us your entries by post (postcards are fine) by the closing dates listed and keep your Remember fingers crossed. Don’t worry if the closing date has passed for some of the earlier shows – you can the old saying: still win tickets to all the others! Good luck! ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it’

WIN: A PAIR OF TICKETS TO THE GREGYNOG FESTIVAL CLOSING DATE: June 10th Gregynog classical music festival in Wales was founded in 1933. The 2017 festival has adopted the theme of pageantry and celebrates a remarkably creative community of internationallyrecognised musicians, artists, photographers, writers and dancers in the Harlech area. You could win a pair of tickets for either Michala Petri and Mahan Esfahani (7.30pm on June 17th) or the Ricercar Consort (2.30pm on June 18th) at Gregynog Hall itself, worth £40 each.

WIN: A FAMILY PASS TO THE ROYAL WELSH SPRING FAIR CLOSING DATE: May 13th The Royal Welsh Spring Fair kicks off a packed season of county shows over the weekend of May 20th and 21st at the Royal Welsh Showground. The two-day festival includes have-a-go educational activities, talks, workshops, displays and performances and offers the perfect day out. A fantastic weekendlong celebration of smallholding and rural life. We have a family pass to give away for this action-packed weekend of entertainment worth £30.

WIN: A PAIR OF TICKETS TO A SHOW AT STORYHOUSE CLOSING DATE: June 24th We also have a pair of tickets up for grabs to see a show at Chester’s newest venue Storyhouse, a theatre, cinema, cafe and place where inspiring ideas come to life. Winners can choose from the adults-only Beggars Opera, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the dramatic Julius Caesar or the family-friendly Alice In Wonderland production. These are cracking shows at a great new theatre so enter today!

WIN: A FAMILY PASS TO THE SHROPSHIRE VINTAGE RALLY CLOSING DATE: June 24th This annual charity vintage vehicle show has been running since 1988. For the last 28 years this has been a two-day event which has been held at the Greenhous Showground and has grown into one of the major events in the West Midlands and is a firm favourite with exhibitors and the public alike, many of whom travel long distances to attend. You could win a family pass to the show. Don’t delay, enter today!

WIN: A FAMILY PASS TO THE ROYAL WELSH SHOW CLOSING DATE: June 24th The Royal Welsh Show returns again from Monday 24th – Thursday 27th July to the showground in Llanelwedd. Families will love the four-days of livestock competitions and attractions. With tons of activities including forestry, horticulture, crafts, countryside sports, shopping, delicious local food and drink and a 12-hour programme each day of exciting entertainment, you’ll have a blast! We have a family pass up for grabs! Just answer the simple question below for a chance to win.

WIN: ONE OF FOUR FAMILY PASSES TO GREENWOOD FOREST PARK CLOSING DATE: June 24th Adventurous families seeking fun, adrenaline-packed activities, will love our competition to win a family pass to GreenWood Forest Park. Voted the Best Family Attraction in North Wales for six years, days out don’t get much better! It has the UK’s only solar powered water ride, the world’s first people-powered roller coaster and the longest sledge run in Wales. We have four family day passes, worth over £60 each, up for grabs!

WIN: A FAMILY PASS TO THE SHROPSHIRE COUNTY SHOW CLOSING DATE: May 20th It’s show time in Shropshire and the county show will celebrate and champion all things rural on Saturday, 27th May. There are displays, events, attractions and competitions for everyone and entertainment to appeal to families, friends, farmers and any other visitor to the show. For a full line up of what’s on, flip over to pages 58-61 and read our indepth feature. Enter our fab competition to win a family pass worth £30.

WIN: TICKETS FOR TWO ADULTS ON THE WELSHPOOL & LLANFAIR RAILWAY CLOSING DATE: June 24th Win tickets for two adults to enjoy the breathtaking scenery on a 45-minute journey between Welshpool & Llanfair Caerionion, riding in historic carriages behind a gleaming steam engine. You’ll find a cosy tearoom, picnic area and shop at the terminus. The prize: return tickets for two adults worth around £27 for any regular running day up to 5th November 2017, (Some special events excluded).

HOW TO ENTER: Simply fill in the form with your answer circled (you’ll need to read the magazine to find it!), and include your name, address and daytime contact number. Send it by June 23rd to Tickets Competition, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 1FR. Winners will be notified by email, so don’t forget to include your email address. Question: Which animals did the Romans use to haul boats? a) Shire Horses

Name Address

b) Mules c) Shetland Ponies I’d like to win tickets to: GREGYNOG FESTIVAL








Postcode Daytime Contact Number Email (please complete)

Please do not send me any other information

RULES OF THE COMPETITIONS DATA PROTECTION NOTICE Superstar Publishing Ltd will use your information for administration and analysis purposes and may contact you from time to time with relevant offers, information or for research purposes. Your details will not be passed on to third parties except the sponsors of these competitions. Please tick the relevant box if you do not wish to be contacted. COMPETITION RULES The promoter of these competitions is Shire Magazine, Superstar Publishing, PO Box 276, Oswestry, SY10 1FR. The competitions are open to all readers of our magazine and viewers of our websites except employees of the prize providers. The winner(s) will be the first person or persons drawn after the closing date who has completed the correct answer. No cash alternative is available. The winners’ names can be obtained by writing to the competition address with a self-addressed envelope after the closing date. The winner agrees to participate in any follow-up publicity and must provide a photograph to be published in the following issue to claim their prize. Superstar Publishing may print the name only of entrants to this competition in subsequent issue(s) of Shire Magazine. This is to enable competition entrants to fairly claim a promotional offer, for competition entrants only. By entering this competition you are giving permission for Shire Magazine to print your name only. No personal information will be printed. No purchase necessary, answers on a postcard are accepted.

May/June 2017 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 129

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Mind, body and soil TV presenter and writer Lynne Allbutt tells us about her new feature film, the power of embracing your fears and turning 50...

Writer, speaker, author and bee keeper, Lynne Allbutt has run her own a landscape gardening and design business for over 30 years and cheerfully admits, “Gardening has taught me more about patience, perseverance and personal accountability than propagating and pruning!” Her insightful, down-to-earth approach has also lead her into the media world, presenting several TV series, contributing to radio and conducting interviews in the celebrity world. She is also the first (and only) person to have run the width of Wales barefoot and has written her autobiography, Barefoot and Before, documenting her upbringing in a family with mental health issues, and the various related aspects that lead to the challenge. It’s now being made into a feature film, called Wildflower, for which she’s written the screen play. Passionate about health, wellbeing, motivation and personal development Lynne says, “Ultimately we all want to be happy and have a life we love. I am totally committed to this concept and enjoy sharing what I explore, experience and exploit!” www.lynneallbutt.co.uk


his year has already been a big one for me. I turned 50. Half a ton! be ‘fully engaged’ with your surroundings and the moment. It has reminded me that the thought of something is often far worse than the actual reality – To be honest, many of my years have contained a ‘big’ event either in my guise as an avid fundraiser, or just to satisfy in innate (or insane) curiosity, or to whether it be caving, or turning 50! Another ‘gift’ of reaching ‘half a ton’ is the fact that my autobiography challenge myself in some time-heamorraging way. is to be made into a feature film. I have written the screenplay and we start But turning 50 has been a different kind of ‘big’. In the run up, I likened it to trying to herd feral cats through a narrow gateway. I had all sorts of filming in the summer. It’s been another challenge, to revisit the aspects reservations and resistance – all of which were of course, futile. Then, it came. of my upbringing and earlier life that drive me to do the things I do. It is And went. And actually it has been wonderful, kind of liberating. As a friend an extremely rewarding journey – one of self realisation and acceptance – but often a difficult path to negotiate. It involves a different reminded me, “The first 50 years of childhood are the hardest!” ‘I sincerely hope type of courage and I sincerely hope that sharing my own In true ‘challenging’ fashion, I wanted to do something that would be memorable. I am not a ‘go-to-a-spa’ type of girl. My experiences will that sharing my Mum has bi-polar, and visiting her in hospital as a young adult own experiences inspire others to keep just carved an association of people wearing dressing gowns and will inspire others going through the slippers during the day with being ill. So I asked my cave-diving darker times of life. to keep going Like caving, darkness partner if he would take me swimming through some cave lakes. through the darker brings unexpected I have always shied away from going underground. I have done times of life’ rewards of its own. a parachute jump and a wing walk, so going up was bearable – And finally, just going down was not. It seemed a good opportunity to extend that particular comfort zone, as the picture above shows. to prove that life is easier with a It was absolutely amazing. I loved every second of it. I loved the peace and smile, I am sharing my wonderful quiet, the closeness to nature and the constant monitoring and management birthday gift from clever cartoonist, Karl Dixon from Brecon. It does, of my emotions. There is much written about ‘mindfulness’, its many benefits indeed feel that life has begun! and how to achieve it. But the most organic way to be mindful is simply to

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Available at any of your local Mococo Stores... - C HE S T E R - L I V E R POOL - BI R KENHEAD - WAR R I NGTON - MOLD - WREXHAM - RUTHIN -

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Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine May-June 2017  

Whats on, magazine, days out, events, North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Herefordshire, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, art...

Shire Magazine May-June 2017  

Whats on, magazine, days out, events, North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Herefordshire, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, art...

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