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WIN Show tickets, annual passes and more! Turn to page 145 W E T A N D WO N D E R F U L

A closer look at our amazing canal network FA B S U M M E R S T Y L E S

Get beach ready and beautiful this season



A Cheshire gem full of history and heritage


The town that makes the most of its coast

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WELCOME DEAR READER, Publisher Dan Bromage dan@shiremagazine.co.uk Editor Kate Speedie kate@shiremagazine.co.uk Production Editor Verity Gough verity@shiremagazine.co.uk Art Editor Tom Sullivan Advertising Design Sarah Norman Senior Advertising Executive Trudy Yeardley Staff Writers Eluned Watson Catherine Buckley Distribution Paul Howard Finance & Accounts David Kynaston Email Shire Magazine editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk advertising@shiremagazine.co.uk Contributors John Hargreaves, Gillian Danby, Gloria Mans, Sam Humphreys, P Parker, Clive Potter, James Sherwin, John Stubbs, Tommy Bromage, Helen Cooke, Lizzie Deery, Ursula Kenny, James Gillespie, Graham Tinsley. And thanks to receptionist Georgie.


ith warmer weather, lighter nights and longer days it’s definitely time to get out and about across the Shire patch and enjoy everything it has to offer. With that in mind this edition is packed with suggestions that should help you make the most of our area and its stunning surroundings. We’ve focused on walking – something many of us take for granted but that we should all embrace. So whether you’re a reluctant rambler or a heroic hiker, have a read of our ultimate guide to why, how and where to walk around our region. Still embracing the late spring weather we’ve also included a closer look at our fabulous canal network – one of the world’s first and definitely finest, inland waterways. Once a pioneering example of our industrial might, the canals now provide a glimpse into days gone by as well as a relaxing way to spend some time on or around the water. These vital wetlands also provide a home to many rare species of native flora and fauna On the cover: Mount Snowdon as well as offering a stable surface for several popular watersports… so check out our five-page special feature celebrating all that is wonderful and how to enjoy our unique waterways. We hope you’ll find your Shire Magazine packed with all the usual features you’ve come to expect – food and drink content to make your mouth water, health advice to keep you in tip-top condition and home and garden articles to inspire you. All this and plenty of contributions from yourselves – which we always love to receive – such as photographs, poetry and letters. Keep in touch and keep reading, enjoy! Best wishes, from all the team at SHIRE

IN THIS ISSUE Step to it and discover the best local walks on page 58

Shire Magazine PO Box 276 Oswestry Shropshire SY10 1FR Telephone: 01691 661270 SUBSCRIPTION RATES ONE YEAR – £19.95 TWO YEARS – £34.95



Catch the best exhibitions, craft courses and more in our Arts section on page 114

Print ISSN 2514-3913 Online ISSN 2514-3921 PEFC Certified This magazine is printed on sustainably managed forests and controlled resources. www.pefc.com SHIRE MAGAZINE is published bi-monthly by Superstar Publishing Ltd. Every effort is made to ensure that the information and advice contained in these articles is correct and appropriate, but no liability or responsibility for loss or damage to any person acting or refraining from action in reliance on or as a result of anything omitted from such articles can be, or is accepted by, the authors, the publishers, their employees or any other persons connected with Superstar Publishing Ltd. Views expressed by contributors to Shire Magazine are not necessarily those of the magazine or of Superstar Publishing Ltd and should be attributed to the authors concerned. Save as expressively permitted by law no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written authority of the Publisher, acting for Shire Magazine. © 2018 Superstar Publishing Ltd, all rights reserved. Registered Number: 10604188.

Find out more about our wonderful waterways on page 70 and discover the top spots to visit in early summer

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…


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


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



We have lots of regulars readers can contribute to…

Reader photos – taken a great shot recently? Email your best effort and you might get picked! See page 116 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 139 for more Your pets – is your pet the love of your life? Send a snap with


their name and anything else you want to tell us. See page 110 for more Get social – follow, like and friend us on Facebook and Instagram to be the first in line for event updates, competitions and more. Visit our website www. shiremagazine.co.uk and send submissions and information by email to editorial@ shiremagazine.co.uk.

TURN TO PAGE 143 to subscribe and never miss an issue again! May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

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Combine History and Family Fun!




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Contents MAY & J U N E 2 01 8 6-51 What’s On Your ultimate guide to events across the region from North and Mid Wales, across Cheshire, including the Wirral and through Shropshire 51 Reviews Check out what the team has been up to with our reviews of shows and events

PAG E 5 8 Walk this way! We look at the best regional walks across the Shire patch

PAG E 1 0 0 PAG E 8 7 Take a peek inside Gladstone’s Library in Flintshire to see all this unique cultural hub has to offer

We select the finest home decor must-haves in true blue hues

Copper, rose gold and orange – check out the latest on trend buys

WIN! WIN! WIN! Enter our competitions on page 145 and win tickets to events, festivals and fab days out!

PAG E 7 7 We visit The Boardroom climbing centre in Chester

56 Twenty Questions We put our 20 questions to a successful local model

108 Garden shopping The best buys for a great summer in the garden

57 Celebrity Read our interview with top comic Phill Jupitus

110 Pets and Wildlife Our regular columns from the Wildlife Trust and RSPB plus pictures of your own pets

58 Walking across the region Get your boots on and get outdoors with our in-depth look at where, when, why and how to get walking this season

66 Town Visit: Knutsford We explore Knutsford in Cheshire – popularised by ancient civilisations and recent writers 68 Town Visit: Kington We head to the pretty walking town in Herefordshire 69 Town Visit: Aberystwyth We take a closer look at this stunning coastal resort that has attracted visitors for generations

77 Active Walking advice, rock climbing, mountain biking and more!

We explore the canal network across our region

PAG E 5 7 Funnyman Phill Jupitus on the highs and lows of stand-up

PAG E 8 9 Food glorious food! See what we’ve cooked up for you this issue

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100 Home Shopping Blue and copper are the musthave hues for home decor buys 104 Gardens Visit the finest Open Gardens, get planting advice and create your own table display

70 Water, water everywhere! Explore our wonderful canals and inland waterways – part of our proud past and flourishing future

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98 Home Visit A gorgeous kitchen makeover by Granite Transformations

54 Big City Check out what’s going on further afield in the big cities on our doorstep

65 Days Out Top day trips that will appeal to animal-lovers with a focus on the zoos in the area

PAG E 1 0 3

94 Homes Eco home inspiration, lighting and renovation projects to wow

81 Holidays Looking for holiday inspiration? We visit top holiday parks across our patch 87 Review: Gladstone’s Hotel We spent a night in this unusual hotel and library in Flintshire 89 Food and Drink Graham Tinsley’s scallop advice plus tasty food and drink news

114 Arts Meet the young printer making an impression plus art events and our photography competition 119 Women’s Style Check our stunning purple picks and pretty green accessories 122 Health and Beauty Summer beauty tips plus our health and wellbeing guide for the new season 127 Family Expert We look at the power of play 128 Men’s Fashion Stylish picks for a long summer in the great outdoors 129 Finance Savvy ISA savings advice from our resident expert 130 Schools The latest news from schools and colleges from across the patch 138 Books and Poetry Book events, writing workshops, new releases, your poems plus the latest work from local author Luca Veste 140 Volunteer Walking, cycling and baking – a round-up of local charity news 142 Letters Your views and news 143 Subscriptions All you need to know about how to subscribe so you never miss and issue! 144 Horoscopes What’s in your stars? 145 Competitions Win some fabulous prizes in our exclusive Shire competitions 146 Coming next issue Check out the features coming in the July/August issue

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What’s on at Galeri Caernarfon


1st May-30th June, Mike Perry: Land/Sea exhibition, Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno Mike Perry’s work engages with significant and pressing environmental issues, in particular the tension between human activity and interventions in the natural environment, and the fragility of the planet’s ecosystems. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10.30am4pm. Admission free.

1st & 8th May, Llanddulas Male Voice Choir Concert, Gloddaeth United Church, Llandudno The ever popular Llanddulas Male Voice Choir will perform concerts with both piano and harp accompaniment at Gloddaeth United Church, Llandudno (corner of Chapel Street and Gloddaeth Street). 8pm. Tickets £5.

May 1st-30th June, A History of North-East Wales in 100 Objects, Wrexham County Borough Museum & Archives. Objects have been collated and selected by local history groups to reflect what the local communities think is most significant about the history and heritage of the region and its individual towns and villages. This helps provide an outstanding demonstration of richness and diversity of the region’s heritage

5th May, Big Rock Festival, Penmaenmawr, Conwy A full day of reggae, ska, 2 tone and 80s music with live bands and DJs. Bar open from 11am plus food stalls, indoor and outdoor arena. Tickets from £15.

5th May, Tudor Fashion and Beauty, Plas Mawr, Conwy, 11am4pm Learn about the elaborate Tudor fashion and beauty products, why it was so important to keep up appearances and the deadly cost to beauty. Then create your own masquerade mask.

Clwb Comedi Club, 2nd May Enjoy an evening of laughter with comedians Sean Collins, Mike Newall and Dan Nightingale. From 8pm. Tickets £8 in advance and £10 on the door. Athena a Trystan Llyr Griffiths, 8th May Athena are a classical trio made up of three of Wales’ foremost sopranos: Gwawr Edwards, Sioned Terry and Ellen Williams. They have been busy designing their own unique sound and look forward to presenting a programme of favourite classical and Welsh songs. Performance starts at 7.30pm. Cynnal y Fflam, 13th May An opportunity to hear songs from Cwmni Theatr Maldwyn shows. The concert will

Llandudno Transport Festival Held at Bodafon Fields, Llandudno from 5th-7th May in conjunction with the town’s Victorian Extravaganza. Come and see steaming miniature engines, barn engines, milk churns, pedal cycles, vintage tractors, classic military tank, motorcycles, classic cars and more. There’s a road run to Conwy on Saturday and a trip along the Promenade to the end of the Pier and back on Sunday with some of the miniature steam engines. With bar, stalls, model collections and more! www.llantransfest.co.uk

Llan Red Dragon Music Fest The Llangollen Red Dragon Music Festival returns from 18-20th May at the Llangollen Pavilion. It offers a heady mix of music from didgeridoo to heavy metal. There’s a motorcycle show on the Saturday, festival stalls all weekend, medieval storytellers, a hypnotist, a medium and more. Held at the Llangollen Pavilion the whole event takes place undercover. Various tickets available. Visit www.ents24.com for tickets.

feature songs from Y Mab Darogan, Heledd, Pum Diwrnod o Ryddid’and Ann! 7.30pm. Tickets £12. Daoirí Farrell, 15th May Singer and bouzouki player Daoirí Farrell is one of the biggest names in Irish folk music. Caernarfon singer-songwriter Elidyr Glyn will be the support act for the concert. 7.30pm. Tickets £10. Cyngerdd Côrdydd a Chôr Glanaethwy, 23rd June Côrdydd has established itself as one of Wales’ most successful choirs having won at the National Eisteddfod 11 times. This is an opportunity to hold an evening of entertainment in the company of another of Wales best known choirs, Côr Glanaethwy. 7pm. Tickets £12. www.galericaernarfon.com

Rocking for charity

Zip World, in Bethesda, is hosting Snowdonia Rocks and Zip World Rocks 2018 on 23rd June. Snowdonia Rocks is a 20km hike which will take in the views of Devil’s Kitchen. Zip World Rocks is an evening of music and entertainment curated by Mike Peters at Penrhyn Quarry following the Snowdonia Rocks walk. Both events are raising funds to support Love Hope Strength’s three grant schemes: the Get On The List programme; equipment and new facilities in UK hospitals; support for cancer services across the globe, helping some of the most vulnerable families in underdeveloped countries. The Hike is suitable for anyone who can independently walk this distance but not suitable for wheelchair users or pushchairs. Snowdonia Rocks hike is £20 for over, 18s. Zip World Rocks is £15, £5 for under 18s. www. zipworld.co.uk

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5th-7th May, Spring Golf Festival, Gateway Golf Clubs, Holywell Play three ‘hidden gem’ parkland courses set in the North of Wales in this fantastic Spring Festival. Play one, two or all three days – aggregated scores from all three days go towards winning The Leader Gateway to Wales Golf Individual Championship plus individual day prizes to third place. £15 a day or £37.50 for all three.

What’s On at Venue Cymru Hairspray, 1st-5th May It’s Baltimore, 1962 where Tracy Turnblad, a big girl with big hair and an even bigger heart, is on a mission to follow her dreams and dance her way onto national TV. Tracy’s audition makes her a local star and soon she is using her new-found fame to fight for equality, bagging local heartthrob Link Larkin along the way. 7.30pm. £20-£40. Manic Street Preachers, 1st May Manic Street Preachers have released a new album and embarked on a massive UK tour. This the band’s 13th studio album. Te. Support from special guests The Coral. Starts 8pm. Tickets £38.

directed and choreographed by Young Flyers, 5th and 19th Strictly Come Dancing’s Craig May and 2nd and 23rd June Revel Horwood. The Youth Vertical Dance This sparklingly funny and Group, run by sweetly touching new Vertical Dance DID YOU musical play will have Kate Lawrence KNOW? (VDKL), The Manic Street you laughing, crying and singing your heart specialises in a Preachers were out to some of the new genre called first called greatest songs ever vertical dance. Betty Blue written. Starts 7.30pm. This is an exciting, Tickets £21-£38. emerging form of dance that uses rock The Shires, 5th June climbing equipment to suspend The biggest selling UK country dancers off the ground on a act of all time have released their range of vertical surfaces. This highly anticipated third album group is for ages 10-18. Sessions Accidentally on Purpose. Ben are held in the Venue Cymru Earle and Crissie Rhodes have arena, and on the exterior wall of fast become a firm favourite in Venue Cymru by the car park. the UK country music scene. And now they’re making their Son of A Preacher Man, mark in Nashville too. Starts 29th May-2nd June 7.30pm. Tickets from £31. This new musical featuring the www.venuecymru.co.uk songs of Dusty Springfield is

Full steam ahead at Bala Lake Railway transport show takes place at the railway on Sunday and Monday.

Great Little Trains Model Railway Show, 26th-28th May Featuring two great family shows, 20 narrow gauge layouts, and refreshments, the third Great Little Trains Model Railway show takes place at Ysgol Y Berwyn Secondary School, in Bala. Park at Bala or Llanuwchllyn, ride the railway, with a vintage shuttle bus service serving the exhibition. Additionally, the vintage

Evening Excursion, Jackets (no ties), 31st May Enjoy food cooked on the go with an evening of jacket potatoes cooked inside the smokebox of the engine as it chuffs along the lake. Passengers stop on the way back to enjoy their food. Steam Gala, 16th-18th June The theme for this year will be the Penrhyn Quarry with visiting engines and a busy timetable of passenger and demonstration freight trains. For more information and online booking visit www.bala-lakerailway.co.uk

Take on the Llangollen Round challenge The Llangollen Round Challenge is a 33-mile circular route taking in all the summits around the picturesque Vale of Llangollen on 2nd-3rd June. You have the option of doing this in one day, the Saturday or two, with those choosing two days being bussed back to Llangollen from the mid-point on Saturday and returned to the same place on Sunday morning. Entry is £25 per pp or £60 per family. www. thellangollenround.info

12th May, Prom Xtra 18, Promenade, Conwy Prom Xtra is back for a free, family, fun-filled day. There’s the much loved fun fair, actionpacked activities and a wide variety of entertainment from bands, soloists, dancers and more! 11am-6pm. Free.

13th May, Wrexham Race For Life 5K, Alyn Waters Country Park, Wrexham Whether you run, jog or walk, Race for Life brings millions of women together to support life-saving research. Just by signing up you’ll make a difference and whether you raise £10 or £200, every penny matters. Adult entry £14.99, children £10.

13th May, Rowen Village Gardens Open Day, Rowen, Conwy About 20 lovely gardens open for one day only, full of ideas to take home, plant stall and refreshment stops. 10.30am5pm. £6 adults, children free.

19th May, Danza 2018, Theatr Colwyn Join the students of Forza Studios of the Performing Arts as they present their annual showcase. Be entertained with dance and song, with extracts from In To The Woods and Moana to Taylor Swift and Little Mix. 6pm. Cost is £11.

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Roll up for a Victorian Extravaganza

Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza is back for the traction engines take to the main streets again. 32nd year from 5th-7th May. If thrill rides are more your thing then the modern Featuring heritage steam vehicles, fun fair, ride section will have a host of great rides like the entertainment, competitions, arts, music and Mac1 bomber, Freak out and the Sea Storm. The entertainment will take you back to a daily parade, it’s a weekend that the DID YOU whole family can enjoy. days gone by where performers would KNOW? The Llandudno Victorian Victorian women baffle and delight the audience in colourful sideshows. Such performers Extravaganza was founded in 1986 used raw meat by a small group of local councillors, will include Andrew Van Buren a true on their faces as showman guaranteed to entertain with keen to promote Llandudno as a a beauty his illusions show. The event also boasts tourist destination. Together with a treatment! local Heritage Enthusiast Group, the a host of fire breathers and stilt walkers and for that true seaside feel the George idea of a free admission show to attract Formby Society will be playing daily. The main visitors trade to local business was born. stage will play host to Linzi Grace school of dance, This year the event will see a return to its original silver bands and the sound of the mighty Wurlitzer. idea and feature a large vintage steam funfair, organisers are particularly excited to see the mighty www.victorian-extravaganza.com

North Wales Prosecco Festival

Try 40 types of Prosecco, Spumante, Cavas, pink fizz and even Prosecco cocktails on 19th May at The Brynkinalt Estate, Chirk. With live music and street food. Over 18s only. 12pm-5pm or 6pm-11pm. Tickets £15. www.walesproseccofestival.co.uk

Rail Ale Festival, 18th-20th May Enjoy the usual eclectic mix of real ales and ciders, music, fine food and steam-hauled trains. Open 11am-midnight Friday and Saturday, 11am-3pm Sunday. Weekend tickets £10, train travel from £5. The Snowdonian Limited, 9th June This fundraising 80-mile round trip over the whole railway. Third Class tickets priced £185, limited First Class, £400. Includes Boston Lodge tour. Taking in Porthmadog, Caernarfon, Blaenau Ffestiniog, then back to Porthmadog. There will be a light breakfast on the train, hog roast and workshop visit at Dinas, followed by afternoon tea at Tan-y-bwlch. www.festrail.co.uk

Viva Mold Art

Beaumaris Castle brings history back to life Beaumaris Castle will welcome House of the Black Star medieval society from 26th-28th May, where they will demonstrate how life was back in the medieval days. Visitors can try on armour, take part in a spear drill, see the archers show off their skills, leather work and crafts. See the birds of prey by the owl man and learn about how they were used during medieval times. 11am-4pm, £6.90 for adults, £4.10 for children. www.cadw.gov.wales

On track at Ffestiniog Railway

Feel the pull of Llangollen Wharf Experience a horse drawn boat trip on the beautiful Llangollen Canal, now part of a UNESCO World Heritage site throughout May and June. Llangollen Wharf will running be 45-minute horse drawn boat trips, and two-hour and 45 minute trips daily. The 45 minute return boat trip from Llangollen Wharf runs every 30 minutes during the school holidays and roughly every hour at other times. Adult £7.50, children £3.50. The two-hour Public Horse Drawn Boat Trip to see the Horseshoe Falls departs every Saturday and Sunday throughout the summer season. Take in the splendour of the Horseshoe Falls along with the newly restored Chain Bridge at Berwyn. Adults tickets £13, children £8.50. www.horsedrawnboats.co.uk

The work of artists whose exhibits have been voted the most popular by visitors to Mold Parish Church’s annual Virgin Art exhibition since its launch in 2009 will be a centrepiece at this year’s event in on 7th-12th May. With over 300 paintings and photographs on display over the last five years, Virgin Art has become one of the largest art events in the region. Last year it was supported by 83 professional, semi-professional and amateur artists and photographers. All the exhibits are for sale with a proportion of the profits going to the church fund.

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9th & 10th June

Meet The Gruffalo will be making appearances at intervals on both days. ©1999 & TM Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler. Licensed by Magic Light Pictures Ltd.

Discover the fun, Share the adventure Book your GreenWood tickets online & save! greenwoodfamilypark.co.uk GreenWood, Y Felinheli, Gwynedd

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Bala Lake Railway Llanuwchllyn, near Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7DD

Steam trains in southern Snowdonia Beautiful lake and mountain views

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

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

Family friendly attraction – dog friendly too! Bala Model Railway Show - 26th to 28th May over 30 model layouts, trade support, refreshments Bala Lake Festival of Transport - 27th & 28th May vintage vehicles, displays, refreshments & more

Two great shows connected by steam train – see our website


Our Annual Steam Gala - 16th to 18th June

Visiting engines ‘Gwynedd’ & ‘Hugh Napier’, lots of passenger and freight trains, double-heading & more The FR’s ‘Palmerston’ hauling trains - 21, 23 & 24 June

For further information and advance tickets

www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk Tel: 01678 540666 P L A S N E W Y D D, L L A N G O L L E N Lady Eleanor Butler and Miss Sarah Ponsonby captured the imagination of Regency society. They received a stream of visitors to the unpretentious little cottage which, over the years, they transformed into a Gothic fantasy of projecting stained glass and elaborately carved oak. Visit the House, Gardens & Café.

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


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


Included in admission unless otherwise stated

Opening times April (from 7th), May and September Open Saturday - Monday June, July and August Open Saturday - Wednesday (opening times vary see website for details) www.nantclwydydre.co.uk

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra Orchestra in Residence at Glyndŵr University

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra is one of the most progressive orchestras in the North Wales and North West England area. MAHLER: Symphony No. 9 Conductor: Richard Howarth Leader: Mark Lansom

Mahler Charitable Concert Series Supporting the work of local Alzheimer’s & dementia charities

Series sponsored by Cobalz Ltd.

‘It is music coming from another Saturday May 19th 2018 world, it’s coming from eternity’ at 7.30pm Herbert von Karajan William Aston Hall, Mold Road, Wrexham. LL11 2AW Tickets for all WSO concerts are available from www.wrexhamorch.co.uk; Glyndŵr Box Office (0844 888 9991; online at www.glyndwr.ac.uk/events) and Wrexham Tourist Information Centre in Lambpit Street, Wrexham (01978 292015). Llangollen Tourist Information Centre (O1978 860828). Family Ticket: £20 (2 Adults and up to four children), Balcony: Adults £12 (No concessions). Stalls: Adults £10 (concessions £8); Children U16 and FT Students: £2.


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Summer starts at Chirk Castle the knight, princess, jester, squire and the dragons. Enjoy storytelling, games, activities, puppet shows, and enter our afternoon costume parade for a chance to win a prize. All children in costume get in for free! From 10am-4pm.

A whole weekend of practising Embroiderers’ Guild mindfulness in a woodland exhibition, from 5th May setting accompanied by a This fascinating exhibition range of bushcraft activities from local branches of the aimed at focusing the mind Embroiderers’ Guild, uses three and increasing awareness of the and two dimensional work to natural world. From 10am-4pm. look at some of the features of Booking essential. Priced £120. Chirk Castle’s impressive estate and fascinating history. Knights and From 12pm-5pm. DID YOU Princesses Free entry, normal KNOW? Weekend, 2ndadmission applies. Bats can eat up to 3rd June Join 1,200 mosquitoes Chirk Castle Woodland in an hour. That’s for a weekend Mindfulness & a lot! of storybook fun Bushcraft Weekend, and frolics. Meet 12th-13th May

Breath-taking bike display at Caerwys Show

and fascinate visitors of all ages. Is it magic or is it science? You won’t believe your eyes as experts make objects disappear, turn blackcurrant juice into water and attempt to keep a £5 note from burning! Adult tickets from £5.70, children from £4.90. www.tqg.org.uk

Close up on Conwy’s birdlife Birdspotters can take part in one of Conwy RSPB nature reserve’s Binocular and Telescope weekends, throughout May and June. The Conwy RSPB nature reserve is a wetland on the east bank of the Conwy estuary, created from material

19TH – 20TH MAY

19th May, Family Funday, Bangoron-Dee Racecourse Experience the exhilaration and fun for all the family over seven races including steeple chases, hurdle and flat races. Gates open at

11.30am. Advance prices from £7 for adults, 17 and under and accompanied by a responsible adult are admitted free of charge.

•19th May, Mahler: Symphony

No. 9, William Aston Hall, Glyndŵr University This performance is part of a Mahler concert series sponsored by Cobalz, with conductor Richard Howarth and leader Mark Lansom.

A Techniquest chemystery

On selected dates from 5th May3rd June, Techniquest Glyndwr is running its ‘It’s a Chemystery’ event which promises to astound The Freestyle Motocross Display Team are the highlight of the Caerwys Agricultural Show which takes place on 9th June. With stunning displays of gravity-defying tricks, Broke FMX stunt display team are a crowd favourite at events all over the world. The show also features animals, classic and vintage vehicles, crafts and produce. £7 or £3 for children. Free parking. www.caerwys-show.org.uk

Guided Bat Walks, 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th June Guided by the ranger team, learn about bats’ habitat, food and the conservation challenges faced at Chirk Castle. The rangers will meet visitors in the car park at 8.30pm and show them the best spot to watch the bats emerging for the night. Then, using bat detectors, they’ll lead a walk through the gardens, picking up all of the best spots and passing on their expert local knowledge. Expected finish time 10pm. Booking essential. Tickets £5. www.nationaltrust.org.uk


dug out during construction of the A55 road tunnel. It is now home to a variety of wildlife, and a great place to introduce families to nature. The reserve stocks one of the best ranges of binoculars and telescopes in North Wales. www.rspb.org.uk

19th-20th May, Anglesey Vintage Rally. the Anglesey Showground Don’t miss the annual Vintage Rally organised by The Anglesey Vintage Equipment Society, which is run by volunteers and is an entirely self-funded charity.

19th May and 16th June, Anglesey Farmers Market A wide selection of quality food producers from the region come together on the third Saturday of each month to form Anglesey Farmers Market. Held at David Hughes School, Menai Bridge.

20th May, VW Show, Bodelwyddan Castle The All Types VW Show is the only VW Enthusiasts Show in North Wales and has become one of the largest in the region with thousands of visitors attending each year. 9am-4pm. Adults £10.

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What’s on at Pontio Arts Centre


20th May & 17th June, Rhydymwyn Valley Works tunnel tours, Mold Former top secret tunnels at Rhydymwyn Valley Works housed thousands of mustard gas shells during the war. Amateur historians from the Rhydymwyn Valley History Society have also unearthed proof that the miles of tunnels served as home to the developers of the first atomic bomb.

Half Breed, 12th May Natasha Marshall’s semiautobiographical dark comedy about finding your voice. Natasha Marshall trained on Soho Theatre Young Company’s Writer’s Lab and the Talawa First new-writing scheme. Half Breed was shortlisted for the Tony Craze Soho Young Writers

20th-21st May, Pedalcover Slateman Triathlon, Llanberis A swim surrounded with mountains, a bike course in the heart of the Snowdonia National Park and a run through an awesome slate quarry – we challenge you to find a more iconic race than the Pedalcover Slateman Triathlon. Prices from £69.95.

26th May-4th November, Poor Taff: A London View of the Welsh People, Oriel Ynys Mon, Anglesey Starting from the image known as Poor Taff, which shows a poverty-stricken gentleman riding to London on a goat, this exhibition will explore how the Welsh people were portrayed in the popular press in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

2nd June, Deganwy Prom Day 2018, Deganwy Promenade, Conwy Family fun with inflatables, craft stalls, food and refreshments, fun dog show, music, dancing displays, children’s sports activities 11am-4pm. Free admission.

They will be joined by Gwyneth Glyn; poet, writer and singer of songs. 7.30pm. Tickets £20.

WNO Orchestra’s Summer Opera Classics, 28th June The WNO Orchestra, under Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita with Gwyneth Glyn, 17th May the direction of Conductor A critically acclaimed and James Southall, will be joined by the gentlemen of the multi award-winning collaboration WNO Chorus in this DID YOU enjoyable programme between two KNOW? adventurous The Welsh National of operatic favourites, virtuoso musicians Opera gave its first orchestral overtures and interludes, and the - Welsh harpist performance in odd unknown gem too. Catrin Finch and 1946 Senegalese kora 7.30pm. Tickets £18. www.pontio.co.uk player Seckou Keita.

Food, glorious food in Caernarfon delicious foods. The town’s third annual food festival kicks off with an impressive starter, mains and dessert of stalls, events and demos stretched across the Slate Quay, Y Maes and Stryd y Plas. With over 70

26th May, Abergele Food & Craft Festival, Pentre Mawr Park, Abergele More than 150 stalls, a fun dog show starting at 12pm and children’s attractions including a free petting farm. 11am-4pm. Admission free.

Award and the Alfred Fagon Award and was nominated for Best new play in the 2017 UK Theatre Awards. 8pm. Tickets £12.

Caernarfon food festival has become a yearly highlight for foodies with more than 15,000 visitors expected to descend on the town on 12th May to celebrate local produce and locals food stalls drawn from across the regions of Gwynedd, Clwyd and Ynys Mon. Go to www.gwylfwydcaernarfon. cymru for more info.

Challenging fun at GreenWood Forest Park

There’s plenty of adventure at GreenWood Forest Park. The new Magic Chair gives kids the opportunity to shrink their parents in a fabulous optical illusion; The WildWEB is a six-metre tall double mast rope pyramid to climb; the Crocodile Maze test problem solving ability through a boardwalk maze and there’s Den Building where big and small can try their hand at constructing a shelter out of natural materials. 10am-5.30pm. From £8.95 to £15.95. www. greenwoodforestpark.co.uk

What’s on at Neuadd Dwyfor Ensemble Cymru: Uchafbwynt Taith Ben-blwydd/Anniversary Finale, 7th May After 15 years of music-making, Ensemble Cymru enables an arresting programme for May. From the 20th century is the

rarely-performed gem, Nonet, by England’s great Arnold Bax, alongside Debussy’s Dances for Harp and String Quintet, conceived as a harp ‘showcase’. Doors open 10am. Tickets £7.50. www.neuadddwyfor.com

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Black Zeppelin * Pure Purple Nod Corner * Red Zephyr

Tom C. Walker * Bad Dog * The Endings * Aces High * Sonic Tapestry * Mad Haven * Bleeding Hearts * Anonymous * Morgan Darcy* Herbie Jack * Captain Stingrays Groove Machine* Before the Storm * Isabella Crowther* The Time Stealers * Stevie O'Connor* Hügus & The Jibs and lots more! Chris Thorn * Rob Chapman Hypnotist * Jonathan Brown Medium The Black Veil Tribal Belly Dancers * Face Painting * Birds of Prey Festival Market Stalls * Saturday 19th Apocalypse Motorcycle Show

Tickets available through EVENTBRITE.

FULL WEEKEND TICKET: £40.00 (with FREE camping) DAY ONLY £12.00 * NIGHT ONLY £15.00. (FREE parking) SATURDAY COMBINED DAY AND NIGHT £20 (FREE parking)

The Llangollen Red Dragon Music Festival at The Llangollen Pavilion, Abbey Road, Llangollen LL20 8SW

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What’s on at Rhyl Pavilion Theatre

All aboard at Llangollen Railway Paddington will be appearing Cogwarts Spring Term, at Llangollen Station between 12th-13th May 10.30am-3.30pm. The train Travel by steam train and goes all the way to stop at the steam punk Corwen and there stalls at Llangollen DID YOU is a magic show at and Berwyn KNOW? Stations. Acts ‘Pastuso’ is actually Carrog, colouring sheets and include Professor Paddington Bear’s miniature train ride. Elemental, Mr real (Peruvian) Family ticket £55, B the Gentleman name under 2s are free. Rhymer, Alice’s Night Circus and Lady Pink Flamingo Cocktail Violet Hugh! Adult 1-day Express, 9th June rover inc. of the evening event Join us for Cocktails, nibbles £42, adult 2-day rover inclusive and some 70s music while of the Saturday event, £55. riding on a Steam Train. Ticket price includes two return trips to Paddington at Llangollen Carrog and two cocktails. Starts Railway, 26th May

6.30pm. £30 per person. Father’s Day Treat, 17th June Why not treat Dad to something different this year, come for a trip on a steam train and enjoy a pork pie, Scotch egg and a bottle of real ale while travelling through the Dee Valley. A return trip to Corwen with a 15 minute stop at Carrog. There is a soft drink alternative for children and the option of wine instead of ale. 1.15pm3.05pm. Tickets £25. www.llangollen-railway.co.uk

Life through a lens Do Not Bend: The Photographic Life of Bill Jay will be screened on 11th May to compliment Oriel Colwyn’s new exhibition of the work of the magazine editor, writer, lecturer,

photographer, evangelist and mercurial force, Bill Jay which runs from 12th May-30th June. This one off screening includes a Q&A session about Bill’s life and the making of the film with co-producers, Grant Scott and Tim Pellatt. Starts 6.30pm, suitable for over-15s. Tickets £5. www.orielcolwyn.org

Discover the beauty of Welsh gardens North Wales is a treasure trove of wonderful gardens to visit and is again opening its gates to a stunning collection of worldclass gardens for the Festival of Gardens from 2nd-17th June. This unique event brings together the finest gardens within one of the most beautiful

regions of the British Isles. The 2018 Gardens Festival launch will be taking place at Bodrhyddan Hall, Rhuddlan on the Saturday 2nd June, and offers a full timetable of open gardens and events over the fortnight. Find out more at www.gardensnorthwales.co.uk

The Joe McElderry Tour, 4th May, 7.30pm Following Joe McElderry’s UK tour playing the lead as Joseph in Bill Kenwright’s production of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Joe is now embarking on his own concert tour. Tickets £26. Up Close and Personal with Martine, 12th May, 7.30pm Martine McCutcheon, first found fame as Tiffany Mitchell in Eastenders in the 1990s, before releasing her platinum-selling debut solo album You, Me & Us in 1999 She’s back again to perform songs from her latest album. Tickets £25. The Michael Jackson History Show, 18th May This show celebrates Michael Jackson’s creative genius and unsurpassed talent with riveting live performances spanning his early days as a member of the Jackson 5 across the decades. Tickets £25.

Plant Fair

Come along on 20th May to the Plant Fair at Holywell Community Centre and pick up something special for your garden.10.30am-1.30pm. www.hardy-plant.org.uk

An Audience with Anfield Legends, 13th June Your chance to see John Barnes, Jan Molby and Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock on stage together. The evening will be full of entertainment and banter. 7.30pm. Tickets £31. www.rhylpavilion.co.uk

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9th-10th June, Teddy Bears Picnic, Welsh Highland Heritage Railway Free travel for all children who bring along their favourite teddy bear for a ride. Adults return fare £8.95.

15th-16th June, Craft of Comedy Conference, Venue Cymru, Llandudno Craft of Comedy UK is a celebration of comedy writing, production and performance. It uniquely combines the annual seaside gathering of UK comedy professionals with a festival of comedy events, open to the general public. An unconventional convention. 9.30am-6pm. £150.

Showtimes at William Aston Hall

late 80s with massive hit singles such as Labour of Ed Byrne – Spoiler Alert, 17th May, 7.30pm Love. Tickets £25. Is life that bad or have we good reason to complain about it? Are we filled with righteous Vienna Festival Ballet’s Swan Lake, 26th May anger at a world gone wrong or are we all just a One of the best-known love stories, performed bunch of whiny little brats? Come and watch as by Vienna Festival Ballet. Lavish costumes, Byrne takes this question, turns it upside DID YOU stunning scenery, international stars, and down and shakes it until the funny the glorious music from Tchaikovsky falls out. Tickets £24. KNOW? make this a night not to be missed. The pendulum The Christians and Hue & Cry, clock was invented 6.30pm. Tickets £13-£18.50. 18th May, 7pm in 1656 by Public Image Ltd, 24th June, 7pm The Christians, the outstanding, soul Christiaan Widely regarded as one of the most influenced group who had hits in the Huygens innovative and influential bands of all late 80s and 90s including Harvest For time, PiL’s music and vision earned them five The World, Ideal World, and Hooverville. UK Top 20 singles and five UK Top 20 albums. Brothers Patrick and Gregory Kane formed Hue Tickets £26.50. www.glyndwr.ac.uk and Cry in 1983 and made a huge impact in the

Time for an exhibition with a difference •

16th June, Hector’ Garden Party, 5 Heol Heddwch, Abergele This fabulous event is always extremely popular and great all round fun. With stalls, good company and excellent raffle prizes, all set in the beautiful surroundings of an amazing garden to relax with your hounds. Entry £2 to include a delicious hot baked potato with a choice of fillings plus refreshment. 1-4pm.

30th June, UK Armed Forces Day, Llandudno A weekend of events to thank the men and women and their families who have given so much to ensure that we are kept safe and live in a democratic society.

This summer sees the finale of a spectacular touring art installation of over 2000 ticking clocks in Penrhyn Castle from 16th June-4th November. The clocks will be placed in the derelict third floor of the keep at Penrhyn and grouped to form patterns and shapes along the surfaces – all set to different times so that visitors will hear a musical delight of ticking, clicking and chiming throughout the day. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Bodnant Garden harmony Harp Music in the Pin Mill, 13th May and 24th June, 2-4pm Relax and listen to beautiful music from harpist Dylan Cernyw in the Pin Mill. Or opt for afternoon tea on the canal terrace for £11. Laburnum Arch Evening Dinner, 1st June, 6.30pm-9.30pm Experience dining inside the world famous arch in the evening sun, while being entertained by a piano and vocal duo. £40. Music in the Garden – Coastal Voices, 3rd June, 2-4pm Hear local choir Coastal Voices singing in the picturesque Bodnant Garden. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Focus on Welsh talent

30th June-1st July, Vale Vintage Machinery Club Show, Mold Come and join the club for its annual show featuring vintage machines, steam engines and commercial vehicles. Camping also available. 10am-5pm. Adults £4, children free.

FOCUS Wales is back and will take place over 10th-12th May. This annual multi-venue festival takes place in Wrexham and places the music industry spotlight firmly on the emerging talent that Wales has to offer the world. This marks the festival’s 8th edition, and will welcome more than 8,000 people to the town. Watch 200+ bands using 20 stages, and host a full schedule of music, comedy, arts events, and film screenings, throughout the festival Musical highlights include performances by Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, This is The Kit, and Kate Rusby. Festival passes from £40. www.focuswales.com

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25TH ANNIVERSARY BODAFON FIELDS Bodafon Fields, Llandudno, N. Wales, LL30 1BW Mayday Bank Holiday Weekend 5th, 6th, 7th May 2018 - Gates open 9am 1,000+ exhibits to include Lorries, Buses, Tractors, Motorbikes, Cars, Stationary Engines, Auto Jumble, Trade Stands and many more YOUTUBE LOGO SPECS

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What’s on at Clwyd Theatr Cymru

A Streetcar Named Desire, 15th May-2nd June When Stanley’s anxious, seductive and fiercely clever sister-in-law Blanche DuBois comes to stay, her arrival threatens his entire way of life. Tennessee Williams’ timeless classic is a raging portrayal of what it means to be an outsider, in a society where we’re all desperate to belong. Shows at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets £10. How To Spot An Alien, 2nd-25th June What do you do if you think your aunt is an alien? 12-year-old Jelly and her cousin JonJo have their suspicions. She won’t let them leave the house. Or ask questions. And she definitely won’t let them in the attic. Various times. Tickets from £10. Sticks and Stones, 19th-29th June Sometimes we can’t find the right words. Sometimes the right words become wrong. Sometimes that

Rhe Stiwt Community Arts Centre shows Estron (Alien) – Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, 1st May, 7.30pm A laptop, a tin of Quality Street chocolates, and an author searching for his play in an infinite universe. Recent devastating events have turned Alun’s world upside down, but in the darkness he seeks solace in a visitor from another world. This intriguing new play for the current generation by one of our most talented young writers, and winner of the Drama Medal at the Monmouthshire and District National Eisteddfod, 2016. Tickets £12. Cynnal Y Fflam – Maldwyn Theatre Company, 19th May, 7.30pm Hear songs from Cwmni Theatre Maldwyn shows including songs from Y Mab Darogan,Heledd, Pum diwrnod o Ryddid, and Ann! Tickets £12. Na Nel!, Cwmni Theatr Arad Goch, 6th-7th June A new Welsh-language stage play by Meleri Wyn James for 6-11 year olds and their families, based on her popular children’s books Na, Nel! about a mischievous young girl with an exciting imagination www.stiwt.com

ruins everything. Where DID YOU technology multiplies every KNOW? mistake, can we find a way Contrary to to understand each other? popular belief, The Written by BAFTAnominated Vinay Patel, Tempest wasn’t Sticks and Stones is a satire Shakespeare’s about the search for a sure final play footing in an uncertain world. 7.15pm. Tickets from £10. Island Town, 20th-30th June 20th-30th June, 7.15pm Kate, Sam and Pete are stuck. The town doesn’t have much going on. But they’ve got cheap cider and their whole lives ahead of them. Someone’s about to get a car and all roads go somewhere else. Right? Simon Longman’s play is about friendship, hope and trying to make an escape. Tickets from £10.

Whipping up a storm at Caernarfon and Conwy

The Lord Chamberlain’s Men return to Conwy and Caernarfon Castles performing Shakespeare’s spellbinding masterpiece The Tempest from 22nd-24th June. Bring a blanket and a picnic, and spend a glorious summer’s evening watching this enchanting, fastpaced production of one of Shakespeare’s finest plays in historical settings. Caernarfon Castle on 22nd June at 7.30pm and Conwy Castle, 23rd-24th June, 7.30pm and 6.30pm. Tickets £14.50. www.tlcm.co.uk.


Fresh air at Plas Newydd House Tea with the Head Gardener, on 9th May Join Bill Warrel the new head gardener at this Anglesey country house for a walk and talk around the garden followed by tea or coffee and homemade scones in the Mansion Café. From 2pm-3pm. Tickets £10. Booking essential. Call 01248 714795. Woodland Wednesdays: Campfire Cooking, on 30th May Join the Woodland Wednesdays team for fun family spring nature activities, led by the amazing Wild Elements team. Have a go at outdoor survival skills, such as learning how to light a campfire and cooking on the open flame, then help us create a wildlife feeding station. 11am-4pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Stride ahead to the Llangollen Walking Festival

Pull on your walking boots, pack some sandwiches and choose from a selection of picturesque routes at the Llangollen Walking Festival from 5th-7th May. Ranging from a Nordic Walking Taster, to an eight-mile moderate World Heritage Site Walk through to an 18-mile Offa’s Dyke Path trail. The 15-mile Wilderness Walk and Train Ride returns on 6th May, meeting at 8am at the Courtyard Cafe, Llangollen. Priced £18 to include train fare. Many of the walks also offer free Wrexham Lager at the end. Visit www.llangollen walkingfestival.co.uk.

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4th May, Encore – A 3rd Year Performing Arts Showcase, Theatr Brycheiniog Canal Wharf, Brecon Third year graduating students from the dance courses at Tring Park School for the performing Arts return with an eclectic mix of established and exciting new dance work.

4th-7th May, Talgarth Walking Festival The ancient market town of Talgarth is an ideal base for visitors wishing to explore the Brecon Beacons National Park on foot. Get a taste of the town and the wonderful walking opportunities on its doorstep.

What’s On at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

brand new stand-up An American in Paris: the musical recorded, 16th May, 7pm show. Tickets £15. This Tony Award-winning Broadway musical tells the impassioned story of discovering love in the Bolshoi BalletCoppélia, 10th June ‘City of Light’. Jerry Mulligan is an American GI The Bolshoi’s striving to make it as a painter in a city suddenly bursting with hope and possibility. unique version DID YOU of Coppelia exhibits a fascinating Following a chance encounter with a KNOW? beautiful young dancer named Lise, the reconstruction of the original 19th The Bolshoi Ballet century choreography of this ebullient streets of Paris become the backdrop comedy involving a feisty heroine, to a sensuous, modern romance of art, began in 1773 as a boyish fiancee with a wandering eye, friendship and love in the aftermath of a dancing school and an old dollmaker. £10-£15. war. Tickets £10/£15. for the Moscow


5th May and 7th June Presteigne Food Market, Memorial Hall, Station Road, Presteigne The market is a varied mix of craft, local produce stalls, with artisan apple juice, free range chicken produce, preserves, bakery, smokery produce, cheeses and olives. 9am-1pm.

5th May, Glanusk Welsh Stallion Show, Royal Welsh Showground, Crickhowell Started in 1958, the show has grown to become one of the most popular shows for Welsh horse breeds.

7th May, MayDay Mayhem, The Cloverlands Model Car Museum, Montgomery Celebrate the annual open day this year featuring a Scalextric race track and a collection of over 3,600 model cars. 9am-5.30pm. Adult entry £3, under 16s go free.

7th May, Presteigne Food & Flower Festival An unmissable event featuring producer market, street food, workshops, fun competitions, open gardens, children’s activities, brocante, talks, art exhibition and plenty to eat and drink of course!

Shazia Mirza, 24th May, 7.45pm Following her critically acclaimed 2016, 103 date sell-out international tour, Shazia Mirza brings you her

What’s on at Llanerchaeron Ladies Day, 7th May This Ladies Day enjoy an exclusive launch of ‘Petticoats of Power’ from 10.30am–5.30pm. Dress in your Sunday best and come and enjoy refreshments, relaxation and games on the lawn to celebrate the contribution of the estates’ women. Petticoats of Power, 7th May-7th October. Immerse yourself in the stories of the women of Llanerchaeron from 10.30-5.30pm each day. This year, the National Trust’s National Public Programme is putting the spotlight on Women in Power. With a new interpretation of the Villa, discover the hidden tales of the women who built, protected and saved this self-sufficient estate.

Tim Key, 26th June, 8pm A brand new 70 minutes, blending poeticals, talking, standing, spotlights, cables, Kronenburg, foot-stamping and old school wistfulness. £16. www.aberystwythartscentre.co.uk

Centenary celebrations, murder mystery and more at Talyllyn Rail There is plenty going on at Talyllyn over the next few months. The Whodunnit at the Murder Mystery night, on 29th May is the perfect place to find out who has come to a sticky end at the Great British Bump Off ? On the 1st, 2nd and 3rd June, visitors can come along to the ‘Leave on the Line’, event which celebrates 100 years of the No6 Engine. The event will have significant RAF involvement as well as reminders of life during the First and Second World Wars. Then on the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th June, The Victorian Train Experience takes you through beautiful Snowdonia countryside in historic style. For more information, departure times and ticket prices for all events visit www.talyllyn.co.uk.

May Half Term Fun at Llanerchaeron, 26th May-3rd June Llanerchaeron has an action-packed half term with events and activities every day from 11am-4.30pm. Go on a bug hunt, build a den, get planting with the gardener and watch the sheep get their annual hair-cut. Events are free, but normal admission applies. www. nationaltrust. org.uk

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Welshpool welcomes a new transport festival

On Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th June, Welshpool town centre will play host to a free transport festival. A mix of vehicles will be on display, from cars to boats, horses to canoes, trains to dogs. The event is organised by Welshpool Town Council, working alongside local organisations and transport enthusiasts.

Visitors can enjoy a wide range of activities, including vehicle displays, cavalcades, canal activities plus an intensive timetable of trips on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, model exhibitions and much, much more. There may be charges for some of the activities. There is also a free park and ride bus service from Welshpool

Shows, comedy and music at Theatre Hafren

Montgomery County Music Festival, 5th May, 7.30pm Featuring Brahms A German Requiem, Haydn – Missa Brevis Sancti Joannis de Deo, Variations on a theme by Haydn (St. Anthony Chorale), Brahms – Arrangement for two Pianos and Montgomeryshire Festival Choir conducted by Patrick Larley. Tickets £12, conc £6, family £30.

Ed Byrne – Spoiler Alert, 16th May, 8pm Is life that bad or have we good reason to complain about it? Are we filled with righteous anger at a world gone wrong or are we all just a bunch of whiny little brats? Come and watch as Byrne takes this question, turns it upside down and shakes it until the funny falls out. Tickets £24. Welsh National Opera – Rhondda Rips It Up, 29th June, 7.30pm Rhondda Rips


Livestock Market. Running in tandem with the Transport Festival will be Music for the Monty – a two-day music festival consisting of live music in venues round the town on Saturday afternoon and Sunday. There will also be a fundraising charity concert in Welshpool Town Hall on the evening of Saturday 23rd June. Visit www. welshpool transportfestival.org. uk for times of all the activities.

It Up! is a riotous romp through the life of Margaret Haig Thomas (Lady Rhondda), the Newport suffragette whose activities paved the way for women’s rights in the personal, professional and political worlds. Tickets £18, concessions £15. That’ll Be The Day, 30th June, 7.30pm Highly acclaimed celebration for all true fans of the golden era of popular music. Tickets £24.50; conc £23.50. www.thehafren.co.uk

Take on the Llangollen Round Challenge

The Llangollen Round is a new 33-mile circular route walk taking place on 2nd and 3rd June. It takes in all the summits around the picturesque Vale of Llangollen and was written by local author Judy Smith. Terrain

includes heather moorland, limestone grassland, deciduous and coniferous forest and open mountain tops. Views are superb and range from Snowdonia to the mountains of midWales. Wildlife abounds – in particular, various raptors are readily seen over the moorlands. The route crosses Telford’s aqueduct at Pontcysyllte. Certain points of the route are accessible by public transport, including

Llangollen Railway. The route has been devised by Llangollen Branch of Cancer Research UK, and with the aid of local sponsors, has been presented in a 24-page booklet containing route directions, info on distance and transport connections to help plan your walk, and an accommodation list for £5 (+ £2 p&p). All profits go to Cancer Research UK. www. thellangollenround.info

11th May, Hattie Briggs, The Globe at Hay Hattie is a 24-yearold singer-songwriter, recently named Fender Undiscovered Artist of the Year 2017. Influenced by Foy Vance, Joni Mitchell, James Taylor, Goldfrapp, Pete Seeger, Regina Spektor and Jeff Buckley, Hattie writes and sings from the heart.

12th and 13th May, Dingle Nurseries & Garden, Welshpool – Open Garden for NGS RHS recommended garden on S-facing site, sloping down to lakes surrounded by yearround interest. Beds mostly colour themed with a huge variety of rare and unusual trees, ornamental shrubs and herbaceous plants.

12th May and 9th June, Brecon Farmers Market Held on the second Saturday of each month from 9.30am to 2pm in the Market Hall. The market is worth a visit for the lively atmosphere alone with live music and a chance to meet the locals.

12th May, Larkham & Hall, The Globe at Hay, Hay-onWye Americana songwriters Sarah Larkham and Elliot Hall (accolades including Bristol Songwriter Of The Year award), create bittersweet, beautiful music with country elements, taking their influences from American folk, country and blues artists such as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and Johnny Cash.

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12th May, Dawn Chorus and Croissants, RSPB Ynys-hir Nature Reserve Eglwysfach, Machynlleth Join our Wardens to experience the magic of Celtic rain forest dawn chorus! Coffee and Croissant available after the walk. Meet in the car park at 5.45am ready for 6am start.

•12th May, Owen Money’s Juke

Box Heroes II Tour, The Hafren Newtown Following the huge success in 2016, Owen Money is back with another talent packed live show featuring the music of his popular weekend Radio shows on BBC Wales; and of course his unique style of comedy.

16th May, The Searchers in Concert, Theatr Brycheiniog Canal Wharf, Brecon The Searchers’ remarkable career continues. With such classic hits as, Sweets For My Sweet, Needles and Pins, Don’t Throw Your Love Away, Sugar and Spice and When You Walk in the Room, they have contributed in establishing the UK as the world’s leading nation in the music industry.

19th and 20th May, Cyfie Farm, Llanfyllin – Open Garden for NGS Enjoy the spectacular views across Vyrnwy valley and the Welsh hills from this beautiful one-acre hillside garden. Wander around the lower garden and then through the secret doorway to a woodland garden with rhododendrons, camellias, azaleas and bluebells.

What’s On at Wyeside Arts Centre Little MPYT (Mid Powys Youth Theatre), various dates 1st May to 26th June, Market Theatre Classes take place every Tuesday during term time, from 4.30pm-6pm. MPYT works in close partnership with Wyeside Arts Centre to provide junior drama classes for nine to 13-year-olds. These high-energy, fun classes are run by MPYT professionals and supported by MPYT Young Leaders. For further details please contact Ralph Bolland on 07810 350994. Manon, 3rd May, 7.15pm, The Market Theatre This powerful telling of a tragic love is a masterpiece of modern ballet. Kenneth MacMillan’s source for Manon was the 18th-century French novel already adapted for opera by Massenet and Puccini. The ballet quickly became a staple of The Royal Ballet’s repertory, and a touchstone of adult, dramatic dance. Tickets £17 (£15 concession).

Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway

DID YOU KNOW? Peter Rabbit first appeared in a letter from Beatrix Potter to a friend’s son

Peter Rabbit, 5th, 6th, 13th and 20th May, Market Theatre (13th May at Castle Cinema) Peter Rabbit and his three sisters - Flopsy, Mopsy and Cotton-Tail - enjoy spending their days in Mr. McGregor’s vegetable garden. When one of McGregor’s relatives suddenly moves in, he’s less than thrilled to discover a family of naughty little rabbits in his new home.

An Ideal Husband, 4th June Oscar Wilde’s An Ideal Husband, filmed live at the Vaudeville Theatre in London’s West End, is coming to the big screen. This entertaining and still topical play brings an act of political sin into the heart of the English home. Tickets £15 (£14 concession).For more information and to book tickets visit www.wyeside.co.uk.

Welsh National Library talks and tours Searching for Old Houses, 12th May, 2pm A fascinating talk with Richard Suggett describing some of the recent work and exciting discoveries of the Royal Commission.

Orange Service, 9th-10th June Travel on replicas of the original 1903 Great Western liveried bogie carriages, with goods wagons and brake van attached, and watch the shunting at each end of the trip. With historical activities, demonstration freight movements, trans-shipment, heritage steam-powered road vehicles, agricultural displays. Normal fares apply on all trains. Welsh Tea on the Train, 16th June Return journey from Llanfair Caereinion to Welshpool, leaving Llanfair at 1.50pm, with Welsh sweet and savoury tea served. Full silver and linen service in the Austrian or African tea cars Special fares apply. Visit www.wllr.org.uk for full details.

Tracing Welsh Mariners, 12th May, 11am Following extensive research at The National Archives, Kew, The Guildhall Library and the Society of Genealogists, London, Dr Davies’ talk provides a helpful introduction to the careers of your maritime ancestors. The Wales Map Symposium, Charting the seas, 18th May A talk on how maps depict the sea and coastline and how such mapping is used to widen our understanding of these environments. This collaboration between The National Library of Wales and The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales. Admission by ticket £20, which includes a buffet lunch and refreshments. This is a biligual event. www.llgc.org.uk

22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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• Sunday Carvery • Weddings • Celebrations • Events • Tours • Bed & Breakfast • Café • Listed Gardens



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From Dog Sleds to Steam Trains; Horses to Vintage & Classic Vehicles; Fairground & Music and much, much more…. WEDNESDAY 16TH MAY - 8.00PM Tickets £24


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Events at the Centre for Alternative Technology


Build a Tiny House, 21st- 24th May, 9.30am-5pm Learn how to make a beautiful and bespoke tiny house from the ground up including the timber frame structure, interior and renewable systems. Jam packed with practical hands-on exercises and talks from experts you’ll leave the course feeling ready to exert your artistic flair on a tiny house of your own, just like the folk in George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces.

environment of C.A.T., students Nature in Stone - Stone Carving workshop, 1st-3rd will be introduced to the basic June, 10am-4pm skills and tools of the craft DID YOU A three-day workshop of the stone carver. KNOW? at which students This course is perfect The dwarf willow, for the beginner will create a simple relief in stone using or those with a at around two traditional hand inches high, is the little experience carving techniques world’s shortest who would like to under the guidance of explore this wonderful tree medium further. All professional sculptor, tools and materials will be Glenn Morris. Drawing inspiration from the natural provided. www.visit.cat.org.uk

19th May & 16th June, Brecon Craft Fair, Brecon Market Hall Each month up to 60 traditional independent craft workers and artists offer a wide range of high quality arts and crafts.

19th May, Charity Music Night, The Globe at Hay Hay, Brecon & Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees presents a night of music featuring a wealth of talent in the form of Duncan McCorkindale, Adam Thorn, Nobby Wright, Josh Brown and friends. It will be a mix of alternative, country, folk, covers and originals.

The Royal Welsh Spring Festival

Royal Welsh Spring Festival, 19th and 20th May The two-day festival, with its action-packed programme of entertainment, have-a-go educational activities, talks, workshops, displays and performances, offers the perfect family day out. With an expanded food and drink quarter, over 1,300 livestock and horses on display, a Smallholder

Centre and Country Life area which features the only Premier Open Show held in Wales, the Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival, children’s activities, country pursuits and much more, the event has something for everyone whatever your interest or passion. Once all the hustle and bustle of the day has died down a little, the food and drink quarter will burst into life with live music and performers along with an array of street food stalls and producers

selling all manner of delicacies and delights. Come along for an enjoyable spring evening of music and food with friends. To make things even better for visiting families, all children aged 16 and under have free entry. Well behaved dogs are welcome to accompany their responsible owners to the Spring Festival, as long as they are kept on a lead at all times and do not enter the buildings. For more information visit www.rwas.wales.

Powis Castle in beautiful bloom RSPB Lake Vyrnwy

Come and try ‘shinrin-yoku’ – a Japanese nature-based wellness experience on 19th May, 11am1pm. Forest bathing, can boost the immune system, decrease stress and lower blood pressure. £15/£12 members. www.rspb.org.uk

Find out a little more about the stunning Edwardian formal garden at Powis Castle on 2nd, 16th and 30th May as it blooms for summertime. Enjoy a look at Powis’ famous terraces and see what plants are in flower as you enjoy a walk in the company of

one of Powis’ knowledgeable volunteers. You will learn more about the history of Powis’ world famous gardens and how they evolved into the showpiece they are today. This is a free event but normal admission applies. From 11.30am-1.30pm. www.nationaltrust. org.uk

19th May, Montgomery Canal Triathalon The annual Montgomery Canal Triathlon is a great day out for families with children as well as experienced triathletes.

20th May, Bostin’ Vyrnwy Velo Sportive Riders will go on a choice of three fully signposted routes amongst the glorious Welsh scenery of Powys and Gwynedd, taking in the lakes at Bala and Vrwnwy. Buttington Cross, and Welshpool.

Side-splitting fun at Machynlleth Comedy Fest this May The festival runs from 4th-6th May is made up of hundreds of shows across Machynlleth, within 10 minutes walk of each other. One ticket gives access to all. For full programme visit www.mach comedyfest.co.uk.

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26th May Field Trip – Crossed Paths, Pwllpeiran Upland Research Centre, Cwmystwyth, Aberystwyth A creative walk following Miranda’s crawling route with discussions, presentations and readings along the way. Refreshments provided at start and end. Appropriate outdoor clothing required. 2-5pm.

27th May, Llangynidr Farmers Market, Llangynidr Village Hall Stalls include meats, butter, eggs and cheeses; plants; gardening tools; cards; knitted and other craft items; cakes and Fairtrade.

29th May-17th June, Talyllyn Railway Murder Mystery Train, 29th May; Centenary of Loco No. 6 & RAF100, 1st-3rd June; Father’s Day, 17th June.

•2nd-3rd June, Audax type

rides around Wales, Llandrindod Wells Event in memory of Mike Hall, world champion endurance rider who lived in Mid Wales. 9th June, Gin Tasting at the Town Hall, Montgomery Includes tasting notes and a light supper. Doors open 7.00pm. £10 in advance or £12 on the door. 9th June, Open Gardens Trail, Montgomery Local gardeners throw open the gates to gardens big and small and the town welcomes visitors with music and refreshments. 2pm-5pm.

23rd-30th June, Lisa Eurgain Taylor: Beyond the World, Y Tabernacl Penrallt Street, Machynlleth A series of paintings existing somewhere between reality and fantasy. Inspired by the striking mountains of Snowdonia and the light.

Exhibitions, crafts and experiences at Elan Valley Elan Exhibition: A Closer Look, until 30th June, 10am-4pm at the Elan Valley Visitor Centre Beautiful screen prints from local artists Cath Allan and Krysia Bass, with items for sale. Back to the Wildwood? A look at ancient trees on 5th May 2018, 2-5pm Explore one of the finest relict ancient woodlands in Britain and examine its unique wildlife. Join Ray Woods on this short walk that will start at the Visitor Centre. Hand Painted Stones Workshop, 6th May 1011.30am /12-1.30pm /2-3.30pm

Welshpool Country Music Festival returns Grab your stetson, pull on your cowboy boots and get stompin for the Welshppool Country Music Festival which returns on 13th, 14th & 15th July Powis Castle showground. On Saturday (10.45am) and Sunday (9.45am) the festivities begin with the Welshpool Westerners charge down the bank in traditional costume with guns blazing, to the tune of The South Will Rise Again (replica pistols only!) Rain or shine the team have it covered with a huge marquee perfect for party time! Brought to you by the Heulwen Trust – a Charity dedicated to providing boat trips for those who are less able than most, there’s great food, great bands and even better atmosphere. It’s one hot dawg of a music festival. www.countrywestern.org.uk

Corris Railway Special Trains

A Special Gala Day featuring steam and diesel trains and various train formations including a gravity train, will be held on 27th May. Then on Father’s Day on 17th June, dads will receive a small gift and can enjoy a free train ride if accompanied on the train by a child aged under 15. Even when there are no public trains running, volunteers will be working steadily on the revival of the Corris Railway and more hands are always welcome! www.corris.co.uk

Come and paint an Elan Valley Stone with local artist and illustrator A.K.Skipsey. Create a mini landscape on a piece of the Elan Valley. All materials provided. Places are limited so please book in advance. £10 per person. Bushcraft Taster Session, 1st June This is a great way to find out what bushcraft is all about or to build on your current experience. These sessions will cover a variety of subjects such as knife skills, foraging, and natural cordage to name a few. All tools and equipment provided. Minimum age 12 years. To book events visit www.elanvalley.org.uk.

What’s On at Gregynog Hall NGS Days, 17th June, 11am-4pm Explore the Grade 1 listed gardens in aid of the National Garden Scheme. £3 per adult, £1 per child (under 12). The Courtyard Café is open. House Visits, 20th May and 17th June, 2pm Explore the Hall with librarian Mary Oldham. Discover the history, its heritage, treasures and the characters who have lived here for 600 years. £10 per person includes tea and cakes after the tour. Booking required. Sunday Carvery , 20th May and 17th June, arrival 12.30pm, sit down 1pm Using the best of British and local produce the team can ensure that you will have a wonderful dining experience. Booking required. www.gregynog.org

Gregynog Festival 2018

Gregynog Festival returns to Gregynog Hall from 22nd June-1st July bringing the finest international artists together in a house-party atmosphere to perform programmes inspired by an annual curatorial theme. This year’s festival theme is Pageantry and will be staged over the most beautiful of venues at Gregynog, Aberystwyth, Chirk and Harlech. For more information visit www.gwylgregynogfestival.org.

26 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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estled in the countryside N between Welshpool and Newtown, there’s easy access to

well known walks including Offa’s Dyke and the Kerry Ridgeway. Nearby are the reservoirs and dams of Lake Vyrnwy, Clywedog and the Elan Valley, which offer breathtaking vistas over the Welsh countryside, and are of special interest to birdwatchers.

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31st Welshpool Country Music Festival

13th-15th JULY 2018

Powis Castle Showfield SY21 8RR Lots of trade stands. Traditional Westerners Charge. Fast Draw contests. Live closing trilogy. Beer tent. Canal Boat Trips. Second Show Case Stage. Weekend Ticket: £30.00pp advance £35.00 after 31st May, on gate Day Visitors: £12.50pp Accompanied children U16 FREE Make a weekend of it: Camping & caravanning FREE General enquiries: David Corfield 07885 484228 Email: recorfield@hotmail.co.uk

LINE UP FRIDAY NIGHT West Country duo Pedro SATURDAY Gambler Donna Wylde Nashville numbers Magill duo Hayley Oliver band SUNDAY Fools gold trio The Jeff gal lent band The Hayley's The Dolly Parton story by Andrea pattison Texas gun

Full information and online ticket booking at www.countrywestern.org.uk

or send bookings to The Heulwen Trust, 10 Bryn Glas, Welshpool, Powys SY21 7TL. Please enclose a SAE.

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1st May-28th October, Audlem Lass Boat service, Audlem, Nantwich A boat service raising funds for the RNLI, which runs every weekend and bank holiday until the end of October. The route is from Overwater Marina to Lock 15 Audlem. 10.30am4.45pm. Recommended donations £1.

1st May-16th June, Haecceity, Warrington Museum and Art Gallery This solo show from Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival Open winner Tracy Hill offers an opportunity to connect with unique wetland locations around Warrington. Free entry.

15th-7th May, Princess & Pirate Weekend at Gulliver’s World, Warrington Get ready for a princess and pirate takeover with treasure treats, fancy dress events, themed activities and so much more. Percy Pirate will be on stage with some swashbuckling songs and Princess Gilly will be making special appearances. 10.30am5pm, £17.95pp.

5th-7th May, Craft Fair, Capesthorne Hall & Gardens, Macclesfield A wide selection of hand-made crafts and gifts in two large marquees, plus food stalls and free access to Capesthorne gardens and chapel. 10am-5pm.

6th May, Race for Life Pretty Muddy 5k, Victoria Park, Warrington Join millions of women who have done Race for Life to support life-saving research. Start from 10.45am.

Fun for all at Arley Hall & Gardens Geronimo Family Festival, 26th-28th May Billed as the ‘ultimate family festival in the UK’, meet a host of CBeebies stars. With craft activities music and fun. 10am9pm. Tickets from £30. Houghton Weavers Summer Picnic, 8th June The Haughton Weavers – Tony, Steve, David and

Jim – will be bringing their mix of song and humour to the Walled Garden. 6.30pm-10pm. Tickets £15 earlybird, £17.50 on the gate. Rough Runner, 16th-17th June This obstacle course challenge combines distance running with a variety of obstacles similar to Takeshi’s Castle. With a 5km,

10km and 15km routes available. Spirit of the Horse, 28th June-1st July This magical show starring more than 20 horses, weaves the magic of myth and legend through man’s bonding with his oldest and most trusted ally – the horse. www.arleyhallandgardens.com

Play time at Blakemere Village

Kids’ Tea Party, 5th & 26th May Join the party complete with entertainment, food, drink and a disco, at The Village Restaurant from 5.30-9.30pm. Tickets £5.50 per child and include meal, access to an unlimited drink station, DJ, disco, balloon modelling, games and sweets.

up some bargains. £5 per car, £10 per van or car with trailer. No traders, no plants, no food and no new goods allowed. Gin and Prosecco Festival, 1st2nd June Featuring gin, bubbles and music and set in fabulous tipis in the beautiful Cheshire countryside, this festival is the perfect place to relax! Various sessions available. www.blakemerevillage.com

Car Boot Sale, 27th May & 24th June Declutter your home and make some money or pick

What’s on at The Forum Studio Theatre Brassed Off, 10th-19th May Grimley Colliery is set to close. It means 1,200 job losses, a dying town and the loss of its brass band. But under the leadership of Danny, coughing with coaldusted lungs, the band is somehow transformed into British champions with local lass Gloria whipping up the money needed to get them to the Albert Hall. 7.30pm. Tickets from £7.

Fame JR, 14th-17th June, 6pm Set in the legendary New York High School of Performing Arts in the 1980s, ‘Fame’ follows the story of a group of teenagers who want to be stars. The Tale of the Ugly Duckling, 23rd June, £8 Theatretrain Wrexham presents The Tale of the Ugly Duckling. Starts at 4pm. www.tiptopproductions.co.uk

Riding high at Bolesworth Castle This popular five-day event returns to the stunning grounds of Bolesworth Castle near Tattenhall from 13th17th June. With top-level dressage and showjumping competitions, shopping, and fun family activities, it’s a must-see show! Tickets from £12. www.bolesworth international.com

Roll up for a right Royal Show Held in Tabley, near Knutsford, from 19th-20th June, the Cheshire County Show promises competition classes for livestock, horses, show jumping, rare breeds, poultry, pygmy goats, pigeons, rabbits and a dog show plus food, music and more! Entry from £17. www. royalcheshire show.org

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Dance, eat, drink and shop at Chester Live


Chester Live is a massive, city-wide, multi-venue On Sunday 24th, The Chester Live team will be festival that brings music, food, drink and shopping returning to Brook Street to bring their second to the city from 21st-24th June. edition of The Chester Live Street Festival The event brings ‘Acoustic Summer to the city. In 2017 nearly 6000 people DID YOU Party’ back to The Piper, Hoole on attended across the whole day. The KNOW? Saturday 23rd with headlining act the ‘Chester Live Street Festival’ will host Chester zoo is acoustic trio of Mondegreen. Support live music from midday through to the most visited comes from Richard G Jones, Billie 9pm across two stages.The event will wildlife attraction also include stalls from local traders Stansbury-Jones, Will Riding, Emma in the UK Evans, David Watson, Charlotte Evans, and family entertainment along the full Owen Chamberlain, Lucy Mayhew, length of Brook Street, with a dedicated Into the Horizon and Jonathan Tarplee. The ‘Kidz Zone’ away from the main hustle and event starts at 2pm and is free all day. bustle of the street. www.chesterlive.co.uk

Giant thriller at Midsummer parade Chester’s Midsummer Watch – one of Britain’s oldest festivals – returns on 23rd-24th June. The festival and parade reflect 500 years of Chester’s history, and see visitors from across the UK and beyond joining in. The outstanding features are, the giants – enormous structures made of buckram and pasteboard and carried by two or more men. www.midsummerwatch.co.uk

Making the Personal Political – An evening with writer in residence Cal Flyn, 8th May, 8pm Writer, reporter and editor Cal Flyn considers how human stories can make the personal political. Tickeys £15 (includes a copy of her book). Taming Shakespeare, 11th-13th May Why have Shakespeare’s plays endured? This is a weekend of Shakespeare without fear. Non-residential, from £160, residential £230. www.gladstoneslibrary.org

Go wild for Chester Zoo

Crewe Cosmopolitan Food Festival opens up the streets to food vendors galore from 27th28th May. This year’s food festival, in Crewe town centre, comes with an infusion of chocolate as its theme for 2018 and celebrates the cultural diversity in our modern world with flavours from across the globe. www.crewefoodfestival.co.uk

Sign up to become Junior Rangers at Chester Zoo from 3rd June to 1st July and attend five Sunday training camps (10.30am-12pm) or (2pm3.30pm). Explore the zoo and learn about its animals and conservation work. £45 per child. www.chesterzoo.org

Eaton Hall gardens are open to the public on Sunday 27th May to raise money for local charities. The gardens are open just four times a year so it’s a rare opportunity to explore the beautiful grounds from 10.30am to 5pm. Entrance is priced at £8 for adults and £2 for children. www.eatonestate.co.uk

9th-11th May, Boodles May Festival, Chester Races Opening with City Day which celebrates 100 years of the Chester Vase and sees top-class contenders go head to head to compete at Epsom later in the season. Followed by Ladies Day and Chester Cup Day. Tickets from £10.

Gladstone’s Library Events

Tasty treats in the streets

Blooming beautiful opportunity

8th May, Wine Dinners, Brasserie Abode, Chester Treat yourself to a five-course tasting menu and matching wine flight, paired by experts from award-winning importer Hallgarten Wines. Experience a selection of stunning wines from some of the best boutique wineries. 7pm. £45 per person.

12th-13th May, Ashley Hall Traction Engine Rally, Ashley Hall Showground, Altrincham There will be a full programme of top steam fair attractions, including steam engines, classic cars, vintage tractors, classic motorcycles, fairground organs. miniature steam engines and vintage commercials. 10am-5pm. Tickets £3-£15.

13th May, Born Survivor, Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield Born Survivor is a physical endurance challenge designed by Elite British Royal Marines Commandos. Experience a 10km or marathon obstacle course adventure based on military fitness training operations from around the globe.

13th May Reaseheath Family Festival, Reaseheath College Enjoy a day out at the annual family festival. With birds of prey and an extreme sports show team.

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Summer starts at Cholmondeley Castle Gardens •

16th-17th June, The Official 1000 Engine and Vintage Rally, Astle Park, Chelford Vintage engines, transport and fun for all. 9am-5pm. £5 (under 12s free.

22nd-30th June, Chester Heritage Festival Chester’s heritage makes the city a great place in which to live and work, and a wonderful place to visit Whether you are a resident or a visitor you will find plenty to interest you across the city.

Punch and Judy, 13th May Professor Humo’s Punch & Judy returns with two half-hour performances at the Tea Room at 1pm and 3pm.

repertoire including

DID YOU music by Gershwin, KNOW? Cole Porter, Punch is based Mancini and Jobim. on the ‘Lord of Performing from Misrule’ who is an 12pm-4pm. ancient trickster

Jazz in the Gardens, 28th May Enjoy a pleasant summer’s afternoon listening to The Robin Joiner Quartet performing a

DogFest North West, 16th-17th June Hosted by Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, DogFest is the ultimate dog’s day out for your furry best friends. Expect

to take part in lots of activities with your dog, enjoy amazing displays, expert advice, shopping music and much more. Tickets from £16.50 for one day. Cholmondeley Castle Triathlon, 23rd-24th June All races start by launching into an open-water swim in the Deer Park Mere, then a bike route around Bickerton Hill followed by a run around the castle grounds. www.cholmondeleycastle.com

Ship shape with Chester Boat

23rd June, Bunbury Village Day Every June, Bunbury hosts a traditional village fete with a different theme. This gives everybody the opportunity to dress up and have some fun. The day hosts a village parade, events, fairground, barbecue, bar, stalls, music and games.

Fish & Chips Friday Special, 4th May & 1st June Enjoy some of the tastiest fish and chips in the north of England and play some bingo in the main saloon. Set sail from The Groves, in the heart of Chester, at 7.30pm. £19 or £9 for children. Hits of the 90s, 5th6th May & 9th June

24th June, Lymm Historic Transport Day, Lymm May Queen Field, Lymm Fun family day out with classic cars, historic vehicles, working boats, LEGO expo, dinosaur and a Spitfire flyover. 10am-5pm. £5, children £3.

Jump around with the Britpoppers and Barbie Girls to some of your favourit anthems from the decade when Dance Music was king. From Britney to Whitney, Spice Girls to Westlife! Whatever music you like, you’ll love to bop on this fun boat! Tickets from £32.50. For details, sailing times and bookings go online to www. chesterboat.co.uk

Discover the Stars and Stones Explore Jodrell Bank and The Blackden Trust in one day, and discover how the two sites are linked. On 23rd May and 21st June, Stars and Stones offers the opportunity to discover the science and stories of both sites and to find out more about the visionary people who have cared for and evolved these magical places Tickets £32.50pp. www.jodrellbank.net

Full steam ahead for weekend spectacular The Crewe Steampunk Convivial returns on 26th-28th May with live music and more over three days in Crewe. The line up includes Greg Chapman; Ichabod

Steam and his Animatronic Band, Moth, BB BlackDog, Rivers and Kidd and Rhythm ‘n’ Roots Reggae Band. www.crewesteampunk-convivial.co.uk

Discover the deep at Blue Planet Aquarium Rocky Shores exhibitions, 1st May-30th June Blue Planet Aquarium’s three giant rock pools provide an opportunity to get up close to some of the intriguing creatures that inhabit the rocky coastlines of the British Isles. This experience helps raise awareness of the need to care for a special

environment and encourage respect for its inhabitants. There’s a chance to see mullet, dogfish, bass and rays. Diving with Sharks, Saturdays & Sundays in May and June What could be exhilarating than getting up close to a shark. Blue Planet offer diving

lessons to people of all ages and experience, even children. Dive sessions are available on Saturday and Sunday mornings, To book call 0151 357 8804. www.blueplanetaquarium.com

Ready, teddy, go! Bring your favourite teddy or soft toy and a summery picnic to the garden at Dunham Massey on 2nd June or 3rd June and you’re in for a fabulous surprise! With games galore, storytelling and a brass band. From 12-4pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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Eaton Hall Gardens Charity Open Day Sunday 27 May 2018

Charity open day attractions • • • •

Rhododendron Walk Dragon Garden Teddy bear trail Chester Wind Band

• • • •

Gun dog displays Falconry displays Eaton Chapel Carriage Museum


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

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 – no cards. All proceeds to: – Nightingale House Hospice – Neuro Therapy Centre – Three Villages Project

Eaton Park, Eccleston, Chester CH4 9ET Tel 01244 684400 Entrance via Belgrave/Eccleston / Aldford Gates (Coaches Belgrave Gate, B5445 Wrexham Road CH4 9DJ only). Dogs welcome but must be kept on a lead.

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

Astle Park Chelford SK11 9AD


Summer 2018

For full details see www.eatonestate.co.uk


• Military & Commercial Vehicles • Ice Cream • Sand Pit

5 May - 8 July By William Shakespeare 6 July – 25 August

By William Shakespeare 13 July – 26 August

1 June - 26 august

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

15 June - 7 July





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Malpas, Cheshire, SY14 8ET Telephone:01829 720383

Same great storytelling festival, new lakeside venue - Alderford Lake, Whitchurch


festival at the 20-22 July 2018

Alderford Lake, Tilstock Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire, SY13 3JQ

Join us for superb storytelling and music at our new lakeside venue in beautiful North Shropshire Artists appearing include:

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

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

• Extensive ornamental gardens

May 10th 2018 National Garden Scheme Opening May 13th 2018 Punch and Judy

• Lakeside walk and picnic area • Temple water garden

Two half hour performances at the Tea Room 1.00pm and 3.00pm

• Rose Garden • Childrens play area

May 28th 2018 Jazz in the Gardens

Performance 12.00pm to 4.00pm by the Tea Room

June 13th 2018 Wildflower and Orchid Walk

• Childrens adventure den

The walk and talk is from 1pm-2.30pm

• Tea room

Please see website for further details on all events and check for amendments to opening days etc.

Len Cabral, Tanya Batt with Peter Forster, Peter Chand, Daniel Morden, Pete Morton, Thomas McCarthy, Pilgrims Way, Mara Menzies, Maria Whatton, Rosie Hood, Shonaleigh, Dave Tonge, Len Cabral Christine McMahon, Louise Jordan, Raphael Rodan, KARA, Rachel Rose Reid, Daria Kulesh Quartet, Spud and Yam, Allan Yn Y Fan, Cath Little, Steve Lally, Gorg Chand, Vera Van Heeringen Trio, Andy Harrop-Smith, Panic Circus, Midswegan, Hand to Mouth Theatre, The Trials of Cato, Ceri Ridge Trading Company, plus more to be announced.

The Trials of Cato

Dave Tonge

Daria Kulesh Quartet

Weekend and day tickets available, please see our website for details

“One of the highlights of the year, my favourite festival.” “Children’s tent, amazing music, wonderful activities, excellent!” “Lovely atmosphere, beautiful landscape.” “Great festival… there’s nothing quite like it!”

For more information:

email: info@festivalattheedge.org www.festivalattheedge.org tel: 07544 044 126

dilys@cholmondeleycastle.co.uk / www. cholmondeleycastle.com

marquees of distinction

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

Vintage afternoon tea cruises 12.00 noon and 3.00pm Bank Holiday special 6th May times as above Fathers Day, June 17th Gentlemen’s afternoon teas times as above Grandparents Day 9th September times as above With delicious home-made sandwiches, scones and cakes, tea and Prosecco Adults £27.50 children £15

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.chesterboat.co.uk  enquiries@chesterboat.co.uk  01244 325394 032_SHIRE_MJ2018.indd 1

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What’s on at the Crewe Lyceum Theatre Brian Conley: Still the Greatest Entertainer – in his price range, 8th May, 7.30pm One of the UK’s most versatile entertainers, Brian Conley is a popular star of the musical stage with an ever DID YOU cheeky grin. He returns KNOW? with his brand new show The Teletubby featuring new comedy, sketches and songs Tinky Winky is alongside some of his best almost nine loved material from stage feet tall! and screen. Tickets £25.50. David Baddiel, My Family: Not the Sitcom, 10th May, 7.30pm A show about memory, ageing, infidelity, dysfunctional relatives, moral policing on social media, golf, and gay cats. A massively disrespectful celebration of the lives of David Baddiel’s late sex-

Picture perfect at Nantwich Museum A Life in Colour: David Jewkes, until 14th July Local artist, ‘Dabber’ David Jewkes explores his life in this wonderful and colourful exhibition. Nantwich Buildings & Other Places: Simon Bowler, 5th June-21st July Original drawings and prints in pen, ink and colour pencil featuring some of Nantwich’s bestloved places. www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk

Magical music and mystery at Chester Cathedral Wirral Symphony Orchestra presents German Requiem, 5th May, 7.30pm, tickets £12 Chester welcomes back the united voices of Ensemble Vocal Renaissance, from Le Havre, and the singers of Wirral Symphony Chorus, to perform this glorious work. Chester Mystery Plays, 27th June14th July, 7.30pm (1pm Saturdays) The performance of spectacle and history, miracles and mystery are only produced every five years in this unique theatrical experience. Costs £18-£27. To book visit www.chestercathedral.com.

mad mother, Sarah, and dementia-ridden father, Colin. Come and be offended on David’s behalf! Tickets £30. Teletubbies Live! My First Theatre Show, 23rd-24th May, 10am and 1pm See the world-famous Teletubbies in their first ever theatre show created especially for little ones. Join Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po in a show full of love and laughter as they explore the magical world of Teletubbyland. Tickets £14.50. The Opera Boys, 27th May, 7.30pm Combining four big voices and four big personalities, The Opera Boys combine their exceptional classically trained voices with their experience, showmanship and personality to deliver a wonderfully entertaining show not to be missed. Tickets £22. www.crewelyceum.co.uk

18th May, Soul & Motown Tribute Night, Village Warrington, Centre Park Square, Warrington Get it on and join a live singer singing along to those Motown and Soul favourites. The evening includes a three-course meal, tribute act and disco. Bar opens at 7pm. Tickets £25.

19th May, Spring Opera Showcase, Clonter Opera Theatre, Congleton A rich variety of semi-staged opera scenes and arias, set into context and presented by a compére, to entertain opera novices, of all ages, and seasoned opera lovers, in equal measure.7pm. £20.

20th May, Wedstival ’18, Wedding Fair, Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield Brides Up North return for more Wedstival fun. With free entry for brides and bridal party. 11am till 4pm.

Rocking out at The Live Rooms

26th May & 30th June, The Chester Antiques, Collectors & Vintage Fair, Northgate Arena, Chester Find the perfect pieces to complement your home, collection or wardrobe. 9am -3.30pm. Tickets £2.

King King, 17th May Glasgow rockers King King have been saluted as ‘the best blues-rock band in the world’ (Blues Rock Review). Alan Nimmo (vocals/ guitar), Lindsay Coulson (bass), Wayne Proctor (drums) and Bob Fridzema (keys), release album Exile & Grace last year and are following with their biggest UK tour so far. Starts 7pm. Tickets £20.

Best foot forward at Lyme Park

Tom Clarke (The Enemy), 21st May Tom Clarke, frontman and guitarist from indie rock band The Enemy, performs classic The Enemy tracks. 7pm. Tickets from £16. Women in Rock, 30th June The UK’s only live show dedicated to the world’s greatest female rock legends. With up to four of the most powerful female singers on the live music scene, together with a professional touring band, they deliver a show-stopping performance! Starts at 7pm. Tickets from £12.

Dawn Chorus Walk, 12th May Find out which birds nest at Lyme and what can be spotted throughout the year. 5.30am7.30am. £12.50. Walking to Health – Reservoir Walk, 19th June This moderate 3.6 mile walk takes in Bollinghurst Reservoir, the Red Deer Sanctuary and Hawthorn Drive. 10.30am-12.30pm. www.nationaltrust.org.uk May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 33

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What’s on at Storyhouse


28th May, V&A Antiques and Collectors Fairs and Markets, Nantwich Civic Hall A wide range of antiques and collectables including china, glass, furniture, cigarette cards, vintage fishing tackle, jewellery, militaria, antique silver and gold, watches, clocks, coins, pictures and prints.

ROH Live: Manon, 3rd May Manon’s brother Lescaut offers her to the highest bidder when she meets Des Grieux and falls in love. They elope to Paris, but when Monsieur G.M. offers Manon a life of luxury as his mistress she can’t resist. 7.15pm, £19.50. A little Night Music, 5th May-8th July A sparkling new stage version of

Stephen Sondheim’s Tony award-winning musical, directed by Alex Clifton. Be prepared for a night of glorious musical comedy featuring the immortal Send In The Clowns. Tickets £24-£48. Swallows and Amazons, 1st-30th June This new stage version by Bryony Lavery offers a

It’s all happening at Tatton Park

30th May, Sandbach Concert Series May Concert, St Mary’s Church Hall, Sandbach Soprano Anna-Clare Monk, along with harpist Lauren Scott, will be performing songs by Ivor Novello as well as opera favourites by Puccini & Dvorak. Doors open at 6.30pm. Tickets £9.50.

10th June, Congleton Food Festival, Congleton town centre Join the fun of the fare at the 10th anniversary festival offering more than 100 stalls selling delicious local produce and a variety of global street foods. 10.30am-4.30pm. 15th-24th June, Macclesfield Barnaby Festival Barnaby is a 10day festival of contemporary arts, culture and fun celebrating Macclesfield’s rich culture and heritage. The biennial celebration features, music, food, comedy, art, walks and talks, and this year has a theme of Routes/Roots.

Tatton Park Country Show 2018, 19th-20th May Returning for the 5th year, this family Country Fair is all day fun including: the Equestrienne all female horse stunt display; Jez Avery’s stunt bikes; PADS dog training including have-a-go scurry and agility; Living History from medieval times right through to WW2, terrier racing and birds of prey displays. There will be children’s entertainment as well as arts, crafts and gifts, a food hall and trade stands. Tatton Park Classic Car Spectacular, 2nd-3rd June Visit one of Britain’s best and most popular classic car shows. Around 2,000 classic and performance cars are on display including nearly 80 of Britain’s top classic and performance car clubs

including Jaguar, Lotus, Jensen, MG, Triumph, BMW and all the classics of yesteryear. Summer Deer Walk, 26th-27th June For centuries, the Red and Fallow Deer at Tatton Park have roamed freely over 1,000 acres of beautiful parkland. Join the rangers for a guided evening walk in the summer parkland, between 7pm-9pm, and, if lucky, observe new-born calves and fawns. www. tattonpark. org.uk

Sixteenth century scents at Little Moreton Little Moreton Hall takes visitors on a sensory exploration of Tudor smells on its Sixteenth ‘scentury’ exhibition from 1st May30th June. Following on from last year’s sleep project, Little Moreton Hall is exploring health

and wellbeing from a Tudor perspective. Families can join in the fun with the You Smell! trail and lots of hands on smelly activities. 11am-5pm. Free event (normal admission applies). www.national trust.org.uk

production of endless summer days, pirates and treasure maps. Tickets £22-£36.


The Crucible, KNOW? 15th JuneMiller’s The 7th July Crucible turned Arthur Salem into a Miller’s popular tourist classic attraction! American thriller. Tickets £22-£38. www.storyhouse.com.

On stage at the Pyramid Parr Hall An Evening Back To The GR80s,10th May, 8pm A live charity 80s night in aid of Holidays for Heroes featuring Nathan Moore from Brother Beyond, You My Favourite Waste of Time singer Owen Paul and Electro 80. Tickets £25. Vienna Festival Ballet Present Sleeping Beauty, 13th May, 2.30pm A classic fairytale set to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent musical score, featuring stunning choreography and beautiful costumes. Tickets £21.25. Bill Bailey – Larks In Transit, 13th-14th June A compendium of travellers’ tales and the general shenanigans of 20 years as a travelling comedian. Tickets £27.50. www. pyramindparrhall.com

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FRIDAY 29TH JUNE 2018 Advance Purchase for 4: £83.00* Adult: £25.00 per person Child: £20.00 per person On the gate admission prices: £30.00 per adult & £25.00 per child


SATURDAY 30TH JUNE 2018 Advance Purchase for 4: £99.00* Adult: £29.00 per person Child: £24.00 per person On the gate admission prices: £35.00 per adult & £30.00 per child





SUNDAY 1ST JULY 2018 Advance Purchase for 4: £83.00* Adult: £25.00 per person Child: £20.00 per person On the gate admission prices: £30.00 per adult & £25.00 per child

For more information or to purchase tickets please visit: www.hawkstoneparkfollies.co.uk/tickets *Advance Purchase for 4 tickets can be for any 4 people and are only available to purchase until Thursday 31st May 2018

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What’s on at Floral Pavilion Theatre

All year around, Mermaid Trail, New Brighton Follow the mermaidthemed tourist trail featuring six identical mermaid statues sculpted by a local artist and decorated by local schools groups. The trail was launched last year and has become a popular feature of New Brighton.

4th-6th May, British Open Dinghy Team Racing, The Marine Lake, West Kirby The British Open Team Dinghy Racing Championships ‘The Wilson Trophy’ is the largest, most prestigious event in the international dinghy team racing calendar. It takes place at Wirral’s world-renowned sailing amphitheatre. World class sailors will be competing against each other for this coveted trophy.

The Bowie Starman Show featuring Michael King, 3rd May, 7.30pm Honouring the distinctive sound and unique style of David Bowie, Starman perform their hero’s best-loved songs with wit and respect. Packed with songs from all eras of Bowie’s celebrated career from Rebel Rebel and China Girl to Let’s Dance, Young Americans, Ashes To Ashes and Life On Mars. Tickets from £23.50. Martine McCutcheon, 11th May, 7.30pm With the recent release of her first album of original music in over 15 years, Lost and Found, former Eastenders and Love Actually actress Martine McCutcheon performs as part of her new UK tour. Tickets £26.

13th May, Secret Gardens of Oxton Discover the many gardens on view in this conservation village, have a lunch break, enjoy the music and entertainment (including activities for children and adults) and visit the arts and crafts stalls. From 10am-5pm.

13th May, Royden Park Poetry Picnic, Royden Park Visitor Centre Meet at 10.30am at the visitor centre for this free poetry picnic – a guided walk combined with workshop sessions for creative writing, led by poet and artist Janine Pinion. Bring a pen, paper and packed lunch.

Milkshake! Live: The Magic Story Book, 13th May, 11am and 2.30pm Starring Milkshake! favourites; Bob the Builder, Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam and Shimmer & Shine, Milkshake’s very own Milkshake! Monkey and two Milkshake! presenters, this all singing, all dancing, musical masterpiece will take audiences on a journey through the world’s favourite fairy tales. Tickets £15. Cirque Berserk! Real Circus Made for Theatre 31st May-2nd June Showcasing the finest in traditional circus thrills and skills, Cirque Berserk! celebrates the 250th anniversary of the invention

Still pedalling after 20 years

The 20th Wirral Bikeathon takes place on 10th June and hopes to take the total fundraising over the past two decades past the £1 million mark. All the funds raised go to the charity Bloodwise – the new name for the charity Leukeamia and Lymphoma Research. The Wirral Bikeathon is a 14 or 28-mile ride

of circus by bringing this treasured form of live entertainment bang up-to-date in a jaw-dropping spectacular created especially for the theatre. Tickets from £27, children from £15. The Sleeping Beauty by the Vienna Festival Ballet 3rd June, 5pm A classic fairytale set to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, stunning choreography and costumes combine to portray the struggle between good and evil. Following the traditional tale of Sleeping Beauty, this ballet will enchant audiences of all ages.Tickets £24 Once upon a Time at the Adelphi, 6th-9th June, 7.30pm It’s 1930s Liverpool and the glitz and glamour of Hollywood pour off the luxury liners and into the city’s most fashionable hotel. Amidst the decadence, Alice from reception has fallen for the Thompson from accounts. But fate, Hollywood, WWII and a dizzying array of staff and guests intervene in a Liverpool love story spanning 70 years. Tickets from £17. An Audience with Anfield Legends, 14th June See John Barnes, Jan Molby and Neil ‘Razor’ Ruddock on stage together. Hosted by sports journalist Ian Ridley, the evening promises to be full or entertainment and banter. Tickets from £28. www.floralpavilion.com

around the Wirral with Arrowe Country Park as the start, mid-point and finish area. The first Wirral Bikeathon was held in 1999 when 700 riders took part and raised an astonishing £23,000. The event has been held in June every year since, come wind, rain or shine. www.wirralbikeathon.com

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Growing skills at Ness Botanic Gardens

Enjoy Americana at West Kirby Art Centre

performances during that time Tennessee Waltz with the Helsby String Band, 5th May on a reel-to-reel tape recorder patched into the house PA Jimmy and Sarah-Lou (also of system. These recordings became Jimmy Rae & the Moonshine known as the ‘Gaslight Tapes’, Girls) are a highly experienced and were widely bootlegged and professional acoustic vocal during the late 60s and 70s to harmony duo with a passion cash in on Dylan’s global fame. for all things country and Wirral singer/songwriter Dean Americana. Tennesse Waltz Johnson will perform are joined by the fantastic Dylan’s repertoire Helsby Mountain DID YOU as featured on the String Band. 7pmKNOW? 10pm. Tickets £5. Bob Dylan’s lyrics legendary tapes. 7pm-10pm. £6. for Like a Rollin’ Dylan at the Stone originally The Performing Gaslight Cafe, was 20 pages Guitarist: 19th May long! workshop by Paul For one night only, Costello (part of The West Kirby Wirral Festival of Firsts), 30th Arts Centre will recreate the atmosphere of Bob Dylan’s June, 2pm-4pm This workshop, presented by Paul Costello, coffee-house days. A year is for classical and acoustic before officially changing his guitarists, at all levels, who name, the future voice of a wish to become more confident generation secured a residency at Manhattan’s Gaslight Café and performers. Learn how to was able to record a number of prepare for an upcoming show

Use your loaf at Claremont Farm Cookery School Get baking at award-winning Claremont Farm’s Gluten-Free Bread course on 17th June, 9.30am-3pm. Ask anyone who is gluten-free and they will tell you that what they miss is really good bread. This course teaches you how to make some of the best gluten-free loaves possible, including a brilliant

loaf of white or brown bread, baguettes, soda bread and sweet brioche. Learn techniques for pizza and sourdough. Taught by nutritionist Deborah Thackeray, this course aims to give an insight into the world of gluten-free bread baking Cost is £100 including lunch and ingredients. www.claremontfarm.co.uk

or exam, practise effectively, and memorise new pieces. Subjects include visualisation, focusing attention, relaxation, physical posture, and dealing with performance nerves. You will be given practical strategies and exercises that provide real and lasting benefits, and plenty of time to discuss individual questions. Priced £7. Tom Mason (part of Wirral Festival of Firsts), 30th June, 7pm-10pm When not donning the tricorn hat with the Blue Buccaneers, Tom Mason tours as a solo act, entertaining crowds with his guitar and dobro playing, his musical story-telling, and songs from his recent solo CD Salmagundi, an anthology of his nonnautical tunes like I Thought I Heard a Train, The World is Drunk, and a good bit of slide guitar. Tickets £10.

Propagation day – plants for free, 19th May Packed with practical, handson information, this course shows you how to start your own plants from seed, by division, cuttings and layering. Take the mystery out of plant propagation with step-bystep instructions and learn all the essentials for producing your own plants. Students will be propagating plants from the gardens and have the opportunity to take plants home with them for their own gardens. 10am-4pm, with talks; demonstrations and a range of activities both in the classroom and out in the gardens. Priced £30.

Plant Identification for Beginners, 7th June-19th July Learn the skills of plant identification and put them into practice on this six-week introductory course which acts as a comprehensive guide covering all the basics of identifying plants. Course price £65. Call 0151 7956300 or visit www.nessgardens.org.uk

Focus on the changing the landscape Only The Tide of Time revisits the photography of Clifford Morris, at National Waterways Museum, Ellesmore Port. The images, on show until 15th July, reflect on the changing landscapes that have taken place since the millennium. These photographs are a testimony to a world that in some cases has now gone forever. The canals’ critical role in the industrial revolution that swept across Britain offered no future-proofing against the

competition from rail and road that was to bring an end to their industrial use. These photographs reflect the paradoxes of social and economic change and in so doing interpret our industrial past in the light of times today. Entry £9.75.

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Get set for May Weekender The newly branded May Weekender is set to attract over 50,000 people to Prenton Park, the home of Tranmere Rovers, over the late May bank holiday. The three-day extravaganza, from 25th-27th May, will be hosting dozens of music acts including English grime MC Jme, Aystar, B Young, DJ Target, Radio 1 DJ and producer Charlie Sloth. The event is the successor to Wirral Live, and has already signed up big name acts. Tickets from £54.95 for day tickets, £131.95 for weekend tickets. Visit www. mayweekender.com for more info DID YOU and tickets.

25th-27th May, Mersey River Festival, Hoylake This free threeday celebration of Liverpool’s wonderful and historic waterfront in an extravaganza of family fun, music and entertainment along the iconic River Mersey. See narrow boats and tall ships, jet skiing demos, have-a-go water sports sessions and heartstopping air displays.

Animal art through the ages

5th-9th June, Murder Inn, The Little Theatre, Wirral The Carlton Players present this who-dunnit set in New England, in a dilapidated eighteenth century inn, supposedly haunted by knife-throwing poltergeist, Marco. Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £6-£8.

17th June, Race through Port Sunlight The annual Port Sunlight Road Race sees the return of the 10k and 5k races as well as a children’s 1k fun run through the beautiful streets and boulevards of Port Sunlight garden village. 11am. 5k entry: £18, 10K entry: £23.

24th June, The Wirral Coast Walk, starts at Seacombe Ferry Join walkers on this 15-mile charity walk from Seacombe to Thurstaston taking in the scenic coastline of the Wirral Peninsula.

•29th June, Ballroom Blitz,

West Kirby Arts Centre Join dancers from 7.30pm-10pm for an evening of fun and relaxed social dancing. £5 on the door.

30th June-14th July, Wirral Festival of Firsts, Hoylake This annual event runs in for two weeks, and includes poetry, story telling, art, films and live music.

The popular Animal Encounter exhibition continues at the Williamson Art Gallery, in Birkenhead, until November, showcasing the human love of capturing wildlife through art. Featuring six centuries worth of art, the yearlong exhibition reflects the relationships between human and animals dating back to when Stone Age people decorated their caves with images of the

animals they hunted for food. The ancient Egyptians depicted many of their gods with heads of animals. In recent centuries the images have been more

KNOW? Animal paintings have been made by humans for complex, over 40,000 illustrating years the extraordinary nature of exotic creatures, the struggles between man and beast, the ‘wildness’ of nature or the individual beauty of an animal. The Animal Encounters exhibition brings together paintings, drawings, prints and objects from across the museum collection depicting animals in a wide range of settings. From 10am-5pm. Free entry. Visit www. williamsonartgallery. org for more details.

Family fun, down on the farm There’s plenty to entertain the whole family, whatever the weather, at Church Farm, Thurstaston. With an adventure playground, crazy golf, barrel train rides, an indoor beach, pedal tractors and buggies and more than 100 farm animals, it’s a great day out for all ages. Why not meet the meerkats, pat a pet or take part in one of the hands-on animal feeding

sessions? Then relax and enjoy refreshments in the coffee shop. Adult tickets from £3.50, children from £2.50. www.churchfarm.org.uk

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WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 3RD – 6TH MAY •3rd May, Wenlock Edge – Bat Walk, Much Wenlock Join the ranger and learn about the bat species on Wenlock Edge. Use bat detectors to locate and listen to their calls. Finish the walk with a warming hot chocolate. •3rd-7th May, Telford Beer Festival, Elephant and Castle, Dawley Britain’s biggest cooled-hand-pulled, pub-based beer festival, with an amazing 34 cooled hand-pulls at the Crown Inn and 12 more.

•5th May, Fieldbounce, The Venue, Oswestry This is as new, unique day music festival. Famous acts at affordable prices, for all ages. Tickets £20-£65. •5th-6th May, Napoleonic Re-enactment & Living History Weekend, Whittington Castle

Get into the wilderness at Dudmaston Hall

Wilderness Girl – A bush craft experience for over 18s, 12th May Learn shelter, food, fire and natural navigation skills. Some challenges are designed to take you out of your comfort zone but it’s not at all military or macho. Meet in the meadow in Comer Woods and wear warm, waterproof clothing and suitable footwear. Bring cutlery, a bowl, mug, pencil, notepad and antibacterial wipes in a rucksack. Car parking charges apply in Comer Woods, free for NT members. 10am-3pm. £39.50. Call 07968 071588 to book. The Great Big Tree Climb, 30th and 31st May

Climb to the top of the tallest trees at Dudmaston. Experts from The Great Big Tree Climbing Co will be on hand to help you into your harness and safely on your way into our woodland canopy. Enjoy views from above the estate and then zip line your way back down. Booking essential. Tickets: £21. Call 03442 491895 to book. Suitable for children over six years old. Wear loose, outdoor clothing and sturdy footwear such as boots or trainers. This activity takes place outside of the pay barrier. The toilets and tearoom are located within our pay barrier and therefore an admission fee applies to use

these facilities. Free entry for NT members and under 5s. Archery with Shropshire Scouts, 17th June Challenge Dad to have a go at archery on Father’s Day from 11.30 – 5pm. Join Shropshire Scouts for archery on the lower terrace of the garden and see if you can hit the target? Admission is £2 for 6 arrows. Suitable for children over five years. Assistance dogs are welcome. Find the Scouts on the lower terrace of the garden, next to the Big Pool. For more information call 01746 782832 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk

Movies and more with Arts Alive Shropshire

Fun for all the family at these ancient ruins. See how soliders lived, cooked, treated wounds and more, with lots of live re-enactments. •6th May, Boots and Roots, Haughton Farm A family day out enjoying all things outdoors. Ditch the TV’s and tablets for fresh air and fun. A ‘digital detox’ day out where families can get involved in activities including den-building, crafts, messy play, gardening, cooking, sports and much more. From 10am-4pm.

Sully: Miracle on the Hudson, 4th May, Sarn Village Hall, 8pm This movie starring Tom Hanks tell the tale of Captain Chesley Sullenberger who glided his disabled plane onto the frigid waters of the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 aboard. Tickets: £4.50, £3.50 or family £12.50. 01686 671205. The Man with Two Brains, Coal brook dale & Iron bridge,

Community Centre, 21st May, 8.30pm Recently widowed neurosurgeon Doctor Michael Hfuhruhurr injures Dolores Benedict in a car accident. He operates on her and saves her life. As Benedict recovers, Hfuhruhurr falls in love with her and they are soon married. However, Benedict is only interested in Hfuhruhurr’s money. Tickets £8.50 include BBQ supper from 8pm included. 01952 433297.

Derwen College Summer Fête 31st May, starts at 12 noon. There’s fun for all the family when you join Derwen College students, staff and supporters for the annual Summer Fête. Take part in games galore, shop at the wide selection of stalls and enjoy some tasty treats cooked to perfection on the barbecue. Other highlights include a student performance of ‘Come Fly

With Us’, an art exhibition and a grand raffle with a host of fabulous prizes. For details and lots more go to www.visitderwen.co.uk.

Swan Lake, 12th June, Church Stretton School, 7.15pm This special event celebrates 275 years since Russian ballet began. The ‘genius’ of Tchaikovsky’s incredible score coupled with choreography of Marius Petipa and Lev Ivanov bring you the version of Swan Lake the world loves. Tickets £12, child £6. 01694 722209.

Safari adventures at Attingham Take a tractor and trailer Safari ride through Attingham Park on 29th May to find out more about the wildlife from 10.30am-4.15pm. Hop on to see what you can spot. Under 16s must be

accompanied by an adult. Visit www.nationaltrust. org.uk for more.

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Whitchurch events: from herons to art

Ellesmere Heronwatch, various dates until 14th May, Boathouse Visitor Centre, 10am to 5pm Use video cameras to see herons on the island. New volunteers also welcome. Bell ringing practice, Thursdays, 8pm, St. Alkmund’s Church Experienced ringers always welcome. After the practice, everyone retires to a local hostelry. Call 01948 663069 for more info.

Wrenbury and District Model Railway Club, Wednesdays at 7pm, Wrenbury Village Hall Non-members welcome to call in for a chat and a brew. Annual membership plus £4 weekly fee. Whitchurch Deep Group, Thursdays, 11.30am, Beechtree Community Centre This is a free social group for people living with dementia. Come and meet others, chat, relax, share experiences and information. There are no organised activities…just tea, coffee and cake. Call 01948 710456. Emerging Woman Art Journey, 24th-25th June, Doodle Alley, 10am-4pm Join Lisa over two days and open deeper doorways into your creativity. In this non-residential course you will be sharing in sacred space as a small circle of women. No prior painting experience needed. Cost for the course is £225.

Performances at the Festival Drayton Centre An American in Paris -The & Garfunkel. Fronted by the Musical, 16th May, 7pm duo, Bookends, the concert has This breathtakingly beautiful toured the globe extensively Tony award-winning and has been described as Broadway musical, ‘simply breathtaking.’ DID YOU inspired by the Performing the KNOW? Oscar winning songs in a truly Simon & Garfunkel’s captivating way, MGM film, tells first stage names Bookends’ delicate the impassioned story of discovering were Jerry Landis recreation of the and Tom Graph unmistakable sound love in the ‘City of Light’. Featuring of the American folkthe music and lyrics of rock duo is something George and Ira Gershwin. of a masterpiece. Tickets are Tickets £13.50, Friends £11. £16.50. Bookends Live in Concert Simon & Garfunkel, 2nd June, 7.30pm Simon & Garfunkel: Through the Years is a unique concert, which celebrates the unforgettable music of Simon

Odette, he is enraptured. But she is under a spell that holds her captive, allowing her to regain her human form only at night. Tickets £16.50, under 21 £10 and Friends £15. Mary Duff, 28th June, 7.30pm Irish singer, Mary Duff ’s career seems to go from strength to strength, and as the salutation and success continue to roll in. Come and enjoy an evening of song and more. Tickets £23. www.festivaldraytoncentre.com

Swan Lake - ROH Encore Screening at the Festival, 19th June, 7.15pm Prince Siegfried chances upon a flock of swans while out hunting. When one of the swans turns into a beautiful woman,

Fly off to Balloon and Kite Fiesta 2018

Annual Charity Family Vintage Show This popular show returns to the Greenhous Showground in Shrewsbury this year from 30th June-1st July. Attractions include displays 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. Each year a special tractor is featured and this event it will be the

Nuffield and Leyland tractors. There is something of interest for everyone including craft and trade stalls, autojumble, fairground rides, go karts, face painting, juggling, shire horses, beer tent and refreshment stands. The Auction sale will take place on the Saturday. Tractor Pulling will also be back by popular demand. Tickets are £10 and under 16s are free. www. midshropshirevintageclub.com

Float over to Telford town park on 12th and 13th May to celebrate Telford50. The Midlands Kite Flyers will be at the Rugby Club flying their huge kites. There will also be an opportunity for you to fly or make your own kites on the day. This is a free event so just come along with your picnic and enjoy the Telford town park. From 12pm-10pm on 12th May and 11am-7pm on 13th May.

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Get active at the Ironbridge Museums

STOP PRESS! Victorian Printing Experience at Blists Hill Victorian Town

Ceramic workshop for adults, 23rd May and 27th June at Coalport China Museum Make something useful, decorative or quirky in a lovely friendly atmosphere. Items will take up to four weeks to dry, fire and glaze. The workshop is £5 per person (plus a small charge for glaze and includes admission). Call 01952 433 970. The Queen Victoria Cyclocross, 2nd June The Museum has once again teamed up with the organisers of Newport’s famous Nocturne cycle race and will host this unique urban cyclo-cross event. Visitors will be able to see some of the best cyclists from around the

country taking part in some unusual and formidable challenges across Blists Hill. Gates open 5.15pm.

Open Air Theatre: Wuthering Heights, 1st June Hotbuckle Productions will be returning to Blists Hill with their inspired version of Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. 7.30pm-9.30pm. Tickets £12 adults and £10 concessions. DID YOU

KNOW? Queen Victoria and Prince Albert had a whopping nine children together

Steampunk Weekend, 23rd-24th June Steampunk fun is coming to Blists Hill Victorian Town! Highlights will include exhibitions, speciality market, demonstrations and talks. Check the website for how to book. www.ironbridge.org.uk

Whittington International Chamber Music Festival

Whittington’s sixth festival, which runs from 15th-20th May in the church opposite the village’s pretty moated castle, is an exclusively Brit event. Featuring no less than 15 British composers; and for one night only (Friday 18th), there’s a reminder that the inspiration for much of their music came straight from our vibrant folk tradition. There’s a poignancy to this ambitious

programme in the centenary year of the 1918 Armistice, but the festival is as upbeat and international as ever. The six-day festival includes works from Dowland to the present day, with particular contributions in the WW1 centenary year from Elgar and Vaughan Williams. Tickets cost £15. Visit www.whittingtonmusicfestival.org.uk for more information and to book tickets.

Foodie fun at Ellesmere Food & Drink Festival This popular food festival returns on 16th and 17th June, showcasing local produce at its best. From fruit, vegetables, cheeses, meat products, ice cream, wines, beers to homemade chocolates and preserves. This year things are changing and two sites will be merged into one. All exhibitors are now going to be in and around the Market Hall, creating a better experience for everyone. For more information, visit www.ellesmerefoodfestival.co.uk

If you have ever admired the skills of the Victorian printers come along to the Victorian Printers Experience Days for adults on 12th May. You can make a Victorian poster using your own design, try your hand at typesetting and then print the poster on one of the historic presses. You will also be able to enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the Print Shop and the museum’s remarkable print related collections. Materials will be provided plus a lunch in the Town’s Club Room. 10am-3.30pm. £50pp. To book call 01952 435900.

Bake Off star at the Whitchurch Food Festival Bake Off star Jo Wheatley will be the special guest at the 4th annual festival to be held in Whitchurch on 20th-21st May. Enjoy the Celebration Cake Competition, Kids’ Kitchen, face-painting, outdoor food court, live music and performances, cookery theatre and demos, producer awards and tons of delicious fresh local food and drink – all for free! www.whitchurch.info

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WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 6TH – 12TH MAY •6th May, Lyndale House Open Garden for NGS Large garden which has evolved over 20yrs. Terrace with roses, alliums and iris surrounded by box hedging. Specimen trees planted in large lawn. Hundreds of tulips for spring colour. Clematis walk to pool.

Movie mania at Kino Culture NT Live: Macbeth (15), 10th May, 7pm Shakespeare’s most intense and terrifying tragedy, directed by Rufus Norris, will see Rory Kinnear (Young Marx, Othello) and Anne-Marie Duff (Oil, Suffragette) return to the National Theatre to play Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. The ruined aftermath of a bloody civil war. Ruthlessly fighting to survive, the Macbeths are propelled towards the crown by forces of elemental darkness.

disorder. After a breakdown forces him to leave his family and move into a halfway house, he attempts to rebuild a relationship with his two daughters, and win back the trust of his wife Maggie (Zoe Saldana) which leads to a series of quirky, funny, and sometimes frightening episodes. Oscar Wilde Season: An Ideal Husband (12A), 6th June, 7.15pm This entertaining and still topical play brings an act of political sin into the heart of the English home. For more information, or to book tickets, visit www. kinokulture.org.uk

Infinitely Polar Bear (15), 17th May, 7.30pm Mark Ruffalo stars as Cameron, a man who suffers from bipolar

Art and music at Willow Gallery Oswestry Spring Open Exhibition until 26th May The exhibition includes The Stones by Jan Wallis, an installation comprising a circle of lifesize figures in mixed textile techniques, is it a stone circle or a group of people? They wait and watch through the ages. As they wait they tell stories and ponder the fate of the world. These themes form the basis for a performance, which will take place in and around the circle on 19th May at 2pm.

Dan Walsh Trio, 25th May, 8pm (doors 7pm) Nominated for best musician at the BBC Folk Awards, banjo maestro Dan Walsh combines ‘virtuoso playing and winning songwriting’. This exciting new trio sees him team up with award winning fiddler Ciaran Algar and long time collaborator Nic Zuppardi on mandolin. Tickets £12 adults, £6 children. Borderland Visual Arts, 2nd June-14th July. Open Studios: 9th-10th June & 16th-17th June As part of Open Studios, the Willow Gallery presents a rich variety of work by emerging and established artists. www.willowgalleryoswestry.org

•7th May, The Shrewsbury Town FC Antiques, Collectors & Vintage Fair, New Meadow Stadium Oteley Road Up to 70 tables, with ample free parking and food and drink available! Starts at 3.30pm. •7th May Ellesmere Model Railway Club show, Criftins Parish Hall, Dudleston Heath, SY12 9LE. Layouts, trade support, demonstrations, refreshments, disabled access. 10am - 4pm. •7th May, 20th and 27th Historic reenactment Days, Whittington Castle Come along for the Guild Day/Mercians Day, Blackstar Day and Medieval Day at the Castle and experience life as it was in the past. With stalls, battles and more.

•11th-14th May, Sunnycroft Handicraft Weekend Come and see a variety of crafts being demonstrated at Sunnycroft from patchwork to lace making, there are even opportunities to try your crafting skills.

Theatre on the Steps Bridgnorth Viva la Coldplay, 5th May, 8pm Recreating the complete anthology of Martin, Buckland, Berryman and Champion and perform over two hours’ worth of career-spanning material from 2000’s Parachutes to 2015’s A Head full of Dreams. This is a show that will delight both fans and novices alike. Tickets £10-£12. Duran Duran Experience, 18th May, 8pm After their sell out show in 2017 Duran Duran Experience returns – this time for two nights.

Established as the premier Duran Duran tribute band in the UK since 2012, they’ve performed at a number of pro venues across the country. Tickets £11. Neville’s Island, 31st May – June 2, 7.30pm Four out-of-condition, middle-aged businessmen sent off on a team-building exercise in the Lake District succeed in being the first people ever to get shipwrecked on an island on Derwentwater. Bound in by fog, menaced by the wildlife and cut off from the world, it turns into a muddy, bloody fight for survival. Tickets £7-£9. www.theatreonthesteps.co.uk

The British Ironworks Centre Plant Hunter’s Fair, 20th May See top specialist nurseries and thousands of plants. £1 entry. Midlands Breakfast Club, 27th May Watch cars arrive in style! Starts 9am. www. britishironworkcentre.co.uk

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OSWESTRY SHOW Saturday 4th August 2018

Award-winning Markets Regular Market Days every Wednesday, Friday & Saturday Youth Market - 23rd May, 9.30am until 2pm

Charity Market - 8th June, 9am until 3pm

To celebrate National Love Your Local Market campaign Oswestry Markets will be supporting local schools and colleges to hold their very own market.

Working closely with community supporters The Qube, Oswestry Markets’ hosts a charity market on the Bailey Head aimed at raising important funds and awareness for a wide number of local charities.

Artisan and Gardening Market - 25th May, 9am until 3pm


A collection of quality local craft and food producers held in Bailey Street and the Bailey Head. In addition gardening will be an important theme with a number of plant stalls, gardening advice and how to support wildlife and healthy eating

Ifton Brass - 3rd June, 2pm until 4pm Free family music in the award winning Cae Glas Park.


5th-6th May Napoleonic Riflemen Weekend

£3 per adult and £1 per child entrance donation. Open 10-4pm. Over 100 Napoleonic Troops will be on show at this large event at the Castle. 7th May, 27th May & 16th-17th June The Mercians & Whittington Medieval Guild

www.ludlowcastle.com • Castle Square, Ludlow Shropshire SY81AY

Email: info@ludlowcastle.com • Tel:01584 874465

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Artisan Market - 29th June, 9am until 3pm A collection of quality local craft and food producers held in Bailey Street and the Bailey Head.

20th May The House of the Blackstar Medieval Living History Medieval encampment, sword displays. Open 11-4pm.

27th May

Family entertainment with

FUTURE EVENTS The Heritage Cup with Battle Heritage Monday 27th August 10am to 5pm

Free family music and dance in the award winning Cae Glas Park.



The Company of the Raven medieval living history and dressing up; Sam and the Ludlow Dragon Story telling and puppet; Dragon Hunt and crossbow shoot; James the Jester from Chester

Bulgarian Folklore Club 17th June, 12pm until 5pm

For further information


Monday 28th May, 10.00am - 5.00pm

Handpicked Shropshire based food and craft producers selling the best the County has to offer in the town centre

call 01691 680222 or visit:


Family Medieval Entertainment

Shropshire Produce Market 16th June, 9am until 3pm

Living History Days Medieval encampment with living history, battle displays, cooking. Open 10-4pm each day.

Outdoor Shakespeare Production at the Castle. ‘A Winter’s Tale’ performed by The Festival Players. Tickets prebooked: Adults £14 and concessions £12. Open air performance, please bring your own seating. Grounds open for picnics from 6pm onwards. Refreshments available on site. Come along and enjoy a Summer evening of live theatre for all the family in this stunning location.

10th June House of the Blackstar 1940’s Living History Day Play wartime games as well as learn about life during World War Two. Open 10-4pm.

Contact Castle on 01691 662500 or email info@whittingtoncastle.co.uk www.whittingtoncastle.co.uk

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WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 12TH – 19TH MAY •12th May, Bishop’s Castle Round and About Walks Walk to beat blood cancer. Join a Ramble (22.5 miles), Scramble (13 miles) or Amble (9.5 miles) around the beautiful Shropshire countryside to help beat blood cancers.

Steaming into Severn Valley Railway Spring Diesel Festival, 17th-19th May The Spring Diesel Festival brings three days of visiting heritage and modern diesel locomotives, home-fleet action, evening running and one or two surprises. The fantastic selection of visiting locomotives and special attractions will be supported by members of SVR’s home fleet, including Class 14 No. D9551, Class 52s No. D1015 Western Champion and No. D1062 Western Courier. Goods Gala, 2nd and 3rd June SVR is celebrating steam locomotive’s No. 2857’s 100th birthday! The centenary weekend will see up to two goods train in operation alongside passenger

services each day; showcasing the changing face of freight traffic from the 20th century, right through to the modern day on Britain’s railways. Step Back to the 1940s, 30th June and 1st July DID YOU Turning the clocks back KNOW? to the 1940s with this ‘Þrimilci-mōnaþ’ is light-hearted journey Old English for May back to wartime and means Month Britain. See the return of the Battle, Big Band of Three Milkings Show, Winston Churchill and King George VI in attendance, entertainment costumed re-enactors, Beware of the Spivs and an intensive steam train service. For more information or to book tickets visit www.svr.co.uk.

•12th-13th May, Ludlow Spring Marches Transport Festival, Ludlow Castle Come along for plenty of vehicles, entertainment and activities for all the family. •13th May, Jodie’s Cyprus Dogs Rehoming, The Quarry, Shrewsbury This annual fun dog show helps raise money for the charity. 10am-4pm. Registration for the dog show is 10am-12pm.

Markets and music at Oswestry Town Market Youth Market, 23rd May To celebrate National Love Your Local Market campaign Oswestry Markets will be supporting local schools and colleges to hold their very own market. 9.30-2pm. Artisan Gardening Market, 25th May A collection of quality local craft and food producers held in Bailey Street and the Bailey Head. With plant stalls, gardening advice and how to support wildlife and healthy eating. Ifton Brass, 3rd June Free family music in the award winning Cae Glas Park from 2-4pm. Charity Market, 8th June, 9am-3pm A charity market on the Bailey Head aimed at raising important funds for local charities. Shropshire Produce Market, 16th June Handpicked Shropshire-based food and craft producers selling the best of the county. Bulgarian Folklore Club, 17th June Music and dance in Cae Glas Park on Father’s Day. www. oswestrymarket.co.uk.

Vintage Vehicle Rally gears up The Annual Vintage Vehicle and Machinery Rally and Craft Show returns on 16th-17th June at Oswestry Showground. See steam engines; vintage commercial vehicles, fire engines, buses and campervans; horses; vintage tractors, motor cycles, model hall, craft hall, auto jumble stands and more – phew!

Culinery delights at Ludlow Spring Festival Sample delicious food and drink created in Ludlow, the Welsh Marches, and beyond; together with live music, classic vehicles and more over the weekend of 12th-13th May at Ludlow Castle and around our historic town. Features include 200+ of the best regional beers, live music, talks ‘n tipples, classic vehicles and kids activities, there’s plenty for everyone. For information and ticket prices visit www.ludlowspringfestival.co.uk.

•13th and 20th May, Wenlock Edge – Wild Food Foraging Fancy improving your knowledge of Shropshire’s wild larder? See what edible delights can be found at Wilderhope. Learn to identify different edible and poisonous species and enjoy a wild lunch.

•15th-19th May, Spamalot, Theatre Severn Winner of the 2005 Tony Award for Best New Musical, Spamalot by Python legend Eric Idle is not to be missed. Tickets cost between £20.50-£40.50.

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•16th May, Phoenix Flyer, Dawley The Phoenix Flyer Road Race is organised by Telford Athletics Club starting and finishing in Dawley’s high street. One of the most colourful events taking part in Telford, hundreds of runners make three laps of Dawley, as one of six races run in the area. •19th May, Edge Villa – Open Garden for NGS Two acres nestling in South Shropshire hills. Self-sufficient vegetable

The Place Theatre at Oakengates broadcaster specialising in Jason Donovan...and his science, wildlife and rural affairs. Amazing Midlife Crisis, Together with her husband 8th May Ludo she lives in permanently At aged 49½ and with a wealth muddy jeans on a smallholding of tantalising tales under his in Wales. Her latest book Friend belt, this autobiographical show for Life: The Extraordinary will take Jason’s looming Partnership between 50th birthday as its DID YOU Humans & Dogs is out starting point and KNOW? in paperback. Tickets will zigzag back and forth through The breed known Adult £18.50 / as the Shropshire concession £16.50. his life. Hear some new stories Sheep originated Richard Digance – plus some of the in 1840 The Not Bad for his songs you know Age Tour, 13th June and love for a night Richard resumes as normal like no other! Tickets £26. after his Golden Anniversary celebrations of 2017 with a series An Audience with Kate of dates doing what he loves Humble, 23rd May best, telling stories, playing the Kate Humble is a writer and

plot. Large herbaceous borders. Dewpond surrounded by purple elder, irises, candelabra primulas and dieramas. Teas in courtyard.

May Bank Holiday at Eyton Races Enjoy the excitement of steeplechasing on 7th May at Eyton Racecourse. Have a bet with the bookmakers and enjoy a picnic al fresco. Open 11am, first race 2pm. £10 per person, under 16s free. www.eyton-races.com

Bing Live 26th and 27th June Full of fun, laughter and music, Bing Live! is the perfect first theatre show for pre-schoolers. Join Bing, Sula, Coco and Pando as tell stories, dress-up and sing songs. Tickets £12.50- £16.50. www.theplacetelford.com

Shropshire Music Trust concerts

•20th May, Macmillan Classic Vehicle Day, Eaton Manor Country Estate This year’s attractions include: burgers, licensed bar, tombola, afternoon tea and gift stalls. •28th May, Family Medieval Entertainment, Ludlow Castle Traditional medieval Family entertainment in the grounds of Ludlow Castle. 10am-5pm.

guitar and singing songs. This year there’s a whole new show having shaken off the nostalgic trip of 50 years last year. £16.50.

Calling all Shrewsbury foodies! Shrewsbury Food Festival returns on 23rd-24th June. More than 20,000 people will descend on Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park and around the town for the town’s annual food festival to see and hear drink and taste from more than 200 exhibitors. The event will include celebrity chef demos, free activities for children, a showcase of the best local music, a hot food court, artisan bars and more. Advance tickets: £7 adults and £15 families. On the gate prices will be £8 adults, £16 for families. Open 10am-6pm on Saturday and 10am-5pm on Sunday. www. shrewsburyfoodfestival.co.uk

Carducci String Quartet: Series, Voyages from Budapest, 13th May, 3pm The Carducci String Quartet: III present From Budapest to New York at The Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury.Travelling from the Hungarian-inspired mature works of Haydn and Bartok, to Dvorak’s sunny and ever popular ‘american’ quartet, in which he includes the sounds of nature, african-american spiritual

songs and native Indian drumming! A Schubert Experience, 27th May, Concord College, Acton Burnell, 3pm Llyr Williams explores Schubert’s piano repertoire in two concerts plus a talk: Schubert’s Piano Music – offering a deeper insight and discoveries about the music by BBC Radio 3’s Stephen Johnson. www. shropshiremusictrust.co.uk

Shropshire County Agricultural Show Returning on 26th May to the Greenhous West Mid Showground in Shrewsbury, this celebration is a great opportunity to boast about the great things on offer in Shropshire and across the Midlands, from livestock to local businesses and of course the local produce. www. shropshirecountyshow.com

46 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Nostalgic Fun Fun for for the the Whole Whole Family Family Nostalgic

30th June & 1st July 2018

The Greenhous West Mid Showground, Berwick Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 2PF




Vehicles, • Vintage Machinery & Clothing Gallopers • Steam Activity Zone • Kids • Craft Stalls, Trade Stalls & More !

e h T

o p sh i r e r h S





FREE activities!





re ! u the o y e Se

Cattle & Sheep


Purchase tickets online at:


www.westmidshowground.com Kids under 16


FREE when accompanied by a paying adult

at The Greenhous West Mid Showground, Berwick Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 2PF

BIRDS of PREY Displays


The Greenhous West Mid Showground is managed by the Shropshire and West Midland Agricultural Society Charity Number: 702372

Town meets Country ~ LOADS for the whole family to see and do!


www.westmidshowground.com ...and enjoy Pre-Show SAVINGS!

The Greenhous West Mid Showground is managed by the Shropshire & West Midland Agricultural Society • Charity Number: 702372

Shropshire Horticultural Society Charity Number: 501564

Fri 10th & Sat 11th August 2018

Attractions for all ages including stunning floral arrangements, equestrian competitions, exciting arena entertainment for all the family, food, crafts & trade stands, advice from celebrity gardeners and cookery demonstrations by TV chefs; all topped off with world class fireworks Tickets: Adult Advance £25 Over 60’s Advance £23 Children aged 15 and under Free Admission (when accompanied by an adult) Membership: Adult from £46 Children £5

Call us on: 01743 234058 or visit www.shrewsburyflowershow.org.uk ShrewsburyFlowerShow

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WHAT’S ON in MAY & JUNE18 Saturday 5th May & Saturday 2nd June – Whitchurch Makers Market, Town Centre

Himalayan Salt Lamps - each beautiful light is unique, and natural ionisers, Only £17 & £25

Visit the website at www.rowanthorn. co.uk/events to find local classical music and opera events, or come into the shop to buy your tickets!

Bindis... stick to your forehead and add exotic bling! Only 95p

Saturday 2nd June and Sunday 3rd June – UK Kids and Ultimate Triathlons Alderford Lake hosts a series of triathlons over this weekend. For further information visit www.uktriathlon.co.uk Whitchurch Party in the Park Saturday 9th June from 1pm – 7pm Fun filled afternoon for the whole family. Lots of stalls including hot food, drinks, and craft. Live bands and music. Free event. Sunday 10th June Drive Out in aid of Headway, Shropshire. Route: Shrewsbury to Whitchurch and back, arriving into Whitchurch at approximately 11am – 12.30pm. Up to 100 cars expected.

For more information please visit


Combermere Abbey, Whitchurch Garden Open Afternoons Once more we will be opening our gardens in summer 2018 on the following afternoons: Wednesday 30th May and Wednesday 27th June

Gates Open at 1pm and close at 5pm (last admission 4pm) Explore the ever evolving, restored six-acre Walled Gardens, a rare chance to enter the gates of this privately-owned historic estate and explore its horticultural splendour.

Including: • Heritage Opera • Oswestry School recital series • Whittington Music Festival • Borderline Music presentations • Cantiones Chamber Choir • London Handel players • Concerts at St Silin’s Parish Church and Rhydycroesau Village Hall’

Lovely Karma AirDiffusers leave a long-lasting and vibrant scent. They come in beautifully designed boxes, making them an ideal gift. Only £4.99

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


Train rides Every Sunday afternoon from Easter to Sept (subject to weather conditions)

Visitors are also welcome to enjoy a leisurely train journey which invokes an ambiance of intriguing reverie as you travel through the changing landscape around the plant nursery and its gardens. Our miniature Railway is ideal for all ages, families, grandparents and Railway enthusiasts. Children parties by arrangement. Homemade teas and cakes by arrangement. For further details, please contact us on 01630 653161 or visit our website at www.woodseavesminirail.co.uk

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Scented, old fashioned, historic to modern roses: • Climbers and Bush Roses • Cottage Garden Plants • Perennials • Shrubs - Basket Plants examples of our plants grown within our gardens. Friendly advice and knowledge is keenly passed on. Specialist Plant Nursery of Tree Lupins, many unusual and traditional plants. Open every weekend. For weekdays please phone us first on 01630 653161 Awarded silver

and silver gilt at the RHS Tatton 2006 and 2007 for the CGS

Woodseaves Garden Plants, Sydnall Lane, Woodseaves, Market Drayton, Shropshire, TF9 2AS

The iconic Floral Pavilion Theatre and Blue Lounge is the jewel in Wirral’s cultural crown, presenting a fantastic programme of comedy, drama, children’s shows, ballet, opera, West End musicals and live music.

The breathtaking panoramic lounge offers a daytime and pre-theatre menu, making it the ideal place for a great time with friends and family.


0151 666 0000 floralpavilion.com


@Pizza Peddlers



20/04/2018 09:09


Theatre Severn Shrewsbury


it’s easy to be irritated, offended or downright enraged Balletboyz – Fourteen days, 9th May, 7.30pm by other people. How do we know which causes are BalletBoyz are back with four brand new works and worth fighting for? Lucy Porter uses her hilarious the return of an audience favourite. They present experiences to help you decide. Tickets £15-£13. a varied programme of dance and music and the Friends 10% off. Suitable for ages 16+. second half presents Fallen – choreographed by Russell Maliphant and set to a powerful score DID YOU The Life and rhymes of Benjamin by French film composer Armand Amar. KNOW? Zephaniniah, 14th June, 8pm It also won the National Dance Award Benjamin Zephaniniah is one for Best Modern Choreography in 2013. As a child, of Britain’s best loved poets. He Tickets £18.50-£16.50, child/student Bob Marley was £13.50. Friends 10% off. a eerily accurate befriended Nelson Mandela, fought in the 1980’s race riots and recorded palm reader radical and relevant reggae music with Lucy Bob Marley’s former band. Now he’s Porter, back with his first tour in eight years, to Choose your coincide with his remarkable autobiography, The battles, 19th Life And Rhymes Of Benjamin Zephaniah. May, 8pm Tickets £23.50-£21.50. Friends 10% off. In these www.theatresevern.co.uk combative times,

Season of lunch-hour concerts at Shrewsbury’s Civic Church Enjoy a spot of classical music at the free lunch-hour concert series at St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury. Scheduled every Friday and the 1st Tuesday of each month at 12.40pm, the concerts last 40 minutes, with free parking between 12-2pm. After Friday concerts there is a light lunch in the church hall. Tuesday events are always organ recitals. Concert director Richard Walker comments: ‘Our audiences are enthusiastic and many regard Friday at St Chad’s as the most enjoyable part of their week!’ For a full programme visit www.stchadschurchshrewsbury.com.

Go free at Shropshire Frestival The Shropshire Free From and Allergy Free event on 19th May at West Midlands Showground, will showcase free-from and allergy-free food, drinks, clothing, cosmetics, toiletries and more. Pop into the Free-From main tent, Paleo Village and Vegan Village. With cookery demos, speakers and book signings, you can listen to speakers and watch chefs in action. Tickets are £7 in advance, £10 on the gate, and free for 16 and unders. www. theticketfactory.com.

Cars, car boots and racing at Aldeford Lake Car boot supporting West Midlands Air Ambulance, 6th May Gates open to sellers at 9am. Cars, 4x4s, and small vans cost £8; large vans £12; trailers £3. Gates open 9.30am. £1 entry and children go free. Classic Car Breakfast Meeting, 20th May Super relaxing Sunday morning treat from 9am-12pm followed by run out to Eaton Manor, near Church Stretton. If you would like to bring your vintage or classic vehicle along, contact 07889 666477. Cost is £2 per vehicle, a sausage or bacon roll with tea or coffee is available at £5. UK Kids and Ultimate Triathlons, 2nd-3rd June If you have kids that love to run, then why not let them compete in the UK Kids triathlons? There are two races across the weekend for ages 7-16 years. For race information visit www. uktriathlon.co.uk. www.alderford.com.

•31st May-9th June Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd - Little Trekkers A fun and informative spring walk for all the family led by expert ranger guides. Follow reservoir and pipe walk paths with a ranger guide to explain the features of the valley.

•2nd-3rd June Shrewsbury Flea Market, The Greenhous West Mid Showground A mixture of antiques and collectables, antique furniture, vintage clothing and fabrics, architectural salvage and reclamation. Tickets £1.50-£2.50. •3rd June, Windy Ridge Telford – Open Garden for NGS Stunning and inspirational are how visitors frequently describe this multiaward-winning acre village garden. The design and colourthemed planting offer a picture around every corner.

•9th June, Antiques Fair, Castle House, Ludlow Castle Pick up a bargain or maybe some treasure! Entry £1, children free. •9th June, Oswestry School Recital Series, Holy Trinity Church, Oswestry The London Handel Players will be offering a baroque feast from Messrs Telemann, Vivaldi and Bach, undoubtedly an uplifting end to the most recent concert series.

May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 49

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Culture at Ludlow Assembly Rooms

•7th June, Shrewsbury Half Marathon, Shropshire County Show Ground A professional and friendly half marathon for runners of all abilities, with scenic and historic routes through Shrewsbury and the Shropshire countryside. Starts at 1pm. •9th-10th June, Amulet Antique Fair, Oswestry Showground Three large halls full of antiques, collectables, jewellery, silver, vintage clothes, retro, dedicated furniture hall plus unlimited outside stalls. Tickets £4/£3.50.

•10th June, Rhododendron Open Day, Stokesay Court A chance to enjoy the magnificent rhododendrons and walks through the grounds and gardens of Stokesay Court. Proceeds to be split between St. Michael’s Onibury and the Shropshire Historic Churches Trust. Tea and home-baked cakes available in the Old Kitchen. •16th June, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Hawkstone Park Follies Take a trip down the rabbit hole with Chapterhouse Theatre Company this summer as they present the classic tale of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland in the pictureque setting of Hawkstone Park Follies.

The Square, (15) 2nd May, 7.30pm Winner of the Palme D’or at Cannes, this is a satirical jab at art, culture and communication in the digital age. A prestigious art curator of a contemporary museum attempts to set up

a controversial exhibit but falls victim to a scam and hires a PR firm. The firm get it drastically wrong when they try to draw attention to the new exhibit, all making the curator question his social responsibility and place in the world. Shakatak, 12th May, 8pm Legendary Jazz-Funksters Shakatak sound as good today as they did as they did back in the 80s. With over 30 years of playing together, Shakatak

Follies Fest, Hawkstone Park!

29th June, The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Show Witness this incredible live band, stunning costumes, iconic dance show and the World’s Number 1 Michael Jackson soundalike. This show promises the most authentic, lively and powerful re-creation of the iconic superstar with all the classic hits and more!

Saturday 30th June Follies Fest Family Day A day of music and fun for everyone. 11am-10pm. Tickets from £29pp, child (3-16 years) £24, under 2s free. See website for details. Sunday 1st July, A Night at the Musicals & West End Jerseys Featuring four leading vocalists, recreating your favourite musicals from stage and screen. www. hawk stonepark follies.co.uk

All ready for fun on the river Great British Food Festival at Weston Park Come along on 26th-28th May for great local grub, free parking and entrance to the Parkland and Woodland Adventure Playground. Tickets £9, child £5, family, £26 and conc. £8. Visit www. greatbritish foodfestival.com.

The Shrewsbury River Festival is back on 3rd June from 10am-5pm at The Quarry and on the River Severn. Entry is free to this day of family fun, free activities and water safety awareness. There’ll be boat rides on the Sabrina, Chicago Swing Katz Band, climbing wall, duck race, fairground and more. www. shrewsburyriverfestival.com

enjoyed a string of hit singles including: Nightbirds, Easier Said Than Done, Down on the Street, Dark is the Night, City Rhythm and Watching You. Tickets £20. Sir Andrew Motion, 8th June, 7.30pm Poet Andrew Motion recreates a stunning biographical verse. Essex Clay rekindles, expands and gives a tragic resonance to subjects that have haunted Motion. Tickets £12.50. www. ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk

Take to the skies at Cosford Air Show

The RAF Cosford Air Show on 10th June will feature a unique mix of aircraft, spanning the 100-year history of the Royal Air Force, which will be showcased in the flying display and in the special RAF100 static exhibition. There will be displays from the Defence School of Aeronautic Engineering, No.1 Radio School, Defence School of Photography, RAF School of Physical Education and many more. Tickets are on sale via the website at a cost of £25. Under 16s free, when accompanied by an adult. DID YOU www. KNOW? cosford airshow The Severn’s name is derived from .co.uk

the Latin ‘Sabrina’ which means ‘boundary’

50 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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200 Food, Drink & Craft Exhibitors, Free Kids Activities, BBQ Demos, Chef School, Demonstration Stage, Live Music Save money when you book in advance online!


With special thanks to...

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AWFUL AUNTIE AT THE FLORAL PAVILION, NEW BRIGHTON Being huge fans of David Walliams’s books we were wary of seeing the live theatre performance of Awful Auntie… but we were far from disappointed. The Birmingham Stage Company’s touring production made a short stop on the Wirral and we were there for what was a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The larger than life character of the ‘Aunty’ of the title was suitably horrible in every way and played with enough pantomime-style excess that even when she was filled with murderous intent and rage she had the younger members of the audience in stitches. Her over-the-top outfits, props and one-liners kept everyone amused and the whole show was a visual delight. The sets and backstage work were used to great effect and as a parent it was a joy to take children to a play that was a bit more theatrical than the usual children’s shows that often rely on basic performances and not much artistic interpretation. With a seven and ten-year-old in tow they embraced the slick scene changes and enjoyed it when the characters were artfully replaced by puppets of themselves. The owl, an intricate puppet, was beautifully controlled and characterised throughout. There was tension, excitement and a lot of laughs. KS

52 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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

RICHARD HERRING AT THE FESTIVAL DRAYTON CENTRE, MARKET DRAYTON Oh Frig I’m 50 is the title of Richard Herring’s stand-up show and no one went along expecting to hear about growing old gracefully. There are graphic jokes about the disappointments and humiliations of growing old. But since his Oh F**k I’m 40 tour ten years ago, Herring has married and fathered two children. In his more libidinous days he thought the universe revolved around him. Now he has two competitors convinced the universe revolves around them. Herring’s humour even includes a very funny demonstration of a favourite toy. The lewd and libidinous still creeps in, with a drawn-out sketch, for example, about his crush on a CBeebies presenter. He gives us a peep at the doting dad with a big heart then reverts to rude boy as if to say ‘After all I’m only fifty, what do you expect?’. When he comes back in ten years to do his Oh S**t I’m 60 show he’ll be just as boyishly rude and funny, and will pack the house. JH

THE BANFF FILM FESTIVAL AT THEATRE SEVERN The Banff Film Festival, which tours the world, visited Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury. For two hours you can follow the expeditions of some of today’s most incredible adventurers, see footage of adrenalinepacked action sports and be inspired by thoughtprovoking pieces shot from the far flung corners of the globe. The Blue programme shown in March followed the Red which was shown in February. Films including 2.5 Million depicting the incredible journey Aaron Rice took to break the world record for the most humanpowered vertical feet skied in the back country in one calendar year and Johanna featuring Johanna Nordblad who dives through the ice into a world that could kill her in an instant if she didn’t remain calm. Both were absolutely beautiful and inspiring but also unsettling for mere mortals like me! I always leave these films feeling inspired by the daring capabilities of people on our globe, pushing themselves and boundaries to really live their lives to the fullest, making you feel that anything’s possible if you have the right mindset. I’ll be back in 2019 for sure. CB

WALES VS FRANCE IN THE SIX NATIONS On the final day of the Six Nations my mum and I made our way to Cardiff, to witness what promised to be a fabulous game. The Principality Stadium was welcoming and even before we got there, the atmosphere was amazing! During the game, the crowd was enjoying every second, whatever the scoreline. Unlike many sports, rugby can be viewed by anyone, regardless of your knowledge of the game. Even though France lost I was thoroughly entertained and can’t wait to visit more fixtures. TB

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

May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 53

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Legally Blonde the Musical, Birmingham Alexandra Theatre, May 21st-26th This smash hit Broadway and West End musical follows beautiful sorority sister Elle Woods who loves to be pampered and adores pink – until she puts down the credit cards and picks up the books.

Birmingham International Dance Festival, June 1st-24th Birmingham International Dance Festival takes over the streets with four consecutive weeks of dance produced by DanceXchange and Birmingham Hippodrome. This jam-packed event is full of world-class performances.

BBC Gardeners’ World Live, Birmingham NEC, June 14th-17th Two Shows, one amazing day out! Celebrate summer as the BBC Good Food Show and BBC Gardeners’ World Live combine. Get top tips and seasonal inspiration from some of the UK’s top chefs and gardening experts.


Derren Brown: Underground, The Wales Millennium Centre, May 8th-12th The multi-award winning master of mind-control and illusion returns to amaze, astonish and enthral audiences with his latest jaw-dropping show of magical genius and epic showmanship.

Manic Street Preachers, Motorpoint Arena, May 5th This chart-topping band are back and describe their new album, Resistance Is Futile as being about memory and loss – forgotten history – confused reality and art as a hiding place and inspiration. Support from The Coral.

Sarah Millican, St David’s Hall, May 9th Sarah Millican is funny, frank and unapologetically filthy and with this new show you’ll learn about rescue men, farting in hospital pants, what can happen at a bra fitting, plus tips on how to talk to shop assistants and the correct way to eat a biscuit.


An Officer and a Gentleman The Musical, Liverpool Empire Theatre, May 21st-26th Based on true events, this tale follows the Oscar-winning film starring Richard Gere and its feel-good soundtrack includes all the fabulous hit songs from the original movie.

WWE Wrestling Live! Liverpool Echo Arena, May 16th WWE LIVE is unique blend of sport and entertainment, combining inring match action with dramatic entertainment. Bursting with all the drama and energy of a rock concert, in a fun, lively and exciting environment.

Marti Pellow, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, May 18th One of the UK’s most loved pop icons celebrates 30 years in the industry in his The Private Collection tour, featuring number ones and hit singles from his many albums as both a solo artist and with Wet Wet Wet.



Blood Brothers, Palace Theatre, May 15th-26th Written by Willy Russell, the legendary Blood Brothers tells the captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences.

Parklife Festival, Heaton Park, June 9th & 10th One of the UK’s most popular and famous weekend music festivals, laying on a programme of diverse and cuttingedge music. This year former Oasis man Liam Gallagher and grime icon Skepta, will feature on the main stage.

Bryan Adams – The Ultimate Tour Manchester Arena, May 24th Multi-million selling recording artist Bryan Adams is back and will perform a rip-roaring set of material from his forthcoming new album Ultimate and his enormous hits from an incredible back-catalogue.

54 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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This edition we’re putting the spotlight on a young lady from Shropshire who is heading to the UK finals of a beauty pageant for fuller figures and is a great role model for celebrating and embracing our bodies whatever size…




What would be your dream job?


If you were representing your country in the Olympics which sport would you chose to do?

Lauren Charlotte Cox. 2

Current job title/role

I’ve recently left my full time job to pursue a career in plus size modelling as well as take care of my twoyear-old son. I was previously working for a DNA testing company in West London 3



Worst moment of the last 12 months?

I recently attended a model casting. I hadn’t read the email correctly and was completely unprepared, it was extremely embarrassing. Needless to say I didn’t hear back but I’ve definitely learnt my lesson. 6

If you could come back as an animal what would you be and why?

I love horses! I used to do horse riding lessons for a few years when I was younger and have been in love with them ever since. 7

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?

If you had to take part in a reality TV show, which would you have the best chance of winning – Strictly, the Bake Off, or I’m a Celeb?

Bake off – hands down. I love baking and constantly make cakes for family get-togethers. I did at one point want to start my own baking business. 16

What is your weakness or guilty pleasure?

My guilty pleasure would be binge watching TV series. When I find one I like, people won’t hear from me for a good week until I’ve finished it.

17 When did you last laugh uncontrollably and why?

I have always been the joker of my friendship group, so uncontrollable laughter happens quite a lot!

18 Where is your favourite place in the world?

Ghana, West Africa. My son is half Ghanaian and I’ve visited the country several times.


What is your proudest moment/best achievement so far?

Finding the confidence and drive to throw myself into doing what I love. It’s taken me years to learn to love myself and now that I do, there’s no stopping me!

What is your desert island disc and what does that music means to you?

My all-time favourite is Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah. Such a classic and beautiful song. 8


Highlight of the last 12 months?

My highlight of the last 12 months would be being selected as a finalist in the Miss British Beauty Curve Pageant. I’ve entered a few competitions before but feel this is the right opportunity for me to really put myself out there and pursue my dream.

I want to be a part of something that celebrates all women of different sizes and backgrounds. It’s important to help and encourage people to accept and love themselves for who they are.

Swimming – only if they would allow a leisurely breast stroke.

Home life

I live with my son and partner. I travel back and forth between London and Telford to see as much of my friends and family as possible. I enjoy a mixture of city and countryside, so I am pleased I can easily move between the two.


You’re hosting a celeb dinner party for four guests – who’s on the list?

Holly and Phillip from This Morning. Stormzy as I love his music and the final guest would be Adele.

The ability to time travel. History fascinates me so I’d go back to experience how people lived in the past… and a cheeky trip to the future wouldn’t go a miss either. 9

‘My highlight of the last 12 months would be being selected as a finalist in the Miss British Beauty Curve Pageant’

Full name

Who is your all time favourite hero and how have they/do they inspire you?

A model called Ashley Graham. She is absolutely stunning and is making a real impact in the industry for curvy girls. 10

What is your worst fear or phobia?


What would be the first thing you’d buy if you won the lottery?

Spiders – and I know I’m not alone on that one!

I’d firstly pay off my mum’s mortgage, go on a huge shopping spree and then I’d book plenty of holidays. 12

What is your favourite drink?

Water, though you can’t beat a weekend glass of rosé.

Do you know someone who you think we should feature? Let us know at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk 56 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Phill Jupitus has many faces; a radio DJ, TV panel show host, actor, poet and star of stage and screen. Now he returns to the region in a brand new standup show, Juplicity, which, as the name suggests, isn’t quite what it appears...

‘I have a lot of material to choose from for this tour,’ says Phill about his pun-loving stand-up, poetry and music show, Juplicity. ‘The thing that really works for me is that I support myself as Porky the Poet. So he goes out and does 40 minutes to start the evening. Because of Buzzcocks and other jobs, I let Porky and the poetry slide but after about a decade, I came back to it and wrote new poems, often just chucking stuff out on Facebook for mates to read. Combined with the old poems, and factoring in chit-chat between them, I had about an hour of material.’ In terms of the stand-up element, Juplicity will draw on his own life, one that Phill describes merrily as ‘chaotic’ and ‘flaky’. ‘Sean Lock has a phrase, which was both inspiring and worrying, about comedians mining our own personalities for material and then in your head negotiating how much you keep back. Initially there was some resistance to me discussing things on stage about my family. One of my daughters, Molly, married her American girlfriend and emigrated there, so what you get is a starting point: gay marriage is a trope that’s very much in vogue at the minute and dovetails with what’s happening in the world with Trump and so on. As a comedian you’re a person in a society within the world;

discipline of my comedy brothers and sisters and say: ‘it’s about this!’ By the end, who knows, it could be about my love of the bridge work of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Still, that would do well in Bristol.’ When Phill started off on his Constantly evolving path in entertainment, he probably As with many acts never thought he’d find himself on who take to the ‘As a standa stage, in full make-up, belting road for a lengthy up, there out a show tune. But that’s one period, the show are always that is conceived other options of the paths he’s landed on, with large-scale touring productions at the beginning – we’re so such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, might not exactly adaptable! Spamalot and Hairspray now replicate the one nestling on his CV. which exists by ‘My agent phoned up and said, ‘there’s the end. ‘What happens a casting director in the West End who wants on the tour becomes added to talk to you about being Count Fosco in The to the tour,’ Phill insists. Woman In White’. I was like, ‘What? I don’t ‘It snowballs as it rolls sing!’ Turns out they’d seen me do the intros down the hill of the round on Buzzcocks and felt I could hold dates. I wish I a tune. So I took some training and auditioned had the and they said, ‘maybe not this time, but do you want to be Wilbur in Hairspray?’ I went to see it and even though I’m watching Mel Smith as Wilbur thinking, ‘yeah I could do that’, I kept looking at Michael Ball as Edna and thinking, ‘that looks like a lot of fun’.’ As fate would have it, he was offered the part of Edna instead. ‘I was thrown into it, three months in a dress, wig and lipstick. I’d just come out of BBC6 Music and felt a bit adrift, and then Hairspray comes along, then Spamalot. As a stand-up, there are always other options. That’s why there’s a little resentment about us because we’re so adaptable!’

all you have to do is look at things and shift your camera angle. All comedians can do is put a wider lens on a situation so that it resonates with people.’

Phill will be appearing in Juplicity at Theatre Severn on 12th May. May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 57

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It’s something most of us do without giving much thought – but walking is not just a handy way of getting from A to B, it can be a source of great pleasure and comes with huge benefits too


spawning a global car industry he act of putting one that would transport us with foot in front of the other minimal effort we embraced the comes pretty naturally to most sheer laziness of not having to of us and is something we’ve walk anymore. generally mastered by the time we’re about two years old. It Nicety not necessity allows us to control our destiny Suddenly there was less of a in as much as we can propel need to walk – not a great thing ourselves forward in a chosen for our health, but not direction, and for early man it was pretty a bad thing for the ‘Walking has physical act itself as even as much the only option. benefits but far back as the 1860s, So whether we were has also been when steam trains trekking across the shown to were sneaking into wilderness or hunting boost mental existence and motor for food – we have health’ relied on our ancient cars were still the stuff of science-fiction, ambulatory skills since walking became something of the beginnings of existence. a hobby. Led by an American Unfortunately, the human ‘famous pedestrian’ (which is not being seems to be an inherently a title many people can lay claim lazy beast. As soon as we could tame a horse to ride, we did it. to) Edward Payson Weston, the pastime of walking shot to Once we invented the wheel and popularity and Weston gained worked out how to cover ground celebrity status for his walking on a bicycle, we did it. And after habits, once being described launching the motor engine and

as a ‘notable walkist’ when he walked 478 miles from Boston, Massachusetts to Washington DC in 10 days and 10 hours in 1861. He hit the headlines which spurred him to take on many more challenges and becoming a regular speaker on the benefits of taking a walk. Walking has followed peaks and troughs of fashion, yet we have come back time and again to the simple pleasures of getting out in the fresh air, employing a little gentle exercise, and striding purposefully off on a walk. Walking has physical benefits but has also been shown to boost mental health with both the Department of Health and the MIND charity finding that regular walking improves mood, reduces anxiety, aids sleep and improves self-image. Plus it must be the most sustainable method of transport. So what’s not to like about a hike?

‘Anyone can walk. It’s free, like the sun by day and the stars by night. All we have to do is get on our legs, and the roads will take us everywhere.’ Edward Payson Weston

58 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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There is no shortage of walking routes across our region, and no reason to follow a path already trodden – so long as you are sensible you can head of on a walk wherever you like. To help, we’ve put together the following top five recommendations with a little help from the Ramblers’ Association

North Wales Snowdon is the highest summit in England and Wales, ranked second only to Helvellyn in a recent ITV poll of the top 100 walks in Britain. With so many accessible routes up the mountain, it’s hard to know which to choose. Hike via Moel Eilio, Foel Gron, Foel Goch and Moel Cynghorion for a great walking challenge with stunning vistas as your rewards before heading back down the Llanberis Path.

North Wales Not too far from Snowdon is Tryfan, a mountain in the Ogwen Valley which forms part of the Glyderau group. It is one of the most famous and recognisable peaks in Britain. Its classic pointed shape with rugged crags make it easily identifiable from miles. Tryfan offers an exhilarating climb and options for a proper grade one scramble if you head up the North Ridge taking in Adam and Eve and the Cannon Stone.

Gwynedd If you want a bit of history and heritage with your walk then look no further than this fairytale-tastic walk around the Nant Gwynant valley. Discover the legend of Gelert and Prince Llywelyn along the way, which gave the village of Beddgelert its name and explore the tumbledown remnants of Gwytherin’s fortress at Dinas Emrys, with a great viewpoint over the valley. Ascend the famous Watkin Path out into the open fields and pass the ruins of Cwm Llan House and head towards Craflwyn, watching out for feral goats in the wooded glades.

Shropshire The Stiperstones and Long Mynd can be tackled seperately or make a great full day hike if you combine the two as the eerie, jagged ridges of the Stiperstones cut along one edge of the Long Mynd. The Stiperstones have been the subject of many a myth and legend. The route also boasts spectacular long-range views into Wales.

Shropshire The seven-mile Long Mynd is a picturesque heath and moorland plateau, cut by steep-sided valleys that form part of the Shropshire Hills. Walk it via Carding Mill valley, and enjoy incredible views before descending into Small Batch. The surrounding area is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

For full maps and details of any of our walks, or to access to hundreds more and get advice from experts, visit the Ramblers’ website at www.ramblers.org.uk

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As soon as we start thinking of heading off on a walk we have to think about our route. Most of us have heard of public rights of way but do we actually know who can go where and when? Boots on, bag packed and you’re off, right? Unfortunately in this world of red tape it’s not as simple as all that. Who can forget Madonna’s high court battle to stop walkers ‘invading her privacy’ by hiking across her £9 million estate in Scotland? The furore surrounding that case led to some clarification of the rules of engagement that should help most walkers avoid problems. It’s worth knowing your rights and routes to avoid being chased by a gun-wielding landowner. SIGN OF THE TIMES Stick to the right right of way and you’ll

be okay. A right of way in England and Wales is a path that anyone has the legal right to use on foot. On a bridleway, the right of way is for walkers, and those travelling on horseback and on bicycle. After that there are ‘Byways open to all traffic (BOATs)’ paths on which you can walk, ride, cycle and drive vehicles, including motor vehicles. A ‘permissive path’ is one which an owner has given the public permission to use but it can be withdrawn at any time – so double check if you have an old map! Always check in advance or follow an established walking route, ensure you use signage and stick to the route marked.

The government’s own website offers some clarification on the ‘right to roam’ rules and what they mean to walkers It reads: ‘You can access some land across England without having to use paths – this land is known as ‘open access land’ or ‘access land’ and includes mountains, moors, heaths and downs that are privately owned. It also includes common land registered with the local council and some land around the England Coast Path. Your right to access this land is called the ‘right to roam’, or ‘freedom to roam’. Here’s what you can and can’t do: • You can use access land for walking, running,

watching wildlife and climbing • You can’t automatically use access land for horse-riding, cycling, camping, driving or taking animals other than dogs • You can ride bikes and horses on the land if it is crossed by public bridleways or byways or it has been allowed by the landowner • You can bring your dog if it is on a lead no more than two metres long between 1st March and 31st July – to protect ground-nesting birds – and at all times around livestock.

Within access land there are still areas you cannot access. You must use public rights of way to cross these ‘excepted areas’ such as: • houses, buildings and the land they’re on • land used to grow crops • building sites or land that’s being developed • parks and gardens • golf courses and racecourses • railways and tramways • working quarries For more information call 0300 0602091.

If you’re ready to go but would rather not go it alone, or just want to walk alongside some like-minded hikers, why not take part in a walking festival? Here are our favourites Wirral Walking Festival Throughout May The Wirral Walking Festival is a series of exciting and varied walks throughout May each year. They all take place in the parks, open countryside, heritage sites and along Wirral’s coast. You can choose from nearly 200 varied walks so there’s something for everyone at every ability. Find out more on at www.visitwirral.com

Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival 5th-13th May This event offers 53 walks over nine days and all of them are free. There is everything from short three mile strolls to all-day treks. Places are limited, so booking is essential and dogs are welcome on leads. www.ironbridgewalking.co.uk

mile World Heritage Site walk or if you’re looking for more of a challenge, attempy the 12-mile Ugly Sisters Challenge Walk with free lager for finishers! www. llangollenwalkingfestival.co.uk

Llangollen Walking Festival, 5th-7th May Try Nordic Walking or join the eight-

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We asked Matthew Jones, editor of rambling magazine Walk, for his advice on the essential kit to wear and pack for a long summer of walking You don’t need a lot of kit to go Midlayer ‘The key to walking, which makes it one of This is a polyester fleece, which is comfort is the cheapest and most accessible light, warm, soft and quick-drying. the principle leisure activities. However, there Other midlayers include hard face of layering are various items that make a day fleeces and softshell jackets, hybrid – adding or walk easier, more comfortable removing layers garments (to warm your core and more enjoyable. The key to and wick sweat in areas like the of clothing’ comfort is the principle of layering underarms) and active insulation – adding or removing layers of midlayers (loosely-woven insulation clothing in response to changes in body that offers lightweight warmth). temperature and weather conditions. Insulated jacket In cold conditions wear a down or synthetic WHAT TO WEAR jacket instead of or in addition to a midlayer. Baselayer Waterproof layers This next-to-skin layer wicks away sweat to It’s always advisable to carry a hooded, help keep you at the right temperature and waterproof jacket, as well as a pair of as dry as possible. A waterproof trousers with at a quartercollar helps protect length leg zip to fit over boots if it rains. the back of the neck Walking socks from sun or windchill, Cushioned, wicking walking socks in and a zip aids cooling. different weights (thicknesses) for different Thumb loops stop conditions and seasons. gaps between sleeves Boots or trail shoes and gloves. If you walk mainly on good-quality

• It is important to wear comfortable, goodfitting boots or shoes • Wear good walking socks in the right size. Wearing two pairs of socks can help prevent or reduce rubbing • Immediately remove anything causing irritation from your socks or boots • Remove your boots and socks when you stop for a rest to give your feet a chance to

Bishop’s Castle Walking Festival 16th-20th May This is the 19th annual event to be held over five days in May, when the countryside is at its best. The area is a walker’s paradise, with local footpaths leading over open hilltops, through winding valleys, tiny hamlets, country lanes and sometimes the remains of ancient hill forts. There are many amazing views. www.walkingfestival.co.uk Trefriw Walking Festival 18th-20th May Trefriw Walking Festival is Snowdonia’s most popular walking festival, with another 20 great walks full of variety for all ages and abilities. Choose from 135 miles of glorious walking and as 2018 is the Year of the Sea in Wales, there is a celebratory two-day walk to the sea. All walks are free but as

paths, trail shoes can be a good lightweight option, but on rougher ground, wear comfortable and supportive walking boots. WHAT TO CARRY First aid kit, head torch, whistle, survival bag or storm shelter, water bottle or hydration bladder, food, mobile phone, portable charger, waterproof pouch, trekking poles, spare socks, hat and gloves, dry bag, sit mat, map, baseplate compass, gaiters, sun block, insect repellent, sun hat, sunglasses, flask and gloves.

These Grisport Quatro boots, £85, prevent tendonitis and are extremely comfortable to wear. The 1000 mile socks are guaranteed to prevent blisters, £14.50. Both available from www. cherrytreecountry clothing.com

dry off and cool down • Act as soon as you feel any discomfort. Blisters can form very quickly. Stop walking, take your boots and socks off and check your feet. Apply some material cushioning or padding, or a plaster to the area that’s rubbing. If a blister has formed, either burst it carefully and immediately apply a sterile dressing, or clean the area and cover it with a blister plaster or a dressing.

fundraising for the Festival is always challenging, organisers do ask for a donation. www. trefriwwalkingfestival.co.uk

DID YOU the landscapes, beauty and history of KNOW? North East Wales and the Clwydian Humans started Range and Dee Valley AONB. All walking three million years ago the walks will be led by trained walk to better carry leaders and walkers will need to wear goods suitable boots and clothing. www.

Llanelli Festival of Walks 25th-28th May Llanelli Ramblers organise and host the annual Llanelli Festival of Walks which has attracted hundreds of visitors to the town since its beginnings in 1995 and has established Llanelli as a popular centre for walking. The 2018 Festival of Walks is open to all, old and young, non-members and members alike and has a choice of 15 walks to suit all ages and abilities, in areas. www. llanelliramblers.org.uk

Wrexham Walking Festival, 10th-16th June A series of free walks over a week exploring


Church Stretton Walking Festival 21st-24th June. Church Stretton Walking Festival is run by energetic and dedicated local volunteers who lead groups along favourite routes as well as lesser known ones. There is also a selection of themed walks, including the Map and Compass Course, the night time Stars in Your Skies Walk, and the Landscape Photography Walk. www.churchstrettonwalkingfestival.co.uk

May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 61

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WALK YOUR WAY TO BETTER HEALTH Dr Richard Cowell, a consultant cardiologist, encourages his patients at the Spire Yale Hospital in Wrexham to stay healthy by stepping up their walking activity. He explains why we should all make a point of it for the sake of our physical and mental health DID YOU Numerous studies are particularly important KNOW? now highlighting those with pre-existing It would take one what we’ve all medical conditions or hour 43 minutes known for a very generalised mobility of walking to burn problems. All of the long time – a daily off a Big Mac walk, or more to the positive health benefits point a brisk daily of regular exercise can be walk, can dramatically derived from a walk in the park. reduce our risk of serious diseases in the future. A gym membership isn’t Walking gets the blood critical for keeping fit pumping without placing Regular walking is believed the cardiovascular system to reduce the likelihood of under unnecessary stress. Low serious cardiovascular events impact activity like walking is such as angina, heart attack and stroke. It helps to keep high blood pressure under control and promotes heathier blood flow while lowering levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing levels of HDL (good) cholesterol. In fact, the Stroke Association says that a brisk 30-minute walk every day helps to reduce the risk of stroke by up to 27 per cent. Use a smart phone or fitness tracker and try Get out and improve your health

Aim to walk 10,000 steps a day. A 20-minute walk, or about 2,000 steps, equals a mile.

to aspire to 10,000 steps a day. One of the primary benefits of a regular walk is weight loss and weight loss by itself reduces the risk of a host of serious diseases. A simple 30-minute walk at a pace of 2mph will burn 75 calories while a 4mph pace will burn 150 calories. Regular walking cuts the risk of Type 2 diabetes by as much as 60 per cent and reduces the likelihood of developing cancer of the colon, breast or womb by 20 per cent.

Walking has numerous psychological benefits too

We’ve given you plenty of reasons to make a point of getting out walking, but in case you need any more encouragement we spoke to one fan of the sport who found herself hardly able to walk after suffering severe pain in both knees


onwy grandmother Valerie Evans, from Deganwy, was devastated when her knees could no longer cope with her energetic walks in the local countryside. X-rays showed the 71-year-old former English teacher had lost all cartilage in both knees which meant the bones in the joints were rubbing against each other. Valerie, who has five grandchildren aged between three and 22, first noticed stiffness in her knees in the middle of last year. ‘I realised that I couldn’t walk as far as I normally did. I love to walk, it’s my hobby, and I’d

Get a head start Mental wellbeing is just as important for overall health as our physical condition and walking helps to naturally improve overall mood while combating stress and depression. It’s widely believed walking increases mental productivity and concentration by boosting circulation and increasing oxygen to the cells in the body – providing the perfect excuse for a lunch break stroll.

often do the two miles to Conwy and back,’ she explains. The only possible solution was a double knee replacement or face years of pain and restricted movement – not something that walking fan Valerie could not contemplate. The grandmother-of-five, who taught English at Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno for more than 20 years, spoke to a friend who recommended going to see consultant orthopaedic surgeon Tony Smith at the private Spire Yale Hospital in Wrexham. She decided to have the operation and is now celebrating what she describes as ‘miracle surgery’.

‘I was fully prepared to have a long period of recovery, particularly as I was having both knees replaced,’ she says But Valerie was up on her feet the very next day and has been slowly taking more steps to recovery ever since. ‘Three weeks after surgery, I had parked the crutches by the worktop in the kitchen while I was preparing breakfast and, without thinking, walked off without them! I haven’t walked over to Conwy yet but I’m sure it won’t be long before I do. I would’ve been in a very poor state if I had not had my fabulous new knees.’ WANT EVEN MORE REASONS TO GET ACTIVE? CHECK OUT PAGE 140 FOR LOCAL CHARITIES LOOKING FOR PARTICIPANTS TO SUPPORT THEIR WORK

62 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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DaysOut There are lots of unique animals to see

Borth Animal Kingdom

Ynisfergi, Borth, Ceredigion SY24 5NA www.borthzoo.co.uk This venue describes itself as the little zoo with the big heart. Dedicated to conservation and homing endangered animals, most of the exhibits at Borth have a story of how they came to be there. Some have come from other zoos where they were no longer wanted. Others have come from owners who can no longer manage their exotic pets but all of them are given a safe place to live. The zoo houses over 100 different species of animals, birds, reptiles and insects and invites visitors to come along and gain a better appreciation for wildlife. They raise both funds and awareness for animal causes, namely the Chinko Project which aims to protect wilderness areas in Central Africa. The venue has ambitious plans to expand and develop over the next few years to further improve the space. This summer come and meet the new additions

This season, why not visit one of the many animal attractions we have in our region, they are a perfect day out with the family CHESTER ZOO

DID YOU KNOW? Giant anteaters can grow up to seven feet long!

team of keepers who hope the duo will get Having just been named as the country’s best along famously and visitor attraction outside of London, Chester produce young in the future. Zoo is an enduring favourite with visitors young and old. Welcoming over 1.8 million NEW ARRIVALS visitors a year, it is the most visited zoo in In the meantime, and scoring very highly for the UK, the third best zoo in the world and cuteness, the zoo has welcomed a rare newborn home to over 21,000 animals from around Sumatran orangutan, named Kesuma, which 500 different species, many of which are means ‘flower’ in Indonesia. She was born to endangered in the wild. Basically, if you like mum Emma in December in animals and you’re in the area what was a major success story this is the one not to be missed. for an acclaimed international The zoo has just taken in breeding programme for the a very rare giant anteater as highly threatened species. Tim part of a breeding programme. Rowlands, curator of mammals at Four-year-old male Oso has the zoo, explains: ‘Emma’s baby moved from a zoo in Cumbria girl Kesuma is her fifth youngster having been carefully chosen as and she’s such a good mum. She’s a perfect match for Chester’s an incredibly important arrival resident female, Bliss. Despite for the breeding programme and its size, the giant anteater feeds can hopefully throw a spotlight mostly on tiny insects and can on the huge pressures that her devour up to 30,000 ants in a cousins are facing in the wild.’ day with the help of its sticky She is also incredibly cute and tongue which can reach two will no doubt have visitors ooohfeet in length. Oso will be ing and aaaah-ing for many slowly introduced to his new months to come. companion by the zoo’s expert Come and meet Oso

Amazing sights to keep the kids entertained

The Welsh Mountain Zoo Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL28 5UY www.welshmountainzoo.org This little zoo on the coast has an impressive collection of permanent residents as well as plenty of different experiences available. Its smaller size means it is easier to feel close to the animals. The zoo has recently introduced new, further enhanced flying displays – showcasing the impressive plumage of the brightly coloured macaw and the hunting skills of the owl, hawk and Andean condors. The chimps are a firm favourite at the zoo. Visitors can learn more about their life in the wild while the fabulous pool arena provides the setting for the most exciting and intriguing displays of Californian sea lions. These characterful creatures love to show off as they dive and dip, swim and do what they do best – play. May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 65

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TOWNS On a cold day in March, we asked visitors about their favourite part of Knutsford…


David and Pam ‘Our favourite thing about Knutsford is Tatton Park! Plus it’s a nice little village. We’ve just come down from Wigan to visit for the day.’

The real-life Cranford

We take a tour around Knutsford – the popular Cheshire town which formed the inspiration for the fictional village of Cranford made famous by Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel…

Knutsford is steeped in history


Unusual activities You can explore the town’s fascinating history at its own Heritage Centre, which is situated just off King Street, which was formerly a blacksmith’s forge in the 19th century. It has a museum, garden, shop and gallery featuring various exhibitions, including the May Queen’s dress, shoes and crown from 1887. The tradition of holding May Day celebrations remains alive and well in the town and is marked every year with the unusual custom, unique to Knutsford known as ‘sanding the streets’. This involves villagers and business owners using coloured sand to create decorative patterns and pictures throughout the town for the May Day itself. Queen Victoria noting in her journal of 1832, ‘We arrived at Knutsford, where we were most civilly received, the streets being sanded in shapes which is peculiar to this town.’

ituated just south of Manchester, north-west of Macclesfield and seconds away from the M6 motorway, Knustford is a Cheshire town that has always been a popular choice for those living and working in the area. It retains a pretty village feel but its accessibility means it is a great spot for anyone commuting around the region or flying out of Manchester Airport, just five miles away. But it is not just popular with today’s modern families, as the town has a proud history that takes its origins back many hundreds of years. It was first mentioned by Fame and fortune William the Conqueror in 1086 Knutsford was the setting used as when it was named Canute’s the basis for Elizabeth Gaskell’s Ford after the ancient ruler King novel, Cranford. However, its Canute. Over the years it has popularity has never been in been home to a military question and the town DID YOU prison, Knutsford Gaol has a broad mix of KNOW? which has since been In the 18th century inhabitants, including demolished, and was Lady Jane Stanley several particularly the site from where well-known and paid £400 to lay General Patton made new pavements in wealthy individuals. some of his most With house prices the town controversial speeches. costing an average of

Rob, Holly and Corey (aged 10) ‘Our favourite things are the restaurants, and the artisan market which is on once a month on a Sunday. Plus Corey likes the fair the have here on May Day.’

See the town’s pretty high street

£400,000, it was once named the most expensive town to buy property in the north of England and it is still home to the region’s McLaren high-end luxury sports car dealership. The town itself is a celebration of its own affluence and is awash with nice restaurants and pubs coffee shops, boutiques, antique shops and art galleries. THINGS TO SEE AND DO Tatton Hall, Park and Gardens Mereheath Dr, Knutsford WA16 6QN www.tattongpark.org.uk

Martin and Susan ‘We’re visiting Knutsford for a bridal fair today – we’re getting married soon!’

Ellis and Emily ‘We’re from Stockport, we’re visiting for a walk through Tatton Park and now we’re off to find somewhere to eat!’

Knutsford Heritage Centre 90A King St, Knutsford WA16 6ED www.knutsfordheritage.co.uk Gauntlet Birds of Prey Manchester Road, Knutsford WA16 0SX Tabley House Tabley Lane, Chester Rd, Tabley, Knutsford WA16 0EZ

Kathy and Colin ‘Our favourite thing about Knutsford is the pub behind us. Great music in there today!’

66 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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A Taste of Tatton FARM • GARDENS • MANSION • PARKLAND In its heyday, the Tatton Estate fed the Egerton family and staff. This year we’re bringing this story to life with exciting activities that give you a Taste of Tatton and the chance to discover fascinating facts about where your food comes from.

• • • • •



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Ali Allen - Kington ‘I love all the quirky people and places, anything goes and everyone is accepted.’

Wendy Smith – Kington Show ‘Kington has a great sense of community and there is always something to see and do here.’


A town of creatives

By Heidi Chamberlain-Jones


foodie deliciousness plus its ating back over 1000 annual summer and winter food years, Kington’s historic festivals, the Sunday flea and market town sits in the regular community markets. valley of the River Arrow on Each June the town celebrates the Marches border where ‘all things Kington’ with a two England and Wales join, and alongside the famous Hergest Ridge and Offa’s Dyke, where musician Mike Oldfield gained inspiration for his music and composed the magical Tubular Bells and where pop star Ellie Goulding was educated. The area has always been a mecca for artists of all kinds and today this is no exception, as it enthusiastically The high street is full of independant shops presents the work of unique creators drawn to the inspiring week festival that includes music, landscape and laid-back lifestyle. fun activities and events including The iconic image of Kington’s the now famous spectacle of the clock tower and market hall, wheelbarrow race. from where many events and The camaraderie on festivals launch and which was Kington’s high street will built to commemorate Queen signpost you to the various cafes, Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in restaurants, delicatessens and 1887, is a postcard favourite, quirky shops, plus a snippet of and alongside this is the quaint history to explore. Discover the Place de Marines named newly opened Made in after Kington’s twin the Marches Gallery, DID YOU town in France. showcasing local KNOW? Did you know pop artists work and crafts, and don’t Markets and festivals Ellie Goulding Having developed as went to school in miss the fantastic new Marches Makers a market town awash Kington Festival on 5th-7th with traders crossing May. The town’s flagship the Welsh and English event is certainly Kington Show border, Kington still enjoys its each September. Dating back vibrant market traditions, perfect possibly 200 years, it started as a for those seeking something horse show and then embraced different from unique objects agriculture to become the huge d’art with the monthly arts countryside event that it is today. market, to local produce and

It is a wonderful family occasion and day out, packed with animals, attractions and entertainment and lots of things to buy.

Walking, golf and gardens

Surrounded by beautiful hills and spectacular views, Kington is hugely popular with walkers who enjoy its position on both the routes of The Herefordshire Trail and the Mortimer Trail. With its dedicated walkers shop and hub, it’s well known for its Walking Festival in September and is recognised as a ‘Walkers are Welcome’ town. The Stables at Dunfield House is perfect for walking groups who like their freedom and a self contained place to relax and snuggle up, not to mention its stunning elevated location. Kington Golf Club, uniquely the highest 18 hole golf course in England, also has its own festival in July while garden and plant lovers will adore beautiful Hergest Croft Gardens, owned by RHS veterans Lawrence and Elizabeth Banks and created by four generations of the family. In reality, a visit to seemingly sleepy Kington is nothing short of active and educational; it’s all going on in these beautiful hills.

Martin and Pam Peake – Kington ‘Any changes are for the better. You’ll never find another high street like this.’

Sue and Paul Norton – Dunfield House ‘Kington is a celebration of independent traders in an area steeped in history, surrounded by stunning countryside all held together by a strong community!’

Nancy Frost – Kington Arts Market ‘Kington is real, that’s what I love. It is full of wonderful, creative people doing amazing things, but keeps its feet firmly on the ground. We moved here five years ago and have never looked back.’ Juliet Williams – Pembridge ‘Our Lowe Farm B&B guests always say it’s like going back in time, how a little market town used to be.’

68 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Aaron (from Machynlleth) and Lisa (lives in Aberystwyth) ‘We love the old castle by the memorial and like to walk up Pen Dinas, and both beaches are great to walk along too.’

A seaside paradise The resort town of Aberystwyth draws tourists to its long sandy beaches as well attracting a steady flow of students to its renowned university 700 BC. The first properly recorded history of the town dates from 1109 and it was occupied by Owain Glyndwr who resided at Aberystwyth Castle between 1404 and 1408 before surrendering to Prince Harry (the future King Henry V of England).

The town dates back to 700BC


Lost history Aberystwyth has been home to several castles over the centuries, many demolished over time, and was once the site of a stunning mansion called Hafod Uchtryd, partly designed by John Nash. The landscaped gardens were formed by blasting away parts of hills to create vistas while pathways and bridges were built and hundreds of thousands of trees were planted. The result was a landscape that became famous and attracted many visitors including Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and it is believed to have inspired a passage in his poem Kubla Khan. The house was demolished in 1955, but the landscape remains today.

erched at the mouth of the river Ystwyth, hence the name of the town, Aberystwyth is a great seaside location for the many hundreds of holidaymakers who visit every year. It has everything you would expect from such a tourist destination – two separate stretches of beautiful beach, a promenade and a pier – all of which had made it a top choice for families over the centuries. But long before the bucket and spade brigade arrived, the town was thriving with inhabitants, with the earliest recordings of the area as a dwelling going back to a celtic fortress whose remains date from around Its long beaches are popular

Rail links It was the arrival of the rail link that brought about Aberystwyth’s tourism boom, spurring on the commercial development of the town as

DID YOU KNOW? Prince Charles is Aberystwyth University’s most famous graduate

well as the UK’s longest funicular railway which takes passengers up a 50 per cent gradient to a park and camera obscura at the top of the town. Its geographical location

Mark and Ed (with their families) ‘We’re on holiday for a week over Easter and Ed’s family are visiting for the day. The park by the castle on the seafront is great for the kids!’

Emma (with Eva and Jackson on Nicki and Rosie the donkeys) Emma’s Dad John says: ‘My family have been running the donkey rides here on the beach since 1963!’ The pier has been recently renovated

means it is vulnerable to severe weather. But Aberystwyth is also home to a thriving arts centre, as well as the National Library of Wales and it supports a busy music scene making it a bustling cultural hub too. THINGS TO SEE AND DO Aberystwyth Arts Centre Aberystwyth University Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth SY23 3DE Go to www.aberystwyth artscentre.co.uk

Ag Cain, artist ‘I’ve been here 30 years now, I like the space, the people, the way of life, the countryside. I’m glad my kids grew up here.’

Aberystwyth Cliff Railway Cliff Terrace, Aberystwyth SY23 2DN Go to www. aberystwythcliffrailway.co.uk National Library of Wales Penglais, Aberystwyth SY23 3BU

Christine and Danielle ‘We’re staying in Borth, we’ve come on holiday. We come to the seafront quite often, we like everything about it.’

May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 69

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As island dwellers, we are surrounded by water but it’s not just our shores that keep us wet. Our inland waterway network is something to be proud of and features some of history’s finest engineering feats. We take a closer look at the wonderful world of canals across the Shire region

Our industrial past boomed thanks to canals


hen we think of canals our first sector a world leader may thoughts often turn to Venice with its never have reached beyond stunning Italianate architecture, ice-cream the inland towns and cities wielding gondoliers and complex network of that were behind it. Once watery routes winding through the ancient the network sprung up across city. But the Italians were not the first to the nation everything from harness the power of manmade trenches to coal and slate to pottery and control the flow of water – that credit is given produce could be easily moved to the Mesapotamians in approximately 4000 around the country or to ports BC who started digging channels to help and ships heading abroad. with irrigation. The method caught It is generally on and was quickly replicated ‘Boats adorned considered that the across China and India before the introduction of this with flowers super smart ancient Greeks worked transport system and the soft splutter of an out a lock system to vary the was practically a engine put height of different sections and the prerequisite to the most of us in a equally intelligent Romans adapted economic growth of the era. relaxed mood’ the system for their aquaducts. TODAY’S WATERWAYS TEST OF TIME These days the canal system has taken a back Cut to many thousands of years later and seat from its hectic industrial role and is canals still play a major part in transport on a viewed in general as more of a pretty feature global scale. Exploration and industry would of the country than a necessity. Thoughts of have been hugely hampered without the our inland waterways conjur images of lazy development of the Suez and Panama canals days, a slow pace of life and today’s World Heritage Sites would be and a gentle, pottering missing no fewer than 65 listings. In Britain existence. Colourful boats the industrial revolution would have been adorned with flowers and a shadow of the pioneering success it was the soft splutter of an without our ground-breaking canal system engine put most of us in a and much of what made our manufacturing relaxed mood as we explore

the network, either on foot or by boat, and many of us dream of escaping the rat race to live permanently in one of these miniature floating homes. But it is not just human traffic that enjoys the canals – they also provide an important eco-system for many of our native birds and fish that either lurk in their murky depths of nest along their banks. One thing it for sure – without the canal network as we know it in this country life would be very different to what it was in our proud industrial past and what it is now in our frantic modern world.

70 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Whether you want to get on, in or just near to the canal network, there are several options available to explore these wonderful waterways All aboard

Obviously climbing aboard a colourful canal boat and drifting contentedly along the water is one well-loved way of exploring the network, whether that’s for an hour-long jaunt along an aquaduct or an unhurried two-week tour of the Cheshire Loop. It’s a relaxing way to appreciate the scenery and celebrate of that proud heritage. Boats available can range from two person vessels to huge 12-man barges with multiple kitchens and bathrooms for a luxurious floating home experience. Perfect for a family gathering, canal boats offer a simple escape from the rat race or for groups of friends as a hen or stag party alternative.

for free. Pick up a day, week or month visitor licence by calling 0303 0404040.

waterways but sometimes struggles to collect rubbish from inaccessible places like reed beds. Paddle boarders are in an ideal position to reach shallow sections close to the river bank which act as traps for plastic, cans and other rubbish.

The right angle

Paddle power

Canoeing is another popular pastime – and again one that commands a slower pace of life combined with a little gentle exercise at the same time. Whether you have a team of keen kayakers or are a first-time canoer, the canal network provides an excellent place to paddle with no waves and tides to take into account. The still, calm waterways are ideal, so long as you plan your route in case you come across any locks or other features tricky to navigate. Non-powered vessels will need the right licensing to use the inland waterways – unless you are already a member of British Canoeing or Canoe Wales who get to use the waterways

Explore the canal by canoe

DID YOU KNOW? There are over the river banks, as well 2,000 miles of navigable inland carrying out wildlife waterways in surveys. The Trust cares the UK for 2,000 miles of Britain’s

Fancy a go at paddle-boarding?

Stand up for it

The latest craze of paddle-boarding, where you stand up to power your long board along the water, is another great way to make the most of our canal system. The sport can only be done on flat calm water so is a challenge on most rivers and even lakes whereas the manmade canal system is the perfect environment. In fact, over in Cheshire the Canal & River Trust charity has signed up its first ever paddle boarding club in a formal adoption agreement – to look after a stretch of the River Weaver Navigation. Mid Cheshire SUP (Stand Up Paddle) boarders, based in Winsford, have formally adopted 1.8 miles of the river from Winsford Marina to Newbridge. The club, which has more than 20 members, regularly paddles along the river but will now also clean and clear litter from

Many angling clubs hold regular canalside competitions and fishermen and women are regular sights along the banks and towpaths. Make sure you have a permit – most fishing rights on the canal network are licensed to local angling clubs. For the stretches not covered by local organisations you’ll need a ‘Waterway Wanderers’ permit which for just £20 will give you access to many miles of canal fishing in England and Wales for a whole year.

Water warning

On hot summer’s day it can often be tempting to take an extra step and actually cool off in the canal. But this is a step too far and swimming in the canal network is strongly advised against by the Canal and Waterways Trust as well as NHS medics and even wild swimmers who are generally keen to jump into most bodies of water. Canal water sits stiller than most, so can be prone harbouring bacteria and even parasites, especially in urban areas or when storm drains may overflow carrying sewage into the waters. Swimmers risk stomach upsets and a lot of the canals are actually quite shallow so jumping in can be dangerous too. Basically, the canals are best enjoyed from on, or by, rather than in, the water. May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 71

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THE LLANGOLLEN CANAL The Llangollen Canal has long been a favourite part of the network and that popularity has seen it recognised as one of Britain’s most spectacular waterways – a fact that has been celebrated by it taking centre stage in BBC Countryfile Magazine’s 10th anniversary issue. The focus of the article was a feature on a canal boat family holiday by well-known presenter John Craven who said the 46-mile Llangollen Canal made


We are lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the country’s finest canal networks and inland waterway systems. Here, the Canals and Rivers Trust gives us its top five recommendations for exploring what’s on offer in our wonderful region


he preservation and restoration of our canal network is a continual process. There is always a call for more volunteers, whether that involves helping count the wildlife or clear the vegetation that grows on the banks, and the Trust are happy to hear from anyone with

The Anderton Boat Lift is held in such high regards by engineers and boatpeople alike that it has been nicknamed the ‘Cathedral of the Canals’. After more than a century in operation it still leaves visitors in awe as it effortlessly lifts boats and barges the 50 feet from the River Weaver to the Trent and Mersey Canal. An engineering masterpiece, the boat lift was the world’s first hydraulic canal boat lift, designed as a two caisson lift lock and the structure has been designated as a scheduled monument, now protected by its National Heritage status. In July 1872 Royal Assent was granted for the Weaver Navigation 1872 Act, which authorised the construction of the boat lift, which took a total of 30 months to build, costing £48,428 (around £4.2 million today). A world first It was formally opened in July 1875 and operated for over 100 years before the effects of continued use and water corrosion began to be felt. In 1983 it closed until 2001 when a £7 million restoration scheme began thanks to a substantial grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. It was reopened, along with its new visitor centre and associated exhibition, in 2002 and is now operated by the Canal & River Trust, drawing more than 120,000 visitors each year.

a few hours to spare. But some areas need even more dedication than others to fully achieve their vision, such as the Montgomery Canal in Powys. It is currently undergoing a major restoration project which will result in significant improvements in water quality and boating opportunities. Widely recognised as one of the most picturesque canals in the country, it offers a quiet, unspoilt area for exploration and is being rescued thanks to the efforts of the ‘Restore The Montgomery Canal’ appeal.

the perfect setting for an ‘exhilarating’ short break aboard a canal narrowboat for him and his grandsons. Tranquillity and tension The area is also home to the Llangollen Wharf and the Chirk Tunnel and in 2009 an 11-mile section of the canal from Gledrid Bridge near Rhoswiel through to the spectacular Horseshoe Falls was declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO. This includes some of the finest features of the waterways such as Chirk Aqueduct and of course it’s even more famous neighbour...

Volunteers help raise funds for the Trust

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If you’re exploring our fabulous canal network then visit the home of its heritage, The National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere Port in Cheshire. Sitting at the point where the Shropshire Union Canal meets the Manchester Ship Canal and the River Mersey it is home to one of the greatest collection of historic boats in the world. The museum site occupies the former canal port, designed

When it comes to marvels of the industrial age, there can be few sights more immediately impressive than a towering aqueduct, the idea of which was ridiculed initially both by engineering sceptics and the canal builders themselves. The towering structure of Pontcysyllte Aqueduct is probably the best known example and its easy accessibility at Trevor Basin in North Wales makes it an absolute must-see of the canal network.

by Thomas Telford, covering an area of seven acres that was in use until the 1950s. Technical challenge It was founded the 1970s as the North West Early canal builders did Museum of Inland Navigation, later The not enjoy building Boat Museum and then the DID YOU aqueducts National Waterways Museum at KNOW? because the The Wardle Lock Ellesmere Port. weight of Branch of the Trent the water & Mersey Canal is Modern museum meant they the shortest The exhibits and visitor experience needed a very in the UK use interactive and virtual reality substantial technology, so you can truly experience masonry structure what it was like to live and work on the to support it. These waterways. The collection of historic boats is problems eased attracts visitors and at certain times of year slightly when they started using cast iron short boat trips along the Shropshire Union troughs in the late 18th century as seen Canal are the highlight of any day out on the Pontcysyllte structure. To further strengthen the building process, ox blood was added to the lime mortar used to bind the masonry together. This followed the ancient superstition that the blood of a strong animal would strengthen a building or structure. Whether that vital ingredient helped or not will never be known, but the famous ‘stream in the sky’ has certainly stood the test of time and is now classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Why not park at Trevor Basin and walk across… just don’t look down!

from up to 200 miles away, many coming Leading the way year after year, and is a great way to introduce One of those spearheading the campaign people to the canal and to the glories of and its fundraising work is Michael our area.’ Limbrey MBE, chairman of the The Montgomery Canal is Montgomery Canal Trust, who has been fundamental in bringing the ‘There is always known for its range of locks, aqueducts and canalside buildings restoration project this far. He said: a call for more volunteers to and for its valuable habitats ‘The Montgomery Canal restoration help count the designated as Sites of Special is supported by canal enthusiasts wildlife or clear Scientific Interest – so the continued across the country, with volunteers vegetation’ work to restore it to its former glory coming to week-long work camps and protect it for generations to as well as regular monthly working come is a vital project for the local parties and fundraising events such area. The restoration itself is managed through the Triathlon organised by the Friends of the the Montgomery Canal Partnership bringing Montgomery Canal. This brings entrants

THE SHROPSHIRE UNION CANAL One essential part of the waterways that is always worth a visit is the stunning Shropshire Union Canal – and this beautiful stretch has now been recognised with the honour of a prestigious Green Flag Award. These impressive international honours are granted as a sign to the public that the space boasts the highest possible environmental standards, is beautifully maintained and has excellent visitor facilities. The newly crowned section of the Shropshire Union Canal stretches from Audlem to Barbridge Junction and then connects to Middlewich. The waterway joins 219 parks and green spaces across the North West region judged to be some of the best in the country, which is the highest regional total outside London. Flying the flag The Green Flag assessment report praised the contribution made by dedicated volunteers to keeping the canal in great shape for visitors, commenting that ‘Community engagement and volunteering is very strong on this Waterway. The award-winning renovation of Nantwich Aqueduct is an excellent case study of partnership work with the local community, town council and local companies.’ The award is a great achievement for the Canal & River Trust who work hard to manage the canal. Their spokesperson adds: ‘We are grateful to all those who have given up their spare time to improve the canal and towpath for everyone’s benefit.’

together voluntary bodies, public agencies and local authorities on both sides of the border. Learn more at Montgomery Canal Forum on 2nd July, 2.30pm at Welshpool Town Hall.

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It may seem unlikely that these industrial, man-made structures could become a natural habitat, but multiple wildlife surveys have proved that this is the case and even throughout the most urban areas, these simulated wetlands attract all different kinds of flora and fauna


anal and river habitats are otters can be spotted all surprisingly diverse and year round.’ nature thrives on the waterways. Though built for industrial and MUCH-LOVED MAMMALS agricultural freight, our waterway Over in Cheshire, wildlife channels are now among our experts have been particularly most abundant wildlife habitats. pleased to see a growing water Other water features, such as vole population, much of which rivers, side arms, winding holes relies on the canalside around and backwaters that feed into the Nantwich to make its home. network add to the diversity of Water voles live in colonies, aquatic habitats available. made up of a series of adjoining Canals and navigable rivers territories along a riverbank, were colonised by plants and which can be up to 2km long. animals soon after construction. Recently these have been Insect life is abundant along the canal side Now, 200 years later, many are surveyed and filmed as part of consequently this attracts large reached their peak as part of the designated as important nature a Wildlife Trust project with numbers of insects, vital to industrial heritage of the canal sites at local, national and encouraging results. Project the survival of the rest of the system, have a lot to contribute international level. Their slow Officer Dr Vicky Nall explained eco system surrounding when it comes to the local flora flows and managed water how the trust hoped it would the areas. Due to this DID YOU and fauna. Locally the levels provide inspire people to KNOW? abundant food supply Prees Branch canal in a unique habitat that keep an eye out for ‘Canalside Water voles daily sustained by the canals Shropshire is one such has become a vital these native creatures embankments, consume 80% and rivers, surveyors richly diverse area. resource for wildlife. where land and when they’re around of their own have been able to A spokesperson water meet, Along the towpath the canals. If anyone bodyweight spot badgers, squirrels, are particularly wants to take part in from the Shropshire and in and around the in food valuable for dragonflies, grass Wildlife trust explains: banks, you will often the next survey they biodiversity’ snakes, kingfishers and bats ‘This stretch of canal find nesting birds, sheltering are welcome to join in. to name a few. The canalside was built in the early mice, frogs, toads and even Email Vicky – vnall@ embankments, where land 1800s, a branch of burrowing water voles. cheshirewt.org.uk or Chris and water meet, are the Llangollen Canal which As the environment cmeredith@cheshirewt.org.uk particularly valuable for was abandoned even before it allows plenty of wild if you are interested in helping biodiversity. Depending was completed due to lack of plants and flowers assess a watercourse near you by on the structure and financial support. It is valued to grow, keeping an eye out for these little vegetation cover, the today as a marvellously long mammals. waterway banks can pond, a quiet backwater for all provide habitats for a kinds of water creatures and wide variety of wildlife birds such as mallard, moorhen, including water birds, swans and kingfishers.’ water voles, crayfish, and ‘Lurking in the depths of the delightful otters. the canal are some very rare pondweeds which have earned THRIVING it protection as a Site of Special POPULATION Scientific Interest. Yellow water Even areas that never lilies can be seen in summer and Otters offer a rare sight at canals Spot yellow water lillies in summer 74 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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

National Waterways Museum

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



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

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

Events 2018

• Bike and Boat Festival Sunday 15 July • Horses at Work Sunday 12 August • Historic Transport Rally Sunday 26 August Visit canalrivertrust.org.uk/nwm for opening times and prices, more information on our theatre performances and our special exhibitions.

Show your support Like us on facebook.com/ canalrivertrust

Become a Friend Find out more at canalrivertrust.org.uk/nwm T 0151 355 5017 E nationalwaterwaysmuseum@canalrivertrust.org.uk

Charity number 1146792.

Pennant Park Golf Club & Holiday Lodges


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

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GetActive MTB courses for all at One Planet, Llandegla Learn new skills, get out in the fresh air and get biking!


lways wanted to get the skills you the skills to keep your bike to take on bigger obstacles and rolling smoothly after winter. ride like the pros? Worried about Ready to Ride is aimed at those the kids leaving you behind and not who are either lacking in confidence being able to go riding with them on rougher terrain or are new to anymore? Want to break those bad mountain biking. Cheri aims to help habits ASAP, or gain confidence on get you confident at riding by looking a mountain bike? at the elements We have courses required like balance, for everyone. They setting off, slowing range from MTB down and stopping, maintenance right body position, turning though to Al Bond’s and being more in Jumps and Drops. control of your bike. MTB Maintenance The Core Skills and is a great way to Ladies’ Core Skills See how tips improve your ride learn how to look is the next step up. after your pride and joy. This dayThis briefly covers body positioning long course covers various basic then moves swiftly onto cornering fixes such as adjusting gears. It will on berms, pumping, front wheel lifts enable you to do those basic fixes or manuals and then tackling small that are always infuriating and give drops. Having done this course, you

will get a lot out of it regardless of how experienced you are. Al Bond’s Jumps and Drops is that next step and you get to spend the day being coached by a pro. If you really want to get into the nitty gritty of your riding and focus on something specific, there are private sessions customised to your needs – choose half day or full day. Family sessions are always fun and gets the whole family out to learn a new skill and Learn MTB skills cover something to suit you – ideal for parents want to get out with their children and not get left behind! So if you are a seasoned mountain biker or completely new to the sport, there is definitely something for you! DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 2nd May: Hopetech Women’s Ride 12th May: Core Skills 13th May: Ladies’ Core Skills 26th May: Al Bond’s Jumps and Drops 9th June: Core Skills 10th June: Ladies’ Core Skills 23rd June: Al Bond’s Jumps and Drops 24th June: Ready to Ride

Montgomery Trails


ay 5th is the official launch of the Montgomery Trails. On May bank holiday weekend, the first 11 Montgomery Trails will be officially launched at the town hall in Montgomery, Powys at 11am. Activities on the day will include a guide-led heritage town trail and two family-friendly trail quizzes with

a special prize draw for the winners. Walkers keen to tackle the trails will have the opportunity to join with others at regular times throughout the day to walk a self-guided trail. Cyclists wishing to try out the cycle routes can bring their own bikes or hire cycles from the Dragon Hotel. Call 01938 820899 for more info.

May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 77

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Going up the wall

Dave Thomas from The Boardroom indoor climbing centre near Chester tells us about the exciting new changes they have unveiled... not only doubles our Dave says: ‘The Boardroom Climbing is a bouldering area but also increases the number of modern indoor climbing boulder problems (climbs) gym in Queensferry only to 200, 80 of which will 15 minutes from Chester, be suitable for beginners catering for climbers of all abilities from the age of allowing those new to the sport to still get 5. Over the four-andDID YOU a great workout. a-half years we’ve KNOW? been open we’ve ‘The view from Rock climbing can the mezzanine seen an increase burn between 500 over the rest in the popularity to 900 calories of the centre is of bouldering per hour fantastic, especially (climbing shorter walls without the watching climbers ascend the Psicobloc, need for a rope, with an 8m high free solo protective matting on the overhanging climb and the floor). As a response to only one in Europe!’ The this increase in popularity Boardroom, Rectors Lane, we have doubled the size of our bouldering area Pentre, Queensferry, CH5 2DH. Call 01244 537476 or by building a mezzanine visit www.theboardroom above the existing climbing.com. bouldering area. This

Try one of the new boulder problems

Enjoy views from the mezzanine

The Matterhorn of Cheshire Clive Potter takes us to new heights with a walk that dispels the myth of Cheshire being made of flat ‘plains’


walk and wildlife but to or those of us who don’t live in Cheshire experience the amazing we tend to think of ‘the views from this iconic hill. Cheshire plain’ – a vast See if you can spot the huge radio telescope of expanse of flat land with Jodrell Bank out on the the exception of the beautiful sandstone ridge vast Cheshire plain or of the Peckforton hills Cheshire’s highest point, sitting proud out in the Shining Tor and even the Breidden Hill middle of the it. which is among But heading to ‘See if you can spot the my home hills East Cheshire we huge radio will find ourselves on the Powys/ telescope of right on the Shropshire border. Jodrell Bank edge of the Peak out on the vast Distinct with that Heading off Cheshire plain’ Head out towards famous Swiss Macclesfield ‘Matterhorn’ profile appearance namely – Forest and the best Shutlingsloe, known locally starting point is from the Trentabank car park which as ‘The Matterhorn of Cheshire’ and topping out is accessed from the A523 via Langley. Once safely at 506m (1660 ft) above sea level. parked, take the short walk So if you fancy some to the Visitor Centre which adventure in East Cheshire, is map reference SJ 961711. and pick up one of the my advice is to conquer freebie maps to take with this mighty peak, and not just for the wonderful you, all of which are way-

marked. This also makes it great fun for children who enjoy trying to spot and follow the next marker. Follow the route up to the top and enjoy the views and sense of fulfilment

Distance – 3 miles Location – Macclesfield Forest Grade – medium and fun Clothing – sensible walking clothing and footwear.

This walk is well worth the views at the end!

78 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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www.motorsafari.co.uk info@motorsafari.co.uk

Motor Safari is the UK’S leading off road driving venue based near chester! Exciting Activity Options include: • 4 x 4 Off Road Driving. • 4 x 4 1st Drive Experiences for youngsters from age 12, Archery,Target Rifle Shoot. Our amazing 4x4 experience has been previously featured on: • Top Gear • BBC Holiday • World’s Most Dangerous Roads • This Morning • Mar�n �ewis Money Show • Blue Peter

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With spectacular views and a wilderness with it’s own natural lake, Motor Safari’s Off Road Venue was rated in UK Top 10 Adventure Breaks by the Independant

20/04/2018 11:03

Hawk Lake

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


of Caravan Parks available in North Wales & Cheshire

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

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

Tel: 01630 685209


Huge choice of NEW & PREOWNED Holiday Homes

2 COMPANIES, 3 SHOWGROUNDS. MORE CHOICE! Find your next holiday home at: www.roykellettcaravans.com Towyn Rd, Towyn, North Wales, LL22 9NW

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Indulge in the luxurious facilities at Aberconwy Resort and Spa


f you love luxury, you’ll love Aberconwy Resort and Spa. Nestled in the stunning Conwy valley, with the majestic mountains of Snowdonia as the backdrop and the Conwy Morfa Beach just on the doorstep, the keyword here is relaxation. The private resort, owned by Darwin Escapes with its world class service, lets you immerse yourself in the total pleasure of your own holiday home. An escape to Aberconwy Resort and Spa is a taste of sheer enjoyment and total indulgence. There are many

spectacular elements that create the Aberconwy Experience including Langley’s Country Club, Mali’s Hair Salon, The Aberconwy Spa and the Michelin 2017 recommended Signatures Restaurant, all of which add to the decadent appeal of owning your very own holiday home. Marvel at the immaculately kept grounds, with 500 yards of beachfront and mountain views. With a huge selection of new and pre-owned holiday homes available, plus finance packages, all this can be yours.

he Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) at Machynlleth is an eco-centre in Powys, dedicated to demonstrating and teaching sustainable development. CAT, despite its name, no longer concentrates its efforts exclusively on alternative technology, but provides information on all aspects of sustainable living. It is open to visitors, and is worth calling in to if you’re in the area and interested in this future-focussed branch of science. As well as offering insight and information to daytrippers, the centre offers postgraduate degrees, shorter residential and one-day courses; and publishes information on renewable energy, sustainable architecture, organic farming, gardening, and sustainable living. CAT also runs education programmes for schools and sells environmentally friendly items onsite.

Key questions to ask when deciding on a location for your holiday home


1. Coast or countryside? Do you love the beach, imagining yourself spending weekends building

sandcastles with the family, to make sure the holiday park you swimming in the sea, with all that choose fits your wants and needs. fresh, salty air? Or is the countryside calling? Spending afternoons 3. Family friendly or adult only? surrounded by calm and Looking to bring the You need to grandkids along for serene landscapes, feeling make sure the miles away from reality, just the weekend, or are you after holiday park you and the rolling hills? you choose fits some peace and quiet away from the children? your wants 2. Lively or peaceful? Do If you still can’t decide, why and needs not visit Lloyds Caravans in you want the park to have Abergele and Talacre or Roy Kellett regular entertainment for you and Caravans in Towyn, where the the family? Or would you rather friendly staff are on hand to help return to a quiet and tranquil park after a day exploring? You need you find your perfect park.

How much room do you want?

Is a deluxe finish important to you?

o you’ve decided to go for it and want to own your very own dream holiday home in North Wales, but there’s one obstacle standing in your way… how do you decide its location, when there’s hundreds of amazing parks to choose from? Lloyds Caravans and Roy Kellett Caravans in North Wales, have come up with the key questions you need to ask yourself:

What’s your preferred location? May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 81

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ocated on the coastline of North Wales, The Beach Caravan Park commands spectacular panoramic views across the Irish Sea and yet is surprisingly easy to reach. Situated just off the A55 Expressway, close to the village of Llanddulas, the Thornley leisure-owned site is just a 30-minute drive from Chester and is easily accessible from the North West and the Midlands. If you like to get away from it all, The Beach Caravan Park is close to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the country, with rugged rolling hills, mountains, lakes, marinas and outdoor activities available nearby from mountain biking and hill walking to sailing and fishing – all right on the doorstep. Guests can relax and

enjoy the lounge bar or the lively Beachcomber Bar, while the Tides Relax and unwind in comfort Café & Bistro offers tasty, locally-sourced food, fantastic views and friendly service. There are excellent on-site facilities including a launderette, children’s play area and Pirates Locker, featuring games, arcade machines, pop counter and television area. The park is open from 1st March to 30th November and offers an impressive range of luxury caravans to hire or to buy.


erfect for all generations and Hall enjoys an enviable reputation in quality, comfort, customer set in the grounds of an idyllic country hall, Lyons Eryl Hall service and value for money. Open Caravan Park and Country Club for almost 11 months of the year including Christmas and New Year; offers peace and tranquillity in the Vale of Clwyd. Situated Lyons Eryl Hall offers an ‘owners amidst the stunning Welsh only’ retreat. Excellent on park Excellent on facilities make this an ideal base countryside in an elevated park facilities for exploring all that North position overlooking the make this an Wales has to offer. historic cathedral city of ideal base for St Asaph, Lyons Eryl Hall The park boasts an indoor exploring swimming pool, poolside café Caravan Park and Country North Wales plus a welcoming Country Club provides the perfect setting in which to relax. Drive through the impressive stone gateway, up the tree-lined drive way and soak up the serenity of your new lifestyle. Lyons Eryl

Clubhouse complete with American pool table. A well-equipped gym, launderette, adventure play area for children and a shop service your


alacre Village in North Wales is well worth a visit if you are holidaying along the coast. The village itself it set beside miles of world famous golden sand dunes forming the award-winning Talacre beach – an RSPB nature reserve and Special Area of Scientific Interest (SSSI). This designation helps protect the rare species including a collection of natterjack toads. Just around the corner, the Dee Estuary is a haven for wintering birds such as little terns, skylarks, meadow pipits and warblers. One of the main features of the regularly photographed landscape is the iconic Point of Ayr lighthouse, built in 1776 and decommissioned in 1884. It remains an impressive monument, rising 18 metres out of the sand and has no shortage of ghost stories associated with its history. The 870-mile Wales Coastal Path also runs through Talacre so it’s ideally placed for visitors to explore North Wales’s wealth of amazing castles, historic towns and the natural beauty of Snowdonia National Park.

daily needs. There’s entertainment throughout the year and Luxury accommodation for an extra charge WiFi is available too. Lyons operate nine stunning parks throughout North Wales and one in Cumbria and have been doing so for over 90 years, making them the experts in helping you make happy holiday memories. They offer a range of holiday accommodation and caravans for sale to suit every budget and requirement.

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Llanfynydd, Flintshire LL11 5HR

Tree Tops


Offers available

Self Catering

30th March 2018 31st October 2018 OFFER 1:

Dinner, Bed & Breakfast 2 nights - ONLY £119.00 per person, per break 3 nights - ONLY £155.00 per person, per break



Lake View Log House, pictured above, accommodates up to 10 people with a hot tub and stands in its own grounds.

EASTER & Bank Holiday Breaks Bed & Breakfast, Any 3 nights - ONLY £125.00 per person, per break

Overlooking an unspoilt valley are two Scandinavian houses, each accommodating up to six people.



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

Contact us treetopuk@aol.com Tel: 01352 770648

There is also a Garden apartment sleeping six people, all ground floor. There are eight fly fishing lakes.


e g d o l new d n a r b nt e m p o devel eart of h in the Wales North


out e with escap d x e d to rela a seclu t place Enjoy c e d rf n e stle a the p the hu mise... m ro o . p fr fe m li y co awa yday wind, of eve e – tl s s u and un b Wale it North is v r, to te t time charac perfec full of e d y th n a a d ’s It g a holi tivatin wning s, cap O t s . n le e e e p tim esca vestm better is an in o s n k re c e ’s o h ew there Padd a plac at The s. le and home ty s emorie fe li m y’s appy h r famil d u il o u y ill b in you w


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Come and see what everyone’s talking about. Call Jamie to arrange an informal visit. on

01745 355 440

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Experience another level of style at Tree Tops



verlooking unspoilt secluded valley in the Welsh foothills, 20 minutes from Chester and 40 minutes from Snowdonia, Tree Tops is set in glorious countryside so

Sink into the outdoor hot tub

peaceful with fabulous views yet so close to all amenities. The selfcatering accommodation is open all year round and offers a range

of Scandinavian houses to rent, all of which have a large living room, kitchen, dining area and lounge all equipped for six people. New for this year Tree Tops has added their stunning Lake View House which even has its own private hot tub. Positioned lower down the valley and sleeping up to 10, it’s in a prominent spot of its own. It is a two-storey log house with an upstairs full width balcony to enjoy the views of Llanfynydd valley and Hope Mountain. On the ground floor there is an open plan dining area, a wellfitted out kitchen and lounge with a covered and furnished veranda. There are two twin bedrooms downstairs and a shower room is conveniently placed for the east side of the house where the hot tub is. As you head upstairs, the ceiling

is the full height of the building with a lining of Finnish pine. There’s one twin bedroom, a double bedroom, and the main shower room. The spacious lounge area at the top of the stairs has a double sofa bed and TV. From this area you walk onto the roofed balcony where the views from every point are simply stunning.

Relax and take in the views

Perfect piece of peace N

have beautiful views of Cardigan orthfield Holiday Park is a small, peaceful caravan and chalet Bay. Five minutes’ walk from the park on the edge of the seaside accommodation takes you to a quiet cove to snorkel or fish and to the village of Borth, six miles from the university town of Aberystwyth main safe beach of sand, rock pools and dunes. Immediately opposite and a half hour’s drive from the Centre for Alternative Technology at Northfield, there’s a path leading to Machynlleth on the outskirts a small, sheltered cove with of the Dyfi Valley. Since steps leading up to a war The team at Northfield do 2009 the area has been memorial on the cliff top, everything they from where you can enjoy declared a ‘biosphere’ by can to ensure UNESCO and the area hosts wonderful views across the you have a some of the finest examples bay to Bardsey Island. wonderful stay of special landscapes and The team at Northfield ensure that everything wildlife areas in Europe. At Northfield, there are 13 fully possible is done to give you an enjoyable holiday. Visit Wales equipped caravans and two spacious timber chalets, both of which inspection marks of 100 per cent

Bright, clean and spacious accommodation

were given for cleanliness, service and welcome again this year and the thoughtful landscaping and mass planting of both indigenous and semitropical plants has made Northfield the prettiest and most colourful park in the area. Between 1999 and 2010, the park achieved the David Bellamy Gold Conservation Award.

84 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Own your own

holiday home at

• 5* Award winning Caravan Park

• Breathtaking scenic surroundings

• Luxury holiday homes at affordable prices


• Low deposit, affordable finance deals*

£33,99FROM ES LODG 95* 9 , 9 1 1 £

• Friendly family run company with over fifty years experience • Holidays for a lifetime

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

For more information call us on

01492 515345 The Beach Caravan Park, Beach House Road, Llanddulas, nr Abergele, Conwy LL22 8HB




RESORT & SPA Experience the sheer enjoyment and total indulgence of one of North Wales’ most exclusive resorts. Set in a beautiful coastal location, Aberconwy Resort & Spa offers an exceptional range of holiday homes, luxury lodges and five-star facilities in an enchanting coastal setting.








Aberconwy Resort & Spa, Aberconwy Park, Conwy LL32 8GA *Applies to new customer purchases only on selected new and pre-owned models. No part exchange allowance can be used in conjunction with this offer.

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Traditional Stoves



Modern Stoves

AT A PRICE YOU’LL LOVE 01745 582254 | www.rnwilliams.co.uk Chester Street, St Asaph, LL17 0RE 068_SHIRE_MJ2018.indd 1

19/04/2018 21:19


DIP INTO GLADSTONE’S LIBRARY A stately building which poses as a delightfully eccentric hotel – that also happens to have one of the largest and most impressive private collections of books around… impressive shelves of Britain. At his family home modern fiction (Peter in Hawarden, he encouraged Francis, the warden local children to access his for 20 years, has made books even in his absence, his personal collection and so the idea grew of available). The honesty creating his own library. He bar shows the trust and chose his home town rather openness at the heart than a great city or to add his book collection to an existing Relax and read in the beautiful rooms of Gladstone’s. great library such as the British library or the Bodleian in Oxford. Dining and relaxing At first the books were stored (having Dining is very much like an university been catalogued using Gladstone’s own college, with shared tables and a serving system – still used by the library today) at hatch. The food is tasty, not over Hawarden Castle, the family home. Provision complicated, with plenty of choice to tempt in Gladstone’s will following his death in 1898 every palate. The collegiate feel lends itself Attend the many cultural events at Gladstone’s gave funds for the present library to be built to saying hello and chatting to other guests ladstone’s Library is doubly unique. which included the Tin Tabernacle.This has – we met residents at dinner, postgraduate It is the only Prime Ministerial been added to over the last century and the students staying to work on their thesis, library in Britain, and the only books collection has also been and guests just staying for the weekend residential library anywhere in added to greatly over the years, who planned to take in the local sights. Residents staying the world. To understand how so there are now over 150,000 It offers a lovely mini-break, a chance at the library this neo-Gothic building lays written works available to all. to meet interesting people, catch up on can access the claim to such rarity, you have to reading, and enjoy the unique and stunning books, and peruse appreciate some of the history surroundings of Gladstone’s Library. The founding of a library Gladstone’s own that made this possible. personal collection in So we can see how there came William Gladstone (1809to be a great collection of works the Reading Room Gladstone’s Library, Church Lane, 98), four times Prime Minister, on history, philosophy, religion Hawarden, Flintshire, CH5 3DF Chancellor of the Exchequer for on our doorstep in Flintshire. Tel: 01244 532350 13 years and in Parliament for over 60 years, And thanks to Gladstone’s firmly held www.gladstoneslibrary.org is one of Britain’s greatest statesmen, beliefs on the benefits of learning for all, a central figure at the heart of government for and free access to books, this collection Twenty-six bedrooms, comfortable and many years, a man who dedicated his life to is still available to anyone. Any resident stylish, most with en-suite facilities and politics and public service. Gladstone had staying at the library is free to access free wifi. B&B for two people from £90. a voracious appetite for books and learning, the books, and peruse Gladstone’s own in particular theology; history and politics; personal collection held together in one and literary culture. In his lifetime, he had Reading Room. Now Gladstone’s Library Events at Gladstone’s Library amassed a huge personal collection of some (originally named St Deiniol’s until 2009 Alibis in the Archives, 8th-10th June 32,000 books, and even more remarkable is when it was decided to change the name on that over two-thirds of these were read by him Back by popular demand, Alibis in the the centenary of Gladstone’s birth), under he carefully annotated a third of them. the guidance of Board of Trustees, has Archive returns for a second year to bring grown to provide accommodation, events, some of the UK’s best-loved crime writers Public access to great works residential courses and more. As well as a to Hawarden. Over a weekend of talk He regarded the public access of books as library it is now, uniquely, a smart B&B. sessions and murder mystery evenings, the an important way to help the working class For guests, it has a collegiate feel. There is weekend centres around. See What’s On find advancement, and was involved in the large common room, filled with couches Cheshire for more of Gladstone’s events. the establishment of public libraries across and a fire at each end, and home to some


May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 87

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Welcome to The Penrhos Arms Hotel near Machynlleth, Mid Wales

Arrive as a guest and depart as a friend...

A traditional Welsh welcome awaits you at the Penrhos Arms Hotel in the heart of Machynlleth. Enjoy a relaxing short break or overnight stay in one of our rooms, which are all furnished to a high standard and with en suite facilities. Dine in our homely restaurant and choose from a comprehensive menu that changes on a daily basis, with local produce, meat, game and fish. G W E S T Y ’ R P E N R H O S A R M S H OT E L C E M M A E S , M AC H Y N L L E T H , P OW YS S Y 2 0 9 P R

Mellington Hall Country House Hotel and Holiday Home Park offer peace, tranquility and utmost comfort in 270 acres of park and farmland. This is a perfect place to relax, unwind and enjoy yourself. Mellington Hall Country House Hotel is a Grade II Listed 19th Century house set in beautiful landscaped grounds Mellington, Churchstoke, Powys SY15 6HX

Telephone: 01588 620056 Email: info@mellingtonhall.co.uk

TEL: 01650 511 243 • www.penrhosarms.com

with spectacular views in every direction. The Hotel is open all day, every day, all-year round. Cosy bars with local ales, piping hot food and blazing log fires in winter, with al fresco dining for those who want it when the weather permits. We have 11 spacious bedrooms, all with en suite facilities. Because of the character of the building, each of them is different but all the rooms are spacious: sunny in summer, cosy in winter. Mellington Hall Country House Hotel has been shortlisted for the finals of the 4th Food Awards Wales 2018 in the Hotel Restaurant of the Year – Mid Wales category.

THE STATION, COLWYN BAY Welcome to a brand new, family dining experience for Colwyn Bay. Great food and real ale in a warm, welcoming environment Our selection of real cask ales will tempt fans of cask beer, managed by our experienced and highly skilled, hand picked team.


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1 Station Road, Colwyn Bay, LL29 8BP

20/04/2018 10:08


Sea shells off the sea shore A

In this edition our resident chef Graham Tinsley MBE has focused on a rather special seafood that although sounding and tasting exotic, can be found in and around our local shores – and makes a tasty treat too

scallop can measure few miles off the North up to 5cms across with Wales coast is one of a bright orange roe or the best fishing grounds for the prized Sea Scallop. The coral, the queen scallop gravel beds of the Isle of Man is the size of a 10p piece, again with orange roe, but is provide a natural growing much sweeter than the king. The environment for the scallop, in princess scallops are immature fact there is evidence that scallops have queens they measure about the size The scallop been living there for of a 5p piece but have no roe. has been Most scallops are harvested by over 3,000 years. captured in The scallop is possibly best known works of art by dredging, although the most sought for its beautiful and distinctive shell. Titan, Botticelli after variety are hand dived as It has been captured in works of dredging sometimes damages the and many art by Titan, Botticelli and many shells and consequently the meat others inside. You need to be especially others. Buildings in ancient Pompeii careful when cooking scallops as they were decorated with scallop shell ornaments, even today it is the emblem of a tend to overcook very easily and will become tough. They are sweet and tender yet firm to well known petrol station. There are hundreds touch when cooked properly. The best way to of different species of scallop, but for culinary cook them is very quickly in a hot lightly oiled use they can be divided into three groups, the king, queen and the princess. The king or great frying pan or char grill.

Pan-seared scallops with a butternut squash risotto and parmesan crackling

12 Scallops, cleaned 1 medium butternut squash 125g risotto rice 1 large shallot, finely chopped 1 clove garlic crushed 600ml chicken stock (approx) 50g butter 50ml double cream 60g grated fresh parmesan Salt and pepper Nutmeg Micro greens Basil oil Method 1. Peel the butternut squash and cut out 16 cubes. Roughly chop the remaining squash and cook separately in salted water. 2. Refresh the cubes in cold water and keep to one side. 3. Drain the roughly chopped squash in a colander and place in a food processor with a third of the butter and puree. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. 4. Sprinkle half of the grated parmesan into small circles on a non stick baking sheet and bake in the oven for 4-5

minutes until crisp. 5. Sweat the shallot in another third of the butter with the garlic until soft, add the rice and cook for a further two minutes. 6. Slowly add the hot stock a little at a time letting the rice absorb it before adding more, keep adding the stock until the rice is almost cooked. 7. When the rice is cooked, add the last third of the butter, the rest of the parmesan cheese, double cream and some of the squash puree. Season with salt and pepper. 8. Heat a cast iron or non stick frying pan and lightly rub with a little oil, pan fry the scallops on both sides for 2-3 minutes. To serve Place the risotto onto plates and dress with a little puree and some squash cubes. Place scallops on top of the risotto and garnish with the parmesan crisps and some micro cress and basil oil. May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 89

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

Warm, friendly & welcoming

• Set in stunning rural countryside, ideally suited for Snowdonia

• A traditional, family-run

• Open all day

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

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

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




Rosie’s Triple D Cider Available dry, medium or sweet bottled and in medium or dry in Draught 7.2% abv


Open weekdays from 10am Open weekends from 9am


A525 42

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


Rosie’s Award Winning Ciders. Pressed and fermented here in Llandegla since 2005



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




are situated at the North end of the Horseshoe Pass, at the roundabout where the A542 intersects the A5104 Chester/ Corwen road. The A525 runs past us half a mile to the North.

Rosie’s Oak Matured Dry Scrumpy Dry Cider Only available in Draught

Rosie’s Black Bart Sweet Cider Bottled or Draught 7.2% abv


Rosie’s Wicked Wasp - Medium Sweetness Cider Bottled or Draught 7.2% abv Rosie’s Perfect Pear Perry Medium Sweet Perry Only available in Draught 5.4% abv

Rosie’s Triple D Cider

Dafarn Dywyrch, Llandegla, Wrexham Denbighshire LL11 3BA

T: 01978 790 650 M: 07812 500 513 E: rosiescider@gmail.com www.rosiescider.co.uk

Available for Pubs, (Bag in Boxes) and Shops/Delis (Bottled Cider Range) You are welcome to call at the farm to taste and buy our Ciders and Perry

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The Whitchurch Food & Drink Festival is Five!

Pick your own at Bellis Brothers Farm Shop and Garden Centre


his year Whitchurch Food and Drink Festival will be held over the weekend of 19th-20th May in Whitchurch Civic Centre and they are celebrating their fifth anniversary! Whitchurch town centre will host a dedicated artisan craft market to showcase the talents of non-food related producers. Eighty trade stands are expected, both inside and outside the Civic Centre in the food court. Celebrity chef and TV personality Rosemary Shrager will be joining the festival on Saturday 19th May, undertaking Rosemary Shrager two demonstrations on the cookery theatre, as well as judging the celebration cake competition. ‘I am really looking forward to visiting Whitchurch Food & Drink Festival again, I had such a ball back in 2016. It was great to see a small town working together to host a wonderful festival,’ she says. The schedule on the brand new cookery theatre will include demos from top Shropshire chefs, Stuart Collins, Chris Burt, James Sherwin and Brian Mellor of Harthill Cookery School. The theme for the festival’s celebration cake competition is ‘Whitchurch Bake Off ’ which is free to enter (one entry per person, open to both adults and children). With the Kids’ Kitchen, face-painting, outdoor food court, live musical performances, packed programme on the cookery theatre, and Producer Awards there is lots to try and buy. With over eighty food producers joining under one roof, Whitchurch Food & Drink Festival really does have something to suit every palette!


ellis Bros is an independent family business located between Wrexham and Chester with a garden centre and farm shop, restaurant, gift area and seasonal Pick Your Own. Bellis Brothers have been growing strawberries in Holt since Charles Bellis planted his first strawberry plant ‘Black Prince’ in 1860. Today they grow strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, tayberries, loganberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, rhubarb, peas, beans and pumpkins. Pick Your Own opens mid-June for most produce, with pumpkins later in October. The Farm Shop has an abundance of locally sourced produce and tasty treats from free range eggs and freshly baked bread, to speciality goods including cheese, flavoured oils and local beers. Jamie Wards Traditional Family Butchers offer a wonderful selection of meats including delicious Welsh Black beef and Welsh lamb. Enjoy a wonderful view over the Welsh countryside as you relax and sample the delicious home-cooked menu in the Strawberry Fields restaurant. Visit www.bellisbrothers.co.uk for more information.

Pick your own strawberries!

The Strawberry Fields restaurant

Shropshire wine attraction reopens its doors to visitors


his March Shropshire based Kerry Vale Vineyard has reKerry Vale Vineyard has won an opened their cellar door shop and wine café to visitors. impressive number of national and Having been closed for winter, the popular family run English international awards for its wine, Vineyard, situated just 25 miles west of Shrewsbury as well as the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence for reopened on 23rd March. Kerry Vale Planted in 2010, the vineyard covers six acres of Customer Service for three Vineyard has farmland, and is run by husband and wife Geoff and years running. In addition to won anumber June Ferguson and their daughter Nadine Roach. offering a locally-sourced of national and Manager Nadine comments: ‘We have lots of visitors menu and delicious selection Enjoy fresh local produce international from all over the UK but we would love to welcome of homemade cakes, the awards for its more Shropshire residents to visit, either to sample and vineyard also has an art gallery, which supports some wine find out a little more about our award-winning wine or of Shropshire’s finest artists. It will host a selection of original art work and limited edition prints from artists; simply to enjoy a tasty lunch in beautiful surroundings. We offer vineyard tours and wine tasting to those interested Carole Baker, Rob Leckey, Lyn Evans and Penelope Timmis. Open in wine, but also have a children’s fairy trail and activities for Wednesday-Sunday, the vineyard welcomes all visitors. families – everyone is welcome in the café.’ Call 01588 620627 or visit www.kerryvalevineyard.co.uk. May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 91

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Latest news in booze In this edition we’re taking a break from wine and sharing a few snippets of news from producers of other favourite tipples – namely the fashionable favourite – gin and the enduringly appealing beer!


Our pubs and bars have a lot on offer behind the bar, with everything from rhubarb gins to exotic flaming liqueurs – but right back when the public house tradition began, it was all about the beer. So in this edition we’ve rounded up a few of the top spots for real ales

NORTH AND MID WALES The Snowdon Hotel has been described in the past as a paradise for real ale drinkers with a great range or specialist and independently brewed beers available on regular taps or as guests. Located close to the Great Orme, it offers the discerning drinker the possibility of a few quiet pints in one of the last remaining traditional pubs in Llandudno, dating back to the late 19th century.

Henstone Distillery is ready to go into production

DID YOU ‘Dram’atic announcement! KNOW? The largest still in Shropshire has now been The Philippines installed in Oswestry. Henstone Distillery has has the biggest been set up by Chris and Alexandra Toller gin drinking and Shane and Alison Parr. Shane and Alison population run Stonehouse Brewery and the distillery will also be based at the brewery site. The four partners have spent two years planning their venture and following the support of a grant from the RDPE Growth Programme are now just about ready to start production. The impressive 1000 litre still, affectionately named Hilda, will enable Henstone Distillery to produce around 600 bottles of gin, whisky, bourbon and brandy per run. Chris explains: ‘Setting up a distillery has been a long-time dream of mine. Our three core principles are refreshingly real: to have fun, produce quality products and to build a business we can be proud of.’ There has already been keen intent from local shops, pubs, restaurants and hotels, and the Henstone team are eager to put Shropshire Whisky production on the map.

Brew your own beer St Anne’s Brewery at Lea Cross in Shrewsbury is inviting beer fans to come and create their own unique drink either with their own recipe or one provided by the team. Chris Jones, from St. Anne’s Brewery says: ‘Come and make your own beer using the brewery facilities. The finished product can be sold by anyone with a licence to sell alcohol or to celebrate an important occasion. It promises to be a lot of fun, and could be used for team building and charity fundraising events. The beer can also be bottled with the customers’ own label or casked.’

Come and brew your own beer at St Anne’s in Shrewsbury!

The Arvon Ale House in Llandrindod Wells is a popular pub where the friendly owners select their own range of real ales to sell and have a reputation for getting it right. Locals rave about the welcoming atmosphere and the dedication from the team shown in ensuring everyone finds the perfect beer for them.

CHESHIRE The Brewery Tap in Chester is a great choice for real ale lovers, especially as the pub serves a wonderful selection of its own home brews from its Spitting Feathers Brewery too. There’s always a wide range of cask ales on tap, several guest ales, at least one hand-pulled cider and a focus on locally-brewed beers. A great spot to relax after shopping too! The Irby Mill on the Wirral in Cheshire is another firm favourite venue - first opened in 1980 the traditional sandstone pub is located on the site of a former windmill. The bar offers a fine selection of eight carefully kept real ales and an extensive menu of homecooked, real pub food to match, using a carefully chosen group of local suppliers. SHROPSHIRE The Three Fishes has a longstanding reputation as one of Shropshire’s top spots for real ale drinkers. This CAMRAapproved pub has a warm, friendly atmosphere in a characterful timber-framed building, dating from the 16th century. As well as its great selection of speciality ales on tap, the pub also offers great food, and a good selection of wines. The Loggerheads in Shrewsbury itself as another great real ale venue, situated on the corner of St Mary’s Street and Church Street. The building is thought to date back to the 1600s, and it has been a pub since 1780. So traditions run deep here, as reflected in the quality of ‘proper’ beers and also in the bar games available. Punters can be found passing the time with a game of darts, dominoes and even a jolly session of shove ha’penny.

92 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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• CHEESES • CHEESE WEDDING CAKES • OLIVES • GOURMET FOODS • WELSH WINE, BEER & SPIRITS • GIFT HAMPERS Jamie’s Butchers and Deli offer a wide range of delicious local produce! Call in and ‘meat’ our friendly butchers and see what delights are on offer Bellis Brothers Farm Shop & Garden Centre, Holt, Wrexham, LL13 9YU T: 01829272030



Visit the garden centre and discover inspirational flower displays and choose from a wide range of fresh plant stock including roses, colourful bedding and fruit trees. You will find the perfect additions to brighten and enrich any garden. Snowdonia Nurseries & Garden Centre

Glan Conwy, Conwy LL28 5SR T: 01492 580703 F: 01492 573559 info@snowdonianurseries.co.uk

Olive Tree Coffee Shop:

T: 01492 580665

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

The brand new servery counter is ready and waiting to offer cold drinks and freshly baked cakes as well as being the base for our friendly baristas to perform their coffee magic.

You can also take a break and relax at the newly refurbished Olive Tree coffee rooms.

The rooms are divided into modern yet cosy areas including a snug with sofas, and a white-picketed corner where young children can enjoy toys and activities.

Opening Hours Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

9:00am to 5.30pm 9:00am to 5.30pm 9:00am to 5.30pm 9:00am to 5.30pm 9:00am to 5.30pm 9:00am to 5.30pm 10:30am to 4:30pm

19/04/2018 21:44

Homes&Interiors The small home with

big ideas This derelict gate house may not offer much in stature, but thanks to new owners it is about to undergo a transformation and will soon offer an important role to local couples

Plans are in action to bring the ancient house up-to-date

Owners of the estate, Elle R Leisure, have vowed to preserve the original features and proud heritage of this little lodge as they take the next step in what has been an ambitious refurbishment scheme led by managing director James Ramsbottom, to turn the Flintshire ‘Downton Abbey’ style residence into an exclusive wedding venue. Piece of the jigsaw James explains that buying and refurbishing the pretty, twoerched at the top of a long storey, two-bedroom house is driveway that winds its ‘another part of the jigsaw’ in way to the grand and imposing restoring the hall for generations Soughton Hall in Northop, to come: ‘We believe the lodge Flintshire this unassuming gate house was built in the 1860s house has been overlooked for by Chester architect generations. The Grade John Douglas when II listed Victorian ‘The house will the hall was still in building is derelict, but provide the ownership of the retains many original a home-fromfeatures, including an home space for Bankes family who ancient bread oven. the bridal party had it as a family home to enjoy before from the early 1800s Now it is facing a the big day’ until the 1980s when £70,000 massive it was first sold to be makeover as owners of turned into a business. the estate and luxury ‘So it has been an integral wedding venue have seen the part of the estate for 150 years. potential in the quaint TudorWe were lucky enough to be able Gothic style and hope to market to purchase the house from one it the diminutive dwelling as the of the Bankes family and now ideal bridal suite.

James Ramsbottom


we are keen to use it to enhance the first-class facility we are able to offer to brides and grooms looking for the most special of places to get married.’ Preparations and privacy The house will have a cosy sitting room with woodburner, kitchen/ diner and ground floor bathroom with two bedrooms – one ensuite, on the second floor. It will provide a private, home-fromhome space for brides to enjoy with their bridal party the night before the wedding or for a newly married couple to relax in after their big day. James adds: ‘We now have more than 100 weddings booked in for next year and the lodge house will help us to accommodate more of what some

It’s all about those period features

of our bridal parties may require, both in terms of space and also being able to make the most of their very special Soughton Hall experience.’ Since taking over the historic 15-bedroom property in February 2016, Elle R Leisure has spent around £400,000 on transforming the interior of the property. This has included a major revamp of all the bedrooms, guest areas and the marquee used for wedding reception and events. To find out more about this stunning venue visit www.soughtonhall.co.uk, @soughtonhall on Facebook or @SoughtonHall on Twitter.

The old bread oven

94 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Getting the lighting right Meet the Cheshire company that aims to bring some Scandi style and a whole lot of light into your home


heshire-based lighting lovers, Moonbeam, have introduced a new range to brighten up the home with some inspiration from Danish decoration. Based in Bredbury, Moonbean Lighting is promoting the latest designer range from Ebb & Flow, a legendary lighting brand founded by Susanne Nielsen, who has more than 20 years of experience in the textiles and home accessories industry. In the current range, all the lighting designs from Ebb & Flow are aimed at bringing warmth and joy to a room, inspiring lasting beauty and combining old with modern styles. The Smykke, the Danish word for jewellery, features glimmering colours reminiscent of precious stones and uses a delicate droplet shape just like a sparkling earring or pendant. Each light is crafted using clear mouth-blown glass in a number of warm soft colours and starts at £315.42. The Horizon range offers distinctive lighting to liven up any room with its wide shape and shallow height, and prices from £146.75, while the Lute pendant lamp is a modern classic. Tall and elegant in metallic coloured glass, the design is now available in 16 finishes from £214.19. For more information and to view the new range, visit www.moonbeamlighting.co.uk. May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 95

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A FEATHER IN THE CAP FOR NEST BUILDERS Having proved their eco-credentials in a range of business ventures from music-making to home-building, one Shropshire couple has come home to roost and is offering visitors a slice of their idyllic and environmentally sound way of life


of Breed which allowed the couple to begin om and Emily the next chapter of their lives and commence Hunt have work on a long-held dream: the renovation been recognised of a suitable historic building in their home for multiple county of Shropshire from which they would achievements. In live and run a holiday cottage business. After 2007, Tom founded a long search, a Georgian coach house in the his first company, Shropshire Hills Area of Outstanding Breed Media, a Natural Beauty was found. Here the creative and DID YOU Tom Hunt couple have created their forever ecological KNOW? home, and in January their baby music UK homes emit son Miles was born. With their manufacturing agency which saw more than six him commended in the British million tonnes of project complete, the family have CO2 every year now opened their doors to visitors Council’s UK Young Music wishing to share the beauty and Entrepreneur awards, in 2009. The tranquillity of the Shropshire Hills and following year, together with his wife their holiday rental company, Nest, offers Emily, he put his mind to creating the perfect a serene countryside hideaway. home with an eco-house build in Sheffield. To discover more about this wonderful Designed to minimise environmental impact space visit www.holidayshropshire.com. and maximise the potential of a difficult plot, their project was so successful it won The Daily Telegraph’s Best Contemporary Home Award in 2011. The property was described as a ‘modernist vision’, and was featured in Ideal Home magazine, Homebuilding & Renovating Magazine, The Mirror newspaper, the Architects’ Journal, The Week, ITV’s Loose Women and various other national and local media. Next steps for Nest In early 2015, Tom was offered a buyout The log burner keeps things toasty

Enjoy meals in the stylish kitchen/diner

Every aspect has been ecologically designed

The kitchen space before the renovation

96 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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


• Pets • Guard animals • Starter herds



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

Please contact us for details Mulberry Grange, Red Hall Lane, Higher Penley, Wrexham, LL13 ONA Tel: 07713 639 447 Email: mulberryalpacas@btconnect.com

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


We’re 4 miles north of Ellesmere

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


MOLD: Bromfield Industrial Estate, Mold Flintshire CH7 1HA


CAERNARFON: Crown Street, Caernarfon LL55 1SY

www.snowdoniawindows.co.uk Email: reception@snowdoniawindows.co.uk

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

Our services

We stock

Aga, Arada, Bronpi, Dean stoves, Dovre, Esse, Flamerite, HWAM, Jotul, MCZ, Mendip, Nestor Martin, Oak, Percy Doughty, Scan, Stovax, Termatech, Wiking, Woodwarm, Yeoman.

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

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

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

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

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A kitchen makeover We visit the home of Mr and Mrs Vickers in Ironbridge to find out how their kitchen has been transformed by Granite Transformations…

The kitchen fit was fuss-free


‘So we decided to start looking, and from adverts in magazines we narrowed it down to three companies,’ says Mrs Vickers. ‘The first two we contacted were not able to give us an estimate and didn’t seem particularly knowledgeable. Then we visited the Granite Transformation showroom in Shrewsbury in November last year, and spoke to Richard. We liked his relaxed approach, and the kitchens in the showroom looked really good. They also had the ‘Black Star’ worktop I wanted (it’s a black glass finish with a sparkle). Richard was able to give us a ballpark estimate based on the drawings and measurements we had taken along.’

e moved into the house in September 2013,’ says Mrs Vickers. ‘The kitchen was fine, it was liveable and there were other things we wanted to do to the property that Star worktops were more urgent – fitting new windows and ‘We wanted the worktops and the splash doors for a start.’ backs, all in Black Star, plus new doors and Mr Vickers adds: ‘We got to work on drawers for all units. At Barbara’s suggestion the new house, we replaced all the doors at Granite Transformations, they also added and windows, we also installed a fireplace Trend mosaic tiles above the cooker, to and improved the ensuite bathroom. So the match the overall colour scheme. It’s on kitchen was the last key job we wanted to do. sheet rather than small tiles on a mesh, and When we bought the house, the kitchen they is made of glass, which is very hard wearing had put in was about 10 years old, and by now with a slight sparkle. To maintain it was showing signs of wear and tear, the gloss all you need to do is wipe it some of the doors and drawers were not functioning properly, and the ‘It only took down after use.’ Mr Vickers says, ‘The fitter came formica surfaces were discolouring.’ four and a out to take final measurements, we ‘It was all cream cabinets and a half days placed the order and booked in a day matt black top with a ceramic sink,’ to install says Mrs Vickers. ‘It looked very everything!’ in February to start the installation. It took four and a half days from dated and needed updating badly. It start to finish to install everything. had glass doors on the cabinets next We could still use the kitchen – they leave to the cooker and a brown wooden hood over the kitchen in a workable state every day, the cooker – the whole thing just looked old and they took everything away including fashioned, very 1980s and 1990s.’ Mr Vickers the old doors and appliances. We are even says: ‘I knew to change the whole kitchen able to paint before installation, knowing was a big and messy job, and would be very we wouldn’t then risk damaging the new disruptive, and I also thought it was possible worktops. The whole process was so much to keep the original ‘carcasses’ of the kitchen less disruptive than installing a whole new cabinets as they were perfectly fine.’

A bit of sparkle: Mrs Vickers loves her worktops

kitchen (I used to work in the building trade so I know what a big job that can be).’ ‘We didn’t even have to empty the cupboards,’ adds Mrs Vickers. ‘We also bought the cooker hob and the fridge freezer cabinet through Granite Transformations, they could have sourced us anything, including top of the range appliances, but we just wanted a standard one.’ ‘Richard visited two weeks after the job was completed to see the result. Our friends think it’s very nice – a new kitchen without any of the mess – and there have been no problems at all with it. I’d have to say my favourite aspect is the sparkle in the worktops; we are very pleased with everything, how it went and the results. My husband and I couldn’t fault their service and the workmanship, we would definitely recommend them.’ Granite Transformations

Shrewsbury Unit 4, Hussey Road, Battlefield Enterprise Park, Shrewsbury, SY1 3TE. Tel. 01743 585988 Ellesmere Port Unit 17/18, Junction 8 Business Park, Rosscliffe Road, Ellesmere Port, CH65 5AA Tel. 0151 4344880

98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Glyndwr Plants Summer Time! W

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

Ternhill Farm House Wild Shropshire is taking root! Whilst ‘Pop ups’ were fun and a great opportunity to visit beautiful venues around the country we have decided to get all grown up and open permanently at The Farm House at Ternhill. Whilst we may be dropping the ‘Pop up’ label everything else remains the same, if not better! You’ll still get the very best of Shropshire on several plates, along with matched wine flights all compiled by James and his team.

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

our business will feel right at home in Magazine Great shopping pages and advice for Homes and Gardens in SHIRE Magazine Telephone 01691 661270 or email advertising@ shiremagazine.co.uk

Man & Van Services

Covering North Wales & Cheshire

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

Tel 07743 574852

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

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

Gate Expectations Inwood (Cymru) Ltd

` ade to measure

wooden gates and side hinged garage doors

01745 362 444

www.woodworkersuk.co.uk enquiries@woodworkersuk.co.uk Come and see us in our workshop! Unit A1, Cefndy Industrial Park, Cefndy Road, Rhyl, Denbighshire, LL18 2HJ

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

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Whether it’s a bold orange, shiny copper or on trend rose gold, this cheery tone is taking home decor by storm…


z z z


Best of

Invest in a stylish new bed for super summer slumber…

Beautiful bowl: Kitchen Craft orange spotty ceramic bowls £4.99, www. tweedmill.co.uk Vintage vibes: 5ft wide, king size, brass and iron bed finished in black from around 1890. £1,095, www. seventhheaven.co.uk

Chic sides: Occasional side table, £49, www.very.com

Chic comfort: Shelby 4’6” high end bed in grey crushed velvet, £209, www. dialamattress.co.uk

Storage style: Willis & Gambier Louis Philippe end storage bedstead, double from £1,039, www. hafrenfurnishers.co.uk

Glamorous gold: Next mini rose gold vase, £7, www.next.com


W E L OV E Luxury Alpaca pillows, from £49 These luxurious handmade pillows provide a combination of comfort and support. Filled with 100% British alpaca fibre and naturally anti-allergenic – pure luxury! Available from Mulberry Alpacas, www.mulberryalpacas.co.uk Everhot has added the vibrant ‘Tangerine’ finish to their growing colour options. These highly efficient British cookers, with low running costs are available in a range of sizes to suit your kitchen. Prices start from £6,325, www.rnwilliams.co.uk Time for tea: Haden Marmalade Jersey kettle, £49.99, www.claresllandudno.com

Nordlux float copper pendant, £87, www.dclightingoswestry.com

This season…bring the outside in and add light and whole lot of style to your home. We just love these stylish Warmcore bi-fold doors, available from Oswestry Windows and Doors, visit www.owdgroup.com for more information, price on application.

100 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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


Many Special Offers! Ask in store

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

01743 463157



Specialists in Water Boreholes and Ground Source Heating

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


on ALL items!

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

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

Visit our shop and see our huge variety of pipes and fittings For more information about our services, please call today 01824 707 777 or visit our website on: www.dragondrilling.co.uk

Coed-y-Dinas: Home, Garden and Country Cen tre A Beautiful F s amily Shoppin g Destination in Mid Wale

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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Bespoke Joinery Manufacturers - Established 1983

We are a family-run business who pride ourselves on great customer service, whether we supply goods only or take care of the entire project

Our extensive range of products cover all aspects of windows, doors, staircases and bespoke joinery to customer requirements.

Take us up on our FREE NO OBLIGATION PLANNING SERVICE and your new kitchen or bedroom will be designed to fit just for you! REPLACEMENT DOOR SERVICE AVAILABLE FREE NO OBLIGATION PLANNING SERVICE Conels, Unit 3, Mercury, Tir Llwyd, Kinmel Bay, LL18 5JZ

www.conels.co.uk • info@conels.co.uk Tel: 0800 774 7804 or 01745 350 236

Fine Antique Beds in Metal and Wood Comprehensive Range of Mattresses Luxurious Bed Linen

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

Contact us: 01244 550444 enquiry@cpjoinery.co.uk Catheralls Industrial Estate, Brook Hill Way, Buckley Flintshire CH7 3PS


WOVEN ON SITE We manufacture traditional Welsh bedspreads, travelling rugs, Welsh tapestry and tweeds from the raw wool. We also stock cushions, throws, bags & purses made up in our fabrics plus bought in knitwear and accessories in natural fibres.

Open 7 Days a Week at: Chirk Mill, Chirk, LL14 5BU

www.seventh-heaven.co.uk 01691 777622 sales@seventh-heaven.co.uk

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Shop open: Monday - Saturday (& Sundays from 27th May) Weaving and water driven turbine can be viewed: Monday - Friday (except Bank Holidays)

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

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Divine dining: Denby Imperial Blue dinner range from £5.99, www.claresllandudno.com

Sofa so blue: Alston’s Stockholm sofa, starts at £699, from Shannon Sales, www.shannonsales.co.uk

Feeling blue: Rustoleum Chalky Finish Furniture Paint in Powder Blue, £13.99 for 750ml, www.coedydinas.co.uk


Slumber softly: Catrina blue reversible white floral pure cotton duvet set, £35-£65, www.tweedmill.co.uk

Pomtastic basket: Blue and green pompom woven basket, www.dotcomgiftshop.com

Birdy blue: Hummingbird cushion, £9.99, British Heart Foundation, www.bhf.org.uk



Vintage vibe: Blue and white hanging lamp, £76, Whitchurch Antiques Emporium

True blue: Ercol love seat covered with Halo teal fabric by Melin Tregwynt, £910, www.melintregwynt.co.uk

Letter love: Reclaimed and recycled wooden and metal ‘Love’ letters, £49, www. petticoatlaneshop.co.uk

Throw it on: Blue cob weave throw, £54.99, from www.meirionmill.co.uk

Add a touch of costal style to your bathroom with the fitted bathroom furniture range from Calypso. The super glossy Cheviot doors have a clever glass effect edge detail and come in the very on-trend Sea Breeze colour. Units start at £196, www.rnwilliams.co.uk May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 103

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Plants&Gardens Glorious gardens that can change lives We’re surrounded by National Trust and stately home grounds to explore, as well as private gardens and hidden gems. Now thanks to the National Garden Scheme these secret spaces are more accessible than ever



Framley, Neston, CH64 2US This five-acre garden holds many hidden gems – including extensive mature wooded areas underplanted with a variety of interesting and unusual woodland plants. A selection of deep seasonal borders surround a mystical sunken garden and wide lawns and sandstone paths invite you to discover what lies around every corner. A growing collection of succulents adds interest to the patio and a small experimental exotic border has been planted to contain special tropical favourites. Refreshments and plants will also be on sale. Next open day is 7th May, 10.30am-4pm and open by arrangement throughout May, June and July. Call 07496 015259 to arrange. Adult: £4, children free.

ince 1927, the National Garden Scheme (NGS) has been inviting garden owners to open their exceptional gardens to the public, giving people unique access to some of Britain’s most beautiful and memorable gardens while raising money for charity through entry fees, teas and cake. Thanks to the generosity of garden owners, volunteers and visitors, the NGS is the most significant charitable funder of nursing charities in the UK, having donated some £55 million over the last 90 years. In 2017, the NGS donated a record £3.1 million and supported charities including: Macmillan Cancer Support; Marie Curie; Hospice UK; Carers Trust; Queen’s Nursing Institute; Parkinson’s UK; Perennial; National Autistic Society; and MS Society. This year there are over 3,700 private gardens open to the public (www.ngs.org.uk) but we’ve picked our top three from across the Shire patch.

Llanidan Hall, Brynsiencyn, LL61 6HJ Llanidan Hall is a walled garden of 1¾ acres in North Wales, boasting physic and herb gardens, an ornamental vegetable garden, herbaceous borders, water features and many varieties of old roses. Sheep, rabbits and hens can all be seen here, and the Llanidan Church will also be open for viewing. Children must be kept under supervision and well behaved dogs on leads are welcome. Refreshments and plants will also be on sale. The next opening days are 30th June and 14th July, 10am-4pm. Admission costs £3.50 for adults and children go free. CHESHIRE

SHROPSHIRE Ancoireán, Alveley, WV15 6PJ Developed over 30 years, this is an interesting natural garden on several levels. It has a large variety of herbaceous plants and shrubs, a wooded area with a bog garden containing varieties of ferns and hostas, a clematis collection, acer and azalea beds, and a colourful alpine scree. The natural water features in the garden brings species of wildlife, and the Japanese Torii Gate is at the entrance to the wildlife area. Homemade teas and a large selection of plants and bird nesting boxes will be on sale. Next opening day is 20th May, 1pm-5pm and open by arrangement throughout May and June. Call 1746 780504. Admission: £4 adults and children go free.

Garden advice by Holly Farm Garden Centre, near Whitchurch Long, warm, sunny days are the perfect opportunity to get into the garden, sow, plant and get growing for bountiful crops and beautiful floral displays throughout the summer Get growing in the veg garden May is the month to plant up the vegetable garden such as lettuces, tomatoes, beetroot, radish and peppers to make home-grown summer salads. Some varieties of tomatoes can be grown in a hanging basket if you don’t have a greenhouse, such as Sweet Million or Tumbling Tom.

Simply empty a grow bag into a hanging basket, plant the tomatoes, then water and feed regularly with Tomorite. For a sweet treat Planting raspberries, blueberries and other soft fruits in your garden will provide you with berries, bursting with flavour. Glen Ample raspberries produce a good crop from late June through July. They can be planted in fruit cages and

vegetable gardens as well as mixed borders or pots. Keep on top of borders Regularly hoe borders on sunny days to rid them of weeds before they become overwhelmed. Keep on top of borders and clip the edge of the lawn to keep it tidy with minimal effort. Plant beautiful baskets and garden pots A blooming summer hanging

basket or colourful ceramic garden pot adds a splash of colour to any garden whatever its size. For long lasting baskets choose GroSure container and basket compost with added water retention agent and feed. Or if you are short of time a pre-planted hanging basket or container is a simple solution to smarten up your garden.

104 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Traditional family-run garden centre & growing nursery in  Vegetable & North Shropshire tomato plants   

 

We hope to be open by mid June, please call for availability or check www.bellisbrothers.co.uk

Basket & bedding plants Hanging baskets Cottage garden perennials Ornamental & fruit trees Composts, garden tools & equipment


OPENING TIMES: Monday – Saturday 9am-5.30pm Sunday 10am-4pm

TEL: 01948 840630

Join the Accounts Team

SHIRE magazine needs help! We are looking for an Accounts Administrator to manage our company’s accounts. This is a part-time position, working remotely, ideally suited to someone with a bookkeeping background. 4 6 FR EE





















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Responsibilities include reviewing and reconciling accounts, processing payments and maintaining updated records of invoices and receipts. To be successful in this role, you should have a finance or accounting background and be familiar with bookkeeping. Ultimately, you will ensure we process all financial transactions accurately.

Responsibilities • • • •

Process bank deposits Prepare, send and store invoices Reconcile financial statements Contact clients and send reminders to ensure timely payments • Report on the status of accounts receivable • Update internal accounting databases and spreadsheets


• An up-to-date PC or Mac, with internet access • Proven work experience as an Accounts Administrator or similar role • Good knowledge of bookkeeping procedures and debt collection regulations • Knowledge of Excel • Solid data entry skills with an ability to identify numerical errors • Good organisational and time-management abilities • BSc degree in Finance, Accounting or relevant field Please email with a covering letter and your CV to advertising@shiremagazine.co.uk, marked ‘Work from home’ as the subject. Packages dependent on experience.





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Over the Garden Gate John Stubbs from Corwen’s Glyndwr Plants looks at the new growth that early summer will bring


Add interest with new flowers

fter the great freeze of February and March the evergreens in your garden are slowly beginning to recover. Don’t Plant Black-eyed Susan in pots to be hasty in discarding damaged plants, as the warmer weather will encourage new, young growth. Once this establishes you can cut away the damaged foliage and dead stems and give the plants a liquid feed of high nitrogen to encourage them. May is the time to plant your hanging baskets Be adventurous and look at different plant combinations. Pinch regularly to enhance the colour

of the foliage and enhance bushy growth. Add a spoonful of moisture retaining gel and a handful of six-month slow release fertilizer, mix both ingredients well with the compost. Do not allow to dry out, keep moist but not wet and feed once a week with high potash fertilizer. Sweet peas are now growing rapidly, feed regularly with high potash and pick flowers frequently to stop the plants from producing seed. For a sunny place on a patio find a place for Thunbergia (Black-eyed Susan) they will give you many months of constant flowering and can climb up to two metres. In June feed bedding plants with a high potash fertiliser and make a start on your vegetable garden. Remember to put cabbage collars around your brassica plants to prevent cabbage root fly. Keep a watchful eye for cabbage white butterfly and cover your brassica crops to prevent them laying eggs on your plants.

Make a start on the vegetable patch

Plant your hanging baskets in May

Plant Hunters Fair at Hodnet Hall Market Drayton, Shropshire, TF9 3NN, 2nd-3rd June, 10am-5pm, entry costs £3.50 Enjoy a wonderful plant fair at Hodnet Hall Gardens which boasts 23 top-class nurseries and artisans offering a tremendous variety of plants coming along from as far afield as Cornwall, Scotland and Lincolnshire to make this a very special day out for garden lovers. It’s just the right time to pick up some flowering plants to give your garden a boost. The nurseries specialise in plants of all sizes for a wide range of situations, from hot sun to cool shade, so you’re sure to find the right plant for your garden. Hodnet Hall boasts over 60 acres of breathtaking gardens with grand vistas; intimate, secluded areas; magnificent lakes and a walled kitchen garden. Visitors can explore the gardens, meet nursery staff and enjoy light refreshments in the restaurant. What more could you want on an early summer’s day? www.planthuntersfairs.co.uk

Inspirational ideas for upcycling Dave has created this design especially for Shire Magazine. It’s ideal for bathrooms, conservatories or kitchens. Plant herbs instead of house plants if you’d like them on-hand for cooking. Dave says: ‘To create a really current look, choose foliage with different textures and mix them in with metallic materials and colours such as gold and bronze.’ To create the design you will need: • A selection of cacti and succulents of different

If you hate throwing things away, why not upcycle them? Dave Billington, a floristry technician from Reaseheath College in Cheshire, has come up with some creative suggestions for giving household objects and plants a new lease of life

Step 1 Shred and knot the inner tube and wrap around the can as many times as practical. Start at the knotted end and flatten the knot so it resembles a bow Step 2 Part fill containers with cactus compost. Choose plants of different heights, textures and shapes and plant Step 3 Lightly fill gaps with compost and water lightly Step 4 Group containers and view from all angles to make

heights, textures and shapes • House plants such as Chamaedorea or small ferns • Tin cans or jars (four make a good show) • Bicycle inner tube, cut into thin slices and knotted to form a loop • Cactus compost • Fish tank gravel (coloured) or crushed shells • Garden or floristry wire • Wallpaper with a metallic or floral design for a contemporary base

sure they are attractive. Step 5 Add a top layer of fish tank gravel or shells to set off the plants and containers Step 6 (optional) Fold floristry or gardening wire in half and half again and shape a clip. Attach your containers together, so you can move your display as a whole more easily Step 7 (optional) Make a base by covering an old bread board or something similar with your wallpaper May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 107

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Get into the garden Summer is here so make the most of your green spaces with these top buys… EDITOR’S CHOICE

Get your plants growing and create the perfect temperature with the stylish Cheltenham Victorian Greenhouse, from £3525, www.altongreenhouses.co.uk


If you are looking for a truly versatile BBQ the Kamado Joe cooks three ways, ignites quickly, requires almost no assembly, comes nicely accessorised and is guaranteed. With the ability to not only control, but fine-tune the temperature, this is a grill that can grill, sear and smoke! Kamado Joe, £1398, www.saxonhomecare.co.uk

Encourage the kids to help out in the garden with this cute but hardwearing Gruffalo Gardening Bag, £16.99, you can also get wellies £14.99, watering can, £10.99 and other Gruffalo items too! Available from Snowdonia Nurseries, www.snowdonianurseries.co.uk

Lovely lawns Perfect for trimming and edging jobs around the lawn, this has a light tool weight and is adjustable for users of all sizes making grass trimming even more comfortable, and no running over the power cord! Stihl SA56 Cordless Strimmer, £185, www.coedydinas.co.uk

This cheery blue tit wind chime features an integral solar panel that powers the light at night. Operating time of up to six hours on a full charge, £12.99, www. dobbies.com

These classic Heritage Garden Pottery Edwardian planter pots will brighten up any small garden, patio or balcony and make the most of summer flowers. Prices from £6.99-£29.99, from www. hollyfarmgardencentre.co.uk

The Three Dove Planter is perfect to add some style to your garden. 33.5cm x 23cm x 14cm, £19.99, www.jacksonsnurseries.co.uk


Garden seats Relax with a good book and enjoy the summer in bloom with our pick of the best garden seats

Abbey two-seater bench, £77.99, www.zest4leisure.co.uk, available from Woodworks Garden Centre Made from pressure treated timber and FSC certified, this study seat has a 10-year guarantee and is available in three-seater option for £110.

Christina arbour garden bench seat, £239.99, www. britishironworkscentre.co.uk This beautiful arbour bench will make an elegant addition to your garden. Adorned with a detailed, fan shaped back and pretty scroll sides.

Limoge Arbour £529.99, www.forestgarden.co.uk A completely enclosed arbour, this stylish seating option provides privacy and protection from the elements. Supplied unpainted and planed for a smooth finish.

108 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Jacksons Boutique Garden Centre Winners of six national awards

get ready for Spring Helping you

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


Taste the difference Grow your own Many sizes available

Dog kennels & runs Various designs and sizes Fencing and Log cabins


Various designs and sizes


Come and see our NEW RANGE of contemporary models at our SHOW ROOM



and assembly service available on all our buildings

Carlton Garden Centre - Pinfold Lane, Llay, Wrexham, LL12 OTL

01978 852896 www.carltonbuildings.co.uk 109_SHIRE_MJ2018.indd 1

Main agent for Hanson and Lidget/Compton OFFERS AVAILABLE


19/04/2018 21:59

Pets&Wildlife Best of the early birds CUTE PETS 14-year-old Reg

Jericho the rat

Illusive as they are, you might spot a fox! Mr Jingles the miniature stallion Peaches enjoys climbing trees in woods in Denbigh

Keep an eye out for the noisy woodpecker!

Rudy on the left and Ollie on the right. Rudy loves to swim whereas Ollie isn’t too keen!

Cow Parsely fills the hedgerows this season

Naturalist and wildlife photographer Jonathan Need introduces us to some of the highlights of early summer months within the flora and fauna around us


any wildflowers, especially woodland flora, are at their best during May and June. Established woodlands are awash with bluebells and in damper parts are often mixed with ‘ramsons’ which is often called wild garlic. Cow parsley, also known as Queen Anne’s lace, is now profuse in the hedgerows. It has had many uses over time although as a lad and much to my mother’s dismay, I found the hollow stems make fine pea shooters. Tapping in to new territories In early spring Great-Spotted Woodpeckers began to establish territories by drumming on suitable tree trunks, telegraph poles or even electrical pylons. The male has a red patch at the

back of the head which in the female is absent. Juveniles have a red forehead which is replaced with black as they DID YOU reach the first autumn moult. KNOW?

The collective

Fox spotting season noun for a group Early summer when the adult of foxes is ‘skulk’ fox has hungry mouths to feed or ‘leash’ is a good time to take an early morning walk where you may catch site of a fox returning to the den with prey or stalking rabbits from the cover of the woodland edge. Or you may even witness a care free moment while he enjoys the morning sun on his face. To see more of Jonathan’s work visit online at www.jneedphotography.com.

Tigger and Lucky, two lucky cats who were adopted after being found in a field as kittens.

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

SPIDER SPECIES SPOTTED A recent survey has caused excitement with the Cheshire Wildlife Trust as a survey carried out at Delamere has revealed the presence of two very rare spiders


Happy arachnids at Delamere

sites. The survey results revealed that the number he nationally rare jumping spider, Sitticus of sites where this species has been floricola, has now been found at recorded in Cheshire has almost doubled. two new sites, bringing the total number ‘This small day Both species live on sphagnum found in of sites where this species has been hunting spider the boggy areas of Delamere Forest. The recorded in Cheshire to ten. Measuring uses its big extensive restoration work carried out over between 3.5mm and 7.5mm across this eyes to judge the last four years, through a partnership small day hunting spider uses its big eyes its impressive between Cheshire Wildlife Trust and the to judge its impressive jumps. jumps’ Forestry Commission, has involved reAnother spectacular find was the wetting areas of the forest to bring them rare money spider, Glyphesis cottonae, back to their natural state. which was found at four Delamere

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WILDLIFE EXPERTS WORRIED OVER ESTUARY PLANS saltmarshes and rocky shores which supports tens of thousands of feeding birds. Many of the birds arrive here from northern Europe, Canada and Siberia and use the estuary as a stop-off to refuel on the worms, shrimps and shellfish that are found on the mudflats. The importance of the estuary is recognised internationally and it currently benefits from the highest level of European protection. ‘We believe that the construction of a badly designed barrage, such as the one that was initially proposed back in 2011, would put this vitally important ecosystem at risk and be a severe threat to the survival of many species,’ comments Charlotte Harris, chief executive officer of Cheshire Wildlife Trust.’ Cheshire Wildlife Trust is urging people to write to their local MP and/or Liverpool City Mayor, Steve Rotheram, to express concerns about the scheme. www. DID YOU cheshirewild KNOW? lifetrust.org.uk

Cheshire Wildlife Trust pledges to save the Mersey Estuary


heshire Wildlife Trust is appealing for Liverpool City Mayor, Steve Rotheram, to consider the threat to estuary wildlife of the potential Mersey barrage scheme. A feasibility study looking at generating tidal power from the River Mersey has recently been awarded funding

by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The purpose of constructing a Mersey Estuary Barrage would be to create a source of green energy as well as providing employment and investment opportunities for the city. While the Trust is keen to support

renewable energy schemes in the right place, it feels that a barrage scheme in the Mersey Estuary has the potential to actually cause significant environmental damage. Habitat and haven for wildlife The Mersey Estuary is a complex habitat of inter-tidal mudflats,

Peat wetlands alone store more carbon in the soil than rainforests


Summer fun

Here are our top pet picks for a season in the sun Fabulous feeder: Providing plenty of space for your birds to feed and uninterrupted views of the birds, you can adjust the dome height to deter larger species such as pigeons and allowing smaller birds such as robins, tits and sparrows to feed in peace. Large Dome Feeder, £20.28, www.shopping. rspb.org. uk

Catnip cutie: Bertie the Budgie is doublestitched, very durable and filled with catnip to entice your pet. What’s more, it is stuffed with recycled plastic bottles but is still soft enough for a cuddle with your cat, £4.86, www.pdsapetstore.org.uk

Pooch pressie: Billed as a monthly ‘box of happiness’ for cats and dogs, the Barky Box is has eight items (toys, food etc.,). £1 from each box goes to an animal charity. From £17.99, The Barky Company

Happy horse: Pin up a name plaque above your pony’s stable door! Made from reclaimed wood and Welsh Slate, it also has a useful head collar hook. £22.95, www.amazon.co.uk

Top toy: This is ideal for pets that are always after really game. It’s tough and hardwearing so perfect for rough playing pooches. Migrator Pheasant, £6.59, www.petcetera.co.uk Bonding toy: Tug-o-war is a great bonding game to play with your dog and this tugger is perfect for big dogs who love ropes. Extreme 2 Rope Knot Tugger, £17.99, www.petspyjamas.com

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Spotting dolphins in Wales


Celebrating 25 years of flora and fauna

RSPB Conwy is an oasis of calm seconds away from one of North Wales’s busiest roads


Dolphin spotting makes a wonderful family day out

Returning spotters might recognise old faces

seawatchfoundation.org.uk/sightingsform). The team of scientists and their Research Interns will be conducting land-based surveys from New Quay pier throughout the summer as well as dedicated boat surveys when the weather allows! Working with Sea Watch Foundation, Dolphin Spotting Boat Trips provide a vital platform for volunteers to engage with the public on their boat trips as well as allowing


ow’s a really exciting time to visit New Quay in mid-Wales as bottlenose dolphins are returning to the area in large numbers following a winter feeding in Liverpool Bay. We think these enigmatic creatures make Cardigan Bay their summer residence because of prey abundance and due to the shelter and protection offered to their young which will be born right in the middle of the summer season.

Let the experts know when you spot a dolphin

them free access to hop on board and collect information on how the dolphins are using the bay. Sea Watch are then able to identify which individuals are using the bay at any one time. If you’ve not been before, dolphinspotting from New Quay is a must!

See these mammals in all their glory

Sea Watch Foundation monitor these dolphins as they return to the bay and throughout the year and the public can get involved DID YOU by reporting sightings KNOW? Nearly 40 species themselves, whether spotted of dolphins swim off the Great Orme in the the waters of the north or from the stunning Wales coast path that world spans Cardigan Bay (www.

he sun glistens off the rippling water against a backdrop of the Carneddau, the high mountains of northeast Snowdonia. A couple of mallards scrap noisily. A Sedge Warbler chatters A family-friendly spot in green reeds emerging from the lagoon. A gaggle of children troop past armed with nets, talking excitedly about whirligig beetles they have just found in the pond. No it’s not a remote part of North Wales, but just a few dozen metres from motorists passing west into the A55 Conwy Tunnel.This is RSPB Conwy, a nature reserve created 25 years ago from millions of tonnes of silt and mud excavated from the Conwy estuary during the tunnel construction. Today it’s home to more than 1000 plants and animals and offers a safe place to explore, ideal for families who want to experience nature close to the amenities of Llandudno, Conwy and Colwyn Bay. A season bursting with song Keen birdwatchers will find plenty to capture their interest at Conwy in early summer, as birds busily feed their chicks: Oystercatchers and Kingfishers around the lagoons, Shelducks on the estuary and smaller birds such as Song Thrushes and Reed Buntings in the scrub. You might think that nature’s not your thing, but a few hours at RSPB Conwy can soothe the soul, spark an interest and perhaps leave you wanting more. www.rspb.org. uk/conwy

It’s not just dolpins either!

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Duration 1 Hour 2 Hour

Adult £ 10.00 £ 16.00

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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Gethin observing his scarves in the traditional silk mill in Halifax

YOUNG FASHION DESIGNER WEAVES HIS MAGIC A talented young North Wales designer is aiming to get the luxury fashion market wrapped up in his striking new range of woven silk scarves


ethin Ceidiog Hughes from Traditional meets contemporary Denbigh completed his MA ‘After producing the designs I worked with a traditional weaving at the famous Cardiff School of mill in Halifax. The quality of their work is exceptional and they Art and Design and has rapidly have previously produced canopies for Hampton Court Palace and established a formidable reputation the Tower of London. as a photographer and printmaker. ‘I’m aiming for the luxury end of the market and they will retail at The 25-year-old has spent the £200, which sounds expensive but is reasonable considering I used the past year masterminding finest silk to make them. Each scarf is individually washed patterns for women’s and finished by hand with great care and attention to bring ‘I intend to scarves based on the work the very best out of the luxurious material. This ensures develop the of iconic Russian painter I deliver a scarf of exceptional quality using traditional range under the Gethin has six designs in total Kazimir Malevich, and methods whilst evoking a striking and contemporary design. Wilding brand, says the reaction has already been strong. ‘The scarves are already on display in the shop at Ruthin to include Gethin has turned to a traditional silk weaving mill in Craft Centre and I’m currently negotiating potential contracts clothing and Halifax, West Yorkshire, to have them produced and printed with a couple of luxury independent boutiques. My aim is prints’ ready for the shops and is aiming to sign lucrative deals with eventually to have them on sale across the UK. top end boutiques to showcase them right across the UK. ‘Things have been going very well and I’ve had lots of Gethin, a former pupil of Ysgol Glan Clwyd, in St Asaph, says: positive feedback so far. I’m ‘Right from my days studying in Cardiff I was inspired by the a multi-disciplined artist and 1915 painting Black Square by Malevich who was a pioneer of I intend to develop the range geometric abstract art. He declared that the painting was the face and come up with more products of new art … the first shape of pure creation, and it’s certainly had under the Wilding brand, its creative impact on me. including clothing for women ‘All six designs for the scarves, which I’m marketing under and men, as well as prints.’ the brand name Wilding, my mother’s middle name, are derived from the painting and are variations on the same theme of To find out more go to monochromatic black and white squares.’ www.wildingism.com Scarves are based on Malevich’s design

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PORTRAIT PERFECTION A new exhibition that has now opened and will run until 2019 gives visitors the chance to see some great portraits from across the ages together in the stunning location of Powis Castle

3rd & 4th May – Sandra Roberts handmade silver jewellery With silver wire and hammered sheet silver. All made from eco recycled silver to create brand new individual pieces. 8th & 9th May – Jewellery by Cherry Bea and soft furnishings with Helen Bradley Elaine will show case her handmade beaded and Swarovski jewellery, she also offers a repair and restringing service. Helen creates beautiful soft furnishings, blinds, curtains, aprons and cushions.

Thursday 10th May – ‘Jumping Jack Glass’ Pam and Lorraine complement each other brilliantly with their glass work. Fuses and slumped glass dishes, plates, and pendants. Friday 11th May – Lyn Mabbs Knitting 4 U Lyn knits soft toys to baby booties, clothes, hats and some very special glitter wool knitted toys. Tues 19th & Wed 20th June – Earth Deva Marie creates mythical and mystical statues, and art works individually cast in her own moulds, hand painted and finished by Marie.


owis Castle, near Welshpool in Mid-Wales, unveils its House of Portraits exhibition and invites visitors to uncover the secrets hidden within its worldclass portrait collection. The great halls and quiet chambers of Powis Castle are a time machine full of exceptional portraits that can transport visitors back through the ages. From majestic full-length portraits, to intimate miniatures that can be held in the palm of your hand, they are the work of generations of talented artists and each tells a unique story. The show aims to delve beneath the surface of these intricate works by prominent artists such as Joshua Reynolds, John Singer Sargent and Thomas Gainsborough. Some of the portraits feature kings, emperors and maharajas but the majority depict men, women and children of the Herbert family who have lived at Powis for over four centuries. Throughout the castle, the exhibition will show how the people in the portraits were involved in crafting the image they wished to convey, from wealth, social status and eligibility for marriage to their religious allegiance or even military prowess.

The miniature portrait of Lord Edward Herbert of Cherbury

Visitors will be invited to join the exhibition’s curator, Dr John Chu, as he guides them throught the collection.

Heritage Memorial Fund and Art Fund. It features Lord Edward Herbert of Cherbury, an unabashedly ambitious soldier, ‘The show Centre stage scholar, diplomat, aims to delve The centrepiece of musician, and poet, beneath the the exhibition is an surface of these who epitomised the intricate Jacobean romance and chivalry intricate works miniature portrait by of his age. Isaac’s by prominent artists’ Isaac Oliver (1565attempt to capture the 1617) which will be on many layers of Lord display at Powis for the Herbert’s character first time since it was purchased in a single, exquisite likeness for the nation, with generous resulted in one of the true support from the National masterpieces of British art.

21st & 22nd June – Pen & ink art with Huw Vaughan Jones Huw has drawn many local scenes and landmarks using pen and ink.

Sat 23rd & 24th June – Jewels Crafts Jackie will bring her collection of beautiful beaded jewellery and crafts. She has a collection to suit all styles and ages and offers a repair service too.

Visitors will be guided through the collection by Dr John Chu

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International Garden Photographer of the Year Exhibition, Ironbridge Gorge Museums Fusion Gallery, Jackfield Tile Museum, 3rd May-17th September This free entry exhibition is returning to the Ironbridge Gorge Museums as part of its worldwide tour. Showcasing the beauty and importance of a green planet, the competition continues to be the world’s most prestigious global photography competition for garden, plant and botanical photography. The exhibition will feature the winners of the 11th competition, which attracted some 19,000 individual entries from over 50 countries.

Nantwich Museum exhibitions 2018, Millennium Gallery The season of exhibitions at Nantwich Museum starts with A Life in Colour by David Jewkes, which runs from now until 14th July. Alongside this, there are separate exhibitions in the Your Space Gallery, starting with the Rotary Club’s Childrens’ Art and Handwriting Competition which will be on show until 2nd June. After this, artist Simoin Bowler will take over the space with his exhibition Nantwich Buildings, which runs until 21st July. Entrance to the museum and exhibitions is free. Curtain of Poppies Wonderwool Wales exhibition – various dates and locations Knitters from across Wales, Shropshire and Cheshire have hand-made thousands of poppies for a commemorative WWI installation. So far, 40,038 poppies have been sent in support to be strung together into a Curtain of Poppies to celebrate the united determination of the women during World War I who ‘did their bit’ to support the troops overseas by knitting gloves, scarves, balaclavas and socks.

Christine Webb

Christine Webb

Lesley Hughes

Bluebell Wood by Gill Stafford

Lynne Brereton

The Dingle by Gill Stafford

Dwarf tulip by Gill Stafford

A blanket of Snowdrops at Attingham Park by Lesley Hughes

Thanks again to all of you who have entered our photo competition – the best of which we have printed here from our ’Floral Glory’ category. Your standards are very high as always and it’s great to see so many of you taking part – if you haven’t yet appeared in print, please do keep entering... maybe next time you’ll be a lucky winner. As our next issue will be the July and August edition let’s have a topic of ‘Summer Fun’. Email us at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk by 1st June at the latest. 116 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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• Antique, Vintage & Modern Furniture • Oak, Mahogany & Pine • Edwardian, Victorian, Art Deco & Retro to the 70’s • Cabinets full of Beswick, Moorcroft, Doulton, Worcester, Silver Jewellery & Crystal • Home Accessories: vintage, antique & modern Mirrors & Lamps, plus China & Tea Sets • Daily Craft Demonstrations • Morning Coffee • Lunch & Afternoon Tea - where ‘HOMEMADE’ is our speciality!

• We are proud to use fresh, local produce!

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

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at Two floors of the finest Men & Ladieswear The Cross, Wrexham Street, Mold, Flintshire CH7 1ET

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Purple reigns Lilac, indigo, violet, mauve, whatever hue is for you, purple is the colour to embrace this season…

Blooming lovely: Multi floral asymmetric double layer top £25, www. tweedmill.co.uk

Bright style: Frank Lyman Cerise dress, £139, www.daniellaofnantwich.co.uk

Mauve along: Hoggs of Fife Bryony shirt, £23.95, www. cherrytreecountryclothing.com

Purple pants: Principles purple trousers, £39, www.debehams.com

Lilac love: Lucy faux leather biker jacket, £55, www.oasisstores.com

Pure perfection: Purple Bardot dress, £42, www. mandco.com


I dream of aubergenie: White Stuff artisan spot embellished velvet skirt, £35.50, www.claresllandudno.com

Violet tones: Dune London Georgia Purple shades, £30, www.dune.com

Expertly cut to flatter the figure, the White Stuff Yukiko Panel Detail Top has a soft V neckline, and a dipped back hem. Team with your favourite jeans and get ready to take on the day. White Stuff Yukiko panel detail top, £33.25, www.claresllandudno.com

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FASHION Keep time: Fossil Mini Jacqueline green leather watch, £43, www. mococo.co.uk

Stitch pretty: Embroidered pose, £15, www.accessorize.com

Good as gold: Angels’ Whispers rose gold Angel Whisperer pendant, £89, with coloured glass soundball, £12, www.corwenmanorcrafts.com

Fancy footwork: Esske shoes in fink green, £145, So Chic Bangor, www.sochicbangor.co.uk

Green with envy: Boux Avenue Zoe High Waist Brief, £17, www.bouxavenue.com

Channel your inner green goddess with these pretty accessories

Wrap it up: Gerry Weber green detailed scarf, £85, www.gerryweber. com

Glam green: Irida flat cut stone earrings, £32, www. oliverbonas.com

Band aid: Nomination You-Cool military green copper bracelet, £35, www.mococo.co.uk

Good to be green: Carrie Elspeth Karma Chakra charm bracelets, £14, Ismays of Ellesmere


Eyes right: Be Bright Women’s Glasses, £85, www.visionexpress.co.uk

Heritage hue: We love a bit of classic Welsh style and this shoulder bag by Trefriw Woollen Mills is just the right mix of modern and traditional. Available in a range of bold colours and patterns. Welsh tapestry shoulder bag £70, www.t-w-m.co.uk

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


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Health&Beauty Get your head around your holidays Our resident beauty expert, Sam Humphreys from North Shropshire College gives her tips on getting ready for the summer months


ritish springtime is drawing to a close even if those blizzards and storms made it feel like it never really started! Most of us like to be prepared for our well-earned summer holiday and if you are an organised person and the holiday is already booked, then no doubt your beauty regime will be ready to be carried out. A few weeks prior to your trip, include a skin-buffing routine by using an exfoliating

body wash during your shower. A mitt, glove or loofah can be utilised, all of which can be bought in local chemists and superstores. If you fancy something more invigorating, try a sugar or salt scrub to eliminate dry, dead skin and leave the skin feeling radiant and fresh. It is advisable to repeat this exfoliation process at least two to three times a week. Ensure that the skin is massaged with a small amount of pressure in gentle circular motions and don’t overstimulate the area. Some skins may have to opt for a milder product, to avoid any irritation. We all want the lovely soft touch to the skin, so when you step out of the shower, pat your skin dry and immediately apply

departure it is moisturiser. There are DID YOU advisable to think many products which KNOW? about de-hairing! are ideal for hydration Gillette created and not necessarily the first razor for Smooth skin will look and make you the most expensive. women in 1915 called Milady feel better. The A thick good quality Decolletée most popular and sun cream can double affordable service we up as a body lotion. offer is waxing which keeps This will allow more space in you hair-free for the longest your luggage if you don’t need a amount of time making it ideal lot of products. for a holiday. It guarantees smooth results if the hairs are Make it a fake at a reasonable length, before Instead of forcing your skin into being waxed. Skin exfoliation the harsh sun, look at applying the night before will prime the a gradual self-tanner. We are all skin for hair removal, reducing aware that the sun is the worst the chance of bumps and skin factor for premature ageing. The irritation post-treatment. self-tan will create a golden glow and a gradual formulation will Nailed it slowly build the colour, over the A manicure and pedicure are course of several applications. must pre-holiday pamper. Nails Always apply a lightweight will be cut and filed, cuticles moisturizer to areas that are pushed back, soles exfoliated, most likely to get streaky: nose, massaged and finally nails will be knees, elbows and ankles. Apply polished. Bright pinks and corals the self-tan in small amounts are great colours for summer, and begin at your feet, working with teal and plum also being the product into your skin with popular. Bon vacances! broad, even, circular strokes, finally apply to arms and the top of your hands. For the facial application, firstly focus on your forehead, nose, cheeks and chin; the areas where the sun naturally hits. Ensure that you then thoroughly wash your hands several times. Repeat over the next days/weeks until your desired shade is achieved. Hairy = scary About a week before your

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Tried and tested


We put three eyelash curlers to the test to see which gave our peepers the best lift and curl

This season’s makeup bag must-haves are lightweight products that will make you look and feel beautiful For the base: Create a soft focus, luminous glow to blur imperfections and leave skin looking flawless and ‘lit from within’, Becca Backlight Priming Filter, £32, www.cultbeauty.com


Shiseido Eyelash Curlers, £19, www.johnlewis.com These were brilliant. Gave super lift and curl and lasted really well even without mascara. They didn’t pinch the delicate skin around the lid and would make a great addition to the makeup kit. 9/10

Charlotte Tilbury Life Changing Lashes, £18, www.charlottetilbury. com Dubbed the ‘push-up bra’ for your lashes, these come in a very on-trend rose gold. They look pretty but didn’t clamp comfortably so it took a few goes to get the desired look. 7/10


Tweezerman Classic Lash Curlers, £17.99, www.sallybeauty. co.uk It claims to outperform other curlers hands down and for us it certainly did! We had an intense curl without creasing the lash and the action was really satisfying. 10/10

For the face: Gives a natural, dewy finish so you look barefaced but perfect. Stila Aqua Glow Serum Foundation, £34.50, www. beautybay.com

For the eyes: Curl those lashes with this super volumising Prodigious Mascara, £16, from Lord & Berry, www.lookfantastic. com


Louis Vuitton Le Jour Se Léve, www.uk.louisvuitton.com If a fragrance ever had the power to get you up in the morning, this is it! With its citrussy scent, it’s like freshly-squeezed orange juice and a crisp morning walk all rolled into one. Mid notes are jasmine and lily-of-the-valley, base notes are vanilla and musk.

WITH COMPLEMENTS WHAT? Cupping therapy is a form of alternative medicine in which a local suction is created on the skin. It is thought to help relieve pain, deep scar tissues in the muscles and connective tissue, muscle knots, and swelling. However, it has little medical evidence of effect and tends to attract controversy. WHERE? The origins of cupping span a wide global area and there is reason to believe the practice dates from as early as 3000 BC. The Ebers Papyrus, written c.1550 BC and one of the oldest medical textbooks describes the Egyptians’ use of cupping, while it has been popular with traditional Chinese medics for many centuries as well as commonly practised in Iran.

to muscles and tissue, supplying oxygen to cells, loosening knots, releasing and draining excess fluids and toxins. HOW? The skin is drawn into the cup by creating a vacuum in the cup placed on the skin over the targeted area. The vacuum is created either by the heating and subsequent cooling of the air in the cup, or via a mechanical pump. The cup is usually left in place for somewhere between five and fifteen minutes.

For the lips: A slick of Chanel’s Rouge Coco Lip Blush, in tender rose, £28, will take you from day to night. With six beautiful shades to choose from. £28, www.chanel.com. For the cheeks: Loved by professional makeup artists and countless celebrities, this blush comes in a spectrum of flattering shades to enhance your complexion with dewy, translucent pigment. Daniel Sandler’s Watercolour Fluid Blush, £16.50, www.cultbeauty.com S H I R E L OV E S

Odilique 3-in-1 Maca Face Mask, £20, www.odylique.co.uk A face mask that leaves skin smooth and radiant. Enriched with white mineral clay to deep cleanse, draw out impurities, refine pores and recharge skin with vital vitamins and minerals.

WHO? The therapy claims to offer several advantages including aiding in promoting blood flow, increasing blood circulation May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 123

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While it is often demonised in the press, we all need (and want!) to consume it in our diets. We take a long, hard look at the myths surrounding sugar

THE GLAND WITH A PLAN The thyroid might only be one small gland but it can have a huge impact on our lives, our health and how we function. Read on to find out more...


he thyroid gland is an endocrine gland in the front of your neck in a position just below your Adam’s apple. It makes two hormones that are secreted into the blood and are vital for all the cells in your body to work normally. Thyroid disorders are very common with one in 20 people affected. Too much or too little? If too much of the thyroid hormones are secreted, the body cells work faster than

causing tiredness, weight gain normal, (hyperthyroidism) and feeling depressed. which may lead to a quickening of your heart rate or Who’s affected and why increased activity of Thyroid Thyroid problems are your intestine causing problems 10 times more likely to frequent bowel motions are 10 times occur in women and or diarrhoea. Other more likely can run in families. symptoms include to occur in Symptoms begin nervousness, anxiety and women and between the ages of irritability, mood swings, can run in families 20 and 40 and while difficulty sleeping and not curable, thyroid unexpected weight loss. conditions can be If too little is produced medically treated to readdress (hypothyroidism), the cells and the balance of hormones. organs of your body slow down

EATING FOR A HEALTHY HEART Dr Tom Butler, senior lecturer in Nutrition and Dietetics at the University of Chester delves into the murky yet tasty waters of nutrition and heart health


ne of the most widely studied patterns of eating is the ‘Mediterranean diet’. Studies show strong links with lowering the risk of having a stroke and heart attacks and conditions like diabetes. Most of us need to eat more fruits and vegetables. Period. On average, adults don’t do much better than three portions of fruit and vegetables a day, compared to the target of five. We can add extra vegetables into our diet very easily. Swap roast potatoes for

extra sprouts or broccoli, sneak extra vegetables into stews and casseroles. In general a portion of fruit or vegetables is 80g but the portion size is less for dried fruits (30g). Fruit juice counts as one portion, with a serving size being 150ml. Fruit juices can have as much sugar as regular soft drinks, so watch the portion sizes, or eat the whole fruit instead. Something fishy Oily fish is another core component of heart-healthy diets. The UK population eats below the recommended two portions

per week for fish, of which one should be oily fish like tinned sardines, mackerel and pilchards, in addition to more familiar oily fish such as salmon. Many of the tinned varieties are also much healthier on your wallet too! Go nutty Nuts are frequently eaten as part of the Mediterranean diet. Raw or plain-roasted nuts are excellent sources of protein and soluble fibre. A portion is about one handful or 30 grams. You don’t need to embark on crazy diets to improve health. Simple changes over time have huge effects.

1) Some sugars and natural sweeteners are healthier than others This just isn’t true. Whether you use a spoonful of sugar or a scoop of honey – the resulting effect on your body is the same. In fact the sugars found in fruit have been linked to hormonal changes that may make you over eat so it’s possible the opposite could be true! Other than that, whatever form it starts off in, white, brown, cane, syrup etc., the sweet stuff breaks down in to the same end result – glucose. 2) Children get high on sugar There have been so many studies over the years all of which have found no link whatsoever between eating sugar and hyperactivity. However, while concluding that sugar categorically does not influence behaviour, it is often handed out more freely at exciting and energetic times such as parties where a bit of giddiness might be expected anyway. 3) Too much sugar can cause diabetes Another fallacy as both types of diabetes are caused by a mix of genetics and environmental factors. It is a complicated medical condition involving the pancreas and metabolism, and affects the way glucose and sugar is absorbed as the body doesn’t produce enough insulin. However being obese can lead to insulin resistance making it more likely for someone to develop diabetes.

124 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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Byw’n foethus, Gofal 24 awr

Luxury living, 24 hour care


Fflatiau Gofal Moethus Newydd ym Mharc Bryn Seiont, Caernarfon yn cynnig byw’n steilus ar gyfer unigolion, cyplau a chymdeithion.

New Luxury Care Apartments at Parc Bryn Seiont, Caernarfon offering stylish living for individuals, couples and companions.

• Dewis rhwng fflatiau steilus un neu ddwy ystafell wely, gyda chegin breifat, ardal fwyta a lolfa, neu ystafelloedd gwely sengl moethus, en suite

• Choose between stylish one or two bedroom apartments, with private kitchen, dining area and lounge, or luxury, single ensuite bedrooms

• Mwynhewch y gorau o’r ddau fyd – fflat eich hun a gofal 24 awr

• Enjoy the best of both worlds – your own apartment with 24 hour care

• Profwch “byw â chymdogion”, naill drwy ddiddanu teulu, ffrindiau a chymdogion yn eich fflat neu drwy gymdeithasu yn y lolfeydd cymunedol neu’r ardaloedd awyr agored diogel

• Experience “neighbourly living”, whether entertaining family, friends and neighbours in your apartment, or socialising in the communal lounges and safe outdoor spaces

• Cyfoethogwch eich bywyd fel y mynnwch mewn gweithgareddau grŵp, gan gynnwys celf, cerddoriaeth, digwyddiadau cymdeithasol, hel atgofion, ymarfer corff, a gwallt a harddwch.

• Enrich your life as you choose in group recreation, including art, music, social events, reminiscence, exercise and hair & beauty.

Os oes gennych chi ymholiad neu os hoffech chi ddod i edrych o gwmpas, cysylltwch â’r Rheolwr Sandra Evans For all enquiries and to book a viewing, please contact Manager Sandra Evans Parc Bryn Seiont, Ffordd Pant, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 2YU • Parc Bryn Seiont, Pant Road, Caernarfon, Gwynedd LL55 2YU ffôn/tel : 01286 476676 • ebost/email : admin@pendinepark.com • gwefan/web : pendinepark.com

Busnes y Flwyddyn 2015 / Business of the Year 2015

Enriching Lives with the Arts

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

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SHIRE magazine has 44,000 copies printed, and every copy is picked up from our stands – none are left, meaning each copy is seen by over 100,000 local readers.


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Every copy is actively picked up by our readers, keen to grab the new issue, rather than something they didn’t want, put through their letterbox and put straight into the recycling bin! This is a magazine readers can’t believe is free.

Gloucestershire North Wales, including Wrexham, Flint, Mold, Ruthin, Denbigh, Rhyl, Prestatyn, Abergele, Colwyn Bay, Llandudno, Llandudno Junction, Connah’s Quay Mid Wales, including Newtown, Welshpool, Ceredigion and Powys Shropshire, including Telford, Shrewsbury, Wellington, Oswestry, Ludlow, Ellesmere, Market Drayton and Whitchurch Cheshire, including Chester, Saltney, Upton, Ellesmere Port, Nantwich and Crewe, Northwich, Middlewich, Winsford Wirral, including Rock Ferry, Prenton, West Kirby, Heswall, Bromborough, Neston on

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SHIRE magazine has the lowest cost per reader of any title in the region. Think about it: an advert for £50 is actually very expensive if the magazine only has 1,000 readers! (When you’re offered a very low rate for an advert, do you know how many readers that magazine has?)


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Alison Woolf

Alison Woolf, senior lecturer in Play and Creative Therapies at Glyndwr University, explains the importance of playing for a child’s natural development

e all enjoy watching the carefree, fun-loving approach of children at play – but sometimes this innocent and spontaneous behaviour can also give us vital insights into that youngster. Watching young children play we often recognise how the play reflects future roles and responsibilities, or that the activity offers problem-solving challenges which develop hand-eye co-ordination or understanding and knowledge of the world. Could that be why we readily see the value of play in early childhood but sometimes think of play in middle childhood, or more especially in adolescence, as unimportant or even wasteful and unproductive?

older child ‘don’t worry’ or ‘I could have told you that would happen’? This denies the child the time to experience the momentary bad feeling and learn that it is natural, it passes and life goes on. We move from a playful and understanding response to the child to a dismissive or even critical response that offers little or no acknowledgment of the feeling. The unexpected can shake our confidence or our trust at any age. Feeling understood and supported through unanticipated events or consequences helps us to regain our equilibrium. Reinforcement and responsibilities The International Association for Play makes a strong case for children to access play in times of crisis, acknowledging it ‘has a significant therapeutic and rehabilitative role in helping children recover a sense of normality and joy’. Minor disappointments, surprises or losses of face are not times of crisis, but still feel threatening, however fleetingly, in the moment. Responding playfully, letting children ‘play it out’, accepting that an adolescent does care and is shaken but does not want to ‘talk about it’, means that we can remember that conspiratorial, playful alignment with the child and respond as Dan Hughes suggests, with playfulness, acceptance, curiosity and empathy; whether it is a tot, a tyke or a teenager who needs our attuned and playful support. Mirroring facial expressions and giving words to the feelings demonstrate ‘I understand, I care AND I believe you can manage this’. I guess that sums up a parent’s role for supporting their child through the trials of life, whatever their age.

‘I guess that sums up a parent’s role for supporting their child through the trials of life, whatever their age’

Lifelong learning As we grow the nature of the things that we are finding out about changes. But we continue to learn and adapt our ideas and behaviours at every stage of our lives so there are always future challenges to anticipate and come to terms with. Unless someone reminds us that play is the very best activity for developing resilience and adaptability to change we may forget or under-estimate the power of play at every stage of our lives. How often have you playfully mirrored the face of surprise when something happened to a baby that they were not expecting? Making surprise playful and sharing in the unexpected with humour comes naturally to us with babies and toddlers. Feeling understood and being emotionally ‘held’ gives the time and space for the child to realise ‘all is still well’ and regain composure and a sense of safety and well-being. Have you ever told a slightly

May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 127

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As we head outdoors and to the coast for the warmer months, we’ve got the best light sweaters, accessories and headgear to keep you looking sharp all summer long…

All at sea: Cotton Fisherman rib crew neck jumper, £89, www.jigsaw.com Colour block: Red Herring Twist Crew Jumper, £22, www.debenhams.com Flower power: Gant short sleeved Airy Leaves shirt, £80, www. claresllandudno. com


Like honey to the bee: Gant Honeycomb half zip cotton jumper, £95, www.vaughandavies.co.uk

Blue and breezy: M&S Collection Hat £15, M&S Collection shirt £25, Limited Edition denim shorts £27.50, M&S Collection hat £12.50, M&S Collection shirt £17.50, M&S Collection jeans £35, www.mands.com


Keeping time: George Jensen Koppel Chronograph watch, £895, www.amara.com Keep it short: Racing Green chino shorts, £30, www. houseoffraser.co.uk

Nautical vibes: RJR Rocha John Rocha boat shoes £65, www.debenhams.com

Beachy head: Barbour Sports Polo Mix top £44.95, www.barbour.com


You never know when you might need a decent hat. Here’s our pick of the best for early summer…

The gentleman’s choice: Olney Hats Safari Panama fedora with black band, £54.95, www.hatsandcaps.co.uk

Country style: The Scottie Newsboy cap, £29.95, www. cherrytreecountryclothing.com

City boy: Barbour Tain trilby hat, £29.95, www. outdoorandcountry.co.uk

128 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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20/04/2018 13:24


Let your finances blossom

There’s lots of financial advice out there – but don’t you and your family deserve independent advice? • Pension Reviews • Investment Reviews • Tax Efficient Investments • Business Investments

• Business Protection • Relevant Life Insurance • Lifetime Cash Flow Planning • Portfolio Reviews

e mail@beaumont-financial.co.uk 21 Salop Road, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 2NR Call us today for a free no-obligation meeting on: 01691 670524

www.beaumont-financial.co.uk Beaumont Financial Planners Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.Company registered in England number 8707394. Registered address - Emstrey House North, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6LG

Sound Advice Now we’re in the new tax year it’s the perfect time to discuss how ISAs, work and the benefits they offer


n Individual Savings Account (ISA) is a tax-efficient investment in which you can hold a range of investments. You can invest up to £20,000 per tax year during the 2018/19 tax year which runs from 6th April 2018 to 5th April 2019. The ISA allowance can be split between a Stocks and Shares ISA, a Cash ISA, a Lifetime ISA (maximum £4,000) and an Innovative Finance ISA, providing you stay within the overall £20,000 limit. When you invest in an ISA, your money is protected from the taxman, so you don’t have to pay personal income tax on any interest or dividends you receive from the investment. When your investments are held in ISAs, you also don’t have to pay any Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the growth. This may seem like a minimal benefit if your profits are well within the annual exemption threshold for CGT, but it’s worth remembering that stocks and shares investments are for the long term. AND THERE’S MORE If funds perform well for several years, holding them in ISAs will mean you have full access to your money at all times, without having to worry about managing a potential tax burden. A further benefit of an ISA is you don’t have to declare it on your tax return. This may not seem like a big job, but if you have to file an annual tax return, you’ll know that any way of simplifying your financial administration can be very helpful. Since 6th April 2015 a spouse or registered civil partner of ISA holders who have died also have the ability to inherit their ISA allowance. The additional ISA allowance will be equal to the amount held by the spouse or registered civil partner in their ISAs at their time of death. Craig Roberts, Beaumont Financial Planners Craig has worked in financial services for nine years – starting his career as a personal banker, moving on to managing branches within the Co-operative bank and then in to independent financial advice. The Beaumont Financial Planners team offer a highly-personalised service for clients throughout the Shire Magazine distribution area, focusing on pension advice, investments and protection for private and business clients. If you’d like to find out more about ISAs, call 01691 670524 or email craig.roberts@beaumont-financial.co.uk and they will get back to you to arrange an informal appointment to discuss your current position.

May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 129

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Modern Approach

Register for our Entrance Test By Friday 6th July 2018

To find out more please visit www.adamsgs.uk/admissions

Traditional Values

Haberdashers’ Adams High Street, Newport Shropshire, TF10 7BD

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Co-ed 7-18 Day and Boarding

Ellesmere College Open Day Sunday 13th May 1pm-4pm “We were impressed by the pupils; ambitious, enthusiastic and focused. Ellesmere opens a lot of doors” - TATLER 2017

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To find out more and to register please contact our admissions team on:

01691 626 510

www.ellesmere.com Ellesmere College, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 9AB




19/04/2018 22:16


Top of the Class

Firs School Easter service for charity



he Firs School Chester held its annual Easter service at All Saints Church in Hoole welcoming pupils and families. An address was given by Reverend Ted Longman who told the story of how the school became linked to the Christ4all charity which Father Azariah set up in India. Pupils shared pictures and heard the inspiring stories about some of the children who have been schooled thanks to fundraising by the Firs School. The school will be sending a

message of Easter hope in the form of letters, books, presents and daffodil brooches to the school where the new sponsored children are being educated and housed. Lucy Davies, headteacher comments: ‘All of the pupils sang beautifully and they also looked very spring-like with their homemade daffodil brooches. It was lovely to share with the children how all our charitable work helps others in other countries and how we can all make a positive difference to those who are less fortunate.’

Julian Noad argues that extra-curricular and academic success are symbiotic It is a firm belief of mine that success in the examination hall goes hand-in-hand with success on the sports field; that resilience in mathematics is strengthened by resilience in the pool or music practice room; that confident opinions in English are enhanced by building character through the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. It is a breadth of experience and challenge such as these which we should seek out for our children. Sadly, in our singleminded pursuit of literacy and numeracy goals we are in danger of discarding the ‘extra-’ or ‘co-’ curriculum. Incidentally, I prefer the latter prefix, reminding us, as it does, of the symbiosis of activity: within and without the classroom. Let me focus for a moment on sport. A recent Impact Report by the Youth Sport Trust claims that: ‘only 22 per cent of children aged 5 to 15 in England meet the chief medical officer’s recommended 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous activity.’ Furthermore, a survey commissioned by British Universities’ and Colleges’ Sport found that more than nine in 10 of employers identified a clear link between sport participation and valuable skills and strengths in potential employees. Physical activity is essential; not just to our physical health, but to who we are as human beings – to our sense of self, our selfcontrol, our social interactions, and our mental health. The value of sport in building character and leadership behaviours has been widely recognised throughout history – whether that’s the grit and determination to get back up following a defeat, or galvanising team mates to give one last push in a tight encounter. There are similar arguments to be had for drama, music, adventure education, debating, and many more activities which take place away from a whiteboard and with no credit afforded in a league table. I am lucky, as headmaster of an independent school, to be able to witness daily and many times over the positive impacts of a genuine co-curriculum. I would urge all parents who are choosing schools for their children to look beyond league tables and ‘targets’, to seek out a less measurable but very tangible richness of experience. Julian Noad is headmaster of Oswestry School, an independent school in Oswestry with pupils, day and boarding, from 4 to 18 years of age. Oswestry School was founded in 1407 and has a proud history of serving its local community.

Firs’ children wearing their daffodil brooches

Radio recognition for student band

The Telford band are making waves in the music industry


Shropshire band formed by past and present Telford College students have had their music aired on BBC radio. Force of Neglect is a hard core metal band made up of drummer Will Swain, guitarist and producer George Johnson, vocalist Jack Jones, and also Sascha Knight on bass and guitarist Declan Breckon. One of their songs, Weight of the World, was selected to be played on the BBC WM’s weekly programme, which showcases up-and-coming

unsigned bands. Presenter Alex Noble told listeners that Force of Neglect was doing ‘some excellent things’, and taking inspiration from the likes of Metallica, and Megadeath. Will is studying HND in music production at the college’s King Street campus, where Jack and Joey are both music technology and music performance level three students. George also studied music technology, performance and events management at Telford College. May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 131

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An Ama-Sing performance from pupils



Singers from Abbey Gate at Storyhouse Theatre


ast month a group of ‘AmaSing’ singers from Abbey Gate College Infant and Junior School performed at Chester’s brand new theatre, Storyhouse in a massed choir made up of over 25 local schools. The event organised by new community interest company, AmaSing took place over three days and involved more than 1,000 children performing a selection of songs, some of which were specially written for the choir by Matt Baker and Andrew Smith.

Seven months of preparation, learning lyrics and dance moves were finally over, and the day had arrived for pupils to show parents and friends their musical skills and talents. The children performed on stage, backed by a live band and conducted by the organiser, Rachel Borman. Music teacher, Jane Dukes says: ‘The children, all dressed in their sky blue ‘AmaSing’ t-shirts, were thrilled and excited to be involved in such a fabulous show. They performed brilliantly and were a credit to the school.

arches Sixth Form Students, Callum Jones and Lucas Giannasi, have been offered a conditional Bangor University Entrance Scholarship and a conditional Aberystwyth University Bursary, respectively. They achieved these by choosing and writing two essays online. The process was fairly straightforward and both students are thankful for the Marches Sixth Form support and look forward to continuing their studies at university. Callum has been awarded a conditional £3,000 Entrance Scholarship for the School of Law at Bangor University and is the only student to receive the Scholarship for the Law programme at Bangor. Lucas, has received a conditional £300 Bursary at Aberystwyth University in the school of History.

Lucas Giannasi and Callum Jones

Gareth Jones, assistant head of Sixth Form at the Marches School, comments: ‘We are very proud of Callum and Lucas – they fully deserve the scholarships and bursaries offered to them. We wish them all the very best for their forthcoming A-level examinations and as they progress through higher education’.



orthrop Grumman and the Royal Air Force Museum are joining forces to deliver the Summer Time Advanced Aerospace Residency (STAAR) programme, a unique summer camp for youngsters aged 14 to 15 years. The programme, being delivered in association with RAF Cosford and Tablet Academy, will be rolled out in July with two residential weeks planned for up to 40 students, with 20 recruits taking part each week. STAAR recruits will explore advanced aerospace systems concepts: seeing how the need for solutions to achieve an air mission

shapes the way engineers and scientist’s research, develop and design aerospace systems. Maggie Appleton, chief executive officer, Royal Air Force Museum says: ‘We are passionate about inspiring young people into STEM careers, capturing their imaginations through stories of the RAF and its partners, stories drawn from the rich shared history and innovative vision of the future.’ Recruites will experience the power of aerospace engineering firsthand and see how it’s applied to the design and development of manned aircraft and other advanced aerospace systems.

Recruits for the STAAR programme at RAF Cosford

Lively science displays at Techniquest Glyndŵr

Techniquest Glyndwr celebrates 15 years of exciting science! Techniquest Glyndwr opened its science discovery centre in Wrexham 15 years ago. Since then hundreds of thousands of children have enjoyed engaging with the science and technology that is a feature of this hands-on science-focused visitor attraction. To celebrate this milestone Techniquest Glyndwr has developed a special family orientated live science show that includes some of the best experiments that have been presented over the years. These will be presented at weekends during June, the anniversary month of the centre. Not only that, but the charity has developed ambitious plans

to take over a long disused retail unit that was previously occupied by the TJ Hughes chain of stores. Lying dormant for over 7 years ago the charity has developed plans to bring a new use to this impressive space. It has submitted major funding applications to enable the development of a major visitor attraction in the heart of Wrexham in the building and it is hoped that within two years the plans will be a reality and the charity will have a new home in the town centre. In the meantime, the space will be used to promote, collaborate and coincide with other exciting community-based events in the heart of Wrexham town.

132 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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20/04/2018 14:34

Shrewsbury Colleges Group

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19/04/2018 22:17

I can write an original personal poem for any occasion, be it love, bereavement, humour, thanks or anything else. Just a few personal details will enable me to write an original, touching poem that I will send you on a parchment type of paper. Contact Brian Stone on 01691 652 956 or email brianstone212@btinternet.com

If you want to learn to play the

contact BRIAN STONE. He offers one-to-one tuition in a music studio based in Oswestry. Brian has over 50 years of experience (including teaching Adrian Spillett, BBC’s Young Musician of the Year), performing, composing and conducting, and has been an examiner for the Guildhall for 17 years and for the LCM for 9 years.

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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

19/04/2018 22:18


West End role for young performer



Hattie Candler will be treading the boards in the West End


Shropshire student is off to the bright lights of the West End after beating stiff competition from hundreds of other young talent across the country to land a starring role with the National Youth Music Theatre. Hattie Candler, a student at Adcote School for Girls, at Little Ness, near Oswestry, has been awarded the role of Ermengarde, one of the main characters in A Little Princess, which will run in the West End in August. The achievement comes less than two weeks after the 11-yearold, who lives in Shrewsbury, also won the overall title of ‘Young Performer of the Year’ at this year’s Oswestry Youth Music Festival. Hattie, who loves to act, sing

and dance and is a member of Shrewsbury-based musical theatre group ‘Get Your Wigle On’, said it was the first time she had ever taken part in theatre auditions of this kind and hadn’t expected to get through to the second round of auditions, let alone land a part. ‘My mum thought I should go to the auditions to learn how hard it was to work in theatre. I went to Birmingham and came away feeling annoyed with myself because I didn’t think I had done very well!’ says Hattie. Hattie’s music teacher Mr Bunn adds: ‘It’s an incredible achievement. She was up against hundreds and hundreds of other performers and to land one of the major roles is just amazing.’

Making beautiful music


his has been an exciting year for Moreton Hall’s musicians with the launch of the Barbirolli Society, a plethora of prizes at the Oswestry Music Festival and super results in recent music exams – all culminating in an annual Gala Concert described as quite simply ‘the best ever’! For the full house of parents and friends, the Gala showcased performers from the newest to the soon to depart Upper Sixth. As well as its own musicians, the evening was also the chance to showcase the work of the North Shropshire School’s Orchestra

An evening of mesmerising music

with pupils from around the area attending this musical feast. The Chamber Choir opened the evening with a wonderful variety of songs which included Karl Jenkins’s Adiemus, a piece the choir will be performing with the composer in Birmingham Symphony Hall next month. The first half continued with solo performances by Sammy on her drums and by musical theatre fan, Kitty, with a haunting rendition of You Don’t Know That Man. Moreton’s international students were showcased by Cici and Natalie on the piano and by the Chinese Ensemble, a quartet who included the traditional Chinese Erhus in Horse-riding by Huang. Oswestry Festival winner, Morgan Darcy, played a soaring rendition of Sondheim’s Green Finch and Linnet Bird and Quliter’s Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal, whilst the first half was rounded off by the youngest performers, the Stables Choir.

new state of the art tennis facility at a Shropshire school has been served an award for innovation and will now be replicated across the UK. The Tennis Centre at Ellesmere College, which houses four full-size acrylic performance courts and changing rooms, won builders Rocklyn an Award for Excellence from the Sport and Play Construction Association (SAPCA) this month. The company, based in Scotland, fought against planning officers at Shropshire Council to stick to the original designs. Gareth Howe, sales manager at Rocklyn, says: ‘The Ellesmere College project is the largest of its kind we’ve completed in England and we’re absolutely

delighted to have picked up the SAPCA Award for it.’ Rocklyn beat 17 other finalist to be handed the award for the fabric-framed structure. The centre took around nine months to complete last summer and was opened by Annabel Croft. Each court has been named after inspirational members of the Shropshire tennis community – such as Cathy Sabine, president of the LTA from Much Wenlock, and Barbara Goolden, who was founder of the Tennis Academy at Ellesmere. The local community, schools and clubs are able to book the courts for use and have coaching sessions, as well as using the six floodlit, all weather courts and artificial grass courts.

It’s an ace! The new tennis facility scoops a design award

Best feet forward for Sport Relief

Muddy fun at Myddelton College


veryone at Myddelton College was motivated by the stories of how sport is improving lives in the UK and Africa during an assembly from the sports team on this year’s Sport Relief appeal. They were told about the charity, what it does and where the money goes to that is raised. Inspired to do their bit for the charity, students and staff completed a sponsored one-mile run and also took part in the Sport Relief ‘one-billion-steps-aday’ challenge. More than 150 students

and staff donned their running shoes and set off for the sponsored one-mile run in wet and muddy conditions in the school grounds – and many of them completed two miles. ‘All morning the weather had been miserable which meant the course was very wet. None-theless, students came prepared and battled through the wet and muddy fields surrounding our college,’ comments PE Teacher Mike Pearson. ‘It was a fantastic effort from everyone involved. There were trips, slips and falls, but students and staff showed great determination and resilience to finish the run.’ ‘This group of students is phenomenal! They truly live the three pillars of Myddelton. All showed great resilience in the muddy wet conditions and all showed great fellowship supporting everyone and handing out water,’ adds headteacher Mark Roberts. May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 135

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orth Shropshire College (NSC) is celebrating the success of Harry Bower, a Level 3 TNS Football Scholarship student who has recently been selected to play for the English Colleges under 18s football team. The team is affiliated with the English Colleges Football Association (ECFA) who is responsible for organising national and local competitions and festivals for schools and colleges throughout England. There is a great deal of competition for places in the under 18’s squad, and Harry was put through his paces alongside other students from colleges across England in two football trials in Leicester and Sheffield. After reviewing Harry’s excellent performance, he was offered a sought-after position on the team and took part in his first match against Australia’s Under 18’s football team at St Georges Park in Burton, the official England team’s training ground. Harry comments: ‘I’m very grateful to have been offered the opportunity to play for the ECFA, and all the support

NSC and TNS Football Club has provided to get me this far. On one of our first matches we were lucky enough to beat Australia’s Under 18’s football club 3-2.’ Paul Clark, programme leader for Sport, Leisure and Tourism at NSC adds: ‘We’re very proud to have a North Shropshire College student playing at this level. It’s an excellent opportunity for Harry, and we hope that he will be able to gain a wealth of experience that will help with his studies at NSC.’



Harry sets his sights on success

Showstoppers in sound and on stage


Harris is heading to the Urdd National Eisteddfod

former Rydal Penrhos pupil will be headlining a number of festivals with his chart-topping band Catfish and the Bottlemen this summer. Rob Hall, who left the school in 2011, is a drummer with the Llandudno four-piece and they are set for another extremely busy few months, kicking off at Victoria Park in London on 1st June, where they will headline the All Points East Festival, with Blossoms, The Hunna, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, The Neighbourhood, and The Amazons. This will be swiftly followed by a trip to the continent to perform at BENICÁSSIM alongside the likes of Liam Gallagher and The

Killers, and the Bottlemen will also be taking the stage at the star-studded Lollapalooza Paris. At the same time Rydal Penrhos’ Year 4 performers have been congratulated on their tremendous production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There were a host of standout efforts, with the quartet of Toby Simmons, Charlotte Payne, Jorgie Lynch and Lily Copeland playing their respective roles superbly in a complex love tale. Deputy head Alison Hind, says: ‘This was a truly extraordinary play and full credit goes to each pupil and to Mrs Culver, Miss Liz, Mr Davies, Mr McGuigan, Mrs Tebbits, Mrs Oliver and Mrs Bramhall for their hard work.’

Rob Hall on drums

Year 4 students shine on stage

ear 7 pupil from Oswestry School, Harris MorganBooth, has won a regional competition for the Urdd National Eisteddfod at Ysgol Dyffryn Banw in Llangadfan. Harris placed 1st in the Year 7-9 class with his brass solo and he will now go through to the main competition held at the Royal Welsh showground, Builth Wells from 28th May to 2nd June. The Urdd National Eisteddfod is one of Europe’s largest youth touring festivals that attracts around 90,000

visitors each year. Over 15,000 children and young people under the age of 25 compete during the Eisteddfod week in various competitions such as singing, dancing and performing. They are the elite few from around 40,000 competitors across Wales who, like Harris, won their place following local and regional rounds held in the spring months leading up to the Eisteddfod. The Eisteddfod is not new to Harris, in 2017 he was successfully placed Second in Wales for the Year 3-6 class.


Catering students with their competition certificates


hrewsbury Colleges Group offers a huge range of courses for all age groups and it’s not too late to apply for full-time courses starting in September 2018. The College’s primary focus is helping all of its students succeed and progress, whether that’s to a higher level course, an apprenticeship, on to university, or into employment. It is Shropshire’s largest A Level provider with the widest choice, over 30 A Levels and a huge range of vocational courses in over 25 different subject areas.

Ellie Butler, 16, from Bridgnorth, is studying Hospitality & Catering and won a gold medal and claimed the very prestigious Eric Bruce award for best junior in the prestigious Welsh Culinary Championships in February. She says: ‘I competed in a knife skills and street food competition and created a spicy Korean pork dish with rice and courgette noodles. The championships are fun to be involved in. I really enjoy the course at London Road Campus and aim to be a Chef after I’ve finished.’

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The Thomas Adams School Wem, Shropshire

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Step into Adams House and you’ll instantly feel at home. Catering for boys and girls between 11 and 19 and with a capacity of up to 65 boarders, we’ve been welcoming students from the UK and across the world for many years

"They all receive a warm and inclusive welcome from everyone and quickly feel part of the boarding and wider school community. This sensitive and caring approach is indicative of the ethos of the boarding staff team" “Young people acknowledge the positive impact that boarding has on their educational progress”

For more information or to apply, please visit our website www.thomasadams.net/adams-house, email adamshouse@thomasadams.net or alternatively call us on 01939 233311

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Books&Poetry New novel is both chilling and thrilling This month a book from a well-known Wirral author hits the shelves that marks a departure from the series that has made his name… and may bring readers a few more sleepless nights than his previous work Luca Veste was born on the Wirral to Italian and Scouse parents, a combination that has left the author with a rich cultural heritage and saw him and his eight siblings brought up on both sides of the Mersey. A one-time civil servant, actor, singer and guitarist Luca’s life experiences include appearing as an extra in Brookside and Hollyoaks as well as once spending spent three nights in a black leather mini-skirt and high-heels, in front of an ever dwindling audience in a Liverpool

theatre. Luckily he soon discovered his true talent lay in writing and he has been a prolific writer ever since. SERIES SUCCESS Now married with two young daughters Luca’s best known for his Murphy and Rossi novels described as part psychological thriller, part police procedural drama. The series is set in Liverpool and takes in both sides of a contrasting city, exploring the changing landscape of Liverpool and the ‘bad’ things which can happen within it. They have helped Luca make his name as an author and been translated and published in the USA, Germany, Czech Republic, and Poland. CHANGING TACK Luca’s latest novel, The Bone Keeper,


Check out the best of the books new to the market, with these top titles to look out for from our friends at Linghams bookshop in Heswall, Wirral The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse This is the start of a new series which will cover three centuries and travel the world from Carcassonne to South Africa. Set in the 16th Century Languedoc, this first episode features intrigue between families, religion, buried secrets, and a touch of romance. The story revolves around Minou whose family are booksellers until her father stops going into the shop and refuses to discuss what ails him. A hand-delivered letter holds the only clue Secrets and drama weave their magic and catch the reader from the outset. The Killing of Butterfly Joe by Rhidian Brook Rhidian Brook is an award-winning novelist, with his third novel Aftermath being made into a film starring Keira Knightley. This latest book is based in the US in the 1980s and the main character Llew Jones is a wannabe writer who has come to America to experience the way of life. A chance encounter with Joe Bosco, a butterfly salesman, and his sister Mary is one which will change his life forever. This is one you will not forget in a hurry! How To Stop Time by Matt Haig Matt Haig is the number one bestselling author of Reasons to Stay Alive and six highly acclaimed novels for adults. As a writer for children and young adults he has won the Blue Peter Book Award, the Smarties Book Prize and been shortlisted three times for the Carnegie Medal. His work has been published in over forty languages. This story involves a young boy born in 1581 with a rare condition which means he ages very, very slowly. This truly is a unique tale and one you will devour.

is part thriller, part horror, and has been described as ‘Silence of the Lambs meets Candyman’. The plot centres around four teenagers who went exploring in the local woods 20 years previously, trying to find to the supposed home of The Bone Keeper. Only three returned. Now, a woman is found wandering the streets of Liverpool, horrifically injured, claiming to have fled the Bone Keeper. Investigating officer DC Louise Henderson must convince sceptical colleagues that this urban myth might just be flesh and blood.

Donkeys by Rob Lowe There were five donkeys On the beach today: Hairy and breathing, Wide-eyed and staring, Decked in finery – Hand-woven saddles, Old leather bridles, Tails brushed and shining, They stood in a row By the promenade All the afternoon Through sunshine and rain. Whilst the children looked, And the small dogs barked; And the adults snapped This holiday scene. Then they were loaded Into a lorry: The dogs were sorry Such interesting things Were no longer there – But the smells remained, So they sniffed, and wagged Enquiring tails Till their owners called. What were they thinking? And the children asked: Can we come again To see the donkeys, And touch their noses; And feed them with buns While the cars roar by? It is fun to play On the sand as well.

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BOOK EV E N TS 8th May A rare opportunity to enjoy coffee and cake with renowned British poet, comedian, songwriter and presenter of radio and television programmes, Pam Ayres, as she launches her latest novel, The Last Hedgehog. Propelled to fame after appearing on Opportunity Knocks, she is now something of a national treasure and will undoubtedly be the host of a thoroughly enjoyable event at Heswall Hall. Call Linghams bookshop for more information on 0151 3427290. 26th May, from 10am Gladstone’s Library in Hawarden will host a masterclass from Writer in Residence Cal Flyn on Writing Creative Non-Fiction. Author and journalist Cal draws on her working life to share some of the best skills of fiction and non-fiction writing. Learn techniques of literary fiction – the lyrical descriptions, narrative arcs, and crafted dialogues that every novel

needs – before turning to the fastpaced writing and eye for detail that characterises reportage. This day masterclass will teach you how to blend the two for maximum impact. Tickets are priced at £35 which includes lunch and tea/coffee. To book call 01244 532350 or email enquiries@gladlib.org 10th May, 7.30pm (doors 7pm) Booka Bookshop in Oswestry invites you to join them for an evening with AJ Pearce as she talks about her irresistible debut novel, Dear Mrs Bird, sure to be one of the most loved and talked about debuts of 2018. It is set in London in 1940. Emmeline Lake dreams of becoming a Lady War Correspondent and when she spots a job advertisement in the newspaper she seizes her chance – but ends up embroiled in both hilarious and moving correspondence with those writing to the formidable Henrietta Bird, the renowned agony aunt of Woman’s Friend magazine. Tickets: £6 (£5 redeemable against a signed copy of Dear Mrs Bird) and includes a glass of wine.

Lady Spring by Edna Crosby With soft sighs and light touch, spring treads delicately as winter’s carpet melts into re-birth. Vernal equinox to summer solstice, the year’s first season mothered by the good lady spring. Translucent in greens and blues and yellows, she steps through damp earth and sweet-scented grass. Fairy-like creatures with stained glass wings sip at primrose’s golden nectar – her evening sister, huddled with honeysuckle and jasmine, fragrantly attracts more dainty visitors who alight with gossamer elegance. Spring delights in the season’s feathered melody as she envelops with her nurturing presence, but then sheds silvery drops of grief as she watches the all too-brief frolics of fleecy innocents at play; Spring renews but also revives old pain. Her breathy whisper seeks to reassure; ‘We’ll come again, we’ll come again.’

APPLES by Norman Marshall Those apples are falling Like in yesteryear. Wherever I see them My heart rises to cheer. Those apples are still falling, Some blemished upon the ground. Wherever one looks Their presence is around. Apples for today, apples for tomorrow; Some to buy, others to borrow. Some sweet, some sour; All to be collected by the hour. Crabs for cider, Coxes for eating, Russets with cheese after the meeting. Sun-ripened, coloured as brass, Wasp-sucked bruises upon the grass. Now the horse knows his applesA treat amongst his staples. But, oh, his gas! So does the lad and his lass Decked upon every bough, Then and now.

6th June, 7.30pm Don’t miss the chance to hear famous comedian and now writer Ruby Wax as she launches Frazzled, Your Guide To Saner Living at the Crewe Lyceum Theatre. Ruby’s new one-woman show is based on her number one best seller, A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled. She’s been honoured with the title of poster girl for mental illness; once crazy now less so, she gives a tour of the mind – how to use it, not lose it. This event is your passport to saner living and as Ruby graduated from Oxford with a Masters in Mindfulness–based Cognitive Therapy three years ago so she should know her stuff. Tickets cost £23.50.


Harry’s red wellies are in the outside porch he cleaned them himself and they look shiny and new. ‘Mummy I love the sunshine but when can I put my wellies on?’ ‘We’ll go to the beach and you can play in the rock pools I’ll make a picnic up and we’ll have lunch out.’ ‘Will the baby have some wellies?’ Harry scratches his head, I rub my growing bump, ‘Of course but not yours.’ In the porch there will be four sets of wellies soon, I can see them as I stare out into the garden. Strapped in the car Harry sings ‘wellies are like jellies’, His special song, ‘I love red wellies and red jellies.’ We giggle, Harry is funny and kind I hope he keeps these qualities as he grows up. This is a perfect afternoon, Harry bounces in the pools, water swishing everywhere. He pretends he’s the biggest wave in the world, I am the shark, other children join in, they are all different kinds of fish, some are pirates on the ocean sailing the seven seas, looking for Nemo, I hum Captain Pugwash, the kids scream with laughter, the mums join me, I have a little snooze, here comes Ross Poldark galloping across the beach I hold my outstretched arms gaze into his eyes, we exchange glances, then suddenly the heavens open, splish splash on my nose. It pours, I grab Harry and we drive home, he looks excited. ‘Mummy where’s my raincoat? Can we walk down the lane? Will their be puddles now?’ ‘Not until the morning Harry.’ He sighs, looks glum just for a second and then we both start to sing ‘wellies are like jellies’, the mood lightens. ‘Tell you what we’ll have jelly for pudding after supper.’ ‘Oh red jelly yes please Mummy.’ Later when an exhausted Harry is safely tucked up in bed I look at the rain, we’ll be out tomorrow morning that’s for sure. ‘Gonna pass the red wellies on to baby number two?’ my husband asks. No, when Harry’s all grown up I’ll get the wellies out and have a little moment then I’ll sing the Welly/Jelly song and the world will be OK.

We want your poems! Please keep sending us your poems, we will print our favourites in each edition and share your creative spirit with our readers! You can send by post to Poetry Page, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 1FR, or by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk. Get writing! May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 139

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Charities & Volunteering Cycling cross-country, a Royal celebration and a fencing champ from Wrexham – we take a look at the wonderful charitable activities going on across our region

Reaching new heights for hospices Fancy putting your best foot forward for a good cause? Then read on, as a trek to the summit of Snowdon is set to raise thousands of pounds for a North Wales charity caring for children with life-limiting conditions

Corey loves visiting T Gobaith


upporters of T Gobaith Children’s Hospice at Conwy and Hope House at Oswestry will make the trek on 1st July. The two hospices provide care and support to life-limited children, young people and their families from Shropshire, Cheshire, North and Mid Wales. Organisers of the event are hoping to recruit around 300 walkers to raise at least £30,000, to help towards the running costs of the charity – it needs £6.3 million every year to keep the two hospices open. Each walker, who has to pledge to raise £100 each, will be provided with a free t-shirt, supplied by merchandising company Sional – which will be sending its own team to the top of Snowdon to help with the fundraising.

take part, can. The minimum age is 14 and All those completing the nine-mile trek along the Llanberis Trail will also receive a medal anybody under 18 has to be accompanied plus hot soup and roll. Experienced by an adult. I was delighted when Sional agreed to be our headline mountain guides will be along the All those sponsor and to supply all the route and at the check in points to completing branded t-shirts for free, which was ensure everybody stays safe. the nine-mile a great saving for us,’ she adds. Hope House fundraiser Amanda trek along Jones, who is working with Among those backing the event the Llanberis is Katherine Price from Bagillt, event organisers EightPointTwo Trail will Adventure, explains: ‘This is the Flintshire, whose four-year-old son receive Corey regularly stays at Ty Gobaith. first time that we have taken on a a medal She says: ‘Corey has Dravet challenge such as the Snowdon Trek and I am thrilled that we are already Syndrome, a type of epilepsy. He’s been coming to Ty Gobaith for respite care for seeing interest from our supporters. The route will follow the Llanberis Trail, which is one of some time and really loves it. It’s a safe space where we know that he the most popular routes to is loved and looked after the summit of the mountain, properly, so my husband with breathtaking views of Mark and I can have a the Snowdonia National few hours off.’ It costs £20 Park plus Anglesey and the per person to register for Irish Sea in the distance. the trek and each walker ‘Obviously, there has to raise at least £100. are some problems over For more info email accessibility as this is a fundraising@tygobaith. tough trek, but we will try org.uk. as hard as we can to ensure that everybody who wants to Staff with the children at Ty Gobaith


Cllr Paul Milner, Sainsbury’s Richard Kirby and Hayleigh Ellis, Derwin’s bakers Amy Snow and Caroline Morris, Sainsbury’s Tammy Williams, Hope House bakers Gill Beckwith and Simi Epstein, and Empathy for Special Children’s Ethan Goddard-Cockaday and Samuel Williams


akers from three local charities created cakes fit for a royal wedding when they battled it out over the mixing bowls in a Bake Off style competition held at Derwen College. Charities Hope House and Empathy for Special Children joined hosts Derwen College for the competition which was supported by Oswestry Sainsbury’s. Two bakers from each charity competed in the blind baking technical challenge to whip up an elderflower and lemon drizzle cake with a

Royal Wedding theme, on 4th April. The event was overseen by Sainsbury’s Tammy Williams and judging was carried out by Oswestry councillor and Derwen College governor Paul Milner and Sainsbury’s Richard Kirby and Hayleigh Ellis. The winner was Hope House lottery manager Gill Beckwith who created a stylish three-tier cake decorated with red roses. Runner-up was awarded to Ethan Goddard-Cockaday of Empathy for Special Children for his detailed but fun design complete with a pair of swans. The Bake Off was launched last year to mark the handover of Sainsbury’s Local Charity of the Year from Derwen College to Hope House. For 2017/18, the Local Charity of the Year is Empathy for Special Children. Derwen College projects and partnerships co-ordinator Laura Griffiths comments: ‘Congratulations to Gill on her win. We look forward to hosting next year.’

BEST OF FRIENDS The Friends of Wrexham Museum are a voluntary group which helps raise funds for the museum to enhance the experience of its visitors. They meet every month and arrange speakers from all walks of life to deliver interesting talks and presentations. Money received at these events is passed on to the museum for various projects they are involved with. The committee always arranges a raffle and refreshments to add to the evening and recently paid for a collection of ‘dressing up’ clothes for visiting children to enjoy. The next speaker will be Ray Jones on ‘The Ice and Scenery of North Wales’ on 15th May at 7pm followed by Peter Beddoes on ‘The History of Grove Park Little Theatre’ on 19th June. Visit www.wrexham.gov.uk for more info.

Ethan’s swan creation

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THIS SUMMER’S HOTTEST NEW SHROPSHIRE CYCLE CHALLENGE! C alling cyclists of all abilities! A brand new cycle challenge is being launched this summer which takes in the beauty of all of North Shropshire while raising money for the county’s children’s hospice. The North Shropshire Cycle Challenge on 10th June offers an 85 mile sportive, plus a 35-mile fun route suitable for all. The event is being organised by the Shropshire Gentleman’s Club which has raised £300,000

for Hope House Children’s Hospice over the past decade through annual balls and the Gents themselves undertaking challenges such as cycling to Paris. Like everything they do, it will be a fantastic occasion with refreshment and cheer stations along the route at Newport, Wem, Hope House in Oswestry, Ellesmere and Whitchurch, and a barbecue and bar for spectators and riders on the finish line at

The Grove School in Market Drayton. Standard entry fees are £25 for the sportive and £20 for the fun ride, but a £5 early bird discount is available. All the entry fees, and any optional sponsorship raised, will go directly to Hope House. Major gifts manager Vanessa Thomas hopes that hundreds of cyclists will take up the challenge and enjoy a great adventure while helping Hope House.

To see routes and sign up visit www.shropshirecycleride.com.

Get on your bike for a good cause





2018 – a 100-mile sportive f you’re up for a challenge taking participants from one local charity has an the capital, through the opportunity for you to Surrey hills on 29th July. cycle 100 miles and help Cyclists will have to raise them change children’s a minimum sponsorship lives at the same time. of £450 for the charity Railway Children, based but will receive in Sandbach a Railway Cheshire for Children cycle the last 22 jersey to wear years, works with pride across the UK knowing that with a project every mile in Manchester covered will helping Take part in RideLondon help the fight vulnerable for children that have no children, as well as one else to protect them extensive outreach and around the world. Sign up family work supporting before 25th May at www. street children in Africa and railwaychildren.org.uk or India. They still have places call 01270 757596. available on RideLondon

nother local charity hoping for support from keen walkers is The Joshua Tree children’s cancer charity who have planned their first ever #WetWelshWalk that takes on a 40-mile walk along the stunning North Wales Coast this May. As the charity family support service grows, The Joshua Tree is now supporting families across North Wales and is walking from the Cheshire border to Llandudno, with an overnight stop in Prestatyn, to raise funds and awareness of The Joshua Tree’s work along the way. Entry is £15 and takes place over the weekend of the 12th and 13th May from Queensferry to Llandudno. To register for a

#WetWelshWalk pack call 01606 331858.Alternatively, join their Royal Wedding Charity Tea Party to celebrate the marriage of Harry and Meghan and also support local families affected by childhood cancer. On Friday 18th May be treated to afternoon tea at the Abbeywood Estate in Delamere – including a free tour of the gardens. There’s also a ‘wedding gift’ raffle and a talk from Diane Mather, afternoon tea etiquette expert and former BBC North West presenter. Tickets cost £25pp. Visit www.the joshuatree.org. uk for more info.

Talented teen needs sponsors to support Olympic dream When Stehanie Phennah first started fencing the sport was just something to do on a Friday night – now her hobby has become an Olympic dream, but she needs to find a sponsor to help her achieve it


part-time shop worker is swapping the cut and thrust of retail to compete at the Under-20 Commonwealth Games in July. Stephanie Phennah, 17, works at Marks and Spencer at Eagles Meadow in Wrexham, and will be representing Wales

Stephanie Phennah with her mum Lynn Phennah and M&S Eagles Meadow manager George Lees

in Newcastle-upon-Tyne this summer. The former Ysgol Rhosnesni pupil, took up the sport aged eight and is now the top sabre fencer in Wales and a member of the U17 Great British Team, with dreams of one day competing at the Olympics. But representing Great Britain on the international stage comes at a price and Stephanie and her mum, Lynn, are in desperate need of financial help if she is to achieve her Olympic dream. Stephanie, who is studying A Level History, English Literature and Media at Coleg Cambria, trains four to five times a week on top of private coaching sessions and has to endure gruelling conditioning sessions to ensure she is in tip-top condition. Her part-time job also helps fund her sporting ambitions. ‘My job is fantastic and George Lees, the store manager, is really supportive. I get extra shifts when they are available and

he allows my mum to cover any Sundays I can’t work if I am away competing,’ she says. ‘My job is a massive help as it helps fund my fencing but what I need now is a sponsor. Some of my fellow Welsh team mates have sponsors and carry their names and logos on their jackets, track suits and outfits.’ ELITIST MYTHS ‘There is no funding available as the money fencing used to get from British Sport has been slashed.’ adds Stephanie’s coach, ‘Fencing has always been seen as something of an elitist sport and if you weren’t wealthy you couldn’t compete. We have shown how that is wrong and a young Wrexham girl really can compete on the world stage and could do even better with some financial support.’ For sponsorship enquiries email Steph’s coach at m.h.evansjones@hotmail.co.uk. May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 141

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ere at Shire we’ve been delighted once again to receive so many lovely letters from you all and have attempted to print as many as possible here. Do keep them coming – we love to hear from you whether it’s just to let us know what you think of the magazine or something we’ve written about, or, as many of you do, to point out a mistake we’ve made! Keep your correspondence coming, and we always appreciate a picture to go with them if it is relevant. You can post them in or email us at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk. If you have missed an earlier issue just send us a SAE for £1.60 and specify which magazine you want and we will pop it in the post. To

FLOWER POWER I wonder if your readers would be interested to know a little more about the humble native rose? It wasn’t long before discoveries of roses from foreign lands including China were carried to Europe. These were the catalyst for breeders and with their dedication and patience over the centuries and even today, they are the Brunel engineers in the field of roses, achieving a

Opening the garden gates This issue we’ve featured some of the fabulous gardens open during the National Garden Scheme this summer on page 105 but several readers had already written in to mention their opening so we’ve made sure to include them here – great minds clearly think alike! Shire

• Our garden at 19 Ffordd Walwen, Lixwm, Holywell, CH8 8LW will be open to the public on Sunday 8th July, 2pm-5pm. Mary Jones

Artistic interest I picked up a copy of your magazine in Bangor last week and was pleasantly surprised by the fantastic quality of the writing and contents. I particularly like the way you list events for each region and the variety included in each. Would you consider the Royal Cambrian Academy for a feature piece in the future? We’re Wales’ oldest artist-led gallery (constituted in 1881) and are based in Conwy. We would also be delighted to be a pick-up point for your magazine as our gallery visitors would love to have access to it. Maggy Owen, gallery administrator • We would certainly be keen to cover the RCA in our art section. We will be in touch! Shire

make sure you never miss a copy, why not subscribe? See opposite page for details. There are lots of ways to get in touch; via www.shiremagazine.co.uk, on Facebook or Instagram. Be the first in line for weekly news, competitions and much, much more…

Write to us at… Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry Shropshire SY10 1FR

formidable range. Fans might wish to visit Woodseaves Garden Plants of Shropshire who grow examples of roses within the gardens with their date of introduction, forming part of the legacy of roses. Jean Hopwood, at Woodseaves Garden Plants, Market Drayton • Readers can enjoy glorious gardens in the Herefordshire village of Putley on Saturday 12th May. A sixth garden will be joining in this year. Putley is surrounded by orchards, so an additional treat may well be the sight of the cider apple trees covered in a marvellous mass of pink blossom. www.putleygardens.org.uk. • Caldy Open Gardens this year will run from 1pm-6pm on Sunday 27th May with 12 private gardens of many different sizes and varieties open to the public. Rachel Summers


Snap happy Our photo competition was so popular this time, here’s one more for you! Shire

Pub from the past I’ve been reading the latest issue of Shire and as usual found it really informative. However on page 80 I noticed it mentions the Plough Inn at Llandegla. This pub has been shut for a long time but has just reopened under the name The Grousemoor. Just thought I’d update you regarding this. Jane Thanks Jane, we’ll make sure to double check in future as pubs change on a regular basis! Shire

Hi. Please can you explain why the article about Gladstone Library in Flintshire, was actually placed in the Cheshire section please. Many thanks. Adele •Thanks to you both for the messages and for correcting our geographical mistakes. We will try to keep our boundaries more accurate in future! Shire

A very grateful thanks to all who sent old pennies and farthings to the National Cycle Museum, Llandrindod Wells, after the appeal published in Shire Magazine when the original coins went missing.’ Freda Davies, National Cycle Museum, Llandrindod Wells

I picked up your magazine for the first time at Sainsbury’s in Shrewsbury last week and I absolutely love it. I just wanted to say: ‘Thank you and Well done!’ Meriel Thomas Many thanks Meriel for your comments! Shire

As a regular reader of your excellent magazine, I hope you won’t mind me letting your readers know of a great forthcoming event. The coolest father and son duo in the universe will play at Llandudno Junction Labour Club on Saturday, 30th June at 8pm, with support from Ukulele Party. Tickets are £6. Together, Tim Smithies and his boy Jake The Shake are known as Dead

Hi there. I always pick Shire Magazine up and love all the different articles in it. Today I have noticed on page 102 about advertising that you have put Connah’s Quay in Cheshire and not in Flintshire (technically a different country). I hope you don’t mind me pointing this out. Sandra from Connah’s Quay


Please find attached information on ‘Dead Famous’ talks in Newtown in aid of charity during May and June. I would really appreciate it if you could publish information in your next issue. By email

Duo deliver a deadly dose

I stumbled across your magazine for the first time at Tesco in Ellesmere last week and I absolutely love it. What a smashing read! ANON

Mans Uke and will be offering a deadly dose of hokum, swing, blues and rock ’n’ roll. Their talents have taken them to Paris, Prague and Las Vegas, as well as countless music festivals in the UK. Phil Hartley-Williams Thanks Phil! If you let us know of any What’s On events we can get them in the main section – the deadline for July/August is 20th May. Shire

142 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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

Imagine having every copy of SHIRE Magazine delivered to your door as soon as it is printed. You’ll never worry again about missing an issue! SHIRE Magazine is essential local reading, packed with great features and the best What’s On guide to our area. Simply fill in the order form below, choose how many issues you would like to receive, and send with your cheque to: SHIRE Magazine Subscriptions, PO Box 276, Oswestry SY10 1FR Mr/Mrs/Miss/Other (please specify) First Name: Surname: Address:

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Post this form with your cheque to: SHIRE Magazine Subscriptions, PO Box 276, Oswestry SY10 1FR If you have any queries, just call (01691) 661270 and our friendly staff will help!

May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 143

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What’s in your Stars? Aries: 20th March – 20th April

You’ll find relief sweeping across your life as Uranus, the planet symbolising shock, chaos and unexpected change moves out of your orbit. Not all’s been negative though, change can revolutionise what’s become stale and in need of transformation even if the process is uncomfortable. With this comes a change of values, are you ready, willing and able to accept them?

Cancer: 21st June – 23rd July

When you’ve a struggle on your hands look closely at what the opposing factors are because it’s possible to feel hurt when it wasn’t intended. I think you’ll admit to being a creature of moods so lunar weather isn’t going to help this Spring. Try not to fluctuate with it, your best resource is pragmatism – emotions will only add drama.

Libra: 23rd September – 22nd October

The Festival of Light as the Druids called Solstice, falls on June 21st. It’s when Morris dancers used handkerchiefs to wave away the clouds. Just like I suggest you wave away any cloud of doubt you have over past choices. Don’t question what was right for you at the time. Lighten up and live out the druid’s significance of this special time of year.

Capricorn: 21st December – 20th January

The great pyramid of Giza is reputed to be a calendar of thousands of years recorded on the inner walls of its ancient chambers. Your inner chamber records the present calendar is half way through the year 2018 and what have you to show for it? The end of June will highlight areas where certain boxes need a tick!

Taurus: 20th April – 21st May

There’s a subtle shift happening which will float your boat or rock it. Everything depends on flexibility – a tall task for you. Are you a free spirit or a prisoner of yourself? It’s a significant question in the scheme of things. The only person holding you back is you. Adapt, release yourself from an old routine and move forward.

Leo: 23rd July – 23rd August

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly. What does this mean? Endings can turn into beautiful beginnings perhaps? Only you know what your particular circumstances are that relate to this maxim, all I know is what you resist will persist. Accept what is and look forward to what could be.

Gemini: 21st May – 21st June

Truth is getting such a rare thing in this chaotic world of ours that to tell it is a joy. You are holding a truth in your hand so don’t crush it, tell someone what you really feel about them and it’ll create untold pleasure. You’ll verify what others have assumed, you’ll just make it a fact! Roses bloom and a full moon in Sagittarius is releasing Cupid’s bow!

Virgo: 23rd August – 23rd September

Both outer planets Saturn and Uranus are in harmony and this creates a stable bridge for you to cross over because astrologically a heavenly trine is being made with your star. On an earthly plane and from a down-to-earth angle any idea you put forward now will have others sitting up and taking notice. Patience, practicality and original thinking form the key.

Scorpio: 23rd October – 22nd November

You don’t know whether you’re coming or going, first it’s all happening and then nothing! Well the horse manure is about to hit the fan and you’ll certainly know how to deal with it because upheaval is something you’ve the power, more than any other, to rise above. You’re not named the Phoenix for nothing so rise and shine Scorpio!

Aquarius: 20th January – 19th February

Full of surprises and contradictions, you live in many different parts of your mind but now need to inhabit one room in particular. It’s where you’ve the drive to put an image formed a while ago into cognitive action. At present you’ve got the physical and mental vitality to push through ideas lying dormant just waiting for the right time to air, and that time is now.

Sagittarius: 22nd November – 21st December

There’s a rumour in the cosmos that next year’s going to be big year for you but first there’s this one and it’s only half way through. You can say planets are dead worlds having no influence and you’d be right but it’s their archetypal energy through the ages which translates. So listen up.

Pisces: 19th February – 20th March

Just as water flows downhill following the line of least resistance, so energy always flows to its most useful field of activity. For you this means securing your position. Detach from anything or anyone acting as a drain on your emotional resources. Create your own reality, Pisces, don’t be forced to live in anyone else’s.

Gloria studied astrology and astronomy over an intensive two year period at The Faculty of Astrological Studies in London twenty-seven years ago. She has since written for many publications, appeared numerous times on television and has an impressive client list. The legendary Fay Weldon calls her ‘magic’ and the BBC’s icon Valerie Singleton calls her ‘sensitive’. You can reach her on starglow@pc-q.net or through her website: www.gloriamans.com 144 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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SHIRE MAGAZINE’S FANTASTIC COMPETITIONS! Once again we have a fantastic selection of prizes on offer to our lucky readers – check out the list below for all the tickets you can win! Make sure your entry form is with us by the closing date and good luck!

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Enter today so you can win!

Congratulations to our lucky winners from the March/April issue!

Ann, Abergele Tickets for The Royal Welsh Show

Anne, Mold Wrexham Symphony Orchestra tickets

Caroline, Colwyn Bay Tickets for Storyhouse Theatre

Celia, Johnstown Tickets for Festival Drayton

Janet, Shrewsbury Tickets for Rheidol Railway

Janet, Wrexham Tickets for Wrexham Symphony Orchestra

Marianne, Meifod Welshpool Transport Fest tickets

Maureen, Kinnerton Tickets to Gladstone’s Library

Stewart, Oswestry Tickets for Whittington Music Festival

Val, Llandegla Tickets for WSO at Venue Cymru

WIN: A pair of tickets to enjoy The Welshpool Country Music Festival which takes place over a lazy musicfilled weekend on the Powis Castle Showground. The festival is a fundraising event organised by the Heulwen Trust – a charity dedicated to providing boat trips for those who are less able than most. Taking place over the 13th, 14th and 15th July the winner can choose which day to attend. CLOSING DATE: 30th June

WIN: One of two pairs of tickets to the Llangollen Red Dragon Music Festival including camping for the weekend. This event is set to be a rocking three days of all styles of music from May 18th-20th. Featuring heavy metal, blues, folk, grunge, punk and folk this is the ultimate musical celebration in the beautiful setting of the Llangollen pavilion in the sublime Dee Valley. With tasty meals, full bar, and alternative therapies and craft stalls. CLOSING DATE: 15th May

WIN: A family ticket (two adults and two children) for return travel on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway to be taken on either day of the Welshpool Transport Festival weekend, plus a free drink on arrival at the Railway Tearoom at Llanfair Caereinion. Held from 23rd-24th June, the festival features transportation from bicycles and motor cars to sled dogs and skateboards. CLOSING DATE: 15th June

WIN: A family ticket to the Oswestry Show on 4th August when people from far and wide will gather at the Park Hall Showground to celebrate this prestigious event that dates back to 1862. Not only does the show endorse the best of British agriculture it promotes local businesses and activities, countryside pursuits and provides a day of top entertainment for visitors. CLOSING DATE: 30th June

WIN: A pair of tickets to Llanfest, the finale party of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod, on Sunday 8th July in Llangollen. English indie pop legends Kaiser Chiefs have announced their headline appearance and will be joined on the bill by The Hoosiers and Toploader! CLOSING DATE: 30th June

WIN: A pair of tickets to any one of the music treats in store over the Follies Fest weekend at Hawkstone Park. Choose from The Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Show on 29th June, music from Jolan Gidney-Craigen and Paul Akister alongside tributes to Ed Sheeran, Adele, Take That and Little Mix on Saturday, 30th June or enjoy A Night at the Musicals on 1st July featuring the West End’s leading vocalists. CLOSING DATE: 15th June

WIN: A family ticket (2 children and 2 adults) for the Geronimo Festival held at Arley Hall in Cheshire over an entertainmentpacked long weekend from 25th28th May. The renowned family festival will star CBeebies favourite Justin Fletcher who will headline on Saturday and be joined by a host of top children’s performers and musicians. CLOSING DATE: 15th May

WIN: A Family ticket, for 2 adults and up to 3 children, to enjoy Woodfest. Now in its 17th year this country show is a celebration of all things wood, located in the North Wales countryside from 28th-29th July. Spread over 30 acres there is plenty of wood-related activities, crafts and forest industries. CLOSING DATE: 30th June

HOW TO ENTER: Simply fill in the form with your answer circled (you’ll need to read the magazine to find it!), and include your name, address and daytime contact number. Send it by the closing date to Tickets Competition, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 1FR. Winners will be notified by email, so don’t forget to include your email address and daytime telephone number. Question: What did Victorian women use on their faces as a beauty treatment? a) Vegetable peelings b) Raw meat c) Goat’s milk

Name Address

I’d like to win tickets to:






Daytime Contact Number



Email (please complete)



Please do not send me any other information

RULES OF THE COMPETITIONS DATA PROTECTION NOTICE Superstar Publishing Ltd will use your information for administration and analysis purposes and may contact you from time to time with relevant offers, information or for research purposes. Your details will not be passed on to third parties except the sponsors of these competitions. Please tick the relevant box if you do not wish to be contacted. COMPETITION RULES The promoter of these competitions is Shire Magazine, Superstar Publishing, PO Box 276, Oswestry, SY10 1FR. The competitions are open to all readers of our magazine and viewers of our websites except employees of the prize providers. The winner(s) will be the first person or persons drawn after the closing date who has completed the correct answer. No cash alternative is available. The winners names can be obtained by writing to the competition address with a self-addressed envelope after the closing date. The winner agrees to participate in any follow-up publicity and must provide a photograph to be published in the following issue to claim their prize. Superstar Publishing may print the name only of entrants to this competition in subsequent issue(s) of Shire Magazine. This is to enable competition entrants to fairly claim a promotional offer, for competition entrants only. By entering this competition you are giving permission for Shire Magazine to print your name only. No personal information will be printed. No purchase necessary, answers on a postcard are accepted.

May/June 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 145

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COMING NEXT ISSUE Next stop summer! Here at Shire we’re already looking forward to the season of sunshine and holidays so our next issue should reflect everything we love about July and August. All your favourite contributors will be back and we think you’ll find some great extra articles too, with features including …

Hit the beach!



We’re lucky enough to have mile upon mile of stunning coastline along our patch so we’re taking a closer look at our stunning shores and best beaches. Whether you’re looking for a cosy cove or sandy stretch, you’re ‘shore’ to find what you’re looking for with our round up of firm favourites. We’ll also make sure you’re kitted out for your day at the beach and have a look at the flora and fauna that makes our coastline so special.


Our fashion and beauty section will make sure you’re set for summer with a wardrobe to match and a look at what’s hot for when it’s hot. YO U R T O W N

Focusing on some of our top towns, we’ll visit both Tarporley and Abersoch for a closer look at these popular locations.

The warmer weather brings with it a host of special events for the summer with everything from flower shows to festivals and theatre, cinema and music performances worth packing a picnic for. New outdoor productions are planned across the patch with everything from children’s plays to operatic evenings to enjoy on the balmy summer’s nights we’re hoping for. Of course, the annual festivals we’ve all come to know and love will be back again, attracting thousands of visitors once more. D O N ’ T F O R G E T…

With a comprehensive listing of all the shows and fairs, concerts and festivals going on throughout July and August, there’ll be something for everyone in our packed, 60-page What’s On guide… It’s the ultimate must-read for the region’s events and worth checking before you plan your social calendar!

GET IN TOUCH! …at Shire Magazine, we want to hear from you!

Holiday health You won’t enjoy the summer season unless you prepare for it properly so as usual we’ve got our experts on hand to keep you in top condition when it comes to your health and wellbeing.

1. Tell us about your upcoming events: Just remember that we work in advance so 1st June 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! 3. We have lots of pages for readers to contribute to: Send all your submissions and pictures by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk or just call us on 01691 661270. You can also get in touch via social media just search for ‘Shire Magazine’ on Facebook or Instagram

146 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2018

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{ The Wilton Family, Selattyn }


For boys and girls aged 4-18 | For more than six centuries Visit oswestryschool.org.uk or telephone 01691 655711

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Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine May-June 2018  

Whats on, magazine, days out, events, North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, crafts, kitc...

Shire Magazine May-June 2018  

Whats on, magazine, days out, events, North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, crafts, kitc...

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