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Top treats to eat 60 YO U R ESSENTIAL

THE BRILLIANT BAKERS, BREWERS AND MAKERS OF OUR FABULOUS FOOD SCENE Get out and get active! New ways to enjoy and explore the great outdoors Make a break Find your holiday heaven with our great getaways


WIN A weekend of adventure for the whole family! Turn to page 153

Interior affairs Top tips and hints to make your house a home Art in action Visit the latest exhibitions and craft workshops

Celebrity news Tales of adventure from TV star Simon Reeve


The little town that makes a big impression


Discover a rich mix of cultures in Cheshire


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


elcome to the latest edition of Shire. This issue marks the halfway point of 2019 – it certainly flies by! It’s great to see the longer, lighter nights and we’ve enjoyed some warmer days already. So in this edition we’ve decided to give you some ideas of different ways to get out and make the most of the better weather. We love the local landscape and often suggest different ways to enjoy it – but this time we’re upping the activity levels with some new ideas. Our feature on page 80 covers everything from running and orienteering to mountain biking and canyoning – we hope all our readers will find a way to get up, get out and get active, or at least enjoy discovering all about the incredible local companies helping people try something new. Whether you’re up for an active challenge of not, there’s one thing we know you all appreciate and A fabulous celebration of local food that’s food! We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – we live in one of the country’s richest areas when it comes to perfect produce. In our feature on page 64 we celebrate all that is grown, brewed, baked and bred across the Shire patch, by everyone from artisan craftspeople to thriving local industries. We hope you enjoy reading it, but be warned – it will give you an appetite! Alongside this feature, there is also out regular foodie column from Graham Tinsley from Carden Park, plus your usual favourites – arts, books, homes, interiors, fashion, health and holidays. So grab a cold drink, find a sunny seat and enjoy the latest Shire!


John Hargreaves, Gloria Mans, Catherine Buckley, P Parker, Clive Williams, John Stubbs, Helen Cooke, Pip Gale, Lizzie Deery, Graham Tinsley, Josef Herbert-Byrne

IN THIS ISSUE Exciting events surround us – we round up the best in our listings section, from page 6

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


www.shiremagazine.co.uk Print ISSN 2514-3913 Online ISSN 2514-3921

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

Discover the best the region has to offer on page 64

Reach new heights and give your fitness routine a boost with our ideas on page 80

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…


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

with their name and anything else you want to tell us. See page 117 for further details.

Reader photos Taken a great shot recently? Email your best effort and you might get picked! See page 122.

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

Reader poems Do you like penning the odd line? So do we! Send us your poems – we’d love to include them on our poetry page. See page 150 for more.

Visit our website online at www.shiremagazine.co.uk and send submissions and information by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk.

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

Give a friend the gift of Shire!


TURN TO PAGE 136 for our fantastic subscription offer!

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

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Pontio Arts and Innovation Centre in Bangor is very pleased to bring back its Gwledd Syrcas Feast in Summer 2019


Headliner: Circus Abyssinia

Ethiopian Dreams 19 - 23 Gorffennaf July £15 /£10 gostyngiadau/concessions

GRICULTURAL S A S Y HOW RW E The Show’s 40th ye A a r C Open Daily from 10am to 5pm Late night every Thursday until 8pm As seen on the BBC 1 show ‘Antiques Road Trip’

01978 754090


Saturday 8th June, 2019

cele br

at Gatehouse Fields, Babell, Holywell CH8 8PY

atio n

ADMISSION PRICES: Adult: £7 (Concessions: £5)

Children: £3 Family ticket: £18

(two adults & two children) www.caerwys-show.org.uk


• Collectables • Clocks • Ceramics • Furniture • Jewellery • Coffee Shop

Two Meals for £10:00

(Including drinks) on presentation of this voucher

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As well as all the horses, cattle, sheep and poultry you would expect from an agricultural show, attractions include: • Basket Making • Broke FMX Freestyle Motocross • Spinning demonstration • Caerwys Show Roll-a-Bale Contest • Fun dog show • The Clwyd Axemen • Children’s Roll a Barrel competition • Pedro’s Children’s Circus Workshop • Vintage tractors & Classic Car displays • Birds of Prey • Fun fair rides... and much, much more! • Produce, food and craft stalls FREE PARKING Disabled parking available

A FREE BUS runs hourly from Caerwys Square to show field and picks up in Barlow’s Caravan Park

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Contents MAY & J U N E 2 01 9 6 What’s On Be prepared for summer with our packed listings section covering north and mid Wales, Cheshire, the Wirral and Shropshire PAG E 8 0 There’s no excuse not to get active once you’ve read our special feature

18 Simon Reeve We talk to the adventurer as he heads out on a live tour 40 Nantwich We visit the town with a thriving cultural scene that celebrates everything from jazz to cheese

PAG E 1 2 4

60 Twenty Questions We put our probing queries to comedian Marcus Brigstocke

PAG E 7 8 Stylish accessories that add a classic touch to any outfit

It may be small, but Llangollen has plenty to offer tourists

PAG E 8 4

We visit Chester’s Grosvenor Pulford Hotel & Spa

A round-up of fun-packed activities for all the family

124 Dressed To Impress Attending a wedding? Check out these head-turning outfits

64 Food, glorious food Discover the fabulous foodies, great gourmets and perfect producers that surround us

126 Health & Beauty Advice from our health and wellbeing experts

76 Docket No33 Locally sourced ingredients are key at this new venture 78 Llangollen We travel to the north Wales town famous for its festivals and railway

87 Holidays It’s not too late to plan a summer escape! We suggest some top locations in the region PAG E 1 8 Adventurer Simon Reeve shares one of his formative experiences – in Ludlow!

93 Grosvenor Pulford Hotel Looking for a spa break in sumptuous surroundings? This Chester hotel may fit the bill 94 The White Horse, Chester Enjoy a day at the races and a classic meal with a twist at the Roodee 97 Homes & Interiors On-trend advice from our new interiors columnist, plus tips on finding great antiques and more

PAG E 1 3 9 Find out what you’ll learn on Wrexham Glyndwr University’s animal courses could be for you!

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117 Pets & Wildlife The latest conservation news, plus your pet pictures

62 Reviews Our thoughts on the latest local shows and events

84 Days Out Rope-based activities in Blaenau Ffestiniog, Delamere Forest and Queensferry

Take an in-depth look at the delicious food produced in the Shire region and where you can buy it

115 Outdoor Living Bring the indoors into your garden with these accessories

120 Arts & Crafts We speak to a local artist taking inspiration from the coastlines and countryside around us, plus our packed guide to exhibitions, events and workshops

80 Get Out & Get Active! Up your fitness levels this summer with a local adventure company or sporting club

PAG E 6 4

111 Gardens Find a National Garden Scheme Open Day near you, plus a flower arrangement from the experts at Reaseheath College

61 Big City A round-up of events taking place a little further afield in Birmingham, Cardiff, Liverpool and Manchester

71 Food & drink Find out how to bottle fruits, the secrets of cider and why you should visit a vineyard

PAG E 9 3

108 Brighter Shades Of Pale How to combine bold prints with pastel accessories to give your home interiors a new look

105 Showroom Opening Celebrate Premier Windows 30th anniversary

128 Charities & Volunteering Fundraising activities you can get involved in, plus the latest from the voluntary sector 131 Meet The Expert RJAH consultant orthopaedic surgeon Chris Evans answers our questions about hip and knee replacements 132 Prints Charming Men, make a statement this summer in a bold shirt 134 Retirement Living News from some of the area’s accommodation providers 136 Subscribe To Shire! Never miss an edition of your favourite local listings magazine 136 Expert Q&A Angela Winstanley from Wrexham Glyndwr University on animal-based courses 141 Schools Find out what students from the area’s colleges and schools have been getting up to 147 Letters We hand over to our readers! 149 Books & Poetry Meet a local writer whose first children’s book will soon hit the shelves, plus upcoming literary events and readers’ poems 152 What’s In Your Stars? What does your future hold? Find out with a horoscope forecast from Gloria Mans 153 Competitions Your chance to win tickets to fantastic local events

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Caerwys Show celebrates 40th anniversary


1st May-30th June, Pebble Decorating, Rhuddlan Castle Decorate a pebble and hide it inside the castle. Then, see if you can find a different pebble, take it away and hide it somewhere else on your travels Tickets £4.20 adults, £12.30 for families.

4th May, Craft Fair & Coffee Morning, Old People’s Club, Abergele Join Greyhound Mommas for a variety of craft stalls selling handmade goodies, plus a raffle. You’ll also get the chance to meet Ruby Tuesday, one of Greyhound Mommas’ finest. Refreshments available. Well-behaved dogs welcome. All proceeds go directly to support rescued greyhounds. Free entry.

4th May, Antique, Collectors & Vintage Fair, Llandudno Town Hall Lions Of Llandudno has been holding an antique and collectors’ fair in Llandudno for over 30 years. Over the years the venue has changed and is now held in the Town Hall, which is in the centre of town with many shops, restaurants and coffee shops close by. 9am-4pm. Entry 50p.

4th-5th May, Have A Go Archery, Caernarfon Castle Resident archery club the Red Dragon Archers demonstrate how the bow has evolved since the days of the longbow and provide instruction on how to shoot a bow. 11am-3.30pm. £3 for six arrows, plus admission (adults £9.90, children £6).

4th-5th May, The Princes Retinue – A Medieval Reenactment, Denbigh Castle The Princes Retinue transports visitors back in time with a range of exciting living history displays. 10am-4pm. £4.20 adults, £2.50 children.

encouraging families to get outside, celebrate A fun summer show that has welcomed thousands over the years is inviting visitors old and new to traditional skills and learn where food comes from. It provides also sporting opportunities in a wide join its 40th anniversary celebrations on 8th June. This year’s Caerwys Agricultural Show – the range of classes and events, and is a great way for people to show off their animals and achievements. only agricultural show in Flintshire – is marking This year’s show aims to build on the mission the milestone with a host of familiar of fun for all, and has all the animal magic attractions that have ensured DID YOU you’d expect from an agricultural event, families and competitors keep KNOW? with an abundance of Shetland ponies, coming back, year after year. Dogs are welcome shire horses, cattle, sheep and poultry. While Caerwys Agricultural at the show, as In the junior shepherd classes you’ll Show has existed in one form long as they are see the stock handlers of the future or another since before the First kept on leads – children proudly showing off their World War, it was revived in the skills and knowledge of their treasured late 1970s and will celebrate its 40th animal.There is also produce and crafts to show in 2019. It lost just two cancelled admire and food and drink to enjoy, plus the draw years: one in the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001 and one in the heavy rains of 2012. of the classic cars and vintage tractor displays. The show – which takes place at Gatehouse Tickets cost £7 for adults and £3 for children. See Facebook or visit www.caerwys-show.org.uk. Fields, Babell, Holywell – is a fun day out,

Get on board for boat show The All Wales Boat & Leisure Show takes place at Anglesey Showground from 30th May to 1st June and is expected to attract boat lovers from across the UK. ‘The show will connect industry leaders in boat and leisure products and services across Wales with not only watersport and boating enthusiasts but all those that have a passion for the great outdoors,’ says Davina CareyEvans, managing director of Sbarc Event Management. ‘The level of interest from the marine sector is unprecedented, with over 17 brands already signed up including Robalo, Bayliner, Finnmaster, and Ocean Master, to name a few.’ allwalesboatshow.com

Red hot music at Llangollen festival Visitors to the Llangollen Red Dragon Music Festival, which takes place at The Pavilion in the town, are set for a scorchingly good time from 17th to 19th May. Now in its fourth year, the Llangollen Red Dragon Music festival brings together likeminded people and delivers an eclectic range of music, including didgeridoo, folk, opera, folk punk, rock, blues and heavy metal – so you get good music, good food and good ale! On-site camping is also available. Acts signed up to perform include the Jamie Porter Band, Before The Storm, Sam Draisey, Bleeding Hearts, Hell’s Gazelles, John Williams, and Xander & The Peace Pirates. Day tickets cost from £12, and weekend tickets £50. See Facebook for updates.

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Discover a weekend of non-stop entertainment

The Festival Of Discovery is a three-day, fun-packed family festival with a friendly camping area to encourage those with children to make a weekend of it in beautiful Anglesey from 30th May to 1st June. The jam-packed programme has plenty to keep the whole family busy across the weekend.

Join a bushcraft workshop, get stuck in with arts and crafts and cookery classes, have fun at the bubble factory, and even learn what it takes to be in the circus with a wonderfully modern non-animal social circus. Whether you’re trying a load of new activities, exploring Anglesey from a beautiful location or simply relaxing in the luxury glamping area, the Festival Of Discovery is bound to keep you and the kids entertained from breakfast until bedtime.

the chance you may be asked to lend a hand! All trains pause at Gelert’s Farm Works, where a 7¼-inch gauge miniature railway runs around the railway’s museum site. There’s also a traditional tearoom, bookshop, and souvenirs. www.festrail.co.uk

The race is on at Bangor-on-Dee Enjoy family fun at Bangor-onDee Racecourse this summer. The Wrexham Lager Family Funday takes place on 18th May, while 4th June

with Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and Up Beat Music & Arts to bring you the best of competitions and workshops. You can also discover loads of fantastic food and drink in the local producers market – there truly is something for everyone at Festival of Discovery. Camping tickets cost £145 for adults and £50 for children. Day tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for children. For more information and to book, visit www. festivalofdiscovery.wales.

Join the festival of arts

More than just a train ride On the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway in Porthmadog you can ride in a historic railway carriage pulled by a vintage steam or diesel locomotive, but it’s more than a just train ride – it’s a full day out. The journey is just the right length to keep children interested, and as an interactive railway, there’s always

And don’t forget about the best folk music Wales has to offer. The Blas Stage will see performances from Alaw, Maelog, Elfen, Trials Of Cato, Tacla VRi, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, K-bros and more. A range of musical workshops are also taking place, and if you enjoy dance, the festival has teamed up

sees the Summer Meeting with six races.Bangor-on-Dee stages 14 exciting jump racing fixtures a year on the banks of the River Dee. Prices start from £7 per adult, with hospitality packages also available. www.bangorondeeraces.co.uk

Williams and London Tango Quintet. From 25th to 28th May the Beaumaris Festival Craft Fair will be open at the Marquee on the Green, selling products from north Welsh craftworkers. Tickets are available by calling 01248 811200. Visit www.beaumarisfestival.org for more information. Anglesey’s Beaumaris Festival takes place from 21st to 27th May, with a packed programme of music, art and discussion. High-profile artists appearing include former National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke, artist Hilke MacIntyre, music professor and performer Dr Jesus Alfonzo, opera singer Dr Karen Coker Merritt, London Chamber Ensemble, Welsh baritone Jeremy Huw

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FOCUS on Wrexham

Show time at Galeri Caernarfon

International showcase festival FOCUS Wales 2019 brings 200 bands, 20 stages, comedy, arts and a conference to Wrexham from 16th to 18th May. This year marks the festival’s ninth edition, and will bring more than 10,000 people to the town. FOCUS Wales places the spotlight firmly on the emerging

Athena & Steffan, 12th May Female classical crossover trio Athena and Steffan Rhys Hughes, a member of Only Men Aloud, perform songs ranging from popular classical pieces to popular Welsh favourites. 7.30pm. Tickets £12.

musical talent Wales has to offer, alongside a selection of the best new acts from around the globe, at venues across the town. Acts already announced for the festival include Neck Deep, Boy Azooga, Kero Kero Bonito, 9Back, Cate Le Bon, Skindred and The Lovely Eggs and many, many more. The weekend also offers a full schedule

of interactive sessions, stand-up comedy, arts events and film screenings. The first FOCUS Wales Film Festival takes place on 18th May, offering an array of screenings and events alongside the music showcase and conference programme. Festival passes cost from £40, or you can buy individual tickets from www.focuswales.com.

Chicago, 22nd-24th May Musical featuring classics such as All That Jazz. 7.30pm. Tickets £10. Clouds & Plu, 25th May Harp quartet Clouds are supported by local folk trio Plu. 7.30pm. Tickets £12.

Robinson: The Other Island, 13th June A reexamination of Daniel Defoe’s iconic tale, delving into the fantasy of the island and the violence of colonisation. 7.30pm. Tickets £12.

DID YOU KNOW? Chicago is Broadway’s second longest running show

Fun and fizz at North Wales Prosecco Festival Brynkinalt Hall in Wrexham hosts the North Wales Prosecco & Gin Festival from 17th to 18th May. Visitors will be treated to a selection of Europe’s finest bars offering more than 40 types of prosecco, gin, spumante, cava, brut, pink fizz and even prosecco and gin cocktails. Real ale and bottled lager and cider will be available too, as well as an array of Italian street foods. Strictly over-18s only. Tickets costs from £15. For more details, visit www.proseccoginfestival.co.uk.

Wrexham garden open to all Brynkinalt Estate, home to the ancestral Trevor family since 942, has joined the National Garden Scheme Open Gardens for 2019 and will be open on 1st June from 2pm to 5pm, offering the chance to take in the beautiful sights and smells of the garden, as well as enjoying tea and homemade cakes. Entry costs £5 for adults. www. brynkinalt.co.uk

As A Tiger In The Jungle, 15th June A heart-warming performance about life, lost children and the circus. 2pm & 7.30pm. £12 adults, £7 children. Stick By Me, 18th June An early years show about friendship and play. 10.30am. Tickets £7. www.galericaernarfon.com

Galas galore at Bala Lake Great Little Trains Model Show & Festival Of Transport, 25th-27th May Bank holiday visitors to Bala Lake Railway are in for a treat, with two great family shows taking place at either end of the line: Great Little Trains Model Show at Ysgol Y Berwyn in Bala and Festival Of Transport in a field adjoining Llanuwchllyn station. The best way to get from one to the other is by train, plus a connecting vintage bus service. The model show features around 30 layouts, while the festival will have a wide range of vintage vehicles on display. Steam Gala, 15th-16th June Bala’s biggest event sees the railway running an intensive passenger service with all members of its steam fleet in operation alongside guest locomotives. In addition to passenger services, there will also be demonstration freight trains, with most freight services running between Llanuwchllyn and Llangower, where visitors will be able to witness a special shunting manoeuvre that allows passenger trains to pass while a freight train is at the station. Other attractions include miniature and model steam locomotives. www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk

8 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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1-7 Jul

An international festival of music & dance




Photo by Mary McCartney

Classical Gala with

www.ruthinfestival.co.uk Photo by ITV/REX

Mon 1 July - 7.30pm - £42 / £35

starring Rhian Lois

Photo by Alecsandra Raluca Dragoi

Tue 2 July - 7.30pm - £47 / £40 / £33 Photo by Hamish Burgess

Saints and Singers: The Music of Wales Wed 3 July - 7.30pm - £27 / £20

International Celebration with Thur 4 July - 7.30pm - £27 / £20



Choir of the World with Catrin Finch Fri 5 July - 7.30pm - £42 / £35

Sat 6 July - 7.30pm - £30 / £23

£39 / £45 £49

Sunday 7 July

TICKETS ON SALE NOW Tickets: 01978 862001 www.llangollen.net Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod @llangollen_Eist


*Expires 21 June 2019. Valid at time of booking only. Minimum 2 tickets. Not to be used with any other offer.

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Feed the animals • Tractor and trailer farm tour • Mini-trailer ride with quad bike Gift shop • Café and Bistro Bar • Anglesey Chocolate Farm• Childrens parties

A great day out on Anglesey in North Wales for all the family.


& FAMILY GROUPS on Most Instruments, Singing & Drums

COLWYN BAY•ABERGELE • RHUDDLAN JOHNSTOWN •QUEENSFERRY • ECONOMY Shared Lessons (2-3 sibling starters) • FREE BONUS lesson (upon full registration) • DISCOUNTS for SENIORS • SINGLE TASTER lesson (1-2-1 or shared) • TRIAL of 4 lessons (1-2-1 or shared) • OPPORTUNITIES for Concerts & Exams • LOW COST INSTRUMENT LOAN (deposit only)

0845 310 5374

admin@northwalesmusictuition.co.uk APPLY ONLINE AT www.northwalesmusictuition.co.uk

Pay once on entry and all the rides are FREE.


and feed the animals



a real farm at work

the wonderful setting

Foel Farm Park, Brynsiencyn, Anglesey, North Wales, UK LL61 6TQ Phone: 01248 430646 E-mail: info@foelfarm.co.uk

Foel Farm Park near Brynsiencyn on Anglesey offers a great family visit to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a real working farm. We invite all visitors to meet and feed the animals. Foel Farm is situated in a beautiful beachside location on Anglesey in North Wales with stunning views of Caernarfon Castle, the Menai Straits and Snowdonia. There are tractor & trailer and quad bike and mini-trailer rides, pony rides, chances to feed and meet the farm animals, and a lot more! There is also a Café & Bar, Gift Shop and even a Chocolate Workshop where you can see chocolates being made – something for everyone.

OPEN DAILY 10am to 5.30pm March to November

Llanuwchllyn, near Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7DD

Steam trains in southern Snowdonia Beautiful lake and mountain views

Family friendly attraction – dog friendly too! Bala Model Railway Show - 25th to 27th May over 30 model layouts, trade support, refreshments Bala Lake Festival of Transport - 26th & 27th May vintage vehicles, displays, refreshments & more

Two great shows connected by steam train – see our website

Our Annual Steam Gala - 15th & 16th June

Plenty of engines in steam, lots of passenger and freight trains, double-heading & more For further information and advance tickets 31/07/19

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www.bala-lake-railway.co.uk 01678 540666

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Rhyl Pavilion is music to your ears


Totally Tina!, 3rd May Liverpool singer Justine Riddoch is simply the best as the UK’s longest running tribute to the legendary queen of rock’n’roll. 7.30pm. Tickets from £20.

Les Musicals Live Concert Tour, 12th June Jonathan Ansell (G4) and Jai McDowall (Britain’s Got Talent) join forces for this showcase of smash-hit songs from the greatest musicals 7.30pm. Tickets £27. Girl Power: The Spice Girls Experience, 29th June

Performances at Pontio

Lleuwen a’r Band with Tant, 10th May Lleuwen twists ancient Welsh hymns to her own compositions. 7.30pm. Tickets £13. Seann Walsh, 15th May The Strictly contestant returns with his self-deprecating routine. 8pm

Brontë on stage at Erddig Chapterhouse Theatre Company presents Wuthering Heights on 15th June at Erddig, Wrexham. Emily Brontë’s tale of passion and revenge has thrilled readers for generations and is now set to enthrall audiences beneath the stars. Bring a rug or low-back seating and a picnic to enjoy in the rose garden as you lose yourself in this unforgettable story. The play takes place from 6.30pm-9.30pm and tickets cost £16 for adults and £11 for children. www. nationaltrust. org.uk/erddig

Rhys Meirion yn dathlu’r 20ain, 17th March A special evening of song and chat. 8pm. Tickets £15. Romeo a Juliet, 4th June Ballet Cymru’s extraordinary adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece. 7.30pm. Tickets £13. www.pontio.co.uk

Roll up, roll up!

Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza returns to the town from 4th to 6th May. Featuring heritage steam vehicles, a funfair, entertainment, competitions, arts, music and a daily parade, this is a weekend the whole family can enjoy – and it’s all free! The extravaganza was founded in 1986 by a group of local councillors keen to promote the town as a tourist destination.

Celebrating two decades of hits, unprecedented merchandising, record-breaking achievements and iconic symbolism, Girl Power continues the legacy of the Spice Girls. Featuring favourites such as Wannabe, Spice Up Your Life and Viva Forever. 7.30pm. Tickets £26. www.rhylpavilion.co.uk

Sweet pizza workshop Hawarden Estate Farm Shop in Flintshire is celebrating Father’s Day with a special father-and-child baking class led by Oksana of the Russian Crepe Company, Chester. Bakers big and small will make chocolate and marshmallow pizzas, with all ingredients provided. The session runs from 10am to 11am on 22nd June and costs £13.16. Visit www.hawardenestate.co.uk. In the years since, the event has gone from strength to strength. This year, it will include vintage and modern funfair attractions, a Victorian dress competition, a window dressing contest, stalls, the fantastic parade and much much more. This is a unique event with many amazing elements – the entertainment will take you back to days gone by where performers would baffle and delight the audience in colourful sideshows. For a full programme of events, visit www.victorianextravaganza.com.

4th-6th May, Llangollen Walking Festival Choose from a selection of moderate to challenging walks around the area, including the 19-mile Offa’s Dyke Path or a eightmile Dee Valley Meander Walk. Costs vary. Sign up at www. llangollenwalkingfestival.co.uk.

4th-6th May, Llandudno Transport Festival, Bodafon Field Taking pace on the seafront showground, this is the largest transport festival in Wales. It is held in conjuction with the Victorian Extravaganza and the two events are linked by a free shuttle bus. Visit www.llantransfest.co.uk.

4th-6th May, Return Of Freemen Of Gwent, Harlech Castle, Gwynedd Travel through the mists of time as the Prince’s Royal Court welcomes the Freemen of Gwent home from the European wars. The castle will be brought to life with combat displays, crafts and living history. 11am-4.30pm. Normal admission prices apply. Call 01766 780552.

4th May-2nd June, Slime, Techniquest Glyndwr, Wrexham Fantastic fluids take the stage in this gooey, gungy extravaganza! Explore the amazing properties of slime and find out why it behaves in such strange ways. See slime you can squeeze, punch, pour, stretch and splat! Weekends 11am-4.30pm. £7 adults, £6 children. Visit tgq.org.uk.

5th May, Medieval Falconry, Criccieth Castle Albion Historical Falconry will be at the castle with a variety of birds of prey – visit them for questions and general falconry chatter. The falconers will regale young and old alike with tales of exploits from the medieval era, and take you on a journey back in time to learn all about your favourite kings and queens and the birds they loved. 11am-4pm. £5.80 adults, £16.80 families.

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 11

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Wrexham’s Stiwt

5th May, Wake Up With The Dawn Chorus, RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve Discover an incredible variety of bird songs on International Dawn Chorus Day. 5.30am-8.30am. £15 (inc hot drinks and a breakfast) bap. Call 01492 581025.

11th May, Workshop: Stitching Stories with Primmy Chorley & Jessie Chorley, Ruthin Craft Centre Make a stitched keepsake or memento using your own fabric such as a piece of an old dress. Please bring threads, needles and scissors. 10.30am4.30pm. £125, including lunch. Call 01824 704774.

11th May, Grand Opening, Plas Maenan Country House Hotel, nr Llanrwst An afternoon of food, drink and entertainment. 2pm-7pm. £35 adults, £15 children (£10 from each goes to RNLI and Welsh Air Ambulance). Call 01492 660977 or email info@plas-maenan-hotel.co.uk.

16th-18th May, Di + Viv + Rose, Theatre Colwyn A humorous, thoughtful and poignant exploration of friendship’s impact on life and life’s impact on friendship. 7.30pm. £12.

18th May, Rhuddlan Food, Drink & Craft Festival Showcasing more than 40 exhibitors, mostly local and from the Welsh Marches, in the town centre. 10am-4pm.

OPRA Cymru: Fidelio, 9th May Celebrate a decade of OPRA Cymru concerts with a Welsh-language version of Beethoven’s only opera. 7.30pm. Tickets £15. Charity concert featuring Rhos Orpheus Male Voice Choir, 11th May With guests Rhys Meirion (tenor) and Elan Catrin Parry (soprano). 7pm. Tickets £10.

19th May, NGS Open Day: Gilfach, Conwy A one-acre garden with magnificent views of River Conwy and the mountains, with mature shrubs, woodland, herbaceous borders and small pool. 2pm5.30pm. £3.50, children free. Call 01492 650216.

The Ruthin Festival will be in full flow from 22nd to 30th June, celebrating its 25th year with a week-long series of events and activities for all ages. Events range from choral concerts, instrumental recitals and poetry sessions to Shakespeare plays, craft workshops and more. The festival culminates with the main attraction, the Top Of Town, in the town square on 29th June from 1pm for seven hours of live music and entertainment. For more information on the festival programme, visit ruthinfestival.co.uk or follow the event on Facebook and Twitter.

Champions Of Darts, 18th May Darts legends Dennis Priestley and John “Old Stoneface” Lowe play 20 local darts players to raise funds for Air Ambulance Wales & North East Wales Search & Rescue. 6pm. Tickets £12. www.stiwt.com

Learn about locomotives Discover more about the Hugh Napier, a 7.5-ton Hunslet locomotive, at Penrhyn Castle, Bangor, on 10th May in a talk by the National Trust’s lead curator for Wales, Elizabeth Green. The vehicle was made in 1904 and restored to working order in 2012, and now spends most of its time on the Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways. The talk takes place from 2pm and is free, although usual National Trust admission charges apply. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/penrhyn-castle

19th May, Snowdonia Half Marathon A scenic but tough half marathon in Snowdonia National Park, starting and finishing in Llanrwst. 10am. £32. Call 07506 665219.

Week of fun

Get ready for Eisteddfod! From 2nd July to 6th July, with Llanfest following on Sunday 7th July featuring The Fratellis and The Coral, the festival field in Llangollen comes alive. Enjoy three outdoor stages hosting a variety of live world music and dance, folk, classical, jazz, indie, acoustic, roots, and opera, celtic reggae, and rock, whilst world-class entertainment continues in the main pavilion where choirs, dancers and soloists from different nations compete for prizes. Go to international-eisteddfod.co.uk for more.

Historic garden tour Join a guided walk around the glorious Chirk Castle gardens on 8th and 12th June as part of Festival Of Gardens North Wales 2019, and learn about Lady Margaret Myddelton’s work to restore the gardens after World War II. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/chirk-castle

On stage at Pwllheli’s Neuadd Dwyfor The Kaiser And I & On Scarborough Front, 8th May A double bill of one-act plays by Stuart Fortey. In The Kaiser & I, set in Berlin in 1914, the Kaiser’s dancing mistress waits for her pupil, while his army waits for their orders. In On Scarborough Front, set in 1917, young officer Wilfred Owen is recovering from wounds in a hotel where he meets a senior officer facing demons of his own. 7.30pm. Tickets £10. Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, 22nd May Classically trained Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora maestro Seckou Keita play tracks from their 2018 album SOAR. 7.30pm. Tickets £18. www. neuadd dwyfor.com

12 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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25th-27th May, Rhuddfest, Langford Estate, Rhuddlan Two-day family fun and music festival featuring Eliza & The Bear, Toploader and much more. Weekend camping from £57. Visit www.rhuddfest.co.uk.

Classy entertainment at Theatr Clwyd friends off it. This new play Educating Rita, 20th May-1st explores the highs and lows June A hilarious and heartof life in the theatre. 7.45pm. warming comedy written by Tickets from £10. Willy Russell and starring Stephen DID YOU The Girl With Tompkinson as KNOW? Incredibly Long Hair, Frank. 2.30pm & The film version 23rd-25th May Join 7.30pm. Tickets of Educating Rita Rapunzel, her Mam from £10. was nominated and her friend Daf as for three they set off on into the Oh No It Isn’t, Oscars woods on an adventure. 20th May They’re Times vary. In English the best of sisters or Welsh. Tickets from £10. onstage but the worst of

Rotterdam, 3rd-5th June A critically acclaimed play about gender, sexuality and being a long way from home. 7.30pm Tickets from £10. Jim Rattigan’s Pavillon, 11th June Timeless standards and scintillating originals from the jazz French horn master, with an ensemble of saxes, trumpets, trombones, piano, double bass and drums. 8pm. Tickets £14. www.theatrclwyd.com

26th-27th May, Medieval Merriment Weekend, Conwy Castle The castle comes to life with an array of medieval servants 10am-4pm. £9.90 adults, £28.90 families.

Make time for Discovery

Bangor Science Festival has teamed up with the Festival Of Discovery to offer fascinating opportunities for families from 30th May to 1st June at Mona Show Ground, Anglesey. Camping is available. Visit www.bangor.ac.uk/ bangorsciencefestival or www.festivalofdiscovery. wales for further details.

A rail ale festival The Welsh Highland Railway Society’s Real Ale Festival takes place from 17th to 19th May offering an eclectic mix of a real ales and ciders, plus music, fine food and, of course, steam trains. www. festrail.co.uk

All the fun of the bear at Llangollen Meet Paddington, 25th May Paddington will be appearing at Llangollen Railway at intervals between 10.30am and 3.30pm. Face painting is available on platform 1 at Llangollen, and trains go all the way to Corwen with a magic show at Carrog. 10am-5pm. Tickets £19 adults, £11.50 child.

Father’s Day Treat, 16th June Give Dad something special – a return trip on a steam train to Corwen and the chance to enjoy a pork pie, a scotch egg and a bottle of real ale. Soft drinks are available for children and there is the option of wine instead of ale. 1.15pm departure. Adults £25, children £13. www.llangollen-railway.co.uk

Zip World Rocks Curated by Mike Peters of The Alarm, Zip World Rocks takes place at Penrhyn Quarry, Bethesda, on 15th June from 2pm until late with fine music, food, drink all in aid of the Love Hope Strength Foundation. Confirmed acts include Cast, Miles Hunt of The Wonder Stuff and Mike Peters himself. Standard tickets cost £25 for adults and £15 for children. The event is preceded by Snowdonia Rocks, a 20k charity family friendly hike in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. Music and celebration. It’s not to be missed! For more details on both events, visit www.zipworld.co.uk.

26th-27th May, The Wise Woman & The Surgeon, Plas Mawr, Conwy An exploration of Tudor medicine – from amputation to herbal medicines. 11am-4pm. £7.30 adults, £21.20 families.

27th May, NGS Open Day: Garthewin, Llanfairtalhaiarn Valley garden with ponds and woodland areas. 2pm6pm. £5 adults, children free. Homemade teas are available. For details, call 01745 720288.

30th May-1st June, Anglesey Food Festival, Anglesey Showground Farmers, producers, restaurants and hotels gather to display the amazing variety of food and produce in the area. There will also be cookery demonstrations with art and craft, music and children’s activities. www.angleseyfoodfestival.com

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Live at Venue Cymru

1st-2nd June, Naturally Pure Vegan, Health & Well Being Festival, Llangollen Pavilion Live music, talks, movie screenings, fitness classes, plus a vegan comedy night with a three-course buffet. From £4 per day. Email janmichelle. events@gmail.com.

DID YOU KNOW? Annie is based on a comic strip called Little London’s West End Orphan Annie starring Craig Revel

2nd-30th June, Qi By The Sea, Plas Newydd House, Anglesey Join a series of relaxing qigong classes with a local instructor. 11.30am-12.30pm & 1.30pm-2.30pm. Free, but National Trust admission applies.

15th June, Choral Promenade Performance, Bodnant Garden, Conwy Coastal Voices and Bangor Community Choir perform in the garden. 2pm3.30pm. Free but National Trust admission applies.

Strictly Come Dancing: The Professionals, 9th May Strictly’s professional dancers take to the stage. 7.30pm. Tickets from £36.50. An Evening With Katherine Jenkins, 10th May Britain’s best-selling classical artist of the last 25 years performs her new album Guiding Light. 7.30pm. Tickets from £31.

Annie,14th-18th May The smash-hit production comes to Llandudno for one week only, direct from

Horwood. 7.30pm. Tickets from £19.

Welsh National Opera Orchestra, 19th May A concert programme of Grieg, Mahler and Tchaikovsky. 3pm. Tickets £24.50. Jane McDonald, 9th June The BAFTA awardwinning star is guaranteed to bring the audience to their feet with music and laughter. 7.30pm. Tickets from £36.50. www.venuecymru.co.uk

Join the celebrations at William Aston Hall •

16th June, Family Fun Dog Show, Denbigh Castle Join dogs and their owners on Father’s Day for a friendly, family-orientated dog show. There are numerous categories suitable for everyone – will you win the Scruffiest Mutt rosette? 11am-4pm. £1 per category (dogs may be entered in multiple categories). Normal castle admission applies.

16th June, Dad’s Go Free, Gypsy Wood Park, Caernarfon There’s something for everyone at Gypsy Wood, whether you want to wander through woodlands, enjoy the play park or sit back and relax on Woody’s Railway. From £7.50 adults and £6.50 children – and nothing for dads! Visit gypsywood.co.uk.

26th-29th June, Art & Craft Exhibition, Church of St George, Abergele 10-6pm, with a craft fayre on 29th June in the village hall, 10am-3pm. £3. To book a table, call 01745 825906.

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra 50th Anniversary Gala Concert, 4th May Mark Lansom conducts a programme that includes Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite and Rimsky Korsakov’s Scheherezade, with international concert pianist Vicky Yannoula performing Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto. 7.30pm. Tickets £11. Pub Landlord Al Murray, 11th May Born in the cellar behind the boxes of crisps, the Guv comes from a noble line of publicans. At five he was collecting glasses at a professional level; at 10 he was competing against adults in drip tray emptying championships. When he barred someone for wearing sunglasses inside aged just 13, it was clear that this was the job he was made for. 7pm. Tickets £30.25. The Bluetones, 24th May Formed in 1993, the Bluetones

scored 13 top 40 singles and three top 10 albums in the UK. 7pm. Tickets £23.10. Dear Zoo, 28th-29th May Rod Campbell’s timeless children’s classic book is back on stage. Times vary. Tickets from £15.40. James Acaster: Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999 Tour, 31st May James once ate a spoonful of the cold lasagne from the fridge at 4am because he was drunk and it was delicious. As he had also been spending time thinking about how 1999 was the best year of his life, he changed the name of a WhatsApp group he was in to COLD LASAGNE HATE MYSELF 1999. The next day he was asked to name his new show. The rest is history. 7.30pm. Tickets £20.35. www.thewilliamastonhall.com

Stay on track for family fun days! In foothills of Snowdonia is GreenWood, consistently voted Best Family Attraction in north Wales. Here you’ll find the UK’s only solar-powered water ride and the world’s first peoplepowered rollercoaster, plus the longest sledge run in Wales

From 4th to 6th May, people from Conwy, Gwynedd and Anglesey can enjoy half-price entry, and from 25th May to 2nd June, pirate extravaganza Shiver Me Timbers will include a treasure hunt and shows. www. greenwoodfamilypark.co.uk

16 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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One of Britain’s best-known modern adventurers, Simon Reeve, is heading to Venue Cymru in Llandudno later this year with tales of his explorations. The TV presenter talks to Shire about his live tour and how he is looking forward to sharing his travel talk with audiences

Simon hopes that audiences will want to take on their own adventures after seeing his show. ‘I’m very keen that people push themselves into unfamiliar territory. This is the golden age for travel – these days, ordinary people can have adventures that in the past only kings and queens could have. But people can be reluctant to leave their holiday resort – sitting by the pool being milked for cash, being served drinks in primary colours! I’m urging people to go beyond the confines of the resort. That’s where you get the best memories.’

Take up the challenge


imon Reeve’s TV adventure documentaries are shown in more than 60 countries, entertaining millions with his unique style that blends adventure and fun with serious issues. Now he’s bringing his adventures to life in the flesh with a live tour packed with inspiring tales from around the worlds, from hunting with the bushmen of the Kalahari and tracking lions to dodging bullets on frontlines and being detained for spying by the KGB. Simon’s life was not always this dramatic. As he explains, one of his earliest adventures – one that perhaps sparked the flame of his future – took place right in the middle of the Shire patch. ‘I can still remember an initial panic when I got separated from my parents in Ludlow Castle, and then a real sense of joy at having a chance to explore the ruins on my own,’ Simon says. ‘I was only about six years old, and it should have been at least a little bit scary, but I just found it thrilling. It’s a gorgeous old castle, and it was one of my first adventures.’

Stage fright

Obviously inspired, Simon has gone on to experience some of the world’s most terrifying environments, but he still admits to feeling nervous about his forthcoming tour. ‘Walking out on stage is scarier than many of the experiences I’ve had on my travels – even the crazy ones. Imminent death doesn’t bother us as much a social embarrassment! I like doing things that are nerve-racking, and performing a live show is certainly a challenge that gets the ticker going. I like the adrenaline rush.’

It doesn’t matter where you go, Simon says – just throw yourself into the experience. ‘You can go almost anywhere. I’ve had extreme experiences that are upsetting and raw, but I don’t think we need to shy away from them. We just have to approach them carefully and sensibly. Go in with your eyes open and keep your wits about you. It really is a very safe world, as long as you take some basic precautions. ‘We have to get things in perspective. Remember we live in a country where thousands of people are hospitalised each year just putting on their trousers! You can travel almost anywhere, as long as you wear a seatbelt and avoid hotel salad buffets…’ Ultimately, he wants to inspire people to take chances and enjoy life more. ‘We all need a reminder to live the life we want to live, because time is short. If your goal is to break out of a rubbish job, I’ve done that. It is possible. Have faith. Don’t put it off. Just do it!’ An Audience with Simon Reeve comes to Venue Cymru in 2019. Tickets are available at www.simonreeve.co.uk

‘Walking out on stage is scarier than many of the experiences I’ve had on my travels – even the crazy ones. Imminent death doesn’t bother us as much as social embarrassment!’

18 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Experience life as an evacuee at Powis Castle

3rd May, The Upbeat Beatles, Aberystwyth Arts Centre The Beatles tribute band sing sings from the early Cavern days, through Beatlemania, America, Sergeant Pepper and on to Abbey Road. 8pm. £23.

3rd May, The Stick Maker Tales, The Hafren, Newtown, Powys Shepherd Geth Roberts (Llion Williams) might be getting on in years, but he still lives alone, high in the Elan Valley. Peter Cox’s one-man show is a heartwarming tribute to hill-farming communities across Wales. 7.45pm. £10-£12.

4th May, Glanusk Welsh Stallion Show, Royal Welsh Showground, Llanelwedd, Builth Wells This show has grown over the past 50 years to become one of the most popular shows for Welsh horse breeds and is a Welsh Pony & Cob Society Silver Medal Show. 8am. www.glanuskshow.co.uk

4th & 5th May, Open Weekend, Rhiw Valley Light Railway, Berriew Hop on board this 15in gauge railway which runs almost a mile around Lower House Farm alongside the beautiful River Rhiw.

5th May, Dawn Chorus Walk, RSPB, Lake Vyrnwy, Llanwddyn Wake up with the sparrows to hear a cacophony of birdsong with the experts in an unbeatable lake setting. After the walk, enjoy breakfast pastries and a hot drink. 5am7am. £10 adults, £5 children (12-plus, not recommended for those younger). Booking is essential; call 01691 870278.

If you visit Powis Castle in Welshpool this summer, not only can you appreciate its gardens in all their summer glory, you can also step back in time to World War II within the castle walls. From 1939 to 1946 the castle played host to a group of pupils and teachers from the Ashford Welsh Girls’ School, who were evacuated from Middlesex when war was declared. The girls, aged 11 to 16, boarded at the castle at the invitation of George Herbert, 4th Earl of Powis, who was a governor of the school at the outbreak of the war. Recent interviews with several ex-pupils tell an intriguing story of gym classes in the

Three steps to glory on the Montgomery Canal The Montgomery Canal Triathlon takes place on 18th May. Entrants can complete one, two or all three sections of the challenging event, with the full event involving a 17-mile bike ride from Newtown to Pool Quay, an 11-mile walk from Pool Quay to Morton and seven miles by canoe from Morton to the Weston Arm, Lower Frankton. The closing date for entries is 4th May. First aiders will be on duty throughout the event, and light refreshments and toilets will be available at the end of each section. This year will also see improvements to the canal’s towpath, new canalside nature reserves and the restoration to Crickheath Wharf, all supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. For more information on all these events and more, visit canalrivertrust.org.uk.

ballroom, midnight feasts, homesickness, school plays and the exciting discovery of a secret room which glittered with golden artefacts. In partnership with Theatr Clwyd, staff at Powis Castle will be bringing this untold story to life using film, audio installations, dressed spaces and live interpretation, in areas of the castle that have previously been closed to visitors. These include the castle’s second floor, which is open for the first time since the castle was gifted to the nation in 1952. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powiscastle-and-garden for more information

Katie to steam ahead for first time since 1926

A Fairbourne locomotive almost lost to legend will be the special guest at the Fairbourne Railway Steam Gala from 25th to 27th May. Katie was built in 1896 by Sir Arthur Heywood to run at Eaton Hall near Chester. She led a nomadic existence before finishing her days at Fairbourne. Rescued from the dunes in 1974, her remains have been rebuilt at Ravenglass and she is appearing in steam at Fairbourne for the first time since 1926. Katie will be joined by other visiting engines and model displays, with an intensive special timetable operating during throughout gala. The popular Race the Train event follows on 24th August.

20 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Stay on track for theatre

Smallholding Festival is a spring highlight The Royal Welsh Smallholding & Countryside Festival on 18th and 19th May is a fantastic way to celebrate new life and growth at the Royal Welsh showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells. It is jam-packed with piglets, chicks, ducklings, foals, calves, horses and other animals taking part in a busy two-day schedule of competitions and displays.

The Smallholders’ Centre will continue to be the main port of call for those wanting to dip in and out of the free talks and workshops or pick up some useful advice from the ‘getting started’ stand. The food hall will once again be bursting with regional producers from Wales and the border counties, showcasing

DID YOU KNOW? You can try caving, climbing, footgolf and fitness courses

the very best produce for you to eat straight away or enjoy at home. The popular streetfood area, complete with live music, will also be returning. The Country Life area features the only Premier Open dog show in Wales, the Royal Welsh Trail Running Festival, children’s activities and country pursuits. www.rwas.wales

Be happy and hormonal at The Hafran Join Vicki Michelle and the Hormonal Housewives as they blast their witty way through a catalogue of women’s bits from moody teenagers, men, zumba and therapy to housework, homework, electrolysis, men, sex, working out, staying in, social media and more wine at The Hafran, Newtown, on 9th May. No subject is taboo for these girls and no thought too private as the challenges of modern womanhood are sliced, diced and put to rights. Audiences will be treated to some of the very best bits from a previous tour

of the smash-hit show. This is a seriously funny evening – what these women can’t teach you

about modern womanhood isn’t worth knowing! Tickets cost £24. www.thehafren.co.uk

On 7th July the countryside of the Banwy Valley around the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway will be transformed with Theatre From The Train. While the fields will still be full of sheep, some of them might be pantomime sheep. A lost Roman legion could march on Castle Caereinion and the appearance of invaders from space may herald a frightening future for Llanfair. It’s all part of the entertainment as frequent train departures allow travellers to view the wild goings-on along the railway’s eightmile route, plus colourful events at the stations in Llanfair Caereinion, Castle Caereinion and Welshpool Raven Square. Musicians and street entertainers will join the amateur artistes to create an extravaganza. www.wllr.org.uk

Rising stars at Gregynog Wales’s oldest classical music event, Gregynog Festival, returns from 22nd to 30th June with its traditional early summer combination of beautiful concerts in idyllic locations. Highlights of the concerts in the historic Music Room at Gregynog Hall near Newtown include an allBach programme from rising early music stars A Nocte Temporis and tenor Reinoud Van Mechelen. The festival was founded by Gwendoline and Margaret Davies in 1933, a period in which Elgar and Holst visited the Hall. See gwylgregynog festival.org.

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Live ballet broadcast to Wyeside

7th May, Hydroelectric & Marine Energy Generation, Centre For Alternative Technology, Machynlleth Join the six-day academic course on how to harness the power of water. £750 (£700 concessions), including full-board accommodation.

•11th May, Brecon Farmers’ Market, Market Hall, Brecon

Held on the second Saturday of each month, this gathering offers live music and a chance to meet the locals. There’s also a great selection of local meats, organic fruit and vegetables, cheeses, bread, cakes, and some tempting locally brewed bottled beers. 9.30am-2pm.

11th May, Fun With Watercolours Workshop, Elan Valley Visitor Centre, Rhayader Join local artist Jennifer Chandler to learn interesting ways of applying and manipulating watercolour and inks using everyday products such as surgical spirit and salt. 10am-4pm. £30. Call 01597 810880.

•11th May, Fun Quiz Night, Church House, Welshpool

A chance to test out your grey matter among friends. £2.50 per person, including refreshments. Please being your own drink. Call 07782 166342.

11th-12th May, NGS Open Day: Dingle Nursery & Garden, near Welshpool A fantastic opportunity to take a look around one of the most attractive gardens in Wales, which attracts visitors from around Britain and further afield. 9am-5pm. £3.50 adults, children free. Call 01938 555145.

The Royal Ballet will broadcast Three Ballets: Within The Golden Hour, New Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui & Flight Pattern live to Wyeside in Builth Wells from London’s Covent Garden on 16th May.

DID YOU KNOW? The Royal Ballet was founded in 1931 by Ninette de Valois

Within The Golden Hour is based around couples separating and intermingling to music by Vivaldi and Bosso, while Crystal Pite’s Flight Pattern, revived for the first time, uses a large dance ensemble and Górecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs for a poignant and passionate reflection on migration. Between them, a new work by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui has its premiere. Tickets £17 (£15 concessions). wyeside.co.uk

The literary world comes to Hay-on-Wye Hay Festival Wales 2019, which takes place in Hay-on-Wye from 23rd May to 2nd June, has an impressive line-up offering intellectual views of our ever-changing world. Highlights include conversations with Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond (Upheaval); Nobel Prize-winning biologist Venki Ramakrishnan (Gene Machine) and travel writers Robert Macfarlane (Underland: A Deep Time Journey) and Horatio Clare (The Light In The Dark). Novelist Leila Slimani talks about Adèle, the follow-up to her best-selling novel Lullaby; Man Booker Prize 2018 winner Anna Burns talks Milkman; while Markus Zusak discusses The Book Thief. Julia Donaldson also presents her

Gruffalo live show to celebrate the book’s 20th year, and comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig offers her latest show. For more information and tickets, call 01497 822629 or visit www.hayfestival.com.

Montagues and Capulets descend on Brecon Critics’ Circle Awardwinning company Ballet Cymru present an extraordinary adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet at Brecon’s Theatr Brycheiniog on 6th June. Intense fighting, passionate duets and universal themes echo through dramatic and lyrical choreography in this romantic classic. Exquisite costumes and extraordinary video projections create a world of danger and excitement, where

two young lovers are caught in an age-old feud Ballet Cymru – formerly Independent Ballet Wales – is a young, vital group of dancers who are pushing back the barriers of classical ballet. Using powerful and timeless stories, the company challenges its dancers to interpret some of the finest characters in literature, shedding new light on ancient themes. Tickets cost £15 for adults. For more information, visit www.brycheiniog.co.uk.

22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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

25th 26th & 27th May

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

Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway’s Katie will steam at Fairbourne for the first time since 1926

Other Visit

es ing Engin

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

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

The Littlehampton Railway’s 12¼” gauge “Albert” Windmill Farm Railway’s 15” gauge “Mountaineer”

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

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32nd Welshpool Country Music Festival

The Aberystwyth

The longest electric cliff railway in Britain w w w. abe r y st w y thecliff railway. com

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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.

Cliff Railway


Alan Westwood Black Steel Trio Ian Highland Band Weekend Ticket: Booked before 31st Dec £30.00pp Jonny and Lynette Cumberland Road Trio Booked Between 1st Jan to 30th April £35.00pp SUNDAY After 1st May £40.00pp Day Visitors £15.00pp Accompanied children U16 FREE General enquiries: David Corfield 07885 484228 Email: recorfield@hotmail.co.uk

Souls & Stone Danny Lee Band Kalibre Capricorn Band Steve Cherelle

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

or send bookings to The Heulwen Trust, 10 Bryn Glas, Welshpool, Powys SY21 8RF. Please enclose a SAE.

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Cliff Terrace, Aberystwyth, SY23 2DN

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18th-27th May, Aberystwyth Cycling Festival A celebration of cycling, including town centre criterium racing, downhill mountain biking and a mass participation ride – the Continental Welsh Wild West Sportive – covering all the best roads in Ceredigion. www.abercyclefest.com

Spitfire flypast in the Severn Valley An RAF Spitfire will power Elsewhere as part of the its way through the skies of the festival, a coracle relay race will Severn Valley on 23rd June as be held on the Canal Wharf on part of the two-day Welshpool 22nd and 23rd June. It’s free to enter a team of four Transport Festival. DID YOU The much-loved and all equipment is KNOW? provided. To enter, aircraft is expected 20,351 Spitfires call Welshpool to arrive at 3.10pm and to pass over Town Council on were built and 01938 553142. three times. It will 238 survive, There will also also perform some with 111 in manoeuvres, weather be regular return the UK journeys on the conditions permitting.

Past, present and future at Aberystwth Arts Centre

Matt Forde: Brexit Through The Gift Shop, 10th May Political comedian Matt Forde brings his sell-out Edinburgh show to Aberystwyth has he prepares to wave goodbye to life as an EU citizen. 7.30pm. Tickets £15. All My Sons, 14th May Live from The Old Vic, Sally Field (Steel Magnolias) and Bill Pullman (The Sinner) star in Arthur Miller’s blistering drama, set in 1947 America. 7pm. Tickets from £10. www. aberystwyth artscentre.co.uk

Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway, plus a chance to ride on a miniature railway at Welshpool Raven Square station. Free parking is available at the Tourist Information Centre. www.welshpool transportfestival.org.uk

Free train ride for Dads Corris Railway, which runs through the Dulas Valley, will be hosting a series of special events, as well as scheduled passenger services on Saturdays, Sundays and bank holidays, over the summer. A special Gala Day takes place on 26th May, featuring steam and diesel trains. And on 16th June, dads can enjoy a free train ride and a small gift for Father’s Day if accompanied by a child under the age of 15. There will also be a selection of weekday services.

All services on Corris Railway are operated by volunteers, who have undergone in-house training and have passed a test on the railway’s rulebook. More volunteers to join the station’s operating staff and train as a driver, guard, blockperson, controller, or ticket-seller are always welcome. For further details, visit www.corris.co.uk.

Half-term fun at Llanerchaeron Llanerchaeron, the National Trust’s working farm estate near Aberystwyth, has an action-packed May half term, with events and activities every day to keep you and your family entertained. On 25th May, families can join the resident ranger on a bug hunt, build a den, get planting with the gardener and watch a flock of sheep get their annual hair cut.

Elsewhere, Partnerships Of Power builds on 2018’s Petticoats Of Power exhibition to expand the stories of the people of this working estate. Hear stories of the important partnerships of the estate through its history and how they shaped Llanerchaeron’s rich history and paved the way for its future. www. nationaltrust.org. uk/llanerchaeron

23rd May, Orlando, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon Performer Rebecca Vaughan and writer/ director Elton Townend Jones explore what it means to find our place in the world while remaining true to who we are. Based on the 1928 novel by Virginia Woolf. 7.30pm. £12.

25th May, Shearing Day at Llanerchaeron, near Aberystwyth Witness the National Trust’s flock of wonderfully woolly Llanwenog sheep as they get their annual hair cut. The Ceredigion spinners and weavers will be on hand to work the finished wool. 11am-4pm. Free event, but normal admission charges apply.

25th May, Welshpool Music Festival This free event fills the rural town with live music in cafés and pubs, creating a truly friendly festival atmosphere to put a spring in your step and showcasing the many new and up-and-coming talented musicians of mid Wales. www.welshpoolmusicfest.com

26th May, Welsh Open Stoneskimming Championships, Llanwrtyd Wells Almost everyone has skimmed a stone at some stage of their life. Ducks & Drakes (for the British) and Ricochets (for the French) are just two of the names for the game played across the world. Now it’s more than just a game – join the sport! £5. May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 25

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Mix politics and music in Hay-on-Wye Extreme racing from Barmouth to Fort William The Three Peaks Yacht Race on 15th June is one of the oldest and most remarkable multi-sport endurance races in the world. This classic sporting event – which combines sailing, running and cycling – challenges intrepid teams to sail from the coastal resort of Barmouth, up the west coast of the UK to finish in Fort William. On the way, the teams will scale the highest peaks in Wales, England and Scotland. The race draws competitors from the worlds of off-shore cruising and round-theworld racing. Sailing and sports clubs, military and company teams all enter too. The race start is preceded by a truly stunning procession of yachts from Barmouth Harbour to the start line off shore, with many events, stalls and music performances on the quayside to entertain onlookers. The race then proceeds to Caernarfon, where two crew members race to the summit of Snowdon, then on to Whitehaven for the ascent of Scafell Pike and finally Fort William and Ben Nevis. For more details, including event timings, visit www. threepeaksyachtrace.co.uk.

Anna Soubry, who left the Conservative party and is now an Independent MP, is among the speakers at the How The Light Gets In Festival, which returns to Hay-onWye for a bank holiday weekend filled with groundbreaking ideas, from 24th to 27th May. Comedy actress Helen Lederer and journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown will also be sharing their ideals at this unique festival of ideas and music, which promises more that 300 events, including 100 80 debates and talks, 200 music and performance events, plus comedy, DJs, banquets, late night parties, spa sessions, academy courses,

film and more. There will also be music from Anna Calvi, British Sea Power, Ewan Pearson, The Correspondents and Savage Disco, among others. Recent festivals have featured Nobel Prize winners, former leaders of all the UK’s political parties, Man Booker Prize authors, poet laureates, academics, activists, artists and world-leading philosophers. Discover ground-breaking ideas and new thinking, where imaginations are set free. Day tickets cost from £38 when booked in advance. Flexi tickest are also available. For more information, including the full programme of events, visit www.howthelightgetsin.org.

Guided bird walk in Brecon

The Brecon Beacons are home to a spectacular array of bird species, including the wheatear, stonechat, red kite, skylark, peregrine, ring ouzel and cuckoo, and you may be lucky enough to see them all on a guided bird walk on 8th May. The day will start at the Brecon Visitor Centre’s tea rooms, where you can grab a coffee and have a chat about the day of birdwatching ahead. From there, walkers will head out to identify a variety of mountain and moorland birds, expertly guided by Paul Williams, leader for the day. Paul is a qualified mountain leader based in the Brecon Beacons, and has a lifelong interest in ornithology, especially upland species. He has carried out surveys and conservation work for the RSPB. The walk is 12km long with 475m of ascent, and takes between five and six hours. Please bring your usual hill walking kit and a packed lunch. Tickets cost £25. For more information and to book, visit www.breconbeacons.org.

Vision of a zero-carbon Britain in Machynlleth Machynlleth’s Centre for Alternative Technology (CAT) is running a two-day course on Zero Carbon Britain from 1st to 2nd May, ideal for educators, policymakers, campaigners and anyone else who wants to understand how the UK can rise to the climate challenge. Since its inception in 2007, CAT’s Zero Carbon Britain project has offered the hard data and confidence required for visualising a future where we have DID risen to the demands of YOU KNOW? climate science. It has The UN Paris helped to reduce fear Agreement and misunderstandings demands net-zero and open new, positive, greenhouse gas solution-focused emissions by conversations. www.cat.org 2050

26 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Raise a glass at Machynlleth’s festival Real ale, music and hundreds of live shows will draw crowds to the friendly, historic town of Machynlleth between 3rd and 5th May for the Machynlleth Comedy Festival. Stand-up comedians Josh Widdicombe, Mark

Watson, Annie McGrath and Max & Ivan are among the festival’s highlights. A bar in the big top on the lawns of Y Plas has a free music programme, plus a 50-cask festivale. There are also free performances in the woodland

pavilion, a free interactive family programme in the kids’ tent and pop-up performances a-plenty. To buy advance tickets and to see the full programme of events, visit machcomedyfest.co.uk. If you would prefer to take a punt on the weekend and see what takes your fancy, there is also a festival box office at the Owain Glyndwr Centre.

Enjoy a picnic with dinky donkeys in the Beacons

Take your family for a walk with a difference in the Brecon Beacons this summer and interact with a pair of sweet mini donkeys for an experience to remember. The adorable donkeys will carry your picnic and walk with you along ancient drovers’ routes

to a scenic picnic point with amazing views. You can take in views of Pen y Fan and the Central Beacons on one side, and the Black Mountain and the Carmarthenshire Fans to the other. The whole encounter takes around 90 minutes to two

29th May, Wild Wednesday Bugs & Slugs Picnic, RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Enjoy a picnic lunch after a minibeast and scavenger hunt, plus games and activities. For children aged four to 12 (must be accompanied by an adult). 11am-2pm. £10. Booking essential; call 01691 870278.

30th May, Dam Open Day, Elan Valley, Rhayader Join the rangers for a chance to venture into Pen y Garreg dam and up to the central tower. 1pm-4pm £5 adults, £1 under-16s. Half of proceeds go to WaterAid.

31st May, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon Meet mischievous imp Puck, along with a host of fairies, mortals and even someone who has turned into a donkey. There are craft workshops and a Fairy Tea Party the week preceding the main show. 7pm. £10.

hours, and is a leisurely stroll accompanied by a guide. Group sizes are usually a maximum of four people, unless booking as a group. Private sessions can also be arranged for just one or two people. For prices and further information, visit gooddayout. co.uk/experiences/dinkydonkey-walking.

1st June, Sheep Dog Shepherding Morning, nr Crickhowell Spend time with a farmer and his collies learning the commands and then having a go yourself. 10.30am-noon. For prices, see gooddayout.co.uk.

7th-9th June, Welshpool Poetry Festival Workshops and readings take place across the town during this relaxing and thought-provoking weekend of verse. Prices vary. www. welshpoolpoetryfestival.org.uk

Acres to explore this summer at Abbey-Cwm-Hir Hall It is perhaps best known as gothic mansion near a ‘Christmas house’, but Llandrindod Wells have been Abbey-Cwm-Hir sympathetically restored, Hall also has and contain hundreds DID YOU 12 acres of of trees, shrubs and KNOW? gardens open herbaceous borders A full tour of for summer planted out over the visitors. The Abbey-Cwm-Hir last decade. There grounds is also a walled Hall is £16; garden garden, serene lake, of the

only is £5

boathouse and waterfall, as well as woodland walks, lawns, courtyards, terraces, a gypsy caravan, shepherd’s hut, beach huts and a vintage caravan, all overlooking the ruins of a 12th-century Cistercian abbey. Tours are available. Visit abbeycwmhir.com to book. May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 29

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26th April-6th May, Spring Art Exhibition, Sicily Oak Gallery, Cholmondeley Stunning paintings and sculpture from established and up-and-coming artists from across country. 10am-6pm.

3rd May, Tom Seals, Brasserie Abode, Chester Tom is a fresh musical powerhouse of the piano, whose virtuoso soloing, excellent improvisation skills and distinctive voice have left top industry officials hailing him as one of the UK’s finest blues and boogiewoogie piano/vocalists. 7pm.

4th-6th May, Craft Fair, Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield A wide selection of handmade crafts and gifts from around the world in two large marquees, plus speciality food stalls. 11am-3.30pm. Adults £3, under-15s free.

4th-6th May, Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Little Budworth The Bennetts British Superbike Championship has a new look this season, with a mixture of big-name superstars, established series veterans and young guns making up an eclectic grid for 2019. Two Bennetts BSB races headline the weekend, with a superb support line-up including action from the Dickies British Supersport and Pirelli National Superstock 600 and 1000 Championships. From £38 adults, £23 children.

6th May, Kindertons Colour Run, King George V Playing Fields, Crewe The event, sponsored by Crewe Town Council, will see participants taking part in a Colour Run in order to raise money for Kindertons’ chosen charity, Cheshire Buddies. Cheshire Buddies, which is based in Crewe, supports children and young people with a range of disabilities, providing activity clubs, holiday clubs and residential breaks through the year. Entry £15 per person. For more information, email events@crewefc.org.uk.

Sport of kings for all the family Witness the thrill of the sport of kings at Chester Polo Club with a tournament on 21st and 22nd June. The White Oak UK Polo Series offers spectators the opportunity to witness the thrill of live polo at the Roodee, Chester Racecourse. This exhibition series attracts highly skilled players from around the globe, where there will be the chance to witness outstanding play and sportsmanship. Chester Polo Club has also teamed up with north-west publication ParentFolk for a

Family fun at Tatton Park

family-friendly curated session of sounds, sport, sustenance and simple fun on the Saturday, with a range of traders, streetfood vendors and activities for little ones. Tickets to ParentFolk + Family cost £7.50 per person for ages four-plus. Hospitality packages are also available. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.chester-races.com/polo.

Fun with your little monkey

Brilliant In The Extreme Mansion Tour, 2nd May Aside from the sumptuous staterooms, a guided visit of the mansion also offers a view of the life of the staff. Booking essential. 11am. £12 per person. Tatton Park Country Fair, 18th-19th May Something for everyone, from horse stunts to historical reenactments, steam engines, food, a licensed bar and a Fun Family Companion Dog Show on the Sunday. 10am-5pm. £7.50 adults, £4 children. Classic Car Spectacular, 1st-2nd June Around 2,000 classic and performance cars, plus the Giant Cheshire Autojumble with 200 stalls. 9.30am-4pm. £9 adults, £6 children, under-10s free. Dogfest, 15th-16th June Join hundreds of dog lovers alongside special guests Professor Noel Fitzpatrick and Clare Balding, with a variety of activities and arena displays. £16.50 adults, £10.50 children, under-sixes and dogs free. www.tattonpark.org.uk

May festival returns to Chester Racecourse The Boodles May Festival offers three days of races at Chester Races from 8th to 10th May. On the inaugural day you can see the Lily Agnes Stakes, the Chester Vase and Cheshire Oaks, followed by Ladies Day on the 9th and Chester Cup Day on the 10th. Tickets cost from £10. www.chester-races.com

Bring your little monkeys to Chester Zoo for games, stories, rhymes and sensory fun. The tot sessions run every Wednesday during term time from 10.30am to 11.30am, alternating between Bembe Coffee Shop and Jaguar Coffee Shop. On 8th and 15th May the theme is Plant Tots, on 22nd May and 5th June enjoy Minibeasts, and there’s Messy Monkeys on 12th and 19th June. Normal zoo admission applies. £2 per child. Visit www.chesterzoo.org to book.

Historic yarns on a Congleton walk Discover Congleton’s forgotten past on a museum walk entitled Mill Walks & Industrial Yarns with Lyndon Murgatroyd on 5th May. Meet at the museum at 2pm. Entry costs £6, including cream tea. Visit www.congletonmuseum.co.uk for details.

Fun, fizz and food at Blakemere Gin & Fizzfest sparkles at Blakemere Village, Northwich, from 7th to 8th June. At each of the three sessions, in the afternoon or evening, you can enjoy a selection of delicious food and drinks while being entertained by live DJ and percussionists. A fantastic selection of local gins is on offer, as well as gins from further afield – all served with delicious mixers. Tickets cost from £15, and a a gin-based welcome drink in your own goblet is included in the price. Over18s only. Visit www. blakemerevillage.com.

30 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Music and laughter at Crewe Lyceum


8th May, Chester Music Society Gala Concert, St Mary’s Creative Space, Chester Laurie Ashworth (soprano), Rachel Fillhart (clarinet) and John Gough (piano) bring the showcase season to a conclusion with works by Franz Schubert, John McCabe and Arnold Cooke. 7.30pm. £16. Call 01928 787496.

Stewart Francis: Into The Punset, 1st May The star of Mock The Week and Live At The Apollo. 8pm. Tickets £24.50. Someone Like You: The Adele Songbook, 2nd May Katie Markham recreates the magic of the Adele’s albums: 19, 21 and 25. 7.30pm. Tickets £23.50

Aliens Love Underpants, 3rd-5th May Based on the kids’ book. Times vary. Tickets £14.50. Jango Starr: One Man Shoe, 11th May A unique silent physical theatre including circus clowning, slapstick comedy, puppetry, juggling and absurd magic. 2pm. Tickets £8.50.

Reginald D Hunter, 8th June Celebrating his 20th anniversary living and performing in the UK. 8pm. Tickets £27. Jimmy Carr, 20th & 29th June ‘Having political correctness at a comedy show is like having health and safety at a rodeo.’ 7pm & 10pm. Tickets £33.50.

Horrors at Storyhouse Theatre

Monster magic at county show Enjoy an action-packed couple of days at the Royal Cheshire County Show from 18th to 19th June at Clay House Farm, Knutsford. You can expect monster trucks, cossack riders, pony club games and birds of prey displays, as well as plenty of food, drink and shopping. Day tickets from £19 adults, £8 children. www.royalcheshireshow.org

Rally at Churches View Farm Kelsall Steam & Vintage Rally returns to Churches View Farm, Ashton, near Chester on 22nd and 23rd June. Tickets £10 adults, £2.50 children. www. kelsallsteam rally.co.uk

Chester’s Storyhouse Theatre presents Howard Ashman and Alan Menken’s musical Little Shop Of Horrors from 10th May to 2nd June to mark the arts centre’s second birthday. The perennial cult-favourite sci-fi musical follows the story of floral assistant Seymour, who

stumbles across a new breed of carnivorous plant that promises to grant him fame, fortune and all his desires – as long as the blood keeps flowing. Little Shop Of Horrors features the creative talent of Olivier Award-winning director and choreographer Stephen Mear. Tickets cost from £18 for adults, with £7 tickets available for under-26s on Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more information and to book your tickets, visit www. storyhouse.com.

11th May, Spring Foraging course, Marbury Country Park Enjoy a walk around the park and castle grounds, learning how to identify the spring shoots, plants, flowers and mushrooms. Noon3.30pm. Call 01981 590604.

11th May, Born Survivor, Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield A physical endurance challenge designed by elite British Royal Marines commandos. Are you tough enough? Sign up at www.born-survivor.com

11th May, Chloë Hanslip with Northern Chamber Orchestra, The Heritage Centre, Macclesfield Violinist Chloë steps out of the orchestra to play Bach’s A minor violin concerto and Arvo Pärt’s Fratres. To close, the orchestra play Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings. 7.30pm. From £12.

12th May, IWA Chester & Merseyside Branch Waterways Walk, Walton, Warrington A 3.5-mile walk along the Appleton reservoir and Bridgewater Canal. 10.45am. Call 07500 300347.

Outdoor fun at Dunham Massey

Four days of plays

Special Guided Walk: Two Villages, 4th May Discover Dunham Town and Little Bollington. 11am. Free event, but National Trust charges apply.

Teddy Bears’ Picnic, 1st-2nd June 11am-4pm. Free, but usual charges apply.

Music In The Garden, 4th May and other dates Dig out your picnic blanket! Noon to 3pm. Free, but National Trust charges apply.

Wuthering Heights, 22nd June 7pm. Tickets cost £16 adults, £11 children £11. Visit www.national trust.org.uk/dunham-massey.

Knutsford Little Theatre hosts the 4th International Playfest from 5th to 8th June, with short plays each evening from 7.30pm. All plays will be under 10 minutes and written by amateur playwrights. Tickets £10. Visit www. knutsfordlittletheatre.com. May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 31

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Showtime at Ellesmere Port Civic Hall

12th May, Plant Hunters’ Fair, Adlington Hall, Macclesfield The popular plant fair is now in its 11th year, and is set against the backdrop of the DID YOU fabulous historic hall and surrounded by the KNOW? beautiful gardens and Basil Fawlty is based parkland. Entry costs £3 (under-15s free), on a real Torquay including access to the hotel owner, gardens. 10am-4pm.

•13th May, Museum Explorers,

Donald Sinclair

Grosvenor Museum, Chester A fun interactive session exploring nature’s changing seasons and discovering lots of surprising things from the past through play, crafts, stories and songs. Suitable for children aged two to four (younger siblings welcome). 9.50am-11am. £2.

The Sitcom Experience: Basil & Co – The Dinner Show, 4th May Join Basil, Sybil and Manuel as they treat you to a hilarious dining experience inspired by Fawlty Towers. 7.30pm. Tickets £37.

The Great British Seaside Show, 12th June Take a trip down memory lane, back to the good ol’ days when summer meant family trips to the Great British Seaside. Includes a tribute to George Formby. 2pm. Tickets £14.

17th-18th May, Alderley Edge May Fair A firm favourite with locals and visitors alike, featuring a village parade, arena events, live music, funfair, circus, dog show, artisan market stalls and a licensed bar. Free entry.

19th May, Anderton Boat Lift 10k & Fun Run, Northwich Bolton-based Time2Run Events UK hosts this family-friendly event. Both the 10k and fun run start from the base of the spectacular giant lift, with the trail race starting at 10.30am and the non-competitive fun run at 10am. All participants and their families will have free access to enjoy the historic Anderton Boat Lift site before and after the run. Entry £20 per person. Call 01606 786777.

Manford Comedy Club, 28th June You never know who’ll appear – previous special guests have included Russell Kane, John Bishop and Manford himself. 8pm. Tickets £10. www.brioleisure.org

Heavenly music at Chester Cathedral

14th May, Wine Dinner: A Tour Of The Med, Brasserie ABode, Chester Join the ABode for an exclusive, five-course menu and paired wine flight. Sip your way around the shores of the Mediterranean and explore some of world’s lesser-known wine regions including Cyprus, Croatia, Sicily and Turkey. 7pm. £49. Call 01244 347000.

Hormonal Housewives, 18th June Join Vicki Michelle and the Hormonal Housewives for a comedy night for women about women. 7.30pm. Tickets £25.

A wheely great day out The Festival of 1000 Classic Cars and the North West Classic Motorcycle Show get into gear on 12th May at Cholmondeley Castle Gardens, Malpas, from 10am to 4pm. Tickets cost £9 for adults and £3 for children (under-sevens are free) For more information of the day’s events, visit www.classicshows.org.

The Chester music season climaxes with one of the most memorable concert experiences: Monteverdi’s Vespers Of 1610 performed at Chester on 8th June. Chester Bach Singers will perform alongside the talented young singers of the Fieri Consort and accompanied by the Eighteenth Century Orchestra and the English Cornett & Sackbut Ensemble. The concert takes place from 7.30pm to 10pm. Visit www.chesterbachsingers.org.uk for details.

Join Tom Kerridge and friends down the pub Celebrity chef Tom Kerridge hosts Pub In The Park at The Lambing Shed, Knutsford from 7th to 9th June. The festival brings together the very best food the country has to offer, with a stellar line-up of worldclass chefs and Michelin-starred pubs, as well as a selection of other top UK pubs and restaurants all serving their signature dishes. Combined with great live music,

chef demonstrations, top quality shopping and other festival fun, it has all the ingredients for the perfect foodie experience. Music is provided by big names including Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Cast, Texas, Stereo MCs, Will Young and The Bluetones. Adult weekend tickets cost £150, with afternoon session tickets £30. For information and tickets, visit www.pubintheparkuk.com.

Tudor treats at Little Moreton Hall Immerse yourself in Tudor times this season at Little Moreton Hall, Congleton. From 25th May to 2nd June you can have a go at butter churning and cheese making, while on 5th June you can try your hand at pole lathe bowl turning. Then on 22nd to 23rd June you can experience a traditional midsummer festival. www.nationaltrust.org.uk

32 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Saturday 25 May

City Day

Ladies Day

SportPesa Chester Cup Day

Wednesday 8 May

Thursday 9 May

Friday 10 May

Liverpool Gin Summer Saturday

ladies evening

Saturday 15 June

Friday 28 June

matthew clark summer festival Saturday 29 June

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Toploader at Middlewich FAB Festival


Middlewich Folk & Boat Festival returns from 13th to 16th June at various venues throughout the town, with Toploader headlining on Friday 14th June. The band will perform hits including Dancin’ In The Moonlight and Time Of My Life, supported by festival regular singer-songwriter Emma

Music and art at Sandstone

The Sandstone Ridge Festival is an eclectic festival of art, music and literature across Cheshire from 16th to 19th May, including an English Heritage presentation and a lively evening of folk music with Merry Hell (above). For more see www. sandstoneridgefestival.co.uk.

It would be a crime to miss this! Some of the UK’s best-loved crime writers will visit Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, from 21st to 23rd June for Alibis In The Archive 2019. Visit www. gladstoneslibrary.org for details.

DID YOU KNOW? FAB Festival is expected to attract 25,000 visitors

Stevens and Macclesfield’s the Virginmarys. The festival boasts a vast range of artists, activities and attractions for everyone. Salinae Field will host craft stalls and kids’ rides, while the canalside between Town Bridge and the Big Lock will be lined with beautifully

decorated narrowboats and trade boats making up a spectacular floating market. Tickets cost from £15 per person for adults and £8 for under-16s. Visit www. fabfestival. co.uk for more.

Play time at Forum Studio Theatre

Ladies In Lavender, 8th-11th May Based on the 2004 film starring Judi Dench and Maggie Smith, Ladies In Lavender takes place just before World War II when Ursula and Janet Wittington find their lives changed after a Polish violinist is found washed up on their beach. 2.30pm & 7.30pm. From £7. Coupling, 21st-25th May Tip Top Productions is proud

23rd-27th May, Audlem Music & Art Festival Five nights and three days of music, art and poetry, with groups, performers, artistes, poetry and art exhibitions throughout Audlem village – all free. Camping is available.

25th-27th May, Bank Holiday Bonanza, Lion Salt Works, Marston Family festival with live music, children’s activities, stalls, refreshments and much more. A traditional village festival with a contemporary twist, featuring local live bands throughout the day. 11am-5pm. Free entry.

to present three episodes of Steven Moffat’s hilarious BBC sitcom from the 2000s, which centres around the dating adventures of six friends in their early 30s. 2.30pm & 7.30pm. From £7. Glorious, 5th-8th June Heartwarming comedy about the ‘worst singer in the world’, Florence Foster Jenkins. 2.30pm & 7.30pm. From £7. www.tiptopproductions.co.uk

Top tunes in the Neighbourhood George Ezra, Primal Scream and Richard Ashcroft are among the big names headlining Neighbourhood Weekender in Victoria Park, Warrington, on 25th and 26th May.

19th May, Essar Chester 2019 Half Marathon One of the UK’s longest established and highly regarded half marathons starts at Chester Racecourse and takes in the city centre sights before heading north-west out of the city before returning for a memorable finish outside the town hall and cathedral. 9am. www.activeleisureevents.co.uk

Other top acts appearing at this two-day event include Kate Nash, The Charlatans, Clean Cut Kid and Maximo Park. Weekend tickets for the non-camping event cost £105, with day tickets from £55. Gates open at 12.30pm. nbhdweekender.com

1st-3rd June, Fused Glass Course, Silver Zebra Studio, Middlewich Learn glass fusion, cutting and creating shapes enabling you to create a bowl, sculpture, wall tile or jewellery. 10am-4pm. £245, including all materials, refreshments and lunches. Call 01270 526014.

8th-9th June, Heritage Transport Festival, Lion Salt Works, Marston Evocative festival of a bygone era with a range of vehicles from the 19th and 20th centuries. 10.30am5pm. Suggested donation £2.

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9th June, Congleton Food & Drink Festival More than 100 stalls, both local and national, offering a mouth-watering range of artisan foods and drink, with a tempting selection of street foods from around the world. 10.30am-4.30pm.

•11th June, Margot Fonteyn Centenary Celebration, The

Brindley, Runcorn Ballet Theatre UK marks the centenary of the ballet icon with a celebration of her greatest moments, including highlights from Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, Giselle and more. 7.30pm. £17 adults, £15 children.

Poetry, ballet and music at Parr Hall Charlie Landsborough: The Farewell Tour, 3rd May The UK country music legend’s gigs are full of beautiful ballads, folk, blues, country, rock’n’roll, pop, gospel and anthems. 7.30pm. Tickets from £24. An Audience With Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham, 17th May Join TV’s most experienced, highest ranking and most decorated SAS leader and sniper Mark ‘Billy’ Billingham for an exciting evening of inspirational speaking and stories. Hosted by Mark Llewellyn. 7.30pm. Tickets from £20.

•20th-23rd June, Knutsford Music Festival The festival

returns for its third year in 2019, run by Knutsford Town Council with fringe events hosted by local businesses across the town. The three-day folk event Folk At The Theatre also returns.

Vienna Festival Ballet: Coppélia, 19th May The captivating story of an eccentric toymaker and his beloved doll. The colourful costumes, lively characters and beautiful music from Delibes all combine to create a magical and comical classic

that warms and entertains from start to finish. 2.30pm. Tickets £20 adults and £13 children.

DID YOU KNOW? John Cooper Clarke had a Top 40 hit in 1979

John Cooper Clarke, 29th May The poet’s biting, satirical, political and very funny verse delivered in his rapid-fire performance style first resonated with the punk movement in the late 1970s. He now draws huge crowds in his own right after touring with most of punk’s seminal and ground-breaking bands including Sex Pistols, The Clash and The Fall. 7pm. Tickets from £30. Rich Hall’s Hoedown, 21st June There has never been a better time to be a US comedian in the UK, and Hall’s dismantling of the tenuous relationship between the two countries is as freewheeling and deadly accurate as ever. 8pm. Tickets from £17. parrhall.culturewarrington.org

Something for all folk

21st-29th June, Chester Heritage Festival Join the people of Chester and visitors from further afield as they enjoy performances, exhibitions, walks, talks, storytelling and more across the city. There will be more than 60 events celebrating Chester’s heritage on the city’s streets, along its waterways and in its historic buildings.

21st June, Tears For Fears, Delamere Forest, Cheshire Synth-pop pioneers Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith formed Tears For Fears in 1981 and enjoyed numerous hits including breakthrough single Mad World, Everybody Wants To Rule The World and Shout. 6pm. £49.50 plus booking fee. For more information and to book, call 0300 068 0400.

The Chester Folk Festival brings a long weekend of live music, comedy and dance to Kelsall from 24th to 27th May. Visitors can enjoy concerts, ceilidhs, workshops, dance displays, a craft fair and children’s events, with performers including Blackbeard’s Tea Party, The Askew Sisters, Crows, Belshazzar’s Feast and Steve Turner. There’s also a real ale bar and home-cooked food. Weekend tickets cost from £80 and day tickets from £26. For more details and tickets, visit www.chesterfolk.org.uk.

Equine weekend of fun Bolesworth International Horse Show, from 12th to 16th June, is a must for anyone with an equestrian interest. In the grounds of Bolesworth Castle, near Chester, you can get up close and personal with some the world’s top equestrian stars, enjoy the sports, bars and restaurants, and shop for clothing, crafts and produce. There’s also evening entertainment, plus a vintage fairground and children’s activities. Tickets cost from from £4.40. Visit www. bolesworthinternational. com for details.

A great touch with textiles

Fun family festival

Castles & Roses, an exhibition by Threadmill, takes place at Nantwich Museum from 30th May until August. Threadmill’s members all share an enthusiasm for creativity while using textiles as their principal means of artistic expression. Admission is free. For details, visit www.nantwichmuseum.org.uk.

Billed as ‘Glastonbury for children’, Geronimo Festival returns to Arley Hall, near Northwich from 24th to 27th May boasting music, entertainment, a funfair, food and adventure for under-13s and their families. For tickets and details, visit www.geronimofest.com.

36 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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'Faces of Change', a partnership with the National Portrait Gallery, presents:

Nature’s Champions

An exhibition of people with a passion for the natural world

Uncover their stories at Dunham Massey, Cheshire

In partnership with

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23 March — 9 June, 2019

National Trust is an independent registered charity, number 205846. Image: Octavia Hill by Reginald Grenville © National Trust Images/J. Hammond

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Chester Bach Singers perform alongside soloists from The Fieri Consort, The 18th Century Sinfonia, The English Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble Conductor: Martin Bussey

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Past and present at The Live Rooms


29th June, Pride In The Park Picnic, Queen’s Park, Crewe This event takes place alongside a series of LGBT+ celebrations across the borough as part of the Cheshire East Pride Festival. www.prideinthepark.com

The Wedding Present, 3rd May From their inception, The Wedding Present have stubbornly refused to play the record industry’s game. 6.30pm. Tickets from £18. Ana Popovic, 4th May The singer-songwriter’s latest album, Like It On Top, focuses on empowered, successful, inspiring female role models, celebrating those who take initiative, develop, inspire and motivate. 7pm. Tickets £20.

live act that remain true to AKA Noel Gallagher, 8th June the soul and raw energy of Formed in 2015 by lead singer Marc Bolan’s fantastic songs Matt, who put together a band and performances. 7pm. of musicians to recreate Tickets from £10. the former Oasis DID YOU leader’s songs and KNOW? The Orb, 29th fulfil a longheld Marc Bolan at June One of the dream of playing one time used most pioneering a whole set of Noel’s songs. 7pm. the stage name acts in dance music history bring part Tickets from £8. Toby Tyler two of their 30th anniversary tour to TheRex, 28th June Chester. 7pm. Tickets £22.50. Formed in 2004 as Jeepster, www.theliveroomschester.com TheRex are an authentic

Be on your watch for midsummer One of Britain’s oldest festivals – Chester’s Midsummer Watch – takes place on 22nd and 23rd June, reflecting 500 years of the city’s history. One of the festival’s outstanding features is its giants – enormous structures made of buckram and

pasteboard, carried by two or more men. Starting at 2pm on Saturday, the festival continues the giant tradition, regularly adding new giants to the parade including, in recent years, a fish, green men and a devil. www.midsummerwatch.co.uk

29th June, Classic Ibiza, Capesthorne Hall, Macclesfield The Urban Soul Orchestra conducted by Stephen Hussey returns to Capesthorne Hall for a performance of classic Ibiza anthems under the stars, with live DJ and vocalists. £39.50. www.classicibiza.co.uk

29th & 30th June, The Little Welly Goes Wild 2019, Arley Hall & Garden, Northwich Jampacked full of fun and crazy experiences using the landscape and natural features to design a 3km course with more than 30 big obstacles – involving water, foam and, of course, mud. 9.30am-4.30pm. Call 01491 845331.

30th June, Summer Plant Hunters’ Fair, Cholmondeley Castle Gardens Half price entry to the gardens and plant fair for just £3.50. 10am-5pm.

Make dad’s day on the River Dee Enjoy the garden at Eaton Hall The beautiful Eaton Hall gardens in Eccleston are open to the public on 26th May to raise funds for local charities. The gardens have followed the fashions over the centuries, employing some of the finest landscape designers of the times. Gates open from 10.30am to 5pm. Entry costs £8 for adults and £2 for children (cash only). www.eatonestate.co.uk

Treat the father figure in your life with a two-hour cruise along Chester’s beautiful River Dee on 16th June. The Lady Diana will be dressed in her Sunday best as you sail into the Cheshire countryside. Enjoy a beer or a glass of prosecco on arrival (squash for the

children), followed by a gentleman’s afternoon tea by King’s Acre Cupcakes. Cruises depart at noon and 3pm. Pre-booking is essential. Dads and all adults over 16 cost £27.50, while children aged four to 15 cost £14. For more information and to book visit www.chesterboat.co.uk.

Space for kids at Jodrell Bank There’s plenty to entertain budding scientists at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre, Macclesfield, this May half term. From 25th to 27th May they can join drop-in Rocket Lab! sessions, and from 28th to 31st May watch the Lift Off! live show. There’s also Tiny Astronauts from 28th to 31st May. www.jodrellbank.net May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 39

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TOWNS Nantwich is famous for its range of independent shops, so we asked local business owners what they like about the town and why they set up shop here Kate, Nettle ‘There’s an eclectic mix of restaurants, and lots of independent retailers you can’t find elsewhere.’


Adam, Sea Breeze ‘It’s rare for a town this size to have a fishmongers and some customers travel far.’ Martyn, The Cloud Box ‘The people are the best thing – it’s a friendly town and the people like tasteful things!’ Annmarie, Mr Simms ‘The town is quaint, pretty and friendly, and there are lots of unusual boutiques.’ Corinne, Inside Paradise ‘The local council is quite good at running events, which helps small shops.’ Jean, Daniellas ‘The town prides itself on the variety of shopping – some customers visit from quite far!’ THINGS TO SEE AND DO

Where food and music meet

The market town of Nantwich, Cheshire, is a popular spot for families, with good schools and a great location


ne of Cheshire’s bestpreserved market towns, Nantwich is home to a thriving population of around 18,000 and is home to one of the highest concentrations of listed buildings in England. There are particularly good examples of Tudor and Georgian architecture throughout the town, as well as signs of the original Roman settlement. Salt has been responsible for DID YOU Nantwich’s KNOW? fortunes for This year’s the generations. Jazz & Blues Festival had over Roman garrisons 150 acts! at Chester and Stoke-onTrent used Nantwich salt as a preservative and condiment, and it has been an ingredient in the production of Cheshire cheese as well as in the tanning industry. Even its name can be credited to sodium extraction, as ‘nant’ comes from the Welsh for brook or stream, and ‘wich’ is used to denote brine springs or wells. The town was established as a centre for salt production

Cholmondeley Castle Gardens www.cholmondeleycastle.com International Cheese Awards www.international cheeseawards.co.uk Jazz & Blues Festival www.nantwichjazz.com Nantwich Food Festival www.nantwichfoodfestival.co.uk

The International Cheese Awards

from the 10th century; in the Domesday Book, Nantwich is recorded as having eight salt houses, peaking with a total of 400 in 1530. The area’s natural brine springs were also used for spa or hydrotherapy purposes and the open-air brine pool is still in use today.

Nantwich is home to many listed buildings

If you prefer to find your blues in music rather than Perhaps this salty background cheese, Nantwich is also home to a popular annual Jazz & helped give rise to Nantwich’s Blues Festival over the Easter current status as a favourite for weekend, with artists performing foodies. The annual Nantwich Food Festival takes place over in pubs and venues across the the first weekend in September town, and the event brings a great atmosphere to the town. and attracts artisan producers The town also has pretty from the local area and further canalside locations, a busy and afield, plus an estimated 30,000 varied high street visitors. The International with a mix of big names and Cheese & independent Dairy Awards stores, and a are also held thriving pub and in Nantwich restaurant scene. every year as a part of If you’re still struggling to Nantwich find something Show, an The annual Jazz & Blues Festival that appeals, agricultural how about making time to visit show held at the Dorfold Hall estate in July. the World Worm Charming Exhibitors from miles Championships? These have taken place at Willaston around cram into the Primary Academy since 1980. 83,000ft2 marquee that Contestants furiously tap at the holds the awards to battle ground to get at some worms, it out for top titles among which are then gently extracted, the 4,425 different cheese counted and released without entries from more than harm by the end of the day. two dozen countries.

Award winning

40 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Eaton Hall Gardens Charity Open Day Sunday 26 May 2019


dogs welcome on a lead

Charity open day attractions

88 acres of gardens, Rhododendron Walk, Chester Wind Band, falconry, vehicles and heritage skills displays and a teddy bear trail.

Magnificent hall Award-winning gardens Plant Nursery Grade II* Listed Chapel Gift Shop Gardener’s Kitchen Cafe

Family home for 500 years Location for Peaky Blinders Wedding and corporate venue

Arley Hall & Gardens, Northwich, Cheshire, CW9 6NA 01565 777 353 / www.arleyhallandgardens.com arleyhallandgardens



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: The Countess Charity, Countess of Chester Hospital SSAFA The Armed Forces Charity

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

For details on changes to our regular programme due to scheduled maintenance work visit www.eatonestate.co.uk

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Childhood to menopause at Floral Pavilion Red Hot Chilli Pipers, 12th May Over the past 15 years this band become the most famous bagpipe band on the planet with their groundbreaking fusion of traditional Scottish music and rock/pop anthems. 7.30pm. Tickets £26.50. Milkshake! Live: Milkshake! Monkey’s Musical, 19th May Learn fun songs with your favourite Milkshake! friends, including Fireman Sam, Noddy, Shimmer DID YOU & Shine and Nella KNOW? the Princess, plus two Milkshake! Leo Sayer’s presenters. first manager Noon and was singer 3.30pm. Tickets Adam Faith £17.50 adults, £16 under-16s.

Menopause The Musical, 29th May Packed with one-liners about night sweats, hot flushes and memory loss. 4.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets £26.50. In The Night Garden: Iggepiggle’s Busy Day, 4th-5th June Join Igglepiggle as he find his friends by following their sounds. Times vary. Tickets from £18.50 adults, £16.50 children. Leo Sayer: Just A Boy At 70, 15th June The British music legend tours the UK in celebration of his 70th birthday year. 7.30pm. Tickets £31.50. Jimmy Carr: Terribly Funny, 19th June A brand new show contains jokes about all kinds of terrible things. 8pm. Tickets £31. www.floralpavilion.com

Kicking off in Kirby We Are What We Overcome, 3rd May Matt McGuinness presents uplifting, anthemic tunes, stories and conversation, shedding light on mental health with self-deprecating honesty and dark humour. Supported by Mind, The Samaritans and the Mental Health Foundation. 7pm. Tickets £10. Friday Family Rave, 10th May Classic house and disco from Matty B and Simon D for all the family. There are also kids’ games, face painting, food and a licensed bar. 5pm-9pm. Tickets £5 adults, £2.50 children. Men In General, 19th May A cappella classics mixed with comedy, advice on relationships, fashion, home baking, parking and the tender side of man. 6.30pm. Tickets £12.50. One More Night, 25th May A celebration of the 50th anniversary of Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and more by the acclaimed West Kirby Arts Centre Band. The evening is in aid of Amnesty International. 7pm. Tickets £10. www.westkirby artscentre.org.uk

1st May, Music For A Summer’s Evening, St Thomas’s Church, Parkgate A concert of music for flute and piano, with Laura Jellicoe and Paul Janes, including works by JS Bach and Schubert, together with gems from French Impressionist composers and some lighter classics. 7.30pm. £10 from Mozkitos in Parkgate.

3rd May, Big Band Swing Cruise, Seacombe Ferry, Wallasey Get your glad rags on and join The Prohibition Pop Band for an evening of roaring 1920s glamour. 7.30pm. £18. Call 0151 330 1003.

12th May, Secret Gardens of Oxton The conservation village again hosts this award-winning event, showcasing 20-plus gardens not normally open to the public. Last year the stunning courtyards, rockeries, walled gardens and ponds attracted nearly 4,000 visitors. Other attractions include live music, stalls and children’s activities.

Still pedalling after 21 years The 21st Wirral Bikeathon takes place on 16th June, taking the total fundraising over the past two decades past the £1m mark. All the funds raised go to the charity Bloodwise – the new name for the charity Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research. For more information and to enter, visit www.wirralbikeathon.com.

Carve out a new hobby at Ness Botanic Gardens If you’re looking to try a new craft, why not sign up to Woodcarving For Beginners, which takes palce from 8th to 9th June at Ness Botanic Gardens. The course is designed to teach students the basic techniques needed in all types of carving, covering pattern and design development, tool selection, and relief carving and associated techniques. The twoday course costs £150. Visit www. nessgardens. org.uk for details.

17th May, Opera Dudes, Neston Library From a straight performance to Il Divo meets Morecambe & Wise, these fabulous tenors offer an evening of opera, swing and show songs, featuring music of Michael Bublé, Alfie Boe and Luciano Pavarotti. Part of Neston Music Festival. 7.30pm. £10 from Neston Library. Call 0151 337 4670.

15th-18th May, West Kirby Light Opera Society presents The Pirates Of Penzance, Heswall Hall, Wirral With its swashbuckling pirates, innocent lovers, bumbling policemen, a modern Major General, not-sodutiful daughters and a Pirate King who’s too tenderhearted to make piracy pay, this timeless musical comedy classic is sure to be a treat for the whole family. 2.30pm & 7.30pm. £12.50 adults, £7.50 children. Call 0151 342 2143.

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 43

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Friendly Wirral folk


18th May & 15th June, Family Film Club, Whitby Hall, Ellesmere Port Bring the family along on the third Saturday of the month to enjoy a U-rated movie. 2pm. Entry is free, but viewers are asked to make a donation.

31st May–2nd June, International Mersey River Festival A free three-day celebration of Liverpool’s wonderful and historic waterfront in an extravaganza of family fun, music and entertainment along the iconic River Mersey.

The 14th Wirral Folk Festival returns to the Whitby Club in Ellesmere Port from 30th May to 2nd June, offering a full programme of events including singers, musicians, comedy, ukulele, poetry, skiffle, pirates, sword dancing and a whole lots more besides.

•5th June, Volunteer Task Day, Burford Bluebell Wood,

Wallasey Join the rangers to improve the bluebell woods on the first Wednesday of every month. Activities include path maintenance, pruning, bramble clearance and litterpicking. Tea and coffee provided. Email paulsinclair@wirral.gov.uk.

8th June, Wirral Real Ale Trail Experience 10 of the best watering holes in the Wirral, chosen for their quirkiness, hospitality and choice of real ales. Visit realaletrail.co.uk.

11th-15th June, Secondary Cause Of Death, The Little Theatre, Birkenhead The Carlton Players present this comedy murder mystery written by Peter Gordon. Doors open 7pm. £9 adults, £7 under18s. Visit www. carltonlittletheatre. co.uk for details.

Weekend tickets cost £75 for adults and £37 for 11to 16-yearolds. Under-11s are free. Visit www. wirralfolkonthecoast.com.

Spring shindig at Claremont Farm

2nd June, Our Girl, Birkenhead Central Library Our Girl perform a live set with support from Squid. 2.30pm. £8.

Acts include Chris While & Julie Matthews, Elbow Jane, The Upbeat Beatles, Sam Kelly Trio and Tom McConville Band. There is a campsite is in the extensive grounds of the Whitby Club, as well as craft stalls, real ale and food available in the club’s main lounge.

DID YOU KNOW? The festival workshops include ukelele and poetry

The Tom Spence Spring Shindig at Claremont Farm on 11th May promises to be a day to remember. From 1.30pm to 10pm indulge yourself in craft beer, a gin bar, food stalls and an amazing line-up of live music. The music starts from 2pm, and features Loose Moose String Band, Nicola Hardman, Why

Not Now, Yasmin Depp, Junior Dayvis and more. Bring a deckchair and enjoy the shindig! Over-18s only. Tickets £11.50. For information, go to www.tomspencemusic.com.

Art in the heart of the Wirral The Williamson Art Gallery joins the Wirral Open Studio Tour from 8th to 9th June. The weekend will see artists and makers across the peninsula throwing open their studio doors and inviting visitors in to view their work and get an insight into their inspirations and processes. This free event gives visitors an excellent opportunity to talk to the artists and to view their work in the environment in which it is created, or to just

enjoy wandering through the various studios to answer that eternal question, what do artists do all day? The Williamson Art Gallery will be hosting five artists: mixed media artist David Jones, painter Jo Vickers, and photographers George Evans, Karen Lawrence and Vicky Evans. For a full list of the artists who are taking part in the Wirral Open Studio Tour – and their locations – visit wirralarts.com or follow on Facebook or Instagram.

Keep calm at Church Farm A restorative yoga class continues at Church Farm, Thurstaston, on 31st May at 7.30pm. Yin yoga aims to restore the body’s parasympathetic nervous system for deep relaxation. £10 per session. To book email jadeyogawellness@gmail.com.

Add bling to your bike at Ellesmere Port

Following last year’s success, the Canal & River Trust is once again recreating the 1900s bike carnivals of Ellesmere Port as part of its Bikes & Boats weekend from 25th to 26th May. On the Saturday you’ll be able to decorate your bike and join the activity workshop. On the Sunday morning, join the parade from Whitby Park to the National Waterways Museum. www.canalrivertrust.org.uk

44 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Action-packed antics at Attingham Park


2nd May, The Modern Cheesemaker: Morgan McGlynn, Booka, Oswestry An evening of tastings and insight into the craft of artisan cheesemaking with Morgan McGlynn to celebrate her new book, The Modern Cheesemaker. 7pm. £10, including cheese tasting and a glass of wine. www.bookabookshop.co.uk

4th May, What Lives In The Pond?, Black Birches Garden Centre, Hadnall, nr Shrewsbury Join Shropshire Wildlife Trust for a chance to meet some the fascinating beasties and fearsome hunters that lurk beneath the ripples. All day. 10.30am-3.30pm. Free.

4th May, Field To Fork Festival, Harper Adams University, Edgmond, Newport A festival celebrating and exploring the story of our food, today and in the future. Come along to find out what we are up to and sample some wonderful food and a drink or two. 10am-5pm. Free entry.

4th May, Pretty Muddy, Weston Park, nr Shifnal Climb, crawl and slide your way to beating cancer on this obstacle course suitable for everyone. Pretty Muddy Kids starts at 9.45am, the 5k at 10.30am and the 10k at 10.45am. £19.99 adults, £10 children.

4th-5th May, Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest, various venues Join children’s favourite Jacqueline Wilson and more for this popular, family event that celebrates children’s literature. Shrewsbury Bookfest is to bring the world of books alive for children and to inspire and enthuse them with a love of reading. 11am-5pm. www. shrewsbury bookfest.co.uk

Pot A Sunflower (Seed), 11th May Plant a couple of seeds – one to take home and one for the Attingham gardeners to care for in the Walled Garden. 11.30am-3pm. £2.50, plus normal admission charges.

Attingham Camp 2019, 25th May Bring the family for a one night, fun-filled camping spectacular in the Field of Play. There will be a range of family activities, including stories and marshmallows around the camp fire, bush craft and star watching. Dinner and breakfast provided. £30 adults, £15 children.

Behind Closed Doors, 18th May Let Lord Berwick take you back in time on a dramatic, costumed evening tour of Attingham. 4.45pm-6pm. £8.

Family Wildlife Day, 29th May Join the skilled learning team for a day based around the popular Wildlife school programme, including a guided tractor and

DID YOU KNOW? Attingham Park was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1947

trailer ride around the deer park and a woodland walk. 10am2pm. £9 adults, £7 children. www.nationaltrust. org.uk/attingham-park

Make special memories on Severn Valley Railway Champagne on the Train, 4th & 5th May Enjoy a champagne tasting as you travel through the spectacular Severn Valley in a 1936-built luxurious firstclass carriage (once hauled by the Flying Scotsman). With Nickolls & Perks, one of the UK’s oldest wine and spirit merchants. Various times. Tickets £50. The Antiques Railshow, 11th May Join antiques valuers and experts, including Will Farmer (left, Antiques Roadshow), Nick Davies (top left, Flog It!) and a team from Stourbridge

auctioneers Fieldings, for a day of antiques. 11am-3pm. £22 adults, £14.50 children. Spring Diesel Festival,16th18th May A stunning mix of heritage and mainline diesels £32 for one day, £70 for three. Food & Drink Fayre, 1st & 2nd June Celebrating the best tastes from the Severn Valley at the Engine House, Highley. There’s also a purpose-built playground, picnic

Showtime for your pooches Bring your four-legged friends to Follies Fun Dog Show on 9th June at Hawkstone Park. The show is open from 10am to 5pm (last admission 3pm). Tickets cost £8.25 for adults, £5.75 for children. www. hawkstoneparkfollies.co.uk

area and garden games. £22 adults, £14.50 children. Step Back To The 1940s, 29th-30th June & 6th-7th July A light-hearted journey back to wartime Britain, with a fantastic selection of attractions up and down the line, including costumed re-enactors at the stations and on the trains. Tickets £32 for one day), £89 for four. www.svr.co.uk

Crime writing course

Late Victorian and Edwardian detective fiction is the focus of a course from 13th May to 24th June at Shrewsbury Museum. It costs £60 per person for six sessions. To book call 01743 258881. www.shrewsbury museum.org.uk

46 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Telford’s Place Theatre is top for entertainment

Abundance of colour at British Ironwork Centre Plant Hunters’ Fair, 18th May Highly acclaimed, specialist nurseries with thousands of unique plants and flowers, will be joining the centre on the day to showcase the fruits of their labour. 9am-5pm; £1 per person, in aid of the Plant Hunters’ selected charity. Proms In The Park, 8th June A spectacular evening of music and fireworks to launch the 50th anniversary concert season of the Wrexham Symphony Orchestra. The concert promises to be a family evening of top-class popular music from radio, television, films and the classics. Gates open at 5.30pm; show starts at 7pm. Tickets cost £25 for adults, £13.50 for children.

Oswestry Colour Run, 30th June Take part in the famous 3km colour run around the centre – it will be like nothing you’ve ever experienced before. Firstly, get your energy high and your blood pumping with a group warm-up, led by the Colour Run team. You can then run, walk or skip past a menagerie of colorful, metal safari sculptures in all shapes and sizes while you make your way through the course, encountering numerous multicoloured paint stations buzzing with paint throwers, ready to illuminate the sky and cover you in a fabulous rainbow of shades. Tickets cost £16.50 for adults, £12.50 for children. www.britishironworkcentre.co.uk

Fun, food and fundraising at Derwen College Summer Fete, 30th May Join Derwen College in Gobowen for its annual fete, featuring games, entertainment, shopping, food and something for all the family. The fete takes place in the college’s commercial areas: buy homemade breads, jams and chutneys from the Garden Centre; while food is served in the college’s Orangery Restaurant & Garden Café. Noon-4pm. Free entry. Father’s Day, Derwen College, 16th June Treat your dad father to a special roast dinner in the Orangery Restaurant; there’s even a free gift for every dad. For details, visit www. visitderwen.co.uk.

Bowled over by stellar line-up The annual Rock & Bowl Festival returns to Market Drayton from 25th to 27th May, with tribute acts for all tastes including The Stones, Mercury and Re-Take That. Camping is offered for those who want to enjoy the festival experience. Tickets £55. www.rockandbowlfestival.com

Fun on Shrewsbury buses Regional Transport, based in Shrewsbury, runs Shropshire’s first ever open-top double-decker sightseeing bus tour. The tour runs between Shrewsbury and Ironbridge with various stops, including Attingham Park, Wroxeter Roman City, Museum of Iron and Much Wenlock. The tour is a hop-on, hop-off service, so you can visit the area’s many museums and attractions There’s no need to book – just turn up at one of the bus stops and pay the conductor. The company also hires out its buses for special occasions. Visit www.regionaltransport.co.uk.

An Evening Of Eric & Ern, 3rd May A brilliant homage crammed full of renditions of those famous comedy sketches that hit all the right notes. 7.30pm. Tickets £22.50. The Rolling Stones Story, 17th May Relive the classic hits with a high-energy concert celebrating the music of the world’s greatest rock’n’roll band. 7.30pm. Tickets £22. Vienna Festival Ballet: Giselle, 29th May A tale of innocence, love, betrayal and madness, with music by one of the 19th century’s best composers, Adolphe Adam, and choreography by the late Nicholas Beriosoff. The perfect way to discover classical ballet. 7pm. Tickets £19.50. Reginald D Hunter: Facing The Beast, 6th June Reginald’s searingly honest material has garnered him a fan base that spans generations. 8pm. Tickets £24.50.

Grimethorpe Colliery Band, 16th June Formed in 1917, Grimethorpe Colliery Band is a British institution. The band’s diverse concert performances include at the FIFA World Cup, BAFTA Awards and Eurovision. 3pm. Tickets £22, under-12s £6. www.theplacetelford.com

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•4th-12th May, Ironbridge Gorge Walking Festival

More than 50 free walks, including a number of themed walks ranging from two to 21 miles, covering topics from the wonderful landscape and geology of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site to the wildlife that inhabits its ancient woodlands. www.ironbridgewalking.co.uk

Stage and screen at Festival Drayton Centre Jason Donovan & His Amazing Midlife

Crisis, 14th-15th May The star DID YOU celebrates his 50th birthday KNOW? with tales of Neighbours, Kylie, Jason Donovan I’m A Celebrity…, Strictly and has sold over more. 7.30pm. Tickets £30. three million records in Angela Barnes: Rose-Tinted, the UK 24th May Following a sell-

4th-14th May, Wellington Arts Festival A two-week celebration of arts, poetry, film and entertainment, with events taking place across town including drumming, willow crafting, poems, talks and walks. www.wellingtonartsfest.co.uk

out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Angela is trying – really trying – to look on the bright side of life. 8pm. Tickets £14.

Take That: Greatest Hits Live Via Satellite, 8th June The ever-popular band bring their spectacular Greatest Hits tour to cinemas for one night only, broadcast live from their final concert. 8pm. Tickets £18.50.

An Evening With Sir Geoff Hurst, 6th June The football legend talkes about his West Ham and England career and his life in general. The only man to have scored a hat trick in a World Cup final

The Merry Wives Of Windsor, 20th June Shakespeare’s only comedy set in his native land is broadcast live from the Globe. 7.20pm. Tickets £16.50. www.festivaldraytoncentre.com

Events at Dudmaston Hall

5th-6th May, Clun Green Man Festival Clun’s Green Man will again be attempting to win the age-old battle against winter and darkness and bring in the summer. Sunday is the Ice Queen’s last stand with her Fair in the Square, while Monday sees the main event, with lots of family-friendly fun. £8 on the day, £2 for under-10s.

•5th-6th May, Wedding & Events Showcase, Alderford

Lake, Whitchurch An opportunity to view a stunning venue in a beautiful location with an abundance of wedding and event experts to give you ideas and inspiration. 11am-3pm.

10th May, Swervy World Live At The Chalet, Carding Mill Valley, Church Stretton An evening of ragtime jazz and dance with Swervy World, who play interesting arrangements of traditional jazz and blues classics. 7pm. £7. Booking essential; call 0344 249 1895.

tells the inside story of this greatest ever achievement. 7.30pm. Standard tickets £25; VIP tickets £50.

Storytelling At The Barn, 5th May Join Simon the Storybodger in Comer Woods for 45 minutes of tall tales. 3.30pm-4.30pm. GeoFest 2019: Guided Geology & Landscape Walk, 9th June Peter from Abberley & Malvern Hills Geopark leads a walk. 1.30pm-3pm. Archery With Shropshire Scouts, 16th June Challenge dad on Father’s Day. Noon-4pm. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 19th June The Lord Chamberlain’s Men perform Shakespeare’s most popular comedy. 6.30pm. For prices visit www.nationaltrust. org.uk/dudmaston.

Delicious days in Shrewsbury Shrewsbury Food Festival serves up another recipe for success in Quarry Park and around the town from 29th to 30th June. Expect a stellar line-up of talks, demos and chef schools, a Kids’ Zone and active area, plus a dog creche. Tickets cost £12.50 for adults. www. shrewsburyfood festival.co.uk

Roll up for Theatre On The Steps Strictly Abba, 11th May One of the most authentic and accurate tributes to Abba. 8pm. Tickets £13. Duran Duran Experience, 24th & 25th May The premier Duran Duran tribute band in the UK since 2012 has even performed to members Simon Le Bon’s family. 8pm. Tickets £11. The Secret Lives Of Henry & Alice, 7th June David Tristram’s hilarious insight into married life stars Gill Jordan (known to thousands as the Black Country legend Doreen Tipton) and Tom Roberts (Emmerdale). A rare chance to see this comedy, directed by the author himself. 7.30pm. Tickets £16. Gordon Hendricks Unplugged, 8th June Awardwinning Elvis performer Gordon Hendricks gives us a glimpse into what might have been. 8pm. Tickets £23. Mike Farris, 19th June One of the most compelling performers around performs a mix of originals as well as his own take on gospel and soul favourites. 8pm. Tickets £8. www. theatreonthesteps.co.uk

48 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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FREE Parking

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

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

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at The Greenhous West Mid Showground, Berwick Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 2PF Contact: Chairman Richard Haynes on 07800 566038 or Secretary Lance Jackson on 07802366236

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

So much more than a Flower Show! Attractions for all ages including impressive displays of vegetables, fruits and flowers from our amateur Download exhibitors in the Severn Marquee, stunning floral arrangements, advice our free app from our celebrity gardener David today! Domoney, exciting arena entertainment for all the family, food, crafts & trade Search ‘Shrewsbury stands, cookery demonstrations by Flower Show’ in TV chef John Torode; live music your app store. both evenings and all topped off with world class fireworks.

Shropshire Horticultural Society Charity Number: 501564

Friday 9th & Saturday 10th August 2019

Advance Discount Tickets Available until Thursday 1st August

Call 01743 234058 or visit www.shrewsburyflowershow.org.uk

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Art on film at Kinokulture, Oswestry


DID YOU KNOW? NT Live broadcasts productions to over 700 screens in the UK

NT Live: All My Sons, 14th May Broadcast live from The Old Vic in London, starring Sally Field and Bill Pullman. 7pm. Tickets £12.

NT Live: All About Eve, 15th May Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) and Lily James (Mamma Mia! Here We Go

11th-12th May, Telford Balloon & Kite Fiesta, Town Park, Telford Hot-air balloons fill the skies at this family fun weekend. More than 30,000 people attended the two-day festival of hot air balloons, kites and entertainment in 2018. Free event.

Again) lead in this powerful tale of jealousy and ambition. 7pm. Tickets £12.

ROH Live: Three Ballets, 16th May Immerse yourself in works from three of today’s leading choreographers from the Royal Ballet: Christopher Wheeldon’s Within The Golden Hour, Crystal

Pite’s Flight Pattern and a new work by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui. 7.15pm. Tickets £15. Exhibition On Screen: Van Gogh & Japan, 19th June This film travels through France, the Netherlands and Japan to explore the remarkable heritage that made Van Gogh the artist we know today. 7pm. Tickets £12. www.kinokulture.org.uk

Modern and vintage combine at the Shropshire County Show

Shropshire County Agricultural Show returns to West Midlands Showground on 25th May, headlined by the Bolddog Lings FMX Motorcycle Team Display, with its impressive show of daring bike stunts.

Other highlights on the day include Wirral Pipe Band, Ridgeside Falconry Display, Young Farmers Floats Parade and the Grand Parade. Tickets cost £15 from adults; entry is free for under-16s. For more information, visit www. shropshire county show.com.

Fun for all ages at Kids Fest Kids just wanna have fun and that’s what organisers of Shropshire Kids Fest are serving up at Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park from 11th to 12th May.

There’s a huge waterslide, a foam party, mega sports zone, massive inflatables, a havea-go music tent, Zorb balls, go-karts, craft activities and just about anything else anyone aged nought to 14 could want. The event is open from 10am to 5pm, and entry costs £17.50 for children, £7 for toddlers and £4 for adults. For further details and tickets, visit www.shropshirekidsfest.co.uk.

Garden delights at Hodnet Hall Visit the beautiful Hodnet Hall Gardens in Market Drayton from 1st to 2nd June for an inspiring day out. Here you’ll find 63 acres of gardens with grand vistas, secluded areas, a walled kitchen garden and magnificent lakes. Forest trees provide a wonderful backdrop to the formal gardens planted to give delight during every season, with woodland walks among flowering shrubs and a chain of ornamental pools. The gardens are open from 10am to 5pm. Entry, including the plant fair, is £4 for adults and £1 for children. For more on Plant Hunters’ Fairs visit www. planthuntersfairs.co.uk.

12th May, Wild Food Foraging, Wenlock Edge Improve your knowledge of Shropshire’s wild larder, see what edible delights can be found at Wilderhope in spring and learn how to identify edible and poisonous species. 10am-2.30pm. £20. Booking essential; call 0344 249 1895.

17th May, Mishaped Pearls, Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Oswestry The regular Hermon Folk slot presents a the dynamic, London-based, seven-piece folk band Mishaped Pearls, who have three albums under their belt including the latest Shivelight. 8.30pm. £15. Call 01691 662196.

18th May, Shropshire FREstival 2019, West Midlands Showground, Shrewsbury An opportunity for the thousands of people who use free-from products – from food and drink to cosmetics and clothing – to see a wide range of products in one place and chat to producers and exhibitors. £8. www.shropshirefrestival.co.uk

25th-31st May, Animal Magic, Park Hall Countryside Experience, Oswestry The animal shows are back – including the Exotic Animal Show – promising interactive, educational good fun. Times vary. Tickets £9.50. www.parkhallfarm.co.uk

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 51

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25th May-2nd June, Maytime Fun, Rays Farm Country Matters, Billingsley, Bridgnorth Complete the Woodpecker Trail, join in animal encounters and a new animal learning lesson, explore a Fairytale Forest and have lunch in the Country Café. 10am5.30pm. £9.65 adults, £7.25 children (under-twos free).

Scenes on screen at Shrewbury’s Old Market Hall The White Crow, 10th-16th May The incredible true story of legendary dancer Rudolf Nureyev. Directed by and starring Ralph Fiennes. Times vary. From £8.

1st June, Poppy Ride, Lilleshall National Sports & Conferencing Wild Rose, 17th-23rd May Fresh out Centre, nr Newport A new multi-distance cycle event of jail, all Rose-Lynn wants is DID YOU in aid of the Royal British to get out of Glasgow and make KNOW? Legion. Push yourself it as a country singer. Starring alongside veterans from the Jessie Buckley Battle Back Centre. Both came second on Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters. 50km-plus and 100km-plus Times vary. Tickest from £8. routes start and finish at The the BBC show I’d Battle Back Centre, a facility Do Anything that supports wounded, Red Joan, 24th-30th May In a injured and sick service picturesque village in England, personnel. £33, with sponsorship target for £150. Email events@ britishlegion.org.uk for details.

•2nd June, Shrewsbury River

Festival, Quarry Park Shrewsbury & Shropshire Waterways & Leisure Group’s eighth festival takes place on the River Severn. Pirate fancy dress both on land and on the boats is encouraged. 10am-5pm. Free event.

7th June, Oswestry Charity Market, Bailey Head Working closely with community supporters The Qube, Oswestry Markets host a charity market on the Bailey Head aimed at raising important funds and awareness for a wide number of local charities.

Photography goes wild The British Wildlife Photography Awards exhibition visits Jackfield Tile Museum, near Ironbridge, from 11th May to 10th September. The stunning exhibition features the winners and commended entries of the 2018 awards. The inspirational images are a celebration of British wildlife in all its beauty and diversity, and encourage discovery, exploration and enjoyment of our natural heritage. The exhibition is open daily from 10am to 4pm and entry is free. www.ironbridge.org.uk

Czech Mates at Whittington •

7th-8th June, Shropshire Pub In The Park, QEII Arena, Telford Following on from the success of the Shropshire Oktoberfest, the organisers thought it would be good to do it all again – but in the sunshine. Expect more than 150 real ales served by local breweries, a lager bar, gin den, wine bar, Pimms tent and quirky artisan alcohol to try. Accompanied by fantastic pub grub-inspired food stalls, the best in live music, comedy and much more entertainment and merriment! 5pm-10pm. £10 adults, £3 children.

World-class musicians visit Whittington for its International Chamber Music Festival from 21st to 26th May. This year’s theme is Dvorak and the Bohemians. A festival pass costs from £80, with individual concert tickets £19. www. whittingtonmusicfestival.org.uk

Two become one at Ellesmere Food Festival

Joan Stanley lives in contented retirement until she’s arrested by MI5. Starring Judi Dench. Times vary. Tickets from £8 adults. Victoria: A Ballet by Cathy Marston, 25th June Northern Ballet’s biopic brings the story of Queen Victoria to life in dance. 7.30pm. Tickets £16.50. NT Live: Small Island, 27th June This adaptation of Andrea Levy’s Orange Prize-winning novel is filmed at the National Theatre Live. 7pm. Tickets £15.50. www.oldmarkethall.co.uk

Treats for the senses at Willow Gallery Borderland Visual Arts, 8th, 9th, 15th & 16th June As part of Open Studios, Willow Gallery presents work by members of Borderland Visual Arts, a thriving artists’ community. Barbecued Husbands with Ana Lines, 11th May Tales of the Brazilian jungle collected by anthropologist Betty Midlin and told by Ana. 7pm. Tickets £8. Zoe Gilby & Andy Champion, 25th May Zoë’s compelling compositions are written with double bassist husband Andy. 8pm. Tickets £12. Jaywalkers, 14th June A combination of powerhouse bass, flame-fingered mandolin, blistering fiddle and threepart harmony. 8pm. Tickets £12. www.willowgallery oswestry.org

This year’s Ellesmere Food & Drink Festival, which takes place from 15th to 16th June, is merging its two sites into one so all exhibitors will now be in and around the Market Hall. It promises to be a weekend of fantastic fun for all who enjoy culinary delights, is open 10am to 4pm and entry is free. www.ellesmerefoodfestival.co.uk

52 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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WHAT’S ON in www.josevents.co.uk

MAY & JUN 19 Whitchurch Walking Festival

Antique & Collectors Fair

From 10th – 12th May

7th Annual event. Lots of walks and fun activities through the weekend Contact: www.whitchurchwalkers.co.uk

Queen of Rock Show The Ultimate Queen Show Friday 31st May. Doors open 7pm, show starts 7.30pm. This is a unique and original show taking you on a unique journey through the headline hits of Freddie Mercury & Queen, performed by an extremely talented cast of 10. Adults, £19, Concessions £17.00. Whitchurch Party in the Park

8th June Whitchurch Jubilee Park, Whitchurch from 1pm – 7pm a great day for the whole family, lots of stalls, live music, hot food, licensed bar and fairground rides. Free entry.

The Greatest Show for Families

Berwick Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 2PF

The all singing, all dancing talented cast of 10 will pay homage to some of the most iconic songs from best loved movies such as The Greatest Showman, Moulin Rouge, A Star is Born and Disney Classics. Saturday 1st June 2019, doors open 6.30pm, show starts 7pm. Tickets start from £16.00.

1st & 2nd JUNE Sat: 8:30-3:30 Sun: 9:00-3:00 11th & 12th MAY 13th & 14th JULY 19th & 20th OCT 21st & 22nd SEPT

Whitchurch Food & Drink Festival 18th - 19th May

Feast your eyes on the delights from a whole host of local traders. Free entry, live cookery theatre, entertainment & hot food court.

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

Admission: £2.50, Over 60’s £1.50.

swestry Under NEW Management

As seen on Admission: £3.50, Over 60’s £2.50. Three Large Bargain Hunt Sat: 9:00-4:00 Sun: 9:00-4:00 Halls


OSWESTRY SHOWGROUND Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 4AB

8th & 9th 31st AUG 16th & 17th & 1st SEPT JUNE NOV

North Shrophire’s Entertainment Venue An Evening with England’s hat trick hero and World Cup winner Sir Geoff Hurst Thursday 6th June – 7:30pm After 2018’s highly successful mini tour, Geoff enjoyed it so much that he is going back on the road in 2019. Talking about his West Ham and England career and his life in general, he has some great stories to tell. All told with humour and humility, this is the only man in football’s long and illustrious history to have scored a hat trick in a World Cup Final. He tells the inside story of this greatest ever achievement which is funny as well as exciting.

Tickets £25 VIP £50 Tickets available online or call the box office


BODAFON FIELDS Llandudno, North Wales, LL30 1BW Mayday Bank Holiday Weekend th 4 , 5th & 6th May 2019 - 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


Compere for the evening is Geoff’s great friend and agent Terry Baker and in the second half the audience get to ask their own questions and some of the answers will be a surprise to many. VIP ticket holders will get the chance to meet Sir Geoff, have a professional photograph with him before the show, sit in the best seats in the house plus get a signature either of your photograph or another item.

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Online booking available

www.festivaldraytoncentre.com Festival Drayton Centre, Frogmore Road, Market Drayton, Shropshire TF9 3AX. Box Office: 01630 654444 (opt 1)

Adults ......... £7.50

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Children ........ £2.00

Car Park ........ £2.00 stacked logo (for sharing only)

Email: info@llantransfest.co.uk www.llantransfest.co.uk

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LLANDUDNO TRANSPORT FESTIVAL cannot be held responsible for any cancellations of the advertised events.

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County concerts with Shropshire Music Trust


8th June, Bailey Head Dog Show, Oswestry Free family event in aid of Hectors Greyhound Rescue. Small entry fee for classes. 9am-2pm.

European Union Chamber Orchestra, 2nd May A Beethoven Experience, 26th May The Clarinettist Emma Johnson joins EUCO chance to hear all of Beethoven’s cello and at Holy Trinity Church, Oswestry. piano works at Concord College, DID YOU Pre-concert talk 7pm. Tickets £20 Acton Burnell. 3pm and 7.30pm. KNOW? Tickets £15, or £25 for both. adults, £10 under-25s, £1 under-18s.

8th June, Shrewsbury Vegan Fair, The Buttermarket, Shrewsbury More than 50 stalls, including hot and cold food, cakes, sweets, chocolate, clothing, accessories, jewellery, cosmetics, books and charity stalls. Free entry with a goody bag of samples and money-off vouchers for the first 100 people through the door. Free kids activities, treatment area and talks and presentations. 10am-4pm.


Music Trust runs Carducci String Quartet Series, Ex Cathedra: Summer Music By workshops in Candlelight, 14th June A programme 12th May Exploration of the romantic local schools piano masterpieces of Schumann, of joyous music performed at dusk at St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury. Saint Saens and Brahms at Blackburn 8pm. Tickets £20 adults, £10 under-25s £1 Theatre, Prestfelde School, Shrewsbury. 3pm. Tickets £17 adults, free for under-25s. under-18s. www.shropshiremusictrust.co.uk

Arts Alive in Shropshire Ian Sherwood, 16th May, Clungunford Parish Hall, nr Craven Arms & 18th May, Shipton Village Hall Sherwood brings his unique brand of genreshifting music and stage show to Shropshire. £10. The Chef Show, 1st June, Quatt Village Hall & 2nd June, Clungunford Parish Hall nr Craven Arms A fusion of play and cookery demonstration. £10. Greyhounds, 29th June, RAF Museum Cosford The year is 1941 and rehearsals for Henry V are underway.. 11am & 3pm. £10. www.artsalive.co.uk

Flying high at RAF Cosford The Royal Air Force’s only official air show, Cosford Air Show, takes place on 9th June at RAF Cosford. Whether you’re looking to entertain the family or are an avid aviation enthusiast, this is a non-stop day of excitement ahead of you. Tickets £29, under-16s free. www.cosfordairshow.co.uk

9th June, Canoe Hire at Alderford Lake, Whitchurch Apache Canoes will be on site with their canoes. Charge is £20 per hour. For details, call Mark Carrington on 07833 474374.

A date for your diary The Oswestry Show returns on 3rd August bringing more than 120 trade stands and a large variety of displays and activities to the town to promote agriculture and rural ideas. There’s a packed schedule of events, including gymnastics, a Punch & Judy show and a performances from the Orthopaedic Hospital Male Voice Choir and the Stannage International Stunt Team. In the Livestock Area, there will be a large selection of cattle, sheep, pigs and rare breeds and the ever popular sheep shearing competition. Keep up to date on all the information about the event at oswestryshow.co.uk.

Beer, bangers and bread at Ludlow Spring Festival

9th June, Porth-y-waen Silver Band, Cae Glas Park, Oswestry Free family music event with entertainment from Porth-ywaen Silver Band. 2pm-4pm.

13th-15th June, Anything Goes, Donnington Little Theatre, Telford Music, dance, laughs and an age-old tale of boy meets girl – no musical puts it on stage better than Anything Goes. A hilarious shipboard romp, wrapped around one of Cole Porter’s most magical scores. Delightful, delicious, and de-lovely. 7.30pm. £10. For tickets visit www. littletheatredonnington.co.uk.

Food, drink and fun are a recipe for success at Ludlow Spring Festival from 10th to 12th May. The festival also hosts the Marches Transport Festival, which brings an impressive display of classic and vintage vehicles, including some from the early years of the last century. The festival is open from 5pm to 9pm on Friday, 10am to 9pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm on Sunday. For tickets visit at www. ludlowspring festival.co.uk.

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15th June, Oswestry Round Challenge Raise money for Lingen Davies Cancer Fund and Cancer Research UK. with a 33-mile sponsored walk combining Offa’s Dyke Path and the Montgomery & Llangollen canals, starting and finishing at the Lion Quays Resort. £25. To register visit www.oswestryround.co.uk.

15th & 16th June, Clwyd Veteran & Vintage Machinery Show, Oswestry Showground Sections include steam engines, vintage commercial vehicles, fire engines, buses and campervans, stationary engines, horses, vintage tractors and horticultural machinery and outdoor displays. 10am-4.30pm. £8 adults, £4 children.

15th30th June, Ludlow Fringe Festival Hundreds of music, street theatre, dance, comedy and performing and visual arts events taking place in venues across Ludlow. www.ludlowfringe.co.uk

18th June, An Evening With Kirsty Wark, The Wynnstay Hotel, Oswestry Join journalist, broadcaster and writer Kirsty as she talks about her highly anticipated second novel, The House By The Loch. 7pm. £8. www.bookabookshop.co.uk

28th June, Men Of Motown: Southern Flavor, Lion Quays Resort, Oswestry One of few South African groups in the UK are are guaranteed to keep you dancing all night. With a welcome drink, hot buffet amd disco. 7pm-1am. £27.50.

Music for the masses at Ludlow’s St Laurence’s Church Show Of Hands, 10th May Show of Hands join forces with Richard Shindell (pictured right) to present their very own transatlantic Special Relationship show. 8pm. Tickets £24.

Philharmonic Orchestra prize at the 2018 Hastings International Piano Concerto Competition. 1pm-2pm. Tickets £14.

City of Bristol Choir: Spirit Of Spring, 18th May The 100-strong auditioned choir has appeared on BBC’s Songs Of Praise and The One Show. 7.30pm. Tickets £14.

Royal Birmingham Conservatoire Organ Recital, 15th June This concert marks the strong and continuing relationship between St Laurence, Ludlow and the Organ Department of the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire under Daniel Moult. DID YOU 1pm-2pm. Free entry. KNOW?

Roman Kosyakov: Piano, 1st June Roman has won many national and international competitions, including first prize and the Royal

For further events and to book tickets, visit www. ludlowassemblyrooms. co.uk or call the box office on 01584 878141.

St Laurence’s is the largest parish church in Shropshire

Journey continues through the summer A very Merry Day in Marbury Marbury Merry Days, near Whitchurch, celebrates its 40th year from 11th to 12th May with a visit from the Sealed Knot Living History Camp. Tickets £5 for adults, £1 for children. marburymerrydays.org

Make history at Whittington Castle History comes to life at Whittington Castle, near Oswestry, this summer with a series of re-enactment days. From 4th to 6th May, The Woodville Household hold the War Of The Roses Living History Event, while on 19th May The House Of The Black Star host a Medieval Day. On 26th May, it’s the turn of the Vikings with Svartland Vikings, before the House Of The Black Star return on 30th June to present a 1940s day. Visit www. whittingtoncastle. co.uk for details.

Cambrian Heritage Railways, based in Oswestry and Llynclys, opens for business from May to September. Both stations have a cafe and a Drive A Train experience, and are always looking for volunteers. www.cambrianrailways.com

On course for May Day

What better way to spend May Day than with a day at the races? The North Shropshire Point-toPoint takes place at Eyton, near Shrewsbury, on 6th May, with children’s entertainment, a hound parade and a great selection of food from local suppliers. Gates open at 11am, with tickets costing £15 on the door. www.eyton-races.com

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Proms in the Park at Borderlands This year’s Proms at the British Ironwork Centre will be more spectacular than ever with a Star Wars firework display to bring the evening to a close


the audience with a wonderful programme tar Wars and the Knife Angel are set to take of popular classics and film soundtracks, plus a special tribute to the D-Day Landings. centre stage at the 2019 Proms In The Park at Look to the stars the British Ironwork Centre on 8th June. To mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Speaking exclusively to local soprano Rachael Marsh will perform Shire, British Ironwork’s songs made popular by Vera Lynn, chairman Clive Knowles including White Cliffs Of Dover, We’ll Meet explains why he’s so excited by Again and A Nightingale Sang In Berkley what Proms 2019 has in store. Square. The special also include the theme ‘The Proms In The Park event has tune from The Longest Day and Glenn become an established family Miller’s Moonlight Serenade. favourite in our summer events ‘We are delighted that Rachael programme,’ he says. ‘Each Marsh will be making a return ‘It will be year we seek to make this to sing some of the most popular another memorable evening more spectacular, and songs of the period and lead occasion at 2019 will be no exception. the audience in the traditional the British ‘Star Wars will be a key theme flag-waving and popular Ironwork and we’re encouraging Star Wars Proms songs,’ says Matthew Centre’ fans to bring their lightsabers Ellis, chairman of Wrexham to help create a brilliant light Symphony Orchestra. ‘It will display as the orchestra performs be another memorable occasion a number of Star Wars pieces ahead of the as we continue to celebrate our 50th spectacular themed firework display.’ anniversary concert season in style’. Bringing its 50th anniversary concert The music programme also includes season to the Ironwork Centre is Wrexham music from Gustav Holst’s Planet Suite Symphony Orchestra, which will entertain to mark 50 years since Neil Armstrong’s

lunar landing, as well as music made popular on the silver screen in films such as Dances With Wolves, Superman, Gladiator and Pirates Of The Caribbean. Elsewhere as part of the evening, the British Ironwork Centre will be sharing the journey of the Knife Angel statue through a display of images of its tour of the UK. Gates open at 5.30pm with the concert starting at 7pm, and there will be a special Star Wars face-painting experience for children. Tickets for Proms In The Park cost from £20 for adults and £10 for children and can bought from the sales counter at the British Ironworks Centre or at www. britishironworkcentre.co.uk.

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 57

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IRONBRIDGE XTRA The Ironbridge Gorge Museum events bring more of the arts, seasonal celebrations and entertainment to Shropshire. Our two exhibitions are free to all visitors. Annual Tickets are already great value so don’t include entry to some of our xtra events. For our full events programme and to buy your tickets now visit IRONBRIDGE.ORG.UK

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN 5 JULY Blists Hill Victorian Town Evening Open Air Cinema - Tickets online now

Tesni Ward, Bean (Badger) Peak District National Park, Derbyshire ©BPWA


STEAM WEEKEND 17 & 18 AUGUST Blists Hill Victorian Town

FREE EXHIBITION Footprint Gallery, Jackfield Tile Museum

COMICS:EXPLORE & CREATE COMIC ART 25 MAY - 1 SEPT FREE EXHIBITION Coalbrookdale Gallery (next door to Enginuity) From Seven Stories, the National Centre for Childrens Books

MUSEUM OF THE MOON 21 OCT - 10 NOV Engine Shop, Enginuity, Coalbrookdale

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On stage at Theatre Severn

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 2nd-4th May A musical adaptation of the beloved family film, based on Ian Fleming’s book. A high-flying, fun-filled adventure for the entire family. 2.30pm & 7.30pm. Tickets £21.50. Birmingham Royal Ballet: Seasons In Our World and Peter & The Wolf, 17th-18th May Ballet, spoken word and physical theatre combine in this reimagining of Prokofiev’s classic. Pre-show talk on DID YOU the 18th. 2pm & 7.30pm. KNOW? Tickets from £22.50.

Roald Dahl co-wrote the film The Girl On The Train, version of Chitty 27th May-1st June Chitty Bang Adapted from Paula Bang Hawkins’ novel and starring

Fairport Convention at Bridgnorth’s Castle Hall Don’t miss Fairport Convention at Castle Hall, Bridgnorth, on 1st June. Whether you’re a long-time fan or a newcomer to their music, an evening with the folk-rock favourites is sure to delight. Starts 8pm. Tickets £26.50. For tickets see www. ludlowassembly rooms.co.uk.

Love and tragedy at Blists Hill Victorian Town One of the greatest works of English fiction, Jane Eyre, is being brought to life in a riveting openair performance by Hotbuckle Productions at Blists Hill Victorian Town, Telford, on 7th June. The epic love story, set against the magnificent backdrop of the Yorkshire Moors, sees Jane Eyre battle against a cruel guardian, a harsh employer and a rigid social order as she becomes governess to the daughter of the mysterious Mr Rochester. Bring your own blankets, pillows or low-backed chairs and a picnic. Doors open at 6.30pm and tickets cost £12. www.ironbridge.org.uk

Samantha Womack and Oliver Farnworth. 2.30pm & 7.30pm. Tickets from £19.50. Jack & Tim, 7th June Since making it to the final of Britain’s Got Talent, the father and son duo have been writing their album. 7.30pm. Tickets £15. Shappi Khorsandi: Skittish Warrior… Confessions Of A Club Comic, 9th June A brand new show packed full of sharp-tongued gags and cultural observation, this is Shappi’s wartsand-all journey through the 1990s comedy scene. 7.30pm. Tickets £16.50. www.theatresevern.co.uk

Antiques and collectables in Shrewsbury Fans of antique and collectors’ fairs are in for a treat this summer thanks to the popular Shrewsbury Flea and newly launched Oswestry Antique & Collectors Fair. Jos Events has been organising Shrewsbury Flea at West Mid Showground since 2015 and has recently taken over Oswestry Antique & Collectors fair at Oswestry Showground. Shrewsbury Flea Antique & Collectors’ Fair at the West Mid Showground will see between 100 and 140 stalls selling a vast selection of antiques, collectables and vintage items, and is expected to attract thousands of visitors from 11th to 12th May and 1st to 2nd June. The new Oswestry Antique & Collectors Fair at Oswestry Showground is expecting to be just as busy, with three large exhibition halls filled with an array of outdoor and indoor stalls selling an eclectic mix of antiques, vintage, collectables, architectural and salvage from 8th to 9th June. www.josevents.co.uk

Wonderful food and drink to enjoy in Whitchurch Whitchurch Food & Drink Festival, Civic Centre, 18th & 19th May This free festival, which is centred on the town’s Civic Centre, will have around 80 stalls packed with local food and drink produce, including cakes, fudge, jams, chutneys, milkshakes and ice cream. It will also feature an outdoor food court, street-food vendors selling delicious treats, and a cookery demonstrations theatre where local chefs will show off their skills. There will be lots of activities for children too, making it will be a great day out for the whole family. www.whitchurch foodanddrink.com Party In The Park, Jubilee Park, 8th June Running from 1pm to 7pm, this free event showcases local music, community and craft stalls, as well as food and drink. There are also games, activities, sports and rides. Bring along a picnic or sample local treats from the numerous stalls. There really is something for everyone, all with a truly festival atmosphere. Just bring on the sunshine! www.whitchurch.info

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We challenged comedian Marcus Brigstocke, who had the audience at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn in stitches last September, to reveal a bit more about himself with our searching questions…







What is your current job title/role?


Another scratch card. You never know… 12

Comedian. What is your home life?

Two children aged 13 and 15, my partner, Rachel, and a chameleon named Roy. Highlight of the past 12 months?

My new show. It took some doing to get it ready but I’m thrilled with it. It’s fun to do. Worst moment of the last 12 months?

What would be your dream job (other than your current role)?

Farmer. Incredible. 13

If you were representing your country in the Olympics, which sport would you choose?

Short-track speed skating. 14


The first time I tried the new show and concluded that I had reached too far and it was a terrible idea and would fail. If you could come back as an animal what would you be and why?

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

What is your favourite drink?

Tea. Which reality TV show would you have the best chance of winning: Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off or I’m A Celebrity…?

I’m not much of a dancer. I can cook, but not cakey things. I’ll eat anything… so maybe I’m A Celeb. 16

What is your weakness or guilty pleasure?

Eating WAY too much.

An owl. I enjoy hooting. 7

What would be your desert island disc and what does it mean to you?


“Purple Rain”. If I’ve only got one, I want a long one I can sing along to. It’s Prince. It’s perfect. 8

‘My worst fear is being attacked in my sleep by hundreds of ninjas…’

What is your full, real name? Marcus Alexander Owen Brigstocke. (All the Brigstocke blokes are ‘Owen Brigstocke’. No one knows why.)

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


To have no conscience about any of my actions. No guilt. No shame. I could be President of the US, couldn’t I? 9

Who is your all-time hero and how have they inspired you?

I met a farmer once who regularly got up at four in the morning. Incredible. A total hero. 10

What is your worst fear or phobia?

Being attacked in my sleep by hundreds of ninjas. I swear, if it happens once more I’ll be very upset.

When did you last laugh uncontrollably?

This afternoon. My support act, Rob Rouse, and I went to a golf driving range and laughed like fools at the combination of a golf swing and a substantial blow off. You’re hosting a celebrity dinner party for four guests – who’s on the guest list?

Nigel Farage, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Boris Johnson and Steve Bannon. It would not be a fun evening. 19


Where is your favourite place in the world?

My home. The people I love are there. What is your proudest moment or best achievement so far?

My two kids. Obviously. Other than that, I love what I do. I make a living from making things and those things make people laugh. That’s pretty good I think.

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Julian Clary: Born To Mince, New Alexandra Theatre, 31st May In his outrageously camp new show, renowned homosexual Julian Clary will bare his soul as never before in the interests of light entertainment. In his own words, ‘Are you ready for some filth? I know I am.’

BBC Gardeners’ World Live, NEC Birmingham, 13th-16th June Don’t miss the ultimate summer day out with stunning show gardens and beautiful borders, packed with ideas to recreate in your own garden. You can also visit the Floral Marquee and Plant Village and much more.


An Evening With Katherine Jenkins, St David’s Hall, 7th May Britain’s best-selling classical artist of the last 25 years hits the road with her new album Guiding Light, which represents the culmination of an emotional journey that began when her father, Selwyn, died.

WWE Live 2019, Motorpoint Arena, 17th May See all your favourite WWE superstars in action under one roof in this unique blend of sport and entertainment, combining in-ring match action with dramatic entertainment. The last word in family entertainment!

Matthew Bourne’s Romeo & Juliet, 18th–22nd June, Wales Millennium Centre A passionate and contemporary reimagining of William Shakespeare’s classic love story. Separated by society, two young lovers must follow their hearts as they risk everything to be together.


Wallace & Gromit’s Musical Marvels, M&S Bank Arena, 25th May Join everyone’s favourite dynamic duo as Wallace prepares to perform his musical masterpiece My Concerto In Ee Lad with help from his faithful canine companion. What could possibly go wrong?!

Jess Glynne, The Jockey Club @ Haydock Park, 7th June In her first years in the music industry, Jess has carved out a unique slot. Where others were contemplating the aftermath of heartache, she was always about standing on your own two feet.

Annie, Empire Theatre, 24th29th June In 1930s New York, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery and torment at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage until her luck changes and she is chosen to spend Christmas at the residence of a famous billionaire.




Calendar Girls The Musical, Birmingham Hippodrome, 28th May-8th June A humorous and heart-warming tale inspired by the true story of a group of ladies who decide to appear nude for a Women’s Institute calendar to raise funds for their local hospital.

Hugh Jackman: The Man. The Music. The Show, Manchester Arena, 24th & 25th May See the Hollywood and Broadway star perform hit songs from from the stage and screen, including The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and more, accompanied by a live orchestra.

Club Tropicana, Manchester Opera House, 3rd-8th June Welcome to the Club Tropicana Hotel, the 1980s answer to Love Island, where the drinks are free and the whole family is invited to join the ultimate holiday musical, celebrating everything we love about the 80s.

The Book Of Mormon, Palace Theatre, 6th June-27th July This outrageous musical comedy from creators of South Park follows the misadventures of a mismatched pair of Mormon missionaries, sent to a place that’s about as far from Salt Lake City as you can get.

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THE FULL MONTY, THEATRE SEVERN, SHREWSBURY The film was massive hit in 1997 and now The Full Monty has now been adapted for the stage and has been receiving standing ovations The all-star cast is led by Gary Lucy (EastEnders, The across the country. Bill) as Gaz, Andrew Dunn The nationwide tour (Dinnerladies) stopped off in Shrewsbury for one as Gerald, Louis Emerick (Coronation week. The production ‘The adpated Street) as Horse had an epic set, a stage script is and Kai Owen fantastic and emotive pretty faithful soundtrack and some (Torchwood) to the original as Dave, whose bona fide stars. 1997 film’ deadpan delivery The adapted and emotionally stage script is strained moments pretty faithful to the with his wife capture what the film, including the comedy, original story was all about. poignant moments and, Of course, what the of course, bare bottoms! audience is really waiting for, Iconic moments that have and the show is gearing up made it to the stage include to, is the big pperformance. the cling film diet scene, You’ll have to see for sunbed tanning at home, yourself if they go the full and everybody’s favourite – monty! CB dancing in the dole queue.

Double-denim 80s dream Jason Donovan brought his Amazing Midlife Crisis Tour to The Hafren, during which he shared conversations he’d had with Phillip Schofield about starring in Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, tried on his original Dreamcoat, danced and sang along with the audience to Especially For You, talked about Kylie Minogue’s 50th birthday celebrations and answered


CIRQUE DU VULGAR, OSWESTRY We had absolutely no idea what to expect from ‘Britain’s naughtiest circus’ – would it be genuinely shocking? There was a palpable sense of tension in the air – characters from the show interacted with the crowd as they collected drinks from the bar, and the audience wondered what they’d let themselves in for. We were then treated to circus acts of great skill and strength, always run through with a definitely adult sense of humour. It was rude and funny, and the audience loved it, but we were left more impressed and thrilled by the daring high-wire acts and fire breathing. Our favourite act was the ‘French Maid’ – an amazing display of high ropes power and gymnastic beauty. It was great fun and hugely enjoyed by everyone. With character names such as


Drunken Whore, Vulgar Boyz, Bunny Girl and The Only Gay In The Circus, you have been warned. If you have a healthy sense of humour, this show is definitely for you. DB

A packed auditorium was gripped as Misha Glenny, author of bestselling book McMafia, took us on a whistle-stop tour through dark times and dark places. Drawing on his early personal experiences in Eastern Europe and decades of work as an investigative journalist, Misha knitted together material about the war on drugs, sex trafficking and cybercrime, from financial deregulation and the ‘gangster capitalism’ of privatised security forces to the murky worlds of Putin and Trump. He gave a credible account of how organised crime has become an integral part of the global economy, making his case with passion and authority. Less convincing was his suggestion that there’s light at the end of the tunnel. His evidence was cross-party moves to force transparency on accounts

the crew of penguins led by Skipper, whose accent was an absolutely perfect version of the movie voice, and King Julien who had the whole audience in stitches. KS questions from the audience, leaving us with a smile on our faces and nostalgic songs in our hearts. Jason has had his inner demons in his past but he is now a family man with three children, and is happily working again following successful treatment to restore his voice. In fact, he is soon to appear in the West End again, this time as Pharoah in Joseph, alongside Sheridan Smith as The Narrator. You can catch him on this tour until mid May or in Joseph from 27th June. SW held in crown territories– now kicked into the long grass by our government – and ‘unexplainedwealth orders’ to tackle money laundering in the UK and the £100bn of property across the country that is secretly owned. They’ve only been used effectively once so far, but it’s a testament to Misha that they’re known as the ‘McMafia law’. JH

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

Images: Rhian ap Gruffydd, Andrew Payne

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

As fans of the film and its various sequels, we had high hopes for this theatrical production… and it didn’t let us down. The characters were engaging and entertaining – and such close recreations of the film favourites that we felt we knew them already. The plot stuck so close to the film original that we were all happy, with some new songs that worked well. Particular highlights were

62 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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100+ Real Ales, Lager Bar, Gin Den, Cocktails Live Music & Street Food

7th-8th June ‘19

SOUTHWATER, TELFORD TOWN PARK Real Ales, Lager Bar, Gin Den, Cocktails Live Music & Street Food SHROPSHIREPUBINTHEPARK.CO.UK


200+ Food, Drink & Craft Exhibitors, Chef Demo’s & Live Music SHREWSBURYFOODFESTIVAL.CO.UK

Saturday 8th June 1pm - 7pm Jubilee Park Whitchurch

Whitchurch Town Band - Glo’s Dance & Cheer Maggie May’s Dance

Whitchurch Town Band - Glo’s Dance & Cheer Maggie May’s Dance

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Fairground fun

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Fabulous food & perfect produce Consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits of buying locally grown and sourced food – reducing food miles, celebrating our gourmet greats and championing the producers in our midst. Here we take a closer look at some of our local food and drink heroes

DID YOU KNOW? A quarter of all road freight in the UK is food


f you appreciate well grown, produced, brewed and bred food, you’re living in a great part of the world to embrace it. Across the lush valleys of Wales, throughout the rich plains of Cheshire and across the fertile lands of Shropshire, the Shire patch is one of gourmet greatness. Changing consumer preferences also make this a good time to be one of those aforementioned producers – as shoppers and eaters, we’re getting pickier and demanding more from our plate than the mass-produced supermarket fodder so many of us were brought up on. ‘Provenance and traceability have always been important to our customers, but we’re seeing a rising interest in this generally among food shoppers,’ says Jon Edwards, managing director of Ludlow Food Centre. ‘Food shoppers are also showing a greater interest in the impact that the production process of the food they buy has on the environment, from the ingredients the food contains and how it is sourced to the packaging it’s presented in.’

‘As shoppers and eaters, we’re demanding more from our plate than mass-produced market fodder’

Changing times and tastes

‘Looking at the environmental impact of production and packaging is gaining momentum nationally, not just in the food industry but across the board – from toiletries and clothing to plastic-free towns,’ Jon continues. ‘The increasing media coverage of the demise of the high street and adverts from some of the big brands to encourage shoppers to shop locally are also inspiring shoppers to look at their buying habits.’ Now that everyone wants to know about their food provenance, members of the Shire team have been out and about, catching up with food producers around our area. Over the next few pages, we have flagged up some of the most interesting to help you make the most of what’s on offer near you. 64 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Shopping, sampling and celebrating Bypassing the big supermarkets in favour of more specific retail options is a great way to expand your food knowledge and seek out some rather special suppliers of local and visiting shoppers. There is an ever-changing range and the team are always on the lookout for new and delicious gourmet foods.

From farm to fork

Oswestry Market


own markets offer a wealth of foodie treats and have been doing so for some time – Oswestry’s indoor and outdoor markets, for example, date back to the Middle Ages. The market in the Shropshire town attracts traders from far and wide, who bring with them a range of bespoke services and goods. Foodies will particularly enjoy the artisan market that takes place on the last Friday of every month, which sells the best in local produce including fresh pies and pastries, meat and fish, cheeses and cakes, and more. Another good way to find delicacies and get some great advice on seasonal treats is to visit a specialist, such as Porter’s Delicatessen in Llangollen. This family-run deli sources the very best cheese, charcuterie, gourmet foods and hard-tofind ingredients for the benefit

Mark Lewis, at Lewis’s Farm Shop

But if you want the freshest goods with the fewest possible food miles, it’s best to go direct – which is why farm shops are a great bet for foodies. Offering a mixture of home-grown and locally sourced specialities, a farm shop is a great day out as well as a brilliant way to shop, and there are lots to visit. A great place to start is Lewis’s Farm Shop in Eyton, near Wrexham, which offers something for everyone all under

Hawarden Estate Farm Shop

one roof. Shoppers are welcome to visit the butchery and kitchen, as well as the shop floor, and the talented kitchen team bake an array of sweet and savoury goods daily, all prepared from scratch using the finest ingredients and traditional techniques. Most of its suppliers are right on the doorstep, with bread from Johnstown Bakery in Wrexham, eggs from Nant Ucha Farm in Trevor and a superb selection of cheese from Whitchurch. Another great local choice is Hawarden Estate Farm Shop, where local producers are celebrated alongside on-site specialities.

The main hub is set in 20 acres of farmed land in Flintshire, just 10 minutes’ drive from Chester. This is where shoppers can find the award-winning butchery and deli, a busy café, a food hall packed with independent producers, a smoke shack, adventure play area, and pick-yourown fruit and vegetables.

Shropshire expertise

Battlefield 1403

In Shropshire, one farm shop has become a beacon for local producers in the middle of the Albrighton Estate in Shrewsbury. Battlefield 1403 describes itself as being more than just a farm shop and it’s easy to see why. As well as being one of the best butcheries in the UK, it has a well-stocked deli counter, a shop full of speciality local goodies, an exhibition celebrating the Battle of Shrewsbury, a falconry centre and a café serving great homemade food. At Ludlow Farmshop, even more food heroes are gathered together and championed by this pioneering site of specialist suppliers. The shop, which was established in 2007, is located in the heart of the Earl of Plymouth’s Oakly Park Estate. The working farm supplies the shop with beef, lamb, pork, venison, game, fresh fruit and vegetables, and fresh milk to make cheese and ice cream. The team are constantly looking for ways to work with more growers, producers and farmers to support both the local economy and the beautiful countryside, and 80 per cent of what is on sale is either made on site or sourced from Shropshire and the surrounding counties.

Popular produce includes local honey, sirloin steaks, fillet of beef, rib of beef on the bone and traditional pork sausages. The team have accepted many awards for their handmade cheeses and homemade pies such as chicken, leek and tarragon pie, and the delicious Eccles cakes are always fast movers. Another local favourite is Bellis Brothers Farm Shop, an independent family business located between Wrexham and Chester. The store supplies locally sourced produce and

Bellis Brothers

treats, from daily essentials to speciality goods such as flavoured oils and local beers. Bellis Brothers really comes into its own in the summer, when families flock from miles around to pick their own fruit. Bellis Brothers has been growing strawberries in Holt since 1860. Today it grows strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, tayberries, loganberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, rhubarb, peas, beans and pumpkins, opening in mid-June for most fruits and ending the season with pumpkins in October. May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 65

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The Chainbridge Hotel on the River Dee in Llangollen

Look up local food in Llangollen I

Bistro’s 100% plant-based menu f you find yourself in Llangollen or are planning and the latest seasonal offerings from Gales of Llangollen. If a visit to the area, don’t miss the opportunity to experience you’re exploring further out of town, try the Chainbridge food fresh from the valley’s Hotel or the Sun Trevor, which local farms, fields and forests. are about two miles The Llangollen & away and accessible Dee Valley Good Grub ‘Tap into by foot along the Club has gathered the owners’ canal or by road. together an impressive knowledge of If you’re keen to range of cafés, pubs, the best food and drink up cook at home, there restaurants and shops and down the are two award-winning that pride themselves Dee Valley’ local delicatessens on showcasing the in town: Porter’s best food and drink Delicatessen and from the region. the LlangollenOggie Shop & In the town centre, you can Fine Foods. In both you’ll be check out the new Riverbanc able to tap into the owners’ Café & Beds, the Phoenix

knowledge of the best food and drink produced up and down the Dee Valley and beyond. For more top tips on the best local food and

accommodation in the valley, event listings and more, visit goodgrubclub.wales or search for ‘Llangollen Good Grub Club’ on social media sites.

The Phoenix Bistro’s vegan meze

Wrexham Museum Café wins major food award W

rexham Museum’s Courtyard Café team are celebrating after winning top spot at the North East Wales Year of Discovery Dessert Challenge 2019. The Museum’s winning entry, Heaven On Earth,

is a dreamy combination of chocolate cake, berries and espresso ice cream. It was voted the winner by a panel of judges at a live Bake-Off style final. The challenge is all about celebrating and raising awareness of amazing food in north Wales,

with 19 eateries taking place across a range of categories. In the Dessert Challenge, Courtyard Café just pipped Strawberry Fields Café at Bellis Brothers, Holt, to the top spot. ‘We’re absolutely over the moon to have won,’ says Karen

Harris from Courtyard Café. ‘It’s a real honour to come top of a list that included some of the top cafés and restaurants in north Wales. Our entry was a real celebration of local food, something we’re very proud of showcasing at the café.’

Ice, ice baby You can’t talk about local food producers, especially as summer approaches, without mentioning Cheshire Ice Cream Farm. In our opinion, this is the best use of local

milk possible – check out the business, its background and the beautiful product itself in our Pick Of The Producers column in our regular food section on page 72.

The award-winning concoction 66 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Making the meat you eat a treat A great steak or the perfect sausages can really make a meal – which is why we’re so lucky to have some of the best producers the UK has to offer right on our doorstep


here’s simply no need to import from far and wide to get the very best meat. From award-winning Welsh lamb to famous sausages and beautiful beef, the Shire region has a meat industry of which we should be immensely proud. One man who knows this only too well is Jamie Ward, an award-winning butcher whose Wrexham-based business is going from strength to strength. Taking on the family business, which started making wholesale sausages and home-cured bacon, Jamie has now opened his first shop, Jamie Ward’s Butchers & Delicatessen, based at Bellis

A selection at Edwards Of Conwy

season but are also gluten free. His team has also put together ready meals, including cottage pie and beef and pork meatballs with Italian herb and tomato sauce. All in all, there is no doubt that at Jamie Ward’s the standard of meat is definitely a treat.

Welsh perfection

Jamie Ward’s at Bellis Brothers

Brothers Farm Shop just outside the north Wales town in Holt. Jamie is developing new product lines all the time, including venison burgers with red wine and cranberry sauce, which are not only perfect for the forthcoming barbecue

This is also true at Edwards Of Conwy, where excellence comes as standard. The company’s roots lie in north Wales, where founder and master butcher Ieuan Edwards, one of three sons born on a family farm in Llanrwst, realised that the land wasn’t big enough for all three sons to farm it and became an apprentice butcher

instead. What Ieuan learned while serving his apprenticeship in now deeply rooted in the core values of his company. ‘I learned a lot of valuable lessons, and one of the most important was consistency – making sure people who buy your product enjoy it and want come back again and again,’ says Ieuan. In 1984, Ieuan embarked on butchery courses in Switzerland and Holland, and was ready to open his own butcher’s shop at the age of 20. His determination has paid off and the shop has since been crowned Best Butcher’s Shop Of The Year in Wales three times and won the UK title in 2014.

Tasty treats

Another treat for meat eaters is the range of produce available at Cheerbrook Farm Shop in Nantwich, Cheshire. The company’s basic philosophy has always been to provide good quality and great value homemade and local food. Cheerbrook’s was once a pork farm, but decided to diversify in 2000 following a decline in pork prices. Over the past 19 years, through organic growth, the farm has developed into a multi-awardwinning farm shop, deli and

café, employing more than 50 local people and supporting a number of small local producers with similar roots to the team at Cheerbrook themselves. Making a broad range of produce in the butchery, delicatessen, kitchen and café, the Cheerbrook Farm Shop team are proud to provide topquality meat from Aberdeen Angus cattle raised on a family farm at the foot of Bickerton Hill in Cheshire, where the cows graze on pasture as well as on the hill’s natural heathland. All Cheerbrook’s beef is supplied by Robert and David Bourne, who work closely with the National Trust to sustainably manage the natural environment and restore one of Cheshire’s few remaining heathlands, demonstrating another benefit to keeping it local.

Cheerbrook Farm Shop meats

‘The Shire region has a meat industry of which we should be immensely proud’

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 67

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Historic ale A hoppy homage to the Welsh roots of Guinness will be launched at Anglesey Food Festival

! s r e e Ch

We couldn’t focus on the fine food produced locally without looking at the delicious drinks to wash it down with. Here are some of the brewers, distilleries and drink producers nearby


hen it comes to drink trends over the past few years, fewer beverages have seen a more meteoric rise than gin. The introduction of countless flavours and colours and a dizzying array of mixers means gin is all the rage. As this publication is at the cutting edge of all things, there’s even a gin named after us. OK, so not really! The artisan Shire Gin, which is lovingly crafted by the Glynn family at its Shropshire distillery, uses a traditional copper pot still, 100 per cent wheat grain spirit and ethically sourced botanicals such as juniper, English coriander, orris and angelica to create smooth and balanced dry gins. We might not actually be named after it, but we’ll drink to that! If gin isn’t your tipple of choice, you might like to try locally sourced and distilled Aber Falls Whisky. The distillery is one of only four in Wales, and the first in north Wales since

Shropshire-based Shire Gin

the early 1900s, located within a stone’s throw of Rhaeadr Fawr, the famous Aber Falls waterfall. The firm’s whisky is distilled, bottled and matured on 68 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Aber Falls Whisky

site, using ingredients from the surrounding area and traditional copper stills that produce refined, premium quality whisky.

St Martin’s. Varieties including Dabinett, Harry Masters Jersey, Browns, Langworthy and Kingston Black are grown free of sprays and fertiliser. The brown hare for which the cider is named is a resident of the orchard, enjoying the shelter and windfalls the apple trees provide. Operated by Steve and Kerry Younger, the cider-making orchard is carefully managed.

Not far from the tree

A local tipple that has been produced in the area for generations is cider, and there are still great orchards and mills making it today. One cider that has scooped numerous awards is Rosie’s Triple D, brewed by Steve Hughes in Llandegla in north Wales. It might have taken Steve a while to perfect his recipe, but he’s now pumping out perfect perries and ciders on a regular basis. ‘For my first attempt, I collected fruit from our crab apple trees and added a few others from local sources. After nine hours’ work, I got five gallons of juice, which fermented naturally. Astonishingly, our four bottles of this first cider won gold awards with CAMRA! ‘That was in 2005 – we now have more than 1,000 standard apple trees made up of 69 different varieties.’ In Shropshire, a local producer spoiling us with specialist ciders is Hare Moon Cider, made from apples grown, pressed and bottled at Wigginton Farm in

Rosie’s Triple D

Once the apples are harvested, the whole fermenting and maturing process is slowed down to create a more traditional, deeper flavoured cider. There are sparkling sweet, sparkling dry and still dry varieties, and the three ciders are the perfect treat for anyone who appreciates a locally grown drink.

Steve and Kerry from Hare Moon

The reputed Welsh origins of Guinness have inspired a new dark ale from the Anglesey Brewing Company. Head brewer Tom Adamson will be unveiling the porter-style beer at the inaugural Anglesey Food Festival, which takes place at Anglesey Showground from 30th May to 1st June. The ale is called Gwin Y Gwan, the slogan used by Guinness in Welsh language adverts in the 1950s. According to Tom, who is a keen student of brewing history, Arthur Guinness developed his taste for the dark beer when he stopped at a coaching inn in Llanfairfechan, near Bangor, on the last leg of his journeys back to Ireland following business trips to London. ‘The owner of the inn had been brewing this dark beer and apparently after a few years of travelling back and forth, Arthur Guinness asked for the recipe,’ says Tom. ‘The owner gladly gave it to him – and the rest is brewing history. ‘Gwin Y Gwan is made from hops, barley and a secret ingredient – a special yeast. The taste is earthy and chocolatey, and at 4.8% it’s not too strong either. The Anglesey Food Festival is the final destination on a new Ale Trail, and Gwin Y Gwan will be available at some of of the pubs on the way. For more information, DID YOU visit www. KNOW? angleseyfood Day tickets to the festival.com. Anglesey Food Festival cost £10 for adults

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Jamie’s Butchers and Deli offer a wide range of delicious local produce! Call in and ‘meat’ our friendly butchers and see what delights are on offer Unit 1, St Mary’s Precinct, Church Street, Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5HX T: 01691 772602 Bellis Brothers Farm Shop & Garden Centre, Holt, Wrexham, LL13 9YU T: 01829 272030


Our meat is butchered here in the farm shop by real people with a wealth of experience, using traditional methods that have been tried and tested. We have complete control over the meat we sell as it is reared on our own farms using feed that we grow. We transport it ourselves and it is matured and prepared here in the farm shop. As the meat is prepared in small batches by hand, we are able to see it and smell it so can bring you great tasting real food. As a whole carcass butchery there is always a selection of more unusual cuts alongside the more traditional. Our knowledgable butchery team will be happy to help you find the perfect cut, whatever the occasion.

Real food, real people, real taste

Bromfield, Shropshire, SY8 2JR 01584 856 000 Shire Magazine - Ludlow Ad May 19 - Butchery.indd 1 069_SHIREMJ2019.indd 1

@ludlowfarmshop www.ludlowfarmshop.co.uk 12/04/2019 17:27:36 19/04/2019 13:58

Award-winning Markets Hare Moon cider is made from apples grown, pressed and bottled at Wigginton Farm, St Martins.

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

Do It For David Event

11th May – Bailey Head Market event to promote the reduction of single use plastics and alternatives for a healthier environment.

Bailey Head Dog Show

8th June 9am until 2pm Free family event in aid of Hectors Greyhound Rescue. Small entry fee for classes.

Youth Market

22nd May– 9.30am until 2pm To celebrate National Love Your Local Market campaign Oswestry Markets will be supporting local schools and colleges to hold their very own market.

Artisan and Gardening Market

31st 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.

For further information contact

Steve Younger

07543 853 794

info@haremooncider.com www.haremooncider.com

Charity Market

7th June – 9am until 3pm Working closely with community supporters The Qube, Oswestry Markets host a charity market on the Bailey Head aimed at raising important funds and awareness for a wide number of local charities.

Porth-y-waen Silver Band 9th June – 2pm until 4pm Free family music in the award winning Cae Glas Park.

Oswestry Produce Market

15th June - 9am until 3pm Handpicked Shropshire based food and craft producers selling the best the County has to offer in the town centre.

Bulgarian Folklore Club

23rd June – 12pm until 5pm Free family music and dance in the award winning Cae Glas Park.

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

Opening Times

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

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

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01978 780852

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

Photography: Ginger Pixie Photography

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BOTTLE IT Shire’s resident food expert Graham Tinsley MBE, executive chef at Cheshire’s Carden Park Hotel, shows us how to capture and preserve the glorious flavours of the summer season


ith summer approaching fast, it’s time to start thinking about celebrating the season and preserving its wealth of fruit and berries when they are at their most splendid. Jams and chutneys can be done later in the season, when their ingredients are

BOTTLED FRUITS Follow the instructions carefully to create delicious preserved fruits that last well beyond the summer

Graham Tinsley

less perfect, but bottled fruits need to be done just when the fruit is at its peak. When I was a young chef at the Dorchester Hotel in London, working under Anton Mosimann, we would regularly fill hundreds of preserving jars with fruits such as peaches, plums, nectarines and pears for use on our breakfast buffet throughout the year. Anton was a DID YOU great believer in using fresh local KNOW? Nicolas Appert produce and his philosophy in invented airtight those early days changed the food preservation way chefs create their menus and in the 1790s combine flavours and textures. The original objective of preserving food in times of a plentiful harvest was to ensure these healthy foods were still part of the diet when they were scarce or out of season. Things are different today, because produce is available daily from all over the world, so these days we preserve food because it’s fun and it’s the best way of making use of surplus crops – whether bought, cultivated or gathered free – before time and chemistry cause them to deteriorate. I like to preserve the likes of peaches, nectarines, cherries and plums in tall, elegant glass preserving jars to decorate our restaurant. Bottled fruits also make excellent gifts for any foodie – mine have been very much appreciated by our guests at Christmas over the years.


1. Choose your fruit, make sure they are clean and in perfect condition, and prepare it. Pears should be peeled but not cored, then blanched in the stock syrup until almost cooked. Nectarines and peaches should be blanched in hot water and peeled like tomatoes. Plums and cherries need to be washed. 2. Make a stock syrup with equal parts of water and caster sugar. Bring to the boil and add some lemon juice or vitamin C powder. 3. Fill a large pan with water and bring to a simmer. Sterilise your preserving jars by placing them in Sugar syrup the simmering water for three to four minutes. 4. Place your fruit in the jar and cover with the hot stock syrup. At this point you can also decorate the inside of your jar with mint leaves, cinnamon sticks or star anise. 5. Seal the jar and stand in the hot water. You are trying to create a vacuum at the top of the jar so that bacteria can not survive. When the jar heats up the air expands from the seal around the top; when it cools the rubber seal does not allow the air back in. This will take around eight to 10 minutes depending on the size of the jar. 6. Remove from the pan and store in a cool dark place.

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Celebrating cider… the traditional way CAMRA’s Chris Charters celebrates the success of a specialist cider micropub in Wales with an insight into the ancient traditions that are used to mark such special achievements


Company director Jonathan Fell

C The star of the show (right)

elsh micropub the play music. Other followers Cellar Door was are decorated with coloured recently named one of the ribbons, rosettes and broad four national finalists in sashes around their waists. CAMRA’s competition to find the Cider Pub of the Year. Singing your way in To celebrate this prestigious The Mari Lwyd party achievement, the pub held approaches a house and a Mari Lwyd – a Welsh sings a song to request custom thought to date from admittance. The inhabitants pagan times and performed offer excuses for why the to bring good luck to the team cannot enter. The house where it takes place. party sings a second verse, The star of the ceremony and this – known as the is the Mari Lwyd herself, a pwnco – continues until the horse’s skull supported on house’s residents run out of a pole with ideas, at which a decorated time they are sheet of obliged to allow coloured the party entry ribbons and and provide them rosettes with ale, cider attached and and food. The draped over person carrying the person with the fire-iron raps the honour of on the door, supporting it. while the broomThe Mari is led holder brushes The Ostler leads the Mari around by an the ground, walls Ostler, while and windows. the smartly dressed Once inside, the Mari Lwyd Leader carries a staff, runs around neighing DID YOU stick or whip. and snapping its jaws, KNOW? Also in the creating havoc, while Poet Vernon Mari Lwyd the Leader and Ostler Watkins published pretend to restrain it. party are two Ballad Of The Mari The Merrymen played brightly dressed Lwyd in 1941 characters music and entertained carrying a long the householders. metal fire-iron and a Joining in with all the broom, while Merrymen enjoyment at the Cellar Door was the mayor of Newport, who had been supposed to attend for 30 minutes to present the certificates, but ended up staying for two hours. The presentation of the awards took place behind the counter, because the bar was too packed! The mayor congratulated Paul Tully, the owner of the Cellar Door, who should be proud of winning such a prestigious award having only been open for just over a year. The Cellar Door in Newport

heshire Farm Ice Cream’s claim to fame is that it’s the largest ice cream shop in the world. It attracts more than 800,000 visitors a year, making it the most visited family entertainment centre of its kind in the UK. Not only that, the actual ice cream produced there is now stocked by over 1,000 retailers. Not bad for a business created out of a need to diversify. Tom and Margaret Fell moved to Drumlan Hall Farm with their two sons Jonathan and Graeme in 1980, but the introduction of milk quota restrictions in 1984 led them to look for ways to add value to the excess milk that their 300 dairy cows were producing. They saw a gap in the market for real dairy ice cream, and converted part of the farm into a production area, with a small parlour for the public to purchase the ice cream straight from the farm. The Fells have been creating award-winning Cheshire Farm Ice Cream ever since. ‘The farm It remains a attracts family-owned 800,000 business, and visitors the ownera year’ managers have constantly reinvested since its inception. Jonathan Fell – who began working for the business when The farm’s famous ice cream he was only 14 and has worked in manufacturing as well as various other areas of the business – took over responsibility for Cheshire Farm Ice Cream in 2007 and began serious redevelopments, which included a brand new ice cream parlour, a renovated café and an internal play barn, which was such a success that it managed to pay for itself within just a few months of opening. Since 2015, more than £5,000,000 has been spent on a complete remodelling and reinvention of the farm, without compromising the core values and commercial philosophy on which its success has been built.

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

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Visit the vines yourself Wine expert Pip Gale suggests taking some time out to travel and see where your wine comes from in person – and sample a few varieties straight from the vineyard


ne of the great things about being in the wine industry is that ‘factory visits’ take you to some of the most beautiful places in the world. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it. In fact, these days many vineyards find that a large proportion of their profits come from the tourism pound. There’s never been a better time to explore a wine region – here are some you should try.

Sunset in Bordeaux


The perfect place to start – no other city is as dedicated to wine, and there are so many fantastic restaurants and wine shops to discover. From the city you can explore the famous left and right bank wine areas, which are surprisingly close by. On the left bank, famous château after famous château pops up, one after another, all on the same route. There are plenty of tour guides that will arrange a




ased in Ellesmere, Shire Gin was founded in 2018 by Emma and Gareth Glynn. They have created their own distinctive flavours, made by hand in small batches. Each bottle is a collector’s item, individually signed and

The beautiful vineyards of Alsace

bus trip, but you can just as easily book a visit by phoning ahead to each château. On the right bank you must visit the beautiful and quaint town of St Émilion – the difference a river crossing can make, to character and to wine, is staggering.

away from a terrific restaurant, tucked away in one of the fairytale villages.


As with port, the process of making this fine wine means that Porto In my eyes the most beautiful wine it’s much more region. The vineyards erupt out of the than stainless river Douro just like the Snowdonia steel vats in a hills do from the north Wales coast. lovely farmhouse. To make it possible to harvest, terrace Champagne Champagne vineyards steps are dynamited into is based the slate slopes – it truly around two great ‘Porto is is breathtaking. And since centres. Reims, with its cathedral like having port is made like no other and sprawling streets, would be two wine wine and has a secondary a visit to treasure even without trips in production in the historic the famous wine houses, their one’ city of Porto, it’s like having cellars full of bottles being twisted two wine trips in one. on their way through secondary fermentation. Épernay, on the other Alsace hand, is a town dedicated to champagne Did I say that Porto was the most production, with all the great Grand Marques situated in a row. beautiful wine region? I may have lied… Looking like a beautiful undulating patchwork quilt, Alsace is stunning. The area has so many soil types you can literally see the effect on the vines as you drive along the wine trail road. The different soils mean that each vineyard produces a dizzying variety of wines, most of which don’t find their way to UK lists. The very term ‘gastronomy’ comes from this area and you are never far The Douro Valley in Porto

You can’t miss the huge gin craze sweeping the UK: gin bars, gin festivals, gin weekends in hotels… We try a local version, just DID YOU one of the almost infinite variations this drink has to offer numbered, with a wax-sealed stopper. But what does the all-important taste test reveal? There are three varieties: Original, Spiced and Cherry. To let the flavours come through, we used plain Indian tonic water (lemon and cucumber pieces were added for the photos only). All three flavours were dry and smooth, leaving a very long dry finish, which is an excellent contrast to the mixer. They all have a strong base flavour of juniper but Spiced adds aromatic flavours like cinnamon, cardamom and cubeb, while

KNOW? A record 73 the Cherry has a sweet fruit through the m bottles of flavour on top, with a hint of distillation. gin were sold pink peppercorn – a twist to ‘We use in the UK in 2018 the traditional style, although traditional copper still it’s still made the same way. The Glynns use the London methods,’ says Dry method, which follows Emma. ‘There is strict production rules no third-party involvement – the base – each bottle is distilled, labelled, spirit must be distilled to a corked, waxed and neutral spirit of signed by us. 96% alcoholic ‘We distil over a longer period to volume, and produce a smoothall flavours must comprise tasting gin with the natural plant flavour of botanicals, materials and which give longevity be added Shire’s distinctive bottles on the palate.’

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Cysylltwch â Chaffi’r Cowt

Ffôn: 01978 297469/297460

E-bost: museum@wrexham.gov.uk Contact Courtyard Café

Tel: 01978 297469/297460

Email: museum@wrexham.gov.uk

Vegan Festival

Llangollen Pavilion 1st June to 2nd June 11am to 5pm

Our Naturally Pure, Health & Well Being Festival will bring the finest Vegan Cuisine, Confectionery, Cakes, Cosmetics and Skincare, Gifts will also be available to purchase from the venue from exhibitors from throughout North Wales and the rest of the UK.


We have live music, fantastic family performances, talks on health & well-being, environmental issues Advance Day Tickets and animal welfare, a movie are £4 per day Plus Fee’s screening of H.O.P.E, meditation On the door these will be £6 & sound healing workshops, Advance Weekend Tickets fitness classes that include are £8 plus fee’s Pilates, Yoga, Children’s crafts On the door these will be £12 & workshops.


On Saturday 1st June we have a Vegan Comedy Night with a 3 course Vegan Buffet. Only 70 Seats Available priced at £29.95 (plus fees). Please email janmichelle. events@gmail.com for more information

Amgueddfa Wrecsam Adeiladau’r Sir Stryt Y Rhaglaw Wrecsam LL11 1RB

For tickets go to Eventbrite and search Naturally Pure Vegan online and go to the Eventbrite link

Wrexham Museum County Buildings Regent Street Wrexham LL11 1RB


Traditional Llandegla Cider Everybody needs a bit of TLC…

A decent, honest, real cider made for people who KNOW they deserve it! In this artificial world of plastic and synthetic reality, isn’t it great to know that SOMEBODY in your area is making a proper drink?

Call in…

Open every day 10am till 6pm

A REAL CIDER made out of APPLES. Planted, picked and pressed here on the farm.

Dafarn Dywyrch, Llandegla, Wrexham Denbighshire LL11 3BA

Whether visiting the cider shop at the farm or out and about at local shows and festivals, you can try free tasters ‘Try before you buy’ but bring a designated driver with you!

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

Rosie’s is 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 Triple D Cider


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The taster menu

Tasting menu £45 per person Paired alcoholic drinks £25 per person Chickpea chips, aubergine crisps with pumpkin butter, mushroom arancini The chickpea chips were soft inside, with a light crispy coating, and the pumpkin flavour came through strongly on the aubergine crisp. Our favourites were the breaded and deep-fried risotto balls filled with sticky rice and tiny pieces of mushroom – absolutely delicious! Freedom Four Bread with Appleby’s butter and tapenade A soft, moist, almost sponge-like bread with a hint of beer flavour, thickly spread with the creamy and rich Appleby’s butter. The freshly made tapenade was bitter and oily, with a coarse texture. Chef Stuart

We visit a locally focused restaurant in Whitchurch


tuart and Frances Collins met when they were working for internationally renowned chef Michael Caines, and since then they’ve worked in Qatar and New York. But when they returned home to create Docket No33, which opened in July 2017, they knew where their focus was. ‘We wanted to take everything we’ve learned and do it for ourselves, and a big thing for us was to only use local companies – and find people who are as passionate about food as we are,’ says Frances. For example, they get their butter from Appleby’s ‘A big thing for us was to Farm, just outside Shrewsbury. ‘They’re well known only use local for their cheese, and this butter is part of that cheese companies… production,’ says chef Stuart. ‘It’s in such demand you people have to pre-order it, and it goes absolutely perfectly who are as with our beer bread. It’s such terrific local product – passionate it arrives wrapped in paper and you can still see the about food as paddle marks where it has been shaped by hand.’ The we are’ restaurant gets its meat from Alternative Meats near Nantwich, salami and bresaola from Shropshire Salumi, oils from Bennett & Dunn in Bridgnorth and nut butters from Butterbelle in Shifnal. Stuart trained at Gidleigh Park with Caines, which had two Michelin stars, and was Gordon Ramsay’s executive chef in his London and New York restaurants. It’s fair to say Stuart has worked to some of the most exacting standards in the industry and absolutely everything at Docket No33 is made by Stuart and his team, including all the breads, crackers and condiments. The restaurant’s dishes are carefully made and beautiful, with something of a Japanese aesthetic although the cuisine is modern British. As well as being locally sourced, they’re healthy and – we felt – honest, with no hidden tricks or chemistry, and without relying on heavy sauces or over-seasoning. The attention to detail is impressive: service is friendly and quietly efficient, while the drinks pairings chosen by Frances for each course are explained with personal insight. Frances chooses the drinks pairings It’s obvious that Frances and Stuart left no stone unturned in their pursuit of perfection. Shire thoroughly recommends Docket No33, where you will definitely find something to surprise and delight you – and we look forward to dropping in on its sister wine bar, Docket No64 in Chester. Docket No33 33 High Street, Whitchurch, SY13 1AZ 01948 665553 www.docketrestaurant.com

Carrot brûlée, carrot salad, buttermilk cracker A sweet dish that could almost be a pudding, but for the lovely earthy and nutty flavours coming through. The pickled carrots were a nice tart complement to the sweet and creamy brûlée, with its thin caramelised crunchy topping. Citrus cured salmon, cucumber salsa, orange crisp Frances says this is her favourite dish, and one that has appeared on menus throughout the Collinses’ careers, so we couldn’t wait to try it. The salmon pieces are wrapped in parsley and cured rather than smoked, which makes the fish softer and more delicate. It’s cut into fingerwidth pieces rather than slivers, and didn’t have the strong lemon taste we expected. The cucumber salsa includes tiny pieces of orange, and the creamy avocado has just the right consistency to complement the fish. Rose veal fillet, veal caramel, bulgur wheat, wild garlic For a taster menu, this is a big piece of veal, similar to beef medallion size. The meat comes medium rare – ‘We don’t ask customers how they want their meat cooked as our responsibility is to serve it in the best way possible, but of course any requests for well done are fine,’ Stuart says – and it was soft and delicious, melting in the mouth. The mushroom sauce is served hot as the dish is presented. The bulgur wheat and porcini mushroom base was creamy, and we loved the wild garlic leaf topping the plate. Local cheeses, condiments, biscuits and crackers Perl Wen and Perl Las from Wales are the stars, with a splendid variety of savoury and sweet homemade crackers and quince jelly. Yoghurt cream, poached rhubarb, toasted seeds, white chocolate truffle Delicious and healthy! The white chocolate truffle was light, perfectly smooth and creamy, and the toasted oats, pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds added a welcome crunch. To finish, we enjoyed ‘sweet treats’ – a chocolate brownie and a milk chocolate lollipop made with peanut butter, alongside coffee made with beans roasted in Shrewsbury.

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Sheila and Michael ‘We’ve come to see the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct, and we’re planning a trip on the canal boat that goes over it. We’re from London, so it’s lovely to see such a picturesque town. Tomorrow we’re going to drive into Snowdonia and Portmeirion.’

Llangollen The little town making a big noise

André and Eugene ‘We have stopped here for the day while on a drive through Wales. We’ve come up from Birmingham and are also going to see Llandudno and Chester. We’re going for coffee at the Corn Mill I think!’

With a population of less than 4,000, Llangollen defies its size to remain one of north Wales’s most popular destinations

Llangollen Railway

F Stephen and Angela ‘We’re here for an RAOC [Ordnance Corps] football team reunion! We live in Manchester and are here for the whole weekend. There’s about 60 ex-players here, and last night we had dinner at the Three Eagles – which was terrific.’

or a relatively small town, Llangollen is a remarkably well-known throughout Wales and further afield. The Denbighshire settlement first appeared around a church established in the 6th century by a monk, St Collen. His name, together with the Welsh word ‘llan’ for a religious settlement, gave the dwelling its name. The town’s enduring popularity may have something to do with its enviable position, nestled on the banks of the River Dee at the edge of the Berwyn mountains and the Clwydian range. Surrounded by an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Llangollen is certainly sitting pretty and making the most of its geographical good fortune.

Well trained Andrew and Kerry ‘We’re from Nantwich and just wanted a night away. We’ve been to Llangollen before but have never stayed. It’s really pretty here – we like walking through town and are planning to go up to see the Horseshoe Pass.’

As well as relying heavily on the tourist industry, Llangollen makes a substantial income from farming. Most of the farms in the surrounding hills were originally sheep farms; several factories were later built along the banks of the River

Dee, and a water mill opposite Llangollen railway station was added over 600 years ago to grind flour for local farmers. Although the commercial railway is long gone, enthusiasts restored a section of it to create a heritage steam experience that draws thousands of visitors every year.

annual fixture raises in excess of £12,000 for local good causes. Those looking for a slower pace of life may just want to enjoy a wander around Llangollen’s pretty streets, which offer a range of cafés, bars, hotels, restaurants, guest houses, B&Bs, cottages and campsites to suit every pocket. With pretty spots such as Musical masterclass Riverside Park, the Victoria Promenade, or alongside Llangollen has also the river as it tumbles developed a reputation DID YOU beneath the town’s as the home of many KNOW? musical events, central bridge, Llangollen most famously the Llangollen is the Railway runs for 10 miles perfect place for a annual Llangollen relaxing escape where International you can really appreciate Eisteddfod that draws choirs and musicians from the natural setting. around the world every July. It opens with a parade led by the Llangollen Silver Band, which sees both locals and visitors take part in dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments. The Eisteddfod has spawned its own spin-off event. The Llangollen Fringe Festival is Pontcysyllte Aqueduct an independent arts festival, that includes music, comedy, THINGS TO SEE AND DO theatre, dance and workshops. The town’s musical reputation Llangollen Railway also led to the formation of Dee Abbey Road, Llangollen www.llangollen-railway.co.uk Rocks – a fundraising festival that usually takes place during Llangollen International May, and which sees the town Eisteddfod hall transformed into a music Royal International Pavilion, www.internationalvenue. The inaugural event eisteddfod.co.uk took place in 2004, and the now

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get active As the weather gets warmer and the nights get lighter, more interesting ways of getting active outside become available. We look at the companies and individuals in the Shire area helping us find new ways of enjoying ourselves as we keep fit


one are the days when popping out for a stroll was the only way to get your daily exercise. Much as the Victorians loved a promenade to ‘take the air’, things have moved on in leaps and bounds – quite literally. While walking is the top active pastime for most people, even that has taken on a life of its own. Official routes are cleared and cared for across the country, rambler and orienteering clubs make it a more sociable sport, and walking festivals celebrate the event. Now summer is almost here, many of us will be upping our game. Don’t forget that Shire’s regular contributor, Clive


Williams, provides walking routes in our Active section. But if you’re ready to step things up a notch, it may be time to join the two million people across the UK who run regularly.

The need for speed

Running is a popular sport for people of all ages and fitness levels. A number of government and health initiatives have launched a new breed of runner – those who’d never tried running for anything more than a bus before. Probably the most successful of these schemes is the NHS Couch To 5k programme, which takes people from a

totally sedentary lifestyle to being able to run a 5km. Many leisure clubs have also developed running groups that cater for all abilities, and more people than ever are signing up for 5km and 10km runs, as well as half and full marathons. Some people talk about the ‘runner’s buzz’ and developing a love for the activity, but for many it simply remains an affordable and flexible way of keeping fit. However, there are a lot of other ways we can do this, and over the next four pages we introduce a few more ideas to add a little variety to your routine and take your active lifestyle to the next level.

Orienteering – following a set route by map – is suitable for all ages and abilities, as Jim and Tom Wood from Eryri Orienteering Club in north Wales explain


he sport of orienteering develops attributes that aren’t advanced in any other sport. It began as a means to test participants on their ability to traverse virgin forest in Scandinavia with only a basic sketch-map and a compass. While today’s electronic timing and compasses are great advances on 1919, the sport’s principles remain the same: the orienteer

has to make their way from start to finish by passing a number of mandatory checkpoints in the fastest time possible. The unseen map presents the possibility for endless variation in route choice and direction between controls. At every event there’s a wide choice of course categories to suit any individual, from tough, long courses that require the intense focus of an

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f you’re looking to get more out of your cycling, one of the best ways to do so is by joining an organised event, or sportive. Don’t worry – they’re not always as competitive as they may sound. One company that is happy to help is Bostin’ Ride, a family firm run by keen cyclists who like to have a good time and give others a great time too. With more than 10 years’ experience organising sportives, it knows what makes a great event and has a calendar of regular fixtures across the region. ‘We only organise sportives that we’d like to go to ourselves, which combine a friendly atmosphere with a professional service,’ says Calum Grew from Bostin’ Ride. ‘We have some of the most picturesque

experienced athlete, to shorter, easier routes that encourage the enjoyment of everyone.


Prefer using two wheels to your own two feet? One of the best ways to challenge yourself and meet like-minded individuals is to sign up to a sportive

The quick way down

North Wales offers mountain bike adventures like no other

but challenging landscapes around us: Snowdonia, the Welsh and Shropshire Hills, the Peak District, Cannock Chase and Sherwood Forest, to name just a few. These areas all lend themselves to sportives.’

head for Lake Vyrnwy and Llanfihangel-yng-Ngwynfa, while those on the Gold route climb along the edge of the Afon Eirth valley to the summit of Bwlch Y Groes. On 30th June, the Bostin’ Bridge Sportive starts at Harper Adams University just outside Dates for your diary Newport, Shropshire, before The Bostin’ Vyrnwy Velo tackling three fully Sportive takes place signposted routes on 16th June, starting ‘We only from the Welshpool along predominantly organise country lanes. The Livestock Market. It sportives longer routes get up offers the choice of that we’d three fully signposted close and personal with like to go to the famous Wrekin routes through the ourselves’ Welsh countryside, hill and the banks of the River Severn and which all follow the same initial 25km. past the Iron Bridge. The Bronze route then turns left into a quieter country lane, For more information about Bostin’ Ride and its upcoming while the other riders carry on sportives, visit bostinride.com into the hills. Silver route riders

of families, dog-walkers and enthusiastic athletes in between. Eryri Orienteering Club has event areas across north Sport for all Wales. It staged the British Championships in 1995 and There are some 120 orienteering clubs across Britain, in 2001 and will stage the multi-day Croeso areas such as mixed DID YOU woodland, open event in July 2020. KNOW? moorland and hillside, At our events there Checkpoints in will always be a more or even in urban areas orienteering are also referred to such as university experienced orienteer as ‘controls’ on hand to explain campuses. Competitors of any age and ability which is the best course can find a course to suit to try, how to use the map and what to do along the course. to them at any event, and the All our courses are colour coded demographic of orienteering ranges from the under-10s to depending on their complexity and physical difficulty, and the over-70s, with a great mix

we have courses suitable for families and young children. It’s helpful if you know how to use a compass, but it can be introduced as you gain experience. Electronic chip timing will provides you with information on how you did. Membership to Eryri Orienteering Club and the Welsh Orienteering Association is free for the first year, and having just drawn the annual Night Street League to a close, an exciting summer of challenges is approaching!


ver the past 10 years, Coed Llandegla Forest in north Wales has become known as the place to go for your mountain biking adrenaline fix. There you’ll find trails for all, from the Green trail around the reservoir to the airtimetastic B-Line trail. Experts such as OnePlanet Adventure are on hand to ensure progression is simple and finding a trail that suits your ability and fitness is easy. ‘We offer courses for everyone, from complete beginners to seasoned experts,’ says Harriet from OnePlanet. ‘Our fully qualified instructors give a friendly and professional coaching experience on a group or one-to-one basis, and use video analysis to help you perfect technique and maximise progression. If you don’t have the right kit, that’s not a problem either. ‘All our bikes are “real” mountain bikes, with front suspension, hydraulic disc brakes and off-road tyres. They’ve got everything you need to take on our trails.’ For more details visit www. oneplanetadventure.com

For more information, visit www.eryri-orienteering.org May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 81

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Stretch yourself and get active in a whole new way, with some of the more unusual opportunities available in the Shire patch


Rock climbing

Olympic star leads the way The Wirral Bikeathon, led by Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman, celebrates its 20th year in 2019. Here Chris expains how Shire readers can get involved


ince the Wirral Bikeathon began in 1999, an incredible total of about 200,000 riders have raised the amazing sum of £970,000 to fund research into improving the treatment and finding cures for leukaemia, lymphoma and other blood

Chris Boardman

cancers such as Hodgkin’s disease, myelomas and aplastic anaemia. It’s the biggest and best cycling event in the area, and we’re hoping to achieve our target of £1m in 2019. The Wirral Bikeathon takes place on Sunday 16th June, with the start, mid-point and finish in Arrowe Country Park. As in previous years, there’s the option of either a 14- or 28-mile route along the scenic paths, tracks and minor roads of Wirral. Entry from now until 9am on 10th June costs £15 for adults and £5 for children, or you can enter on the day for £25 for adults and £5 for under-16s. For more information, visit wirralbikeathon.com

he team at Snowdonia Adventure Activities really know their stuff when it comes to exciting experiences available in north Wales, and beyond. ‘Canyoning is easily our most popular adventure,’ says George Sanderson. ‘We get geared up in a wetsuit, harness and life jacket, and head down into the deep river gorge. Descending the cascading river, we swim the pools and slide down waterfalls.

‘Our basic canyon adventure is suitable for ages nine and above, with avoidable obstacles and jumps of up to three metres. If you want an experience you’ll never forget, our Canyon Xtreme adventure for ages 12 and over allows you to experience the best bits of the normal canyon – including the giant roped slides that lead to the waterfall abseil/ zipline – with an added section


adventure Surf Snowdonia may be best known for its wave machine and watersports, but this year sees the launch of a whole range of further activities under the umbrella of Adventure Parc Snowdonia

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that starts with a freefall slide off a five-metre waterfall and optional jumps up to a massive 10 metres. It’s a real adventure, and is guaranteed to get the pulse going.’

Other options

As a certified adrenaline junkie, George has plenty to say about some of the adventures opportunities other adventure companies offer across the area.

‘If you fancy mountain biking, head to Coed Y Brenin, which is one of the best purposebuilt mountain bike centres in the UK. It’s free to ride there, and you can hire bikes from Beics Brenin if you need to. ‘Another great option is mountain walking and scrambling. There are some amazing days out to be had in Wales. The Rhinogs are a hidden wilderness, Tryfan’s North Ridge

DID YOU KNOW? There are 1,497 miles of public footpaths in Snowdonia

is the area’s most popular scramble – it’s grade 1 so you’ll need to use your hands to climb but a rope generally isn’t required. Cadair Idris is great if you’re based at that end of the park, and Cnicht and Moel Siabod are brilliant half-day climbs. ‘If you’re not confident enough to take on a mountain, you could try some of the beautiful low-level walks in

the area, such as the Llyn Idwal circuit, the Aberglaslyn trail and the Roman Steps in the Rhinogs. You could also hire a guide and take on something out of your comfort zone. ‘Another great activity to try is rock climbing. Snowdonia is steeped in climbing history – it’s an amazing place to learn and there are enough places to climb to last more than lifetime!’


Adventure Parc Snowdonia

his summer, the world-first inland waves at awardwinning Surf Snowdonia have been joined at Adventure Parc Snowdonia by a bucketload of new nature-inspired adventures. Exciting instructor-led activities include gorge walking, abseiling, stand-up paddle safaris and coasteering, and there’s on-site mountain bike hire too – perfect for exploring the nearby Gwydir Mawr forest trails. From July there will be weatherproof activities too, thanks to the introduction of Adrenaline Indoors. This impressive high-thrills family adventure experience will feature artificial caving, climbing walls, extreme slides, a via ferrata, a multi-level aerial assault course and a parkour ninja trail. There will also be ‘freefall’ jumps for the fearless, and visitors can finish with a zip line over the surf lagoon. If you want to get stuck into some serious adventure activities but the weather doesn’t make it easy to do, the Adventure Parc

Fun for everyone

is a great place to investigate. There is also a separate soft play zone for younger guests, and there are glamping pods, a bar, diner and the magnificent

setting of the Conwy Valley if you fancy staying over. For more information, visit adventureparcsnowdonia.com

LOOKING FOR EVEN MORE? For more adventurous suggestions, see Days Out on the next page, where we zip-line through an underground cavern, make like a monkey in the treetops and reach new heights indoors… May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 83

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There are plenty of ways to reach new heights and get a different perspective on life. This edition, we focus on local activities that involve putting your life in the hands of your kit and a strong bit of rope…


The Boardroom Climbing Centre, Queensferry


iding within a bland industrial unit just off the main road in Queensferry, Flintshire, The Boardroom offers families a great day out with scaling slopes, walls and obstacles of various levels, heights and inclines. Even the most nervous first-timers are put at ease by the experienced staff, who can start you off with some gentle bouldering before you advance to the rope-based walls. The scalable surfaces are conveniently colour coded – stick to the coloured hand and feet holds of your level, and you can be confident that you’ll be able to tackle what look like even the most daunting ascents. Following an hour-long introduction session, it’s possible to feel suitably skilled

to tackle the higher climbs and even to have a go at the freestyle overhanging wall that drops down on to an enormous crash pad below – perfect for those who prefer falling to climbing! The Boardroom is a great for one-off experiences and birthday parties, as well as corporate days out; there are also organised clubs for those bitten by the climbing bug, giving people of all ages the chance to improve their climbing skills. This is a brilliant experience and a day out that all the family, no matter the age or ability, can enjoy together. Visit www.theboardroomclimbing. com for more information.

Go Ape, Delamere Forest


ne of the UK’s founding rope-course companies, Go Ape continues to go from strength to strength – and even if you’ve been to one before, every visit offers a new experience. For first-timers, the joy of being up in the trees in one of our beautiful woodlands is a great experience; tackling the challenges of a Go Ape course just adds another thrilling DID YOU KNOW? dimension. There are The first Go various courses available Ape opened at Delamere Forest, in Norfolk Cheshire, making it a in 2002 great choice for all the family. The junior course is

suitable for all; older children and adults may be dismissive of taking on the same route as younger members, but they’ll soon realise the challenge is greater for them as the course is designed for those with a lower centre of gravity. And everyone gets to end with an elegant zip-line descent, one of the main reasons Go Ape continues to be a family favourite. See goape.co.uk

Zip World Caverns, Blaenau Ffestiniog


t doesn’t seem quite right suggesting that you overcome your fear of heights and tackle a climbing course while below ground, but the caverns at Zip World offer just that. Suited to those over 10, the adventure takes about three hours and is great value for money as every minute ‘Zip line requires concentration across and focus, keeping your caverns and adrenaline pumping scramble up throughout. tunnels’ Even the practice course, which you must complete before you’re allowed on to the main route through the caverns, is daunting and most people have a slight wobble teetering on the edge of their first zip line.

But once you get in to the swing of it – quite literally – this is a unique and exhilarating way to experience this underground world – from zip lining across dark caverns unable to see the landing to scrambling up tunnels, dragging your ropes and kit behind you. The final stage involves a choice – a tightrope walk or the final and longest zip wire to the finish. However you choose to end your adventure, the sense of achievement at the end is reward for your efforts. Visit www. zipworld.co.uk

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NEW FOR 2019 Surf Snowdonia is evolving. Now open for the 2019 season, we’ll be bringing you more adventure, more thrills, and more fun. Inspired by nature, in the heart of North Wales.

ADVENTUREPARCSNOWDONIA.COM 01492 353 123 // info@adventureparcsnowdonia.com

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

A beautiful Georgian town house built about 1774 and extended in 1876, Penralley House has a striking façade of local granite, and a stunning Victorian yellow brick rear overlooking a lush large garden. It has been lovingly restored by Steve and Karen, retaining many of the original features to create a welcoming and relaxing environment. The house has a lovely garden with views to the Elan Valley and surrounding countryside. The Elan Valley reservoirs and estate are within 3 miles and

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

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

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


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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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Holidays GLAMP IT UP T

o experience a camping experience with a twist, check out The Forge in Corwen. It offers a unique outdoor holiday experience, combining luxury camping with the opportunity to try A bell tent with seating area your hand at bushcraft and survival There are four different spaces to skills. What could be more fun than choose, sleeping from four to eight learning how to light your own campfire (without matches, of course!) before people, and each tent has its own wellcooking up your own open-air supper equipped camp kitchen with everything you could possibly need from running and toasting marshmallows before bed! water, a gas hob, large cool box and The Forge is designed to ‘You can look encourage guests to create lots of pots, pans, forward to plates and cutlery. their own adventures in carpeted bell There are even the great outdoors while tents, real wine glasses providing all the mod and gorgeous cons to make their stay beds and a as stress-free as possible. local pottery. log-burning Every tent also Here you can look forward stove to keep has its own fire to carpeted bell tents you warm’ Bushcraft courses with real beds, crisp white circle and you’re wholly encouraged to get involved cotton sheets, lots of cosy with stoking up the campfire. rugs and cushions, plus a log-burning Private composting toilets and hot stove to keep you warm and toasty. showers are also available, plus a large indoor cabin space where you can relax and play games. An Iron Age hill fort makes the perfect backdrop to the bushcraft courses, which range from introductory halfand full-day sessions to four-day knife making and bow-and-arrow making workshops. Dogs and children are very welcome and the whole site is also available to hire for larger groups. For An idyllic scene more details, visit theforgecorwen.co.uk. 999-year lease at Nature’s Point, Pistyll. The location has far-reaching views of Nefyn Bay and the Irish Sea – you can see Anglesey on a clear day – and is framed by dramatic Snowdonia. Nature’s Point sits on a historic stretch of coastline that’s also home to St Bueno’s medieval church, he first luxury holiday which lies on the pilgrimage route to Ynys Enlli. Walkers homes available as part of a £10m development along can also enjoy the Wales Coastal Path on the doorstep, the Llyn Peninsula have offering access to awejust been released. Tucked away beyond Snowdonia’s inspiring trails that take in the craggiest peaks, with the Irish true beauty of the coastline. Sea on one side and There are now 25 luxury holiday Cardigan Bay on properties available, the other, the Llyn has a distinctive, alongside the existing 10 coastal unspoilt character cottages operated that draws walkers, wakeboarders and by Together Travel Co. These dinghy sailors, while Bardsey range from twoLuxury touches bedroomed Island at its tip penthouses to a palatial is a haven for wildlife. This is the perfect spot five-bedroomed luxury cottage, with prices starting to secure a new holiday at £299,000. For more, property with a 10-year visit togethertravel.co.uk. build guarantee and a

Point perfect




f you’re holidaying near Corwen this summer and have a clear, bright day ahead of you, take a walk to explore Caer Drewyn Hillfort. The early Iron Age site, which dates back to about 500BC and is said to have once occupied by Owain Glyndwr around 1165, is located to the north of the town. The site has a large stone rampart, with entrances on the west and north sides, a guard chamber within the north-east entrance and a deep defensive ditch. In Iron Age times the fort must have dominated this important route, with spectacular views of the valley, the River Dee and of the mountains to the west and north. It is now a scheduled ancient monument. Even if history isn’t your thing, the walk up to the hill fort is still worthwhile for the views back to the town below.

Make a splash E njoy a relaxed pace on holiday by spending a week or two on a Cheshire Cat Narrowboat. The small family-run firm is based at Overwater Marina, Audlem, on the Shropshire Union Canal, which is just three hours’ cruising from the beautiful Llangollen Canal. The fleet includes perfect boats for a couple as well as family-sized vessels. The team has recently added a new boat, Southern Cross, which offers berths for up to eight people and two separate shower rooms. The team at Cheshire Cat Narrowboats aim to ensure you have a truly enjoyable and memorable holiday experience from the moment you arrive. Expert tuition is provided to set The new boat you on

Take life at a slower pace

your way with confidence, including a practical demonstration of locks. The experts can also suggest a choice of suitable routes, and tell you all about the scenery, cosy pubs and historic architecture you can see along the way. There’s something for everyone at every level of boating experience. All bedding is provided and everyone from beginners to expert sailors are welcome. Keep an eye on www. cheshirecatnarrowboats. co.uk for latest launch news or to browse the boats available for the year ahead. May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 87

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et off in style this summer by 24-hour helpline and collection and booking your accommodation drop-off seven days a week. A range of layouts are available, now – and then taking it with you! If you like to enjoy your journey as including two-, four- and six-berth much as your destination, check motorhomes with a choice of ‘You’re out the motorhome holidays single, double and bunk beds. insured to available with Touring Cars at ES Pet-friendly vehicles are also visit any available. If you want to explore Hartley. Whether you’re heading European for a family beach holiday or a further afield, the unlimited country if you mileage policy means you don’t relaxing retreat, a motorhome specify when have to stay in the UK. You’re from Touring Cars will make booking’ insured to visit any European your holiday even more special. All rentals include a luxury country if you specify your travel motorhome no more than two years arrangements when booking. For more, old, unlimited mileage, luxury bed call 0151 350 6871 or email manchester@ touringcars.eu. Quote ‘Shire’ and you’ll linen and towels, a fully furnished receive a free welcome gift on collection. kitchen, free Brit Stops stopovers,

Let yourself drift away


f you really want to relax on holiday this year, take a look at the options available at Blackwater Meadow Marina, Ellesmere. A range of vessels are available, and even if you haven’t been on a boat before it isn’t a problem as the holidays are designed for repeat visitors and complete newcomers alike. Boats are ready for collection at 2.30pm on the start day , with full tuition given before you head off and comprehensive information is available in a manual on board the boat The joy of canal boat cruising is that there’s no itinerary – you set your own agenda. In a week, you’re likely to cover the distance you could cover in an hour by car, but the journey will be a far richer one! As well as operating a fleet of canal boats to hire by the day or longer, Blackwater Meadow Marina also has

Lazy days on the canal

holiday cottage available to rent. The three-bedroom apartment set in the beautiful Shropshire countryside has direct access to the Llangollen Canal towpath and is within walking distance of four beautiful and tranquil meres and a number of other attractions. The apartment consists of a lounge/ diner, a fully equipped kitchen, three double bedrooms which can have either a double bed or two singles, a bathroom with a bath and shower, and a second wc. There is central heating in all rooms. plus a TV, DVD player and music centre in lounge. There is also a private patio. See www.blackwatermeadow.com.



new phase of holiday heaven is Rhyl is an ideal touring available at the stunning Paddocks Lodge Park in Towyn, Abergele. A base from which to mature semi-rural park, The Paddocks visit many is just minutes from the beach and has been designed to give each plot privacy, attractions space, a large car parking area for two and places cars, and a sunny aspect all day long. of scenic beauty within Each plot is 20 feet wide, large The site is safe and secure north Wales enough to fit the largest lodges with plenty of space for a large decked area. or to simply take a break from the hustle and bustle and enjoy your The safe and secure site is accessed along a private gated road, and is Paddocks Lodge Park holiday. an idyllic oasis of peace and quiet – Units are already available to view, all of which are built to the ideal location to unwind and enjoy those a high specification and benefit from double glazing precious moments with and central heating, making your family and friends. The Paddocks Holiday them low maintenance and Lodge Park is located easy to heat. Prices start near Rhyl, and the local from £51,995. For more information, visit www. area and scenery are All units are double glazed paddockslodgepark.co.uk. well worth exploring.


f you’re exploring the Cheshire countryside while on holiday, there’s one attraction that’s worth a visit whatever the weather – Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker. For more than 50 years, this vast underground complex remained hidden in the sleepy Cheshire countryside on the outskirts of Audlem and Nantwich. Built in the 1950s as part of a vast secret radar network codenamed ROTOR and declassified in 1993, the 35,000ft2 bunker would have been the centre of regional government in the event of a nuclear war. Today it offers a warm welcome to anyone looking for a day out with a different. Perfect for history buffs or small spies in training who have their own mission to complete during their visit, Hack Green offers intriguing insights into a hidden world as well as a well-served café and gift shop specialising in military memorabilia.



oetre Retreat Caravan Park is a small, quiet family-run park in the heart of mid Wales, offering a peaceful and relaxing spot to unwind on the banks of the Stunning scenery River Mule. The site is between the villages of Abermule and Kerry, with Newtown and Welshpool just a short drive away. If you enjoy country pursuits, Goetre Retreat is the perfect home from home. The site is close to the Shropshire border, with easy access to well-known walks such as Offa’s Dyke and the Kerry Ridgeway. The reservoirs and dams of Lake Vyrnwy, Clywedog and the Elan Valley are also nearby. Other local attractions including the Stiperstones, Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd, and fishing, golfing, cycling, horse riding are all available within the area. Each plot has its own parking space, as well as a small lawn and private patio. All caravans are on hard standings, with satellite TV and WiFi. Dogs are welcome. For more information, visit www.goetreretreatcaravanpark.co.uk.

88 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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



of Caravan Parks available in North Wales & Cheshire

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Hire for a day, a weekend, a week or longer Huge choice of NEW & PREOWNED Holiday Homes

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

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

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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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9.30am until



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Own a slice of paradise with our exclusive new development of bespoke holiday homes overlooking the North Wales coast, where majestic mountains meet the sparkling blue sea. Nature’s Point, Nefyn Bay, Llŷn Peninsula, LL53 6LR | 01625 416430 | info@naturalland.co.uk

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LOCAL FOCUS FOR NEW HOLIDAY PARK A new luxury holiday park is joining forces with Flintshire businesses to boost the economy and drive tourism


eter and Louise Barlow, owners of Acorn Leisure, will open butchers in Caerwys – a mainstay phase one of their Maes Mynan development in 90 acres of in the town for almost 60 years beautiful countryside at Afonwen, near Caerwys, this September. – is in agreement. ‘I’m very Despite interest from national food and drink chains keen pleased to hear that the new to have a presence on the site, the couple are determined to park is under development, as it Owners will support local firms work with independent businesses and producers to provide will be great for seasonal trade ‘on the doorstep’ amenities in particular,’ he says. ‘Supporting tourism keeps the for future customers seeking a local amenities alive for the whole community.’ holiday home in north Wales. Caroline Williams of Central Stores is already in Maes Mynan Park will feature discussions with Louise and Peter about possible ideas 47 lodges as part of phase one, that will give holiday home owners a warm welcome with a further 63 static caravans while generating income for independent suppliers. and 70 touring caravan pitches ‘We’re looking at special packs of produce and becoming available over the baskets of essentials and items provided by companies following two years. A further in this area,’ she says. ‘We’re all excited to see what area has been set aside for impact the park has. I’m confident it will be great for boutique eco-glamping. Caerwys in particular and wish them every success.” It’s hoped that the park will bring hundreds more people Bespoke services to the area, increasing tourism Dave Kelly-Parkinson from Flintshire firm Planetree spend locally. This is why Adventures was ‘blown away’ when he paid a visit to The Clwydian Range, a North Wales beauty spot Louise and Peter – who also the site. ‘It’s refreshing have parks in nearby Cilcain and Lloc – are working closely to meet people creating an with local organisations with the intention of making holiday inspiring project with a passion home owners and visitors aware of businesses in the vicinity. to work with local businesses,’ he says. ‘We look forward to creating bespoke experiences Local boost ‘This is a stunning region,’ says Louise. for all ages and abilities, ‘Maes Mynan ‘a hidden gem waiting to be discovered including walks and hikes, is a unique with easy access to some amazing bars, canoe tours at Pontycysyllte holiday space Aqueduct, bushcraft and restaurants, tourist attractions, artisan Visitors will be given local info produce and independent firms. We survival skills sessions in Flintshire’ and climbing and abseiling adventures – let’s do it!” want to work alongside businesses to bring trade to this corner of Flintshire Maes Mynan is situated within an Area of Outstanding and are delighted with the response we’ve had so far. Natural Beauty and features a woodland, three lakes and added landscaping to protect biodiversity and ‘There are conservation and environmental projects in place to support the existing connectivity within the natural landscape. ‘This is a unique holiday space in Flintshire: secluded and biodiversity and connectivity peaceful with great views, but also accessible because it’s a of the natural landscape that makes Maes Mynan Park so stone’s throw from major access routes and popular tourism special. There is a wonderful destinations, with access to some of the most beautiful walks network of safe footpaths, and countryside you could hope to find,’ including one from Maes says Peter. ‘Providing Mynan into the centre of Caerwys, which is something luxury lodges is the first step to we aim to capitalise on. ‘We don’t want people a happy holiday staying on the park to drive and an aspirational straight through these lifestyle that adds a villages and not spend their new perspective to Maes Mynan has incredible views money or time locally.’ everyday life, and Louise’s words were music to the ears of Janet Monshin we can’t wait to Dallolio, owner of Afonwen Craft & Antique Centre, which share it with others.’ was established in 1991. ‘That’s what we are all about!’ says For more details Janet. ‘We source local ingredients, have great relationships about Maes with local businesses and believe in being a big part of the Mynan Park or community. The addition of Maes Mynan Park will be very to register your positive and I’m sure will bring a lot of new people to the area’ interest visit www. Andrew Davies, owner of Morgan’s Pori Gwych independent maesmynanpark.com. Maes Mynan is surrounded by countryside May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 91

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Welcome to The Penrhos Arms Hotel near Machynlleth, Mid Wales

Arrive as a guest and depart as a friend... Restaurant Docket No.33 is a modern British restaurant offering cuisine with local and international influence. Located in the Market town of Whitchurch in Shropshire, we utilise the local produce surrounding us to create our menus.

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.

Open Thursday to Saturday from 4pm.

Dine in our homely restaurant and choose from a comprehensive menu that changes on a daily basis, with local produce, meat, game and fish.

33 High St, Whitchurch SY13 1AZ

01948 665553

info@docketrestaurant.com www.docketrestaurant.com

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 TEL: 01650 511 243 • www.penrhosarms.com

A SWEET SPA ESCAPE… Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea and luxury spa day including a 25-minute facial or back massage and use of our opulent spa facilities from just £59* per person. Available for a limited time only; book by calling 01244 572199 or email bookings@spabykasia.co.uk. Quote ‘SHIRE Spa Day’ on booking. *£59pp Tuesday – Friday / £75pp Saturday – Monday

Spa by Kasia at the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel, Wrexham Road, Pulford, Chester, Cheshire, CH4 9DG www.spabykasia.co.uk Owned and operated by Nelson Hotels

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Palm Court

We visit the Chester hotel to experience a luxurious overnight stay, including a visit to Spa by Kasia and the Palm Court restaurant

A grand entrance


he Grosvenor Pulford Hotel, located just minutes from the A55 roundabout south of Chester, is a grand three-story brick building with modern extensions for the spa and function areas. On our arrival, a couple of high-end cars are parked out the front, giving us a clue as to the clientele, and we’re not surprised to spot a former Liverpool footballer dining with friends later in the evening. As soon as we check in, we follow the signs to the hotel’s spa and get changed for our luxurious treatments.

Spa by Kasia

Palm Court Restaurant

The hotel’s restaurant certainly lives up to its name, with a glass ceiling, lit palm trees and a water feature along one side. We peruse the menu while enjoying a very welcome cocktail and are then shown to our table. The starters soon arrive (see our choices, below). The duck leg is juicy and smothered in a sweet plum and apple sauce, and the Merguez sausage makes an interesting combination even though it is a little overpowered. The tempura, meanwhile, is exquisite – a row of golden crisp battered fish pieces, light as air, ‘With modern styling and a mirrored theme, the rooms are comfortable and luxurious’

with a thick mayonnaise and delicious sweet chilli topping. The Grosvenor’s take on schnitzel – using chicken rather than the traditional veal – is a hearty dish with a nice buttery flavour, complemented by the creamy herbed mash. The cod is a nice thin cut that holds up well to the stronger elements on the dish. Our side dish of artichoke hearts, quartered with crushed

roasted hazelnuts and lots of lemon juice, is excellent too.

Bed and breakfast

Our room is a ‘superior’, with sliding doors that open to the bathroom to create a large space – well worth the extra cost. With modern styling and a mirrored theme, everything is very comfortable and luxurious. The air conditioning works well – you can control the temperature of the room, unlike other hotels in which the rooms can be stilfing. In this quiet part of Cheshire, we sleep soundly and head downstairs for breakfast in the morning refreshed. Breakfast is served in Palm Court Restaurant and includes everything you’d expect, cooked to order. If you feel like an indulgent, relaxing short time away, a spa break at the Grosvenor Pulford is hard to beat.

‘Our first treatment is an Elemis Pro-Collagen Age Defy Facial, which costs £70 and takes 65 minutes. This starts with a Atlantic cod with ratatouille deep-cleansing treatment, followed by exfoliation. An Elemis facial The therapist then applies The Bill a mask and massages our Starters head and shoulders, arms and hands. After the mask is Hot confit of Gressingham duck leg, Merguez sausage, plum removed and our face cleansed, a rich moisturiser is massaged and apple compote and Barolo wine reduction £8.50 in to our skin and a lovely thick eye cream applied. It’s real Tempura salmon, prawn and monkfish, sweet chilli and coriander £7.25 treat that leaves the face feeling smooth and refreshed. Main courses ‘That’s the face sorted – now for the rest! The Elemis Freestyle Chicken schnitzel, fine beans and shallots, garlic and chive Deep Tissue Massage is a full-body treatment that lasts 55 minutes hollandaise, sage and onion creamed potato £15.95 Atlantic cod, ratatouille, Iberico ham, chorizo, and costs £59. It starts with the back, legs, arms and shoulders, blushed tomatoes and basil pesto £19.50 which are massaged using Elemis essential oils. The therapist Roasted artichokes, hazelnut and lemon £3.95 tells us that the most popular choices for the essential oils blend are De-stress or Muscle Relaxation. First, they brush away any Glass of Heaven On Earth South African dessert wine, £4.75 dead skin so the essential oils are better absorbed, then work the oil into the skin and work the muscles deeply. ‘After the session, we’re advised to avoid the steam room and jacuzzi for 90 minutes to give The Grosvenor Pulford the essential oils time to fully absorb into the Hotel & Spa, skin so we can get the maximum benefit. Wrexham Road, Pulford, ‘The massage treatment is terrific. We can feel Chester CH4 9DG the tension ease away – each limb feels relaxed 01244 570560 and ‘heavy’ in turn, and the whole evening www.grosvenorpulfordhotel.co.uk and the next day we feel loose and floaty!’

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 93

Hotel Review MayJune 2019 jwDB.indd 1

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Beer batte

red marke

t fish

The distinctive interior

Great service Chef Ale x

rth Cena


rs fritte

Chester Racecourse’s restaurant isn’t just for racegoers – it’s a great choice for the whole family throughout the year


rriving at The White Horse, we drive through the main dish than the traditional French style ai mussels gates of Chester Racecourse and are waved through to the with white wine, garlic and butter, and it Steamed Men car park. It’s a slightly surreal experience to drive into the middle would also make a good main course. of the Roodee, but you can immediately see why the location is so popular – there is no traffic and you’re surrounded by the Classics with a twist green of the racecourse, so on non-race days its a great familyThe mains are very good and cooked to friendly venue. Which is exactly what the White Horse is – it’s a high standard. The fish is served in a quiet, comfortable and, with plenty of staff providing a really terrific beer batter, and the homemade efficient service, a great spot to come with kids during the day. tartare sauce is creamy, tart and very fresh. ‘We offer diners quality dishes with a contemporary twist, but But it’s the pork collar that has the real we also have a dedicated kids’ menu as we know how wow factor, with a spectacular important that is for parents,’ says The White Horse’s piece of pork crackling (which Drama tic fire places manager, Leigh. ‘This is a premium spot on race days so the chef admits takes two ‘The restaurant we do packages, which are incredibly popular – you can days to make) and a quartered is always get a four-course dinner with a special menu and have the cabbage steamed and blackened looking to table all day from 11.30am to 6pm. Our aim is to run more on the grill. The sweet potato base is buttery and very change the menu based family friendly events and festivals when it’s not a race day. sweet – which goes well with the pork and creamy gravy. on what’s It’s a really hearty dish and one that pork fans will love! in season’ Stunning surroundings The White Horse’s chef, Alex, says the restaurant The interior is terrific, with lots of exposed wood, is always looking to change the menu based on what’s dramatic circular fireplaces and bunches of hops and in season, but there are certain dishes that are always glasses hanging from the bar. The is also a long separate atrium on offer – such as fish and chips, and the burger options (which area. Even though we visit at four in the afternoon, it is busy we spy on neighbouring tables looking very good indeed). without being full, with lots of families enjoying something to If you visit on race days, The White Horse offers a terrific eat and drink after a run around on the pirate ship outside. package to make it a truly special day out. Every other day, if you’re We order a few of the restaurant’s most popular dishes in town and want a really nice meal at a terrific location that’s (see box, right), and wait to see if the food 100% family friendly, then The White Horse is hard to beat. lives up to the surroundings. The dough balls The bill arrive large, plump Starters and nicely done. The Garlic dough balls with aioli £4 fried Cenarth brie – a Crispy Cenarth brie fritters with red onion and black vinegar jam £6.85 Steamed Menai mussels, red wine, tomato, chorizo and garlic croutes £7.25 French-style cheese Main courses from Wales, with a Dry aged pork collar, cider braised cabbage, sweet mashed potato and creamy white centre – is cider cream reduction £15.25 excellent and just melts Beer battered market fish, triple cooked chips, marrow fat peas, homemade tartare sauce £14 in the mouth, and the Dessert homemade chutney is a Selection of ice creams £4.50 great complement. The mussels make a eye-catching The White Horse starter that everyone loves The Racecourse, Chester CH1 2LY – the tomatoes and chorizo 01244 304650 www.thewhitehorsechester.co.uk m atriu make it a heartier, tastier The spacious 94 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

Review White Horse MayJune 2019 jwDB.indd 1

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Huts & Stuff Our Shepherds Huts are Perfect for Spare Rooms, Model railways, Craft & Hobby rooms, Garden Retreats, Glamping, or just because you love them. We have been building bespoke Shepherds Huts, Wagons and stuff in mid Wales for over 15 years. Prices start From £8,500. Nationwide & European Delivery Visitors welcome by appointment To order or discuss your requirements Contact David and John on 01588 620132 Mob: 07300 013032 Email: davestilthouse@gmail.com www.hutsandstuff.co.uk Come and see us at... Shropshire County Agricultural Show: 25th May 2019 Royal Three Counties Show: 14th June 2019 – 16th June 2019 Shrewsbury Flower Show: 9th August 2019 – 10th August 2019


OoFn F olla all him airs nd ch

sofas a

From quality kitchen textiles to luxury Fine Bone China, beautifully made and intricately decorated in Staffordshire, Mad March Hares combines a passion for Illustration with a love for home decor to create unique furnishings for your home. All products are hand painted and illustrated by Shropshire based artist Matthew Ryan Haresnape. Visit www.madmarchares.com and follow @madmarchhares on Instagram.

The recliner, refined. The Themse from himolla. What better way to bring your home to life this spring than to fill it with himolla's unique range of fresh designs. From chairs to sofas, with both electric and manual reclining options plus a sumptuous choice of luxurious leathers and fabrics. Our collection is not only bursting with colour but is designed to make your comfort feel totally natural.

Quality from Germany

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We offer the full AGA stove range above in store, plus over 150 stoves and fireplaces on display in our showroom.

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01745 582254

19/04/2019 14:14


MAKE SURE YOUR HEART IS IN YOUR HOME In this edition Shire welcomes a new columnist – interior designer Suzanne Mercer of Cheshire’s Kettle Design. To kick-start her regular section, Suzanne shares her tips for falling back in love with a room or space in your house that isn’t working for you any more Suzanne Mercer

Think about colour

Soft and warm colours make for a relaxing palette in a sitting or dining room. Try mixing neutrals with greens, golds and bronzes. Opulent taffetas are big this year and their rich colours are great for curtains, cushions and blinds.

Use fabrics

Give a room the wow factor by laying a bleached oak herringbone floor. It not only looks good but feels blissful underfoot.

You can really brighten up a sofa with some exciting cushions in lovely fabrics. They’re far cheaper than replacing your sofa and refreshing them regularly can give your room a whole new look. Consider lining the side or back of a chair or sofa with a superior or outlandish fabric to make a real impact.

Experiment with wallpaper

Perfect lighting

Sensory appeal

There are some terrific wallpapers on the market today, and some are cheaper than paint per square metre. Create an impact by lining alcoves either side of a fireplace with statement wallpaper made from real banana leaves or dark linen paper. Some wallpapers are designed to soften a room acoustically; they’re often wipeable and are great if you’ve made a mistake with paint as you can just paper over it.

Get arty

Daring wallpaper

A stunning piece of artwork can create a real talking point in a room. Choose something that is special to you, that’s fun or that just makes you feel happy when you look at it.

It can be difficult to get the lighting right in a house, particularly in new builds Lovely cushions which are often fitted with low-energy or LED lights. Fabrics and paint can look very different depending on the colour rendering of the light fittings and the natural light available in a room. LEDs can give off a yellow, white or blue glow so it’s important to order the correct fitting depending on the effect you would like to achieve. If you have inherited cold white fittings, their effect can be softened with warmer colours such as beiges and harbour grey, which will work with the light.

Talk to a builder

If a room really isn’t working for you, consider some structural changes such as knocking it through into an adjacent room.

Make an impact with artwork

For more information and home styling advice visit www.kettledesign.co.uk May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 97

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ON THE TILES The ancient Egyptians invented them as a decorative floor covering, but tiles have come a long way since. They were once the preserve of kitchens and bathrooms – but now they have the power to transform the home and create a focal point in almost any room


hey’re wipeable, solid, dependable and practical… and most of us rely on some amount of tiling in our homes, even if it’s just a kitchen splashback or a waterproof bath surround. But instead of looking at them as merely a sensible solution, why not explore the more dramatic and alternative uses of tiles to add a whole new feature to your home? We’ve picked our top tile transformations to inspire you to get out the grout.

1. Pattern perfection

Classic chequerboard

3. Moroccan magic

Originating in north Africa where ceramics are desired for their cool qualities, Moroccan tiles are the epitome of exotic luxury and their bright colours can add a focal point in any part of the home. They’re particularly suited to a kitchen where spices and flavours are used in abundance.

Tiles offer an easy way to add symmetry 4. Tactile tiles and order to any interior space. Use bold Today’s tile designs are not restricted geometric designs to give a dramatic to flat, smooth surfaces – many tiles feel, especially in a large can add a little texture to a room. space, or simply celebrate DID YOU Gentle ripples are irresistible to the the uniformity of a KNOW? The earliest glazed touch, whereas silky patterns simply chequerboard design. bricks discovered cry out to be stroked. Use with Whatever your are from the 13th care in a bathroom, however, and preference, there’s century BC always consider ease of cleaning. a perfect pattern for every style and space.

5. Period features

2. Go random

Playful patterns

Tiles can create any pattern you like

Alternatively go the opposite way, with just as much impact, by creating a purposefully random design with your tiles. You can buy packs of mixed patterns, which create a great effect and suit any homeowner who prefers a quirky style and wants to express their creativity with a more mix-and-match interior feel.

Homes from the Victorian and Edwardian eras deserve a touch of the elegance associated with their age – and if their original features don’t have it, a heritage tiling pattern can bring back the charm with ease. Tiles reflecting the design tiling giants such as Milton or Macintosh will add glamour to any home of the appropriate era.

Sahara style

Feel as well as look

Period detail

A spark of an idea W

hen Alison Shea couldn’t find the perfect luxury candle, she came up with a radical solution – she decided to make her own! Alison wanted a candle that combined sophisticated scents with natural ingredients, but didn’t want to go for the rustic look. Seeing a gap in the market, she trained as a candlemaker, and her firm Dexter & Mason was born. After a period of trial and error, Alison perfected her signature candle: cleanburning soy wax with hand-blended fragrances, poured into an elegant

glass tumbler. This has developed into a gorgeous collection of top-quality scented candles. M&D recently launched an evocative spring range, inspired by the young, clean scents of this fresh season. All the candles are handmade in small batches in Alison’s Holywell studio, and you can buy them at www. dexterandmason.com. And the name? Dexter is Alison’s lively springer Spaniel, and Mason is her loving labrador!

98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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www.lowfieldtimberframes.co.uk Call: 01743 891922 Email: enquiries@ltf.uk.com Lowfield Timber Frames, Marton, Welshpool, Powys, SY21 8JX 099_SHIREMJ2019.indd 1

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PRODUCTS Fine bone china angels

A TRADITIONAL CHRISTENING GIFT Designed in North Wales and manufactured in Stoke-on-Trent exclusively for Merlson Products. The handmade fine bone china angel heads are made in a white, cream or hand gilded in 12% real gold gilding paste. Sold in a custom-made box, with a pre-cut foam insert, they retail at £19.99 for the white or cream models and £45.00 for the gold models.

Contact information for Merlson merlson@hotmail.com 01978 354901

Suppliers of Granite, Stone, and Quartz work surfaces, Granite and Marble Worktops, Fireplaces and Flooring Offering a professional, friendly and bespoke service, D & G Stone Services Ltd are committed to producing work of the highest quality, from the very finest materials. Trading since 2005 our staff together accumulate over 35 years of experience. Kitchen Work surfaces • Fireplaces • Hearths & Fire surrounds • Interior and Exterior Masonry • Bathroom Vanity tops & Bath surrounds • House names • Table tops

Monday-Thursday 9-5pm Friday 9-4pm Saturday 9-12pm

‘Bringing the Beauty of Natural Stone into the Home and Garden’

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If you’d like more information, have an enquiry, or would like to arrange a meeting, please get in touch.

Tel: 01588 673688

www.dandgstoneservices.co.uk email: dgstones@btconnect.com Unit 1a, Shrewsbury Road, Craven Arms, Shropshire, SY7 9QG

19/04/2019 14:18


It’s tricky to find good value here

How and where to buy antiques While the idea of wandering around an antiques fair and selecting special pieces sounds appealing, it can also be daunting for many of us – and often more expensive than it should be. Elizabeth Hart from Banquet House Antiques offers some buying advice


veryone loves a bargain, and finding a really special antique piece at a good price is particularly rewarding, but the eyewatering prices at antiques fairs can be daunting. The answer? Visit your local antique shop or a private dealer who can obtain the same quality at a better price thanks to their lower overheads. For example, look at the table pictured: mid-19th century, continental specimen wood, marquetry tilttop. You might pay £5,000 to £7,000 for this at a LAPADA fair. From a local shop or private dealer it could be Marquetry tilt-top table

‘Look for

quality and as little as £1,000 depending on their condition, and costs. What makes the difference? buy things Provenance is the only thing that should cause you like’ such a disparity in price. An antique that has a guaranteed history of ownership, perhaps from a famous person or house, may be worth the extra thousands. If you simply want something beautiful for your home, buy from a dealer who will be able to tell you the source, style, age and

An angel to watch over me C

hristening gifts have been given for centuries as part of the welcoming ceremony for the arrival of newborn babies. Gifts vary from blankets and clothing to bibles, rosaries, angel figurines, crucifixes or individual pieces of silver, usually spoons, originating from a time when silver was a form of currency. Across Europe, carved wooden or porcelain wall-mounted angel heads have traditionally been hung over the internal doorways of the home or on the wall near the baby’s crib. These were offered in the belief that they would help ward off evil spirits and were considered an innocent good luck charm, keeping the baby and the household safe.

DID YOU KNOW? LAPADA used to stand for ‘London and Provincial Antique Dealers Association’

composition, and as much history as they have available. Look for quality and condition, and most importantly, buy things you like – don’t be fooled into thinking that paying more actually makes the item worth more.

Antiques fairs can be daunting

Want more help and advice? Call Banquet House Antiques on 01745 591942

Don’t pay over the odds

These fine bone-china angels, designed in north Wales and hand-made in Stoke-on-Trent, are only £19.99 for the white or cream models and £45 for the gold models (£4.50 p&p).

Designed in north Wales

For more information about these exquisite gifts, and to place an order, email merlson@hotmail. com or call 01978 354901

Also available in gold

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 101

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SHROPSHIRE STUDIO SCOOPS SECOND AWARD Ke-Design bosses are celebrating after scooping another county commendation


his year’s Shropshire Council Design & Conservation Awards saw Ke-Design, which has offices in Oswestry and Shrewsbury, receive a commendation in the Domestic Extension category for a modern timber-clad rear house extension in Belle Vue, Shrewsbury. ‘It’s only the second year of the awards, so it’s a real honour to receive recognition both years,’ says Craig Marston, Ke-Design’s founder and director. Ian Kilby, the council’s head of planning, praised The award-winning extended property in Belle Vue the design of the two-storey extension with open-plan kitchen/dining room, living room and master bedroom with en-suite. ‘We proposed that if the client changed the plans to a two-storey ‘The client bought the property in a poor state after it been they would get a much-needed master bedroom, with en-suite, overlooking their rear garden. I must give credit to the client for empty for 10 years,’ says Craig. ‘Following a trusting our idea and also the builder for the execution. They have done a fantastic job of making the designs a reality.’ recommendation, they ‘I must give Craig adds that the extension has become the most initially approached credit to Ke-Design for a modern complimented project on his firm’s social media. ‘We hope the client to inspire people who are extending their homes, and if it’s single-storey extension for trusting done well it doesn’t have to match the existing.’ to the three-bedroom our idea’ Ke-Design has enjoyed another record-breaking year with semi-detached property, an increase in the number of clients searching for highbut as they had just had twins we suggested that quality design. This comes after Ke-Design exhibited at two home shows, which it will be doing again this year. Visit ke-design.co.uk. Craig (right) receives the award wouldn’t be sufficient.


the continual development of new products and bespoke manufacturing. Visit lowfieldtimberframes.co.uk or call on 01743 891922 to find out more.

Pod living


A low-maintenence, low-energy Lowfields house in Hampshire

imber frame construction has many benefits compared with traditional methods, from superior insulation to fast build time. Lowfield is a timber frame manufacturer based on the Wales/Shropshire border, and has built a strong reputation and a vast technical knowledge base over 18 years. An STA Assure Gold Member, Lowfield consistently provides topquality products on deadline with excellent service. Lowfield’s efficient factory has state-of-the-art CNC tooling, allowing


Beautiful construction

Lowfield is part of the SJ Roberts Construction and has launched an innovative new product in the form of the SJ Roberts Pod, a fully prefabricated, highly sustainable portable space. Its sturdy steel base allows easy transportation to site, and its steel base allows easy installation with only minor foundation work. The pod is fully insulated with heating, electricity and water installed, 2/4 berth accommodation, office space and garden/play rooms. To find out more email emma.vaughan@sjroberts.com. Blackthorn fishing cabins

A range of hand-crafted lampshades, created through a Wrexham community collaboration project, are now flying off the shelves and creating talking points in homes across the country


rexham’s art deco Hippodrome light hangs in the ‘The lampshade was designed South Arcade of Ty Pawb – and fans can now to give people the ability to DID YOU buy their own unique version at the Ty Pawb shop. make choices during the KNOW? The light has inspired a collection of construction,’ says Tim, The art deco ‘reflecting our aim of bespoke lampshades, created by Manchesterlight hung at the based designer Tim Denton in a series providing an opportunity Hippodrome from for the community to have of Ty Pawb workshops, and ultimately 1961 to 1997 made by members of the local community an influence. It has been a under the guidance of Tim and his team. real pleasure and it’s amazing to see the final product gain The product was designed with considerations made for the craft techniques involved, to ensure the project such popularity and interest.’ was a learning experience and skill-building exercise for This is the first product created through the new participants. It used steam-bending techniques, a practice that few people ever have the chance to try. The building Designer Maker project, a Inspired by the Hippodrome light process started by steaming ash components which were collaboration between Ty then clamped into a jig. After a week, they were glued to other Pawb, CAIS and Cye Cymru to mentor people with experience of substance misuse and mental health conditions. sections and placed in moulds to create the final product.

102 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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a modern twist, suited to heritage-style properties. You’ll also find f you’re thinking of changing, moving, installing or upgrading any aspect of your home, the grand reopening of Premier our Guardian solid roof system, suitable for either conservatory roof replacement or for a new living space. Matching the same Window’s renovated showroom is the perfect opportunity to specifications as a traditional house roof for buildings regulations, the be inspired. On Thursday 16th to Saturday 18th May you can extremely durable and thermally efficient properties of our solid roof join us to celebrate our 30th birthday with a glass of bubbly systems are the ideal solution to creating a truly year-round room. and a few canapés while browsing our huge range of windows, doors, conservatories, orangeries and living spaces. You can even add glass panels exactly where you want them for a greater level of natural light. We also have some fabulous special offers ‘This is the perfect opportunity to feed your imagination and on too, including spa weekends and John Lewis vouchers to give visualise what’s possible for your home. We’re open late on Thursdays away. There really hasn’t been a through May and June too, so you can pop in after work to browse at better time to visit Premier your leisure. There will always be a member of our Windows & Conservatories!’ PREMIER SUPPLIER friendly team on hand to answer any questions. ‘Our commitment CONSERVATORY OUTLET ‘We’re delighted to be celebrating our to high standards pearl anniversary in 2019, marking 30 years Moving forward ‘We’re proud to supply Premier ensures that Windows & Conservatories with in business. We’re taking the opportunity ‘My husband, Paul, and I our products the very best range of window, to launch some of our most innovative new started Premier Windows in continue to door and conservatory products. products, such as our brand new and exclusive 1989, and 15 years later our perform long This year we launched our most into the future’ Extreme range of windows and doors, each eldest son, Ben, joined the advanced window, door and engineered to the highest specification to business. I don’t mind saying patio at Premier: the Extreme Collection. The Extreme uPVC provide extreme security, comfort, style, that 30 years in our line of suite has been engineered to the peace of mind and a comprehensive 10-year warranty. work is quite an achievement, highest specification to provide maximum performance and style. ‘Our new retail space will also showcase our stunning new and one that we’re immensely ‘Premier’s new showroom aluminium range of windows and feature doors – perfect for those proud of. I believe the secret to will display our Envisage flush looking for something really special. Our Residence windows are our success has been to seek out casement window. You can also on display, modelled on traditional timber windows but with and supply the very best quality also expect to see our range of products, coupled with a personal Slimframe aluminium windows and doors, designed and manufactured service, with our family values to meet not only the demands A HAPPY CLIENT SENDS THEIR THANKS! at the heart of the business. of environmentally conscious homeowners but also to follow ‘Our commitment to high ‘A huge thank you to the Premier team for their endeavours with our standards ensures that our products stringent recovery and recycling conservatory. We thoroughly enjoy having a such a wonderful addition to policies throughout manufacture, our home. Pass on our thanks to everyone for their considerate and very continue to perform long into supply and installation. well mannered service.’ Trevor, Oswestry the future. Our comprehensive ‘Our products are manufactured in the UK to the highest standards 10-year guarantee helps us cement and are exclusively available this and provides peace of mind in Shropshire from Premier for our customers. We have great Windows & Conservatories.’ confidence in our installations, and always work with top quality manufacturers to allow us to install the best and latest products on the market. We oversee each of our projects with a personalised service to ensure a smooth customer journey from start to finish.’ Transform your home living space


Premier Windows & Conservatories Unit 5 Moreton Business Park, Gledrid, Chirk LL14 5DG 01691 773993; www.premierwindowsoswestry.co.uk

Come and see the installations

Inside the Premier showroom

Thursday 16th May 9am to 8pm (plus late opening every Thursday throughout May and June) Friday 17th May 9am to 5pm Saturday 18th May 9am to 4pm

104 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Family run business Trading in Oswestry for 30 years

To celebrate our 30-year Pearl Anniversary, and the launch of our new Inspiring Showroom, we would like to invite you to our Opening Event from Thursday 16th May until Saturday 18th May.

Its taken nearly a year for us to be able to showcase our newly redesigned showroom, packed with the new Extreme windows, Residence ‘Heritage style’ windows, Envisage Flush sash style windows, Conservatories, and New Living Spaces, plus a large selection of doors in every configuration including sliding, bi-folding, French doors and of course front and back doors!

If you are thinking of replacing your windows or doors, or considering extending your home with a Conservatory or New Living Space, Now is a good time to visit us for some extra special offers.

THE CHOICE IS YOURS... 1. The first 5 door orders can choose either a Free External Door colour upgrade or £50 John Lewis Voucher. 2. The first 5 window orders can choose either a free External Colour upgrade or Free upgrade to Triple Glazing. 3. The first 5 Conservatory/New Living space orders have the choice of either a Spa Weekend or a £500 John Lewis Voucher. We would love the opportunity to help you make your dream home a reality. So please come and join us for a glass of Prosecco and canapés We guarantee no pushy salesman, although our designers will be present if you wanted any help or advice.

We have taken the time to find the best and most secure products, so you won’t have to.

Visit our showroom: Unit 5 Moreton Business Park Gledrid, Chirk LL14 5DG

(01691) 773993 Email: info@premierwindowsoswestry.co.uk


Limited colour options available. No Cash alternatives. Only applies to quotations and orders from 16th to 31st May 2019

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Flat roofing (EPDM options available) Liquid roofing system Felt roofing Pitched roofing New roofs lnsurance work County Council approved Covering Oswestry, Welshpool and Shrewsbury


T: 01691 828292 • M: 07970 438816 E: sales@shropshireroofing.com W: shropshireroofing.com


Specialists in Hire, Sales and Training of Power Tools, Small Plant and Access Equipment

“Congratulations to Caroline and her Team on their 30th Anniversary and the relaunch of their Showroom. Wishing them continued success.”


Custom Complex, Yardley Road, Knowsley Industrial Park North, Liverpool L33 7SS 0151 549 1264


Unit 5 Moreton Business Park, Gledrid, Nr Oswestry, Shropshire, LL14 5DG FAMILY RUN BUSINESS


Opening hours

Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri - 9am to 5pm Thursday - 9am to 8pm Saturday 9am - 1pm Sunday - Closed


GRAND RE-OPENING Oswestry life



To celebrate our 30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY, and the Grand Re-Opening of our newly rennovated showroom, we would love you to join us for a glass of prosecco, canapes and to view our fabulous range of windows and new living spaces from 16th - 18th May!

01691 7 73993

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www.premierwindowsoswestr y.co.uk

19/04/2019 14:46

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Pastels are big news for summer interiors – combine with strong graphic prints or mix with neutral tones for a grown-up take on candy colours


9 1.

Statement wall Polygon Pastel geometric wallpaper, from £26 per m2, www.wallsauce.com 2. Clock this Karlsson Origami Wall Clock in pink, £34.20, www.redcandy.co.uk 3. Hanging out Bohemia enamelled iron hanging planter in lilac, £16 (small) or £22 (large), www.bohemiadesign.com 4. Light up your life La Forma Versa retro table lamp in blue, £145, www.cuckooland.com 5. Go retro Rotary telephone in mint green, £49.95, www.gporetro.com 6. Blooming lovely Julian Charles Floral Paradise cotton-rich reversible duvet set in coral and aqua, £15 to £25, Tweedmill Shopping Outlet, St Asaph, Denbighshire; www.tweedmill.co.uk 7. Sitting pretty Matador Armchair from Content by Terence Conran, £1,195, www.contentbyterenceconran.com 8. Soft furnishings Pastel pink throw, £18, cushion, £13, and polka dot pink and cream throw, £22, from Hafren Furnishers, Llanidloes; www.hafrenfurnishers.co.uk 9. Lilac lounge Emilia cushion in lilac ash, £72.75 from The Taylor. www.the-taylor.co.uk 10. Time for tea Pastel pink kettle, £19.99, www.therange.co.uk 11. Hot pink Everhot 110 electric heat storage range cooker in dusky pink, designed to provide cooking and room heat, available in six sizes and a choice of 15 colours; £8,775, RN Williams, St Asaph, Denbighshire; www.rnwilliams.co.uk




Home is where the art is...

Bowled over Linda Caswell porcelain agateware bowls, £28 to £98

Pot luck Jack Laverick slip-cast geometric vessel, £16

Flower power Vanilla Kiln porcelain poppy bowls, £36 each

All available from Oriel Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno; call 01492 868191 or visit www.mostyn.org

108 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Middleton Road, Oswestry SY11 2PN T: 01691 680008 E. info@oswestryglass.com www.bespoak.co

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Wreathen Works Personalised Anniversary & Wedding Gifts Mark that special day with a Custom Oak Bench or Bread Board.

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Prices from Breadboards: £20 Benches: £75

Easy to order: Simply email or phone with the design you want and what you want to say, and we will get back to you with a proof and a quote. Quick Turn Round. www.wreathenworks.co.uk

19/04/2019 14:29


At this glorious time of year, it’s not only the big public gardens that receive large numbers of visitors. Many hundreds of smaller ones do too, thanks to the National Garden Scheme – raising thousands of pounds for charity


he National Garden Manor Farm, Scheme gives visitors Malpas, Cheshire unique access to over 3,500 Saturday 15th June exceptional private gardens in England and Wales, and raises impressive amounts of money for nursing and health charities through admissions, teas and cake. Some welcome visitors from April, but most throw open their gates from May and June onwards. ‘The National Garden Scheme This beautiful three-acre garden doesn’t just open beautiful was created from scratch in gardens for charity – we are 2011/2012. Designed by Angela passionate about the physical Collins, who also designed and mental health benefits of the garden at Bruern Abbey, it gardens too,’ says Ruth Dinsdale features themed ‘rooms’ with of the Shropshire branch of yew and hornbeam hedging, the NGS. ‘We fund herbaceous borders, a rose projects which walk, a kitchen garden, a DID YOU promote gardens wild flower meadow and KNOW? and gardening eye-catching views of the The National Garden Scheme as therapy, Welsh and Shropshire hills. has raised £55m and in 2017, Open 2.30pm to 5pm. for charity we launched Admission £25, children our annual free. Includes refreshments, Gardens and Health tea and homemade cakes. PreWeek to raise awareness of the booking essential. Please note topic.’ For more information, there is no wheelchair access. including details of participating gardens and opening times, Lyndale House, visit www.ngs.org.uk Bridgnorth, Shropshire

Wednesday 5th May

Shropshire has 54 gardens opening in 2019 as part of the NGS, including this stunning 1½acre garden that has been lovingly tended for 25 years by Bob and Mary Saunders.


Ty Capel Ffrwd

There is a rose terrace underplanted with tulips and alliums, large lawns interspersed with well planted flower beds and a recently revamped pool and waterfall, alongside a courtyard surrounded by topiary.

Open 1pm to 5pm. Admission £4, children free. Homemade refreshments and tea available.

Ty Capel Ffrwd, Dolgellau, Gwynedd Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May

A true cottage garden in the Welsh mountains, this is bursting with azaleas, rhododendrons, acers and aquilegia. A pretty stream flows over a waterfall and on through a woodland bluebell carpet. As a bonus, on visiting days a harp will be played in the garden. Open 11am to 5pm. Admission £3.50, children free. Refreshments and cream teas available.

Now’s the time to pick out some perfect plants to keep the colour going right through the season, and there’s no place better to find them than at a Plant Hunters’ Fair. These specialist plant fairs, which take place at some of the loveliest gardens and venues in the area, bring together a huge range of top-quality plants from family-run nurseries. Each fair features a different mix of nurseries, but all the nurseries grow and sell plants with a personal touch, potted by hand and grown with skill, care and love. The nursery staff are on hand to help, each with years of knowledge and experience, and full of helpful tips. Plant Hunters’ Fairs were started in 2007 by Cheshire plantaholics Janet and Martin Blow, and now include dozens of events across 10 counties. Some fairs are free to enter, and where an entrance fee is charged all money goes to the host garden (often a charitable trust), raising much-needed funds to help maintain these lovely gardens into the future. For details including the full calendar of fairs visit www.planthuntersfairs.co.uk

• 12th May, Adlington

Hall, Macclesfield 10am4pm; £3 (gardens & fair) • 18th May, British Ironwork Centre, Oswestry 10am4pm; £1 (displays & fair) • 19th May, Abbeywood Gardens, Delamere 10am5pm; £3 (gardens & fair) • 1st & 2nd June, Hodnet Hall, Market Drayton 10am-5pm; £3.50 (gardens & fair) • 9th June, Norton Priory, Runcorn 10am-4pm, free • 28th & 29th June, Henbury Hall, Macclesfield 10am5pm; £3 (gardens & fair) • 30th June, Cholmondeley Castle, Malpas 10am-5pm; £3.50 (gardens & fair)

Lyndale House May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 111

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HAND-TIE FOR SUMMER IMPACT There’s nothing like a hand-tied arrangement if you want to make a floral statement. Dave Billington, a floristry technician at Reaseheath College in Cheshire, demonstrates how to use this simple construction to make a thoroughly sophisticated arrangement


y thinking big and glitzy and using signature flowers and foliage, Dave has worked up a sumptuous art deco arrangement in black and gold. But you could use the same technique to make a homegrown vase arrangement in pretty pastels, perfect for a table display or as a gift. While the technique takes some time to master, it is largely straightforward and well worth persevering with. Put simply, you take individual flower stems and arrange them in your hand to form the arrangement. Once complete, you tie the stems and then cut them equally to a length that fits in your vase. The key is to select full flowers with fine stems. Rounded heads work well together and can be appreciated as individual blooms. Here Dave has chosen blush pink roses. He has also selected on-trend big leaf foliage which can be sprayed for an even more dramatic effect.

Step 1

Cut the stems to a manageable length and clear them of thorns, leaves and nodules. Lay out the flowers on a table so you can select them individually. Tie the free end of your string into a loop which comfortably fits your thumb.

The plant material is easily available from florist shops or even from your own garden. Dave has chosen an open design which is asymmetric rather than the more usual dome shape, as he feels it is more decorative and natural.

What you’ll need

To recreate the display that Dave has put together on these pages, you will need: • Rosa ranunculus (blush roses) • Dendrobium orchid (white flower sprays) • Eucalyptus • Leather leaf (or similar fern), sprayed metallic • Monstera deliciosa (Swiss cheese plant) leaves, sprayed gold • Rhapis leaves • Mixed grasses • Floristry string/covered wire • Scissors

hand, add more stems following in the same direction (reverse if left-handed). Hold the flowers in place in your palm with your thumb and forefinger; the other

Step 2

Step 3

GO WILD IN YOUR GARDEN Sometimes the odd wildflower finds its way into your garden by happy accident. Here’s our selection of wild blooms to embrace and add to a planting scheme 1. Stinking iris Often turning up in a shady corner, this distinctive evergreen iris has clumps of dark foliage (which smell unpleasant when bruised), bluish-purple flowers in spring and early summer then the clusters of orangered seeds for which it’s usually grown. Stinking iris

Step 3

Every third stem or so, turn the bunch using your right hand. Keep the stems facing the same direction; they will form an attractive spiral. As you add, slightly drop the height if you want a domed shape, or lay them off to one side for Dave’s asymmetrical shape. TOP TIP Think of the hands of a clock and turn the arrangement 10 minutes after you’ve added three or four blooms.

Step 4

Keep turning and add in the taller flowers such as the dendrobium, leather leaf, eucalyptus and grasses. Maintain an open look so you can see Step 4 and appreciate every individual stem. Add the rhapis palm and monstera leaves to give bulk to the base. TOP TIP The more foliage you use, the easier it is to keep the arrangement together. Finish with the hardest stems on the outside so the string doesn’t cut into the plant material.

Step 5

Step 2

Lay one of the roses in your left hand and, using your right

fingers grip and release as more are added.

2. Chess flower Delicate and attractive, this bulb has nodding chequered purple and white spring flowers that swing from slender stems. In borders they often make tight clumps but can also be naturalised very effectively in damp lawns. 3. Lily of the Valley Dainty, shade-loving, superscented spring bells held against bold green foliage which

The final design

the string neatly around the stems, pulling tight, until the arrangement feels secure (perhaps eight or nine times).

Step 6

Step 5

Step 6

Feed back through thumb loop. Tie in a double knot.

Step 7

Cut off neatly.

Step 8

Trim the stems gradually to fit your container, testing as you go. Aim for Step 7 one-third stem below the tie, two-thirds flowers above. Cut on an angle to leave the largest possible Step 8 surface area. The stems should touch the base of the container and fit snugly.

Hook the string loop over the thumb of your holding (left) hand and hold firmly. Wrap

For more about Reaseheath’s floristry department visit www.reaseheath.ac.uk/floristry

darkens over the season. Can be unpredictable in gardens, but can thrive in dry shade. Pink, double and variegated forms are known, and these little flowers particularly like poor soil.

leaves set the flowers off well. Ideal in gravel or raised beds.

4. Pink firewitch Short stems carry single earlysummer flowers in pink or pale purple, all strongly clove-scented and popular with butterflies and hawkmoths. The tufted, greyish

Chess flower

Pink firewitch

5. Greater knapweed A mix of cornflower and thistle, with whiskery petals in a whorl, it looks good in a mixed border or among fine-leaved lawn grass.

Lily of the Valley

Greater knapweed

112 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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HOLLY FARM is a family run

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

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

Tel: 01948 840630

• Function room available


Monday to Saturday: 9am to 5.30pm Sunday: 10am xto 4pm

• Dogs welcome too

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

• 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

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

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GARDEN SHOPPING Barbecue shelter, from £487.50 plus VAT, www.morgansltd.com

Garden clock, £29.95, www.annabeljames.co.uk

Firefly glass balloons, £7.99 each, www.tweedmill.co.uk

Seville solar lantern, £11.99, www.lights4fun.co.uk

Aruba Lite corner suite, £999, www.snowdonianurseries.co.uk

Bring home comforts into the garden with Shire magazine’s choice of stylish outdoor accessories Skye garden dining chair, £59, www.danetti.com Tropical Paradise party table settings, fruit slice plates, £4.50, and garland, £10, www.talkingtables.co.uk

the Bee & s s ird


Voyage Maison cushions, £45 each, www.bridgman.co.uk Grenoble bistro set, £189.99, www.tweed mill.co.uk

Bird bath/feeder, £140.38, www.design-im-shop.de

The Beepot, £40, www.designist.ie

Very Berry peanut cake tube, from £2.95, www.birdfood.co.uk

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 115

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Glyndwr Plants

Tues to Sat: 9am-4.30pm

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! 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.

COUNTRYSTORE Poultry & Livestock • Quality P.O.L Hens, Ducks & Geese Specialists

n Point of Lay Hens Ouessant from £10 • Pygmy Goats, Alpacas, Sheep n Pygmy Goat Kids & Miniature Pigs n

Ouessant & Jassent Lambs

• Housing, & Enclosures n AlpacasRuns & Miniature piglets

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

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

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


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 116_SHIREMJ2019.indd 1

Main agent for Hanson and Lidget/Compton OFFERS AVAILABLE


19/04/2019 14:31


A nature reserve in Denbighshire has just doubled in size after taking over the land around a former quarry, creating a fantastic resource for the community


berduna Nature Reserve, near Maeshafn in Denbighshire, has doubled its size to 20 hectares as part of an agreement with Hanson, the operator of the Aberduna Quarry which closed in 2012. The surrounding woodlands and meadows have been transferred to the North Wales Wildlife

Reconnect with nature at Aberduna

Trust for the benefit of wildlife and the enjoyment of local people. The new development was celebrated with a special open day when residents of local towns and villages were invited to visit and discover everything the reserve has to offer. ‘Aberduna Nature Reserve has a lot going for it,’ says community and education officer Iwan Edwards. ‘The site has fantastic views of the Clwydian Range Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and it has a wonderful mix of limestone DID YOU KNOW? grassland and ancient woodland The Clwydian that grow out of the cliffs Range was and the limestone pavement, designated an supporting no fewer than 28 AONB in 1985 different species of butterfly. Since we started managing

part of the site in 1993, we’ve had a dream of relocating our office here and welcoming the local community to start seeing this nature reserve as their own. This move marks the beginning of a new life for us, the reserve and its wonderful wildlife, and hopefully the communities in and around Maeshafn and Llanferres.’ The Trust team has been offering local people opportunities to get involved in the activities at the expanded site, including helping to help plant the first trees in the new Maeshafn community orchard, and offering guided walks looking at the geological history of the site dating back 3.5 million years. They’ve also looked at more recent history to explore how nature has reclaimed vast tracts of this once A common lizard barren landscape. “The event was a great way to let everyone know what we have going on here, to speak to staff and volunteers and to learn about how we plan to manage the reserve,’ says Iwan. ‘We want to help visitors get the best from Aberduna and we are looking forward to the summer and a wide range of events and activities taking place throughout 2019. So get your boots, wrap up and leave your worries behind as you reconnect with nature!’ For more information visit www.northwaleswildlifetrust.org.uk/events

CUTE PETS Best of mates: Georgia the toy poodle and Clyde the Sphynx cat

Curious cat Tashie sniffing the tulips

Diamond enjoying some sunshine

Jules in the office, not getting much work done

WE WANT YOUR PETS! Send us a photo of your pet for inclusion in Shire. Email the picture, with the name of your pet, to editorial@shiremagazine. co.uk with ‘Cute Pets’ in the subject line. Local people have the opportunity to get involved May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 117

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WILDLIFE TRUST STARS ON OUR SCREENS Two national broadcasters visited Cheshire to showcase the important work being done for conservation and health


heshire Wildlife Trust appeared on British television screens twice in recent months, in programmes highlighting the vital work of the conservationists. In February the Go Wild Get Fit wellbeing initiative, which helps people to improve their physical and mental wellbeing by exercising outdoors, was featured in ITV’s Tonight programme as part of an

investigation into back pain. ‘We were excited to spread the word about our project and show people how important it is to be outdoors,’ says Katie Greenwood, the trust’s natural wellbeing manager. ‘It’s not just great for our wellbeing – if you’re suffering from aches or back pains, as I have in the past, doing some gardening or gentle exercise outside is really beneficial.’ Then in March the trust’s furniture enterprise Create For Nature – a scheme that reclaims waste wood and transforms it into furniture – formed the basis of a segment on BBC One’s popular Countryfile. ‘It was fantastic to be able to showcase our workshop and the hard work our volunteers put in each week,’ says Sam Salisbury, who runs the initiative at the trust’s Bickley Hall Farm head office. ‘All the furniture we create is customThe Countryfile team visit the Create for Nature workshop made to order from the workshop,

Spreading the world about the trust’s work


with profits going directly into supporting conservation projects with Cheshire Wildlife Trust. It’s a real benefit not only socially, but environmentally too.’ For more visit cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk


Conservationists from the RSPB join forces with culinary experts from St David’s Kitchen to celebrate Ramsey Island’s botanicals in a new range of gins


mazing wildlife, wonderful beauty, rich history. These are just some of the things that spring to mind when people think about RSPB Ramsey Island – but now you can also add gin to the list! In partnership with St David’s Kitchen, based in the city that neighbours the island, the Pembrokeshire charity has created products that bottle the history, nature and essence of this unique island. Ramsey Island Welsh Dry Gin and St David’s Seaweed Welsh Dry Gin capture the essence of the area with a distinctive and unique taste. The design of the bottles will also display striking artwork featuring some of the birds and animals that live on the Pembrokeshire

Bottles featuring striking nature-related artwork

coast, including gannets and ravens. The gin is made with botanicals that grow on Ramsey Island. The thyme, mint, gorse and heather that give the gin its flavour are found in abundance on Ramsey, and are only picked from areas already set aside for cutting or grazing for conservation purposes. This partnership will also give a financial boost to the conservation work on the island. Five per cent of net sales from each bottle will be donated to RSPB Cymru, along with £10 from each sale of the exclusive artwork displayed on the bottles which is available to purchase mounted in frames.

Funding future projects

The money will go towards delivering vital conservation projects in Wales, including helping fund seabird research projects on Ramsey and Grassholm islands. ‘It’s a pleasure to team up with our friends and neighbours St David’s Kitchen on this venture,’ says Greg Morgan, RSPB Ramsey Island’s site manager. ‘It’s an exciting opportunity to show people what we’ve got to offer here, and an innovative way of funding the important work we do to protect the amazing wildlife of the island and surrounding areas’

Chris holding one of Impeckable’s fibreglass sparrow nestboxes


hris Packham was having trouble with great spotted woodpeckers breaking into his wooden sparrow nestboxes two years ago and eating the fledglings! Putting up some of the robust Impeckable nest boxes solved the problem as they are made of sterner stuff – they are fibreglass and have a stainless steel ring built in around the entrance hole – so predators pose no threat to the resident birds. As far as we’re aware, these are the only fibreglass nest boxes available worldwide! Go to www.impeckable.co.uk

118 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Gate Expectations Inwood (Cymru) Ltd

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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

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

Tel 01545 560 800 / 375 BOOK ONLINE Email info@newquayboattrips.co.uk

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19/04/2019 17:51


Deborah’s dramatic coastal scenes linking A Llyn to Liverpool

An exhibition by a talented Liverpool artist inspired by the rugged north Wales coastline and the iconic waterfront of her home city has been wowing visitors to a Snowdonia gallery

rtist Deborah Butler has brought together more than 30 canvases of her atmospheric oil landscapes for her latest exhibition, many of them of the rocky coves, cliffs and shimmering beaches that surround the gallery where they’re on display – Plas Glyn-y-Weddw near Pwllheli. Deborah, who lives in Garston, moved to Liverpool from Oldham in the 1980s to study textile design at Liverpool Polytechnic Liverpool skyline and I’m always drawn and never left. She became a full-time artist in 2000, and opened her own gallery in to looking out into the distance. I look Greenbank Road, Mossley Hill in at the structure of things, 2005 and her evocative paintings whether it’s the big buildings now sell for up to £3,000. of Liverpool or the rocks and ‘My paintings Many are of the dramatic cliffs of the Welsh coast.’ can appear abstract, but landscapes of the Llyn Peninsula Deborah began her career in when you look in north Wales, but she is also painting 18 years ago, and opened at them you fond of the cityscapes of Liverpool, the Deborah Butler Gallery in can recognise the Lancashire, Cornish and 2005. ‘I love being able to run the place’ Australian coasts, and the grandeur the gallery and work from it, of Montana’s Rocky Mountains. and display my artwork at the same time,’ says the mother of two. ‘I have also been showing my work Variety on canvas successfully at Plas Glyn-y-Weddw since ‘I’ve always loved the north Wales coast,’ 2015 and it has sold very well there. Deborah says. ‘There’s tremendous variety and you never have to walk far before ‘Plas Glyn-y-Weddw is a lovely something new comes into sight. There are place – a big country house by the sea with gardens running down to the long sandy beaches, rocky cliffs and coves, beach – and the people there are lovely and fields with sheep grazing. And then too. I’m particularly drawn to the Wales there’s the light and the different moods. My Coastal Path and have walked so many paintings can appear abstract, but when you look at them you can recognise the place.’ different parts of it. I love the way it has opened up the coast to visitors.’ Several of Deborah’s paintings feature Liverpool’s famous waterfront, in which she sees similarities with the Welsh For more about Deborah’s work, coast. ‘I have done several works of the visit www.deborahbutler.co.uk

120 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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AFONWEN CRAFTS 2nd & 3rd May, Silver Jewellery with Sandra Roberts Lovely eco handmade jewellery. 4th, 5th & 6th May, Handmade Day Bags with Ana and Sonia Beautiful bags and exquisitely dressed teddy bears for the bank holiday weekend. 7th & 8th May, Silk Painting with Mair Morgan Wonderful hand-painted designs on silk scarves, ties and notebooks using beautiful and bright colours. 9th May, local illustrator Natalie Griffiths Quirky and wonderful drawings based around character imagery and hand lettering.

10th anniversary for annual art attraction This June sees the artists and craftspeople of the Wirral throw open their doors to the public once again in what will be the 10th Wirral Open Studio Tour – and organisers are planning to celebrate the event’s first decade in style

attracts visitors from far and wide, from area newcomers to local families who enjoy the opportunity to visit and meet such a wide range of creative people. The artists taking part work in a variety of disciplines including painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, glass, textiles and jewellery – so whatever you are interested in, there will be something for you.

11th & 12th May, local artist Thelma Evans Beautiful and delicate paintings on canvas by Thelma, mostly of flowers, coastal scenes and places. 11th & 12th June, Femme Fatale Bags Stunning handmade accessories by Liz at Femme Fatale. 13th & 14th June, pen and ink artist Huw Vaughan Jones An insight into the fascinating craft of pen and ink art.


rtists and creators right across the Wirral peninsula will be opening their studio doors and inviting visitors in to view their work and get an insight into their inspirations and processes in the Wirral Studio Tour on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June. This free event gives visitors an excellent opportunity to talk first-hand to the artists and to view their work in the environment in ‘The artists taking which it is created. part work in a variety of disciplines The tour was including painting, launched in 2009 photography, by Canadian artist printmaking, Micheline Robinson sculpture, ceramics, as Artists In Our glass, textiles Midst and quickly and jewellery – evolved into a so whatever you Wirral-wide event, are interested with almost 70 in, there will be artists participating something for you’ in 2018. It

10th May, Charlotte’s Country Commissions Paint Your Own Piece furniture workshop with Charlotte. Email countrycommissions@gmail.com.

15th & 16th June, Marie at Earth Deva Unusual mystical statues, bowls and artwork, plus some gem and silk jewellery. 18th June, Handmade Greetings Cards by Angela Suitable for many different tastes and occasions. All beautifully made and can be personalised.

Much of the work on show will be for sale so you can, if you wish, take away a piece of original artwork to treasure. All studios are open from 10am to 5pm, with some studios also open from 6pm to 9pm on Friday 7th June. For more information visit www.wirralarts.com or pick up a brochure from a local library, gallery, community centre, café or shop

19th & 20th June, Cherry Bea Jewellery and Corah Henry Interiors Handmade jewellery and accessories by Elaine at Cherry Bea, and handmade curtains, blinds and soft furnishings by Helen at Corah Henry Interiors. 22nd & 23rd June, Jackie at Jewels Handmade jewellery by Jackie, who also offers a repair service for pieces of your own broken items.

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PHOTO competition ACTION

Until 17th May, The Gateway, Shrewsbury An exhibition of work by British-born artist John Alford, who was sergeant in charge of the artistic division of the Army School Of Education before joining the art department of Shrewsbury School where he was director of art until 1989. Monday-Friday, 9am-4.30pm. Until 9th June, Dunham Massey, Altrincham Faces Of Change: Nature’s Champions is an exhibition in partnership with the National Potrait Gallery celebrating those who have shaped the way we think about the natural world, from Sir David Attenborough to Octavia Hill.

by Christine Webb

by Gary Leroy

Until 16th June, Oriel Ynys Mon, Llangefni Open Air: Impressions From Nature is a solo exhibition by Rebecca Thorley-Fox. Born in Cheshire, Becky studied for a creative arts degree in art and textiles at Bath Spa University. Soon after graduating she moved to Wales to be closer to the places that inspire her work. This is her biggest exhibition to date, and comprises around 100 paintings of wildlife and the natural landscape.

by Laila Penny

by Naomi Fowles

Until 30th June, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno S Mark Gubb: The Last Judgement. Taking Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel painting of the same name as a starting point and reference, the exhibition includes a range of new and existing sculptural works exhibited as an installation.

by Rosemary Barralet

by Tracey Williams by Paul Lewis

Until 6th October, Grosvenor Museum, Chester Exhibition Going The Distance: 480 Years Of Racing At The Roodee presents objects and images from the Chester Race Company and the Grosvenor Museum. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore the origins and heritage of the oldest racecourse still in operation in Great Britain – and, depending on who you believe, the world.

by Roger Fox

Once again we have been delighted to receive so many entries for our regular photography competition. We haven’t been able to print every one we received, but we’ve picked our winners and fitted in a few more too – so don’t be disheartened if your image isn’t shown… there’s always next time! For our competition in the next edition, we’d like you to submit photographs for consideration on the theme of Family. Send them to us at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk – and good luck!

122 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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

casglu cyfoes Celf o’r Casgliad Cenedlaethol

collecting contemporary Art from the National Collection

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06.04.19 – 21.03.20

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Ken Elias, Check, 2008-9

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

Arddangosfa Exhibition

21/03/2019 16:41

Afonwen North Wales


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

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

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Whether you’re off to the races or a best friend’s wedding, stand out from the crowd in bright hues, floral prints and stunning headwear

1 3



Don’t forget your footwear! Opt for polished and smart – this is not a time for flip-flops! 5






Silver evening clutch bag, £19.99, www.bonprix.co.uk

Flower fascinator, £25 www.romanoriginals.co.uk 1. Little Mistress Cordelia rose floral midaxi pleat dress, £78, www.little-mistress.com 2. Vera Mont Collection dress, £185, www.bettybarclay.co.uk 3. Patched spot midi dress, £58, and knot detail sandals, £38, www.oasis-stores.com 4. Monsoon pleated dress, £160, www.littlewoods.com 5. Betty & Co jacket, £165, and dress, £140, www.bettybarclay.com/uk 6. Bright fuchsia and green dress, £495, Abi Fisher, Willington, Cheshire; www.abifisher.co.uk 7. White and blue floral dress, £89, clutch bag, £18, and hat £14, www.mandco.com 8. Black and white maxi dress with red flower detail, £425, Abi Fisher, Willington, Cheshire; www.abifisher.co.uk 9. Textured cropped jacket, £49, and floral shutter pencil dress, £79, www.mandco.com 10. Pink tweed jacket, £325, www.oliviamay.org 11. Rundholz Black Label black dot shirt, £196, Rundholz Black Label sleeveless dress, £300, and Rundholz Mainline glittery chunky ankle boot, £212, Olivia May Cheshire Showroom, The Barns, Ashton Hayes and www.oliviamay.org

Couture Hat available to buy or to hire from Get Ahead Hats in Wrexham. Hat hire from £40; www.getaheadhats.co.uk

Pagoda navy umbrella, £19, navy bead necklace £29, Appleby & Shaw, Church Stretton, Shropshire

J Bees Hatinator, £59, Appleby & Shaw, Church Stretton, Shropshire; www.applebyandshaw.co.uk (also available in navy or silver pink)

124 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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


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email: info@sochicbangor.co.uk

Please telephone or email for an appointment. Tel: 01978 780669 louise@getaheadhats.co.uk Eyton Grange, Eyton, Wrexham LL13 0SW www.getaheadhats.co.uk

154 High Street, Bangor, Gwynedd, LL57 1NU

Hats with Style and Elegance to HIRE or BUY At Get Ahead Hats Wrexham you will find hundreds of designer hats, perchers and fascinators from British milliners, straight from the catwalks to hire or to buy. Different styles and colours with beautiful accessories to create that perfect look.

Try our new range of ZO Skin Health treatments & products

SmartXide facial rejuvenation Laser hair/tattoo removal IPL Treatments for acne, thread veins, spider nevi and rosacea Profacial and Deluxe Profacial

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Call us now on 01743 271404 www.cedarhouseclinic.co.uk Cedar House Clinic, Sitka Drive, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury SY2 6LG.

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 and Starter herds

The only Fibreglass Nestboxes made on the Planet.

Please contact us for details Mulberry Grange, Red Hall Lane, Higher Penley, Wrexham, LL13 ONA Tel: 07713 639 447 Email: mulberryalpacas@btconnect.com We’re 4 miles north of Ellesmere


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

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Our Farm Shop is open every Saturday from 10am until 4pm or by appointment at other times - just call us.

www.mulberryalpacas.co.uk 19/04/2019 17:57



We take a look at childhood immunisations, from the reasons they’re given and how to make them most effective to the reasons why some people choose to not to let their children have them and the consequences


hildhood vaccinations are a hot topic, with recent outbreaks of measles in both the US and New Zealand being blamed on a generation of young adults whose parents didn’t allow them to have the MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) vaccine amid fears of its adverse side effects. What isn’t in question is that countless lives have been saved by medical advances that have given us the ability to protect ourselves from diseases that once claimed lives by the thousands. While most parents give their children the best possible chance to avoid serious – and often deadly – diseases by following the NHS vaccine programme, some are wary.

off a disease that would make them very putting at risk not only those who were ill without such protection. And while no not immunised but also those with reduced parent likes to see their child in pain, any immune systems (because they’re undergoing immediate discomfort of an injection is medical treatments, for example) and babies nothing compared with the potential agony who aren’t yet old enough to be vaccinated. and suffering of a potentially fatal disease This theory of herd immunity allows for such as measles or diphtheria. a few people to avoid immunisations, Studies have shown that it isn’t on religious grounds or because they ‘Vaccines possible to ‘overload’ and weaken are wary of introducing any chemical have saved a child’s immune system – in fact, compounds to the body, for example. millions if a child were given 11 vaccines But in recent years, the number of those of lives’ at the same time, it would use avoiding vaccines has grown, in great part only one-thousandth owing to sensationalist media reports – of their immune since proved false – that there is a link system. It’s common for a child between to experience redness or swelling the MMR around the injection site, to vaccine and be a bit irritable and to have a autism. slightly raised temperature, but While these effects soon go away. immunisation is a personal Crowd control decision for every The more children who are Vaccines are rigorously tested Any discomfort is short-lived immunised, the less risk there family, it’s important to remember that the doctor Effective is to the whole community of responsible for the MMR scare has since an outbreak of a particular disease, in an avoidance Modern vaccinations are quick, safe and effect known as herd immunity. When the been struck off, and that vaccines have been credited with saving more than 10 million extremely effective, and once administered percentage of immunised children falls lives in the past five years alone. give a child far greater chance of fighting too low, the risk of an outbreak increases,


We look at weird and wonderful theories about our toes! Cutting a v-shaped notch in a toenail will relieve the pain of ingrown toenails This commonly held misconception simply isn’t true. An ingrown toenail is one that curves downward and into the skin. Cutting a notch in it won’t affect its growth and may even cause more problems. Bunions are caused by your shoes Footwear can be blamed for many foot discomforts but not bunions, which are usually caused by an inherited faulty mechanical

structure of the foot, as certain foot types make a person more prone to developing them. You can’t walk without your big toe False – from a purely functional standpoint, amputating a big toe results in little or no disability. Despite the fact that the big toe carries the most weight of all the toes – around 40 per cent – and is the last part of the foot to push off the ground before taking the next step, it is still possible to do so without one. A nine-toed gait is less efficient and slower, but no less effective. Bunions be gone!

126 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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ON THE LASH Our eyelashes have one very clear role – to keep dust and particles from getting to the delicate surface of our eyes. But we also use them to our advantage, batting, fluttering and sweeping them to maximum effect. We take look at how to get the most out of yours


he options available to those who want to enhance their lashes are wide and varied, with differing budgets and commitments. But if you want to improve the overall impact of your eyes, a good starting point is to simply enhance what you’ve got – here are some easy ways to do it.

exaggerated curl to lashes. Again, the non-permanent result is appealing for those wishing to experiment with their lashes.


A step up from regular Lucious lashes mascara application, getting and you find that fiddling your eyelashes professionally around with enhancements tinted can save a lot of time and, for those that get becomes a regular part of Mascara through a lot of mascara, your routine, you may want The simple application of a can even end to consider having semistrong colour can highlight up cheaper. permanent extensions DID YOU even the palest and most Tinting can adhered to your lids. KNOW? insignificant lashes. With last up to Similar in effect to The longest the advantage of being traditional stick-on four weeks eyelash ever easily washed off, it’s not when done lashes, these extensions recorded was 6.99cm too hefty an investment correctly. are applied in a salon if you change your mind and cost a fair bit more about the outcome. Falsies but can last several weeks at a time. The results depend If you rarely want or need Curlers extra effects on your Eyelash curlers may look luscious lashes, keeping like medieval instruments self-adhesive false lashes of torture but regular users for special occasions is swear by them for giving an another great option. Easily applied and painlessly removed, they are a cheap and effective way of Extensions adding length, thickness, curl and on the material used (the colour for a short most expensive option being period of time. real human hair) and the quality of beauty therapist, Extensions so do some research before If your lashes committing to what is need a lot of help quite an investment. Mascara can work wonders!

WHAT Hypnotherapy involves putting you in a state of deep relaxation to access subconscious beliefs, thoughts and memories that may be affecting the way you act. Hypnotherapy is less instrusive then you may expect and is definitely not like the hypnosis we often see on television.

WHERE Use of hypnosis has been recorded throughout history, but first came to the fore as a therapy in Victorian times when it was used by some alienists to treat the condition then known as hysteria. The form of hypnotherapy practised by most Victorians, such as James Braid and Hippolyte Bernheim, employed direct suggestion of symptom removal. WHO Many people find hypnotherapy a useful means of treating things like depression, anxiety, phobias, stress, anger, addiction and low self-esteem. However, it may not be suitable if you have a diagnosis of personality disorder (as it may make your symptoms worse), or if you’re due to be a witness at a trial.

HOW Hypnosis is used to help you change unwanted thoughts and behaviours by using suggestion and increasing self-awareness. You’re always in full control and your therapist will only use methods you’ve agreed on.

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 127

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embers of the local community have helped to raise cash so a nursery can buy an interactive table tablet to boost its pupils’ learning. Cylch Meithrin Dolgellau, which caters for more than 70 children, had the technology installed by Rawson Digital, which has an office in Y Felinheli. The tablet enables the nursery to download bilingual apps and educational games to prepare the children for mainstream school. The grant was raised by the Co-operative Local Community Fund over a 12-month period, with Co-op members at the Dolgellau store choosing the nursery to benefit from a one per cent donation made by the supermarket chain every



Nia Harvey enjoys a new table tablet

Arwel Griffiths from Rawson Digital with pupils and staff at Cylch Meithrin Dolgellau nursery

time one of its own-brand products was purchased. ‘We’ve had brilliant support from the community to raise such a large amount,’ says deputy nursery leader Mari Davies. ‘The children absolutely love the tablet. We cater for two- to four-year-olds but also have a creche for under-twos and an afterschool club for children up to the age of 11, so they can all use it too. It’s being used by children of all different ages which is great. We have lots of different apps for our preschool children which help them with writing and numbers. We have of course downloaded lots of Welsh speaking and Welsh language apps so it’s been really helpful.’

ZipRoc Festival returns in aid of cancer charity


ntertainment spectacular ZipRoc Festival is back in north Wales on 15th June for its second year. Revellers will rock out at Penrhyn ZipRoc is curated by Quarry, Bethesda, to the Mike Peters of The Alarm likes of Cast, Miles Hunt and held in aid of the Love and Elin Fflur while raising Hope Strength Foundation, money for cancer charities. which has raised more than The quarry is a unique £1m for cancer projects. festival location, looking ‘Last year’s festival more like something was really well received,’ out of a music ‘The says Mike. ‘We were video rather than able to raise £25,000 quarry is a venue. Food and which is helping drink from a range a unique to support special of local vendors location’ cancer care projects will be on offer and across the UK and travellers have the new equipment for cancer option to pitch a motorhome services here in north Wales.’ and stay for the night.

woman touched by the plight of underprivileged children in Romania has sent them more than 50 tonnes of aid thanks to support from the Wrexham-based distribution firm where she works. Youngsters in Romania with items Jayne Griffiths, part of sent out by Love On A Pallet the sales team at McCarthy Distribution, says she ‘cried for the overall cost away,’ says a week’ when friends working as Jayne. ‘We’d really struggle pastors in a Romanian church without that support. We also showed her a photograph of receive wonderful support two children living in terrible from people and businesses conditions. From that moment, in Bala, where I live.’ she decided to make it her Love On A Pallet has mission to help disadvantaged made a huge difference to the families in the country. community in Romania, where Seven years on her initiative a mums and tots group has Love On A Pallet has shipped been set up with donated toys. 108 pallets containing 55 tonnes ‘My friends Alex and Heather of items such as food, clothes, are pastors at a church and we bedding, toys and equipment. send stuff to them,’ says Jayne. ‘If McCarthy Distribution, based a family has a specific need, the on Wrexham Industrial Estate, church will put together a pack.’ has supported Jayne’s efforts ‘I’m delighted we’ve been by driving the aid to able to play a part in Essex free of charge, helping Jayne,’ says where it is collected by a Mike McCarthy Romanian haulage firm. of McCarthy ‘McCarthy Distribution. ‘The Distribution does the success of Love UK leg for free, which On A Pallet is Jayne and Mike takes 20 per cent of testament to her.’

Canal walk for charity the Movement Centre in Join Oswestry on 7th July for the

13-mile Monty’s Canal Walk along the Shropshire Union Canal to raise money for the charity and treatment centre for children with movement disabilities. It’s just £5 to enter,

which includes afternoon tea at the finish. The walk is limited to 40 places, with £20 minimum sponsorship per person. www. the-movement-centre.co.uk

Motorcycle challenge for Veterans’ Appeal


n ex-serviceman is taking on a 4,500-mile motorcycle challenge to fundraise for the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre Appeal at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital. Rick Prichard, who served

in the Army, is raising money by taking on the notorious Nordkapp Challenge after the Oswestry-based hospital saved his wife’s life, twice. Rick hopes to raise at least £3,000 and will start his journey to mainland Europe’s most northerly point on 28th June. www. justgiving.com/fundraising/ NordkappChallenge2019

If you would like to see your charity event featured on these pages, please email the details to the Shire team at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk 128 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Charity Event

& Opening SATURDAY 11th MAY 2019 14:00 – 19:00 PLAS MAENAN COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL

We welcome you to the Grand Opening of Plas Maenan Country House Hotel, venue for all. We promise an amazing afternoon packed full with food, drink and entertainment. Spit Hog Roast, Salmon & all of the trimmings served in style, Cocktails & Fizz, Speciality Beers, Denbigh Male Voice Choir, Carly & Russ Vocalists & various other Live Entertainment, Jesters, Face painting, Photo Booth, Gaming Tables and much much more.

An event not to be missed. The hotel is featured in Channel 4’s Escape to the Manor Hotel featuring Steph and Dom from Goggle-box. £10 from every ticket sold will go to RNLI and Welsh Air Ambulance, along with all proceeds from Raffles and Auctions to raise as much as we can for these two very deserving causes that take care of us in our hour of need.

Tickets: £35.00 per adult, £15.00 for children Call in, phone us or email for tickets Tel: 01492 660977 or 07803 351055 Email: info@plas-maenan-hotel.co.uk

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Chris Evans is consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry



What is your role at RJAH? I perform knee and hip replacements, and specialise in revision replacements for both joints. Most surgeons do 30 to 40 hip replacements a year, whereas in Oswestry we all do more than 300 – last year, I performed 412! RJAH is a specialist orthopaedic hospital, so we regularly get patients referred to us from Staffordshire, mid and north Wales and Cheshire, as well as Shropshire, because of our reputation. Such is the demand that the hospital runs 13 orthopaedic theatres, and evening and weekends lists.


Why does RJAH specialise in revision surgery?

We do more revisions here than anywhere else because they’re usually more complex. This is a specialist, high-volume hospital, taking a lot of complex cases. Replacing a joint is one part of the procedure, but perhaps the real skill for the surgeons lies in dealing with the soft tissues around the joint, and balancing it so it works correctly in all positions.


Do patients come to RJAH with a particular surgeon in mind? Frequently patients come for a consultation having done research on each specialist’s

experience and the overall hospital performance. Anyone can go to the National Joint Registry online, which shows surgeons, the number and types of patients they see and the procedures they perform.

the patient has the choice of whether to take action. These are often painful conditions, and surgery alleviates the arthritic pain almost immediately. I see patients usually six weeks after the operation, and in most cases they are free to do anything after this time because the prosthetic has had time to bed in and the incisions have healed.


What happens when a patient contacts the Ludlow Unit? People come to the Ludlow Unit for an opinion after being referred by their GP. Half of the Can you extend the life challenge for the patient when of a joint replacement? their knee or hip is causing We have expertise in dealing them pain is to get an accurate with failing and painful joint diagnosis. When patients come replacements. One of my here and pay for a consultation, particular interests is in bonethey can expect time with conserving revision surgery. a specialist to go Revision usually through their history means going further ‘One should and, if necessary, into the bone to expect to do arrange investigation anchor the device. most things. I and imaging. However, we have have patients Often, patients who ski and ride techniques where come here for second we can use bone horses’ opinion, and we can tissue from our access any X-rays ‘bone bank’ to help or imaging they may have stabilise the joint. This bone had at other units. In general, is used to fill any cavities that X-rays are perfectly sufficient may have developed, and we to make a diagnosis and offer can then fit a new device to a second option on treatment. the strengthened bone. Patients also come to the By using this technique, Ludlow Unit because they we’re not ‘burning any bridges’ can’t access NHS treatment in terms of future treatment if as quickly as they’d like. required – younger, more active At the end of patients are far more likely to the consultation, wear out these devices with


normal wear, so it’s important to keep options open. In three to six months, the patient’s bone grows over and replaces the donated bone, so they’re left better off. Are you seeing more cases where revision is required? No, actually revision rates are decreasing because of the improved quality of implants and care. We’re also finding that patients are better informed, which helps outcomes hugely. A good joint replacement doesn’t stop you doing anything, although I would suggest avoiding contact sports. One should expect to do most things – I have patients who ski and ride horses – but we can’t tell patients they are 19 again. It’s as much about patient confidence and building muscle strength around the joint.


What next for RJAH? We are very proud of our hospital, which is going from strength to strength. The patient satisfaction surveys are very good, so we aim to grow in a controlled way to preserve this quality of care, which is very important to us. Actually, I fully expect the Ludlow Unit to be redeveloped in the next few years to accommodate demand.

Mr Christopher Evans Qualifications MBChB 1991 Birmingham, FRCSEd, FRCSEd (Tr and Orth), FRCS Appointments 2004 RJAH and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital Speciality Hip and knee replacement; member of the British Hip Society and the British Orthopaedic Association Other information Mr Evans is a fellowship-trained hip and knee surgeon with a high-volume practice. He performs more than 350 major joint replacement procedures every year and 100 knee arthroscopy procedures, as well as a complex primary and revision service.

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 131

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Retirement Living Why buy in later life? More and more older people are choosing the flexible option of renting accommodation rather than buying their homes. One Cheshire community is making that simple Research by the Centre For Ageing Better has shown that 414,000 older people now rent a property, which is up 63 per cent from 254,000 people in 2007. Inspired Villages’ new Inspired Villages offers you the flexibility of renting initiative comes in response s we age, our needs change and all too to this trend, which means often our accommodation requirements more rental retirement housing is required to meet current and future demand. change with them. So it’s no surprise that increasing numbers of older people are ‘We are proud to offer the option to rent for the very first time,’ says Inspired choosing to rent a property rather than make the financial Villages director James Cobb. ‘We want ‘For many, commitment of buying. more people to embrace the lifestyle renting is on offer at Gifford Lea and our other Why might this make a lifestyle sense? Well, think ahead to retirement villages around the UK, with choice as times when you might have opposed to all the positive health and wellbeing the stress of being forced to a necessity’ benefits. Providing a rental option sell a home that’s no longer enables more people to choose us. ‘Predictions suggest that a third suitable – you may prefer the of people over 60 could be renting in flexibility of relocating and downsizing as 2040. For an increasing proportion of and when you need to. At the ‘later living this demographic, renting is a lifestyle community’ of Gifford Lea in Tattenhall, choice as opposed to a necessity, and they near Chester, a number of properties have cite flexibility as key. Research shows we now been made available for rent and the live better for longer in communities that operator Inspired Villages has become facilitate and encourage active living. Our one of the first in the UK to specifically retirement villages are designed for exactly provide this as an alternative to buying.


this, with homes arranged around a central clubhouse that provides a range of health and fitness facilities, and lots of activities for a sociable and fulfilling retirement. ‘Inspired Villages rentals also give residents predictability in their financial outgoings, with the security of a long-term fixed monthly rental rate inclusive of service charges. This peace of mind is particularly important in times of political and economic uncertainty.’ Renters will be able to experience all the benefits of life at Gifford Lea, including the eagerly awaited clubhouse and wellness spa, with swimming Director James Cobb pool, sauna, steam room, treatment suite and relaxation spaces. Also opening soon are a brasserie with seasonal menus, a garden room, a library and a beauty salon. For more visit www.inspiredvillages.co.uk

DINNERS DOUBLE AT CORWEN LUNCH CLUB After proving a huge hit with locals, the club is set to expand


he Tuesday lunch club at Corwen’s Canolfan Ni centre is called Cawl A Can, which is Welsh for ‘Soup And A Song’. It began in 2018 as just that but now hosts more than 40 customers for a full threecourse meal every week – and local action group South Denbighshire Community Partnership (SDCP) now plans to expand the club to include Thursday lunchtimes and a separate outreach service to rural areas. SDCP chief officer Margaret Sutherland says, ‘We’re just about at capacity, and we are going to have a second sitting on a Thursday. We’re also talking to communities in Carrog and Bryneglwys Margaret Sutherland from SDCP serves the puddings about opening

another club there as well. If we can find the right venue we can use our meals on wheels service to supply hot food so it won’t even need a suitable kitchen.’ Denbighshire County Council chief executive Judith Greenhalgh joined the diners recently and says, ‘It’s a pleasure Lunch club cook Sarah Kenrick to come here and see such a thriving community group in action. It’s clearly a This is all part of a series of SDCP brilliant initiative which is growing all the projects promoting social inclusion, time and bringing the community together.’ improving access to services and helping The meals are cooked in the Canolfan people to access locally generated electricity. Ni kitchen by Sarah Kenrick, landlady of Big Lottery Wales has contributed the Grouse Inn in Carrog, with assistance £350,000 over four years and rural from Karen Jones, who also helps deliver the regeneration agency Cadwyn Clwyd has meals on wheels service. ‘When we carried provided a out our consultations before starting the further programmes, people were telling us they £52,000 over weren’t eating a hot meal at all in the week,’ three years, says Margaret. ‘That’s why we set up the together with meals on wheels and the lunch club. It’s £42,000 from a brilliant project because while Corwen the Bus is quite small, there are lots of outlying Services Diners Dan Roberts and villages and this brings them all together.’ Grant. Jack Williams tuck in

134 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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

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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A life, well lived, is enriched by our connections, family and friendships, fulfilled by lifelong learning and supported by caring communities. Passionate about enriching lives across the generations, PACT supports community and the arts, in all its glorious forms, champions the care sector and its heroes, and represents our commitment to society. People caring about people.

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Meet The Expert Shire talks to Angela Winstanley about the animal courses at Wrexham Glyndwr University

QWhat do you specialise in?


I’m senior lecturer and programme leader on Glyndwr University’s BSc (Hons) animal science and animal studies programmes, and lecture on the Angela Winstanley aims to promote positive human-animal interaction equine science and welfare management degree. My area of special interest is human-animal interaction, which is What does the students’ practical work involve? a rapidly expanding academic field. I’m a strong advocate for the Students learn to handle domestic and exotic animals safely, promotion of positive human-animal from horses and rabbits to tenrecs and reptiles. We also train Animals show subtle signs interaction, as this provides benefits for animals using positive reinforcement methods such as clicker training. the health and wellbeing of both parties. Companion animals enrich We also provide opportunities through work placements and our lives and we need to inform people to understand volunteering. Our students are doing fantastic things, animal behaviour. Owners often miss subtle signs that such as improving the breeding populations of seals off their animal is giving them – we put human emotions the north Wales coast and discovering hidden gems in ‘A lot of animal behavioural on to animals and think they’re being guilty or naughty the insect collections in Liverpool’s museums. We also problems are when what they’re actually showing is often fear. have students working with animal rescues in north down to fear A lot of animal behavioural problems are down to Wales – I’ve developed a short course with North and frustration’ fear, stress and frustration. Animals trained with positive Clwyd Animal Rescue Centre so students have the reinforcement are less likely to have behavioural problems, opportunity to help rescue dogs find new homes. which also reduces the risk of people getting hurt.  




How did you get into this career?


I’ve been interested in animals from an early age and always wanted to care for and protect them. I worked with animals to gain practical experience, then studied at university to postgraduate level and completed teaching qualifications. My current job is varied and interesting – I can be handling tarantulas, training marmosets to stand on scales, riding horses, teaching scientific theory in the lecture theatre, or even learning how to clicker-train a giraffe at a conference!

QWhat’s required to get on the course?


Obviously, our students are keen and interested in animals! They should also have some practical knowledge, with their own animals, through education or industry experience. Students also need biology, English and mathematics for the technical aspects, but we offer a foundation year that prepares student for the full degree .

QWhat does the course entail?


Our core themes are welfare, conservation and behaviour, but what’s most important is making sure students are prepared to work in industry. That means a lot of visits to zoos, conservation sites and rescue centres, alongside work experience and industry contact. We bring in a lot of specialists, and have strong links with a variety of organisations including The Owls Trust, Hedgehog Rescue, the PDSA and the RSPCA. Students also get the chance to build links with external organisations themselves.

QWhat career opportunities can the course lead to?


All kinds of things! We have students working in zoos in north Wales, Cheshire and the West Midlands – we even have a student working at a Big Cat Rescue in Florida. Our students go on to be lecturers, teachers, technicians, biodiversity officers, dog trainers and veterinary nurses– there’s such a wide range of careers the course can open the doors to.

QWhy choose Wrexham Glyndwr University?


There’s a real sense of community here – you’ll work with like-minded people who have the same interests and the same drive. Our dedicated team of experts also guide and support students, which is reflected in our satisfaction scores – we’ve been judged the top university in Wales for academic support and our learning community in animal science, and are in the top five UK universities for the subject.* The most rewarding part of my job is seeing students graduate and go on to secure the job of their dreams, particularly when the roles help educate others about good animal husbandry and welfare. The key to improving animal welfare is without doubt education. Animal experience is key

*WGU analysis of unpublished NSS data

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 139

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If you’re a good communicator and will enjoy building relationships with clients for the best regional magazine covering Wales and the Borders, we want to talk to you. Due to rapid growth, there is now an opportunity for a new member to join our team. You can work from home, with hours to suit you, liaising with advertisers to help them choose their campaign and their coverage in the magazine. You are a charismatic and proactive selfstarter who enjoys working on your own initiative, and are outgoing and personable. You are highly organised, and have good computer skills. Above all else, you are a trustworthy and hardworking individual, someone who gets a real buzz from achieving results for clients. Please email with a covering letter and your CV to advertising@shiremagazine.co.uk, marked ‘Work from home’ as the subject to find out more.


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Top of the Class TOP MARKS FOR SCG


teaching, high-quality pastoral ecently published performance tables from support and a specialist sixth form experience. Our students the Department for Education benefit from the widest choice confirmed Shrewsbury Colleges of A levels in the area. Group (SCG) students make ‘Although the league tables outstanding progress at A level. Nationally, the college is in the don’t include vocational results, our BTEC students also perform top 20 per cent of all providers at a very high level and other and is also ranked in the top 20 per cent of sixth form colleges national systems show these students also perform within nationally. In Shropshire, Telford the top 25 per cent nationally.’ and Wrekin, SCG was ranked an impressive second out of 25 schools and colleges. ‘I’m delighted that the DfE performance tables highlight what our own results analysis show, which is that our students make outstanding progress,’ says principal James Staniforth. ‘This is the result of fantastic SCG students receive their A level results




upils at Abbey Gate College in Chester took to the stage recently to entertain friends and family all in the name of charity. Many of the pupils at the co-educational independent school for children aged four to 18 had never performed in public before yet wowed the audience with dancing, singing, poetry and magic. The show was organised by head girl Heather ChurchillEvans who, along with science teacher Lou Poyser, decided to dedicate all proceeds to local charity Trauma Response Network (TRN). TRN was set up by Sean Gardner who in 2017, along with his daughters, witnessed the terrorist attack at Manchester’s MEN Arena.

Lou Poyser, Sean Gardner and head girl Heather Churchill-Evans

Sean, who was picking up one daughter from the Ariana Grande concert while the other waited in the car, saw the event and afterwards struggled to find the psychological support he needed, so set up TRN. ‘The money raised at the show will help our charity enormously and we’re very grateful to the pupils and staff who organised it,’ says Sean. ‘It was a brilliant evening!’


Abberley Hall pupils prepare for the off!


upils in Year 8 at Abberley Jordan Scott and Will Leather, Hall Prep School near two of Abberley Hall’s teachers. There are stops every 20 miles Worcester will be participating or so in order to eat flapjacks, in their annual charity cycle protein-filled wraps, fill up ride from Abberley Hall to Manorbier in Pembrokeshire – a drink bottles and check that total of 143 miles in one day. everyone is managing and fit to carry on to the next stage. The ride aims to The groups are hoping raise money for the to arrive in Manorbier Walking With The ‘The ride from around 8pm, in Wounded charity. requires resilience The pupils have been time for hot dogs on the and training two nights a beach. The pupils will be tenacity’ accompanied by teachers, week throughout the parents and a support Spring term to build team who will share the up their fitness and road sense before the challenge. remarkable achievement of The students will set off at cycling so many miles in one day. It requires resilience, tenacity 4am when the light allows them and commitment – values to set off safely in groups for Abberley Hall Prep School what will be an epic journey. The considers hugely important. ride is carefully organised by

Keeping an eye on bird numbers


J Wildlife has announced it will be supporting the British Trust For Ornithology by offering a great prize for EDF Energy’s What’s Under Your Feet? campaign. The award-winning digital schools programme aims to inspire children to choose a more sustainable lifestyle, promote diversity and study

science, nature and technology within the environment. What’s Under Your Feet? involves carrying out a dig and invertebrate survey to find out what’s living in the soil literally under our feet! Schools then pass the data on to scientists at the BTO for an important scientific experiment, which is looking at the relationship between climate, the availability of invertebrates and how this impacts UK bird numbers and their migration patterns. This year, CJ Wildlife in Upton Magna near Shrewsbury is offering a prize bundle worth £300 at the end of the final collection period, tailored to help schools encourage more wildlife to their grounds and introduce children to the wonders of nature. The prize includes a fabulous Nest Box Camera Set, a variety of bird feeders and food, plus wildlife high-energy treats.

May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 141

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New chancellor for university


olin Jackson has been officially installed as Wrexham Glyndwr University’s new chancellor. After formally accepting the post, Colin – one of Britain’s most-loved athletes – said, ‘It is a true honour for me to accept the post of chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University. The prospects of the students Olympic medallist Colin Jackson CBE and staff are huge and I’m very much looking forward local talent that the university to being part of the future. has created and nurtured and ‘Coming from the world being at the forefront of the of sport, I’m been very lucky regeneration of Wrexham and to experience dealing with so the community,’ he said. many issues and life ‘We are truly proud lessons, including and honoured to have ‘We are turning failures in Colin as our Chancellor proud and successes and staying for the next three years,’ honoured motivated, committed says Wrexham Glyndwr to have and focused.’ University’s vice chancellor, Colin During his Maria Hinfelaar. ‘We have as our speech, Colin also chancellor’ embraced four values here spoke passionately as part of our vision and about ambitious strategy – be accessible, plans for the future of the supportive, innovative and university and its region. ambitious – and Colin in many ‘We’ve so much to look ways epitomises these values. forward to with the potential He will be a worthy successor growth economically, retaining to those who went before him.’

House-hunting for students

Zoe Tse meets HRH The Prince of Wales



RH The Prince of Wales, patron of the Prayer Book Society, praised Moreton Hall students who were among the finalists at the Society’s 30th Cranmer Awards Competition at Lambeth Palace in London recently. In front of a distinguished panel of judges, which included composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, actress Prunella Scales, novelist PD James and poet CH Sisson, the finalists in this prestigious competition recited memorised passages from Thomas Cranmer’s 1662 Book Of Common Prayer. Addressing the finalists at the subsequent prize-giving, HRH The Prince of Wales said, ‘I believe the Prayer Book

is a glorious part of every English speaker’s heritage.’ It’s a sentiment shared by the finalists from Moreton Hall School in Oswestry – Zoe Tse, Florence Tyne, Aghoghomena Akpoteni and Isabella Harpin. ‘I felt so privileged to be able to be in the Cranmer Awards national finals and to attend Lambeth Palace,’ says Zoe (pictured above). ‘I recited The Seventh Sunday After Trinity Collect. To do so at the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury was a historic and moving moment. ‘After lunch in the state dining room we had the results, with HRH The Prince of Wales presenting the prizes. It was such an honour to have the opportunity to meet him.’

Stepping up for Derwen College Can you provide a home from home for overseas students?


very year, thousands of school-age overseas students are educated at independent schools across the UK. When their schools close for half-term holidays and exeat weekends, they need host families. Pippa’s Guardians has been providing high-quality guardianship services to international students for over 17 years and understands how a host family can positively impact a student’s wellbeing. Due to expansion within Shropshire, Pippa’s Guardians is actively seeking new host families. Having children of similar ages helps (most students are between 14 and 19) but isn’t vital, and each student will need their own bedroom with a desk or somewhere quiet for

homework. Internet access is important, as is being part of a family and experiencing day-to-day family life. As well as receiving a generous payment, there are many other advantages to being a host family. It’s a great way to introduce your family to other cultures, and sharing your traditions with an overseas student and knowing you are helping them can be gratifying. Long-term friendships often develop and many host families keep in touch with the students once they’re back home. If you feel you can offer this to students at schools in Abbots Bromley, Ellesmere, Oswestry, Ruyton-Xi-Towns, Wellington and Shrewsbury, email please gilly@pippasguardians.co.uk.

A 6k winner receives her prize!


ore than 300 walkers, runners, children and dogs gathered at Derwen College in Gobowen in May for its annual sponsored walk, which for the first time included a fun run. Nearly 250 walkers, 40 runners, 19 children and 11 dogs chose to complete either a 10k, 6k or one-mile route on a bright Mothering Sunday morning. Runners included a number of brave 10km first-timers, as well as those who were using the course to train for more serious races. Walkers included staunch walk supporter Olive Morris,

who raised more than £700 for her 51st sponsored walk. Finishers received a medal made by students at the college for young adults with learning difficulties and disabilities, and mums were also presented with a flower from the Derwen College Garden Centre. ‘There was a great atmosphere on the day, with lots of smiling faces despite the sore feet!’ says fundraiser Anna Evans. ‘It was fabulous to welcome back regular walkers including former students and members of the community. ‘We’d like to thank all the volunteers, walkers and runners who made the event such a wonderful success and supported Derwen College Charity. The 2019 walk and run looks set to be another bumper fundraiser.” There is still time to donate to Derwen College Charity. Visit www.derwen.ac.uk/donate/.

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The gift of education in Tanzania

Young Thinkers receive their prizes


upils from Packwood Haugh in Shrewsbury pupils represented the school recently in a county-wide competition designed to stretch and inspire young minds. For the Shropshire Young Thinkers’ Competition, part of Shrewsbury’s Darwin Festival, children across Shropshire were invited to write a letter to Charles Darwin himself, inviting him on a journey. At the finals, held at Shrewsbury’s University Centre, the girls were presented

with their prizes, books and certificates. One pupil had suggested journeying to a remote tribe in the Amazon, while the other had described taking a voyage to the world’s deepest ocean trench. Both pupils related their choices to Darwin’s ground-breaking work on evolution. The girls beat hundreds of other entrants to make it to the final round, not only with the calibre of their scientific ideas but also the ingenuity of their creative writing.



t was back to school for Shropshire audiences last week as the Face2Face Performance Academy took to the stage with their latest production, High School Musical. As well as parents and friends, the High School Musical cast members audience included local councillors, space on their doorstep and it’s members of the arts community one they look forward to sharing and MP Daniel Kawczynski. with other local singers, dancers, They were there not only actors and performers as well to enjoy the show but also as visiting professional groups. to hear about the Holroyd Speaking at Theatre Severn Community Theatre near after the closing night of High Oswestry, which once complete, School Musical, Face2Face’s will be the future venue for head coach and production Face2Face productions. director, Michael Jenkins, Set in the grounds of Moreton said, ‘This was by far the Hall, Holroyd Community best Face2Face production to Theatre is a £1.45m arts venue date and the perfect way to designed to provide a flexible celebrate our second birthday.’ and exciting performance space Development director of for artists from across the region. the Holroyd Community For the young performers from Theatre, Katy Tanner, said, the Face2Face academy, who ‘We were delighted to have are drawn from schools around the chance to showcase the north Shropshire and north kind of talent which we know Wales and who meet each week will be taking to the Holroyd at Moreton Hall, this exciting stage and we can’t wait to see new venue will provide them Face2Face in this exciting with a professional performance new venue, later this year.’

Students visit Tanzania every other year


wo students in Tanzania Some of the sponsorship are getting their education money also goes towards paid for thanks to parents at a solar panel projects in the Shropshire school. Ellesmere local secondary schools. College Parents Society Ellesmere College has a (ECPS) has committed to long history of supporting the sponsoring Lomnyaki Ezekiel Monduli Green Project and the Laibunye and Estomil Issaya school community supports 55 Lekundayo to the sum of students in all. Students from £125 a year throughout their the Shropshire college visit the six-year senior schooling in project every other year to help. the East African nation. It was set up in 2008 by Cathy Jo Astbury and Allen, an English As An Pauline Hale, co-chairs Additional Language ‘The of the ECPS, said they’re teacher at Ellesmere Monduli very pleased to be able College, to work with Green to help in this way. ‘We schools and communities Project are delighted to be able in Tanzania to improve was set up to ensure both Lomnyaki the environment and in 2008’ and Estomil are able to facilities for children. go to school,’ they say. ‘There are many ‘Education is something children in Tanzania we can easily take for granted who don’t get to go to school in this country and just being or fail to finish their education,’ able to go to school means so says Cathy. ‘With just under much to people out there.’ 70 per cent of the population Lomnyaki and Estomil living below the poverty line, will get the money for basic many children are forced into schooling needs, pillows and a situation of trying to find bedding in their boarding work to help their families house, uniform and text books. rather than go to school.’

Official award for Oswestry


swestry School is now a Duke of Edinburgh Award Directly Licensed Centre. The school’s headmaster, Julian Noad, has been presented with a certificate and plaque authorising the school as a Directly Licensed Centre (DLC) for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. Julian Noad receives the certificate The licence was presented to Julian by Wyndham James, Duke of Edinburgh operations officer for Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.

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nother issue, another bulging postbag! Thank you as always to all the readers who have been in touch with the Shire team over the past couple of months. We love hearing from you and enjoy reading your letters, poems, submissions and suggestions, so do keep putting pen to paper, snapping pictures, composing poems and whatever else you want to do to keep in touch with us. We’ve printed some of our favourite contributions below and as always, we’re happy to get them so do keep them coming.

Send your emails to us at editorial@ shiremagazine.co.uk or contact us by post at the address below – the same place to send us an SAE for £1.60 if you have missed an issue or would like to buy an extra copy of the magazine. Don’t forget to tell us which edition you’re looking for and we’ll send one out to you. And don’t forget to look out for us on Facebook and Instagram, and check out our website at www.shiremagazine.co.uk too! Write to us at: Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR

Row, row, row your boat

My name is Ian Davies and I’m part of Shropshire-based team The Atlantic Mavericks, which is taking on the challenge of rowing the Atlantic Ocean this December in what is referred to as ‘the toughest rowing race in the world’. More people have climbed Mount Everest than have rowed an ocean! Choosing to take part in the world’s toughest row is only half the battle, as we need to raise about £85,000 in order to get to the start line. The Atlantic Mavericks have pledged to self-fund the training and entry fees, which is about £40,000, but we’re looking for sponsorship and support to fund the boat and the essential equipment for the row. The Atlantic Mavericks We’d like to invite companies and corporations to become partners for the challenge, either through a sponsor’s package or by assisting us to purchase specific items of equipment. If anyone wants more information then please contact me on 07905 219546 or check our website at www.atlanticmavericks.com.

Operatic announcement

Llangollen Operatic Society presents Fiddler On The Roof at Llangollen Town Hall from 30th April to 4th May at 7.30pm. Tickets are still available and cost £12 for adults and £10 for concessions. They can be bought from Gwyn Davies Butchers, Jades Hair & Beauty and Llangollen Oggie Shop, by calling Stella Bond on 01978 860441 or at www.ticketsource.co.uk/ llangollenoperaticsociety Grab your tickets for a great show! Dee Smith

Best feet forward

Lingen Davies Cancer Fund, based at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, celebrates its 40th birthday this years and wants to raise £1.25m by June. We’d love to help them with a Ruby Sponsored Walk around Lake Vyrnwy on Sunday 12th May. Registration is from 9am, with a warm-up at 9:50am and the walk at 10am. If any Shire readers would like to walk, donate or help, call Gareth and Mary on 01691 648795, Rachel on 07969 180292 or email catrinjones457@ gmail.com. Catrin Jones

Keep an eye on their eyes I wanted to share the story of our seven-yearold brindle male pug, Teddy, as a warning to other dog owners. Soon after adopting him we noticed he had very limited vision and he was diagnosed as having a severe case of pigmentary keratitis (PK). PK is a progressive deposition of pigmentation over the clear outer surface of the eye. If left untreated it will eventually cover the entire outer surface Teddy is on the mend and lead to blindness. In Teddy’s case the condition was so advanced it was necessary to surgically remove the layer of pigmentation by laser. Following this there was 14 days of intensive post-operative care. Since the operation, Teddy’s sight has improved considerably and he shows no signs of visual limitations. For us it has been a very rewarding experience taking Teddy from being practically blind to having a good level of vision to enjoy fun and games with our three other rescued pugs – what a great result! I wanted to make your readers aware of the need to catch this condition early. PK is progressive but when caught early it is manageable and surgery can be avoided. Vulnerable, flatfaced dog breeds should be checked every six to 12 months for PK and hopefully that will help them avoid a similar experience to Teddy’s. Barrie Jasper

A shout-out to myself! I love reading Shire, and my husband suggested that I write to you in case my work was of interest to your readers. I am an applied artist with a BA Hons degree, and a silversmith and selftaught ceramicist too. I make beautiful porcelain jewellery with animals motifs [pictured, left]. I’ve only been working for myself for a year but have already had work in National Trust shops in north Wales. I have my own studio in my little cottage in Flintshire, and also run crafts day courses for fun and for art therapy too. If any Shire readers would like to find out more about my work, they can visit my website at alexandrasymonsjewellery.com. Alexandra Symons

READER F E E D B AC K Congratulations on your recent issue! Shire has become a staple on my coffee table! Gary Leroy I love your magazine! I live near Chester on the Welsh border but have family in Shropshire who we visit very regularly, and I pick up your magazine from all over when I see it, even in Wales. Anon What a great read Shire magazine is – packed with suggestions of things to do and a really great place to find local businesses too. I contacted one of your advertisers to fit a new stove in my house and they even gave me a discount when I said where I’d found them! Keep it up! Steve Franklin How much I enjoy reading your magazine! It gives some excellent ideas for days out, which are perfect for when we entertain the grandchildren. We’ll certainly be keeping it handy over the school holidays. Doreen Jones

Thank you, Shire!

We wanted to say a huge thank you to everyone at Shire and RN Williams. We were Competition prize so excited to win first prize in January/ February Shire’s wood stove competition – it really has made our year! It is sitting in our lounge ready to be installed, and we just can’t wait to see it in action for the first time! Judy May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 147

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Books&Poetry A novel idea… When GJ Griffiths retired after two decades of teaching science, he found he had the time to try something he’d always wanted to do. He wrote his first book – and hasn’t looked back since

Retired teacher turned author GJ Griffith


fter being educated at a grammar school in the 1950s and 60s, GJ worked in the photographic business before diverting into sciences, studying physics and chemistry as a mature student. He then spent two decades as a science and technology teacher in various comprehensive schools – but in his spare time he always enjoyed reading a wide range of literature, both fiction and non-fiction, and writing poetry, stories and scripts. And when he retired from teaching, he finally had the time to make a serious attempt at being a writer.

Inspired by nature

A keen nature-lover with a passion for walking and birdwatching in the

north Wales countryside where he is Becoming a grandfather prompted GJ to create Ants In Space, a series of based, GJ was inspired to write about children’s books featuring the futuristic the area’s fantastic natural features explorations carried out by two girls and and how they were affected when a troupe of intergalactic ants. Sisters Lara the Industrial Revolution came. and Eva are playing in their sunny garden Published in 2017, The Quarry Bank and dreaming of an adventure on Runaways tells the tale of Joseph another planet, only for their and Thomas, two boys forcibly dream to come true – but how moved from their homes in DID YOU KNOW? will they get back to Earth in London to Samuel Greg’s Now a National Trust time for lunch? And how they cotton mill in Cheshire in the site, Quarry Bank Mill will fit into the aliens’ antearly 19th century. Children houses Europe’s most sized spaceship?! But their as young as nine would be powerful working help is needed on the planet employed there – often as waterwheel Zeegrazzalo-Jeewoppza, so scavengers, piecers, mule off they go into the unknown. doffers, can tenters and other Maybe, just maybe, the sisters highly unpleasant jobs – and the can find some solutions to the aliens’ two young men are determined to problems. However, they come to realise escape and return home. This adventure they might based on real historical records follows need their Joseph and Thomas as they attempt mother’s to walk all the way back to Hackney. help, and she is back on From school to space Earth… As well as the history and nature in his area, GJ’s experience of teaching was another inspiration for him to GJ Griffiths’ use in his writing. The So What! series books The of three books are set in and around Quarry Bank the fictitious Birch Green High School Runaways, the So What! where anything and everything can happen, with adventures ranging stories, and from the creation of a school nature Ants In Space corner to the unlikely drama of arson, are available fraud and murder – not all based on now from the author’s own experiences! Amazon

B O O K E VE NTS The Modern Cheesemaker: Morgan McGlynn, 2nd May, Booka Bookshop, Oswestry Calling all cheese lovers! Join Booka Bookshop for an evening of tastings and an insight into the craft of artisan cheesemaking with Morgan McGlynn to mark the publication of her new book The Modern Cheesemaker. Booka is partnering with Appleby’s Cheesemakers from Hawkstone Abbey Farm, Marchamley, Shrewsbury for this event. 7.30pm. Tickets £10 (£5 redeemable against a signed copy of The Modern Cheesemaker). Subverting Shakespeare, 10th-12th May, Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden Whether you already love Shakespeare’s plays or they’re a source of frustration to you, this will be a weekend of Shakespeare without fear. All you need to do is read one play, The Merchant Of Venice, in advance (or watch it, if that’s more

your style) and all other materials are provided for you. The event will be run by Emma Rees, professor of literature and gender studies at the University of Chester. Emma has taught Shakespeare and Renaissance literature in universities for over 20 years, and was Gladstone’s Library’s political writer in residence in 2016. Cooking With Dan Toombs, 13th May, Linghams Bookshop, Heswall Dan Toombs, aka The Curry Guy, has perfected the art of replicating British

Indian Restaurant (BIR) cooking after travelling around the UK, learning the curry-house kitchen secrets and refining those recipes at home. In other words, Dan makes homemade curries that taste just like a takeaway from your favourite local but in less time and for less money! Now he’s back with his new book The Curry Guy Veggie. 7pm. Alibis In The Archive, Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, 21st-23rd June Back by popular demand, Alibis In The Archive returns for a third year to bring some of the UK’s best-loved crime writers to Hawarden. Over a weekend of talks and panels, this event focuses on the Crime Writers’ Association collection, which incorporates the archives and documentation of the Detection Club, the oldest and most august society of crime writers in the world, based at Gladstone’s Library. Non-residential tickets from £125.

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Our regular round-up of recommendations from the experts at Linghams Bookshop on the Wirral features two dramatic new tales Freefall by Jessica Barry Clear your diary and make time for this one-sitting read, which leaps off the page from the first chapter with a shocking description of a plane crash. Maggie Carpenter is told her daughter Allison was on board and is presumed dead – but Allison has survived, injured and with limited supplies, desperate to find safety. The tale is told in very short chapters that seem to propel you through the book at speed, and switches between narrators to keep you tense and on your toes. It transpires Allison and Maggie have been estranged: while Allison attempts to escape from her past, her mother tries to find out what has happened in her daughter’s life since she walked out of her childhood home. But how will Maggie learn about her daughter when nobody will talk to her? Will their secrets be revealed? And what will it mean for their future? We suspect you’ll be hearing plenty about this fabulously gripping thriller in 2019. Little Darlings by Melanie Golding Lauren has just given birth to twins. While she is recovering from the traumatic birth, there’s an incident in the hospital – Lauren is adamant someone came into her room. So what really happened? Who was Lauren talking to in the middle of the night? And how did she get the injury on her arm? When she eventually returns home with her baby boys, she struggles with her new life. The sleepless nights are taking their toll and she suspects she may be suffering from postnatal depression. Then circumstances take a turn for the worse when Lauren starts to believe her children are no longer her own and are in fact are changelings. A mixture of folklore, magic and reality, this fantastic tale – which has already seen its film rights sold to the director of Notting Hill – is beautifully written and will remain with you long after you have finished it. It’s released on 2nd May.

Earl Grey Tea by Norman Marshall

whatever of that ilk.

Thank the good earl for his tea, So we can drink at eleven and three With either lemon or milk. or

It has such a subtle bouquet For a cup with many a sobriquet. Sip and infuse with pleasure, For no other tea is better at leisure. I admire its colour with or without friend. It is always assured and one can depend That this cup of Earl Grey tea Is definitely for you and me! Haven by Edna Cosby Cradling millennia in the cup of my hand, feeling your grainy contour and the salty sting of ocean spray, I’m at once reflective yet invigorated. Your greyness shot through with bands of rose and cream giving lustre to days of leaden sky and sea, silvery pink layers reminding me of the hopefulness of cloud-linings; on shimmering days offering balance to the coast’s promised idyll of warmth and foamy waves. At the stony foreshore, an image floods in like the tide – you perched on a stack of office papers! Your job to transport me to Crackington Haven. A board shouts concern at unnatural erosion caused every year by the tourist explosion. Maybe I’ll borrow you, slip quietly away for return, some other day. Or maybe, I’ll just leave you be. Rain by Hywel Vaughan-Davies Darting silver threads sewn without visible seam rush into muddy pools. A moment of clarity then turbidity returns.

Creatures of the Night by Edna Cosby Afraid of creatures of the night? Not me! I don’t take fright at feather-soft wings and fat, furry bodies fluttering, seeking the light. Some of them cling to the window but I won’t throw the covers aside and let them in – this is my space and I’m alone. Is someone there? I didn’t hear a tread on the stair. Nor do I shrink from little buzzy, stingy chaps but I’ll stop their bite with a swat or a swipe. I turn my head, sense a slight denting near the foot of my bed; blurry edges like an Impressionist’s stroke. Do I hear a breathy sigh? Maybe it’s my mind that spoke? Or maybe it’s just a brief visit; a final goodbye. Spring Into Summer by Trudy Yeardley The winter brought its icy winds, The flooding and the storms, Ice and snow lay on the ground, Our weather sure performs. But now the cold dark days are over, Yes, spring is finally here, We’ll have longer warmer days now, Yippee, I hear you cheer. The lambs will be born, They’ll grow and thrive, A whole new season, That’ll bring fresh new life. Plants will start to flower, The grass will refresh its growth, We’ll be weeding before we know it, Even if the ground has froze. There’s Mother’s Day in March, April brings us Eastertime, With May having two bank holidays It will soon be summertime.

We want your poems! We’ll print our favourites each edition and share your creative spirit with our readers. Send them to Poetry Page, Shire, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR or email editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk.

150 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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19th Comedy Club Finale 20th Fringe Acoustica 20th Handel’s Water Music on a Canal Boat with Fireworks 20th Dub Pistols with support from Jack Found 21st Bruce Parry Film with an interview and Q&A session after 22nd Band for a Day Concert 23rd Robyn Hitchcock 24th Lleuwen and Band 25th Tunng 26th Emmanuel Jal 27th Last Train to Skarrogsville 27th Electric Swing Circus with support from Dinamo Ska 19-28th Workshops, Art, Dance, Walks, Tours… Loads of FUN! See the lot with a Festival Ticket. www.llangollenfringe.co.uk

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What’s in your stars? Aries

20th March – 20th April Competition is healthy unless it means elbowing everyone else out of the way to win. The proverb ‘first come, first served’ isn’t entirely commendable because it has a selfish tone. So, as Solstice approaches and the longest day beckons, think on this: opening the door for others is often the way to win friends. It’s a metaphor but I think you get the gist.


21st June – 23rd July The expression ‘coming out of your shell’ applies to all crabs and crabettes this season. Although social beings, shyness often stops Cancerians from fully expressing themselves – they inhabit the world of feelings where fear also lurks. However, an assertive energy surrounds you now in the form of Mars, giving you a push to twinkle, twinkle little star!


23rd September – 22nd October You often waiver between the conflicting elements of your inner and outer personalities, and trying to harmonise them causes uncertainty. Try to accept that whatever you do, however hard you try, sometimes people will not cooperate. Your need for approval is strong, but don’t be so ready to surrender. Your judgement is fair – believe in it!


21st December – 20th January Saturn moving through your sign is giving you a difficult time but some of it is of your own making. You often feel the scapegoat but you’re just feeling sorry for yourself. You have many great qualities, but self pity is an indulgence. Erecting barriers limits your expectations, so why have them? Being approachable is never too late to learn!


20th April – 21st May You’re sitting on the edge of change and it’s up to you to make your comebacks stronger than your setbacks. Whatever your age or gender, you need a little ego gratification and to get this you have to do things differently. The restless energy you feel wants to break new ground and what you resist will, I assure you, persist!


23rd July – 23rd August Macrocosm and microcosm, from the Greek for ‘little word’ and ‘big word’, may be Greek to you but for astrologers they indicate the earth beneath the cosmos. With a full moon in Scorpio this May, the challenge is to see through the veil of someone’s deceptive behaviour. June brings a full moon in Sagittarius and with it the wisdom of hindsight!


23rd October – 22nd November It’s said that the things we know best are things we haven’t been taught. So intuition is needed to fathom out what someone is trying to tell you. A Taurus new moon and Scorpio full moon will heighten hidden feelings – all I can say is you won’t know what will happen if things are suddenly changed, but you’ll know what might happen if they’re not!


20th January – 19th February Antarctica is the least explored continent, belongs to nobody and is used for scientific discovery – that’s how one could describe you, because nobody knows you that well, you’re self-contained and highly intelligent. Precisely what you need now to set you on the road to being the person you want to be and the one needed to fulfil a mission.


21st May – 21st June A new moon in Gemini in June, together with Venus, couldn’t be better for engaging in the party spirit. It doesn’t take much for you to circulate among fun people and they enjoy being in your amusing company. It’s a shame that every upside has a downside – this one is overdoing the light fandango. Burn the candle, but not at both ends!


23rd August – 23rd September Dancing around the maypole isn’t your cuppa, but watching the methodical weave of coloured ribbons is because you’re a dab hand at systems and enjoy working out techniques. This says a lot about your character and why clutter, muddle and mess drive you to distraction. Good-natured tolerance is required when incompetence stretches you to the limit.


22nd November – 21st December Are you a teacher or a student? A listener or a speaker? A sage or a fool? Questions need answers in the workplace and beyond – avoid scattering words to the four winds, as they might come back as a hurricane. Refine your aim, regard timing and if you choose to utter a word, give it a thought before you give it a sound.


19th February – 20th March A bird sitting on a branch is never afraid of the branch breaking because its trust is not in the branch, but in its own wings. Your often timid approach to life’s more strenuous demands would do well to remember this because you have more power at your disposal than you give yourself credit for.

Gloria Mans studied astrology and astronomy over an intensive two-year period at the Faculty Of Astrological Studies in London 27 years ago. She has since written for many publications, appeared numerous times on television and has an impressive client list. The legendary Fay Weldon calls her ‘magic’ and the BBC icon Valerie Singleton calls her ‘sensitive’. You can reach her at starglow@pc-q.net or via her website, www.gloriamans.com. 152 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Another edition of Shire, another chance to win some of our fabulous prizes – exclusive tickets available to our lovely readers. Get your entries in by the closing date and good luck!

You have to be in it to win it! Go on, enter today!

WIN A WEEKEND OF ADVENTURE FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY Shire has joined forces with the Festival Of Discovery to offer one family an amazing getaway Enter now for your chance to win an incredible four-night camping break on Anglesey for this summer’s Festival Of Discovery, with tickets to the event and camping included. The Festival of Discovery takes place from 30th May to 1st June, with a friendly camping area to encourage those with children to make a weekend of it, staying over from 29th May.

Have a go

Join in bushcraft workshops, storytelling, science shows, bubble factories, dancing. Get stuck in with the arts and crafts and cookery classes or learn what it takes to be in a circus with a wonderfully modern nonanimal social circus – whatever you try, the Festival of Discovery is bound to keep you and the kids busy from breakfast until bedtime. Throughout the event there will be a busy musical schedule too, with the best folk music Wales has to offer. Enjoy the Blas Stage with performances

WIN! A family ticket to the Oswestry Show

WIN! A family trip on Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway Watch

from Alaw, Maelog, Elfen, Trials Of Cato, Tacla VRi, Gwilym Bowen Rhys, K-bros and more. Or if you want to get more handson there will also be a range of musical workshops, such as African Drumming, Community Djembe Drumming and Up Beat Music & Arts designed to introduce children to the joys of musical theatre. Or you could have a go at dancing, as the Festival of Discovery has partnered up with Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod and Up Beat Music & Arts to bring you the best of dance competitions and workshops.

Learn something new

The event is educational as well, with a jam-packed programme of science and technology workshops. Discover the solar system in the digital planetarium and learn all about robotics and hovercraft building in the technology and engineering workshops. You can also find loads of fantastic food and drink in the local producers market, enjoy live cookery classes and take part in cookery workshops for children and adults too. All this could be yours if you enter the Shire competition to win two adult camping tickets (worth £145 each) and up to four children’s tickets (worth £50 each) as well as priority passes so you can jump the queues – making the total prize worth almost £500! Fill in the form below and get your entries in by 22nd May – and good luck!

WIN! A pair of tickets to see Fame The Musical at the Floral Pavilion, New Brighton

This fun family event on 3rd August is one of the highlights of the Shropshire summer. Oswestry’s green will be packed with entertainment as well as the main showground, sheep shearing competitions, a food hall and displays.

the world go by on the narrowgauge steam railway, which was opened in 1903 to link Welshpool and Llanfair Caereinion and now provides a tourist service for all the family. It makes a change from the rush of everyday life!




WIN! A pair of tickets to Proms In The Park at British Ironwork Centre

WIN! A pair of tickets to the Shrewsbury Food Festival

WIN! Two adult tickets to the Shrewsbury Flower Show

See the international smash-hit following the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts as they navigate their way through the highs and lows of life. Ther tickets are for a performance on 15th July.

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra launches its 50th anniversary season on 8th June with concert set in over 100 acres of parkland and a programme of music from TV, films and the classics, plus a Star Wars firework spectacular.

This celebration of great gastronomy takes place on 29th and 30th June at Quarry Park. Last year’s event saw 200 food, drink and craft exhibitors, as well as cookery demonstrations, a chef school and free kids’ entertainment.

One of the UK’s premier flower show, with TV personalities, celebrity chefs, singers and arena acts entertaining the crowds on Friday 9th and Saturday 10th August, ending with a magnificent finale and firework display.




Winners Congratulations to our lucky winners from the March/April issue of Shire!

Sue, Colwyn Bay Cadbury World

Graham, Connahs Quay Cirque du Vulgar

Greta and Clive, Crewe Kids Fest

Helen and Lucy, Shrewsbury Canal trip

Mark, Meifod 1,000 Engine Rally

Pam, Wellington Whittington Music Festival

Richard, Staffordshire Shropshire County Agriculture Show

HOW TO ENTER: Fill in the form with your answer circled (you’ll need to read the magazine to find it!), and include your name, address and daytime contact number. Send it by the closing date to Competitions, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR Winners will be notified by email, so don’t forget to include your email address and daytime telephone number. RULES OF THE COMPETITIONS DATA PROTECTION NOTICE Superstar Publishing Ltd will use your information for administration and analysis purposes and may contact you from time to time with relevant offers, information or for research purposes. Your details will not be passed on to third parties except the sponsors of these competitions. Please tick the relevant box if you do not wish to be contacted. COMPETITION RULES The promoter of these competitions is Shire Magazine, Superstar Publishing, PO Box 276, Oswestry, SY10 1FR. The competitions are open to all readers of our magazine and viewers of our websites except employees of the prize providers. The winner(s) will be the first person or persons drawn after the closing date who has completed the correct answer. No cash alternative is available. The winners names can be obtained by writing to the competition address with a self-addressed envelope after the closing date. The winner agrees to participate in any follow-up publicity and must provide a photograph to be published in the following issue to claim their prize. Superstar Publishing may print the name only of entrants to this competition in subsequent issue(s) of Shire Magazine. This is to enable competition entrants to fairly claim a promotional offer, for competition entrants only. By entering this competition you are giving permission for Shire Magazine to print your name only. No personal information will be printed. No purchase necessary, answers on a postcard are accepted. For full details of our Privacy Policy, please go to www.shiremagazine.co.uk.

Q: Jessie Buckley came second in which TV talent show? a) I’d Do Anything b) Britain’s Got Talent c) The Voice

Name Address




Daytime contact number


Email (please complete) Please send me further information about Shire magazine May/June 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 153

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COMING NEXT ISSUE By the time your next edition of Shire hits the shelves the summer will be upon us! And whatever the weather, rain or shine, we’ll have a publication packed with events, activities and ideas to keep you entertained throughout the season, so make sure you grab your July/August issue to get set for summer.


We meet an artist who carved out a whole new career when he started brandishing his chainsaw as a creative outlet. Paul Morris has produced a whole menagerie of adorable woodland creature carvings which are delighting people across north Wales and brightening up the surroundings with a bit of wooden whimsy.


MAKE A SPLASH Following on from our active feature in this edition, full of adventurous activities for you to try, we’re hoping the next issue will bring with it warm enough weather to tempt you to get wet! We’ll be rounding up some of the incredible watersports opportunities we have access to, with a look at everything from sailing and surfing to kayaking and coasteering.



Look out for our usual round-up of the best holiday parks, canal boats and even motorhome hire in the region – with our holiday guide, it’s never too late to grab a last-minute summer break!

With flowers in full bloom and gardens green and glorious, you can rest assured we’ll feature some horticultural treats for you to visit over the summer. Whether you want to wander serenely round a stately home or find bargains at plant fairs, we’ll keep you posted about the gardening greats and flower festivals going on across the Shire region.

Snap to it

D O N ’ T F O R G E T…


As well as our usual photography competition, we’ll have details about a special opportunity to join the Campaign For The Protection Of Rural England and a brilliant photo contest it will be running through our pages. Find out about how to enter and what’s involved, and then get out and about with your camera for your chance to win.

Grub’s up! Graham Tinsley MBE will be back with yet another mouthwatering recipe for you to try, as well as suggestions of how to use the best of the summer season’s local produce. A true champion of local foods, Graham is the man in the know when it comes to cooking up a storm.


We’ll all be out and about as usual doing our best to watch as many shows and report back from as many events as we can to let you get a real feel for the local entertainment scene.

Whether it’s the latest look for the beach or a new way to freshen up your home, our style team will have all the latest design ideas and top trends to keep you up to date with everything that’s hot in clothes, beauty and interiors.

Don’t go anywhere until you’ve checked our What’s On guide for July and August – with the long school holidays looming you’ll need to keep the next edition of Shire, with its 60-page guide to all the events and activities that are going on across the region, close to hand.

GET IN TOUCH Shire wants to hear from you! 1. Tell us about your upcoming events We work in advance, so 1st June is the deadline to let us know about events for our July/August 2019 issue. 2. Share your reader stories Have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We would love to share it with our readers. Send us an email and don’t forget to include a picture or two! 3. Contribute to one of our pages Send all your submissions and pictures by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk or call 01691 661270. You can also get in touch via social media – just search for ‘Shire magazine’ on Facebook or Instagram.

154 SHIRE MAGAZINE | May/June 2019

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Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine May-June 2019  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Wirral, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, craf...

Shire Magazine May-June 2019  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Wirral, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, craf...

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