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Riverside paradise in the heart of Shropshire

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

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WELCOME DEAR READER… Publisher Dan Bromage Editor Kate Speedie Art Editor Tom Sullivan Production Editor Jo Williams Shopping Editor Alice Northrop Advertising Design Sarah Norman Designers Ella Knight Meryl McIntosh Senior Advertising Executives Pauline Jones Trudy Yeardley Staff Writers Eluned Watson Catherine Buckley Sally Williams Distribution Paul Howard Finance & Accounts David Kynaston Jane Osman Email Shire Magazine: editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk advertising@shiremagazine.co.uk Contributors John Hargreaves, Gillian Danby, Gloria Mans, Sam Humphreys, P Parker, Clive Potter, John Stubbs, Helen Cooke, Pip Gale, Lizzie Deery, Ursula Kenny, James Gillespie, Graham Tinsley, Tommy Bromage, Jenn McKinney.


his year seems to have flown past and it’s hard to believe we’re hurtling towards the end of 2018 already! But there is one big, obvious, fun and festive event to get out of the way before we launch into ‘Auld Lang Syne’ and charge headfirst into 2019… Christmas! This is our favourite time of the year here at Shire as all our readers, advertisers and supporters keep us extra busy with a packed calendar of events and activities. We do our best to feature them all, but we’re so blessed to live in an area where there is so much going on that we may have missed some of your own personal festive favourites. For that we can only apologise, but sit back with a glass of mulled wine and flick through this issue’s extra-special What’s On guide and our 12 Days Of Christmas countdown, and you may discover some new favourites along the way! This issue of Shire is about more that just Here comes Santa Claus! Christmas, of course – we’re celebrating winter in lots of other ways too. We’ve got a feature on the top winter gardens to visit over the colder months, which will hopefully inspire you to wrap up warm and get out and about. Amazing landscapes, picture-perfect properties and tea rooms offering winter warmers make our local gardens glorious whatever the weather! We’ve also got lots of treats on our Food & Drink pages, a bulging Homes & Interiors section and all the usual books, arts, style, wildlife and education coverage you’ve come to expect! There’s only one thing left for us at Shire to do and that is to wish each and every one of you a happy and healthy season and all the best for 2019! Merry Christmas!

IN THIS ISSUE Be inspired by craft fairs, top exhibitions and more in our Arts & Crafts section on page 106

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



Print ISSN 2514-3913 Online ISSN 2514-3921

We visit the area’s best gardens to enjoy in the cold weather on page 78

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

Our Christmas countdown starts on page 64 with our look at festive events happening near you

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…


Tell us about your upcoming events. Just remember that we work in advance, so 1st December is the deadline for events in our next issue, January/February.


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


We have lots of regulars readers can contribute to:

Reader photos Taken a great shot recently? Email your best effort and you might get picked! See page 108. Reader poems Do you like penning the odd line? So do we! Send us your poems – we’d love to include them on our poetry page. See page 139 for more. Your pets Is your pet the love of your life? Send a snap, along

Give a friend the gift of SHIRE!


with their name and anything else you want to tell us. See page 115 for further details. Get social Follow, like and friend us on Facebook and Instagram to be the first in line for event updates, competitions and more. Visit our website online at www.shiremagazine.co.uk and send submissions and information by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk.

TURN TO PAGE 141 for our Christmas gift subscription offer!

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

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Prices fro m

£19 Under 1’s FREE

DAILY TRIPS ACROSS THE PONTCYSYLLTE AQUEDUCT GROUP TRIPS AVAILABLE Santa Claus makes a very special visit each Christmas to the famous Llangollen Railway. A decorated steam train will transport you in style from Llangollen Station to Carrog (renamed Lapland for Santa’s visit). Santa will give each good boy and girl a special gift on the journey & the adults onboard receive a mince pie & a little tipple from Santa’s helpers.


hristmas C L A I C For a SPE New for 2018

For details of train times and booking please log on to our website or call. Please note that PRE-BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL

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

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

www.llangollen-railway.co.uk SPECIAL


01978 860979 *telephone booking fees apply

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Wrexham Symphony Orchestra S

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

in association with

The Royal British Legion

A Commemoration of 100 years of The Armistice Williams: Dartmoor 1912 (from War Horse) Hindemith: Trauermusik Butterworth: A Shropshire Lad Elgar: Sospiri and Nimrod Panufnik: Sinfonia Sacra Walton: Spitfire Prelude and Fugue

year of Santa celebrate our 30th

There will be an act of commemoration and readings of poems by Wilfred Owen & others. ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say for your tomorrow, we gave our today’.

h year of Santa t 0 3 r u o e elebrat TRA SPECIAL X E e b l l i w ember

Saturday November 24th, 2018 at 7.15pm William Aston Hall, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Mold Road, Wrexham LL11 2AW Conductor: Stephen Threlfall Leader: Mark Lansom Soloist: Rhiannon Collins Tickets available from:

www.wrexhamorch.co.uk; www.glyndwr.ac.uk/events Wrexham Tourist Information Centre (01978 292015) Llangollen Tourist Information Office (01978 860828) Rowanthorn Gift Shop, Oswestry (01691 238227) Family Ticket £20 (2 adults and up to 4 children) Stalls £10 (Concessions £8) Students, school pupils and young children £2

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Contents N OV E MB E R & DE C E MB E R 2 01 8 6 What’s On If you’re looking for something to do over the next two months, then look no further than our 68-page events listing, covering North and Mid Wales, Cheshire, the Wirral and Shropshire 57 Shrewsbury In our first of two town visits this issue, we explore Shropshire’s county town, home to a bustling community

PAG E 7 8 The wonderful world of winter gardens

59 Celebrity We talk to TV and radio legend Danny Baker

PAG E 1 2 0 Bring some bling to your Christmas party wardrobe

60 Reviews Discover what Shire thought of the recent shows and events to take place on our patch 62 Big City A round-up of the main events happening in the cities that surround us – Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester 64 Shire’s 12 Days Of Christmas Need a little help feeling festive? Discover a dozen of the top Christmas events near you

PAG E 8 5

Tips for staying active this winter, from watersports to walking

69 All I Want For Christmas… If you’re stuck for present ideas, our shopping experts may have found the answer


70 Chester It may have been founded by the Romans, but in our second town visit we discover the city has a thriving modern side too

We’ve got SIX great competitions for you to enter this issue. Turn to page 145

PAG E 6 4 The best of the area’s Christmas events, from parties to pantos

72 Food & Drink Our popular food section has mouthwatering delights from resident chef columnist Graham Tinsley, as well as booze news and taste tests 78 Baby, It’s Cold Outside Don’t let the weather stop you from getting out to the region’s glorious gardens. We share our favourite spots for a winter wander 85 Get Active We look at how to keep moving when the weather takes a turn for the worse

PAG E 9 0 Thinking of buying a holiday home? Follow our advice on making the most of your cash

PAG E 1 2 3 Five tips to help you stay healthy over the holiday season

PAG E 1 2 2 The best ways to protect the environment as well as your skin

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87 Holidays Banish all thoughts of cold winter nights by choosing the perfect place to go next summer – or the best place to invest in a holiday home! 92 Home visit Angela and Paul tell us all about their home’s stunning recent addition – an oak garden room 95 Homes & Interiors Are you planning a new look for your home in 2019? Check out our top restyling tips

100 Home visit How do you choose the right conservatory company? John and Dave share their story 102 Blue Is The Colour Top accessories and furnishings to bring warmth to your home 105 Wrexham Graduates Discover how the university’s graduates are making a success of their chosen careers 106 Arts & Craft We speak to local artist Dennis Davies and round up arts the events and courses near you 111 Plants & Gardens We take a closer look at the garden jobs you can do now to see the benefits come spring, plus the best vegetables to grow – and eat – through winter 115 Pets & Wildlife The latest from organisations that do so much to protect the area’s natural environment 118 Fashion The perfect Christmas party pieces for men and women 122 Health & Beauty Whether you want Christmas party styling advice or health tips to beat the winter blues, our experts are here to help 126 Meet The Expert Consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Birender Balain explains the latest surgery options for back pain 128 Retirement Living A company aiming to banish loneliness, and a retirement village with a difference 131 Legal Eagle What you need to know about a health and wellbeing lasting power of attorney 133 Top Of The Class The latest news from colleges and schools across the area 138 Books & Poetry A new novel from a local author, the latest book reviews, readers’ poems and literary events 140 Charities & Volunteering We round up of just some of the good work being done by so many in our area 142 What’s In Your Stars? How will 2018 end for you? Gloria Mans has your horoscope 143 Letters To The Editor Read some of the letters and contributions we’ve been sent from our lovely readers. 145 Competitions Your chance to win some brilliant tickets and prizes – you’ve got to be in it to win it!

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Something for everyone at Galeri Caernarfon


1st-4th November, She Sees The Shadows, MOSTYN, Llandudno Works by more than 40 contemporary artists from the David Roberts Collection. Familiar objects and materials are re-examined and the viewer is invited to see the familiar anew. 10.30am4pm. Admission free.

1st November–29th December, Roger Cecil: A Secret Artist, The Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy An exhibition organised with the Roger Cecil estate and Peter Wakelin, author of the book A Secret Artist, looks at one of the great abstract artists of his generation. 11am-5pm.

3rd November, Abergele Firework Display The Abergele Round Table hosts a wonderful spectacle for the whole family. 6.15pm, a small, colourful display for toddlers; 7pm, bonfire; 7.45pm, main display. Knightly’s Funfair will be open from 5pm. Tickets £2.50 adults, £1 children.

•3rd-4th November, Snowdonia Walking Festival,

Betws-y-Coed A weekend of walks for everyone in the magical surroundings of Snowdonia National Park. There is a choice of four to five professionally guided walks each day, including half-day walks, challenging walks, family walks and special interest walks.

4th November, The EXPEDercise Fitness Challenge, The Old School, Caernarfon A timed challenge for adventurers to assess their fitness levels. Race against others over 1.5 miles or get yourself around in 15 minutes. 10am-11am. Entry £6.

The Importance of Being Described… Earnestly?, 1st-4th November When a well-intentioned theatre company attempts to stage its interpretation of an Oscar Wilde classic, objectivity, tradition, politeness and several cups of tea fly out the window. With fully integrated audio description. 2pm and 7pm. Tickets £10. The Furrow Collective, 9th November Alasdair Roberts, Emily Portman, Lucy Farrell and Rachel Newton are four fine soloists sharing a mutual love of traditional songs, from both sides of the English and Scottish borders. 7.30pm. Tickets £12.

Estrons, 17th November Clwb Ifor Bach presents the Cardiff-based alternative rock band. 7pm. Tickets £8. Larry & George Lamb: Back On The Road, 29th November George encourages his old man to talk about his life on TV, including Gavin & Stacey, EastEnders, and the highs – and lows – of his 40-year career. 7.30pm. Tickets from £12. TONIC ’Dolig: Rhys Meirion, 20th December Tenor Rhys Meirion performs the final Tonic of the year. Annette Bryn Parri accompanies on the piano in a concert of popular and festive songs. 2.30pm. Tickets £6. For details, visit www.galericaernarfon.com.

Eco tour visits Plas y Brenin

Choral delights at Stiwt

The Adventure Activists Tour, which aims to build environmental awareness through adventure, arrives at Plas y Brenin in Betwys-y-Coed on 1st November. Join the activitsts at the National Mountain Sports Centre from 7pm for an evening talk featuring paddleboarder Sian Sykes and long-distance cyclist Kate Rawles. Expect nail-biting accounts of adventure activism and heart-warming stories of the changes taking place to save our natural environmental. There will also be inspirational films and information on how to get involved with your local movement. Tickets for the event cost £10. For details, visit www.adventure-activists.com.

Don’t miss a collaborative Grand Concert by choir Johns’ Boys and guest choir Di Voci on 24th November at Stiwt Theatre, Rhosllanerchrugog, near Wrexham. Di Voci is an award-winning women’s choir based in the Altrincham area, which performs at concerts, competitions and private events throughout Greater Manchester and Cheshire. The choir was set up in October 2007 by musical director Lorraine Brown, who studied at Trinity College of Music. Starts at 7pm. Tickets £12. Visit www.stiwt.com.

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Winter treats at Llangollen Railway

Entertaining all ages at Pontio, Bangor

The Flying Bedroom, 3rd November Little Light Dance & Digital Theatre and author Heather Dyer join forces to present this adventure using dance, projection and immersive sensory experiences. Join Elinor and her flying bedroom on an adventure to far-off lands and outer space. Ages 3-7. 11.30am & 2.30pm. Tickets £6.50. Frigg, 9th November A leading act on the Nordic music scene,

interpretation of the Dylan Frigg have dazzled festivals up and Thomas classic A DID YOU down the UK Child’s Christmas In KNOW? with their mix of Dylan Thomas read Wales with music by Nordic folk and A Child’s Christmas Mason Neely and live bluegrass. 8pm. narration by Cerys In Wales for Tickets £16. Matthews. Ages 7+. radio in 1952 7pm. Tickets £13. Alys Williams with BBC National Ensemble Of St Luke’s, Orchestra Of Wales, 24th 9th December Royal Liverpool November A unique chance Philharmonic Orchestra’s to hear this breathtaking smaller ensemble returns singer-songwriter perform with a programme covering songs from her repertoire highlights of the string as you’ve never heard them quartet repertoire through the before. 8pm. Tickets £16. centuries, from Mozart to The Beatles. 3pm. Tickets £12. A Child’s Christmas, Poems & Tiger Eggs, 1st December Ballet For more information and to book, visit www.pontio.co.uk. Cymru presents its timeless

Festive fun at Gypsy Wood Park Gypsy Wood Family Park in Bontnewydd, Caernarfon, reopens for two weekends over Christmas to bring festive fun on 8th, 9th, 15th and 16th December. The 20-acre park with train rides and animal interactions is closed for the winter but offers

magical Christmas evenings from 3.30pm to 7pm to celebrate the season of goodwill. Join the team at Gypsy Wood and climb on board a magical train ride, with the chance to meet Santa himself. Visit www.gypsywood.co.uk for information and bookings.

The Rocket Firework Train, 3rd November Enjoy an evening train journey to Carrog and on the way back stop at Glyndyfrdwy station for fireworks. There’s an onboard bar, and hot refreshments are available at Glyndyfrdwy station. Train departs Llangollen at 6pm and returns at approximately 8.30pm. Tickets £18 adults, £12 children, under-threes free.

Santa Specials, 1st-24th December A decorated steam train will transport you in style from Llangollen to Carrog (renamed Lapland for the occasion). Santa will give each good boy and girl a gift on the journey and the adults will receive a mince pie and a tipple. From 11am. Tickets £19. Mince Pie Special, 26th December-1st January Relax in comfort as you admire the beautiful Dee Valley from the decorated carriages. Adults receive a mince pie and a tipple and children can enjoy a treat and drink. Trains depart Llangollen at 10.40am, 1pm & 3.10pm. Tickets £17 adults, £10 children.

Beethoven symphonies ring out in North Wales The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales and principal guest conductor Xian Zhang are set to delight audiences when they bring Beethoven to two North Wales venues. Xian Zhang conducts Beethoven at Bangor’s Prichard-Jones Hall on 23rd November at 7.30pm, and Venue Cymru, Llandudno, on 25th November at 3pm. For more information, visit www.bbc.co.uk/bbcnow.

Winter Warmer, 28th-29th December A beautiful ride through the Dee Valley, with a mixture of steam, diesel and railcars thrown into the mix to produce an intense timetable for all to enjoy. Tickets £16 adults, £8.50 children. For more information including train times and to book, visit www. llangollen-railway.co.uk.

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On stage at Rhyl Pavilion

The Mersey Beatles, 10th November Fresh from shows in the US, Australia, and Europe, the world’s favourite Liverpool-born Beatles tribute band embark on an historic UK tour, playing the same towns, cities and historic venues as the original Fab Four. 7.30pm. Tickets £21. Oliver!, 15th-17th November Powerplay Musical Theatre Company present a musical trip to the streets of Victorian London, based on the musical adaptation of the classic Dickens novel. 7.30pm (Saturday matinee 2.30pm). Tickets £15.

Wreath-making at Penrhyn Start a new Christmas tradition this year with wreath-making in the elegant surroundings of Bangor’s Penrhyn Castle on weekends from 24th November to 16th December. Each introductory wreathmaking session lasts 40 minutes and will help you learn how to create a Christmas wreath. You can take your materials to finish the wreath at home. This year, the sessions have moved to the Grand Hall, meaning you can enjoy the activity accompanied by some Christmas music and traditional atmosphere. So don your Christmas jumper and get in the festive spirit. A maximum of five people are allowed per session. The event costs £6 per wreath, plus the usual National Trust admission charges. Booking is essential. Call 0344 2491895 or visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/penrhyn-castle.

Santa’s steams to Bala Lake

DID YOU KNOW? Whitney Houston’s godmother was the singer Darlene Love

Greatest Love Of All: The Whitney Houston Show, 18th November Critically acclaimed live concert honouring the talent, music and memory of Whitney Houston. Featuring the breathtaking vocals of Belinda Davids. 7.30pm. Tickets £33.50. Aladdin, 12th December-5th January Fasten your seatbelts for a magical carpet ride of mystery, sparkling romance and dazzling adventure. The cast is headed by Jonathan Wrather (Emmerdale) as Abanazar, joined by David Perkins as Aladdin and Gemma Naylor (Nick Jnr’s Go! Go! Go!) as Princess Jasmine. Times vary. Tickets from £10.

The Bala Lake Railway – home to Alice the Little Welsh Engine – is pleased to announce that Santa Claus has accepted its annual invitation to visit Llanuwchllyn station on 8th and 9th December. Trains will be hauled by two festively decorated steam locomotives, and will depart from Llanuwchllyn on a journey down the line to Santa’s Grotto, where the children will meet the man himself and receive a gift. There will also be mince pies for the grown-ups. For more information and to book tickets, visit www. bala-lake-railway.co.uk.

Winter concerts with Mold Choral Society

For more infomation, see www.rhylpavilion.co.uk.

Sugar and spice at Llangollen Wharf Visit Llangollen Wharf for one of its Mulled Wine Special cruises every weekend in November and December, and daily between Christmas and New Year. The two-hour cruise, crossing Pontcysyllte Aqueduct on a centrally heated narrowboat, includes mulled wine and mince pies. There is also a licensed bar and freshly prepared refreshments, including light lunches, cakes and scones, available at the Tea Rooms. Tickets cost £14 adults and £12 for children. To book call 01978 860702 or visit www. horsedrawnboats.co.uk.

Flintshire’s biggest mixed voice choir, the Mold & District Choral Society, has a busy season ahead. On 3rd November at St Asaph Cathedral, the choir will perform ‘The Dream Of Gerontius’ by Edward Elgar, while on 1st December it joins Mold Town Band for a Christmas concert at St Mary’s Church. Then on 21st December you can join them for Handel’s ‘Messiah’ at Capel Bethesda. For full details, visit www.moldchoral.org.uk.

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Theatr Clwyd


5th November-31st December, Winter @ The Enchanted WoodBarn, Greenwood Forest Park, Gwynedd There’s plenty for children to do at Greenwood Forest Park throughout winter, although the entertainment moves indoors. Visit the new Enchanted WoodBarn, including soft play, restaurant and a gift shop.

The Goon Passion, 10th November Show, 5th-7th Music Theatre Wales and November National Dance Company Apollo Theatre Wales present a new danceCompany and opera by Pascal Dusapin. Spike Milligan Productions 7.30pm. Tickets from £10. team up to celebrate Spike’s centenary year by MET Opera: Marnie, DID YOU bringing this comedy 10 November A KNOW? classic to the stage. reimagining of 7.30pm (Wed Winston Graham’s The first series matinee 2.30pm). novel about a young of The Goon Tickets from £10. Show was actually woman who assumes multiple identities. called Crazy Rhondda Rips It Live screening in People Up!, 8 November A the cinema. 5.55pm. thigh-slapping romp Tickets £17. through the world of suffrage and song starring Lesley Garrett. Dick Whittington, 23rd 7.30pm. Tickets from £10. November-19th January The

Real ale, food and fun at Novemberfest

The seventh Novemberfest – Mold’s celebration of real ale, real food and real entertainment – takes place from 9th to 11th November. The festival centres around St Mary’s Church Hall, which will host more than 30 real ales, lagers, local ciders and wines, accompanied by food and live music. Novemberfest is a notfor-profit festival, with all proceeds going towards other events in the town and a charitable cause. Tickets cost between £3 and £8. Visit www. moldnovember fest.org.uk.

cult panto returns with disco frocks, sparkling sets, slapstick galore and panto puppets. Starring Phylip Harries. Times vary. Tickets from £15. Stephen K Amos, 24th November The highly acclaimed comedian’s new tour, Bouquets & Brickbats. 8pm. Tickets £17.50. Tommy Smith Quartet’s Embodying The Light, 27 November Globally acclaimed saxophonist Tommy pays a personal homage to his greatest inspiration, John Coltrane. 8pm. Tickets £15.

9th November, Llanrwst Fireworks Spectacular Annual charity fireworks display, with fairground rides and hot food and drinks. Organised by Conwy Valley Rotary Club, supporting local charities. 6pm. Display at 7pm.

10th November, The Hard Road To Everest, Moel Siabod Café, Capel Curig, Betws-y-Coed Legendary mountaineers Doug Scott and Paul ‘Tut’ Braithwaite give a fascinating and humorous insight into how youthful careers teaching geography and painting and decorating led them to join Chris Bonington’s 1975 expedition to Everest. 8pm. Tickets £20.

Visit www.theatrclwyd.com.

Full steam ahead for Santa December brings the annual visit of Santa and his elves to Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways. Trains will run on 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd December and are fun for adults and children alike. Santa and his elves pass through the train giving out presents to the children. At your destination, there’s a chance to take photographs with Santa and his helpers.

Adults can also relax and enjoy a glass of sherry and a mince pie on the ride back. Call 01766 516070 for further information, or visit www.festrail.co.uk.

Peek behind the scenes at Chirk Castle Chirk Castle offers Chirk Under The Covers guided tours every weekend from 3rd to 25th November, giving visitors the chance to peek through usually closed doors

and find out about the special conservation work the house team do over the winter to keep the 700-year-old castle running. Tours are by timed ticket only, which are available on the day. The event is free but National Trust admission charges apply. For further details, visit www.nationaltrust. org.uk/chirk-castle.

10th November, Betwsy-Coed Trail Challenge 10k and 5k trail race starting at 1pm, followed by separate 10k canicross trail race at 1.30pm. All races start from the centre of Betws-y-Coed and follow a scenic course through the forest behind St Mary’s Church. Runners of all abilities welcome. Entry from £17.

10th November–9th December, All Fired Up, Techniquest Glyndwr, Wrexham Explosive live science show for all the family. Find out if we can really burn ice, why fireworks are different colours and see a tornado made of fire. Weekends only. Tickets £7 adults, £6 children.

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All the right notes at Theatr Colwyn

10th November-6th January, To The Quick, Oriel Ynys Mon, Anglesey New exhibition by artist and maker Rhodri Owen, who contrasts his own hand-crafted furniture with transfigured pieces in visually unexpected ways. 10am-5pm. Free admission.

10th November, Rhyl Elvis Festival, Little Theatre, Rhyl Who doesn’t love a bit of Elvis? Miss Gin Entertainment & Co presents the Rhyl Elvis Festival Return To Splendour, with tribute acts performing shows at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets £15.

16th November & 14th December, Bird Walk, Bodnant Garden, Conwy Find out more about our feathered friends from a local expert. 11am. Free event, but National Trust admission charges apply. Booking essential. Call 01492 650460

16th November, Llandudno Lantern Walk Walk 3,000 steps and see the town come to life with magical lights and entertainment. Make your own lantern and join walkers of all ages. Dogs on leads are welcome. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Registration is free but walkers are asked to raise as much as they can for families who need our support.

17th-18th November, Bee Williams & Kay Hawkins, The Lookout, RSPB Conwy Craft and gift display and sale by artists Bee Williams and Kay Hawkins. Enjoy a variety of art, handcrafted items. Ten per cent of any sales will go to the RSPB. 10am-4pm.

Bee Gees Fever, 10th November From the soulful ballads ‘Too Much Heaven’ and ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ to the high-energy disco classics such as ‘Stayin’ Alive’ and ‘Night Fever’, the tribute band faithfully recreate the songs helped to make the Bee Gees musical legends. 7.30pm. Tickets £21. Dusky Grey, 12th November Newly formed pop duo Dusky Grey are 20-year-olds Gethin Williams and Catrin Hopkins. With just four infectious tracks under their belts so far – ‘Told Me’, ‘Call Me Over’, ‘Joy Ride’ and the new single ‘A Little Bit’ – they have already managed to rack up more than 25 million streams. They’ve also turned ears at the BBC and were added to the BBC Radio 1 Introducing playlist and ‘ones to watch’ lists both in the UK and US for their bare-bones pop and allout melodies. The duo have now signed to Warner Music’s East West label. 7.30pm. Tickets £9.

On track for seasonal surprises Father Christmas makes his annual visit to Snowdonia’s Llanberis Lake Railway on 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th and 22nd December. Starting at Gilfach Ddu, Llanberis, take in the stunning lake, hills and wildlife of the through the picturesque Welsh countryside. There are presents for all the kids and a mince pie and seasonal drink for the grown-ups. This is a very popular event so advance booking is essential. Time slots are available from 10.15am to 5pm. Tickets cost £10 for adults and children and £4.50 for under-threes. Visit www.lake-railway.co.uk for details.

DID YOU KNOW? Buddy Holly’s full name was Charles Hardin Holley

Buddy Holly & The Cricketers: Holly At Christmas, 3rd December Buddy Holly & The Cricketers once again herald in the yuletide festivities with Holly At Christmas, the show that is now as traditional as mulled wine and mince pies. Holly’s hits, other contemporary classics and some Christmas crackers are all wrapped up in a fast, furious and funny feast of entertainment to make the perfect gift for all the family. Whatever the season, whatever the excuse to party, make your ‘Heartbeat’ a little faster with the show that has thousands of fans the world over saying, ‘I can’t believe it’s not Buddy!’ 7.30pm. Tickets £20. For more details, visit www.theatrcolwyn.co.uk.

Bring Frankenstein to life To celebrate 200 years since the publication of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Cascade Dance Theatre is bringing the story to life at Neuadd Dwfor in Pwllheli on 23rd November. The exciting new production delves into Shelley’s dark world. Cascade’s visceral and engaging vision brings to the stage all the potency, drama and tragic inevitability that has made the original novel beloved of generation after generation. The performance starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £12. Visit www.neuadddwyfor.com.

12 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Enchanted Christmas




Book online & save!


Selected dates through December

PULLMAN AFTERNOON TEA The perfect treat for someone special Tea for Two on a historic steam train ride between Caernarfon and Porthmadog. Whether intended as a gift to others or as a treat for yourself, this is a magnificent way to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Snowdonia in the luxury of a First Class Pullman carriage, as you ride 'Coast to Coast' (and back again) through the heart of the National Park... See our website for further information, our list of available dates and details of how to book your 'Pullman Afternoon Tea' package. www.festrail.co.uk/afternoontea.htm Gift Vouchers available for Afternoon Tea - or for cash amounts for use anywhere on the railway, its shops or its cafés...


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01766 516024


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Proceeds to Llandudno Transport Festival ©



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& 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 Family Multi-Lessons • 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)

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• Peter and Team are back for 40th year!! • Buy from the forest.

• Non Drop and Traditional, all sizes available up to 15 foot.

• Open everyday from Nov 29, 9.30 am to 4.15 pm • Free present from Santa every weekend.

Tel: 01352 770648. www.christmastreeuk.co.uk One mile past Moors Inn on Wrexham to Ruthin Road (A525). LL11 3AA

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Live entertainment at Venue Cymru


18th November, Conwy Half Marathon, Conwy Castle This scenic half marathons is now in its 10th year and already being regarded as a classic. Start and finish on the quayside in front of the castle. Starts 10am.

The Magic Of Motown, 1st November Forty classic Motown hits, glittering costume changes, dazzling dance moves and outstanding musicianship in an explosive concert experience. 7.30pm. Tickets £26. Caro Emerald, 2nd November Since the release of 2010’s Deleted Scenes From The

In print at MOSTYN

The North Wales Print Fair showcases a weekend of print at MOSTYN Gallery in Llandudno from 10th to 11th November. Pprintmakers from across the UK will present work for sale, offering the public be a fantastic opportunity to buy affordable and original art direct just in time for Christmas. All profits are invested in the gallery’s exhibition and public engagement programme. From 10.30am to 5pm. Admission free.

Cutting Room Floor Caro Emerald and producers Grandmono have fashioned their own niche, blending retro jazz with sampling and modern pop. 7.30pm. Tickets from £26.50.

DID YOU KNOW? Over 150 costumes are used in The Nutcracker!

The Nutcracker, 6th November The Russian State Ballet presents Tchaikovsky’s highly accessible ballet, complete with live orchestra. 7.30pm. Tickets from £24.50.

The Overtones, 1st December The group’s Christmas tour, with an oldschool cool, modern vintage vibe and trademark vocal harmonies. 7.30pm. Tickets from £24.

Cinderella, 8th-30th December The Fairy Godmother of all pantos, starring Tom Parker (The Wanted), Herbie Adams and Natalie Winsor. Times vary, Tickets from £19.50. www.venuecymru.co.uk

24th November to 6th December, ‘Light Up Local Food’ Pop Up Christmas Food Markets Arriving at Christmas events in towns across North East Wales this November and December will be street food, foodie gift ideas, festive cooking demonstrations and tasty local food samples: Llangollen 24th November, Mold 27th November, Denbigh 30th November, Ruthin 1st December, Wrexham 6th December. More at www.GoodGrubClub.wales

1st & 2nd December, Christmas Weekend, Betws-yCoed Expect pantomime, Father Christmas/Sion Corn, a lantern parade, fireworks, a nativity parade, crafts, fun and games for all at this annual event. Call 01690 710426 for details.

Saddle up at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse Anne Duchess of Westminster’s Charity Day, 14th November In aid of Maggie’s Clatterbridge. 10.30am. Prices from £7; hospitality from £45 plus VAT. Early December Meeting, 1st December 10.30am. Prices from £7; hospitality from £62.50.

Christmas Meeting, 4th December Get into the festive spirit for the last fixture of 2018. 10.30am. Prices from £7. Hospitality from £62.50. For more details and to book, visit www.bangoron deeraces.co.uk.

All the fun of the Christmas Fayre Head to the beautiful Victorian resort of Llandudno for its traditional Christmas Fayre, from 15th to 18th November. You’ll will enjoy

cultural entertainment and stroll around more than 130 stalls right in the centre of town. The fayre seeks to promote quality products from Wales and the rest of the UK and around the world. Go to www.llandudno christmasfayre.co.uk for more.

8th December, Llandudno 5k Santa Dash A real family event where even pets are welcome! The route takes you along the seafront of Llandudno’s north shore. You can walk, jog or run. Participants each receive a Santa suit and a medal. 8am. Tickets £16 adults, £12 children.

8th December, Conwy Medieval Christmas Conwy Winterfest is an exciting event organised by local businesses. With street entertainers, musicians, choirs, morris dancers, sword-fighting on Lancaster Square, hot chestnuts and much more. Starts 4pm, with a torch-lit procession with Armoured Knights and their ladies at 5.45pm.

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Something for everyone at William Aston Hall

Tabby McTat, 3rd November From the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler. Interwoven with original songs, Tabby McTat is the heartwarming tale and loyalty from the team behind Stick Man Live and Tiddler & Other Terrific Tales. Suitable for all ages. 2pm & 4pm. Tickets £15.40. Chris Ramsey, 8th November Chris brings his Just Happy To Get Out Of The House tour to Wrexham, with the greatest life advice ever to be recorded in the history of the world (hopefully). 7.30pm. Tickets £22. Fron MaleVoice Choir & Athena, 17th November Join the male voice choir for an evening of amazing live music, with sensational classical trio Athena, comprising sopranos Gwawr Edwards

and Ellen Williams, and mezzo-soprano Sioned Terry. 7pm. Tickets £16.50.

Classical delights at Rhyl Music Club

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

Wrexham Symphony Orchestra, 24th November The orchestra will be playing: Walton’s ‘Spitfire Prelude and Fugue’, Ravel’s ‘Le Tombeau de Couperin’, Hindemith’s ‘Trauermusik’, Butterworth’s ‘A Shropshire Lad’, Elgar’s ‘Sospiri’ and ‘Nimrod’ from Enigma Variations among other. 7.15pm. Tickets from £11. Slade, 9th December Slade bring their blend of pop-rock ‘n’ roll, outrageous flamboyance and pure fun. Led by founder members Dave Hill and Don Powell, the band’s latest additions are ex-Mud bass guitarist John Berry and new lead vocalist Mal McNulty. 7.30pm. Tickets from £26.95. Visit www.thewilliamastonhall.com for details.

Festive food and crafts at Portmeirion

The Food & Craft Festival in Portmeirion, Gwyneth, takes place from 30th November to 2nd December. Food and festive fun in a fairytale location – who could resist? The Italianate village’s annual Christmas event is a family-friendly showcase of the best local food, drinks, gifts and entertainment, featuring more than 120 artisan stalls exhibiting the best Welsh produce. In addition to local produce and crafts, there

will be a full programme of entertainment, including seasonal cooking demonstrations, musical entertainment and, of course, Santa’s Grotto. Join in the merriment and find the perfect present while you’re at it. Tickets to the Food & Craft Festival cost £7 per person, with children aged 12 and under free. There is an additional cost of £3 per child for Santa’s Grotto. For more details, visit www.portmeirion.wales.

Rhiannon Mathis (flute) and Elinor Bennett (harp), 14th November Dr Rhiannon Mathias is a flute player of distinction and also an author with a great interest in modern music. Harpist Elinor Bennett is one of Wales’ most distinguished musicians and has been at the forefront of music performance and education for many years. 7.30pm. Tickets £12.

John Lenehan with Music For The Silent Cinema, 28th November John is not only a masterful soloist and an outstanding chamber musician, but also a talented composer and arranger. In this concert he takes us back to the days when the pianist was key to adding drama, romance and suspense to the flickering black-and-white images of silent cinema. A night of musical virtuosity and movie magic. 7.30pm. Tickets £12. Welsh Chamber Orchestra, 12th December Featuring Jeremy Huw-Williams (baritone), Ynyr Pritchard (viola) and musical director Anthony Hose. Young musicians are a vital part of Rhyl Music Club, they plan to include a Telemann viola concerto performed by Muriel Lewis Young Musician awardee, Ynyr Pritchard from Caernarfon. 7.30pm. Tickets £12. www.rhylmusic.com

16 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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It’s Spanish hour with Mid Wales Opera


8th-9th December, Christmas Festivities, Plas Mawr, Conwy Get into the Christmas spirit and make your own spiced orange pomander and festive marchpane sweets. 11am-3pm. Tickets £6.90 adults, £4.10 under-16s, £20 family ticket.

•15th-16th December, Santa’s Railway Experience, Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog Santa visits the railway with all the trimmings, including mince pies, mulled wine and a gift for children. Booking essential.

15th December, Children’s Princess & Prince Party, Holiday Inn, Northop, Flintshire A magical afternoon of singing and dancing with a fairytale prince and princesses. There’s afternoon tea for the adults, including sandwiches, cake and tea. A lunch bag filled with cake, sandwiches and a drink will be ready for the children to eat at their leisure. Morning party 11am-1.30pm, afternoon party 2.30pm-5pm. Tickets £15.95 adults, £9.95 children.

Mid Wales Opera is back on the road with its second SmallStages tour, Ravel’s exhilarating one-act bedroom farce, A Spanish Hour – L’heure espagnole. A Spanish Hour is perfect for MWO, keeping opera live and local and reaching places where opera is rarely if ever performed. There’s no formal dress code for the audience, and the production is designed to be a great night out in relaxed and informal settings.

27th December, Toy Train & Collectors Fair, Venue Cymru, Llandudno With up to around 40 tables of sellers, buyers and collectors of new and second-hand model railways and collectors’ toys and models. Accessible venue. Light refreshments available. Proceeds to the Llandudno Transport Festival. 10.30am-3.30pm. Entry £2.50 adults, concessions £2, accompanied children £1.

Richard Studer and a new arrangement of Ravel’s exotic score created by music director DID YOU Jonathan KNOW? Lyness. Mid Wales Tickets Opera was cost around founded £10 and in 1989 dates include Theatr Llwyn in Llanfyllin on 10th November, Theatr Clwyd on 30th November, Criccieth Memorial Hall on 1st December and Theatr Colwyn on 5th December. Visit www. midwalesopera.co.uk for tickets.

Weekend of song at Choral Festival

16th December, Jam Session, The Skerries Inn, Bangor Informal, supportive and friendly sessions encouraging anyone to join in and have a go at playing anything. Experience, instrument and genre don’t matter. 7pm-9pm.

L’heure espagnole is set in a clock shop in Toledo, central Spain. It follows the fortunes of Torquemada, the hardworking clockmaker, as during the course of one hot afternoon his young wife Concepción negotiates her way through her collection of ridiculous lovers. The opera features a cast of five young singers as well as four brilliant musicians, performing a new English translation by artistic director

The International North Wales Choral Festival 2018 at Venue Cymru in Llandudno promises to be a jam-packed celebration of music from 2nd to 4th November. Considered one of the top choral festivals in Wales and renowned for its friendly atmosphere, this is a weekend suited for any chorister and welcomes choirs and musicians from around the world. The festival opens with a Friday night concert featuring Only Boys Aloud and Welsh

National Opera’s Samantha Hay, with the competitions taking place throughout Saturday and Sunday. The Festival Celebration Concert takes place on Saturday night. Tickets for the Friday night concert are £15 for adults and £7.50 for children, while the Festival Celebration Concert costs £13 for adults and £6.50 for children. Competition tickets are £6.50 per category for adults and £3.50 per category for children. Day passes are also available for all three days of competitions. Day passes for Saturday and Sunday cost £15 for adults and £7.50 for children. Tickets can be purchased over the phone on 01492 872000, from the box office at Venue Cymru and online at www. northwaleschoral festival.com.

Exhibition that’s rooted in nature Forest + Found: Walking The Line is an exhibition of new work by collaborative artists Max Bainbridge and Abigail Booth at Ruthin Craft Centre, Denbighshire, until 18th November. Booth and Bainbridge tread the line between art and craft, crossing seamlessly between contemporary art practices and the traditions of craftsmanship. Driven by a deep relationship to the land, they produce sculptural and wallbased works that look at landscape as a site of exchange between material and the maker. Open daily 10am-5pm. Admission free. Visit www. ruthincraftcentre.org.uk.

18 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Romantic Breaks • Spa • Food & Drink • Weddings

‘We are passionate about hospitality. Whether you stay with us for business or pleasure we are dedicated to ensuring that your stay is a special one and that you enjoy it your way.’

Welcome… Combining the traditional charm and comfort of an original 19th-century building, with the contemporary chic ambience and extensive refurbishment throughout all facilities including our Llangollen Spa, The Wild Pheasant Hotel is situated in magnificent scenery in the Vale of Llangollen, North Wales.

The Hotel offers excellent accommodation with 46 bedrooms and executive rooms and suites are available with disabled access. The Wild Pheasant is an excellent base for holidays in North Wales, a beautiful venue for weddings in North Wales, and there are a wide choice of dining experiences in our Brasserie Restaurant, open seven days a week. We are licensed for Civil Wedding and Civil Partnership ceremonies and have our own designated wedding planner. Please come along to The Wild Pheasant Hotel & Spa Wedding Fayre on Sunday 13th January 2019 from 11am till 3pm to meet the wedding team. Our Spa offers a warm hydrotherapy pool with thermal effects and powerful jets that will help ease away life’s stresses and muscular tension, and offers an extensive range of Elemis spa treatments. Situated in an ideal location for a wide range of country leisure activities including archery, laser clay pigeon shooting, golf, fishing, mountain biking, hill walking, canoeing, white water, river rafting, horse riding and off road driving.

Berywn Road, Llangollen, LL20 8AD Tel 01978 860629 www.wildpheasanthotel.co.uk

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Art for all in Aberystwyth

2nd November, Newtown Firework Display, Latham Park Join one of the most impressive fireworks displays in Mid Wales. 7pm. £5 adults, £3 children.

2nd November, wine supper, The Felin Fach Griffin, Brecon Supper at the Dining Pub of the Year in Wales in the Good Pub Guide 2019 features Ben Llewellyn of Carte Blanche Wines. There will be a cocktail on arrival followed by wine. £60 per person. Call 01874 620111.

3rd November, The Battle Of The Ancre, Hafren, Newtown This 1917 film is a masterpiece of British non-fiction cinema documenting the autumn and winter stages of the Somme campaign. Includes the first scenes of tanks in battle. 3pm. Tickets are free but booking essential. Call 01686 614555.

Frankenstein, 6th November This year marks the bicentennial of Mary Shelley’s seminal horror story. Cascade’s visceral and engaging production brings to the stage all the electrifying potency, drama and tragic inevitability that has made the original novel loved by generation after generation. Five performers and two musicians bring to life artistic director Phil Williams’s compelling adaptation. Suitable for ages 12 and over. 7.30pm. Tickets £12 adults, £10 children. Fastlove – A Tribute To George Michael, 6th December Direct from the West End, this show will take you on a musical journey through George

4th November, Gauge O Guild Area 4 Gathering, Borders Model Railway Club, Llandrinio Village Hall Five model layouts plus a 23ft x 15ft, three-line fine scale O-gauge test track will be running – bring along a loco and have a run! 10.30am-4pm. £4. Visit bordersmodelrailwayclub. com for more information.

8th November, Brodsky Quartet, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon Since forming in 1972, the Brodsky Quartet have performed over 3,000 concerts on the world’s greatest stages and released more than 60 recordings. 7.30pm. Tickets £19.

Bolshoi Ballet: The Nutcracker, 23rd December Nothing says Christmas more than a festive ballet and one of the best, The Nutcracker, will be springing on to the cinema screen at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre. The sumptuous production will be shown in all its glory to set you up for the Christmas holiday. 3pm. Tickets £17 adults, £10 children. For more details and tickets, visit www.aberystwythartscentre. co.uk or call 01970 623232.

Enjoy a Georgian festive fair at Llanerchaeron

7th November, Swan Lake, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon The Russian National Ballet presents Tchaikovsky’s romantic ballet. 7.30pm. Tickets £21.

Michael’s career from the moving Jesus To A Child to the celebration of Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me – not forgetting I’m Your Man and Wake Me Up. 7.30pm. Tickets £23.

Sunday roasts in the valley You can finish your weekend in style with a special Sunday lunch at the Hafod Hotel during a trip to Devil’s Bridge on the Vale of Rheidol Railway. Steam trains depart Aberystwyth at 11am on the 4th and 11th November, steaming through the stunning autumn colours of the beautiful Rheidol Valley to arrive in Devil’s Bridge at midday. After lunch you can walk off your meal with a short trek around the famous Devil’s Bridge waterfalls before catching the return train at 2pm. Hafod Hotel’s Sunday lunches feature local, seasonal produce prepared by the head chef, Elena, who is passionate about preparing creative produce and particularly enjoys making yummy desserts. Booking is essential. To upgrade your train ticket to include Sunday lunch, call 01970 625819.

More than 70 local producers will be offering tempting goodies for your festive table at Llanerchaeron’s Christmas Fair on 1st and 2nd December. There will also be plenty of mince pies and mulled wine on sale at the National Trust property to get you into the festive spirit. The festive weekend in Ceredigion will also offer a treasure hunt for youngsters, as well as a visit from Father Christmas. The elegant Georgian villa is set in the wooded Aeron valley and has remained unaltered for over 200 years. The self-sufficient estate includes a farm, walled gardens and a lake. The fair is open from 11am to 5pm. Entry £5 for adults; children and NT members are free.

20 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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All aboard the Santa Special

The Polar Express is a favourite festive film and you could live your own version this December on a Santa Special Train on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway. Children can meet Santa and receive a present, as

well as a complimentary fruit drink and mince pie, while adults can relax with a complimentary glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. It may be cold and even snowing outside, but you’re guaranteed to stay warm on board in the heated carriages. During the scenic 45-minute journey, the tearoom will be open for the sale of hot drinks and light refreshments. There is also a souvenir shop for last-minute gifts Santa Specials run on the 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd December and depart from Llanfair

Caereinion only. Advance tickets cost £12 per person, and booking is strongly advised. To reserve your place, call 01938 810441 or visit www.wllr.org.uk. Children under 12 months are free but please let the railway know you’ll be travelling, so they don’t miss out on a present.

Explore the Hafren’s winter delights

Tom Allen: Absolutely, 16th November Comedian Allen brings his unique style of sharp, acerbic wit and riotous storytelling to The Hafren. Absolutely has been a sell-out all over the UK and due to demand has been extended into the autumn. 8pm. Tickets £15. Chris Bonington: Life & Times, 7th December Britain’s

best known mountaineer and one of the most successful expedition leaders in history shares stories from his 60 years in the mountains. Sir Chris began climbing at 16 and has undertaken 19 Himalayan expeditions. He is renowned for having made many first ascents in the Alps and all the greatest ranges of the world. 7.30pm. Tickets £20.

Celebrate winter with a bang

A fireworks display will round off the first day of the Royal Welsh Agricultural Society’s Winter Fair in Llanelwedd on 26th and 27th November. Leading stockmen and women from across the UK will compete for the top accolades

in competitions running throughout the two-day event,

Only Men Aloud, 15th December The male voice choir are hitting the road to celebrate 10 years since winning BBC1’s Last Choir Standing. 7.30pm. Tickets £27. Visit www. thehafren .co.uk or call 01686 614555.

DID YOU KNOW? Chris Bonington has been on four expeditions up Everest

Welsh cakes in the food hall. Foodies and Christmas shoppers can explore hundreds of trade stands, cooking demonstrations and exhibitions while enjoying carols and mince pies. There’s also a Santa’s grotto for children. Gates open at 8am. Tickets cost from £13 for adults and £5 for children. There is late-night shopping on Monday night, with free entry after 4pm, when you can see the fireworks. For more, visit www.rwas.wales.

which is the finest prime stock show in Europe. Away from the judging, the best Welsh food producers will showcase their meats, cheese, ice creams, artisan chocolates and November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 21

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Learn how to build a wind turbine

10th November, Nye & Jennie, Hafren, Newtown Aneurin Bevan and Jennie Lee were comrades and flatmates who together fought and preached for socialism as they saw it. Their life together unfolded through the desolate war years, the trials of founding the NHS and the vicious internal feuds of the 1950s, and as it did so their love deepened and matured. This is the story of a partnership that became one of the outstanding political marriages of the 20th century. 7.45pm. Tickets £12. Drama special £9. Call 01686 614555

13th November, Degas: Passion For Perfection, Wyeside Arts Centre, Builth Wells Using written accounts from friends and commentators, and the narration of letters written by Edgar Degas himself, this film reveals a more complex truth behind one of the most influential French artists of the late 19th century. 7.30pm. Tickets £12.50, concessions £11.50. Call 01982 552555

Machynlleth’s Centre For Alternative Technology turn a copper coil, manipulate powerful magnets is offering you the chance to learn how to build a and fabricate a metal mounting as a team. The wind turbine in time for Christmas. complete turbine will then be tested on a short Drawing on 10 years’ experience of tower and participants can see their hard DID YOU work turn into fully charged batteries. teaching people how to build turbines, KNOW? the centre has perfected a new design For details, call 01654 704966. Wind power that is customised to make the process as easy to understand and contributed 15% learn as possible. Participants can of UK electricity build a turbine themselves, giving them in 2017 a great understanding of the underlying scientific principles involved. The workshop, which takes place on 1st and 2nd December, will demonstrate how to build an electricity-generating wind turbine from simple materials. Participants will carve a wooden blade,

Real ale, wobbles, walks and laughter in Llanwrtyd Wells

16th-17th November, Heart Of Darkness, Aberystwyth Arts Centre Digital theatre makers Imitating the Dog turn their attention to Joseph Conrad’s novel. This bold staging is a visually rich, multi-layered work that fuses live performance with cinema, soundscape and graphic novel. There is a postshow talk for viewers to share their thoughts. 7.30pm Tickets £14, concessions £10.

17th November, forest bathing at the RSPB Lake Vyrnwy Nature Reserve, Powys Come and immerse yourselves in a nature-based wellness. Forest bathing, or being in the presence of trees, is a Japanese practice known as shinrin-yoku that it is claimed can boost the immune system, decrease stress and lower blood pressure. This two-hour session is run by an experienced practitioner. Tickets £15, members £12. Booking essential. Call 01691 870278 or visit www.rspb.org.uk/reservesand-events/reserves-a-z/lakevyrnwy/ for further information.

A traditional Christmas

The National Trust’s Tredegar House will be strewn with lavish traditional decorations throughout November and December that will be sure to get you into the festive spirit. Travel through time as staff explore the traditions of the past, get stuck into traditional Christmas activities and treat yourself to a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie. Wednesday to Sunday, 24th November to 22nd December. For tickets and guided tours, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/tredegarhouse.

Dambusters walk

Step back in time on 27th December with a fourmile guided walk to Nant-y-Gro dam in Elan Valley, a test site for one World War II’s most daring raids. Barnes Wallis developed the bouncing bomb, used in the famous Dambusters raid in Germany in 1943, after using the dam near Rhayader for initial trials. There is a climb up 40m of steps to the top of the dam and a steep 140m climb during the walk. Meet at 10am at the visitor centre. For details, visit www.elanvalley.org.uk.

The Mid Wales Beer Festival will be offering 100 ales to attract quaffers to Llanwrtyd Wells, the smallest town in Britain, from 16th to 25th November. Held in the town’s free houses, the festival offers a tremendous selection of real ales, including many Welsh brews. Entertainment is also on offer over the weekends, with a quieter experience during the week. The festival also features a Real Ale Wobble on 17th November, when you can hop on your mountain bike and splash your way through routes of up to 25 miles. Real ale is provided at the checkpoints, so all the routes are off-road, and the event for over16s is suitable for beginners. And on the 24th and 25th November, there is a Real Ale Ramble beginning in the town square. For further information on all events, call 01591 610236.

22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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A Spanish Hour Ravel’s

L’heure espagnole a clock shop comedy MWO SmallStages hydref/autumn 2018


O G 2018 EVENT S

Festive Wine Tasting Friday 9th November, 7pm Join us for a Festive Wine Tasting. Sample wine perfect for any occasion over the festive season. To complement the wine a cheese platter and festive nibbles will be served. Orders for wine will be taken on the evening. £20 per ticket. Booking required.

midwalesopera.co.uk 9/11 Llanfyllin 10/11 Abertillery 11/11 Presteigne 15/11 Cardiff 16/11 Barmouth 17/11 Aberdovey 21/11 Pontardawe 22/11 Hay on Wye 23/11 Fishguard 24/11 Trefeglwys 29/11 Bishops Castle 30/11 Mold 1/12 Criccieth 5/12 Colwyn Bay 6/12 Abermule 7/12 Ludlow

Christmas Concert by Gregynog Young Musicians Sunday 2nd December, 3pm

Start your Christmas with an afternoon concert of seasonal music with a return performance from the winner of the 2018 Gregynog Young Musician Competition. Tickets £15 per person available on the day and will include tea, coffee & cakes.

Christmas Decorations Workshops Tuesday 4th & Thursday 6th December, 10am – 4pm Spend a relaxing day creating Christmas Decorations. An ideas sheet and a list of materials required will be provided. Everyone will take at least 2 decorations home. £40 per person, includes tea & coffee on arrival, 2 course festive lunch and afternoon tea served with mince pies. Booking required.

Santa’s Grotto Saturday 8th & Sunday 9th December, 11am – 3pm Come & visit Santa, follow the trail through the enchanted woods to find him in his Grotto along with his busy elves. Each participating child will receive a gift from Santa and a hot chocolate. Tickets £5/child. Booking not required.

Pantomime – Aladdin Saturday 15th December, 1pm & 3pm

Festive Afternoon Teas Friday 7th, Saturday 8th, Sunday 9th, Monday 17th – Thursday 20th December, 2pm – 4pm Come and enjoy a Festive afternoon tea. Relax with a glass of mulled wine and take in the festive atmosphere. £12 per person. Booking required.

Come and enjoy a festive atmosphere... This year we are proud to introduce M&M Productions with their take on Aladdin. Climb aboard for a magical carpet ride with non stop fun and laughter on his action packed adventure! Adults £12, Children (under 12) £7, Families (2+2) £32. Booking required.

Festive Sunday Lunch Sunday 16th December Enjoy a fabulous 3 course Festive Lunch in our decorated Music Room, exchange gifts and relax in the beautiful surroundings of the decorated Hall. £24.95 per person

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

Courtyard Café Open Friday, Saturday & Sunday 10am – 3.15pm.

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Abbey Cwm Hir County Times Ad a:Layout 1


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The Hall at Abbey-Cwm-Hir near Llandrindod Wells in Mid Wales is a celebrated tours venue with its combination of gothic architecture, stunning interiors, fascinating collections and beautiful gardens. The house will again be decorated in all 52 rooms for Christmas from 1st Nov 2018 to 6th Jan 2019. Each will have their own Christmas tree and individual decorative theme.

Entrance is £16.00pp for the house tour, or £14.00pp for groups or return visitors . Gift Vouchers are also available Bookings for individuals, small and large groups are now being taken on 01597 851727 or by emailing info@abbeycwmhir.com

Less than 2 mil es fr Powis Castom le

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




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

coedydinas.co.uk Welshpool, SY21 8RP

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A tribute to Lloyd George

Professor Russell Deacon presents David Lloyd George: The Truth Against The World at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth on 24th November at 2pm. Although three prime ministers held parliamentary constituencies in Wales – Lloyd

George, Ramsay MacDonald and James Callaghan – only Lloyd George’s name remains on politicians’ lips in the UK and across the world. Professor Deacon, who is chair of the Lloyd George Society, believes Lloyd George was more than just a war leader; he was a

DID YOU KNOW? Lloyd George was MP for Canarvon Boroughs for 55 years

social reformer, creator of nations, leader of all political parties and at times, a leader with no political party. Tickets cost £4 each; entry is free to NLW Friends. For details, visit www.library.wales.

Visit Santa beside the seaside

A magical dining experience Whether you’re an intimate group or large party, Broneirion in Llandinam, Powys, will make your Christmas celebration one to remember. The country house is open for Christmas meals from 24th November to the end of January (it’s closed over Christmas and New Year), and prides itself on its fresh home-cooked menu, warm welcome and attentive service. The meals costs £19.95 for two courses and £24.95 for three. On the 9th and 16th December, Mother Claus lunches will be available, comprising a two-course carvery lunch, stories with Mother Claus and a gift for the children at £15 per person. Call 01686 688204 or visit www.broneirion.com.

Father Christmas will delight children and adults alike when he steps on board the Santa Specials on the Fairbourne Steam Railway on 15th and 16th December. The miniature festive carriages leave Fairbourne at 11am, 1pm and 3pm each day, and offer unrivalled views of the Welsh coastline and its rugged mountains. The train has been running from Fairbourne village to the mouth of the stunning Mawddach Estuary,

connecting with the traditional ferry to Barmouth, for over 100 years, since 1895. The railway also has a museum and a children’s play area. Tickets for the event cost £9 for children, including a present from Father Christmas, and £8 for adults, including a mince pie and a seasonal drink. Booking is advisable. For further information and tickets, visit www.fairbournerailway.com or call 01341 250362.

Winter kicks off in Welshpool Welshpool’s Winter Festival will light up the town at the start of Advent on 1st December. Visitors to the sparkling event, which takes place from 10am to 4pm, can enjoy a wide variety of decorations, food and goods at rows of street stalls lining Broad Street and High Street. More than 40 craft and

charity stalls will be brimming with Christmas present ideas in the Town Hall and in Welshpool’s Indoor Market. Puzzle Square shopping area will be getting into the Christmas spirit too with carols by the Christmas tree, and there will be plenty of festive entertainment on offer throughout the town.

17th November, Into The Ark, Hafren, Newtown This duo won over audiences on The Voice in 2017, making it to the final showdown. Here’s your chance to see them up close and personal. 7.30pm. Tickets £12.

17th November, Brecon Beacons Ultra Marathon You’ll need to be fit as a fiddle to complete this 46-mile mixed trail along mountain, canal and road, around the magnificent Brecon Beacons. For details, visit www.beaconsultra.com.

18th November, birdwatching, Llyn Coed y Dinas Nature Reserve, Welshpool There’s always something interesting to see from the bird hide at this expansive reserve near Long Mountain. Experts will be on hand to help you identify the common and unusual birds visiting the site, including kingfishers, lapwings and Canada geese.

20th November, NT Live: The Madness Of George III, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon This multi-award-winning drama will be broadcast live to cinemas, in National Theatre Live’s first ever broadcast from Nottingham Playhouse. Written by Alan Bennett (The History Boys, The Lady In The Van), this epic play was also adapted into a BAFTA Award-winning film following its premiere on stage in 1991. The cast of this new production includes Olivier Award winners Mark Gatiss (Sherlock, Wolf Hall) in the title role. 7pm. Tickets £17.50, concessions £15.

22nd November, BBC National Orchestra of Wales presents Xian Zhang conducting Beethoven, Aberystwyth Arts Centre Enjoy the pairing of Beethoven’s fledgling first symphony with the iconic fifth, with a woodwind repertoire and Weber’s Clarinet Concerto performed by principal clarinet, Robert Plane. 7.30pm. Tickets £20, children £5.

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Everything’s illuminated at Powis

22nd November, Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon This critically-acclaimed and multi award-winning collaboration between two adventurous virtuoso musicians – Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita – delivers a stunning exhibition of musicianship. 7.30pm. Tickets £18.

•23rd November, Nyrsys, Hafren, Newtown The NHS

turns 70 in 2018 and this show, in Welsh, takes a look behind the scenes of a busy cancer ward in a Welsh hospital today, with script and songs created from interviews with real nurses. It shows the challenges they face in their day-to-day work and the mischief, sisterhood and sense of vocation that sustains them. English language access via Sibrwd. 7.45pm. Tickets £12, concessions £10.

24th November-6th January 2019, Portraits of Christmas, Powis Castle, Welshpool Step into Christmas in the state rooms at this National Trust property near Welshpool and see a series of festive scenes unfold behind giant gilt frames glinting beneath the golden light of chandeliers. 11am-4pm (last entry 3.30pm). Normal admission applies.

27th-30th November, Terrible Tudors, Hafren, Newtown We all want to meet people from history. The trouble is everyone is dead! Using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects, historical figures and events will come alive on stage and hover at your fingertips, from the horrible Henrys to the end of evil Elizabeth and the torturing Tudors. Times vary. Tickets £10.

30th November, Winter Wonderland, Broneirion, nr Llanidloes Visit Father Christmas, listen to stories with Mother Claus, buy Christmas treats, enjoy fairground rides and sample fresh food with a warming cup of mulled cider – all in the glow of a Christmas tree more than 148ft tall. Entertainment is from Mid Wales Youth Orchestra and Tenovus Cancer Care Choir. 4pm-8pm.

Brighten a dark winter night with a stroll around the spectacular illuminated formal gardens, terraces and courtyard of Powis Castle in Welshpool. The long-anticipated lights are switched on 5pm to 9pm on 30th November to 2nd December, 7th to 9th December and 14th to 16th December. Powis Castle was built by a Welsh prince in the 13th century and continues to be owned by

Winter Food Fair at Coed-y-Dinas There will be homemade goodies galore at Coedy-Dinas’ annual Winter Food & Craft Fair on 10th and 11th November. With more than 60 stalls brimming with the best food and crafts from Mid Wales and the borders, the fair offers something for everyone and is the ideal place to start your Christmas shopping. Set in the Severn Valley just south of Welshpool, Coed-y-Dinas was originally the home farm for Powis Castle. The magnificent buildings have been restored with great care and sensitivity, retaining many of their unusual features, and Coed-y-Dinas is now a bustling shopping centre with a popular restaurant. The fair starts at 9am on the Saturday and 10am on the Sunday, and entry is free. Visit www.coedydinas.co.uk.

the Clive family, through the National Trust. The magnificent castle, its impressive Courtyard Restaurant, gift shop and Christmas shop will all be open until 9pm. Last admission to both the castle and the garden is 8pm. Entry costs £7.15 for adults and £3.60 for children; members are free. No booking is necessary. Visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle.

Antony and Cleopatra visit Wyeside

Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo star as Antony and Cleopatra in William Shakespeare’s great tragedy of politics, passion and power, which is being screened at Wyeside, Builth Wells on 13th December, a performance filmed at the National Theatre on 6th December. In director Simon Godwin’s hotly anticipated production, Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark Antony now rules, but at the fringes of a war-torn empire, the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony fall fiercely in love. In a tragic DID YOU fight between devotion and KNOW? duty, obsession becomes Antony & a catalyst for war. Tickets cost £13.50. To Cleopatra was book, call 01982 552555. first performed

around 1607

26 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Welcome to Christmas at Tweedmill Styling you and your home for over 20 years • Christmas Department • Christmas Trees • Gifts • Cards & Gift Wrap • Partywear • Gift Vouchers • Luxury Hampers • Chocolate Gifts • Beers & Ciders • Wines & Spirits • Biscuits & Cakes • Luxury Festive Food • Santa’s Grotto New this Christmas th st Tea with Santa 14 & 21 December, 6.00pm Booking is essential

Llannerch Park, St Asaph, LL17 0UY Tel: 01745 730072. Email: enquiries@tweedmill.co.uk Website: www.tweedmill.co.uk

Free Tea or Coffee for 2

Valid until 23/12/2018 at Blas Clwyd only Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer Code: Shire

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Celebrate the festive season and visit one of the finest prime stock shows in Europe. Gates open from 8am.

rwas.wales cafc.cymru

e5567 RWAS Winter Fair Ad 140x97mm.indd 1

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TUESDAY 27TH NOVEMBER - SATURDAY 1ST DECEMBER Tickets £13 | Children £11 | School Parties £10 Family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children) £42 HAFREN BOX OFFICE

01686 614 555

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

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Come and feed our reindeers

s tree Our also are ble at ila 5 ava drid A e s l G vice Ser 3EN 1 SY1


Ellesmere, Shropshire SY12 9BA Pot grown Christmas trees available

• Over a 1000 freshly cut trees to choose from and free log bases and netting if required. • Enjoy a complimentary mulled wine and mince pie.

Tel: 01691 622316 or 07860 669301 028_SHIRE_ND2018.indd 1

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Celebrate winter wonders in Hay Now in its 19th year, the Hay Festival Winter Weekend, from 22nd to 25th November, is a smaller version of May’s annual book festival.

Aladdin flies into Gregynog Hall

Climb aboard a magical carpet ride as Gregynog Hall hosts M&M Productions’ take on the Christmas favourite Aladdin on 15th December. The pantomime starts at 1pm. Tickets cost £12 for adults and £7 for under-12s. The venue in Tregynon near Newtown is also holding a festive wine tasting on 9th November, Christmas decoration workshops on 4th and 6th December and festive afternoon teas from 7th to 9th December. And don’t forget to visit Santa in his grotto on 8th and 9th December! Visit www.gregynog.org.

The festival kicks off with a Mary Portas. On the Saturday, ceilidh, while the Hay Christmas Hay Food Festival showcases lights are switched on local produce, while on on the Friday. Sunday, Hay Does DID YOU Speakers over Vintage transforms KNOW? the weekend the square into a Hay-on-Wye include author festive fleamarket. Mark Urban, Tickets range hosts 10 festivals TV presenter from £5 to £15. Call throughout Kate Humble and 01497 822629 or visit the year businesswoman www.hayfestival.com.

A truly Victorian Christmas All 52 fantastic rooms at Abbey-Cwm-Hir are decorated in a sumptuous way that simply lives and breathes Christmas from 1st November to 6th January. Remodelled by the Philips family in 1869, the magical hall is one of Wales’ most outstanding Victorian homes. The grade II-listed property sits in beautiful countryside near the Brecon Beacons, and overlooks the ruins of the

12th-century Cistercian abbey of the Long Valley. Tours of the house and gardens are available for individuals, couples, small and large groups in a true family atmosphere. Hear about the ambitious restoration of the house and gardens, how the interior designs were conceived and the tales behind the collection. Call 01597 851727 or email info@abbeycwmhir.com.

1st & 2nd, 8th & 9th, 15th & 16th December, Breakfast With Father Christmas, Powis Castle, Welshpool Join Santa for breakfast in the Courtyard Restaurant. He’ll share his favourite stories and give each child a gift. 9am. Tickets £10.95 adults, £9.95 children. Booking essential. Call 0344 249 1895.

2nd December, Christmas Concert, Gregynog, Tregynon A return performance from the winner of the 2018 Gregynog Young Musician Competition. 3pm. Tickets £15. The hall is also hosting Christmas decorations workshops on the 4th and 6th, afternoon tea on the 7th and Santa on 8th and 9th.

12th December, The West End At Christmas, Theatr Brycheiniog, Brecon Stars from the West End present a magical evening. 7.30pm. Tickets £16.

17th December, Christmas Carol Service, St Mary’s Church, Welshpool The singing starts at 11am and a large congregation is expected, so arrive early! On Christmas Eve, you can join a Christingle service at 2.30pm.

Until 31st December, Dark Skies, Elan Valley Visitor Centre, near Rhayader A showcase of images giving a glimpse into the wondrous night sky. 10am-4pm.

31st December, New Year Walk In, Llanwrtyd Wells Join a walk from the town square with burning torches. The ancient Welsh tradition of Mari Lwyd will be followed by midnight celebrations. From 10.30pm.

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Mass appeal at Chester Cathedral


1st November, Haslington & District Gardening Club, St Matthew’s Church Hall, Haslington Hear speakers on different gardening-related topics on the first Thursday of every month. This month’s meeting is be a demonstration of using poinsettas for Christmas. 7.30pm-9.15pm. £4. call 07899 838869.

2nd November, The Mile Roses: Whisky, Fireside & Tales From The Road, Plumley Village Hall The contemporary British folk group with a nod to Nashville bring their songs with anecdotes, laughs and stories from their travels. 7.30pm. Tickets £10. Call 01565 722259.

3rd November, The Snow Queen, Worleston Village Hall, Nantwich Kai and Gerda had been friends for as long as they could remember. When Kai is pulled under the spell of the powerful Snow Queen, Gerda must save her friend. 6pm. Tickets £7 adults, £5 children. Call 0113 388 0027.

3rd November, The Makers Market, The Carriage Shed, Chester Expect delicious, local food and drink, arts and crafts, homeware and vintage stalls, alongside award-winning street food, live music and cookery demonstrations. 10am-4pm.

6th November, Wrong ’Un, Electric Picture House, Congleton A musical drama following the story of Annie Wilde, a Lancashire mill-girl galvanised in 1918 by a mixture of injustice, conviction and selfdoubt on her journey from schoolroom to prison cell and beyond. 7.30pm. Tickets £10. Call 01260 270908.

Cards For Good Causes pop-up shop, 1st November-12th December Christmas cards sold on behalf of 25 member charities and national and local causes. In the cathedral’s refectory until 12th November, and the Chapter House thereafter.

Elgar: The Dream Of Gerontius, 24th November Chester Music Society presents Edward Elgar’s choral work telling of a pious man on his deathbed being led by an angel to his judgement before God. 7.30pm. Tickets from £7.

The Christmas Jethro Tull, 1st December Rock LoveChristmas Fair, 1st November Come along legend Ian Anderson performs a concert at Chester for the event’s drinks and shopping evening. Cathedral in aid of Cathedral Organ Fund. Ian Discover over 60 stylish and original stalls, all and his band – plus the odd surprise guest in aid of the cathedral’s Chester Cathedral DID YOU and the Nave Choir – will perform some In LEGO project and TUSK. of Jethro Tull’s more festive numbers. 6.30pm-9.30 pm. Tickets £10. KNOW? Jethro Tull have 7.30pm. Tickets from £20. Chester Philharmonic Orchestra sold an estimated presents Commemoration, 17th 60 million albums G4 Christmas, 3rd December Sumptuous harmonies in an idyllic, November The philharmonic’s worthwhile festive setting. Expect timeless classics season starts with a commemoration such as ‘When A Child Is Born’, ‘Silent of the ending of the First World Night’ and ‘All I Want For Christmas’, as well War with contrasting pieces of music: as delightful medleys. VIP tickets are available, George Butterworth’s moving A Shropshire Lad including a meet and greet with G4 at 6pm. Show and the dark, brooding Pathetique Symphony starts 7.30pm. Tickets from £17.50. by Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Separating these will be the contemplative Violin Concerto by Alexander For details, visit www.chestercathedral.com. Glazunov. 7.30pm. Tickets from £9.

Blooming beautiful Arley Hall Experience the Christmas Floral Extravaganza at Arley Hall & Gardens, Northwich, from 1st to 6th December. Visit between 10am and 5pm and see each room decorated with hundreds of fresh flowers and foliage from the gardens. Floristry colleges and florists will each decorate a room, while local schools have also been invited to each decorate a Christmas tree to be displayed in the Cruck Barn. Tickets cost £8.50 for adults and £2.50 for children The hall will also host Candlelight & Carols Evenings on 3rd and 5th December, from 6pm to 9pm. Tickets cost from £9. Delicious traditional Christmas fare will also be available in the Gardener’s Kitchen – booking is advisable. For information, go to www.arleyhallandgardens.com.

Zoo’s magical moments Kick-start your Christmas countdown with a trip to see the Lanterns At Chester Zoo between 23rd November and 23rd December. The magical festive wonderland is full of sparkle, illumination and a sprinkling of snow. Encounter a fantastical and colourful world, full of animal-inspired illuminations and traditional festive scenes that will leave you with a warm, fuzzy feeling inside. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for Father Christmas on his sleigh. He could be just around the corner! There is timed entry to the lanterns between 4pm and 7.45pm To book your slot, call 01244 380280 or visit www.chesterzoo.org.

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7th November, Chester Music Society Showcase Concert, St Mary’s Creative Space, Chester Abbey Gate College Choir, conducted by James Andrews, perform in memory of awardwinning music teacher Lila Hallett. 7.30pm. Tickets £5.

Winter delights at Crewe Lyceum Theatre The South, 1st November Former members of The Beautiful South, including singer Alison Wheeler and sax player Gaz Birtles, celebrate and perform the band’s classic songs such as ‘A Little Time’, ‘Perfect 10’ and ‘Don’t Marry Her’. 8pm. Tickets £25.50. Rob Newman: Total Eclipse Of Descartes, 2nd November In a world gone crazy, can philosophy help? Rob’s sparklingly brilliant new show tries to give you the answer. 7.30pm. Tickets £18.50. An Audience With Simon Reeve, 9th November On his first theatre tour, TV journalist Simon Reeve recounts tales from more than 15 years spent travelling to the most remote

Arts fair draws worldwide talent Cheshire’s premier arts event, Chester Arts Fair, takes place from 16th to 18th November at Chester Racecourse. View and buy artwork of all mediums and styles, ranging in price from £40 to more than £10,000. Tickets from £7, under16s free. Visit www. chesterarts fair.co.uk.

and extreme corners of the globe. 7.30pm Tickets £28.50.

Rollermania, performing all the original hits including ‘Bye Bye Baby’, ‘Shang-a-Lang’ and ‘Give A Little Love’. 7.30pm. Tickets cost £26.50.

Iain Stirling: U OK Hun? X, 23rd November The Baftawinning stand-up and voice of Love Island is back with his brilliant observations of modern millennial life. 8pm. Tickets £20.

Jack & The Beanstalk, 14th December-6th January The legendary Cannon & Ball star in this year’s must-see pantomime alongside star of stage and screen and Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson as panto hero Jack Trot! Tickets from £20.50.

Les McKeown’s Bay City Rollers, 25th November Voyage back to the 1970s, when Les and his band ruled the world’s pop charts and their music became the soundtrack for a generation. Les brings back the all the thrill and excitement of

For details and to book visit www. crewe lyceum. co.uk.

11th November, Northwich NCT Nearly New Sale, The Grange Junior School Hartford, Northwich Pop-up shop with more than 10,000 nearly new, quality, baby and children’s items for sale. 1pm-2.30pm. Entry £1 donation per adult to charity.

Fireworks and festivities at the races Chester Racecourse is hosting a Fireworks Extravaganza on 3rd November from 5pm. In addition to the fireworks, there will be a fairground for youngsters and food and drink. The junior display takes place at 6.45pm and the main display at 7.30pm. Tickets cost from £5 (underfours are free).

9th-10th November, Where Do Little Birds Go?, Davenham Theatre, Northwich Urban present the tale of Lucy, who is kidnapped by the Kray twins and locked in a flat with an escaped murderer. A colourful and poignant tale of crime, kidnap and lost innocence in the heart of the 1960s East End. 7.30pm. Tickets £6.

From 24th November to 21st December, the racecourse hosts outstanding Christmas party nights. Take your pick from parties in the Pavilion Suite, County Stand, or upgrade to one of the Executive Private Boxes. Tickets cost from £50 per person. For details, go to www. chester-races.com.

11th November, Mushroom Foraging & Wild Food Cooking, Delamere Forest, Northwich Pick up a forager’s basket and head out to discover the vast array of wild edible species that lie all around us. An expert forager will give you tips on correct identification, lookalike species and a vast range of edible possibilities that the species can provide us with. On returning, there will be a quick break before making a prepared wild food lunch to which you will add a range of foraged fungi, berries and other autumnal finds. 10am4pm. Tickets £60 adults, £25 children. Call 07999 992615.

15th November, Learn My Way Computer Course, Middlewich Library, Middlewich Free drop-in computer club for learning and advice. 3.30pm4.30pm. Call 01606 288070.

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Rocking at the Live Rooms

16th November, Manford’s Comedy Club, Altrincham Garrick Playhouse Live comedy show featuring four brilliant comedians selected by Jason Manford. 7pm. Tickets £12.50.

16th November, Chris Cleverley, Frodsham Folk Club, Frodsham Writer and performer Chris delivers a unique resculpting of 21st-century folk music. Expect to hear exclusive first airings of material from his forthcoming album, as well as his famous contemporary arrangements of traditional folk songs. 8.30pm.

16th November-22nd December, Chester Christmas Market More than 70 wooden chalets arranged around a sparkling Christmas tree in Town Hall Square, offering an abundance of festive treats and gifts including quality local and regional products, crafts, clothing, accessories, jewellery, unique gifts and stocking fillers. 10am-6pm (closes 7pm Saturdays and 8pm Thursdays).

16th-17th November, The Only Fools & Horses Comedy Dinner Show, Wychwood Park Hotel & Golf Club, Crewe Dine in Del Boy’s restaurant in this interactive dinner show. A hilarious tribute, featuring all your favourite bits from the sitcom. Lovely jubbly! 7pm-1am. Tickets £38. Call 01270 829222.

17th November, Alderley Edge Symphony Orchestra Concert, Alderley Edge Methodist Church The orchestra pays tribute to those lost in both world wars. 7.30pm. Tickets £10 adults, £1 for under-18s. Call 01625 581321.

Glenn Tilbrook, 7th November A solo acoustic tour for Glenn, who came to fame as a founding member of Squeeze and one half of the band’s songwriting team – along with his writing partner Chris Difford, he was responsible for some of the best-loved songs of the last 30 years including ‘Cool For Cats’ and ‘Up The Junction’. His latest tour is promoting awareness and donations for the Trussell Trust, the charity that supports a network of foodbanks around the UK. 7pm. Tickets £18.

Suffragette talk at Gladstone’s Library Hear all about the campaign for women’s right to vote and what it really meant to be a Suffragette at The Suffragettes: From Hard Sell To Hard Cell at Gladstone’s Library, Hawarden, Flintshire on 21st November. Emma Rees, professor of literature and gender studies at the University of Chester, maps the road to 1918 and asks what the consequences were for the suffragette movement and its most vocal campaigners, the Pankhursts. The talk starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £8. To book, call 01244 532350 or visit www.gladstoneslibrary.org.

DID YOU KNOW? Reef supported Soundgarden and The Rolling Stones

Hugh Cornwell, 8th November ‘Golden Brown’, ‘Strange Little Girl’, ‘Always The Sun’, ‘No More Heroes’… All big hits, written and sung by Hugh Cornwell as part of The Stranglers. He’s back with a new album, Monster. Expect an opening set of solo songs, followed by a storming set of hits by The Stranglers, sung and played by the man himself and his band. 7pm. Tickets £20.

Reef, 10th November Originally formed in 1994 – Reef are back stronger and better than ever, now with Jesse Wood on guitar. Following a long break in touring and recording, band are now touring their fifth studio album, Revelation. 7pm. Tickets £22.50. For information on these and other events at the Live Rooms Chester, and to book tickets, visit www.theliverooms.com.

Elizabethan gardens in Nantwich Evoking a golden age in garden history, the seminar Life In An Elizabethan Garden, organised by the Nantwich Walled Garden Society, takes place at Nantwich Museum on 10th November. The event will include four illustrated talks. At 1.30pm, Shirley Evans will take a look at ‘Elizabethan Garden Design’, followed by the ‘History Of Bees & Beekeeping’ presented by Fiona Swain. Sue Clarke will then introduce ‘Herbs

& Their Uses’ and the afternoon will conclude with a talk by Graham Dodd about John Gerard, the famous herbalist who was born in Nantwich. Tickets cost £7.50 each including refreshments, with the proceeds being shared between the Nantwich Walled Garden Society and the museum. Tickets are available from the museum. For further information, email enquiries@ nantwichmuseum. org.uk, call 01270 627104 or visit www.nantwich museum.org.uk.

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The race to the perfect Christmas gift is on



A raceday at Chester in 2019 will provide your loved one with an experience they’ll never forget. With 15 fixtures throughout the season and a variety of offers, enclosures and hospitality packages to choose from, there’s something for each day of Christmas and more!

Go online at chester-races.com or call the Box Office on 01244 304 600 We’ll even throw in a card for under the tree.

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See all the Elves at the Christmas Village full of wrapping paper, ribbons and lights

With so much Christmas cheer

it’s not to be missed!

Visit Santa in his fabulous Grotto

Mrs Clause’s Movie Room & Elves Craft Workshop

Festive Fairground & Indoor Soft Play Centre

NEW FOR 2018

“Bauble Street” an area alive with the hustle and bustle of a traditional Christmas market with a host of arts and crafts, Christmas traders and tantalising food and drink to explore.

All the good boys and girls receive an early Christmas present and also take one of Santa’s Christmas tree lights home with them too!

Guaranteed SNOW for those magical Christmas family photos




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17th November, Holmes Chapel Music Society Concert No.3, Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre Chloë Hanslip on violin and Danny Driver on piano perform Mozart’s Violin Sonata No.21 in E minor K.304, Prokofiev’s Violin Sonata No.1 in F minor Op.80 and Beethoven’s Violin Sonata No.9 in A major Op.47. Starts 8pm. Tickets £16.

Songs and laughs at Parr Hall

Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band, 15th November What better way to celebrate the festive season than with a man who helped shape our musical Christmas? 7.30pm. Tickets £29.50.

Sarah Millican: Control Enthusiast, 4th-6th December Sarah Millican is not a control freak, she’s a control enthusiast. Funny, frank and unapologetically filthy. 8pm. Tickets £27.50. Kate Rusby At Christmas, 7th December One of the finest interpreters of traditional folk

Jake Bugg, 19th November The talented singer returns for an intimate acoustic gig. The stripped-back performance allows Jake’s incredible songwriting skills to shine and offers fans a rare opportunity to experience his talent in its purest form. 7pm. Tickets £22.50.

Taste the flavours of the season at Tatton Park Foodies Festival Christmas kicks off the festive season at Tatton Park, Knutsford, on 16th to 18th November. See Great British Bake Off stars in the Cake & Desserts Theatre, meet Michelin-starred chefs, Great British Menu winners, MasterChef champions and top local chefs, and learn the skills to become the perfect Christmas host. The festival is open from 5pm to 9pm on Friday, 10am to 6pm on Saturday and 10am to 5pm Sunday. Tickets cost from £10 per person. For details, visit www.foodies festival.com.

melds the old and new so you can barely see the join. Kate’s beautiful, expressive vocals never fail to connect the emotional heart of a song to that of her audience. 7.30pm. Tickets £26. Vienna Festival Ballet Presents The Nutcracker, 9th December One of the most famous classical ballets of all time. With its combination of enchanting choreography and unforgettable music, this ballet is a Christmas treat like no other, set to Tchaikovsky’s sumptuous score. 2.30pm. Tickets £19.50. www.pyramidparrhall.com

DID YOU KNOW? Jodrell Bank was established in 1945 to investigate cosmic rays

19th-24th November, The Sound Of Music, Brookdale Club & Theatre, Bramhall When a wannabe nun proves too high-spirited for the religious life, she is dispatched to serve as governess for the seven children of a widowed naval captain. Her rapport with the youngsters, coupled with her generosity of spirit, captures the heart of the stern captain. Curtain up 7.30pm (Saturday 2.15pm). Tickets £11.

19th-23rd November, Christmas Craft Fayre, The NeuroMusular Centre, Winsford The NeuroMuscular Centre’s Craft Group offers a whole host of handcrafted gifts, Christmas decorations and stocking fillers. Browse the hand-crafted items and enjoy a mince pie in the comfort of the fully accessible festive events space. 10am-3pm. Free entry. Call 01606 861733.

Eyes to the night sky at Jodrell Bank Head to Macclesfield’s Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre for an unmissable opportunity to get started in astronomy at its Stargazing Night on 7th December from 7pm to 10pm Learn how to navigate the skies and locate stars in the inflatable planetarium, and use planispheres and telescopes.

18th November, Autumn Concert, St Michaels Church, Crewe Sandbach Choral Society marks a centenary of peace with Lest We Forget – The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace by Karl Jenkins. 7.30pm. Tickets £12, under-16s free. Call 07941 183812.

Macclesfield Astronomical Society will also be on hand to give short talks on astronomy. Observation of the sky is weather permitting. The Planet Pavilion Café will be open for food and drink from 6pm. Recommended for ages 10+. Tickets cost £9.50. To book, visit www.jodrellbank.net.

21st November Tea With… Songs From The Shows, Clonter Opera Theatre, Congleton Afternoon tea, followed by an hour of musical entertainment. Tea at 3.30pm, performance 4pm-5pm. Tickets £24.50. Call 01260 224514.

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Talent on tour at Storyhouse


24th November, Have-A-Go: Nature Explorers, Quarry Bank Have a go at a wild outdoor activity at Quarry Bank every month, from pond-dipping to wild art. 1pm-3pm. Free event; National Trust charges apply.

28th November, Sandbach Concert Series: Eden Stell Guitar Duo, St Mary’s Hall, Sandbach One of the world’s leading guitar ensembles, Mark Eden and Chris Stell can communicate in a multitude of musical styles, making them a constantly evolving entity with a unique creative voice. There will also be a concert by talented local young musicians and art exhibition. 6.30pm. Tickets £10.

29th November, From Judy to Bette: The Stars Of Old Hollywood, Weaver Hall Museum, Northwich Join actor, singer and writer Rebecca Perry for a night of marvellous melodies and scandalous headlines from the golden age of Hollywood. 7.30pm. Tickets £10.

1st December Etsy Made Local Nantwich Christmas Artisan Market, Reaseheath College, Nantwich The designers and makers of Etsy South Cheshire hold their festive market, offering handmade gifts, products and vintage items. 10am-4pm. Free entry.

Dave Spikey: Juggling On A Motorbike, 8th November Dave celebrates the 30th anniversary of his comedy career by looking back on his journey from workingclass lad to chief biomedical scientist to comedian and writer via Phoenix Nights, Eight Out Of Ten Cats, The Royal Variety Show and more. 7.30pm. Tickets £18.50. An Evening With Nigella Lawson, 10th November Nigella’s engaging, conversational writing style, along with a relaxed approach to cooking, has inspired a generation of home cooks. Come and celebrate the 20th anniversary of her first book, as she talks about her life in food and what she’s cooking right now. There will also be a onehour book signing. 7.30pm. Tickets from £25.

Mingle with jingle at Blakemere Village

1st December, Aurea String Quartet, Holmes Chapel Leisure Centre, Crewe The magnetic, sparkling and lyrical Aurea Quartet are emerging as one of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic young ensembles. They perform Beethoven’s String Quartet No.2 in G major Op.18 No.2, Bridge’s Three Idylls H67, Arvo Pärt’s Fratres, Dvořák’s String Quartet No.12 in F major Op.96, ‘American’. 8pm. Tickets £16.

Enjoy a merry Christmas at Blakemere Village, Northwich, with unforgettable experiences for the family, including a festive ADVENTure trail around all of the 30-plus independent boutique shops. The Christmas Woodland is open on 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th and 22nd December between 10am and 3pm for a unique theatrical event to find Father Christmas. There are two packages to choose from: the Santa Experience (£19.95) and the Ultimate Santa Experience (£27.50). From 14th to 16th December, there’s also the chance to enjoy a Banquet or Breakfast With Santa, with tickets from £11.95. Visit www.blakemerevillage.com or follow on Facebook @BlakemereVillage.

An Evening With Pam Ayres, 20th November Pam has been making the nation laugh for over 40 years with her warm understated manner that belies rare comic precision. Her hair-trigger timing, eye for the absurd and unforgettable turn of phrase make her a national treasure. 7.30pm. Tickets £27.50. Thea Gilmore: Christmas Party Tour, 9th December Since releasing her debut 20 years ago, the Cheshire-based singer and songwriter has gained global acclaim for making music of extraordinary beauty and rare honesty and insight. Her DID YOU acoustic set features material KNOW? from her Christmas album Pam Ayres’ last Strange Communion book was a and Christmas classics. farewell to ‘the 7.30pm. Tickets £20. www.storyhouse.com

last hedgehog on Earth’

Feasting and festivities at Little Moreton Hall From 8th to 16th December, visitors can enjoy a range of traditional Yuletide celebrations at Little Moreton Hall in Congleton. Head to the National Trust property for a festive feast and discover how a Tudor family would have celebrated Christmas. On Saturdays and Sundays, the hall will come to life with live music, storytelling and jesters to entertain and delight. During the week, you can wander through the Tudor manor house’s displays and decorations and learn more about the festivities. The event runs from 11am to 3.30pm. Entry is free, but normal National Trust admission charges apply. For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/little-moreton-hall.

36 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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1st-28th December, Weston Christmas Light Display, Carters Green Farm, Weston, nr Crewe For the sixth year, Graham Witter decks the family home, farm buildings and garden with thousands of Christmas lights, creating a magical community spectacular for families and children, and raising money for charity. 6.15pm-9pm.

Fairytale meets fantasy at Dunham Massey Dunham Massey’s biggest and meets fantasy. Glowing trees rise brightest Christmas event takes high into the night sky and lead you on a path towards hundreds place from 30th November to 30th December. Experience of colour-changing globes. the garden and historic There are hidden surprises buildings aglow too – watch out for DID YOU bubbles on the bridge in a magical KNOW? before you stroll outdoor, after-dark You can share experience, and through playful your pictures of ribbons of colourwander beneath the lights using changing lights, and tree canopies #christmasat drenched in seasonal stop at the scented dunham fire garden to take in colour and dripping the sights and smells. with light, frosty Walk through a tunnel snowflakes, stars and baubles. The Dunham Massey winter covered with more than 100,000 trail is a place where fairytale pea-lights and take a moment

All aboard the party boat

ChesterBoat will light up the night on 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd December with it famous Christmas Party Nights Afloat, perfect for groups to celebrate the season. The Lady Diana will be decked in her festive best and the crew will be in the party mood. Fancy dress and Christmas jumpers are positively encouraged! Tickets cost from £23.50 and include complimentary glass of wine and a hot supper. There’s a licensed bar and a DJ. Sailing from 7pm until 10pm. For more information, visit www.chesterboat.co.uk.

at the water fountain finale to enjoy the water jets and beams of light as they dance to much-loved Christmas classics. Along the way, keep an eye out for Father Christmas. Complete your stroll with spiced cider, mulled wine or hot chocolate. You can also toast marshmallows, take a ride on a carousel and enjoy traditional fare before finishing your Christmas shopping in the shop. Tickets cost £16.50 for adults and £10 for children (under-fives are free). For more information, visit www.nationaltrust.or.uk.

Summon a magical panto! Don’t miss Aladdin, the 10th pantomime from TipTop Productions at Forum Studio Theatre, Chester, from 30th November to 5th January 2019. Expect everything you’ve come to love about a TipTop pantomime: a silly comic (Wishee Washee), a daft dame (Widow Twankey), a pretty panda, custard pies and lashings of audience participation. You might even recognise the odd

joke or two! Join Aladdin as he battles the evil Abanazar in his bid to gain the magic lamp. Will he win? Oh, yes he will! See Aladdin rescue the Princess Jasmine and meet the magical Genie, and soar through the sky on his magic carpet. There will be plenty of songs, dance, laughter and sumptuous costumes in this family-friendly panto by Peter Swingler. Ticket cost £12 for adults, £10 for concessions and £40 for familes (two adults, two children). For more information and to book, visit www.tiptopproductions.co.uk.

1st-2nd, 8th-9th, 15th-16th & 21st-24th December, Santa Cruises, Anderton Boat Lift, Northwich Join Santa for a festive cruise along the River Weaver Navigation, with stories, songs and a present for each child. 12.30pm-3pm. Tickets £6 adults, £8 children.

5th-8th December, It’s A Wonderful Life, Harlequin Theatre, Northwich Frank Capra’s film It’s A Wonderful Life is a Christmas staple as popular as our own Christmas Carol. It tells of George Bailey, who is saved from suicide by a guardian angel and shown all the good he has done. This fine dramatisation by the Harlequin Players not only celebrates the faith of the season, it also applauds the philosophy of life: that goodness, self-sacrifice, humility and friendship, not power, money and ambition, will ultimately be rewarded. 7.45pm. Tickets £10.

9th December, Tatton Park Yule Yomp A 10k cross-country run from Tatton Park to Egerton Youth Club. Starts 10am.

9th December, Turkey Trot Golf Open, Carden Park, Chester The Championship Cheshire Course hosts its annual Turkey Trot, with first prize of a Christmas turkey. Tee times 9am-11.10am. Entry from £10.

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 39

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4th November, Health Walk, Birkenhead Park Take on a healthy stroll in the park. There are fast and slow walks available and all are free. Meet at the visitor centre. 11am-noon.

6th-7th November, Wirral Bazaar, Walled Garden Marquee, Birkenhead More than 70 stalls from around the country, offering a variety of unique and beautiful gifts. Tues 2pm-9pm, Wed 9.30am3pm. Entry £4. All proceeds to North West Cancer Research.

It’s all going on at Floral Pavilion The Wizard Of Oz, 1st-3rd November Wallasey Musical Theatre Company presents the muchloved original MGM version of the magical musical, which will touch the hearts of the young and old alike. Join Dorothy and her little dog, Toto on a fantasy journey over the rainbow to the Land of Oz. 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm Saturday. Tickets are priced at £19.50. Blood Brothers, 5th-10th November Willy Russell’s legendary musical tells the captivating tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. The score includes ‘Bright New Day’ and ‘Tell Me It’s Not True’. 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm Wednesday and Saturday. Tickets from £28. An Evening Shared With Jasper Carrott & Alistair McGowan, 28th November Comedy legends Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan split the

bill and your sides with a night of comedy stand-up and impressions. 7.30pm. Tickets cost £28. Aladdin, 8th December6th January Packed with all the traditional pantomime ingredients audiences expect: laugh-out-loud comedy, stunning scenery, beautiful costumes and plenty of boos and hisses. Starring Bill Ward (Emmerdale) and Andrew Agnew (Balamory). Tickets from £13.50. Storytime With Santa, 15th-24th December Children will be captivated by traditional and modern stories, as well festive songs, in a fun experience for the family. Every child will have the opportunity to talk to Santa and receive a gift. Times vary. Tickets £12.50 children, adults free. To book, visit www.floralpavilion.com.

Visit Santa down on the farm Don’t miss the Santa Experience at Church Farm in Thurstaston every weekend in December until Christmas. The Santa Experience is a magical family trip that will leave you feeling as Christmassy as a mince pie. Santa will drop in to Church Farm for a few days in December on his way to the North Pole, bringing his friends the elves, Frosty The Snowman, Rudolph and more. Visit the beautifully lit-up forest for songs,

dancing and audience participation. There’s also mulled wine and mince pies for adults, and chocolate gifts for children. Marvel at your personalised visit – how do Santa and his friends know all the children’s names and what they want for Christmas? It’s magic! The experience takes place on 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd and 23rd December. Tickets cost £10 to £13, and booking is essential. For more information, visit www. churchfarmevents.co.uk.

8th November, Wallasey Historical Society, Wallasey Central Library The society’s aims are to stimulate and encourage the study of the history of Wallasey and district. Meetings are held at 7.30pm on the second Thursday of each month from September to April. Field trips are held during the summer months. Annual subscription £5. New members welcome at any meeting.

14th November, Dogs Trust Community Event, Courtney Park Community Centre, Rock Ferry Bring your fourlegged friend to the community event where a veterinary nurse will carry out basic health checks including nail clipping, and they will check eyes, ears, teeth and weight. The team also offer free on-thespot microchipping. 11am-3pm. No appointment is required.

22nd November, The RSPB On The Dee: From The Mud To The Mere, Kingsmead School Hall, Hoylake Illustrated talk about the RSPB reserve at Burton Mere Wetlands, given by Dan Trotman, the reserve’s visitor experience manager. 7.30pm Entry £4.

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27th November, Santa Says Hello, Port Sunlight Garden Centre, nr Birkenhead Get into the Christmas spirit in the garden centre café and say hello to Santa, Mrs Claus and the elves as they pop in for a mince pie and to pick up some final items in preparation for opening the Grotto on 1st December. Arrive at 6pm, as Santa is expected to fly in for around 6.15pm. Bring little ones dressed as elves to help make Santa feel at home.

1st December Christmas Crafts, Birkenhead Central Library Children can join in with festive making sessions at the library. 2.15pm4pm. Tickets £1.50. Please book in advance.

1st December, Hoylake Christmas Light Switch On Bring along the family as Hoylake prepares to switch on its Christmas lights to mark the start of the festive season. 6pm. Call 0151 6321209 for details.

2nd December, Wallasey Food Fair & Makers Market, The Mosslands School This regular event, held on the first Sunday of the month, has more than 35 stalls of fabulous foods and crafts, selling everything from fruit and veg, coffee, jams, fresh bread and Indian food to jewellery, gluten-free goods, honey, cards, cupcakes, and cheese. 10am-2pm. Free entry.

26th December, Looking For Kingfishers, Dibbinsdale Local Nature Reserve Join the rangers for a walk along the River Dibbin in search of elusive kingfishers. It’s recommended that you wear sturdy footwear and warm clothing and bring a pair of binoculars. The walk is about two miles long and includes steep hills and steps along the way. 12.30pm-2.30pm. Meet at the rangers’ office. Free entry. For further details, email christopher werney@ wirral.gov.uk.

Create your own jewellery at Claremont Farm Make your own ring at a traditional silversmithing workshop on 8th and 9th December at Claremont Farm in Bebington. Your friendly tutors, Britt and Andrew, will show you how to create solid sterling silver rings from scratch, guiding you through each step to ensure you make your ring by yourself. You will have a choice of making either two stacking rings with a semi-precious gemstone or one chunky, textured ring. The steps include sizing your finger, measuring the amount of silver needed, filing the metal, shaping the ring, using a

Winter walks at Ness Botanic Gardens Ness Botanic Gardens near Little Neston are open throughout the winter, providing a fascinating insight into the changing seasons. Explore the delights of the gardens, which are spread across 64 acres with stunning views of the River Dee and North Wales. Ness Gardens features a diverse variety of plants and planting areas. These are constantly changing, always offering new things to see, including vibrant year-round colour and outstanding collections of rhododendrons, camellias, snowdrops and sorbus, among others. Based on the Wirral peninsula, Ness Botanic Gardens are the result of one man’s passionate interest in plants and his desire to share that interest with others. Today the commitment to maintain, develop and share the beauty of the gardens that Arthur Kilpin Bulley created over 100 years ago remains. From 1st November to 28th February, the garden and Botanic Kitchen Café and shop are open from 10am to 4.30pm, with the last admission at 4pm. Entry costs £8.25. For details, visit www.nessgardens.org.uk.

blowtorch, adding texture and setting a stone. DID YOU The workshop lasts around KNOW? two hours and is aimed Wilfred Owen at beginners, but all are died on 4th welcome. Tickets costs £55 November 1918, per person, which includes aged 25 the silver and tool use. Your ring will be ready to wear at the end of the class. For details, go to www.noctua.co.uk.

Puppet production at Port Sunlight Enjoy a Christmas production for all the family at Port Sunlight’s Old School Room, on 12th December as Folksy Theatre presents Hans Christian Andersen’s The Tin Soldier, using puppetry, live music and multimedia. The performance starts at 6.30pm, and tickets cost £12 for adults and £10 for children. Family tickets are also available. To book, visit www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3618349.

Wilfred Owen remembered The installation ‘Men Marched Asleep’ will be available to view at Williamson Art Gallery & Museum in Birkenhead from 3rd November to 20th December. The installation takes its name from the fifth line of Wilfred Owen’s poem ‘Dulce et Decorum Est’ and is displayed alongside a series of historical objects, personal photographs and artworks created by the local community. The annual Oxton Art Fair, at the Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, takes place on 24th and 25th November, and is a wonderful showcase of art, craft and design from local artists. The gallery is open from Wednesday to Sunday between 10am and 5pm, and entry is free. For further information, visit www.oxtonartfair.co.uk.

42 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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SAT 8th DEC 2018 to SUN 6th JAN 2019

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(Prices include a £1.50 fee per ticket.)

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Monday - Saturday: 9.00am - 6.00pm • Sunday: 9.00am - 5.00pm

Christmas Tree World

We are very easy to find Just off the Oswestry bypass. Wrexham A483

Gifts • Decorations • Lights • Cards • Paper • Crackers

Make choosing your tree a truly festive experience this year at Pentreclawdd Farm whilst you enjoy a complimentary glass of mulled wine. We stock all sizes of trees from the popular Non Drop Nordman Fir and Frazer Fir, to the more traditional Norway Spruce, we also have a large stock of potted trees and tree stands. All our trees are locally grown, sold at farm prices and include free netting.

Come along and enjoy the festive atmosphere with us. Pentreclawdd Farm, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY10 7AE 01691 712781 info@pentreclawddfarm.co.uk • www.pentreclawddfarm.co.uk

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Lion Quays

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Keep Arts Alive this winter across Shropshire


1st-3rd November, Return To The Forbidden Planet, Donnington Little Theatre, Donnington Fasten your seatbelts, return your tray tables to the upright position and prepare to blast off! In this Olivier Award-winning musical, Shakespeare’s The Tempest and 1956 film Forbidden Planet are combined with a fabulous rock‘n’roll score to create a fun-filled, jiving-in-the-aisles musical. 7.30pm. Tickets £9.

1st–20th November, Mammoths In Shropshire And Lions In Venice, Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, Craven Arms A unique exhibition by Diana Nuttall depicting Shropshire and Venice as you have never seen them before. 10am-5pm. Free entry.

Dark River, 5th November, The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock After receiving news of her father’s death, Alice (Ruth Wilson), decides to return to the dilapidated family house of her childhood, in muddy North Yorkshire, 15 years after she left her ailing dad and brother, Joe. 7.30pm. Tickets £5 adults, £4 children. Call 01952 728911. Shane Shambhu: Confessions Of A Cockney Temple Dancer, 9th November, SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle Shane offers a

1st November, The Royal British Legion Beer & Banter session, The Crown Inn, Oakengates Informal gettogether for retired ex-service men and women. 2pm-4pm.

•2nd November, Autumn Foraging Courses, Mortimer

Forest, Ludlow This forest has a mixture of well-established woodland, including mature and ancient oak trees, birch and beech copses, and plenty of larch and pine. This wide variety offers a diverse selection of plants and mushrooms to talk about. Noon-3.30pm. Tickets £45 adults, £22.50 under-16s, free for under-12s.

2nd November, Magic Lantern Tales Of WW1, Peter Humphries Centre, Oswestry Poet and broadcaster Ian McMillan and photographer Ian Beesley use a magic lantern projector to tell a story of the First World War from the point of view of men and women who survived it. The two Ians also explore the culture of magic lantern shows. 7pm. Tickets £12.

Festive pottery in Shrewsbury Join artist Stephanie Kelly on 4th and 5th November at the Hive in Shrewsbury to make some stunning decorations for your Christmas tree. It’s the children’s turn first on the 4th from 1.30pm to 3pm. Make some lovely Christmas decorations that will be fired and ready in time for festive period. Give them out as gifts or keep them for yourself. The class is suitable for four- to 11-year-olds and tickets cost £12 each (£11 for siblings). The adult Festive Pottery session takes place on the 5th from 7pm to 9.30pm. Tickets cost £25. Materials and firing costs are included in the price of both sessions. For details and to book, visit www. hiveonline. org.uk.

humorous, honest and engaging bilingual solo with an acclaimed team of collaborators, reflecting on his childhood growing up in East London, and learning and performing Indian dance in the UK. Shane plays with the ways in which race, language, identity and culture have defined him. Suitable for ages eight-plus Tickets £10 adults, £5 children. 7.30pm. For details and to book, call 01588 630321.

Mayerling, 13th November, Church Stretton School Dangerous desires, family secrets and political intrigues twist through every moment of Kenneth MacMillan’s ballet inspired by true events. Streamed ‘as live’ from the Royal Opera House. 7.15pm. Tickets £12 adults, £6 children. Call 01694 722209. For further details and events, visit www.artsalive.co.uk.

Stars, elves and reindeer at Attingham Park

The College Series: Introduction To Stargazing, 15th November Settle in with a glass of white wine as the Shropshire Astronomical Society introduces you to the fascinating world of the night sky with a short talk suitable for the novice or practising astronomer. Finish the evening in front of a telescope alongside experienced star-watchers from the SAS, who will point out the highlights of the night sky. (If the weather is inclement, the stars will come to us through the power of computer technology.) 6.30pm. Tickets £8.

The family friendly activity uses pre-cut wood from the Attingham estate. Each timed session lasts approximately 30 minutes, and places are limited. It costs £8 per elf. Willow Reindeer Workshop with Wild Craftist, 1st December Make the perfect guest for your home or garden. You’ll be provided with all the help and tools to make this impressive and festive item. 10.30am-4pm. The price is £75 per reindeer, so why not make it with a family member or friend? . Visit www.nationaltrust.org. uk/attingham-park.

Make A Wooden Elf Workshop, 24th November, 1st & 8th December Join Attingham’s Outdoor Team to create an elf decoration for your home or garden.

44 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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2nd November, Mary Anning & The Dinosaurs, Shropshire Hills Discovery Centre, Craven Arms Examine local fossils through the eyes of 19thcentury fossil collector Mary Anning. 1pm-2.30pm. Tickets £4 for accompanied three to 11-year-olds. Booking advised.

New season launched by Shropshire Music Trust Shropshire Music Trust have announced Yhnell and Angharad Jenkins on violin and details of their 35th anniversary season, which folk fiddle delight a lunchtime audience with a includes everything from concerts by prestigious mixture of hip-hop and folk music genres. The musicians to a premiere by Mid Wales Opera. acclaimed Mid Wales Opera finish the month with some fabulous live opera, A Spanish Hour: The season began in October with an evening of Bach By Candlelight, including a performance Ravel’s l’Heure Espagnole at Bishop Castle’s SpArC Theatre on 29th November at 7.30pm by the popular violinist Zoë Beyers , who Finally, prepare to be intoxicated on performed three of Bach’s seminal works. DID YOU At 3pm on 11th November, the 7th December when Ex Cathedra KNOW? perform their iconic Christmas By distinguished Collegium Musicum Candlelight – Shropshire Music 90 will explore one of the most Doug E. Fresh famous and influential baroque Trust’s popular seasonal offering at was the selfSt Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury. composers in The Corelli Phenomenon proclaimed For more details, plus substantial at the Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury. At first human discounts and special saver offers, visit the same venue on 26th November, beatbox www.shropshiremusictrust.co.uk. String Beats will see beatboxer Dean

Exhibitions, music and more at the Willow Art Gallery, Oswestry Affordable Art, 17th November-12th January An inspiring and diverse selection of artwork by members of the Borderland Visual Arts, all for under £250. Phillip Henry, 17th November Virtuoso musician Henry celebrates the release of his solo album, Steelworks: Slide Guitar Solos, with a national tour. 8pm. Tickets £14 adults, £7 children. Expressive Portraits with David Bannister, 24th November Learn how to give portraits life and character. 10am-4pm. Tickets £50. Mixed Media Painting with Peter Monaghan, 25th November Learn ways of collaging to distract and detract from the obvious. 10am4pm. Tickets £55. For details, visit www. willowgalleryoswestry.org.

Severn Valley festive tracks Gin Train, 3rd, 10th & 17th November Travel through the Severn Valley in a 1936-built luxurious carriage for a gintasting experience in partnership with the Little Gin Company.

3rd November, bonfire and firework display, Alderford Lake, Whitchurch Catch two spectacular firework displays plus all the fun of the fair and plenty of food and drink. From 5pm. Advance tickets £7 adults, £4 children.

3rd November, Charity Fireworks & Bonfire Spectacular, Greenhous West Mid Showground, Shrewsbury Two firework displays, funfair, food and free sparklers -it’s sure to be a banging night! Book to avoid disappointment. 4pm. Tickets £10 adults, £5 children.

3rd November, Voices Of Remembrance, Holy Trinity Church, Oswestry Composer Laura Rossi’s choral and orchestral work inspired by 10 famous First World War poems, part of Oswestry’s Wilfred Owen Festival. 7.30pm. Tickets £20.

3rd November, Late Night at the Market Hall, Shrewsbury Eat, drink, shop until 7pm. Expect seafood, street food, cakes, a gin parlour, craft beers and a pop-up wine bar.

Santa Steam Specials, 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd & 23rd December Travel by steam from Kidderminster to Arley, where children can meet Father Christmas in his grotto. Christmas Carol Trains, 1st, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st & 22nd December Warm up your vocal cords on the heritage diesel train on a trip from Kidderminster to the Engine House in Highley. Santa Sleigh Express, 24th December Join the steam train at Kidderminster station for a magical journey with Father Christmas and his mischievous elves.

3rd November, Masquerade for Macmillan, Hadley Park House Hotel, Telford Enjoy an evening of entertainment and intrigue at a Halloweenthemed masquerade ball. Featuring live acts, music and a three-course meal, all in aid of Macmillan cancer Support. 7pm. Tickets from £40 per person.

For further information and to book, visit www.svr.co.uk. November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 45

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Festive performances at Festival Drayton

DID YOU KNOW? In panto custom, create a satirical futuristic vision of fairies enter from a world resounding stage right and with the rhythm baddies from of battle, broadcast stage left live from Stratford-

Stoke Male Voice Choir, 3rd November Formed in the 1950s as the choir of Parkhall Colliery in Stoke-on-Trent, the choir performs in aid of Drayton Arts Fest. 7.30pm. Tickets £10 (Friends £9).

RSC Live: Troilus & Cressida, 14th November Virtuoso percussionist Evelyn Glennie collaborates with RSC artistic director Gregory Doran to

upon-Avon. 7pm. Tickets £16.50 (Friends £15).

Jack & The Beanstalk, 7th-9th December A magical new pantomime with a hilarious script, award-winning actors and more glitter than you can shake a fairy’s wand at. Performances at 6pm on Friday

and Saturday, and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets £10 adults, £8 under-16s. Blake Christmas Classics, 18th December Brit Awardwinning vocalists Blake celebrate Christmas in style with a show featuring more than 20 festive anthems, top-class musicians and hand-picked choirs. 7.30pm. Tickets £23.50 (Friends £22). For further information and to book tickets, visit www. festivaldraytoncentre.com.

Christmas crafts at Derwen College Explore creating amazing patterns using the ancient Japanese art of shibori at Derwen College on 3rd November from 10am to 4pm. The method uses clamping and wrapping as a resist to natural indigo dye. The morning

will be spent exploring the technique and producing samples, before making a scarf and bag in the afternoon. On 17th November, learn to make a range of packaging ideas and print them with your unique design from 10am to 4pm, including bags, tags and cards – a great way to personalize your gift wrapping or follow a theme.

The workshops cost £50 each, including refreshments and lunch in the Orangery. All basic materials are provided. To book a place, call 01691 661234. For further workshops, visit www.derwen.ac.uk.

All the world’s a stage at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn

Henry V, 7th-10th November Shropshire Drama Company presents Shakespeare’s heroic coming-of-age story and a work of stirring patriotic oratory. Performance starts at 7.30pm in the Walker Theatre. Tickets £17.50 adults, £15 students. The Nutcracker, 10th November The Russian State Ballet &

Opera House returns for its annual UK tour with this vibrant and enchanting production of this an eternal seasonal favourite. Performances at 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets from £28.50 adults, £22.50 children. Mother Goose, 28th November6th January A fun-filled family pantomime starring Shropshire’s favourite dame – the egg-cellent Brad Fitt. The show, which has lots of audience participation

and spectacular special effects, is brought to you by Evolution, the creative team behind last year’s hit, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs. Early booking recommended. Tickets from £15. Group rates and concessions are available.

’Tis the season to create at Dudmaston

With just a few weeks to go before Christmas, it’s time to get creative at Dudmaston in Quatt, near Bridgnorth. You can join a reindeermaking workshop on 10th November to make your own willow decoration, or design and create a festive wreath on 9th and 16th December. If you’d prefer to see what others can make, the Christmas Craft Fair, from 11am on 24th and 25th November, will showcase more than 70 local artists, food producers and talented craftspeople. For details, including ticket prices and booking, visit www.nationaltrust. org.uk/dudmaston.

Help raise funds in Houghton on the Hill The Friends of St Catharine’s Church will host the annual Houghton on the Hill Craft Fair on 10th November from 10am to 3.30pm, to help raise money for the fabric of the church and preserve it for the future. There will be stalls selling handmade items including cards, soaps, cakes, books, scarfs and games. For stall enquiries, email simondwarner@onetel. com or call 07970 182184.

For further information and to book tickets, visit www.theatre severn.co.uk.

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4th November, The Pity Of War, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury One hundred years to the day since Wilfred Owen was killed during the final weeks of the First World War, Shrewsbury Bookfest in collaboration with St Chad’s Music Festival presents a special concert in celebration of the poet’s life and work. 6.30pm. Tickets £20.

Entertainment fit for a king at Kino Culture NT Live: Allelujah!, 1st November Alan Bennett’s hilarious new play, filmed live at London’s Bridge Theatre. The Beth, a cradle-to-grave hospital, is threatened with closure. 7pm. Tickets £12 adults, £10 under-16s. Distant Voices, Still Lives, 26th & 29th November One of the most acclaimed films in British cinema returns to the big screen in a new 4K digital print. 1.30pm and 7pm. Tickets £7. Royal Opera House Live: The Nutcracker, 3rd December A delicious seasonal treat for all the

family. 7.15pm. There is an encore screening on 22nd December at 1.30pm. An Evening With Dylan Thomas, 11th December Dave Andrews, reader/writer in residence at Oswestry Library, reads the great Welsh poet’s best-known poems. 8pm. NT Live: The Madness Of King George III, 27th December Award-winning drama broadcast live from Nottingham Playhouse. 7pm. For more details, visit www.kinokulture.org.uk.

British Ironwork Centre treats this winter

Through the wardrobe at Attingham Park

There’s plenty on offer for all at the British Ironwork this festive season. There’s a members-only evening on 22nd November to showcase the Christmas displays and products. This is followed on 9th December by the Midlands Breakfast Club, when drivers arrive from all over the region at 9am. Santa and Mrs Claus will be at the centre at weekends from 24th November to 23rd December. Meet Santa in his cabin, before exploring the garden where the elves store the toys. For details, visit www. britishironworkcentre.co.uk.

Attingham celebrates Christmas traditions old and new in the mansion this December. From 1st to 23rd December you can step through the wardrobe to receive a traditional teddy bear memento of your visit. Tickets cost £8.50 per child, plus the usual admission prices. For more information and to book your Santa session, visit www.nationaltrust.org.uk/attinghampark.

8th November, Gin Masterclass, Ludlow Kitchen A unique evening of gin tasting hosted by experts. Sample a range of gins and tonics, enjoy a few nibbles and quiz the experts in this fun and informative masterclass. Places are limited, so booking is essential. 7pm. Tickets £12.50. Call 01584 856000.

10th November, Richard Digance, Birchmeadow Centre, Broseley Richard Digance returns after his sellout golden anniversary celebrations of 2017, doing what he loves best – telling stories, playing the guitar and singing songs. 7.30pm. Tickets £10 in advance, £12 on the door.

Award-winning jazz bassist brings the world to Shrewsbury The Alec Dankworth Quartet present World Spirit at the Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury on 5th November from 7.30pm. Inspired by Alec Dankworth’s love of music from the Iberian peninsula, World Spirit crosses the Strait of Gibraltar into Africa and beyond. Joining forces with his daughter Emily

Dankworth, leading tenorist Brandon Allen and world percussionist Paul Clarvis, he explores melodies from Africa, South America and more from a jazz perspective. Including works by Duke Ellington, Bela Flek, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Abdullah Ibrahim and WC Handy, originating from Ireland, Venezuela, Bulgaria, South Africa, Mali and Brazil, World Spirit offers an evening of global song and improvisation with some of the world’s top jazz musicians. Tickets cost £15 for adults, £7.50 for 25s and under and £1 for 18s and under. For details, visit www.shropshiremusictrust.co.uk.

17th November, Whalebone Mirabilia tour, Village Hall, Clee St Margaret, Craven Arms An evening of eclectic acoustic music from critically acclaimed trio Whalebone. The award-winning instrumental trio blend Celtic folk music with strands of rock, Americana and Eastern European tradition. 7.30pm. Tickets £10 adults, £6 children.

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17th November & 15th December, Rick Wilson’s Drum Circle, Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Oswestry Experienced musician Rick Wilson shares his exceptional skills on hand drums and percussion instruments. Noon-2pm. From £7.

17th & 18th November, Antiques Fair, Oswestry Showground Three halls of antiques and collectables. Tickets £4 adults.

Rock around the Christmas tree at The Place in Oakengates The Upbeat Beatles, 3rd November The leading Beatles tribute band take you through the Fab Four’s long and winding road, from the early Cavern days through Beatlemania, America, Sergeant Pepper to Abbey Road. 7.30pm. Tickets £18, concessions £17. Rat Pack Christmas Show, 20th November A star-studded cast recreate the music of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jnr, including

special guests Don Maclean and Charley Toulan. 7.30pm. Tickets £18, concessions £16. Christmas Memories, 30th November Neil Sands and his West End cast bring an unforgettable afternoon of festive nostalgia, with over 60 all-time favourite Christmas songs and carols. It has been described as ‘like a sparkly Christmas card come to life’ 2pm. Tickets £13.50, concessions £11.50. Cinderella, 11th December6th January You’ll have a ball at the most magical pantomime of

19th & 20th November, The Accrington Pals, Ellesmere College Arts Centre Peter Whelan’s play follows the story of the some of the 1,000 young men who left Accrington to fight in WWI. 7.30pm. Tickets £7.

20th November, afternoon film, Birchmeadow Centre, Broseley The film show starts at 2.30pm with a break for tea or coffee, biscuits and chat.

21st November, Wild Waters, Hightown Community Room, Clun A natural history of Shropshire’s streams and rivers by Pete Lambert of the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. 7.30pm. Tickets £4 (£3 members).

Lighting up Wem’s festival The magical Wem Christmas Lights Switch-on & Festival takes place on 7th December. The event kicks off at 5.30pm, followed by late-night shopping and a lantern parade from Jubilee Square. Visit www.wemtownhall.co.uk.

them all. Cinderella has always dreamed of meeting a handsome prince. After the announcement that Prince Charming will be holding a royal ball, she may get her wish after all! Times vary. Tickets start at £10.

For further information and to book tickets, visit www.theplacetelford.com.

Monsters and rodeos at Ludlow Assembly Rooms Mary Shelley, 9th November Shelley will be remembered as the writer who gave the world Frankenstein, but the story of the creation of her monster is nearly as fantastical. Starring Elle Fanning. 7.30pm. Tickets £8.

rising rodeo champ whose career is cut short by a life-threatening head injury. 7.30pm. Tickets £8.

The Rider, 23rd November, This lyrical film is concerned with the body and brain of Brady (Brady Jandreau), a

La Traviata, 16th December Streamed ‘as live’ from New York’s MET, Verdi’s timeless tragedy is directed by Michael

Mayer and stars Diana Damrau and Juan Diego Flórez. 3pm. Tickets £17. The Children Act, 28th December Emma Thompson stars as High Court judge Fiona Maye, who presides with wisdom and compassion over complex cases of family law. 7.30pm. Tickets £8. To book tickets, visit www. ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk.

It’s festival season at Bridgnorth’s Theatre On The Steps California Dreamers, 2nd & 3rd November Release your inner hippie with a celebration of the Los Angeles music scene from 1965 to 1975. 8pm. Tickets £20.

Strictly Abba, 23rd & 24th November One of the most authentic and accurate tributes to Abba. 8pm. Tickets £13. Surf ’s Up, 7th & 8th December Beach Boys tribute band with note-perfect harmonies and dynamic sound perform a mixture of classic hits and less well known tunes. 7.30pm. Tickets £16.

to the sound and look of The Rolling Stones, performing hits such as ‘Satisfaction’, ‘Honky Tonk Woman’ and ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’. 8pm (7pm Sunday). Tickets £16.50.

The Stones, 14th-16th December A faithful tribute

For more information, visit www.theatreonthesteps.co.uk.

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North Shrophire’s Entertainment Venue coming soon

Magical new pantomime comes to Market Drayton December 7th - 9th A brand new version of Jack and the Beanstalk is set to take to the stage at The Festival Drayton Centre. Tickets are already selling well.

Vienna Festival Ballet proudly presents The Nutcracker

Saturday 15th December, 2:30pm & 7:30pm Be swept away on a magical adventure in one of the most famous classical ballets of all time – The Nutcracker. With its combination of enchanting choreography and unforgettable music, this fabulous ballet is a Christmas treat like no other.

Online booking available www.festivaldraytoncentre.com

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

WHAT’S ON in NOV & DEC18 Alderford Lake Fireworks Extravaganza

Saturday 3rd November Gates open at 5pm. Bonfire lit at 6pm. Sound sensitive display for younger children 7pm. Main display 8pm www.alderford.com Sunday 11th November

Wreath laying at the Cenotaph, 10am, St Alkmund’s Church Service 10.55am & Civic Centre reception 12.30pm with musical entertainment & trench installation.

Wed 28th November Christmas Memories Nostalgia Concert at Civic Centre by Neil Sands Productions – “The Masters of Matinee Nostalgia” Tickets, £12, concessions, £10. Groups of ten or more receive 11th ticket free. Saturday 14th December The Jersey’s Show Doors open 7.30pm. Tribute to Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at Whitchurch Civic Centre, tickets from £18.00.

Sat 24th November Elvis Odyssey Show, Civic Centre doors open 7.30pm Live Elvis Tribute Night feat. Jo-el, tickets £12.00.

Saturday 24th November Christmas Light Switch On & Indoor Fair Civic Centre From 11am. Meet Father Christmas, mini fairground rides and lantern parade. Big switch on at 5pm outside the Civic Centre.

Saturday 1st December - Christmas Fair in the Market Hall, Civic Centre A chance to purchase

Christmas gifts.Children’s Lego building sessions £3 (booking essential) & face-painting, 10am – 3pm. Tel: 01948 665761. Anton Benson Productions presents Aladdin Join the star-studded cast for a Christmas pantomime to remember at Whitchurch Civic Centre from Boxing Day up until Sunday 30th December 2018. Relaxed performance on 27th Dec. Civic Centre, 01948 665761. Ticket prices starts from £10. New Year’s Eve Band Night & Disco featuring Groove Dynamite at Whitchurch Civic Centre Doors open 9pm. Tickets £15.00 in advance, £20.00 on the door.

All tickets available from Whitchurch Civic Centre 01948 665761 or www.ticketsource.co.uk/whitchurch-civic-centre For more information please visit www.whitchurch.info

Victorian Christmas Weekends BLISTS HILL VICTORIAN TOWN

Experience the magic of a Victorian Christmas

Enjoy Carol Singers and Brass Bands, buy unusual gifts in the shops, see the Falconry display and don’t miss the Reindeer!

Meet Father Christmas in his grotto

8,9,15 & 16 Dec 2018

Meet Father Christmas in his grotto

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Woodseaves Santa Train Rides are to be on 9th December (Sat), 15th & 16th December (Sat & Sun) from 1pm to 4pm. Weather permitting.

Award-winning Markets Regular Market Days every Wednesday, Friday & Saturday Shropshire Produce Market

24th November - 9am until 3pm Handpicked Shropshire based food and craft producers selling the best the county has to offer.

Oswestry Christmas Parade

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

Scented, old fashioned, historic to modern roses: • Climbers and Bush Roses • Cottage Garden Plants • Perennials • Shrubs - Basket Plants examples of our plants grown within our gardens. Friendly advice and knowledge is keenly passed on. Specialist Plant Nursery of Tree Lupins, many unusual and traditional plants.

Open every weekend. For weekdays please phone us first on 01630 653161

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

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

1st December – 11am Organised by all the local rotary groups this huge event has become one of the highlights Annual Bonfire and of the year raising thousands of pounds Firework Display for local charities. Huge floats, walking 3rd November – 6.30pm until 8.30pm parades and live music throughout. Huge annual event held at Brogyntyn Oswestry Christmas Music Live Park and managed by volunteers the 7th December - 6pm until 10pm Treble 999’s. All proceeds to local charities One of the largest and spectacular Christmas Light Switch On night time events in the County. 22nd November - from 4pm Local Huge amusement rides, ice schools and musical groups perform rink, Christmas stalls, late night on the large stage held on the Bailey shopping, Santa’s Grotto, live Head to celebrate the switching on music stage and much much more. of the Christmas Lights often with Fantastic night out for all the family. special guests. Great family night out.

Artisan Market

30th November - 9am until 3pm A collection of quality local craft and food producers held in Bailey Street and the Bailey Head.

Christmas Artisan Market

21st December - 9am until 3pm a collection of quality local craft and food producers held in Bailey Street and the Bailey Head with a Christmassy feel.

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


MUCH WENLOCK Christmas Fayre and Christmas Lights Switch-on Saturday 1st December 2018 This extremely popular Christmas Fayre will be opened at 10am by the World’s Tallest Town Crier, Martin Wood. Rich in seasonal atmosphere the Fayre provides a rich variety of stalls and entertainment for everyone and this year there will be new Christmas lights and evening entertainment.

Exhibitions ~ Gift Shop ~ Workshops Live Music ~ Events ~ Eatery

Contemporary gallery showcasing fine art and craft

In the run-up to Christmas you will be able to shop and be entertained with music, dancing, street theatre, donkey rides, birds of prey, reptiles and snakes. Children can visit Santa in his Grotto at Holy Trinity Church until 3.30pm after which he returns to Lapland and the children will have to rush to the Square where the Christmas lights will be switched on. Later in the afternoon you can enjoy a candlelight procession and carol singing in the Square before enjoying the evening’s entertainment. Further details for this exiting day can be found at: www.wenlockchristmasfayre.org.uk Disabled parking and 3 Park & Ride collection points are available including regular bus services between 10:00 and 18:00.

T: 01691 657575 Willow Gallery W: www.willowgalleryoswestry.org 56 Willow Street E: willowgalleryoswestry@gmail.com Oswestry SY11 1AD Gallery 9.30am - 5.00pm Eatery 9.30am - 4.30pm

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Discover Wem’s winter wonders The King Of Thieves 7th & 8th November Hilarious crime caper with a stellar cast, including Michael Gambon, Michael Caine, Jim Broadbent, Ray Winston and Tom Courtenay. 1.30pm (7th)/8pm (8th). Tickets £7 adults, £5 children. Bohemian Rhapsody, 30th November & 4th December A foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer, Freddie Mercury. After pursuing his solo career, Freddie reunites

with his bandmates just in time to perform at Live Aid. 1.30pm (30th) and 7.30pm (30th & 1st). Tickets £7 adults, £5 children. Winter Festival & Craft Fair, 7th December Buy your loved ones something special at this local craft and food fair. For stall enquiries, see the Wem Town Hall website. 5pm-9pm.

DID YOU KNOW? Freddie Mercury’s vocal range went from bass low F to soprano high F

Ellesmere Winter Festival Enjoy a wonderfully festive evening at Ellesmere Winter Festival on 30th November, as the people of Ellesmere open their shops and the streets are full of entertainers and street traders. The festival starts at 4pm with a market and grotto in the Market Hall, followed by carols around the Tree of Light and the Fizztastical Fizzgigs Lantern Parade. Prior to the event, Fizzgigs will be holding lantern workshops at the Town Hall on 24th November from 2pm to 6pm and on 28th November from 5pm to 9pm.

Christmas shops in the Square, Shrewsbury Shrewsbury’s Christmas Market offers visitors the best of seasonal shopping, fine food and family fun on 15th December from 9am to 6pm. Soak up the festive atmosphere in the town centre and get some shopping sorted in the Square. Search for the perfect gift for friends and loved ones while enjoying the festive atmosphere, created by the hustle and bustle of the market. The aroma of festive, warming food served at the event is bound to give even the most weary shoppers a boost.

The Grinch, 14th, 15th, 18th & 20th December A cynical grump tries to steal Christmas, only to have his heart changed by a young girl’s holiday spirit. Times vary. Tickets £7 adults, £5 children. For details, visit www.wemtownhall.co.uk.

Bonfires, produce and parades in Oswestry Bonfire & Firework Display, 3rd November Huge event in Brogyntyn Park. All proceeds go to local charities. From 6pm. Christmas Light Switch On, 22nd November Local schools and groups perform on the Bailey Head as the town centre is illuminated. From 4pm. Shropshire Produce Market, 24th November Handpicked Shropshire-based food and craft producers in the town centre. 9am-3pm. Artisan Market, 30th November & 21st December Quality local craft and food producers in Bailey Street. 9am-3pm.

24th & 25th November, Gorgeous Christmas Craft & Food Fair, Enginuity, Ironbridge Gorge The best of craft from the Shropshire Guild of Contemporary Craft, and selected designers. 10am-4pm. Free entry.

24th November, Singing By Candlelight with Jane Read, Cleobury North Village Hall, nr Bridgnorth Learn simple sacred songs. No experience is needed. 3.30pm. Tickets £15 in advance, £18 on the door.

29th November, Duotone, Hermon Chapel Arts Centre, Oswestry Multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and live looper Duotone creates music of epic orchestral power. 7.30pm. Tickets from £10.

1st December, Santa Paws, Bradeley Green Pet Store, Whitchurch An opportunity for your dog to have a photo with Santa – and the chance to win a £25 voucher! See the store’s Facebook page for details,

1st December, Craft Fair, Willow Art Gallery, Oswestry Peruse a wide selection of gifts and fine art. To exhibit your own crafts, call 01691 657575. Tables cost £35 (no commission is taken). 10am-5pm.

1st & 2nd December, Shrewsbury Steampunk Christmas Spectacular, St Mary’s Church, Shrewsbury Get ready for a truly Dickensian Christmas! Including walks, ghost tours and teapot racing.

Oswestry Christmas Parade, 1st December One of the highlights of the year, with huge floats, walking parades and live music. 11am. Oswestry Christmas Music Live, 7th December Amusement rides, an ice rink, late-night shopping, Santa’s Grotto, music and much, much more. 5pm-10pm. For more details, visit www.oswestry market.co.uk. November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 51

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On stage and on screen at Whitchurch’s Talbot Theatre

5th-8th December, Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, Whitchurch Civic Centre Join Whitchurch Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society for a community pantomime extravaganza. Tickets £12, concessions £9.

6th December, An Evening Of Fizz, Ludlow Kitchen Sample fizz and quiz the experts in this masterclass. 7pm. Tickets £12.50. Call 01584 856000.

8th December, Antiques Fair, Ludlow Castle 9am-4pm. Entry £1, children free. For details, visit www.centuryfairs.com.

8th & 9th December, Santa’s Grotto, Ludlow Food Centre Fun with Father Christmas. Tickets £.7.50 per child.

9th, 16th & 23rd December, Children’s Christmas Parties, Whittington Castle, nr Oswestry Festive fun in a medieval setting.

28th-30th December, Mince Pies Guided Tours, Whittington Castle, nr Oswestry Work off that Christmas dinner!

Shropshire Handmade & Creative Christmas Fair 2018 This popular event will be back to launch the festive season at Salop Leisure on 24th and 25th November from 10am to 5pm. Expect more than 60 traders selling unique handmade products. Father Christmas will also be in attendance in his magical grotto, with his elves on hand to help out and entertain the children. For further details, visit www.salopleisure.co.uk.


Katriona Gilmore & Jamie Roberts, 3rd November The contemporary folk/acoustic duo combine award-winning songwriting with astounding musicianship. 8pm. Tickets £12. For more information, visit www.northshropshirefolk.com. Journey’s End, 6th November Based on RC Sherriff ’s play and novel of the same name, Journey’s End is set in March 1918 as C Company arrives in northern France to take its turn in the front-line trenches. 7.30pm Tickets £4.50. For details, visit www.artsalive.co.uk.

Agent of Influence: The Secret Life of Pamela Moore, 16th November Fashion columnist and socialite Lady Pamela is recruited by MI5 to keep notes on Wallis Simpson and Edward VIII, suspected to be colluding with the German Embassy. What begins as an adventure becomes a deadly struggle for power in a world in the shadow or war. 7.30pm. Tickets £10. Visit www.artsalive.co.uk. The Little Match Girl, 30th November The Last Baguette use physical comedy and live music to tell Hans Christian

Andersen’s KNOW? classic Journey’s End tale. 7pm. was written just Tickets £10 10 years after the adults, £5 end of WWI children. Visit www. artsalive.co.uk. A Celtic Christmas With Calan, 8th December Celebrate yuletide with bagpipes, fiddles and step dancing as Welsh Celtic quintet Calan make a welcome return with some seasonal favourites. 8pm. Tickets £14. For details, visit www. northshropshirefolk.com.

All is illuminated in Shrewsbury

Fireworks, fire-eating and molten iron at Blists Hill Victorian Town

The heart of Shrewsbury will be buzzing on 14th November when the annual Christmas Lights Switch On takes place. The fun starts at 4.30pm in the Square and runs until 8pm, with the official switch-on around 6.30pm. There will be the usual mix of activities, including music, carol singing and a lantern parade. The event also marks the start of late-night Christmas shopping in the town.

Get fired up on 3rd November for Fireworks Night at Blists Hill Victorian Town, near Ironbridge. As well as the spectacular family fireworks display on the Green, there will also be a fiery performance in the Ironworks by fire performer Scarlet Butterfly. Be amazed by Scarlet’s fireeating, fire-breathing and fire-spinning. You can also see molten iron being poured during a dramatic iron casting demonstration in the Foundry. The gates open at 6pm to allow visitors plenty of time to explore the Victorian streets and atmospheric buildings.

Wrap up warm, tuck into hot food or a cup of chocolate from the café, and enjoy the smell of coal fires as you make your way to the Green. You’ll also be able talk to the townsfolk in their cottages, shops and other places of work, and hear about life in the late 1800s. For more details, visit www.ironbridge.org.uk.

52 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre 24th & 25th Nov 2018

20 Celebrating our 20th anniversary, come, eat, drink and be merry with everything from hog roasts to hot chocolate as you shop ‘til you drop with 100+ stalls of gorgeous goodies.

Buy tickets online at ludlowmedievalchristmas.co.uk


St Chad’s, Shrewsbury’s civic church, is welcoming businesses and social organisations, schools and other charities to sponsor a tree at its seventh Christmas Tree Festival from Saturday 15th December; the trees will remain on display until the evening of Friday 4th January. Sponsorship helps the work of St Chad’s and in turn provides a mutual benefit to its sponsors promoting themselves by displaying their leaflets and brochures at the base of their tree. The tree is provided ready for sponsors to provide and fix their own decorations and Christmas lights, either conventionally or to reflect a theme relevant to their business or objectives. Sponsors are invited to a special reception with complimentary festive refreshments, and entertainment at 6pm on Friday 14th December. Admission is free to the Festival,at which community organisations, schools, colleges and musical groups will be taking part in the daily programme. It’s a special experience over Christmas and the New Year with more than fifty beautifully decorated Christmas trees in the wonderful ambience of St. Chad’s; a real Christmastide treat for all the family. Further information and forms are available from the St Chad’s Christmas tree Festival website www.christmastreefestival.org from Tina or Adrian Richards 01743 850054, by email ahrr@bictonhouse.co.uk, by post Bicton House, Bicton, Shrewsbury. SY3 8EQ and from Simon Badrock 07532 270197, email sabrock@gmail.com


3rd NOV 2018 Buy pre-sale tickets at a DISCOUNT: www.westmidshowground.com FIREWORK DISPLAYS!

Adults: £10.00 Kids: £5.00 Family: £25.00 (2 adults, 3 kids)

• Fabulous Fun Fair • Free Children’s Sparkler Area

Raising money for

• Live Music Stage

Gates open 4.00pm Bonfire lit at 5.00pm 1ST Fireworks Display: 6.15pm (Sound sensitive – more colour, less bang, ideal for little ones)

2ND Fireworks Display: 7.45pm

(The usual loud blockbuster of a show!)

The Greenhous West Mid Showground, Berwick Road, Shrewsbury, SY1 2PF Follow us on Twitter: @WMidshowground and Facebook: West Mid Showground ...for the latest news & special offers

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Monster fun at Shrewsbury Museum Beastly Monsters & Monstrous Beasts, 2nd November Show for young families. Monster hunter Alice Quatermain recounts her daring escapades. Ages six-plus. 2pm. Tickets £5. www.ticketsource.co.uk

The Burying Party & The Long Way Home, 8th November WWI film double bill, plus Q&A with the film-makers. 5pm. Tickets £9. www. ticketsource.co.uk Shropshire Regimental Museum Talks At The Castle, 30th November, Shrewsbury Castle The Hidden Hand Of Genius: Robert Adam, The Pulteney’s & Shrewsbury Castle. 7pm. Tickets £10. www.shropshireregimental museum.co.uk For details, visit www. shrewsburymuseum.org.uk.

An adult spin on Snow White at he Wightman Theatre in Shrewsbury Snow White and the Seven Ugly B*****ds at the Wightman on 23rd and 24th November is the adult panto everyone’s talking about. Over-18s only. 7.30pm. Tickets £16. Book at www. thewight man.co.uk.

Printing and ceramic workshops in Ironbridge Spend a day in Blists Hill Victorian Town’s print You can also bring out your creative side at a shop to discover traditional printing techniques ceramic painting workshop for adults at Coalport China Museum on 28th November. You can and produce your own print materials under expert tuition on 17th November. make something useful, decorative, quirky, for someone’s birthday, anniversary Have a go at Victorian techniques, DID YOU make a poster using your own design or christening or just for yourself. KNOW? and see it printed on one of the There will be plenty of help and Cambridge tips available from the museum’s museum’s historic presses. You University Press can also discover the origin of experts, and it all takes place in is the world’s a lovely friendly and supportive expressions such as ‘upper and lower oldest publishing atmosphere from 1pm until 4pm. case’, ‘coin a phrase’, ‘mind your Ps and Qs’ and ‘put to bed’, and enjoy Any items made at the workshop house an exclusive behind the scenes tour. will take up to four weeks to dry, fire and glaze. The workshop costs £5 All materials are provided and a pub per person (plus small charge for glaze); to lunch is included. Tickets cost £50 per person and book your place, call 01952 433970. must be pre-booked by calling 01952 435900.

Historical Christmas fun at Ludlow Castle Jesters, entertainers and historical re-enactments will create a medieval atmosphere for your Christmas shopping at Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre on 24th and 25th November. You can buy all sorts of goodies at over 100 stalls, with traders all dressed for the occasion. There’s also a full timetable of entertainment, including music, comedy, fighting knights, theatre and puppets. Visit www.ludlowmedieval christmas.co.uk.

Celebrating Wilfred Owen As a part of the centenary commemorations of the end of the First World War, Oswestry is honouring its most famous son and all those who have fallen in conflicts across the world with the Wilfred Owen Festival, which runs until 17th November. Owen, who was born at Plas Wilmot, is widely regarded as one of the greatest English poets of the 20th century and certainly the most memorable and vibrant voice on the horrors of WW1. For details of the events taking place during the festival, visit www.wilfredowenoswestry2018.org.uk.

Remember at RAF Museum Cosford Remembrance Service, 11th November Those wishing to pay their respects should arrive in Hangar 1 at 10.30am. The service starts at 10.45am, led by the station chaplain. RAF Stories: Peter Ramrayka, 5th December Peter was born in what was then colonial British Guiana (now Guyana), and was brought up to believe that, despite his Indian cultural heritage, Britain was the ‘Mother Country’. He travelled to England in 1961 and joined the Royal Air Force, which led to successful careers in the NHS, the Magistracy, as a political activist and much more. 7pm. Entry is free but please book in advance. 100 Cockpits & Cabs, 7th December Take a closer look inside 100 cockpits and vehicles from the museum’s collection. 6pm. Entry by adnvace ticket only. Tickets £13.50 (members £10). Merry Minecraft & A Happy New Robot, 8th December Cosford teams up with Tablet Academy to offer a fantastic Christmas themed technology workshop, suitable for children aged eight to 14. 9.30am-4pm. Tickets £30. For more information and to book tickets, visit www.raf museum.org.uk. November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 55

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Tom, left, and his dad Phil Tom: ‘I work in London and live Ironbridge, and Dad lives in Sutton Coldfield. We love Shrewsbury and make a point of coming here for some R&R.’ Phil: ‘We love Shrewsbury – I’ve been coming here since I got married in the 1970s. We shop here on a regular basis. We just like the variety of shops and the ambience.’

SHREWSBURY The home of heritage The main market town of Shropshire, Shrewsbury is a settlement with a rich history as well as a bustling and booming future…

in late Middle Ages, due to its thriving wool trade. In 1403 it was the site of a battle between Henry IV and Henry Percy, an event made famous by William Shakespeare in Henry IV Part I.

Mixed fortunes

Wander around the pretty streets


a great place to live, and many s the main conurbation stay in the area for generations. in a generally rural area, Shrewsbury has an important role to play for the surrounding Proud past towns and villages in Shropshire Shrewsbury’s earliest recorded and along the Wales border. It’s history dates from the early Middle Ages, around 800 AD. well known to many, but still provides an argument too Anglo-Saxon Shrewsbury – namely about how to was probably a small DID YOU pronounce its name. settlement comprising KNOW? The debate on In 901 Shrewsbury a ditch and a rampart, whether the first shored up with a was mentioned in a charter as syllable should rhyme wooden stockade. ‘Scrobbensi’ with ‘show’ or ‘shoe’ The town was besieged is an age-old one and by the Welsh in 1069, who every resident has their own were repelled by William the opinion. Many say it depends Conqueror. The town was given which side of the river you’re to Roger de Montgomery by on, while others believe it comes William, who built Shrewsbury down to how ‘posh’ you are – or Castle in 1074 and founded want to sound. Either way, if Shrewsbury Abbey in 1083. there’s one thing the locals tend The town reached the height to agree on it’s that the town is of its commercial importance

Naturalist Charles Darwin was born and brought up in Shrewsbury, and many streets and institutions are named in his honour. During the Industrial Revolution, Shrewsbury also enjoyed some prominence thanks to the Ditherington Flax Mill, the world’s first iron-framed building, and the groundbreaking canal network that helped its industries reach the wider country as well as abroad. This proud past is still evident in the town’s structures, including the nine bridges that circle the centre, crossing the River Severn that loops around Shrewsbury. The town’s waterside location has also led to serious flooding in the past, causing considerable damage over the years. Today the town boasts many specialist shops, traditional pubs and restaurants, as well as a regular market. There are plenty of churches to visit, as well as the abbey and a museum that has a good range of exhibits and an integrated art gallery. Shrewsbury hosts an annual folk festival and a flower show, both of which draw people in their thousands. The town is also blessed with some excellent schools, and is particularly popular with families.

Jenny and Alberto ‘We live in Bristol and are visiting Shrewsbury for the weekend. We chose it as it looked like a quaint, unique town, quite old-fashioned and with lots of history.’

Dave the Balloon Guy ‘I like the people here! I come a long way – from Chester – and I do it because of the atmosphere. I’ve been coming here for years and I like seeing the kids grow up.’

Mark ‘I would sum up Shrewsbury in one word: community. I’ve lived here all my life and help to organise the Big Busk, which will see more than 500 street performers coming to Shrewsbury next April.’ THINGS TO SEE AND DO Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery www.shrewsbury museum.org.uk Shrewsbury Folk Festival shrewsburyfolkfestival.co.uk Shrewsbury Flower Show shrewsburyflowershow.org.uk

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 57

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‘There’s no structure to the show, but there is an absolute powerhouse of stories. And why deny telling people those? They’re not written down. I’m like the Navajo – it’s an oral history, passed down through the generations. It isn’t a written language, but that’s the fun of

ward-winning broadcaster, writer and performer Danny Baker had it all worked out. He and his wife, Wendy, were going to retire and move to sunnier climes in Portugal. But then something happened. While promoting a recent book with a few festival appearances,

TV, radio and comedy legend Danny Baker is celebrating his career by touring a new stand-up show, Good Time Charlie’s Back! Shire caught up with him as he performed to packed audiences at Venue Cymru and William Aston Hall in September he discovered a love of talking directly to audiences that has spawned a whole new leg of his varied career. ‘The books are fine and great, and the TV series were fine and great,’ he says. ‘But I still tell the stories first hand, and that’s how they work best.’ His first show, Cradle To The Stage, only covered a fraction of his upbringing in South London, so with an absolute wealth of stories still to recount, Danny decided to take the show on the road once again. Good Time Charlie’s Back! includes more uproarious anecdotes from his treasure trove of stories that have wowed critics across the country.

On the road again Remembering his last tour, Danny whistles with something akin to amazement. ‘God, it was something. They were great nights those shows. And there is no record of it. It wasn’t filmed,

it wasn’t recorded. But that’s fine. That’s half of the shine of it as well, I think. About 10 minutes into it, you could really see the audience think, “Wow, he won’t be able to keep up this!”’ But keep it up he did – and enjoyed every minute of it. ‘I don’t have a fear of public speaking,’ says Danny. ‘Onstage, ‘My stories aren’t written down. I’m like the Navajo – it’s an oral history, passed down through the generations’

I like knowing that I’m heading into a really good story. Along the way they’re funny, but I like to know that they pay off. ‘I’m having a terrific time and hope that is infectious. I don’t laugh at my own jokes, but I do clap my hands and think, “Oh, you’ll like this, here’s something, this is great, let me tell you!”

it. If it were written down, the audience could tell and it would take some of the vim out of it.’

Off the cuff Describing his cheery nature, Danny says, ‘I have an ebullience that some people find annoying, but I’ve said it many times – I’m very shallow. That has become a bad thing, but it isn’t in my book. Too many people affect a darker side. I can’t bear the word “dark”. I’m a euphoric, and that’s all there is to it. I’m stuck with it. ‘I had loads of uncles and aunts, and my wife is one of 10. Our house was always full of pushchairs and bikes and you had to be competitive to be heard. Our family was noisy. But even before I left school, I was fortunate enough to realise that when something funny happened it would make a great story. I’ve always had – if you’ll forgive the Noël Coward reference – a talent to amuse.’

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 59

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The Shire team has been at work visiting as many events as possible. Discover what our hard-to-please reviewers thought of the concerts, events and live theatre they saw, all at our great local venues MILKSHAKE! LIVE: THE MAGIC STORY BOOK, THEATRE SEVERN, SHREWSBURY This show, from the team behind Channel 5’s children’s programming block, was a hit with young families at Theatre Severn in July. It was packed with Milkshake! favourites, including Bob The Builder, The Little Princess, Noddy, Fireman Sam, Shimmer and Shine, Pip from Pip Ahoy!, Winnie and Wilbur, Wissper and Milkshake!’s very own Milkshake Monkey. Two Milkshake! presenters also took part, and the small cast of talented performers took on all the roles in the allsinging, all-dancing musical show.


Bob Drury’s tribute to Neil Diamond was a true celebration of the great man’s music. The audience was taken through a wide range of Neil’s songs, from the start of his career in the 1960s onwards, including some lesser-known songs and lots of strong ballads. Bob also included many interesting anecdotes and backstories about the songs, which perhaps you would only have heard if you attended a concert by the man himself and really added to the authenticity of the evening. The first thing to make note of is that Bob doesn’t look remotely like Neil Diamond! He talks openly about this, explaining that when he first started out ‘impersonating’ Neil, he would put

My two-year-old was enthralled throughout the performance, which lasted 40 minutes in the first half, followed by a 20-minute interval and then a 30-minute second half. It was the perfect length of time to keep children interested and entertained. Theatre Severn puts on a range of productions for little people and they’re a great way to entertain children for a few hours as well as helping them learn. This show dazzled them with singing and dancing, and the sparkling set with props including a huge inflatable beanstalk. The happy, energetic cast told various fairytales and well-known children’s tales, including Hansel

on a wig. While the first review waxed lyrical about his voice, it slated his look, saying he looked more like Roy Orbison in a wig. Being a true Neil Diamond fan himself, Bob was also aware that Neil was happy with his music being celebrated by other performers, but wasn’t so keen on people trying to completely replicate or impersonate him. So he scrapped the look and focused on what matters – the music. And boy, is he good at both singing and doing justice to Neil’s huge catalogue of hits. As well as his strong voice, his guitar playing is truly excellent. The audience were really receptive and in the second half we even had the chance to participate. It felt like many in the crowd had been waiting to do that since the first half! Everyone sang along to classics such as ‘Red Red Wine’ and ‘I’m A Believer’, and some even danced in the aisles. By the time ‘Neil’ performed ‘Sweet Caroline’, most people were on their feet and singing along. Bob Drury has definietly got the voice, and the night was a true celebration of Neil Diamond. Catch him when you can! CB

& Gretel, Goldilocks & The Three Bears and Jack & The Beanstalk. A fairy godmother-like character, played by one of the Milkshake! presenters, appeared on a big screen to reveal what the next story would be. The cast of characters, including the Milkshake! Monkey, then told the story to the children. My son and his friend, who was a little younger, seemed able to follow what was going on up on the stage, and recognised characters such as Noddy. It took them a little time to warm up, but after a while they even took to their feet to have a little dance. The next day, my son was still talking about it – a surefire sign that he enjoyed himself! CB

ATLANTIC LADIES, MARKET DRAYTON FESTIVAL CENTRE Atlantic Ladies is the true story of three women – two from Shropshire – who decided to row across the Atlantic ocean. They had no experience, no navigation skills and no boat. Luckily, Chris Eldon Lee, who promised to tell their story if they made it, has both the skills and experience to make an engaging and inspiring musical play. The first half took us through the women’s preparations and training, their naïvety and ambition pulling us on board. We shared their growing realisation, when they finally acquired their boat, which measured just 7m by 1.8m, that this was a serious endeavour. In the second half, we took to sea, from the Canaries to Antigua. This story of determination, inventiveness and camaraderie was effectively realised on stage – complete with boat! JH

60 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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In September, we were treated to a spectacular evening of music and fireworks to launch the 50th anniversary concert season of the Wrexham Symphony Orchestra. Taking place in the lovely parkland at the British Ironwork Centre, this was a whole family evening of top-class music from the worlds of opera, stage and screen and popular classics, complete with THE GREAT BRICK ADVENTURE, LIVERPOOL EXHIBITION CENTRE

Lego is one of the success stories of the toy industry, with generations of children (and adults) drawn to its bright and colourful construction opportunities. For most of us it’s a hobby, normally

a grand finale of the traditional flagwaving Proms music and songs, ending with a dazzling firework display. There was a welcome to the Proms 2018 by Clive Knowles of the British Ironwork Centre and Lauren Tilston of Nightingale House Hospice, and a special message of peace from Terry Waite CBE. We then enjoyed music by Dvorak, Puccini, Prokofiev and Strauss. There was also wonderful singing by Elan Catrin Parry, who sang ‘Bright Eyes’, ‘Annie’s Song’ and ‘Anfonaf Angel’. After the second interval – complete with a complementary ice cream courtesy of the Ironwork Centre – we revelled in patriotic classics such as the theme from The Dam Busters, and Elgar’s ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Pomp And Circumstance’. It was a fun evening, and a real treat to hear live music outdoors in such a wonderful setting. All proceeds collected on the night were in aid of Nightingale House Hospice, Wrexham. DB

involving children and often including some frustration or missing pieces. But for others it’s a passion or even an obsession, as we discovered when the Great Brick Adventure took over the vast space of Liverpool’s Exhibition Centre in August. We were treated to a masterclass of brickwork. The event had a safari theme, and there were towering elephants, tigers and other creatures, each with a sign displaying the mind-blowing number of hours taken and blocks used. There was a life-sized safari Jeep for kids to climb in and we were asked to help build a hippo.

Technical advances using the same original Lego format were brilliantly displayed in the interactive Lego robot battleground, and there were huge pools of Lego for the kids to sit in, on or by and while away some happy building time, inspired by the amazing creations on all sides. We were asked to pay £1 to buy a brick to help build the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre and any remaining pounds were well spent in the café. It was a great day out for those children more interested in getting stuck in than sitting watching something, and there was enough inspiration to last a lifetime of future Lego building. KS

THE CITY OF LIVERPOOL TATTOO, ECHO ARENA, LIVERPOOL WATERFRONT As a Scot, my knowledge of a tattoo is based entirely on the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo and I wondered how they could carry off the spirit of that spectacle without the military hardware, in the Liverpool Echo Arena. We were promised of a cast of 600 national and international brass, flute and pipe bands, plus a wealth of military and community artistes and Irish and Highland dancers. The first marching bands performed a variety of Beatles’ tunes and a rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. The Italian flag throwers were superb and a troupe of Dutch stunt cyclists were very entertaining.

Considering the size of the arena, the dancing on display – both traditional and traditional with a twist – was mesmerising. And just when I thought it was over, they marched in and raised the roof for the finale… and a lone piper played a lament to stir the soul. It was a great show with lots of variety of music and plenty going on to keep everyone entertained. IS

WELSHPOOL & LLANFAIR LIGHT RAILWAY Wales is synonymous with steam engines and one of its greatest is on the Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railway. We hopped on board one Saturday afternoon in early September, hoping to do something memorable but not too energetic at the end of the school holidays. We caught the 2.05pm from Welshpool. There was plenty of space and cushions for us all to feel comfortable and get a good view. The eight-mile journey took us up Golfa Bank, past Cyfronydd Hall and included a stop at Castle Caereinion. Plumes of smoke and loud toots, combined with the gently rocking of the carriages, made the journey a charming one. There was just enough time in Llanfair for refreshments at the Black Lion before our return journey on the last train home at 3.30pm. SW

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

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 61

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The National Pet Show, Birmingham NEC, 3rd & 4th November Discover hundreds of animals from aquatic wonders and fabulous felines to dogs, birds, reptiles, rabbits, donkeys and so much more! Starring Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick, the National Pet Show is the perfect place for animal lovers.

The Full Monty, Birmingham Hippodrome, 5th-10th November It’s one of the most acclaimed British films ever and now this phenomenal stage play about six out-of-work, impoverished steelworkers from Sheffield with nothing to lose is taking the country by storm.

Fame: The Musical, New Alexandra Theatre, 19th-24th November Based on the 1980s favourite, Fame The Musical is the smash hit sensation following the lives of students at New York’s High School For The Performing Arts as they navigate their way through life.


The Prodigy, The Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff, 9th November The Prodigy will be in Cardiff as part of a UK and European tour tie-in with their seventh studio album, No Tourists. The Prodigy’s influence can be seen across generations, turning metal kids into ravers and vice versa.

Cardiff Christmas Market, 15th November-23rd December The festive event returns to the pedestrian streets of the city centre with an exciting and eclectic mix of new and returning exhibitors that make the market so different and special every year.

An Evening With Bradley Wiggins, St David’s Hall, 17th November Britain’s most decorated Olympian shares exclusive tales and career highlights in a unique and intimate live setting, celebrating the release of his book, Icons: My Inspiration. My Motivation. My Obsession.


Still Alice, Liverpool Playhouse Theatre, 6th-10th November Alice Howland is stubborn, clever and driven – a professional at the top of her game. But when she is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s at the age of 50, she is compelled to confront a new reality.

Rick Astley, Liverpool Echo Arena, 17th November In a career spanning over 30 years, Rick Astley has sold more than 40 million records. He made a dramatic return two years ago with an album that surprised everyone and now he’s back and touring again with his new album, Beautiful Life.

Swan Lake by The English National Ballet, Liverpool Empire Theatre, 21st-24th November Be captivated by the romance of Prince Siegfried’s love for the Swan Queen Odette, their battle against evil sorcerer Rothbart and the iconic, magnificent ballerinas in white, moving in perfect unison.



Kinky Boots, Manchester Opera House, 12th November-1st December With songs by pop icon Cyndi Lauper, Kinky Boots takes you from the factory floor to the glamorous catwalks of Milan as Charlie Price struggles to live up to his father’s expectations and continue the family business.

Wicked, Manchester Palace Theatre, 4th December-January 5th An ingenious and witty reimagining of the stories and characters from The Wizard Of Oz, Wicked tells the untold story of an unlikely but profound friendship between two young women who first meet as sorcery students.

Andre Rieu, Manchester Arena, 20th December Andre Rieu returns with his grand show of romance and magic during the cosy Christmas season, with wonderful carols alongside his entertaining and fantastic programme of waltzes, film scores, folk songs and musicals.

62 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year and at Shire we’re all busy getting our Christmas on! In case you need a little extra help on your way to feeling fully festive, we’ve rounded up our recommendations for leading up to the big day

and features refined dishes, from succulent Whether you’re looking for a butter-roasted Cheshire turkey with winter family outing or planning an berries to rich, chocolatey desserts. office celebration, it Another great venue in the city isn’t Christmas without a festive is The White Horse at Chester party or two thrown in the mix. Racehorse, where you’ll find a Many people head to Chester festive option to suit any jovial for a Christmas night out. gathering, from the sumptuous One great option in the city is traditional festive menu to a 1539 Restaurant & Bar. The buffet ideal for office Christmas sumptuous Christmas menu is parties. Father Christmas available throughout the week Christmas cocktails

Stay warm at The White Horse

will also be taking time out of his busy schedule to visit The White Horse on 15th December to entertain younger visitors.

DID YOU KNOW? Many theatres now have a ‘relaxed performance’ for children with special needs

Parker as Prince Charming, West If you’re looking for a family End sensation Natalie Winsor friendly festive night out, make as the Fairy Godmother, Chris sure a trip to the panto is in the Bewsher as Dandini and diary. You can check our Carly Burns as Cinderalla. What’s On section for the Alternatively, head to full round-up, but one of the the Wirral’s Floral Pavilion best in town is the annual for Aladdin, starring Bill offering from Venue Cymru Ward of Coronation Street in Llandudno. This year, the and Emmerdale as the evil show is Cinderella, with a cast Abanazar. He is joined by including The Wanted’s Tom Cinderella at Venue Cymru

Chester Zoo has stunning visual treat for visitors this Christmas, with a parade of animal-inspired illuminations. Running on selected nights from 23rd November to 23rd December, the heartwarming event raises funds to help support zoo’s work as a conservation charity fighting to prevent extinction around the world. Cheetah

Visitors arriving at the zoo enter the Garden Of Delight, filled with illuminated 10ft flowers and giant friendly snails, before meandering through a series of fairytale worlds. In the Moonlit Meadow, you’ll find favourite animal lanterns from years gone by, including giraffes Giraffes

Andrew Agnew from Balamory as Wishee Aladdin at Floral Pavillion Washee, and Bradley Judge as Aladdin, while Michael Chance will be providing laughs and jollity as the gorgeous Widow Twankey.

Flamingo lantern

and lions, as well as all-new sun bears and cheetahs. There are also Christmas trees, markets and Santa, and the whole experience ends surrounded by penguin lanterns in the zoo’s new Ice Kingdom.

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Llandudno Christmas Fayre promises to be a better than ever for visitors and exhibitors alike from 15th to 18th November. The focus of the event is Trinity Square and the grounds of Holy Trinity Church, where you’ll find wooden cabins and open-fronted marquees,

The crowds browse in Llandudno

Many of us like the idea of enjoying cosy night out in a country pub at this time of year, and where better to do so than in the 19th-century Yew Tree Inn in the idyllic

The Yew Tree Inn

and the Christmas theme to the fore with Santa’s Grotto, a virtual reality simulator of Santa’s sleigh and rides for children Mulled cider on sale on Santa’s train. The Y Pafilion stage and entertainment area will host dozens of performances every day, with a seating area to allow people to sit and enjoy the entertainment, or to sample the wares from the many food and drink stalls that will be dotted around. TV personality and hill farmer Gareth Wyn Jones will once again be the fayre’s ambassador, and the event will focus on

village of Bunbury, near Tarporley. A regular home for locals, this gem of a pub offers a warm welcome and a fabulous range of local cask ales, as well as wines and spirits from around the Enjoy the market world. There is also delicious, locally sourced and homecooked food to suit those looking for a memorable evening out or just a light bite. To celebrate the festive season, on 1st December the charming pub will be holding its first pop-up Christmas market, inviting local small and artisan businesses

more than 120 artisan stalls. In addition If you fancy food and festive fun to local delicacies and crafts, there is a full in a fairytale location, look no programme of entertainment, including further (phew!) than the annual cooking demonstrations from celebrity Food & Craft Festival in Portmeirion, chefs, musical entertainment which takes place from and Santa’s Grotto. This year 30th November to 2nd promises to be bigger and December. The Italianate better than ever, so soak up village’s Christmas event the atmosphere, have a mulled is a showcase of the best wine and maybe find the local food, drinks, gifts perfect gift while you’re at it. and entertainment, with There are 120 artisan stalls

Local produce is the focus of the fayre

his mission to highlight the importance of buying local produce. This is backed up with more stalls than ever selling locally produced food, including a number of micro-breweries selling their beers.

What’s cosier than a roaring fire?

to the pub to show their wares at the start of the festive season. The market will be open to visitors from 10.30am to 2.30pm, with Christmas carols, festive stalls and, of course, a mulled wine bar.

Travel the tracks in Portmeirion

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If you’re a bit of a gourmet, there’s a date in the Cheshire calendar that’s just for you. The Foodies Festival brings the Christmas spirit to Tatton Park on 16th, 17th and 18th November. Take home recipes and top tips from MasterChef winners Kenny Tutt and David Crichton, Great British Menu winner Adam Reid and top Cheshire chefs Gary Usher of The Sticky Walnut, Mark Fletcher from The Mere Golf & Spa, Kenny Tutt

who will all be cooking up their festive favourites. There will also be appearances from Great British Bake Off contestants. You can also learn all the skills you’ll need to be the perfect Christmas host, with

St Chad’s Church, Shrewsbury, is holding its annual Christmas Tree Festival, packing 50-plus perfectly pretty pines into the church from 15th December to 4th January. Last year, more than 10,000 people visited to the church to admire the trees,

which are sponsored by local businesses, social organisations, schools and other charities. This sponsorship in turn helps to support the work of St Chad’s, while each sponsor can also provide and fix their own decorations and LED lights to their tree – either traditionally Each tree is sponsored or to reflect a theme relevant to their organisation. Admission is free to this year’s spectacular display of decorated and illuminated

Trees in St Chad’s upper gallery

Learn to be the perfect host

Christmas bake off

dozens of workshops and masterclasses in everything from canapes to wine appreciation, all while enjoying carols and music from renowned local choirs. With a VIP area, Vintage Tea Room and Champagne Ski Bar, Foodies Festival is the only place to kick off the festive season.

There’s a magical ambience in the church

Christmas trees, which are displayed on the ground and in upper gallery of St Chad’s. It’s a truly special experience to see the beautiful trees in the wonderful ambience of the church – a Christmastide treat. DID YOU

KNOW? The UK consumes around eight million Christmas trees every year

receive an early Christmas present – and If you have little ones, at this time even take one of Santa’s tree lights home! of year the pressure is on to make They can also follow the Snow Queen’s their season full of magic and trail to Jack Frost’s forest full of furry wonder. A great place to start is Magical friends, as well as popping in to Mr Claus’s Farm at Greenacres Animal Park, Deeside. movie room, the elves’ craft Throughout December, workshop, a festive fairground the park opens its doors to and indoor soft play centre. welcome Father Christmas There is guaranteed snow and his elves to the most for all those magical Christmas magical farm in North Wales. family photos and over on Children can watch the elves Bauble Street an area will at work in Santa’s Grotto, come alive with a traditional surrounded by wrapping Christmas market. paper, ribbons and lights, and Expect some festive flair

It’s time to visit Santa!

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GIFT VouCHERS Treat your friends and family to the perfect gift this Christmas, with an epic gift voucher for any of the activities or courses on offer at Plas Menai, the National outdoor Centre for Wales. Whether you know someone who wants to try something new, to someone who wants to develop their skills, we have a session or course to suit everyone.


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It you need a little extra inspiration this year when it comes to festival decorations, be bedazzled at the gorgeous Hall at AbbeyCwm-Hir. This grade II* gothic revival mansion and family home near Llandrindod

Take a tour of Abbey-Cwm-Hir

It’s not really Christmas until you’ve got your tree – and it has to be a real one, complete with shedding pine needles. If you want to make an occasion of it, head to a place where all the trees are grown on site and cared for by a devoted family.

Pick the perfect pine

By now you must be pretty much switched on for Christmas – but before you flick the switch on your own celebrations, check out a local light display that is as inspiring as it is illuminating. This year is

Wells boasts stunning interiors, thousands of collectable items and Each room has a theme beautiful gardens, all in a matchless setting above the ruins of the Abbey-Cwm-Hir. From 1st November to 6th January the house is decorated with individual Christmas themes in all 52 rooms. Tours are available of this true family home and in a family atmosphere. Given demand, early booking is recommended to get the tour date and time preferred.

Pentreclawdd Farm is a family-run glamping site in Oswestry that each winter is transformed into a Christmas tree wonderland. The Christmas shop sells everything from decorations to presents, while the huge variety of trees available should satisfy even the most picky of pine pickers. Tree varieties include all sizes of nondrop Nordmann fir and Norway spruce, as well as potted trees and tree stands. The trees are all locally grown, and include free netting to protect your tree until you get it home. The team at Pentreclawdd are members of the British Christmas Tree Growers’ Association and abide by its code, ensuring you get a quality Christmas tree.

Be inspired by the decor

On the Wrexham to Ruthin road between Bwlchgwyn and Llandegla is the Christmas tree sales site for Price’s Christmas Trees, which has been operated for the last 40 years by Joy and Peter Price. Most sales are needleretaining Nordmann firs, but they also grow Norway spruce; sizes are from 5-13ft. The forest is open for sales from 29th November to 23rd December, and Santa visits on weekends too!

the sixth year of the Weston Light Display, when Graham Witter transforms his family home at Carters Green Farm – as well as the farm buildings and garden – into a magical winter wonderland and

Father Christmas is a regular visitor

The home, farm and grounds are illuminated

Some of the many unusual lights on display

light spectacular. Santa visits every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening and the last few days before Christmas, and the

atmosphere is completed with festive music, mince pies, sweets and chocolates. Graham first transformed the farm for his sister, Jessica Witter, who had multiple complex health needs. Sadly, she died in 2015 and the family now use the lights to raise funds for the team at Donna Louise Hospice in Trentham in her memory. So far, they’ve raised a staggering £65,000.

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All I want for Christmas… From personalised candles to doggy photoshoots, here are a few of our favourite home gift ideas for those looking to treat their special someone to something a little different

Animal stacking mugs £18 for four, www.next.co.uk

Carnival Elephant duvet set from £15, www.hafrenfurnishers.co.uk

Handmade ceramic tea light houses £35, www.charlottehupfieldceramics.com

Bristol Blue 19th-century spirit decanter £143, www.afonwen.co.uk

d For foo lovers

Welsh hamper £50, www.portersdeli.co.uk

Artificial succulents in ceramic pot £5, 6ft snowy imperial pine tree £80, large festive llama £30, flocked pink penguin £12, pom pom wreath £30, rainbow tinsel £4.50, pink star cut-out bauble £4, Mexican decorations £8, bright acrylic decorations £8, single decorations from £3, llama cushion £20, Swoon London armchair in cobalt deep velvet £449, all www.debenhams.com

Flying Song Thrush cushion £45, www.particlepress.com Personalised candle holders from £4, www.rtdesigners.co.uk

Hen doorstops (20cm) £32, www.melintregwynt.co.uk

Editor’s Picks

Advent calendars Gingerbread Man advent calendar £19, www.tch.net

Limited edition advent calendar £600, www.wedgwood.co.uk

Dog photography session gift voucher from £50, www.gingerhound.co.uk

Wooden LED advent calendar £40, shop. nationaltrust.org.uk

Wooden advent calendar £25, shop.nationaltrust.org.uk

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 69

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Corallee and Clive ‘We’re on a four-week visit from Australia, and we’re going around the UK. My UK family told me we must visit Chester to see the Roman history and the city walls.’


DID YOU KNOW? Chester Racecourse is the UK’s oldest course still in use

Ancient attraction

There are few more appealing cities in the UK than Chester, a Roman stronghold with a proud heritage, a pretty riverside setting and surrounded by rolling Cheshire countryside

Luke and Ellie ‘Luke is doing a postgraduate degree at Chester University. We used to live in Wrexham, but would visit Chester for shopping and cocktails – there’s loads of places here.’


s city-living goes, Chester in the reign of the Emperor Vespasian. It was one of the has it all. It is officially a city – and has the cathedral main army camps in Roman to prove it – but is small Britain and later became a major civilian settlement. and compact, which makes it easy to navigate, sensible In 689, King Ethelred founded what was to become to commute to and, for its Chester’s first cathedral, and 150,000 or so residents, the perfect size to call home. later the Saxons extended and strengthened The city the walls to protect centre has an abundance the city against the of timbered threat of invading Danes. Chester was and galleried also one of the last buildings, cities in England to housing Chester’s beautiful buildings high-street fall to the Normans. shops, with When they did come, William the Conqueror ordered semi-cobbled streets winding the construction of a castle, between. It’s no wonder to dominate the town and Chester has been a popular the nearby Welsh border. destination for centuries, with the first settlers of note being the Romans back in 79 AD. Walk the walls Chester is one of the best Roman rule preserved walled cities in Britain. Chester was founded as the There are also a number of medieval structures, although Roman fort Deva Victrix some of the black-andwhite buildings in the centre are Victorian restorations. Visitors should make a point of circling the city by walking around its Chester Cathedral

The River Dee

famous walls, which offer great views of the inner city streets, the racecourse, the cathedral and the River Dee.

Maureen, Shannon, Fay and Sue ‘We’re on a hen weekend! We’re from Staffordshire, but the bride chose Chester because she didn’t want a huge city – and here you can just walk around town. The buildings are beautiful!’

Capital of culture

When it comes to culture, Chester has plenty. There is the castle, perched on the southwest edge of the walls, a stunning cathedral with a packed events calendar, and the Grosvenor Museum, with a variety of fixed and visiting exhibitions. Add to this Storyhouse – an arts, cinema and theatre venue that draws a wide range of shows and audiences – and it’s easy to see why Chester routinely crops up in ‘best places to live’ guides.

Tina and Jim ‘We’re from Ellesmere Port and have been coming to Chester for years. It’s just so compact; we love the cafés and you can walk everywhere.’

THINGS TO SEE AND DO Chester Cathedral www.chestercathedral.com Chester Castle www.westcheshiremuseums. co.uk/chestercastle Chester Racecourse www.chester-races.com Storyhouse www.storyhouse.com

Louise, Up North Records ‘We chose Chester as the best location for our record shop when we returned from living in Australia. We’ve been going a year – check out our store!’

70 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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DID YOU KNOW? Seyval blanc grapes are mostly grown in England and on the US East Coast

FROM VINE TO WINE As Christmas approaches, many people are thinking about what to drink as much as what to eat over the festive season. Graham Tinsley MBE, executive chef at Cheshire’s Carden Park, tells us about the venue’s own vines


arden Park’s vineyard covers three acres and is cared for all year round by our estates team. Throughout the year, the vines are clipped and spaced to aid the ventilation when they start to fruit with Seyval blanc grapes. From May to September, the grapes are left to grow and ripen. During this time, it’s vital the grapes have as much sun as possible to increase their sugar content and improve their flavour. In October, the 4,000 vines are harvested, resulting in around eight tonnes of grapes. Once harvested, the grapes are sent to Halfpenny Green Vineyard to start the wine production process. There the grapes are destalked and pressed, and the fermentation process begins using champagne yeast in a method called methode champagnois. The wine is then bottled and ready for you to enjoy. This journey from vineyard to wine bottle takes on average 18 months. Carden Park Estate Reserve Sparkling Wine is sold at the hotel reception or you can enjoy a glass during your stay. It makes a great addition to any Christmas

celebration and this year is expected to be among the country’s brilliant bumper vintages after our sunny summer. But it isn’t all about the wine. I always keep a few buckets of grapes to use in my kitchen. This month’s recipe (below) is a delicious chutney that goes great with your festive cheeseboard and can be preserved and given as a present.

Graham Tinsley

Our glorious summer could lead to a bumper sparkling wine vintage

Carden grape chutney Ingredients 10 green apples, peeled, cored and chopped 2 onions, finely chopped 300ml balsamic vinegar 300ml brandy 2.25kg green grapes 350g light brown sugar A pinch of salt 2tsp mixed spice 2tsp ground cinnamon 1tsp ground ginger

Method 1. Simmer the apples, onions, balsamic vinegar and brandy in a thick-bottomed pan for 30 minutes. 2. Stir in the grapes, sugar, salt and spices and continue to simmer gently for 11/2-2 hours until the mixture is thick and pulpy. 3. If the chutney still seems too wet after this time, turn up the heat to allow the excess liquid to evaporate. 4. Store in sterilised jars.

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Keeping gin real in Shropshire


qualifications and to ensure everything was in place. We started trading on 1st July this year and now have a 30-litre still we call Jean, as well as the original five-litre still which is still used for development. Staying true to the gin name, ours is juniper led. We’re currently developing additional varieties, which we hope to bring out before Christmas.

Gareth Glynn with his Shire Gin

When we heard about a gin that shared our name – Shire Gin – we couldn’t wait to catch up with its makers, the Shropshire Distillery. Who are the Shropshire Distillery? We’re Gareth and Emma Glynn. We’re from Lancashire but our distillery is based in Ellesmere. Our logo combines both shires, with the iconic Shropshire Ironbridge and the Lancashire rose.

What makes Shire Gin different? We use traditional copper still methods and all the elements of the process are undertaken by us. There is no thirdparty involvement – every bottle is filled, labelled, corked, wax and signed by us. We distill over a longer period of time to produce a smooth-tasting gin. The copper still We are very proud to have won first prize at the Oswestry Show this year.

Where can we buy some? We currently sell direct to consumers at local markets, What led to you making Shire Gin? farmers’ markets and events. You can also buy Gareth’s background as a chemical engineer directly from the distillery and we’re in the took him to breweries and distilleries, and process of setting up our own online shop. with our own love of gin we decided it was We are in discussion something we could do with several shops and bars ourselves. We attended to stock our gin. Currently, a gin-making session you can find us at Taste at a distillery and from At No 1 in Ludlow, there started the process The Vault in Ellesmere, of our own distillery. Stans Superstore in St We purchased a five-litre Martin’s, The Bailey still, which we used to Everything is done in-house Head in Oswestry, Secret develop our recipes. We Bottle Shop in Hereford toyed with different ideas, and Wrekin Whiskies in Shrewsbury. but wanted to produce a gin people would Shire Gin is available in 20cl and 70cl go back to rather than a quirky flavour that bottles and there are also various gift packages would be drunk now and again. It took 12 available, which are ideal for Christmas! months to gain the relevant licences and

The goose is getting fat… Make the most of those Christmas leftovers with this terrific goose pâté recipe from Jennie Brisbourne Ingredients 455g (1lb) freshly cooked goose meat 2-3 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped 8-10 crushed juniper berries 340g (12oz) soft rendered goose fat Freshly ground black pepper & sea salt Method 1. Shred the goose meat and stir together with the herbs, crushed berries and goose fat. 2. For a smooth texture pâté, blend the ingredients in a food processor. 3. Season to taste and pack into individual ramekins. 4. Pour a layer of melted fat run over the surface – this will seal the meat

as it solidifies and help it to keep. Cover and refrigerate until required. 5. Serve with warm bread. Fresh geese are available direct from Brisbourne Geese in Nesscliffe. Ovenready weights range from 9lb to 14lb (allow 1lb to 1.5lb per person for your Christmas roast goose). For more, visit www.brisbournegeese.co.uk.

Meet Appleby’s, producer of one of the area’s most famous exports – Cheshire cheese In the early 1900s there were almost 2,000 producers of Cheshire cheese, and the area continues to churn out cheese by the tonne. Many producers are family-run firms, such as Appleby’s, which is an expert in the Cheshire variety despite being based in Marchamley, in the neighbouring county of Shropshire. Lance and Lucy Appleby moved to the business’s base at Hawkstone Abbey Farm in the late 1940s. Lucy studied cheesemaking at what is now Reaseheath College and founded Appleby’s in the stable next to the farmhouse kitchen in 1952. In the 1980s, the couple refused to give in to pressure to wax their cheeses, explaining that doing so prevents the cheese from breathing and maturing naturally. They began selling cheese direct to customers such as Neal’s Yard Dairy and Paxton & Whitfield, who appreciated that the ‘terroir’ – the diverse flora and fauna found in the milk and the maturation rooms – is unique to the flavour and texture of Appleby’s clothbound cheeses. Paul and Sarah, the third generation of the Appleby family, now work with cheesemaker Garry Gray and the teams in the dairy and on the farm to ensure the continued production of exceptional Cheshire. They recently began making hand-churned whey butter and are developing a traditional blue Cheshire. www.applebyscheese.co.uk

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WALES’S TOP PUBS Chris Charters, Welsh director of CAMRA, announces the region’s Pub of the Year


very year, CAMRA holds a national competition to find the Pub of the Year, Cider Pub of the Year and Club of the Year. The competition starts with each CAMRA branch choosing its winners. In Wales, this year’s winners are as follows:

DID YOU KNOW? We have a national cream tea day every 28th June!

• Cider Pub of the Year The Cellar Door, Newport, Gwent • Club of the Year Real Ale Farm, Bargoed • Pub of the Year The Bridge End Inn, Ruabon, Wrexham The Bridge End Inn is a welcoming and cosy former coaching inn that’s a firm favourite among real-ale lovers across North and Mid Wales and the UK. There are snacks available, and the occasional ‘pop-up’ Sunday lunch. The pub was deservedly awarded CAMRA National Pub of the Year in 2011, and is multiple winner of the Chester & South Clwyd branch award. The Bridge End Inn now goes on to the next stage of the CAMRA National Pub of the Year competition, the super-regional judging, where it is up against three other pubs: The Cricketers Arms in St Helens, Merseyside; The George & Dragon in Richmond, North Yorkshire; and The White Hart in Belper, Derbyshire.

The Bridge End Inn, near Wrexham

Crumblicious luxury Christmas gift box


veryone knows the world is a better place with tea and cake in it, so when Claire Rogers and Pauline Jones of Crumblicious in Oswestry came up with their concept of takeaway cream teas, they knew it would be a success. Each beautifully presented box includes a selection of cakes, brownies, shortbread biscuits, scones, clotted cream, jam and individual tea sachets for two or four people. ‘It is the perfect gift to give anyone, regardless of the occasion or celebration,’ says company director Claire. ‘They are the perfect way to celebrate birthdays, a new home or a new baby, or as a kind gesture to cheer someone up!’ Artisan bakery Crumblicious is now in its eighth year of trading, and Claire and baker Pauline have decades of experience between them. For the past five years, the company has been predominantly creating cakes

and desserts for the catering sector, but earlier this year entrepreneur Claire decided the company needed a new range to make their cakes more accessible to the general public. After sharing their favourite and most disappointing experiences as cake customer themselves, Claire and Pauline came up with their takeaway Cream Tea for Two and Cake Boxes. The company strives to be inclusive, and gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan cake boxes are also available, as well as themed boxes for Christmas and Halloween. Everything ordered by 11am, Monday to Thursday, is available for next-day delivery via a courier service. For more information and to order a takeaway cream tea for yourself, visit the online shop at www.crumblicious.co.uk or call 01691 239349.

Crumblicious produces gluten-free treats too!

Are you a local producer and want your foodie treats reviewed on these pages? Get in touch now at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk or call 01691 661270

74 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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FROM FESTIVE FIZZ TO PERFECT PORT Most of us reach for a glass of something special over the Christmas season. Pip Gale of Gales Wine Bar in Llangollen gives readers some pointers on what to pour


hristmas is the time to upgrade your wine. The food served on the day is pretty simple, but the fanfare that goes with it is not. Setting the table with all the tradition your family has built up over the years doesn’t mean you have to keep the wine traditional too. Here are a few suggestions that could see you making new traditions while keeping Christmas dinner special.

Feel the fizz

Whether it’s at breakfast or you welcome your guests, fizz is the best way to kick off Christmas. Champagne is the traditional choice and arguably the best. If you want to try something off your radar, blanc de blanc champagne

DID YOU KNOW? Tawny port is aged in smaller barrels, enabling the wine to oxidise

uses only the white Chardonnay grape, which and makes for a bigger explosion of intense acidity. Moving away from France, the green apple zing of an English sparkling wine can do wonders – they’ve come on leaps and bounds and are ready to take on the world and your dinner table. If you really want to be different, a sparkling Australian shiraz can be a real talking point with its deep red bubbles.

Top tipples

Port is the other great Christmas drink. I love port more than most, but around our family festivities we upgrade our

choice by grabbing a wood-aged tawny, usually one that’s 20 years old. We’ve also been known to have the equally decadent Pedro Ximénez sherry, which is intensely sweet and can hold its own against any Christmas pudding. When it comes to the wine to serve during Christmas dinner, I can recommend looking to some of Spain’s more off-the-beaten-track bottles. Reds from the Priorat region are all of a tremendous quality and will wow any guest with their depth and complexity. Whites from Galicia, such as the tremendously fresh albarino, are rich enough to go with most starters and could even lift the turkey dinner. Merry Christmas!

Iced prune and armagnac parfait with hazelnut tuile For the parfait (Makes 15 portions) 220g caster sugar 8 egg yolks 550g lightly whipped double cream 80g chopped prunes soaked in 80g armagnac

This Christmas dessert recipe, by Sarah Francis of Checkers Pantry in Montgomery, Powys, is light and full of fantastic festive flavours, and is great with caramelised apples or pears. If you’re not a fan of armagnac, substitute the prunes and armagnac for Grand Marnier, and serve with a salad of pink grapefruit, orange and mango. Or leave out the booze and add vanilla.

For the tuile 200g roasted peeled hazelnuts, ground to a rough powder 188g caster sugar 25g flour 140g egg white 40g hazelnut oil Method 1. Cover the base of a small pan with 1/2cm of water. Add the caster sugar. Bring to the boil and take to 121°C using a sugar thermometer. 2. While the sugar is cooking, whisk the yolks in a mixer until pale.

3. Pour the hot syrup on to the yolks and whisk until tepid. 4. Fold the yolk and sugar mixture into the lightly whipped cream. When combined, gently fold in the prunes and armagnac. Taste and add more armagnac if desired. 5. Put the mixture in individual ring moulds or a plastic box and freeze, preferably overnight. 6. To make the hazelnut tuile, heat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. 7. Mix together the dry ingredients, add the wet and stir well. 8. Put small rounds on a tray lined with parchment and bake until golden. 9. Remove from the parchment while still hot and place over a mould to shape. 10. Store in an airtight container.

76 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Baby, it’s cold outside Winter may be well and truly upon us, but don’t let that stop you from getting out and enjoying some of our amazing outdoor spaces. Over the next five pages, we take a look at the glorious gardens worth visiting at this time of year, even if you have to wrap up warm…


lthough humans aren’t hibernating animals, many of us tend to stay in and keep warm rather than getting out and about over the winter. It’s understandable – the summer sun is appealing for long lazy walks, flowers in full bloom make attractive surroundings to wander in, and just the extra rigmarole of finding hats, gloves and scarves can put many of us off a winter expedition. But if we give in to this reluctance, we are missing a treat. The UK doesn’t routinely administer vitamin D supplements to children in winter as many of our European neighbours do. Some say we should, but others feel we

Frost brings a new dimension

of year for a refreshing walk. Not only should make a point of ensuring the weather will you discover bright winter berries doesn’t trap us in our homes for months at a and late-flowering shrubs, you may get to time. We are surrounded by National Trust admire the sparkle of frost-highlighted properties that keep their doors open all leaves and even a sprinkle of snow to create year round, with glorious gardens that are a picture-perfect winter scene. tended throughout the seasons. Most of the properties we’ve They may be quieter than in Many gardens picked out also have cosy tearooms the height of summer, but they come into their serving winter warmers. So have no less to show us and own at this time of year, there really is no excuse for not many even come into their own with dazzling making a day of it with a garden with dazzling winter displays. winter displays visit and spot of lunch – perfect If you prefer the subtle show for giving your flagging spirits of winter bushes, and fancy a an energetic boost and leaving a little stroll through tranquil landscapes glittering more colour in those rosy, winter cheeks. in the winter sun, this is the perfect time

Birds are attracted to winter gardens

Berries provide splashes of colour

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Cheshire’s best Dunham Massey, Altrincham, Cheshire At seven acres, Dunham Massey’s Winter Garden is the largest of its kind in the UK. Designed with the help of plantsman Roy Lancaster, the garden is home to more than 700 plant species and 1,600 winter shrubs, trees and evergreens chosen for their scent, colour and texture. Work began to create the Winter Garden in 2007. Before this, the area was an impenetrable thicket with brambles and weeds in danger of taking over. New paths were laid and some trees and shrubs cleared. Such an ambitious garden project needed a few years to establish, so the Winter Garden only officially opened in November 2009.

Dunham Massey sprinkled with snow

A treat for the season

Since then, it has flourished. Cathedral-like beech and oak trees maintain the historic woodland feel, while the plants underneath provide interest throughout the winter.

There’s always plenty to explore, with inspiring planting ideas to enhance your own garden. Highlights include Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ with its yellow and orange stems, while silver birch provides a striking contrast to the purple-black stems of Cornus Colour for the cold alba ‘Kesselringii’ and the snowdrops Thousands of bulbs spring to life DID YOU and white cyclamen beneath. in winter, including snowdrops, KNOW? Last entry to The Yellow Meadow’s winteririses and cyclamen, which Dunham Massey is flowering bulbs bring real drama thrive in the dry conditions one hour before and ensure a show-stopping show beneath the trees. The Birch closing, or dusk even in winter. For a more subtle Triangle is surrounded by grasses, if earlier display, look out for the delicate blue Iris black-stemmed dogwood and ‘Katharine Hodgkin’, which provides lovely white cyclamen. Wildlife continues to colour in contrast to the bright white carpet be attracted to the garden, with snowdrops created by quarter of a million snowdrops. providing the early forage for bees and www.nationaltrust.org.uk/dunham-massey woodpeckers burrowing into tree trunks.

You can still spot wildlife in the colder months

Look out for the first signs of spring

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Top in Shropshire The Dorothy Clive Garden, Willoughbridge, Market Drayton Named by the Daily Mail as one of Britain’s best winter gardens, the Dorothy Clive Garden makes a feature of the coldest months of the year and is open to visitors at weekends throughout the DID YOU season. Its immaculate KNOW? woodland borders are The Winter bound to lift the spirits Garden is open 10am-4pm, on even the coldest day. Friday to The beautiful one-acre Sunday Winter Garden comes alive from November onwards, with cyclamen heralding the display soon followed by Iris reticulata, Chionodoxa, hellebores and snowdrops. Trees, chosen for their

Snowdrops carpet winter gardens

textural bark, include Prunus serrula and Acer tegmentosum ‘Joe Witt’ and ‘White Tigress’. Cornus and Salix are used for their coloured stems, while shrubs such as Sarcococca and Daphne add their scent and are placed near paths to maximise their impact. Small, white Betula ermanii trees are planted close to evergreen shrubs such as Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’ and Skimmia japonica ‘Kew Green’. Viburnum species include V. rhytidophyllum and V. bodnantense ‘Dawn’.

Foliage and flourish Several witch hazels – Hamamelis intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ (yellow), ‘Jelena’ (orange), and ‘Diane’ (an unusual dark red) – weave their spidery flowers from January to

Colourful cyclamen

An acre that bursts with life February, while Mahonia wagneri ‘Pinnacle’ picks up the baton from February to April, adding a flourish of yellow flower clusters. The main maintenance for the Winter Garden happens in March, when Cornus and Salix stems are stooled back to encourage more colour next winter. The Dorothy Clive team mulch the soil with leaf mould and organic matter every year or so as the garden is built on sandstone and there isn’t not much depth to the soil. The snowdrops are divided in late February/ early March. There is so much to see, it’s worth a repeat visit. The garden offers a special winter membership of £5, entitling the holder to free entry garden from October to March. www.dorothyclivegarden.co.uk

Delicate Chionodoxa luciliae

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Wonder of Wales Floral and fragrant

Bodnant Garden, Tal-y-Cafn, nr Colwyn Bay

mountains of Snowdonia, and is a delight for the senses with year-round colour. Described as a ‘garden for all seasons’, it provides a With its colourful and fragrant plants, stunning setting of frosted landscapes in Bodnant’s garden brings cheer to the chill winter and, from late autumn, of winter, with colourfula firework-like display of stemmed birches, bright The herbaceous beds crimson, amber and gold. bergenias and bulbs such as are bursting with late-flowering asters, snowdrops, iris, cyclamen sedums and dahlias and crocus. A particular Treat in the trees in all colours highlight is the rich Bodnant boasts Wales’s largest scent, with shrubs such collection of UK Champion as Hamamelis, Daphne and Sarcococca. Trees – the biggest and best of their kind in Created over 150 years, the garden is Britain – many of which are at their finest the result of the vision of generations of at this time of year. Among the historic the McLaren family and Puddle head collection are also rare exotics collected gardeners. This haven of rarity and beauty by plant hunters more than a century ago, has a stunning backdrop of the Carneddau along with other beautiful native trees.

Bodnant Garden has a variety of walks

Bergenia add dashes of pink

Head to the Glades to enjoy Japanese acers, and be awestruck by the towering American conifers in the Dell and Far End. In the formal gardens on the Terraces, roses are still in bloom throughout autumn and herbaceous beds are bursting with late-flowering asters, sedums and dahlias in all colours of the rainbow. If the candyfloss scent of Cercidiphyllum japonicum gives you an appetite, there are refreshments in the tearooms. There’s always something to see and do for all the family throughout winter here, from guided walks exploring Bodnant Garden’s trees, autumn colour, history and wildlife, to a host of nature-inspired activities for youngsters. www.nationaltrust.org.uk/bodnant-garden

Acer japonicum’s colourful leaves

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Winter wonderlands The best of the rest

As well as the glorious seasonal gardens we can find all around us in this part of England and Wales, there are others a little further afield that are well worth the trip

Biddulph Grange’s impressive topiary

Biddulph Grange Garden, Staffordshire Just beyond the Shropshire and Cheshire borders lies Biddulph Grange Garden, a showcase for plants from all over the world set amid rockwork, topiary and an extraordinary collection of eclectic garden buildings. Take a stroll through the Pinetum, where the path weaves its way between conifers, hollies, yews

Admire the architecture at Dyffryn Gardens

and monkey puzzle trees. Winter is the best time to appreciate this formal garden and there is a fine view from the western terrace looking over the Dahlia Walk with its magnificent yew hedges to the pyramid in the Egyptian garden.

Dyffryn Gardens, Vale of Glamorgan Further south, you’ll find Dyffryn’s’ enchanting series of outdoor rooms. Visitors can wander

through the arboretum past bright red holly berries and discover winter roses on a winding walk down the paths. Dyffryn’s glasshouses are packed with colourful chrysanthemums, and you’ll also find a vinery, cacti house and rainforest with orchids and banana trees. Another draw at Dyffryn is the impressive architecture, with romantic archways and winding outdoor steps.

WHAT TO SPOT Some of the best winter plants make up for their lack of showy blooms with enticing aromas and bright colours, while others are adaptable to life in containers allowing them to be moved in and out of the limelight according to the season. One thing’s for sure – the sight and scent of these valuable plants can cheer up a dull time of the year. Here is Shire’s guide to the best winter plants to look out for this season 1. Helleborus niger Also known as the Christmas rose, this one of our best-loved winter flowers. They can be rhizomatous, herbaceous, evergreen or semi-evergreen perennials that display large, bowl-shaped white flowers from December to March.

2. Iris unguicularis A vigorous evergreen rhizomatous perennial that grows to 30cm in height, with copious dark green leaves and very fragrant, deep violet flowers 5-8cm in width, the

falls marked with white and deep yellow at the base, from October to March.

3. Clematis Several varieties of clematis offer attractive winter displays. C. cirrhosa is evergreen with cream flowers, sometimes red spotted. C. cirrhosa var. balearica has cream spotted red/ maroon flowers and C. cirrhosa ‘Freckles’ has cream flecked maroon/violet flowers.

4. Arbutus unedo A large evergreen shrub with rough brown bark and dark green leathery leaves. It produces strawberry-like red fruits in

autumn and urnshaped, white or pinktinged flowers from October to December.

5. Shrubs Evergreen shrubs shouldn’t be overlooked in their ability to brighten a winter garden, with many flowering varieties waiting for the cold to really show off. Good examples are Elaeagnus pungens ‘Maculata’ which has small, silvery white flowers and Mahonia media ‘Charity’, which has pinnate leaves and small, cup-shaped yellow flowers.

82 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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GetActive GIVE AN EPIC ACTIVE GIFT THIS CHRISTMAS Treat your friends and family to the perfect gift this Christmas: an epic gift voucher for any of the activities or courses on offer at Plas Menai, the National Outdoor Centre for Wales


las Menai has the largest selection of outdoor activities and courses in the UK, catering for everyone regardless of ability, with programmes for children as young as eight to sessions designed for seniors. Whether you know someone who would like to try something new, someone who wants to develop their skills, or maybe someone who

is always looking for their next adventure, there is a session or course to suit – so what are you waiting for? The courses and activities at the National Outdoor Centre for Wales near Caernarfon run throughout the year, and include sailing, windsurfing, powerboating, yachting and sea kayaking. There are also a selection of multi-activity programmes – check out the website (see below) for full details.

Year-round activities

Plas Menai is a recognised Royal Yachting Association and British Canoeing training centre, with highly qualified and experienced instructors and exceptional shoreside facilities. The centre is surrounded by seven acres of landscaped

Shire’s resident rambler Clive Williams takes us on a winter walk around Powis Castle that’s worth putting your boots on for even when the weather is frightful


t this time of the year, there’s nothing better than the sound of snow crunching under your walking boots and the crisp cold nipping at your nose. So in this edition, I want to recommend a wintry walk that will take you out of the town and into surroundings

that are transformed at this time of the year. It’s a short walk that’s nothing short of magical when snow is on the ground. It’s fairly level, with a slight gradient up towards the castle slightly more so as you head towards the castle gates. Starting in Welshpool town centre at the town clock, take care crossing the road and

grounds, overlooking the Isle of Anglesey. Plas Menai is open all year round and is the perfect destination for anybody looking for outstanding outdoor adventure. The centre is purpose-built and modern, with direct access to the sheltered coastal waters of the Menai Strait and a stone’s DID YOU throw away from KNOW? Snowdonia. Plas Menai can Gift vouchers provide all the are valid for 12 kit for your months from the activity date of purchase. For more information, visit www.plasmenai.co.uk/shop or call 0300 300 3112. Vouchers can only be purchased over the phone; a gift pack will be sent through the post with an email confirming the purchase.

turn right up Broad Street for approximately 80 metres, then turn left down Park Lane. At the end of this road, you’ll be greeted by an impressive set of wrought-iron gates, indicating that you’ve reached the Powis Castle estate. The route isn’t a public right of way but access is instead courtesy of the Earl of Powis.

Sorry, no dogs

As you walk up towards the castle, look out for the unusual hollowed-out tree stump. In the early morning and late afternoon, you’re also bound to see the deer of Powis Castle, as halfway into the walk you enter the deer park. Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed on this stretch. If you’re keen to look inside the castle, it’s worth checking out the winter opening times before you set out (visit www. nationaltrust.org.uk/powiscastle-and-garden) to avoid disappointment. Whether you enter or not, on leaving the castle carry on walking the same route, heading along the track to the main

gates. Look out for the kissing gate in the wall to the right to avoid having to cross the cattle grid. Once you’re through the gate, turn left down Red Lane and walk for approximately 300 metres, where you’ll find another entrance to the castle grounds on your left. Take this route and after a few hundred metres the castle will appear in all its impressive glory, with its world-famous garden terraces on view.

Back to the start

Past the castle offices – which were, incidentally, once the accommodation for the castle’s butlers and maids – and stable block, the lane makes a sharp right turn. Pass through the gate adjacent to the cattle grid and you’ll see the Dairy Pool, where there’s a seat where you can sit and enjoy the view over to Long Mountain. You’ll soon find the track you started on, enabling you to retrace your footsteps back into Welshpool. Happy winter walking!

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 85

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There is a choice of accommodation at Pentreclawdd


njoy life in the outdoors on the Welsh border at Pentreclawdd Farm, a family-run glamping site in Oswestry. Superbly located for families, couples and individuals alike, the site is perfect for walking, shopping, heritage, family fun, adventure and cycling. Julian and Emma manage the site, ensuring everything is in good order for when you arrive. From spring to autumn, Emma has her hands full with running the caravan park and camping pods. Come winter, the place transforms into a Christmas tree wonderland, at which point daughters Isabella and Eva also help out in the Christmas shop. This year, the team added two luxury pods to their popular range, as well as free WiFi and a new amenity block. The pods are a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors without the hassle of

having to pitch a tent. On your arrival, you can just move straight in and be warm and dry in one of the secure, lockable pods. All you need to bring is a sleeping bag (unless you are in the luxury pod, where bedding is provided) – because blow-up beds are provided. All the pods are available from 1st March to 31st October and are perfect for walkers, mountain bikers and family breaks, and if you’re just visiting the Oswestry area. The team at Pentreclawdd Farm have even more plans afoot. For a start, they are hoping to have a brand new, luxury one-bedroom barn conversion ready for guests soon – keep an eye on their website for updates. Visit www.pentreclawddfarm.co.uk to find out more online.


onstitution Hill rises dramatically from the sea at the north end of Aberystwyth promenade, providing spectacular views of Cardigan Bay, the town and, on a clear day, 26 mountain peaks. The most relaxing way to enjoy the panorama is by taking a train on Britain’s longest funicular electric cliff railway, which opened in 1896. The summit’s refurbished station provides protection from the elements. Once there, visitors can experience the views in one of the world’s largest camera obscuras, which offers a bird’s eye view of 1,000 square miles of land and sea. There are also fascinating historical displays, a children’s play area, a well-stocked gift shop and a café.

Now is the time for narrowboat booking

The Southern Cross was named and launched by Janet and Angus Maughan, owners of Overwater Marina where she’s now based


re you in need of something to look forward to in order to get you through the cold winter months? Why not look ahead and start planning the holidays you want to take in 2019. If you would like to enjoy a relaxed break during which you can sit back and watch the world drift by, spending a week or

two with the Cheshire Cat Narrowboat the boats available for the year ahead. Company could be the perfect option. There’s something to suit all levels of This small family-run firm is based at boating experience – everyone, from the award-winning Overwater Marina, beginner to expert sailor, is welcome. The team at Cheshire Cat Audlem, on the Shropshire Union Experts can Narrowboat aim to ensure that Canal. This stunning location, just tell you about below the Audlem Lock flight, you have a truly enjoyable and the scenery is only three hours’ cruising memorable holiday experience and pubs you time to the beautiful and ever from the moment you arrive. will see along popular Llangollen Canal. Expert tuition is provided the way to set you on your way with The company’s fleet includes boats that are perfects for couples, as confidence, including a practical well as family-sized vessels. This year, the demonstration of working the locks. team have also added a new member to The experts can also suggest a choice the family – the Southern Cross, an eightof suitable routes and tell you all about the amazing scenery, cosy pubs and berth canal boat perfect for extended families or two groups together. historic architecture you’re likely to see With various ‘buy one week, get the along the way. Cheshire Cat doesn’t second half price’ deals available during even charge extra if you wish to bring your pets with you, so don’t leave the the year at selected times, it’s always furry friends at home. All aboard! worth keeping an eye on the company’s website (see below). Here you can also check the latest news and browse www.cheshirecatnarrowboats.co.uk November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 87

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British holidaymakers stay put STORYHOUSE

I The UK’s fine weather meant people stayed in the UK last year


oliday lodge company Darwin increasingly prefer to holiday in style – Escapes has revealed that this year’s and own – in the UK. Darwin Escapes sells luxury brilliant British weather caused a surge is people shunning foreign fi ve-star lodge living set in ‘People are holidays in favour of UK breaks. glorious countryside in various fed up with ‘We were inundated with locations, including Aberconwy the hassle of and Talacre in North Wales. enquiries from people keen to heading to make the most of the scorching ‘Today’s staycationers want an airport’ ownership in cool boutique-living temperatures that swept the country this summer,’ says Shaun lodges, complete with exceptional dining, pampering spa treatments and Roberts, head of sales at the luxury holiday lodge company. ‘With Brexit and a range of five-star facilities,’ Roberts continues. ‘They’re buying their own the weak pound, people are fed up with the hassle of heading to an airport and lodge because they want a home from home, somewhere that’s easy for them to come to at the weekend with family and to which they can bring their pets.’ The company recently unveiled its most expensive ever holiday home – the £399,999 Lookout Lodge on a beachside plot at its Aberconwy Resort & Spa. Designed by an interior designer with all mod-cons, the Lookout has its own wet room, split-level balconies and decked terraces, and sold within hours. Darwin Escapes offers luxury facilities


f you’re holidaying near Chester and fancy a bit of culture, Storyhouse is the place to go. The theatre, cinema and library in Chester’s city centre presents the best home-produced and internationally acclaimed work, and is one of the UK’s most successful cultural buildings, attracting one million customers in its first year. The pioneering library within Storyhouse, where members of the community work alongside librarians, is open every day until 11pm – the longest opening hours of any UK public library. Storyhouse also offers over 2,000 activities each year for local marginalised groups, including autismfriendly colouring sessions, sewing groups for refugees and regular classes for isolated and older communities. The building is home to a theatre company, which has gained national acclaim for its stage adaptations, including the first version of Enid Blyton’s The Secret Seven. Storyhouse also runs the country’s most successful regional open-air theatre company, Grosvenor Park Open Air Theatre, in the city’s main park and an open-air cinema, Moonlight Flicks. www.storyhouse.com

Enjoy five-star facilities at Fir Trees A

re you looking for a beautiful and peaceful caravan park with the option of city entertainment on your doorstop? Fir Trees Caravan & Lodge Park may be the perfect fit. The quiet five-star park is nestled in the North Wales countryside close to the banks of the River Dee on the outskirts of the historic city of Chester. On arriving at the park, visitors will undoubtedly be overwhelmed by the beautiful surroundings, landscaped gardens and tranquil countryside setting. Every static caravan holiday home on the park is beautifully appointed, and all the caravan plots are spacious and laid out to provide the ideal escape while you are on your caravan holiday in Wales.

There is an 11-month holiday season at Fir Trees Caravan & Lodge Park, which runs from 1st March to 31st January. This extended season means you can take advantage of weekend, week- or month-long stays – something you can do time and time again when you own your own holiday home here. While you can relax in a haven of luxury at the calm and prestigious park, just a mile and a half away you will find yourself at the heart of the magical and historical city of Chester. This means there’s an abundance of amenities and attractions at your fingertips, from the cathedral, museum and historic city walls to the zoo, Storyhouse theatre and, of course, Chester Racecourse.

The tranquil setting at Fir Trees

Fir Trees is the ideal location to explore all that Chester has to offer, as well serving as a great base for ventures into North Wales and beyond. www.firtreescaravanpark.com

88 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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How to buy a used holiday home

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Choose a design that appeals to you

Once you find a plot, it’s good to know the amount of space you’ll have. The more information you have to hand – mostly importantly, the size of caravan you require – the easier it will be to select the right holiday home. A good caravan dealership will offer a good choice and value for money. Find out if the caravan has double glazing and/or central heating. Most caravans under six years old should hen purchasing a pre-owned have both, but the length of holiday caravan, there are many factors season on your caravan park will to consider. The first is where to put guide you as to your heating needs. it. There are hundreds of parks to The gas, electricity and plumbing choose from, which are suitable for should all have been checked, but make all kinds of holidays, whether sure you ask before committing Most caravans you prefer coast or country, to a purchase, and find out how under six history or adventure. long the warranty is valid. years old Once you know where you Once you’ve chosen your want to spend your holidays, the should have holiday home, the next step next step is to find a park that double glazing is transportation. Find out welcomes pre-owned holiday whether the holiday park or and central homes. Ask the maximum caravan distributor will provide heating age a caravan can be brought transportation, and make sure on at and how long your your caravan is insured on its journey. caravan can stay in terms of years – be Follow these simple steps and it from the date of delivery or date of soon you’ll be well on your way to manufacture of your holiday home. holiday home ownership!


Consider heating options if you’ll use your home in the colder months

orthfield Holiday Park in the village of Borth near Aberystwyth is offering a brilliant discount for next summer, knocking 10 per cent off all June, July or August 2019 holidays booked before Halloween 2018. The small, peaceful park has 13 fully equipped caravans, and two spacious timber chalets with views of Cardigan Bay. It’s a five-minute walk to a quiet cove and the main beach of sand, rockpools and dunes. There are also several public footpaths, including a coastal path. The team at Northfield Holiday Park do everything possible to ensure an enjoyable holiday. Visit Wales inspection marks of 100 per cent were given for cleanliness, service and welcome again this year, and the landscaping makes Northfield the prettiest park in the area. For more information and to book, visit www.northfieldholidays.co.uk

Just for grown-ups


ituated in the Clwydian Valley in the heart of North Wales, Rhuallt Country Park is an adult-only fourstar luxury holiday park. The touring site offers 51 ‘super pitches’ to suit any size of caravan or motor home, and the luxury static site offers guests exclusivity on a 12-month holiday licence. Rhuallt Country Park provides a great experience for all its guests. Facilities include a deluxe shower and toilet block with underfloor heating or you can even rent your own private bathroom. There is also an on-site restaurant and bar, the White House, which welcomes guests from the park and beyond. The Welsh culture seeps out of the wonderful views of the countryside, the hospitality of the staff and the delicious meals at the White House. www.rhualltcountrypark.co.uk

90 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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L k a w a N A V P H CARA ARKke 01630 685209

Set beside Hawk Lake in the grounds of Hawkstone Park, this Caravan Park is great for a peaceful getaway. Close to the historic town of Shrewsbury, and in the heart of Shropshire, we are ideally located for exploring Shropshire and Mid Wales.

Warm, friendly & welcoming

countryside, ideally suited for Snowdonia

• A traditional, family-run

• Open all day

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

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

• Set in stunning rural

• 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

We offer both Day and Season Fishing on Hawk Lake. The lake has a selection of fish, from big

Carp up to 30lb, to Roach, Perch, Bream, Tench, Rudd and Pike. If it’s the Shropshire wildlife that you like, the lake is home to Kingfishers, Herons, Water Voles and Woodpeckers. Much of the lakeside is perfectly walkable, and there are places to sit and enjoy your surroundings in peace.

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

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

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

new d n a r B room show g soon in open y Road, nwa on Co yn Bay. Colw

Don’t be misled by companies that ask you to pay for the fitting direct - we guarantee the whole project. Every furniture installation is carried out by our own fully experienced team (not sub contractors)

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Rhyl Showroom Unit 10/11, Parc Fforddlas, Rhyl, LL18 2QD Tel 01745 344355 Email: sales@jkbrhyl.co.uk Colwyn Bay Showroom 21 Conway Road, Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL29 7AA Tel 01492 353185 Email: infoLA@jkbrhyl.co.uk

26/10/2018 14:03





fter we bought our cottage 30 years ago, we installed a uPVC conservatory. We enjoyed it but found you couldn’t use it all year round because it was too cold in the winter and too hot in the summer. After 20 years we felt it looked a bit dated too – uPVC has gone out of fashion and the shape was old-fashioned too. We talked about replacing it with an oak garden room, but we thought it would be too expensive. Then we saw one on a nearby house in Coalbrookdale and liked the look of it. ‘We’re both retired and love the garden, so we were keen. We knew SevernOak Timber Frames were nearby as we’d passed it. We rang and spoke to Nicky; it turned out they’d built the one in Coalbrookdale and we were asked if we’d like to have a look inside! That did it for us! Despite the upheaval involved – taking down the old one and putting in new foundations – we wanted to have it built. ‘Wil and his ‘Wil came round and explained there would team are quite the be a new planning application, as we live in a perfectionists’ conservation area. He also did some drawings to show us what it would look like. We asked for it to be as big as possible, even if it meant covering up part of the patio we’d put in the year before – we wanted to make the most of it! The drawings were done last October/November; we had the planning permission approved by March and work started straight away. From then it took three months, but the team wasn’t here every day – all the pieces for the timber frame and the glazing were done off site and then assembled here once the base was ready. ‘They had to use a mini digger because access was difficult and had to dig down quite far to put in proper new foundations – it really is

like an extension on your house, not just a conservatory made of wood. It’s all French oak, made bespoke. The wood was oiled after assembly and straight away it looked like it does now. The purlins (the heavy beams at the top) actually go into the brickwork at the side of the house. They also put down oak floorboards and installed under-floor heating. Wil and his team were quite the perfectionists – there was a drainpipe that Wil was worried would spoil the look, so it was moved to a new position. ‘There were virtually no snags – the only thing I can think of was a lock on the double door was a bit stiff, so they came back and fixed that. They’ve done a beautiful job – the staff were all lovely and really helpful, and gave great advice about the lighting and the furniture. ‘We were able to move into our new conservatory at the end of June. It has been lovely – because of the solid side of the roof you can always find a cool spot when the sun’s hot, and even by October we’d only put the heating on twice. We enjoy sitting here in the evening – we really only use our sitting room if we want to watch the TV! This is just a great place to chat, enjoy the garden, read or entertain friends – it truly has changed our house!’ CONTACT DETAILS

SevernOak Timber Frames 01952 590002 07913 717777 www.severnoaktimber frames.co.uk 92 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Derwas of Welshpool

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Our services • Installations of wood/multifuel appliances and fireplaces NEW • CCTV camera services SHOWROOM • Chimney Lining OPEN at • Chimney sweeping Welshpool branch. • Stove servicing • Cowls and birdguards fitted.

We stock

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

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

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

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

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VISIT OUR SHOP... 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.

...FOR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING We stock travelling rugs and Welsh tapestry bags, purses, cushions and throws woven on site plus sheepskin slippers and gloves a wide range of pure wool scarves, hats, mitts and sweaters, posh socks and silk ties, and lots more. Shop open: Monday - Saturday

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

BANQUET HOUSE ANTIQUES Specialising in quality 18th, 19th, and early 20th century furniture, ceramics, and silver. History, tradition and beauty tempered by practicality and usefulness. Come enjoy a cup of tea and have a look. Being private dealers we hope to give you the best buying experience.

We also sell good quality alpacas as: Pets, Guard animals and Starter herds 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

Christmas Shopping Saturdays in our farm shop during November and December and at other times by appointment - just call us.


Handmade Crafts & Gifts Created using natural and discarded products to make quality products for home or business use Beautiful gifts for all occasions

By appointment only.

Banquet House, Princes Road, Rhuddlan, Rhyl, LL18 5RA Tel 01745 591942 | www.banquethouseantiques.com | dfpersich@aol.com

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07717 211904 trudy@rtdesigners.co.uk www.rtdesigners.co.uk

26/10/2018 14:03

Homes&Interiors £15m happy ending for fairytale castle

Mark Baker, left, and Llyr Williams of law firm Swayne Johnson, who assisted the Trust with the purchase

A castle on the North Wales coast is entering the second stage of a 10-year makeover to restore it to the palatial residence that once welcomed a young Queen Victoria

Volunteers are helping to restore the castle and its grounds

Gwrych Castle was completed in 1822


At the moment we’re clearing he first steps in the renovation of Gwrych what was once the East Lawn.’ Mark formed the trust 21 Castle near Abergele were taken years ago, when he was 12 and this summer as a small army of used to pass the castle on his way volunteers reopened the gardens to Rydal School in Colwyn Bay. and staged a medieval festival on the site. Now the Gwrych Castle The trust bought the castle in June with the help of a £600,000 Preservation Trust, headed by grant from the National Mark Baker, has announced the Heritage Memorial Fund. next stage of the project to save There are 300 acres the glorious 19thof grounds surrounding century stately home. ‘We want the castellated walls, ‘We have a 10to secure turrets and towers that year plan to restore Gwrych’s line the wooded hillside the main building, future’ over 60 metres above which we estimate Liverpool Bay. The site will cost £15m, and is the ancestral home of the Lloyd then there’s a 25-year plan to family but the castle itself was restore the whole estate,’ says built by Lloyd Hesketh BamfordMark. ‘The trust reopened Hesketh and completed by 1822. the gardens two years ago and ‘We want to secure Gwrych’s since then we’ve had thousands future for the next 50 years and of people visit. Work is now beyond,’ says Mark. ‘Its future continuing thanks to grants and has never looked so safe.’ the efforts of our volunteers.

New showroom for trusted family firm


his is the perfect time to revamp your home, as trusted business Just Kitchens & Bedrooms has expanded. Now operating from a new huge, state-of-the-art showroom in Colwyn Bay, the family-run firm will make sure every aspect of your project runs smoothly. With more than 20 years’ experience, there is a wealth of customer feedback and reams of glowing

Laura Ashley and other interior design brands, there is a style and a budget to suit everyone. Initial quotations are free, so you can make your mind up on what will work for your home and your family needs. testimonials so you don’t just have to take their word for it. Just Kitchens & Bedrooms has its own in-house furniture installation team that take care of your property, guaranteeing the whole job, giving you piece of mind and putting customer satisfaction as their main priority. With amazing ranges available, including the stunning new additions from

Pride and perfection

Just Kitchens & Bedrooms’ owner Antony takes pride in making sure customers get their dream room. The company will be there every step of the way, from initial planning to adding the finishing touches. Having been keeping customers happy across North Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire for decades, the team know all about customer satisfaction and

guaranteeing a high-quality finish. If you’re thinking of a new look for your interior, visit the new Colwyn Bay showroom or the company’s website at www.jkbrhyl.co.uk. From design to reality, make your dreams come true with the experts who are proud to be local.

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 95

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Truly timeless gift giving Shire magazine’s new antiques column, by Elizabeth Hart from Banquet House Antiques in Rhuddlan, near Rhyl, takes a look at some of the more unusual presents you can buy for loved ones this Christmas


he holidays are a time for memories and what better place to find a memory than in the gift of carefully chosen antique. For female friends and family members, beautiful or interesting jewellery is a good choice. You’ll be amazed at the quality and variety Items can be linked to a hobby to be had for very reasonable prices. Look for precious metal – gold or silver, hallmarked if possible – and set with gemstones or pearls. Take a small magnifying glass and look each piece over carefully. Ask if the metal is ‘real’, rather than gold or silver plated, and look for old repairs that may make a chain or a bracelet weak. Also look for major flaws in the stones or large occlusions – cracks that appear as dark lines – that reduce value.

fingers across cut crystal – the edges should feel sharp. Look for hallmarked silver tops on perfume bottles and containers.

For men

When shopping for male friends or relatives, look for something you know is a passion. It could be the bonnet ornament or badge for a favourite make of automobile, a vintage leather jacket or hat, coins, or vintage toys. Antique or vintage accessories, such as snuff boxes, cuff links and buttons for evening shirts are both collectible and useful. There are lots of lovely little antique shops and not-so-little antique emporiums along the border and in North Wales where you can look for such treasures. And you can always visit our website, www.banquethouseantiques.com, and come to see us.

For women

Vintage costume jewellery is another option. Weiss or Eisenberg bracelets, brooches, necklaces and earrings always make a statement. Made with white metal settings and crystals, paste or rhinestones with coloured or clear stones, Jewellery is a good choice both are highly collectible. Most Weiss pieces aren’t signed but you can tell a real one by the smoothness and weight of the white metal backing. Eisenberg can be signed or unsigned; signed pieces are, of course, more sought after. Other thoughtful gifts include antique or vintage evening bags, opera glasses, fans, embroidered handkerchiefs, gloves, shawls and scarves. Check for rips or tears that can’t be mended, stains or anything that renders the piece shabby rather than gently used. If you come across something with a couture label, even better. Items for the dressing table, such as small boxes, trays, perfume bottles, pin trays and jewellery boxes are a good choice. Run your

Be bowled over by wool Local artist used wool from Rhug Estate to create vases and bowls

Antique presents come in all shapes and sizes

Morgans builds for future

O Each piece is unique


llie Derbyshire from Hafotty Interiors visited Rhug Estate in the summer to collect wool from the farm’s flock of North Country Mules to use in a commissioned collection of bowls and vases, now on sale in the farm shop near Corwen. While there, she also spent time sketching the farm’s bison for another range of artwork. Ellie is inspired by the beautiful north Wales countryside, with many of her pieces incorporating locally sourced materials. This makes each piece unique, with a finish that can’t be replicated. ‘I love working with natural materials and Rhug’s wool has such a beautiful texture,’ says Ellie. ‘The wool has to go through many processes before I can layer it and combine it with resin to create the look of the Welsh misty mountains that inspired these pieces. ‘All the work I create is infused with my passion for nature, with the hope that it evokes a similar passion in others.’ Ellie’s bison-inspired artwork

swestry-based building, agricultural and DIY suppliers Morgans has been established for more than 60 years and has a great reputation in the region. With its five branches – in Aberystwyth, Oswestry, Newtown, Deeside and Ruthin – it prides itself on being a family business you can trust. The stores stock more than 8,000 lines, from construction supplies, dog food and fence panels to home products, workwear and safety kit. It also has access to over 32,000 Toolbank products available for next-day delivery. And if it’s a bespoke garden shed, log store or animal house you’re after, the joinery team can work with you to create your vision. Their repertoire includes bike sheds, pergolas, catteries, potting sheds, bin stores, bird tables, dog kennels, garages, carports, garden offices, Wendy houses – nothing is too bizarre! The company moves with the seasons too. This winter, you will find gas heaters, smokeless and house coal, antifreeze, rock salt, wellies, bird seed, kindling and hardwood logs in store, as well as Budget Gas & West Wales stock. Morgans even sells gift vouchers, if you’ve got someone who is impossible to buy for! Visit www.morgansltd.com. Morgans stocks over 8,000 lines

96 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Contact us for our latest colour brochure An Oswestry Glass Company Middleton Road, Oswestry SY11 2PN T: 01691 680008 E. info@oswestryglass.com

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Beautiful wood burning stoves

A wood-burning stove makes a stunning focal point for any room

Discover the benefits of owning a Clearview wood-burning stove, made in Shropshire for over 30 years…


learview Stoves has been designing, manufacturing and distributing wood-burning stoves from the heart of Shropshire since 1987. It has a range of stoves to suit every situation, for small or large rooms in modern or traditional properties. Many stoves have a boiler option and larger versions are capable of running a central heating system. Clearview stoves are clean burning and easy to maintain, with a wonderful view of

dancing flames behind crystal clear glass. Their unique design provides excellent controllability and they are so efficient that frequent cleaning is unnecessary. Energy price rises and the effects of global warming mean we should all be doing what we can to reduce our reliance on gas, electricity and oil to heat our homes. Burning wood cleanly releases the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere as leaving it to rot. Using it to heat

our homes means less fossil fuel is used. Wood is also a renewable and sustainable source, especially from managed woodland. Clearview believes this so passionately it plants and maintains its own forests and has developed a range of timeless, high-performance, eco-friendly wood-burning stoves. It also recommends you opt for a local supply of wood to reduce the environmental impact further. Aesthetically, a Clearview stove is the focal point of any room, offering glowing flames and a cosy warmth. It’s a cliché but no less true for it that the soft glow of a fire is the perfect

DID YOU KNOW? Clearview Stoves are permitted for use in smoke control areas

setting for an intimate conversation. It’s the place where friends and family can talk and laugh in comfort and somewhere to let the imagination run free.

Clearview’s staff are on hand to provide guidance and advice on all aspects of choosing and installing a wood-burning stove. Visit a showroom in Ludlow, Stow on the Wold or Whitchurch, call 01588 650123 or visit www. clearviewstoves.com for more information

Tips on installing a wood-burning stove

Gareth from Saxon Homecare looks at the rules and regulations


hat do you know about your chimney? If you’re installing a stove, you need to know if it’s suitable or whether improvements are needed. Firstly, does it have a flue liner? An installer will conduct a smoke test prior to installation to confirm this. If it passes the smoke test, you technically don’t need one. If it fails, you

do. Most installers will fit one as standard, as its safer, more efficient and reduces issues such as flue draw and condensation. How big is your fireplace opening? Stove manufacturers give clearances to combustible and non-combustible materials, which must be met. Finally, you’ll need a hearth made from a non-combustible

material such as tile or slate. It must extend beyond the stove, so if you have an existing hearth that doesn’t meet this clearance, you’ll need to extend it. You should always consult a HETAS-approved installer when fitting a stove, to ensure your installation meets current regulations and gives you trouble-free burning for years.

98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Unit 1, Glovers Meadow, Oswestry SY10 8NH Tel: 01691 650567 Email: info@malcolm-lewis.co.uk www.malcolm-lewis.co.uk

Specialists in Replacement Fascia, Soffits & Guttering We don’t use coverboard only Full Replacement Forget painting forever!


NEW Garage Doors affordable, safe, reliable.

Christmas wouldn’t be the same without the Carlton Garden Centre We stock everything you need for a fabulous Christmas from decorations to great gift ideas. Fresh Christmas trees, wreaths and grave pots available from 25th November

Fireworks now on sale! Fireworks available for New Year’s Eve, on sale 27th Dec. 1000’s and 1000’s in stock, start 2018 with a BANG!

FABULOUS CHRISTMAS DISPLAY Tree decorations • Lights • Fibreoptics Table decorations • Wreaths • Christmas Trees

Carlton Garden Centre - www.carltonbuildings.co.uk 01978 852896 Pinfold Lane, Llay, Wrexham, LL12 OTL

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A beautiful



plasterer, electrician – and the fitters from e had the idea that we wanted to Premier Windows were excellent.’ put a conservatory on the side of the house, which also meant moving a garden wall to make room,’ says Dave. ‘All Question time the firms who came to look and give us a ‘Initially, Greg came out from Premier to quote said our idea was possible, although see us, and then we went into the office to there was a lot of earth-moving involved. meet Caroline and look at options,’ Dave continues. ‘We had loads of questions – we ‘We got four quotes, three of which were close in price, so we looked at reviews and so didn’t want to rush and wanted to understand on and decided to go with Premier fully what we were undertaking. Windows because they were really ‘In the end, we chose a “lean-to” ‘Everyone nice people. On 5th February conservatory built against the side at Premier Windows was this year, we signed for the job.’ of the house, with “hip ends”. It’s very pleasant ‘They gave us an indication of quite large – seven metres by three and patient,’ how long it would take, but there is metres. The exterior’s wooden says John always weather to take into account, effect matches the cottage windows plus during the job you have to and the interior is white to keep make decisions as you go,’ says John. ‘For it light. And it’s all double-glazed. It’s very example, there’s a drain under the new floor, quiet in here – you can barely hear the road.’ so we needed an inspection chamber cover ‘Everyone at Premier was very pleasant in the conservatory, and we knew we wanted and patient when explaining the ins and a tiled floor, so that had to be allowed for outs,’ says John. ‘Caroline was very easy to when they were doing the groundwork.’ deal with. On a large project like this, things ‘Premier Windows contracted the can occasionally go wrong – we had a large builder to do all the groundwork, they pane of glass that needed replacing at one opted to use a micro digger for the digging point, and it was all sorted out with no fuss. out because they didn’t want to ruin the ‘They started groundwork in March lawn,’ says Dave. ‘In fact, they organised and by the end of June our conservatory was ready. The fitters were really careful all the sub-contractors – the tiler, plumber,

throughout the project. I think we were perhaps a little bit unrealistic when we first started thinking about this project in terms of how long it would actually take,’ says Dave, ‘There was a lot of work to do – it’s essentially an extension to our house! ‘We now have breakfast in here every morning – it’s terrific! We would definitely recommend Premier Windows.’

Caroline at Premier Windows says: ‘John and Dave were a little concerned when they first made contact with us to discuss adding a conservatory to their cottage, as there were a number of factors to take into consideration during the design process. We called on our many years of experience to design the conservatory around these factors. ‘There was a brick chimney breast in the centre of the proposed construction area, which needed to be included within the build, and a raised garden with retaining wall that needed to be relocated to allow sufficient floor area for John and Dave’s requirements. There was also manhole, which was easily dealt with by raising and applying a sealed manhole cover within the floor. After discussions with our team, it was also decided to opt for the high energy efficiency glazing options for both the sides frames and roof to maximise year-round use of the conservatory. ‘We are delighted Dave and John are so happy with the finished result. Should you have a proposed project you would like to discuss, please call us on 01691 773993 to arrange a visit from one of our designers.’ Premier Windows & Conservatories Moreton Business Park, Gledrid, Chirk LL14 5DG Tel: 01691 773993 www.premierwindowsoswestry.co.uk

100 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Blue is the colour


Whether it’s teal, aquamarine or midnight, blue tones will bring calm to your home this winter

2 3


Use midnight blue on your walls to create a feeling of warmth 4



1 2 3 4 5 6



7 8


Cushions, from £45, www.clarissahulse.com Bennetts Hill House, Birmingham Henry armchair, £999, www.houseology.com Giraffe lamp with velvet shade, £139.95, www.audenza.com Reactive dinnerware set, £60 for 12 pieces, www.debenhams.com Wonder glass decanter, £12, www.jdwilliams.co.uk Woodwick candle, from £4.99, www.villagecrafts.co.uk Riya drinks trolley, £299, peacock glasses, £9, Skultuna Nattlight brass candlesticks, from £100, all www.johnlewis.com Ria rug, £149, www.furniturevillage.co.uk

E D I TO R ’ S P I C KS 9

Glittery bauble, £15, www.debenhams.com

Sequin and bead tree decoration, £18 for two, www.amara.com

Jet irridescent bauble, £4, www.johnlewis.com

Match your Christmas decorations to your new midnight blue walls with these baubles 102 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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area We are fitting in your advert is 10% Discount with th Fine Art Auctioneers Free valuation days

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Corwen Manor

T h e O l d U n i o n Wo r k h o u s e

01490 413196 www.corwenmanor.co.uk 8 London Rd, Corwen, Denbighshire, LL21 0DR

26/10/2018 14:05

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16/10/2018 14:06 10:39 26/10/2018

Kew Gardens exhibition for Glyndwr graduates A prestigious exhibition at the Royal Botanical Gardens featured the work of two students who have just completed their master’s degrees


year,’ says Lesa. ‘It doesn’t seem so long andmade At Kew is an exhibition that features an international roster since our final degree show at Glyndwr in May, but I’ve been exhibiting work up and of contemporary designers and makers, down the country ever since!’ bringing together artists who ‘Working at Glyndwr has helped work in textiles, ceramics, ‘It’s great to both Lesa and I so much and given glass, jewellery and more. This see two of our year it featured Lesa Grimesus confidence in our work,’ says postgraduate Louise. ‘That confidence clearly Thomas and Louise Taylor, students building shows – we’re delighted to be both of whom graduated their careers exhibiting our work and it’s great from Wrexham Glyndwr like this’ to visit events like Handmade at University this September with Kew alongside fellow graduates!” an MDes in applied arts. ‘It is great to see two of our postgraduate Louise, a silversmith, constructs students building their careers like this,’ sculptural and functional vessels inspired says Cerys Alonso, programme leader in by architecture, while Lesa’s ceramics grow applied arts at Wrexham Glyndwr University. from ideas linked to seed pods and balance. ‘Seeing both Lesa and Louise’s work develop Both artists also displayed their work at has been a privilege and I’m not surprised the New Designers exhibition in London they’re out there making their name at earlier in the year, and leading events like Handmade At Kew.” Lesa also exhibited at DID YOU Ceramics Wales in July. KNOW? ‘Securing a place at For more about the university’s MDes in The university is named for Welsh Handmade At Kew has applied arts, visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/ ruler Owain topped off an incredible Undergraduatecourses/AppliedArtsMDes/ Glyndwr

Lesa Grimes-Thomas and Louise Taylor



summer careers programme boosting the employability of students from Wrexham Glyndwr University has won a national industry award. The team’s Make Summer Work For You programme beat entrants from across the UK to win the Supporting Student/ Graduate Employability category at this year’s Association of Graduate Careers Advisory Service Awards for Excellence. The awards recognise the hard work of careers professionals from universities across the UK. Make Summer Work For You – an extracurricular programme that strengthens students’ employment prospects by providing flexible careersrelated support and guidance – was commended by judges for its innovation, engagement and impact. The programme was built after the university’s careers team ran consultations with students and found that working to boost their confidence, resilience and wellbeing would help them secure the career they were looking for. ‘Make Summer Work For You was designed by listening to students, and by listening to those who took part we already knew it had been a success – so it’s great to have the leading professional body in our industry agree,’ says Wrexham Glyndwr’s work experience officer, Lucy Jones. ‘Having the work you do recognised with an award from an organisation like AGCAS is absolutely brilliant.’ Founded in 2008, Wrexham Glyndwr University has two campuses in Wrexham, as well as in Northop and St Asaph. For more about its careers service, visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk/en/ Studentsupport/Careers/ November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 105

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AN EXCITING LEARNING JOURNEY Self-taught artist Dennis Davies took up painting as a way to deal with bereavement, and 15 years later, he has found a whole new outlet for his creative expression


Port Coverack, Cornwall

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne

ennis Davies is a qualified chartered has a few Elizabethan buildings, including engineer and retired company director a watermill that was sketched by JMW who took up painting in 2003. ‘I needed to Turner,’ says Dennis. ‘I like to do paintings be with people after the death of my wife,’ he of buildings and places I’ve been, such as says. ‘I wanted to paint in oils like Bob Ross, Venice. I also love steam trains, the sound, but my local art group was watercolours. I the steam, the smell - they seem to be alive. Watercolour is my favourite medium, but I’ve remember my first night – I was told my paper was no good, my brushes were no good started to experiment with oil and acrylic.’ and my paints were no good!’ But Dennis persisted, finding Leaving a legacy ‘When painting Despite exhibiting and selling inspiration and advice along the in situ, I find way. ‘To say I’m self-taught isn’t his work, often with the help it a little the full story,’ he says. ‘I’ve learnt of the Grosvenor Art Society, unnerving a huge amount from other artists, Dennis remains shy about his when people supplemented by a lot of home work. ‘I almost always work from stop and study and practice. Sometimes I do my own photographs,’ he says. watch!’ the same painting four times. I’m ‘I can capture the shadows at a on an exciting journey of learning!’ point in time and take detailed photographs of what’s in the shadows. Art and architecture When I have painted in situ, I find it a little The 69-year-old lives in Marford, Wrexham, unnerving when people stop and watch!’ and takes a lot of his inspiration from the However, Dennis also admits to feeling a beautiful village and its architecture. ‘Marford thrill when someone likes a painting enough

Locomotive 5199

to buy it and is inspired by his ‘desire to create something original that will last beyond my lifetime.’ To see more of Dennis Davies’ artwork, visit www.artbydennis.co.uk

Dennis Davies with one of his Venice paintings

106 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Until 24th November, Winter Landscapes, Twenty Twenty Gallery, Much Wenlock A show of painters, print-makers and potters with Carol Saunderson, Zoë Taylor and Gary Groucutt. Until November 30th, Above And Below – John Scott Martin, The Granary Art Gallery, Weston Park Cramped, claustrophobic spaces contrast with deep black voids highlighted with flashes the brightest light to give John Scott Martin’s paintings and prints a sense of drama.

Until 24th December, James Naughton – Copper, Slate & Stone, Plas Glyn-y-Weddw, Llanbedrog, Pwllheli A specially commissioned exhibition inspired by the industrial remnants in North West Wales.

November sees the return of one of the highlights of the Wirral artistic calendar, as a renowned and respected group of Oxton artists come together to display their work once again


n numerology, 15 is the number for ‘harmony, innovation and family’. So it’s fitting that the Oxton Art Fair, which returns to the Williamson Art Gallery on 24th and 25th November for its 15th year, will be able to offer all three: Harmony This year, 19 professional and semiprofessional artists and friends are coming together to showcase their work across three gallery rooms. Innovation Members and annual guests will present a diverse mix of interesting and innovative art in the form of photography, print-making and painting, as well as ceramics, jewellery, woodcraft and textiles. As Wirral’s must-visit pre-Christmas event, the Oxton Art Fair gives gift buyers and browsers the chance to chat to artists about their work and purchase truly individual pieces for their friends, family or home. Family Arty activities for children will take place throughout the weekend. Refreshments will also be for sale in the fabulous Williamson Café to help make this a truly all-round family event.

The Oxton Art Fair was started in 2004 by a group of friends who were aware there was a core of artists residing in the area – a mix of artists formerly from the area who had returned from overseas and newcomers attracted to the community atmosphere and picturesque village. All the members – artists and craftspeople alike – live in Oxton, and many exhibit regularly in the North West, nationally and internationally. This year, the fair will be opened by Angela Samata, recipient of the Winston Churchill Fellowship for research into outsider art and former coordinator of the John Moores Painting Prize. ‘I’m delighted to be asked to open Oxton Art Fair to the public,’ says Angela. ‘Having lived and worked in and around Oxton for many years, I’m constantly impressed by the creativity that finds its home here. ‘I deeply believe that supporting living artists in their endeavours is one of the greatest things we can do and I see the Oxton Art Fair as an excellent opportunity to do just that.’

Until 29th December, Roger Cecil, The Royal Cambrian Academy, Conwy Cecil, who died in 2015, has been described as one of the great abstract artists of his generation, yet in his lifetime he was hardly known. This exhibition is organised with the Roger Cecil estate and Peter Wakelin, author of A Secret Artist. Until 1st July 2019, Unexpected Elegance: Female Fashion From The 1970s, Grosvenor Museum, Chester The 1970s are often called ‘the decade that taste forgot’, but this small exhibition shows that is far from true.

For more details, visit www.oxtonartfair.co.uk November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 107

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1st & 2nd November, Silver Jewellery by Sandra Roberts Sandra uses different stones, including pearls, agate and Swarovski crystals. 6th November, Just Love Knitting with Lyn Mabbs Lyn knits and crochets baby clothes and other items such as sparkly mohair shrugs and accessories.

Landscape by Paul Davies

Anglesey Beach by Leighann Williams

Porth Dafarch beach, Anglesey by Christine Webb

4th & 5th December, Silk Painting by Mair Morgan Mair paints stunning designs on to various silk items, including ties, scarves, notebooks and more. 6th & 7th December, Jackie at Jewels Fabulous handmade jewellery to suit many tastes, made with lovely stones beads and sparkly crystals. 8th & 9th December, Liz at Femme Fatale Beautiful handmade bags in velvet, silk and satin, many embellished with feathers, sequins, chiffon and taffeta bows.

A windmill at sunset by Margaret Snart

Llangollen by Tracey Williams

11th & 12th December, pen and ink artist Huw Vaughan Jones Huw will be busy working on his wonderful drawings, mostly of places, animals and transport. 13th & 14th December, Marie at Earth Deva Handmade items including mythical creatures, gemstone jewellery and one-ofa-kind sculptures, artwork and limited-edition prints. 15th & 16th December, local artist Thelma Evans Evans’ canvas paintings will be on display, and she will be busy working on her new pieces. 18th & 19th December, Elaine at Cherry Bea and Helen at Corah Henry Interiors Elaine has stunning pieces of handmade jewellery, while Helen has curtains, blinds, cushions and stitchwork items.

A wheat field in Tarporley by Stacey Aura

Snowdon from Llyn Mymbyr by Roger Fox

Wepre Park, Deeside by Tracey Williams

You were obviously inspired by our topic of Natural Landscapes, as the Shire offices have been inundated with entries to our latest photo competition. We didn’t have space to print them all, so have selected our winners and a few other favourites to share with you here. We clearly have some very talented snappers among our readers, so here’s hoping you rise to the challenge of our next theme – Art In Architecture. We look forward to seeing your entries at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk. Good luck!

108 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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We grow and sell lots of our own grown Christmas trees, make hundreds of wreaths, sell gifts, vouchers and houseplants.

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Specialists in Water Boreholes and Ground Source Heating

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

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

Come and see us at the Holiday Park & Resort Innovation show at the NEC on 7th & 8th November. For more information about our services, please contact us on 01824 707 777 or admin@dragondrilling.co.uk or visit our website on: www.dragondrilling.co.uk

26/10/2018 14:05


Deadhead shrubs

Fix your trellis

Protect your plants

Think of garden visitors

Get ready for spring

Winter work for spring surprises Many of us put off going out into the garden once winter sets in, but make the effort now and you’ll be able to enjoy early blooms once the weather warms up There are plenty of jobs your garden will thank you for taking care of during November and December, even if finding the motivation to get out and do them is tricky. Make the effort now and it will pay dividends come February and March, when your well-protected perennials and blooming bulbs come out in force. So wrap up warm, get your gloves on, wear some extra socks in your gardening boots and follow our guide to winter jobs for the green (or blue) fingered!

1 Clear last year’s leftovers

Deadheading autumn-flowering plants and pruning back summer-flowering shrubs is a vital job to get done before the first frosts. Deadheading is generally done to maintain a plant’s appearance and to improve its overall performance as it channels the energy into the flowers, resulting in healthier plants and continued bloom. Many gardeners find deadheading a tedious, neverending garden

chore, but the new blooms spawned from this task make the extra effort well worth it.

2 Support network

Check garden structures such as trellis or obelisks are stable. If they aren’t, mend them before high winds or snow do serious damage. They’ll be easier to access while they have less foliage on them.

3 Protection racket

At the first hint or even rumour of frost, add cloches to winter salads and wrap pots of half-hardy plants in bubble wrap or fleece. Bring tender plants indoors or put them in a greenhouse. Bed sheets, blankets and plastic sheets make suitable covers but use stakes to keep material, especially plastic, from foliage.

4 Don’t forget your friends

You’re not the only one who appreciates your garden – don’t forget to consider

other visitors who may find things harder during the cold season. Birds appreciate nuts, seeds and fat balls left out for them, and remember to freshen up water regularly and ensure it doesn’t freeze over. And don’t feel bad about leaving a messy corner of your garden – a pile of logs and leaves makes the ideal hedgehog house.

5 Plan your planting

November is the perfect time to plan the flowers you want to cheer you up once January arrives and get bulbs in the ground to guarantee winter colour from January onwards. Choose a mixture of varieties and plant in clumps, so you get a good effect. Lift and divide them every few years too. Now is also the time to plant any new bare-root roses, so take stock and picture the kind of garden you want to enjoy next summer… then do a bit of work to make sure you get it.

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 111

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Deck your halls Decorate your home with this lush Christmas creation by Dave Billington, a floristry technician from Reaseheath College in Nantwich, Cheshire

Seed now to feed yourself over the winter The weather may be chilly and the ground hard, but keep working your vegetable patch over the winter months to keep the produce flowing You’ve gathered in the bulk of your autumn harvest, but it’s still possible grow more over the coming months. Lots of plants and vegetables don’t mind the colder weather, and it’s always good to have fresh produce on the table. Here are the best plants to focus on through November and December.

3. Sugar snap peas

Although not known for sowing now, if you choose a variety such as Gigante Svizzero you can get slow growth over winter to produce a crop of smallish, edible pods early next year.

4. Garlic 1. Onions, spring onions and shallots

There are quite a few varieties of onions from sets that can go in now. This is the easiest way to grow onions, and they can be harvested earlier in the year. Electric is a good red set, Radar a good yellow and Shakespeare a highly reliable white.

Now is the perfect time to plant garlic. Place cloves at a depth of 2.5in in light soils and at least 1in in heavier soils.

There’s nothing quite like festive foliage to spread Christmas cheer. Dave gathered most materials for his garland from his garden and on local walks. ‘Choose long-lasting, evergreen foliage and include as many different textures and colours as you can,’ he advises. Materials • Wooden lath (typically 1m) • Mixed evergreen foliage • F lorists’ spray paint • F loristry wire (.71 and .56) • Dried citrus fruit • Moss • Perennials with berries, such as holly or skimmia 1 Trim the foliage into 15cm pieces. Attach the heavier wire to one end of the lath by hooking it over the end. Secure by wrapping around the circumference. 2 Bind in your moss to the lath until it is well covered. Use plenty – the idea is to make the base for your creation as lush as possible.

3 Select pieces of foliage and arrange them in your hand to make a pleasing arrangement. Mix textures and colours, and aim for a voluptuous look. Bind to the lath using the same technique as with the moss. Add foliage with berries for interest and colour. 4 Hold up your garland from time to time to check that your foliage is equally distributed. Once you are satisfied with the result, tie off firmly with several twists of wire. 5 Make a hanging loop by bending 40cm wire and pushing the ends through the lath. Hide the ends in the foliage. 6 Make wire attachments for your baubles, dried fruit and other accessories. 7 Arrange your accessories on the garland and attach. 8 Spray once a day to preserve freshness, and wait for the compliments! For details of floristry courses at Reaseheath College, visit www. reaseheath.ac.uk/floristry









5. Asparagus

2. Winter lettuce

You can now sow Meraviglia d’Inverno San Martino and plant it out under fleece or a perforated polythene sheet. It can be picked throughout winter and in milder winters can be left unprotected once it’s established. Winter Gem can be sown until January in a cold frame.

Varieties are available for autumn planting, which helps them establish that bit quicker. Varieties such as Ariane, Guelph Millennium, Pacific 2000 and Purple Pacific are a good bet. You have to wait two years to cut them, but it’s small price to pay for a gourmet extravaganza.

112 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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26/10/2018 14:05

Pets&Wildlife Birthday bat boost for local wildlife reserve

CUTE PETS Oreo, a 16month-old cockapoo

The reserve is a designated Special Area of Conservation

Lesser horseshoe bats

There have been double celebrations at Gwaith Powdwr Nature Reserve – not only is it 20 years since the North Wales Wildlife Trust took over management, a maternity roost for the rare lesser horseshoe bat has also been discovered

Beagle Charlie on his first family barge holiday


following surveys in July, it was confirmed there nce the biggest were at least four females with young this summer. explosives factory in Europe, Some like it hot Gwaith Powdwr is ‘This is the news we’ve been hoping for,’ says comprised of seven reserves officer Rob Booth. ‘The project started Renovations have encouraged buildings and a over six years ago with some quick improvements bats to roost tunnel that are to the existing roosts and surrounding habitat, designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest and but bats are notoriously fickle creatures and Special Area of Conservation owing to the lesser all the experts told me I had to be patient! horseshoe bat roosts found there. North Wales ‘It’s probably no coincidence that it’s Wildlife Trust took over management been a fantastic summer, as female lesser DID YOU of the site in Penrhyndeudraeth in horseshoes like it consistently over 30°C. KNOW? 1998 from ICI, and has since carried It is possible the bats have been disturbed The lesser out extensive conservation work. from another local roost, but there’s a horseshoe bat The site has long provided various good chance they’ll return year after year.’ is the size hibernation, satellite and night roosting The long-term aim of the project of a plum opportunities, but not the appropriate is to secure the future of the lesser conditions for a maternity roost, where the horseshoe bat population, both on the females gather to bring up their young. But reserve and in the wider landscape.

Holly, a six-year-old rescue collie

Patch the sprocker standing to attention

DOG DAYS FOR SNIFFER STUDENTS Wrexham Glyndwr University’s forensic science department welcomes dogs from the National Canine Training Centre to use its crime scene facilities

Lurcher Gypsy looking happy at winning a rosette


team of dogs and their handlers have been put to the test at Wrexham Glyndwr University’s Plas Coch campus, after a team of sniffer dogs from the National Canine Training Centre undertook an assessment of competence for their National Association of Search Dog Users (NASDU) Certificate. The day involved dogs and handlers using several areas of the university, including its dedicated ‘crime scene’. The centre chose the campus because of the links forged with the university’s forensic science department. ‘The assessments of the dogs and handlers have to be completed every 12 months to ensure the search teams are still effective,’ explains Amy Rattenbury, a lecturer in forensic science. ‘Target scents, including small samples of explosives, were hidden in the university’s crime scene house and grounds for the teams to find.

Moley at Carding Mill Valley Rescue dog Ty, who has a new bandana

‘Dogs have many applications within forensics and knowledge of their training and handling is important for forensics students. With the current terrorism threat level still at severe, knowledge of specialist forensic techniques that are useful in preventing and responding to this type of crime are integral to graduates from forensic courses.’

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

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 115

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TEAM WORKS FOR THE BENEFIT OF PEOPLE AND WILDLIFE Cheshire volunteers turn to traditional methods to bring local centre’s wildlife meadow to life

DID YOU KNOW? The scythe dates back to 500BC


A volunteer from Cheshire Wildlife Trust

heshire Wildlife Trust’s health and wellbeing volunteer group has been working at the NeuroMuscular Centre in Winsford, Cheshire to help improve the centre’s grounds for wildlife. The volunteer group used the traditional method of scything to cut a wildflower meadow, which helps to conserve the flowers by helping them to spread their seed while keeping important pollinators such as bees and butterflies safe. ‘We’re really excited to be working with the NeuroMuscular Centre,’ says Catherine de Zwaan, Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Natural Futures manager, who leads the volunteering team. ‘There are opportunities for us to support the centre in making areas of their garden more wildlife-friendly, so we will be visiting them a few more times.’ Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Natural Futures volunteering programme started in 2015,

Using a scyth helps to protect bees

following a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and has a number of dedicated groups. ‘The group at the NeuroMuscular Centre is our Wild Wellbeing group, which aims to increase volunteers’ feelings of health and wellbeing by providing opportunities to spend time connecting with nature,’ says de Zwaan. ‘Being outdoors in the natural environment is a great way to reduce stress. Taking part in a volunteer group is also the perfect way to meet new people and develop friendships.’

Breeding roseates re-tern For the first time in more than a decade, a pair of roseate terns – the UK’s rarest breeding seabird – fledged two chicks from the Skerries, off Anglesey


he RSPB is pleased to announce that two roseate tern chicks fledged at the Skerries this summer, the highest number since 1991. Additional funds from the EU-funded Roseate Tern LIFE Recovery Project provided a two-week extension on the islands’ wardening season, as well as newly designed nest boxes. The wardens also placed lures playing roseate tern calls and handmade decoys with the aim of attracting passing roseate terns to the colony. Once widespread across Wales, roseate terns neared extinction in the 19th century because their plumage was used to decorate hats. The birds continue to face many challenges, including food shortages, eroding

nesting habitat and predation. To address are inhospitable to humans, owing to its this challenge, 2015 saw the launch of the sparse vegetation and rough terrain, but are five-year Roseate Tern LIFE Recovery an important sanctuary for breeding seabirds. ‘The RSPB, with added financial support Project, bringing together conservationists from the RSPB, BirdWatch Ireland and from Natural Resource Wales, has been North Wales Wildlife Trust on working to protect the seabirds on the three breeding colonies – two the Skerries for many years, and Roseate when it comes to breeding roseate in Ireland and one in the UK. The terns neared terns they have quite a variable project is also focused on creating extinction in the 19th further roseate tern-friendly sites history,’ says RSPB Cymru warden century across the UK and Ireland. Ian Sims. ‘One pair bred but didn’t because their fledge any young in 2016, but plumage was before that they last bred in 2006 Rocky terrain used on hats The Skerries are a group of small – when one chick fledged. This rocky islets that lie just off the news can’t be overstated – especially northwest corner of Anglesey. The islands given staff efforts over recent years.’


Dear Santa Paws… Hunting high and low for that perfect Christmas present for the dog in your life? Here are a couple of special selections from the team at Shire

Extra Long Santa, £11.99, and Iced Bone, £4.99, both from www.petcetera.co.uk

Gummi Pets Pet Bowl, around £15, www.the designgiftshop.com

Classic Dog Drying Coat, from £26, www. ruffandtumbledogcoats.com

116 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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

Gift vouchers available Mid Wales, Shropshire and surrounding areas GingerHound.co.uk 07771 830121

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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

26/10/2018 14:06


From pub gatherings to formal events, sophisticated checks are the way to go this festive period

Check suit trousers, £40, www.burton.com

M&S Collection leather gloves, £39.50, and M&S Collection Chelsea boot, £79, both www.marksandspencer.com

Coldwater crew neck jumper, £99.95, www.barbour.com

Checked trousers, £50, www.next.co.uk

ST Y L I ST ’ S T I P Gant tartan check shirt, £85, www.vaughandavies.co.uk

Choose charcoal, burgundy and navy checks for a smart, stylish look

Checked tailored jacket, £130, www.debenhams.com

Hoggs of Fife Moray check shirt, £29.95, www.cherrytreecountryclothing.com

EDITO R ’ S P I C KS Niall scarf, £30, www.dunelondon.com

Norwell scarf, £30, www.dunelondon.com Corve pure new wool check overcoat, £199, www.halonmenswear.com

Cashmere scarf, £49.50, www.marksandspencer.com

Our pick of stylish scarves to carry you through your social winter

118 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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at Established 1938

Two floors of the finest Men & Ladieswear The Cross, Wrexham Street, Mold, Flintshire CH7 1ET

‘Barbour makes the perfect Christmas gift’

01352 752632 www.vaughandavies.co.uk info@vaughandavies.co.uk

D G Red Hearse Funeral Undertakers

We are a family run business located in Wrexham, North Wales since 2007, we are willing to travel nationwide. We specialise in a red sports themed hearse and a Welsh dragon themed hearse, we also have a Mercedes-Benz E Class limousine. Find us on Facebook Email us on info@dgcarriagemasters.co.uk 01978 781473

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No.1 Jenny Packham dress £159, www.debenhams.com

Debut dress £130, www.debenhams.com

Red Herring top £25, www.debenhams.com

Blush sequin cami £16, www.next.co.uk

Glitters All that

Touch-me velvets, shimmering sequins and slippery silks and satins… Dazzle in our partywear picks for this season

Arabella skirt £58, www.little-mistress.com

V by Very faux fur scarf £25, www.very.co.uk

Vivienne Westwood earrings £95, www.mococo.co.uk Erabia bag £80, www.dunelondon.com


Three stand-out heels to take you through the festive season



Don’t wear shimmer head to toe – mix textures for a sophisticated party look

Hotline stiletto £70, www.office.co.uk Metallic crochet heel £25, www.newlook.com Fluffy heels £35, www.dorothyperkins.com 120 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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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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Our philsophy is simple...

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

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Health&Beauty Protection before perfection In this edition, Samantha Humphreys, a beauty therapy lecturer at North Shropshire College, talks to us about the effects beauty products have on the environment and what we can do to reduce their impact be composted at the end of their life, such as those made from organic cotton, bamboo or wood pulp, which are biodegradable.

Burst the bubble


eauty pollution is worse than ever. Worldwide, the industry creates around 120 billion units of packaging every year, most of which isn’t recyclable. At least half of British citizens still don’t recycle, and by 2050 it’s estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in the sea. It is a global ecological disaster. Wet wipes account for 93 per cent of sewer blockages in the UK and there has been a 50 per cent increases in the number washing up on British beaches and clogging landfills. However convenient baby wipes, makeup remover wipes and moist toilet tissues may be, we should seek out reusable alternatives that can

We rate many of our favourite beauty and household products for their foaming properties. Yet many items, including toothpastes, shampoos and face washes, contain sodium lauryl sulfate, which is made from palm oil. High demand for this costeffective ingredient has had a

knock-on effect on wildlife such as tigers and orang-utans as their habitats are destroyed. We don’t really think about it, but when we apply sun cream to protect us from the harmful rays, we also run the risk of exposing the world’s coral reefs to sunscreen’s synthetic chemicals, which bleach the corals and consequently destroy marine life. The next time you buy a new sunscreen, consider using a mineral-based product, which is less damaging for the environment and better for your health too.

Water welfare

Palm oil use leads to deforestation

major effect on the environment, leading to mass deforestation. And as 90 per cent of palm oil trees are grown in forests, mainly in Indonesia and Malaysia, this deforestation is having a

It’s important that we all consider these environmental impacts when making our beauty purchases. It may seem overwhelming, but it’s imperative that we all start to make environmentally friendly choices. This can include everything from purchasing products that are derived from sustainable ingredients to choosing only those packaged

in recycled boxes – they are all significant changes. Many established beauty companies have pledged to make changes themselves, moving to reusable glass bottles or plastic ones that can be recycled, for example. Some are also donating a percentage of their profits to help worldwide environmental problems, such as funding the protection and cleaning of beaches. Some are going so far as to use soy ink for their Choosing labelling, while the right others have offered packaging incentives when is key empties are returned. Together we can encourage business and beauty to commit to environmental sustainability and help protect our world.

Aesthetically pleasing Jane Millington from Body & Face Options in Maesbury Marsh is celebrating 30 years in the aesthetics business, and continues to use her rigorous training to provide her clients with the most up-to-date treatments


ane Millington, owner and head practitioner at Body & Face Options Aesthetic Clinic, trained at the Royal College of Surgeons in London for areola reconstruction and continues to train in all the latest aesthetic industry technologies. By investing in her business

over the last 30 years, she has gained a reputation of being one of the leading aesthetic practitioners – confirmed by three companies voting hers the best aesthetic clinic in Europe. Jane attracts clientele from all over the UK and abroad, who travel to Oswestry to

receive treatments with Jane and her team. The company’s facilities in the beautiful countryside in Maesbury Marsh include excellent overnight accommodation. The clinic has also undergone a recent refurbishment, which means that as soon as you walk into

Body & Face Options you feel comfortable, relaxed and at ease. All treatments are subject to an in-depth medical consultation. To make an appointment with Jane and her team, call 01691 680070, or visit www.bodyandfaceoptions. co.uk for more information.

122 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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In this edition, we put the record straight on myths surrounding our teeth

Expert senior lecturer and registered dietician Anna Ashton from the University of Chester shares her tips on how to approach the festive season with caution to ensure a happy, healthy holiday…


on’t just feed your belly this Christmas – feed your mind. You can reduce the stress that the season can bring by giving some thought to maintaining a healthy body and a healthy mind. Evidence shows you can enhance your mental wellbeing by as much as 40 per cent by acting out the Five Ways To Wellbeing: 1. Be active Less than 10 minutes’ physical activity a day can enhance your wellbeing, so get out and about or, at the very least, rock around the Christmas tree. 2. Connect Christmas is a time to spend with friends and family, or connect with those who are lonely. 3. Give This doesn’t just mean Christmas presents. Give your time, a helping hand or even a smile. 4. Learn Dust off the board games, try a new recipe or play one of your children’s computer games.


1. An electric toothbrush cleans better than a manual brush Not true. The key to good dental care is how long you brush for, not what you use. You should brush for a full two minutes twice a day. Electric toothbrushes have timers to help us achieve this, but they don’t automatically give better results.

5. Take notice With all the hype around Christmas, it’s easy to forget to be in the moment. Be grateful for what you have and take notice of your surroundings – the robins, frosted leaves and crisp, cold air!

Mindful feasting

On average, people gain 1-2.5kg (1-5lb) over the holiday period. If you’re keen to avoid the stress of overeating, try these tips: • Don’t buy tins of chocolates too early – get them just before Christmas so there’s less temptation to eat and restock! • Keep healthy snacks to hand, such as satsumas, nuts and dried fruit. This is especially important in the office! • Stay hydrated by drinking six to eight glasses of fluid per day (not including booze!). • Beat the buffet before it beats you. Fill half your plate with healthier foods such as skinless meats, salmon, salad, rice and vegetable sticks. Merry Christmas folks!

2. You shouldn’t rinse after brushing True. British dental experts advise rinsing thoroughly after using a mouthwash and then brushing well, allowing the fluoride in the toothpaste to work as long as possible. Spit out the excess toothpaste but don’t rinse away the goodness. 3. Women lose a tooth for every child Definitely an old wives’ tale! There is absolutely no reason why giving birth should affect the health of your teeth. However, hormonal changes during pregnancy can result in more common bleeding from the gums, which is perhaps how this strange myth began.

WHAT? Hot stone treatment is a type of massage therapy used to relax and ease tense muscles and damaged soft tissues. Smooth, flat, heated stones are placed on specific parts of the body. The stones are often basalt, a type of volcanic rock that retains heat.

WHO? Anyone who is experiencing muscle tension and pain, insomnia or stress may benefit from a hot stone massage. It has been reported to help boost immunities and improve circulation, as well as aid sleep and reduce anxiety.

WHERE? The origins of hot stone therapy can be traced back over 2,000 years, when the Chinese used heated stones to improve the function of internal organs. Ancient populations from Hawaii and the Americas have also been known to use hot stones in various therapeutic forms.

HOW? The therapist will warm the stones in water until they’re between 120 and 130°F (45 and 55°C). They will then place the stones on key acupressure points on your body. The stones warm and relax your muscles, allowing deeper pressure to be applied during your massage. November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 123

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Shire’s very own Alice Northrop undergoes a cryofacial


fter an overly indulgent weekend, I was feeling a bit worse for wear as I walked into Cryozone Health in Shrewsbury on a Monday morning. Having

The air is cooled to -35°C

already used the company’s cryo chamber – a whole body recovery chamber that reaches temperatures of -95°C – I’d been invited to see the benefits localised cryo treatment could bring to my acne-prone skin. Cryofacials have been hailed as a non-invasive alternative to Botox and are reported to have instant skin smoothing and brightening effects, and with regular treatment longlasting anti-ageing benefits. The treatment is said to enhance exfoliation of dead cells on the surface of the skin, exposing the healthy, more radiant skin underneath. Below-freezing air is used to contract the skin, accelerating microcirculation, which in turn stimulates the production of collagen. First, my face was cleansed and toned with products

specifically chosen for my sensitive skin. While keeping my eyes and mouth closed, my skin was cooled with cryo air, circulated around my face using a hose-like device. The -35°C air felt odd at first – a bit like a strong wind. But I soon relaxed as my skin was cooled with circular, targeted movements, which are said to penetrate more deeply and increase lymphatic drainage. Half an hour later, I was so relaxed I didn’t want it to end. My skin felt invigorated and the feeling of calm was wonderful. The treatment was completed with moisturiser and blemish balm, and I had no problem leaving without my foundation. Afterwards, the heavy bags under my eyes were significantly

reduced and my skin felt plump and firm, while also being soft. Dull and matte beforehand, my face was genuinely glowing, with a significant calming of my acne. A typical millennial, I took a no-makeup selfie after an hour and it looked like I’d put an Instagram filter on it. I’d definitely recommend giving a cryofacial a try. I’ll certainly be continuing treatments to maintain that selfie-filter glow! For more information or to book a facial, call Cryozone Health on 01743 817871 or visit www.cryozonehealth.co.uk.

Festive season beauty essentials Increased alcohol intake, rich foods and all those late nights over Christmas can take their toll on your skin, but these tried-and-tested products will keep your skin looking fresh into 2019 THE RECOVERY MASK Skin Republic Beauty Booster Collagen Face Mask Gift Set, £16.99, www.superdrug.com This set contains four collagen masks of various formulations and is essential for brightening and repairing your skin between all those parties!

THE TENSION RELIEVER Ashley Black’s Blaster Oil, £20, and FaceBlaster, £50, www.fasciablaster.com This unique design of the FaceBlaster releases tension, facial adhesions and tightness, while also reducing wrinkles. Use with the oil to freshen and relieve.

THE EYE BRIGHTENER Frezyderm Eye Balm, £17.50, and Color Eye Balm, £20.99, www.frezyderm.co.uk These light, refreshing eye creams activate microcirculation in the eye area to restore elasticity and reduce fine lines. The Color Eye Balm is perfect for the morning after, as it gives just the right amount of coverage for a fresh and radiant look.


Ed i

THE WONDER SUPPLEMENT LQ Liquid Health Skin, Hair & Nails, £29.99 for 10, www.boots.com This drinkable supplement contains marine collagen, hyaluronic acid, resveratrol, silicon, glucosamine and selenium. Drink one a day over the party season to maintain a healthy glow from the inside out.

THE HANDBAG HERO W7 Glowcomotion, £6.95, www.w7 cosmetics.co.uk This three-in-one shimmer, highlighter, and eyeshadow is the perfect size to fit in your sequined clutch for those vital onthe-move touch-ups that keep your skin glowing all night.

s ick p r’s

Spot treatments Potter’s Herbals Skin Clear Lotion, £4, www.holland andbarrett.com A blended formulation of witch hazel, tea tree and other oils that keeps my skin clear without irritating it. Wipe over skin after cleansing to refresh. Dermo28 Active Spot Gel, £18, www.dermo28.co.uk The best spot gel I’ve ever used. Apply directly to spots up to three times a day to remove dead cells, minimise inflammation and zap those blemishes.

124 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Meet the Expert Back trouble? Mr Birender Balain, consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital near Oswestry, explains the latest fully endoscopic spine surgery (FESS) techniques being offered to relieve sciatic pain What is the new technique for surgical relief of back pain?

Lumbar discectomy and decompression are the most commonly performed operations on the spine, but this is the first time in the UK that we’re able to do these operations endoscopically via an interlaminar [between the spinal column vertebrae] approach. Endoscopic techniques have been tried via a transforaminal route from the side of the spine, but these have limited indications and can be used in only a small subset of patients.

done as day cases, as patients don’t have to stay overnight in hospital. Furthermore, if repeat surgery is required in the future, it is easier to perform that following an endoscopic procedure than following traditional open surgery.

Which patients is this treatment suitable for?

Patients are referred to us with predominantly leg pain (sciatica) and back pain, which occurs when either a disc has slipped, requiring a discectomy, or bony spurs have grown in the vertebrae, requiring decompression surgery. Problems like bony spurs happen due to How is FESS done? arthritis and are more common The advantage of FESS is that in older patients as this the operation and condition is mostly technique are exactly ‘We’re related to wear and tear. the same as open using new We would classify surgery, but are done equipment sciatica as severe when through a single and thanks to a it starts to interfere with small keyhole incision, £130,000 a patient’s occupation whereas the incision in donation by the League of or their sleep despite open surgery can vary the use of painkillers, Friends’ from 4-8cm in length. has lasted for at least The benefit of this is four to six weeks, and faster recovery for the activity modification or even patients, who find they can get steroid injections haven’t helped. back to normal activity in shorter Surgery is an option for time; they also tell us there is less severe sciatica. We advise earlier back pain during their recovery. surgery if pressure on the nerve It also means more cases can be

in the spine causes Mr Balain performing spine surgery using the latest technique muscle through keyhole techniques. weakness in the legs – what is So far, we’ve done 45 cases at known as ‘foot drop’ is often an the RJAH and I’m pleased to say indication of this getting worse. that all have been successfully discharged. I remember one Are there any risks patient very well – a lady who with surgery? when I saw her could only If none of the above treatments rest in a kneeling position on work, we recommend surgery, a chair because of the nerve which has a 90 per cent success pain and who hadn’t been able rate, whether it’s done as open to sleep. Once the surgery surgery or with these new was performed, there was keyhole techniques. There is immediate relief of the pain a one per cent chance of the and she slept for an entire day! patient being worse off after We’re using new equipment surgery, and because this involves to enable this keyhole procedure, nerve pain – which is the most thanks to a £130,000 donation severe form of pain – patients are by the League of Friends here at advised to consider other options RJAH, and we’re very grateful! first. During surgery, there is I think FESS is the future of all handling of the nerve, moving it common spine surgeries, and to the side to enable the removal in five to 10 years’ time, new of tissue either for a discectomy surgeons will all be trained in or decompression, hence the these techniques as there are possible complications. great benefits to the patients.

Why did you start offering FESS?

I’ve been involved in minimally invasive complex spine surgery since 2010. As decompression and discectomies are the most commonly performed spine procedures, I thought we should look at offering those procedures

For more information, call private patient manager Victoria Sugden on 01691 404527 or email v.sugden@nhs.net

Mr Birender Balain

MBBS, MS (Orth), FRCS Glasgow, FRCS (T&O) Medical qualification and orthopaedics postgraduation University of Delhi, 1995-2001 Basic surgical training Bristol, London and Shrewsbury, 2002-2004 Higher surgical training Oswestry-Stoke Rotation, West Midlands Deanery, 2004-2009 Spinal fellowship training RJAH Orthopaedics Hospital and University Hospital of North Staffordshire. This included a short stint at University Hospital Innsbruck, Austria, and the Texas Back Institute, Dallas, US Training visit Nishitaga Hospital, Sendai, Japan, 2013, plus recent training visits, cadaveric courses and clinical consultation visits to St Anna’s Hospital, Herne, Germany Clinical research interests All aspects of spinal deformity including trauma Professional bodies British Orthopaedic Association, Society For Back Pain Research, British Association Of Spinal Surgeons, Eurospine, North American Spine Society

126 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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Buy a property at Richmond Nantwich Caring UK’s Retirement Village of the Year Speak to our Village Advisors who can give you information about our latest properties and offer help and advice about life at Richmond Nantwich.

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STAFF MEDRUS A CHYFEILLGAR YN CYFOETHOGI BYWYDAU BOB DYDD Experience “neighbourly living”, whether entertaining family, friends and neighbours in your apartment, or enjoying group activities in the communal lounges and safe outdoor spaces.


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Retirement Living The company you keep One North Wales organisation is bringing friendship, purpose and joy to the lives of many senior citizens…

Social activities improve your wellbeing


ompany Matters aims to add joy to the everyday routine. A small business based in the Betws-y-Coed area, its mission is to share companionship and spread enthusiasm, based on the belief that every day is special. The combination of an ageing population and the necessity for most younger family

members to work has resulted in a large more positive way. If you develop social number of older adults becoming isolated activities it can have a significant impact – and research has shown the negative on your wellbeing and quality of life. effects of loneliness on health. Company Matters’ enthusiastic Some people may no longer team are committed to bringing Shared be able to drive or lack physical positive interactions to those who experiences mobility – or it may simply be need them – from simple shopping help to lost confidence that means staying outings to trips down memory lane reconnect at home becomes the simplest – and providing varied services to the mind option. Such situations reduce cater for individual wishes. The team the capacity to live happily. And have many years’ experience in the that’s where Company Matters comes in. It care sector, which has given them skills and offers a viable alternative to the challenges accreditations, but perhaps more importantly of living under increased isolation. they possess personal attributes such as Company Matters believes shared patience, understanding and kindness. experiences and feeling involved help to For more information, please email reconnect the mind to a much-needed info@companymatters.wales social network and to approach life in a

RETIREMENT LIVING AT RICHMOND VILLAGE, NANTWICH What does retirement look like to you? If it’s having more time to appreciate life with like-minded people, where you can own your property and enjoy a busy social life, then Richmond Village may be for you


he retirement community Richmond Village in Nantwich, south Cheshire, offers independent living apartments, ‘quality lifestyle choice’ suites and an on-site care home for the over-55s. There are a number of options available.

Village Apartments

These are one- and two-bedroom properties with kitchens and lounge-diners, giving you room to entertain family and friends. Many residents ‘lock up and leave’ their apartments while they travel abroad or to visit relatives elsewhere in the UK. Not that you have to travel to be entertained, as there’s a restaurant, bowling green, hair salon and treatment room. There’s also a busy social calendar and a beautician.

choice – the ultimate worry-free option when it comes to enjoying your retirement. You can own a one-bedroom property with a kitchenette and lounge. Suites are close to village amenities. For a monthly fee, Richmond Village can provide a hotelstyle package to take care of your meals, housekeeping, laundry and utility bills.

Village Care Home

There is also a bright and beautifully appointed residential care home in a

Village Suites

Richmond’s Village Suites are what other providers may call ‘assisted living’. Here, they prefer to call them a quality lifestyle

Richmond Village, Nantwich

safe, stylish and sociable environment. Most private bedrooms have wetroomstyle en-suite facilities and a TV point.

Decisions, decisions

There are many aspects to consider when it comes to retirement. It may be difficult leaving behind an area you know and a family property. There may be health needs to think about, and you may feel overwhelmed working out what will be best for you and for those who love you most. The advisers at Richmond Nantwich are always available to meet with individuals, couples and loved ones facing this challenge and will spend time assisting them in making the right decision for the future. For a meeting, contact Nicola Jackson or Claire Beech. For more information and contact details, visit www.richmond-villages.com/ retirement-villages/nantwich/

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Company Matters Seize the day whatever your age




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Company Matters provides companionship to elderly people in North Wales. We are here to make a difference and brighten up your life because every day should not be the same.



We offer you the opportunity to be socially, intellectually and physically active. Our objective is to bring you enjoyment, fulfilment and interest.



Our services can include: • visits to garden centres, coffee shops, the library, • visiting family and friends, • shopping, • trip to the beach, hill walking, • going to art exhibitions, museums, • anywhere you want to go with a little extra help. Anything to maintain your interest and give you something to look forward to because having company matters. Call us today on 07905 275 889 email: info@companymatters.wales

Prestige Staff Whether your home is large or small, you require full-time, part-time or temporary staff, we have a small yet dedicated team who are well qualified to make your life easier by undertaking the time-consuming and difficult task of securing quality staff for your home.

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Our services include (but are not limited to) sourcing and recruitment of: House Managers, Housekeepers, Chefs/Cooks, Estate Managers, Butlers, Chauffeurs/Drivers, Tutors, Nannies, Gardeners/Grounds Staff, Security/Close Protection and Maintenance Staff.

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Hannah Leese is an associate in the dispute resolution team at SAS Daniels Solicitors and advises on a wide range of legal matters. SAS Daniels offers a full range of legal services for your family and your business, including corporate and commercial, employment law and HR, dispute resolution, property law, family law and wills, trusts and probate. At SAS Daniels you’ll find specialist solicitors who can advise on your options for making a health and welfare LPA and provide guidance in Court of Protection matters. For more information, call Hannah on 01260 282300 or email hannah.leese@sasdaniels.co.uk.

Choosing a care home: who has the right to make the final decision? By Hannah Leese, SAS Daniels Solicitors


often people don’t realise the benefits ne in five people now live to see of the health and welfare powers. their 100th birthday. With an ageing Having a health and welfare LPA when population, decisions often need to be made about where someone should live you can’t make decisions for yourself if they need care. With thousands of shifts the decision-making power to nursing and residential homes in the UK, your chosen attorney, away from social it is important to make the right choice. services. If you have a health and welfare It’s up to you to make the final decision LPA, it’s your attorney who will have on where you will live, except if you are the final decision on what would be in too unwell to make your own decisions your best interests, such as which care any more. If this is the case, you will likely home you should go to or whether you be assessed by a doctor or by a mental should be cared for at home, or even capacity assessor from social services. life-sustaining treatment decisions (if If they decide you lack the mental you want them to have that power). capacity to choose where you should live, and you have not made a health Can next of kin make the decision? and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney It’s a common assumption that your next (LPA), then social services of kin will be able to help with will make the final decision medical decisions and get about your care. Of course, involved with care placements ‘Often people they need to consult you and if you should no longer be don’t realise your family about what would capable. Historically, this was the benefits of be in your best interests, but true, but since the health and a health and ultimately the decision is theirs. welfare LPA came on the scene, welfare LPA’ Often there are practical next of kin have no legal rights issues of budgets and the to make decisions for a patient. availability of appropriate care placements – budgets and funding being Why should you make a health key issues – that restrict the options and welfare LPA? If you would like available. This can lead to disputes members of your family to have the last say over where you are cared for in the between family and social services, as future, over what medical treatments well as top-up fees being charged to you would be in your best interests and or your family to cover additional costs. even whether life support should How can a health and welfare LPA be withdrawn, you should consider making a health and welfare LPA. help when choosing a care home? Health and welfare LPAs were brought There are options for a hierarchy of into being by the Mental Capacity Act decision makers. For example, your 2005 and came into force in 2007. spouse/partner as the first decision Prior to this, it wasn’t possible to elect maker, with your children or a close another person to make care, medical friend as replacement(s) if your spouse/ and welfare decisions on your behalf. partner is unable to do it. You can also Many people don’t make health and include your preferences and specific welfare LPAs, but instead go on to make instructions to be followed. If you take property and financial LPAs. The financial professional advice early, you can be powers have obvious benefits (you can’t guided through the options and given access a relative’s accounts and sell their advice on planning for suitable clauses home to pay care fees without one) but to include in your power of attorney.

‘If you’d like members of your family to have the last say over where you are cared for and what medical treatments would be in your best interests, you should consider making a health and welfare LPA’

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 131

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The Thomas Adams School Wem, Shropshire

Academic excellence in a caring environment The Thomas Adams School incorporating Adams College (Sixth Form) and Adams House (Boarding for the School and College)

Please contact us to arrange an individual tour of the School or College

Thomas Adams School and Adams College, SY4 5UB For further information contact us on 01939 237000 or email enquiries@thomasadams.net

Adams House Boarding for Thomas Adams School and College

Judged outstanding by Ofsted March 2017

"The boarding staff team is dedicated and goes that extra mile to enhance the experiences and future opportunities of young people." "Young people have a highly inclusive, yet individualised and well-planned boarding experience that enables them to make significant strides in their educational, personal, and social development"

Step into Adams House and you’ll instantly feel at home. Catering for boys and girls between 11 and 19 and with a capacity of up to 65 boarders, we’ve been welcoming students from the UK and across the world for many years

"They all receive a warm and inclusive welcome from everyone and quickly feel part of the boarding and wider school community. This sensitive and caring approach is indicative of the ethos of the boarding staff team" “Young people acknowledge the positive impact that boarding has on their educational progress”

For more information or to apply, please visit our website www.thomasadams.net/adams-house, email adamshouse@thomasadams.net or alternatively call us on 01939 233311 132_SHIRE_ND2018.indd 1

26/10/2018 14:08


Top of the Class Students help rural community in Africa



Abbey Gate students in Swaziland


ourteen students from Abbey Gate College in Chester have spent three weeks in Swaziland building a new kitchen at Mbita Primary School. The project was identified and requested by the local community and was jointly funded and undertaken to benefit the whole area. As well as building the kitchen, the group also contributed to local conservation projects. In 2014, Abbey Gate College embarked on a partnership with Mlindzini High School and its feeder primaries, which led to students travelling to the country to help improve facilities and amenities in the remote

rural schools, including the construction of an access road. This summer’s expedition gave students the opportunity to explore new landscapes, understand different cultures and develop a wealth of personal skills and experiences. The students helped plan and prepare for the expedition, in particular organising fundraising events. ‘The expedition provided students with a fantastic opportunity to visit one of the safest and most diverse areas of Africa, which gave them experiences and skills which they will value for the rest of their lives,’ says English teacher Karen Jackson.



wo Silent Soldiers have been installed in the grounds of Ellesmere College in a campaign to remember those who did not return home from the First World War, which came to an end 100 years ago this November. The campaign, in association with the Royal British Legion,

One of the Silent Soldiers

has seen life-size Tommys fixed on buildings and roundabouts and in gardens and fields across the country. The silhouettes, which are cut from black dibond and are weatherproof, have at their base the words ‘1914-1918 Lest We Forget’. Businesses and local authorities are being invited to support the campaign by sponsoring and displaying the silhouettes until late 2018, when the nation will commemorate the Armistice and the end of the war. The idea was the brainchild of the Royal British Legion’s Surrey branch and has since spread across the country. Headmaster of Ellesmere College, Brendan Wignall, says the statues are already having an impact. ‘Many children have asked about the statues and they’re prompting conversations about the war and the people involved,’ he says.

irtual reality technology is helping to bring a Shropshire school to life in homes across the globe. Potential students of Ellesmere College can now experience what it is like to walk around the north Shropshire campus while sitting in their bedrooms in China, Russia or Malaysia. The college developed the branded VR headsets in a bid to show others what being there is really like. ‘We’re delighted to be able to offer this exciting and innovative opportunity for people interested in coming to Ellesmere College,’ says

headmaster Brendan Wignall. ‘We hope it will help them to feel like Ellesmere is a home from home if they do decide to board here. ‘It isn’t always easy for prospective students to visit the school, so this shows how committed we are to helping the global engagement of our school. It’s also the perfect opportunity for family members who may never visit the pupils to picture just what their day-to-day life at school is like. It could be a great comfort to grandparents, aunts, uncles and siblings who live thousands of miles away.’

The VR headsets allow prospective students to tour the campus



ormer England cricket captain Charlotte Edwards CBE was invited to open Oswestry School’s new £800,000 sports facility, Momentum Hall, in September. While there, she presented headmaster Julian Noad with the England shirt she wore during a World Twenty20 match in India in 2016. Charlotte, arguably England’s most recognisable female cricketer, made her international debut in 1996 at just 16, becoming the youngest woman ever to play for England. In 1997, she hit 12 centuries as she began to establish herself as a fierce opening batter. She was named ICC Women’s Player Of The Year in 2008 and was awarded an MBE for her services to cricket in 2009, followed by a CBE in 2014.

Charlotte Edwards CBE

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SCHOOLS who is originally from Sicily – is now looking forward to returning to Italy and to working in her chosen industry. ‘I love performing,’ she says. ‘It’s my number-one goal in life. Anything performancerelated is exciting for me. In addition, as I’m Italian, I get to explore my home country and discover new cities!’ Isabella credits her time at Glyndwr with helping her prepare for her upcoming role – and is urging others looking to follow in her footsteps and Isabella Provenzano is heading for Italy use their studies to help them find something they love doing. ‘I’d advise anyone considering taking a similar path to me sabella Provenzano, who English through to take the chance – do completed a BA (Hons) theatre, across ‘I love what you love!,’ she says. in theatre, television and northern and performing,’ ‘Life is too short to settle performance this year at central Italy,’ says Isabella. for something less than she says. To get Glyndwr University, has landed ‘It’s my what you love doing. And her dream job and will be joining the role, Isabella number-one don’t worry if opportunities the Lingue Senza Frontiere performed goal in life’ don’t come knocking on theatre company in Italy for a two auditions your door immediately touring performance in 2019. via Skype. after graduating – Having ‘The job involves performing your time will come!’ to children to teach them secured the role, Isabella –



Ellie Bainbridge on the podium

Ellie makes a splash


or the fourth year in a row, Kidderminster student Ellie Bainbridge has retained the title of British National Open Water Champion at the National Open Water Festival in Rother Valley Country Park, Sheffield. Holy Trinity School & Sixth Form student Ellie was competing in the national age groups category against other swimmers from across the country. The championships are the country’s flagship open-water age group event, attracting the future stars of open-water swimming.

Coming soon… a theatre for all


The centre is opened by Mr Bury, Mr Kennedy and Mr Rogers-Coltman

Moor Park opens performing arts centre


fter years of planning, a new performing arts facility has been opened at Moor Park in Ludlow to house the independent school’s drama and music provision. The facility boasts a drama teaching studio with technical lighting, staging and sound system, a projector system and space for any sort of workshop. There are also individual teaching rooms for both drama and music tuition, all with state-of-theart sound systems, pianos, mirrors and acoustic walling. There is also an ensemble room for small concerts and rehearsals, a music teaching room with keyboard connected computer systems and a recording studio. The centre was opened by Mr Bury of the Millichope

Foundation, which gave generously to help get the project off the ground. Professional musician Henry Kennedy, an old boy of Moor Park, also performed an inaugural concert on clarinet. The school’s chairman of governors Julian Rogers-Coltman, who has supported and enabled the project from its beginnings, helped to cut the ribbon and declare the centre open. The centre isn’t just for use by the school. Any child who wishes to join the new Marches Youth Orchestra, which meets on a Saturday morning, is welcome to do so. Also, any child of ABRSM grade 1 and above standard on any instrument, including guitar, can come along and use the new centre.

onstruction of a new stateof-the-art theatre facility is under way at Moreton Hall school in Oswestry. More than £1.2m of the £1.45m build total has already been raised, thanks to the support and generosity of many, including patrons Bill and Julie Holroyd. Investments in the best lighting and sound equipment, flooring and seats, as well as bespoke architectural design, have been to ensure audiences benefit from some the greatest theatrical performances touring

the country. The foyer will also consist of a bar, café and seating area, and can also be used for smaller and more abstract performances. Alongside touring theatre companies and music ensembles, the theatre will be used by local community and charity groups, arts organisations, choirs, orchestras and primary and secondary schools. The theatre will be a hub for young talent to grow and its benefits are already being felt, with many community initiatives taking shape.

Construction of the new theatre has begun!

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ower sixth form pupils at Oswestry School took part in the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge during the last academic year with brilliant results. Ethan McMorran finished in the top 50 per cent of the 8,000 entries and gained a Copper Award, while Slobodan (Bobo) Markovic was in the top 12 per cent and achieved a very high Silver Award.

The national competition, which is set by an experienced team of teachers and university chemists, aims to stretch and challenge the most able A-level chemistry students. It is designed to be accessible to year 12 students but takes them significantly beyond the syllabus and encourage them to think about science in the way they would once they are at university.

Slobodan (left) and Ethan (right)

New rules for school leaders


ear 6 pupil leaders from the Firs School in Chester have taken on important and responsible leadership roles. These include anti-bullying ambassadors, eco warriors, junior safety officers and more. The children were all presented with special badges in assembly and are now undergoing training. As part of the scheme, six students attended a training event sponsored by the Princess Diana Award at the Academy of St Nicholas in Liverpool to become anti-bullying ambassadors. They learnt about the issue of bullying and the skills needed to support others to stay safe and happy. They were all inspired and excited by their new roles and are already

setting targets and aims for their anti-bullying work. The two junior safety officers were also recently awarded with certificates and badges at the Civic Centre in Ellesmere Port after receiving training about their important role. ‘The children are all immensely proud of their new roles and are undergoing training over the forthcoming weeks,’ says the Firs School’s headteacher Lucy Davies. ‘We feel it’s extremely important for the children to have a sense of responsibility and an awareness of how their actions can affect and help others, and believe it is key for them to learn that leading by example is a valuable and important lesson in life.’

The Firs School’s year 6 leadership team

Budding footballers score with City


the Premier League club by spiring preparatory school Sheikh Mansour in 2008. footballers from Rydal Year 4 was the first to visit Penrhos in Colwyn Bay are getting the chance to develop the site for a special tournament their skills at one of the best featuring other teams from the North West on 14th September, academy complexes in the world. before Year 2 and 3 made the As part of an agreement trip for a Football Festival on between the school and Premier League champions Manchester 21st September. Year 1 will City, a large number of pupils attend another Football Festival at the site, where coaches from different year will put them through groups have been their paces to give them a able to compete ‘To play at taste of top-flight football. at separate such a grand venue as the tournaments at ‘This is something Manchester we’ve done for a number the academy, City Academy of years now and it which cost £200m is fantastic’ really inspires each to construct and pupil involved,’ says the also boasts a 7,000-capacity school’s head of boys’ stadium, education games, Jamie McLeod. ‘To play at such a grand venue as facilities and medical and the Manchester City Academy sports science services. complex is fantastic for their The 80-acre site, funded overall development ahead by City’s owners and built in partnership with Manchester of what is going to be a very City Council, was conceived busy winter of competitive action at Rydal Penrhos.’ following the takeover of

Teams from Rydal Penrhos visited Manchester City Academy

136 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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SHIRE: 100,000 readers in North & Mid Wales, Cheshire, the Wirral and Shropshire

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Books&Poetry A life of crime Welsh author David McCaddon has just released the final part of his gripping trilogy, packed with criminal expertise gathered during a career with the police


uthor and award-winning playwright David McCaddon was born in Mold in North Wales and grew up in the nearby town of Buckley. After leaving school, he joined the local steelworks and it

The plot of his latest book follows was here that he entered the world cybercriminal Tim Ridgway, who is of computing, initially as a computer on the run having made a daring operator on ICL mainframes. He joined escape from HMP Dinas Bay in North International Computers Limited in Wales. With a new stolen identity and the mid 1970s, working at Kidsgrove, thousands of miles away, has he finally Staffordshire as a software technician, escaped from Midshire Police? and a few years later moved into The force, however, have computer programming. enough on their plates In 1983, David started DID YOU investigating a new spate of working with West Yorkshire KNOW? ransomware attacks, which Police to develop the first A digital footprint are now threatening the commercially available Police is the trail of very existence of their own Major Incident System. He data you leave and other organisations. In became an expert in his whenever you use the meantime, investigative field, and his job ended up the internet agencies worldwide are taking him across the world watching with interest the as he worked with a number of introduction of a new Big Brotherpolice forces and prison systems. like crime detection programme known as Project Watchman, which Prison break is due to be unveiled in Australia. Considering on his wealth of experience David, who now lives in Cheshire, within the fields of computers and crime, is also an award-winning playwright, it’s perhaps no surprise that David’s and has had a number of his plays written work is based on the digital performed over the past 14 years. underworld and, after 34 years spent He also available as a public speaker, working with police and other lawtalking about his experiences in law enforcement agencies, he now devotes enforcement and famous crimes. his time to writing crime thrillers. His first book, Following Digital The Final Footprint is published by Austin Footprints, which was published in 2016, Macauley Publishers and is available was the first of a trilogy. In Digital Pursuit to buy from austinmacauley.com, followed a year later, and The Final Amazon and all good booksellers Footprint was released this September.

BOOK EV EN TS Crime Night, 13th November, Linghams bookshop, Heswall Enjoy an evening of crime and wine with Mary Torjussen and Rachel Abbott. Abbott’s debut thriller, Only The Innocent, was an international bestseller, and she has gone on to produce novels translated into over 20 languages and sell more than three million copies. Successful crime author Mary Torjussen lives on the Wirral. Doors open 3pm. Tickets £7, including a glass of wine.

An Evening with Dan Snow, 19th November, Heswall Hall Britain’s favourite historian launches his new book, On This Day In History, which tells the story of an important event that happened on each day of the year. From the signing of the Armistice treaty at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her bus seat on 1 December 1955, our past is full of fascinating turning points. Hear him talk about his lifelong passion for the past from 7pm. Tickets from £15. An Evening with Prue Leith, 28th November, Lion Quays Hotel, Oswestry Booka Bookshop presents an evening with Great British Bake Off judge Prue Leith as she talks about her lifelong passion for food and her new cookbook, Prue, featuring recipes from her own kitchen table. This is Prue’s first cookery book in 25 years and she has woven intimate and witty stories from her life around many of the recipes, celebrating the food we all want to make at home. Doors open 7pm. Tickets from £10.

Llandeilo Christmas Book Fair, 10th December, Civic Hall, Llandeilo Looking for the perfect Christmas present? Make your way to Llandeilo’s Civic Hall for this Christmas Book Fair, where you’ll be spoiled for choice. Almost 40 authors will be presenting their books at the fair, and there will also be talks, readings, performances and competitions throughout the day. Browse, buy, chat, listen and join in. The event includes performances and readings geared at children, a short story competition, an openmic session, poetry readings and a selection of Welsh language books. From 9.45am to 5pm. Free entry.

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It’s the perfect time of year to curl up with a good book. Our friends at Linghams independent bookshop in Heswall share their suggestions for the season Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer What if you turned left instead of right – how would your life turn out? The characters in this standalone novel don’t step right or left, they stow away on a ship – one heading to England, the other to the US. Follow their story as the tale unfolds in alternating chapters. It’s one of those books you have to find out what happens and will keep you gripped until the end. Queen Victoria: Daughter, Wife, Mother , Widow by Lucy Worsley This book is based on Victoria’s personal journal, which she wrote in every night – sometimes penning as many as 3,000 words. Learn how Victoria discovered how close she was to the throne as a young child, her strained relationship with her mother, her first meeting with her future husband, Albert, and the birth of her children. Lucy Worsley also captures the heartwrenching details of Albert’s death. The book is illustrated with photographs that show a rather different Queen Victoria than the one you read about in school. The Craftsman by Sharon Bolton A spooky crime thriller to read by the festive fire. In the aftermath of a supposed child killer’s death, a series of identical crimes begins. Florence Lovelady is forced to revisit the case and to consider if the right person was convicted? This is another twist-and-turn crime thriller by Sharon Bolton. Careful plotting and attention to detail make it a good choice for your Christmas wish list. Old Baggage by Lissa Evans Former suffragette Mattie Simpkin approaches her middle years longing for a new and comparably energising sense of purpose, with her life in 1928 increasingly uneventful. A found object gives her an idea of how to bring this about. This novel is a bittersweet portrayal of growing up without giving up, and is a feelgood read that should tick all your boxes!

In Memory Of Wilfred Owen To warn by shocking imagery Conceived in the very bowels Of the war machine. The voice of the common soldier Articulating an untold hell Previously unheard, unknowable. His death and his comrades’ deaths, His suffering and their suffering, A testament unheeded still. Tom Davies, Oswestry

A Walk To Criccieth We walked there, the three of us, together; two miles to Criccieth from Llanystumdwy, past the place where Lloyd George rests forever. Three of us – my soul mate, my dog and me. Over the hellish road, dog full of fear; sighs of relief – we find the country lane. Farmer nods “Hello, you’re not from round here?” The dog shrinks well back, full of fear again. A teasing sun plays games and we shiver as the path leads toward the estuary; clouds drift away as we meet the river. Warm now, as we amble in harmony. We see a grey seal, sleek and plump and free. On the headland the Castle is in view; a Welsh prince once stood and looked out to sea. The seal rears up – we see there are two! Criccieth welcomes with a sprinkle of rain, chased away by a postcard sun as we|pad along, feeling the stones and coarse grain. Back to Llanystumdwy now, just us three. Jen Owen

FOOTBALL CRAZY (1966) I’m wedged between my grandparents, with a bag of sweets to keep me occupied. “Schh Jen,” Grandad says, “I’m looking forward to this, been waiting a long time.” He gets very involved with the game, shouting at the ref. I yawn, suddenly everthing errupts, Germany have scored. He looks despondent, here we go, eyes rolling. Then, explosive noise. Geoff Thingy has scored. Grandad jumps up. “Watch it, Ern!” Nana says. “You’ll do yourself a mischief. Boring, boring ,boring, I yawn. Who cares? Nana’s even excited now, then they score again. Grandad roars, like the lions on their shirts, he hugs me, I nearly drop my sweets on the floor Oh goody, nearly over, wonder what’s on the other side, The last thing I want is extra time. Oh horror on horror, Germany have scored, it’s two all. Extra time, Ern nudges me and winks (can he read my mind?) Oh groan, torture, how much longer? One minute left, people start to pour on the pitch. Geoff scores (even I feel slightly excited). Someone says, “They think it’s all over… it is now!” Nana and Grandad dance around the room, Grandad sweeps me up Yahoo! Yipee! Babycham and bitter! Perhaps footie’s not so bad after all!!! Jen Owen

We want your poems! We’ll print our favourites each edition and share your creative spirit with our readers. Send to Poetry Page, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR or email editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk. November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 139

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Charities&Volunteering Reaching new heights for hospital


n adventurous patient at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) is attempting a series of daunting fundraising challenges, ending with an assault on Mount Everest. Chris Morris, who lives in Llanfyllin and attends physiotherapy ‘I’ve always sessions at the Oswestrywanted to conquer based hospital, will be Everest, and it trekking to Mount Everest seemed fitting Base Camp in April 2019. to raise money Leading up to his climb, for a local he is taking part in a series charity at the of challenges to raise at same time’ least £2,000 to be split

between the physiotherapy department and Baschurch Day Unit. ‘I’ve always wanted to conquer Everest, and it seemed fitting to raise money for a local charity at the same time,’ says Chris. To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/ fundraising/chrismorris0791. Another group of intrepid climbers has trekked up Mount Snowdon while raising almost £6,000 for a Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre to at the hospital. This year’s Snowpaedic Challenge was held in memory of consultant orthopaedic surgeon Professor James Richardson and RJAH patient Stuart Dickens. Visit www.rjah.nhs.uk/ voca for details. Another fundraiser and physiotherapist at RJAH has raised over £2,000 for the Midland Centre for Spinal Injuries. Ruth Burton completed a sponsored tandem paraglide at Long Mountain, Welshpool, to raise money for the Spinal Injuries Activities Fund, doubling her initial target of £1,000.

Ladies’ lunch raises funds for charity


ladies’ luncheon at a Shropshire college has raised £765 for charity. The event at Ellesmere College was in aid of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, the chosen charity of Diana Flint, the first female Ellesmerian. ‘We had an excellent turnout and the weather really could not have been better,’ says Pauline Hale, cochair of the Ellesmere College Parents Society. ‘Everyone enjoyed the day and we were able to raise a substantial amount for Diana’s charity. ‘Money raised will help conserve the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust’s site at Coalbrookdale, birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. We’d like to thank all those ladies who turned out to support the event, and to the stallholders who were excellently represented on the day.’

Family fun day for local charities

N Law firm makes a splash


wimming club Oswestry Otters has achieved charity status after law firm Aaron & Partners pledged its pro bono support. The move will enable the club to attract sponsorship and ensure its long-term future. Lawyers from the Oxon Business Park firm’s corporate and commercial team worked closely with the club on a pro bono basis to complete the lengthy process. Run by volunteers, the Oswestry Otters swimming club has been established for more than 40 years and consistently ranks among the top three clubs in the area. ‘Now we’ve been able to establish ourselves as a charity we hope we’ll be able to attract sponsorship from businesses, which will help us to continue working with our head coach,’ says Jo Jones from Oswestry Otters. ‘We’ll also be able to secure more swimming time at larger pools without having to raise the fees for our members, therefore keeping it accessible for as many people as possible.’

orth Shropshire College recently held its fourth family fun day at its Oswestry campus. The money raised on the day will be given to two local charities: CRY For Matthew and the Isabelle Lottie Foundation. The day was a great success, with a wide variety of different attractions for visitors, including a tombola, a raffle, animals from Walford, a bouncy castle, face painting, stalls, dance displays and scrumptious food made by staff and students. ‘We’d like to thank everyone who supported the family fun day and

helped the college to raise money for two great causes,’ says Lucy Evans, North Shropshire College’s marketing and customer service manager. ‘We’re delighted that £1,000 was raised in total, which will be split equally between both charities.’

Charity bakes at British Ironwork Centre


he British Ironwork Centre (BIC) near Oswestry has hosted Macmillan Cancer Trust for a World’s Biggest Coffee Morning to raise vital funds. This year’s event, on 28th September, saw a delicious selection of cakes, all created by the centre’s staff. In true Bake Off style, the earliest cake-feasting guests included members of staff, assisted by Macmillan partnership manager Tudor Humphreys

and Tracy Knowles from the BIC. ‘We’d like to thank everyone involved in the coffee morning, especially those who took a moment to donate and enjoy a slice of cake or a cup of coffee,’ says Tracy.

If you would like your charity event to feature on these pages, please email editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk

140 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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What’s in your Stars? Aries: 20th March – 20th April

Bonfire Night, winter solstice and Christmas – there’s so much to celebrate, and Uranus moving between Aries and Taurus grants the ingenuity and perseverance to make all three memorable. The cautionary note is that old chestnut, overspending. When your solar house of finance is tenanted by Uranus early next year, the piper must be paid – and he’s more impatient than you!

Cancer: 21st June – 23rd July

You are a child at heart, which is delightful, but the shadow side of this is the big sulk when you’re offended. As your sign is ruled by the moon, you should pay attention to the full moon around the winter solstice and the words of that Rolling Stones song: ‘You can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometime you’ll find you get what you need.’

Libra: 23rd September – 22nd October

Venus is the brightest object in the sky and in the sign of Libra throughout November gives you the chance to shine brightly here on earth – translating the Hermetic Principle of As Above, So Below. Its accent is feminine, which for women illustrates their appreciation of beauty, and for men their sensitivity. Love in all its forms is orbiting you now.

Capricorn: 21st December – 20th January

The Ancient Egyptians believed that words held a special power and preserved them by inventing hieroglyphics. Sometimes what you say is very difficult to interpret. Words can also cut like glass and need no special explanation. Thanks to words, we can rise above the lowest form of wit and no thanks to words we can sink back into it. You have choices, Capricorn.

Taurus: 20th April – 21st May

Old Father Time was known as Kronos to the Greeks. Saturn is the equivalent in astrology – and in its present position, it means time is on your side. This is good for plans that need attention to detail, because news on the cosmic grapevine shows that shared resources are an area that need close attention before you strike out on any major plan.

Leo: 23rd July – 23rd August

Fireworks can produce the most hideous explosion or the most beautiful sky patterns, so when you light the fuse on an argument read carefully which type you are setting light to. The choice is yours and, as you take pride in doing what’s right, remember that the test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones, so convert roar into purr!

Scorpio: 23rd October – 22nd November

Jingle bells doesn’t mean sleigh bells in the distance – it’s the ringing of service tills as money is exchanged faster than you can say ‘Guy Fawkes’ or ‘Santa Claus’! Be more diligent – you’re mostly quite prudent about over-spending, yet signs show your solar house of finance under a cavalier and extravagant source of energy. Be generous but also wise!

Aquarius: 20th January – 19th February

It is said that you’re as old or as young as you feel – and if ideas keep you young, then you’ll live forever! Living in your head sometimes disconnects you from others, but it’s what made you appeal in the first place. Your intelligence and occasional eccentricity are the difference between stimulation and boredom. Stay true to yourself, but reach out when needed.

Gemini: 21st May – 21st June

If you’re looking for a meaning to something significant within your closest relationship, I think you’re about to find it. Sometimes the signals don’t give out a clear understanding of where one stands and a guessing game takes place. Look closely and you will find a lot more to cheer about because truth is generally seen rather than heard!

Virgo: 23rd August – 23rd September

You’ve heard the saying about someone showing ‘their true colours’, which lies in the ancient study of reading auras or a certain atmosphere around an individual. The astrological colour of Virgo is brown, which resonates with the earth, so as you meticulously plan for the coming season in your down-to-earth manner, your true colours are most definitely showing.

Sagittarius: 22nd November – 21st December

You have Jupiter and an approaching new moon as heavenly buddies widening scope and giving opportunity to plan on a larger scale than usual. You sometimes get carried away, but if you’ve read my astrological guides over the months you’ll know that. Following your dream may get you lost, but then you may discover another even better one along the way.

Pisces: 19th February – 20th March

Through all the changing scenes of life, you adapt because you are an expert at disguising who you really are – it’s your coping mechanism. This art is confusing to those who can never quite figure you out. However, there’s now good reason to see yourself and allow others to see you in a more real light – the exposure will ensure a future success.

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. 142 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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nce again you, our readers, have been busy putting pen to paper over the past few months and we have been delighted to sort through a bulging postbag for this edition’s letters page. We love to hear from you, whether in response to something we’ve written or with news and views of your own, so please keep writing to us at the address, right. Our favourite correspondences will end up in print, and we always appreciate a picture to go with them if it’s relevant, so do please post them in or email us at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk. If you have missed an issue or want an extra copy, please send us a SAE for £1.60

and specify which magazine you need and we’ll pop it in the post. Other great ways to keep in touch are through our website www. shiremagazine.co.uk and on Facebook and Instagram. Follow us online and you’ll be the first in line for weekly events updates, great pictures, competitions and more… With more ways Write to us at: than ever Shire Magazine to do so, PO Box 276 you have Oswestry no reason not to keep Shropshire in touch SY10 1FR with Shire!

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading Shire magazine over the last year, ever since I found it in my local Tesco. Now I make a point of picking it up whenever I see it there. I particularly enjoy the photographs and poems sent in by readers, and I’m still working up the courage to send in something of my own! In the meantime, keep up the good work and I’ll enjoy seeing other people’s contributions! ANON


You can receive Shire posted to your door! Turn to page 141

An eatery treat I was lucky enough to win a family ticket to the Mold Food & Drink Festival in a recent competition in Shire magazine. It was a lovely day out and really well organised and supported, with a wide array of different stalls selling delicious and unusual food and drink items, with free tastings too! We really enjoyed our day there, so many thanks Shire magazine. I’ve sent you a photograph of me by the Double Decker Bus Bar at the event! Jane Moore, Cheswardine, Market Drayton


Thanks for an amazing night Thank you so much to Shire magazine for the most wonderful evening we had after winning the amazing concert tickets and Palé Hall stay in the September/October edition. The concert at St Asaph Cathedral was amazing – Jacqui Dankworth sang beautifully and Craig Ogden was the most

brilliantly talented guitarist. Then it was on to Palé Hall, which is a beautiful, grand hotel with the most amazing rooms and grounds. We were treated so attentively by the Palé staff, who couldn’t do enough for us. We had such a wonderful time. Thank you so much! Lorraine & Julian Such

Creating a buzz

I just wanted to drop you a line to say what a great magazine this is! I picked up a copy at our local garden centre and have enjoyed every page. This year, my husband and I have started a new hobby – beekeeping. We got our first hive in May and have found it to be a wonderful pastime. My husband, Guy, went on a course with the Conwy Beekeeping Association, who

run evening classes. He found the course very informative and the people so friendly. This year, we only managed 10lb of beautiful honey, as the rest has to be left in the hive for the bees to winter on. Next year we expect about five times this amount. We love our new interest and if we can do it, anyone can. Why not give it a go? Dorothy Woolley, Conwy

I wanted to let you know that I pick up Shire every time I see one and take it home to read. I enjoy all the features and the gardens section especially, while my husband enjoys the wildlife and books pages. I tend to leave it on the table and when our daughter visits she always has a look through the arts section (she is a professional textile artist) and even our grandchildren have been known to flick through the What’s On guide! I must congratulate you on compiling a magazine that really does seem to appeal to all ages and genders! Well done, Shire! Francesca Williams, Oswestry My wife always has a copy of Shire magazine at home and I’ve had a flick through. There are some good articles and I like the What’s On stuff but I was wondering why there is never any sport or cars? I think a lot of people would be interested in that, so please could you consider including it? Bill Robinson, Nantwich

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 143

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SHIRE MAGAZINE’S FANTASTIC COMPETITIONS! 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!

Congratulations to our lucky winners from the September/October issue!

Gwen, Holywell Aladdin

Helen, Oswestry 1940s Blitz Ball

Linda, Newtown Shropshire Oktoberfest

WIN! Four tickets to a 2019 fixture of your choice at Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse

Set in beautiful North Wales countryside, Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse stages 14 exciting jump racing fixtures a year on the banks of the River Dee. One winner can choose their favourite (confirm which event by the end of January 2019) and go with family or friends.

Lorraine, West Kirby Overnight stay at Palé Hall

Christine, Bicton Heath Welshpool 1940s Weekend

WIN! A pair of tickets to the festive treat of The Nutcracker, performed at the Festival Drayton Centre

Luke, Crewe Frigg at Pontio

WIN! A family ticket to get your Christmas off to the perfect start at Santa’s Magical Farm at Greenacres Animal Park

Vienna Festival Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker promises to delight audiences with its festive setting and light-hearted story. We have two pairs of tickets to give away – one for the 2.30pm matinee and one for the 7.30pm show on Saturday 15th December.

This festive delight in Deeside will welcome visitors to meet Father Christmas and his elves in the fabulous Grotto, and all children will also get an Christmas present from the man himself. We have two family tickets up for grabs.

CLOSING DATE: 20th December

CLOSING DATE: 8th December

CLOSING DATE: 24th November

WIN! Another family festive opportunity – tickets to the Santa Experience at Blakemere Village Come

WIN! A pair of adult tickets to attend the Royal Welsh Winter Fair in Builth Wells First

WIN! A family ticket to see Cinderella at Venue Cymru, Llandudno

and find Santa at Blakemere’s unique outdoor theatrical experience in the heart of the Cheshire woodlands. On 8th or 9th December, enjoy ice skating, decorating gingerbread with Mrs Claus and an audience with the main man too!

staged in 1990, the Winter Fair is now firmly established as one of the most popular attractions on the British agricultural show calendar. Leading stockmen from all over the UK compete for the top accolades in the competitions, running over 26th and 27th November.

Oh, yes you can go to the ball this Christmas – to see Cinderella in Llandudno, complete with a host of stars from music and TV, as well as some panto favourites. We have tickets for the 5pm performance on 28th December up for grabs.

CLOSING DATE: 1st December

CLOSING DATE: 19th November

CLOSING DATE: 20th December

HOW TO ENTER: Simply fill in the form with your answer circled (you’ll need to read the magazine to find it!), and include your name, address and daytime contact number. Send it by the closing date to Tickets Competition, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR. Winners will be notified by email, so don’t forget to include your email address and daytime telephone number. Question: In which year did Wilfred Owen die? a) 1920 b) 1918 c) 1916

Name Address

I’d like to win tickets to: Postcode BANGOR-ON-DEE RACECOURSE




Daytime contact number



Email (please complete) Please send me further information about Shire magazine

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.

November/December 2018 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 145

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COMING NEXT ISSUE It’s hard to believe that our next edition will be covering 2019, but it’s true! Shire will be packed with everything you need to know for the new year. Whether you’re making resolutions or forming plans, we’ll be here with all the events, lifestyle, fashion, home and health advice you need to make sure 2019 is your year!


Health & happiness


The start of a new year heralds the start of a new regime for many of us – whether we vow to get a better work/life balance or embark on a new fitness regime, or simply resolve to stick to the latest diet plan. Our special health, beauty and wellbeing section will make sure you’ve got everything you need to get it right for you.

As always, the dedicated and hard-working Shire team will do our best to make sure we’ve been to as many shows and events as possible to report back on in our reviews section.

How about a new hobby?

For many people, January is the perfect time to take up a new hobby – will this be the year you do something you’ve always wanted to do? Perhaps you want to have a go at painting or are finally going to get around to writing that book. Either way, our arts and books sections will be packed with ideas and inspiration as always, so they are the perfect place to start.


January is the month when most people book their summer holiday, so make sure you get your copy of Shire early and check out our recommended destinations, as well as some good deals for the parks and sites across the area.

Keep it cosy While you shiver your way through the winter, let our homes and interiors guide offer you some advice on heating and comfort. We’ll share some property stories, help keep you snug and inspire your interiors at the same time.

Watch the birdie We have a special feature in our New Year edition thanks to our friends at the RSPB, which is celebrating a very special anniversary. In 2019 it will be marking 40 years of the Big Garden Birdwatch, when members of the public get involved and play a vital role in surveying British birds to spot which ones are thriving and which are in decline. Don’t miss this special report and the chance to do your bit for the birds.

Wanna have fun? Gavin Bond

Our celebrity interview in the next edition is with Cyndi Lauper, as the pop legend makes her way to the area with the musical Kinky Boots, for which she has written all the music.

Ditch the diet

If you’re planning to start 2019 with a new diet, you may want to wait until you have checked out our food expert Graham Tinsley’s latest recipe. His delicious dishes may be worth putting the regime on hold for…


As always, Shire will focus on a couple of prime locations within our region. In the January/February issue, we’re taking a closer look at Newtown and Malpas.

How does your garden grow? Keep on top of the outside space through January and February to make sure you get the blooming best out of your garden this summer. Our plants column will advise you on the best bulbs, while our florist friends from Reaseheath College will help you use your blooms.

D O N ’ T F O R G E T…

…to check our What’s On guide for January and February 2019 before you make any plans! The next edition of Shire will include our usual 60-page guide to all the events and activities going on across the region to keep you entertained until right up to the start of spring.

GET IN TOUCH Shire magazine wants to hear from you! 1. Tell us about your upcoming events We work in advance, so 1st December is the deadline to let us know about events for our January/February 2019 issue. 2. Share your reader stories Have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We’d 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 us on 01691 661270. You can also get in touch via social media – just search for ‘Shire Magazine’ on Facebook or Instagram.

146 SHIRE MAGAZINE | November/December 2018

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new year new career? Do you want to make a difference to the lives of other people?





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WOOD BURNING, MULTIFUEL, GAS & ELECTRIC STOVES We’re renowned in North Wales as the place to go for woodburning stoves. Established over 60 years ago and with the most experienced team in the area you’re sure to get all the advice you need. With over 150 stoves and fireplaces to browse in our showroom, many exclusive to the area, you won’t find a larger selection locally.





Incredibly realistic and exceptionally easy to use, we have gas fires available in modern hole in the wall designs or for existing fireplaces.

All the best names in range cooking under one roof, including AGA, Rayburn, Everhot, Esse, Lacanche, Britannia, Rangemaster & Smeg.

Quality, hand painted kitchens in any colour you choose. Made in the UK and computer designed in store to suit your lifestyle.

If it’s a power shower to wake you up in the morning or a haven for relaxed bathing, we’ve got the perfect new bathroom just for you.


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| Chester Street, St Asaph, LL17 0RE | www.rnwilliams.co.uk

26/10/2018 14:10

Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine Nov-Dec 2018  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, crafts, kitc...

Shire Magazine Nov-Dec 2018  

North Wales, Mid Wales, Shropshire, Cheshire, Whats on, magazine, days out, events, restaurants, reviews, homes, gardens, arts, crafts, kitc...

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