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Y H W

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The biggest & best magazine for WALES, CHESHIRE, WIRRAL and SHROPSHIRE

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2019

shiremagazine.co.uk

MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY MINUTE 65-PAGE WHAT’S ON GUIDE FOR THE AUTUMN

And relax… The area’s best spas and pampering treatments Back to school Open days and latest news for September starters Home comforts Interior style and autumn heating advice Wedding bells Handy hints on how and where to get married

Our Ferøciøüs Førefathers Local links and legends from the time of the Vikings

WIN An amazing bundle of theatre tickets, tea with Aled Jones and much more… Turn to page 161

BRIDGNORTH

The pretty riverside spot in the heart of Shropshire

LLANDUDNO

With its sandy shores and perfect prom

WREXHAM

A cultural capital with attractions galore

HEALTH & BEAUTY | PHOTOGRAPHY | RECIPES | FASHION | BOOKS & POETRY TS05_Cover_setoct19.indd 1

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

W

e can’t quite work out where 2019 has gone, but it would seem that we’re heading into autumn already. While we hope we still have a few warm, late-summer days to come, once the leaves start turning golden is often the best time of year to appreciate the beautiful area in which we live. It’s also time to start preparing for winter ahead, and after spending much of the summer being active outside, we have the perfect way to rejuvenate yourself as we look at the spas across the area. If you need to relax and replenish after too much sun, sea and sand, this is for you. We speak to experts about the benefits – both physical and mental – of spa treatments, round up our favourites locations and even look at how you can create your own spa experience at home with the right equipment and products. So there are no excuses – put some time aside to spend on yourself and benefit from a boost to your wellbeing. The Vikings are coming! As well as looking forward to the new season, this issue we also travel back – far, far back! – to take a look at the Vikings and how the Scandinavian invaders left their mark across our region. Their legacy can be seen and heard in many of our landscapes and place names, and it turns out that many of us are probably more Viking than we thought! Elsewhere this issue, we also have all the articles on food, holidays, art, books, homes and celebrities that you’ve come to love – as well as our comprehensive What’s On section. From everyone at Shire, happy reading!

Contributors

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

IN THIS ISSUE Picture perfect Check out the latest stunning photos from our readers on page 126

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

VICIOUS VIKINGS?

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Discover what the Norse invaders did for us on page 64

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

And relax… We are surrounded by spectacular hotel spas – check out the best on page 84

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…

1

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

2

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

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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 126. 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 156 for more. Your pets Is your pet the love of your life? Send a snap, along

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with their name and anything else you want to tell us. See page 119 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 shiremagazine.co.uk and send submissions and information by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk.

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September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

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Contents S E P TE M B E R /O C TO B E R 2 01 9

PAG E 6 4 Discover the area’s Viking heritage, from south Wales to the Wirral PAG E 1 2 9

6 What’s On Shire’s packed events diary – including half-term and Halloween – covers north and mid Wales, Cheshire, the Wirral and Shropshire

inside and out? We’re here to help with ideas and tips

18 Cerys Matthews The Welsh singer and radio presenter talks about her forthcoming festival in Hawarden

113 Gardening Where to see the best autumnal foliage, plants to add seasonal cover, plus a stunning arrangement to try at home

44 Bridgnorth We explore the Shropshire town situated on two sides of the River Severn

Bring a touch of sunshine to your autumn wardrobe

PAG E 1 3 1 Getting hitched? We round up some of the best local wedding venues

45 Ironbridge A round-up of some of the best autumn events taking place at the fantastic Ironbridge Gorge Museums 58 Big City Check out what’s on further afield, in Liverpool, Cardiff, Birmingham and Manchester 61 Reviews The Shire team have been particularly busy reporting from local shows and events 64 Great invaders An in-depth look at the incredible impact the Vikings had on our area

PAG E 9 7 We get a lesson in how to make an authentic Italian pizza

PAG E 9 0 One Welsh brewery is heading into battle for top regional prize

73 Active Our guide to local walks – for fun and charity – plus the latest news on sporting successes 74 Llandudno We take a closer look at the pretty coastal town that has been drawing crowds to its beaches for centuries 77 Holidays Whether you’re looking for an autumn break or are planning for 2020, you can find your next great getaway here 82 Horsing Around Days out for those who fancy saddling up for a pony trek

PAG E 8 4 Relax in style at one of the area’s many spas – we take a look at what they have to offer

PAG E 1 8 Welsh wonder Cerys Matthews on why we should head for Hawarden this September

84 Take Time To Unwind In need of a bit of pampering, or a treat to indulge your mind and body? Our spa special may have the solution 90 Food & Drink Tasty recipes from top local chefs, a wine movie special and a look at upcoming food festivals 97 Lapone’s Ristorante We talk to the family behind Oswestry’s popular restaurant to discover the secret of their culinary success

PAG E 1 2 3 Check out Chester Cathedral’s latest thought-provoking exhibitions

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111 Very Berry Find home decor inspiration in the season’s best colours

116 Outdoor Style Bring the indoors outside with stylish garden furniture 119 Pets & Wildlife The latest news from the area’s conservation experts, plus your pet pictures 123 Arts & Crafts A local artist explains why she left behind a life of science, and your sky-themed photographs 129 Women’s Fashion Yellow is the colour this season 131 Weddings Whether you’re organising your own wedding or attending someone else’s, we’ve got all you need, from the best outfits to top venues 134 Health & Beauty Expert advice on combating wrinkles and keeping your bones healthy 136 Women’s Fashion Check out these great checks 138 Retirement All the news and views for our older readers 140 Subscribe to Shire! Never miss an edition of your favourite local listings magazine! 142 Twenty Questions We turn the spotlight on former Olympic athlete Colin Jackson 145 Schools As the new academic year gets underway, we have a bumper section of news from the area’s schools and colleges 155 Books & Poetry The latest events, signings, workshops and new releases, plus we profile a local author 158 Charities & Volunteering A look at the organisations that do so much for so many good causes across the area 159 Letters We hand over to Shire’s readers!

98 Wrexham The largest town in north Wales has plenty to offer visitors and locals alike

160 What’s In Your Stars? Find out what’s coming your way with a horoscope forecast from Gloria Mans

101 Homes & Interiors Making your home cosy before winter? Refreshing your style

161 Competitions Your chance to win some amazing prizes!

23/08/2019 16:08


NORTH WALES WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF

Having a plum celebration in Denbigh

1ST-13TH SEPTEMBER

1st September, Greyhound Mommas Summer BBQ, Abergele With craft stalls plus homemade cakes and ice cream. £2, including burger or hot dog. All proceeds donated to Skylor Animal Rescue.

1st September, Medieval Food Fayre, Beaumaris Castle See how food was prepared in the 14th century and what the medieval lords and knights would have eaten. 10am-5pm. Normal admission fees apply.

7th September, Cerrigydrudion Show See horses, cattle and sheep of every breed imaginable, working vintage machinery, traditional sheep shearing and the home produce tent, renowned for its quality throughout north Wales. 9am5pm. £6 adults, £2 children.

8th September, Peter Read presents The Brothers Yorke, Erddig, Wrexham A 30-minute play telling the story of the last two squires of Erddig, Simon and Philip Yorke. Full of humour and pathos, it brings to life two very different brothers who both struggled to rescue a crumbling Erddig as it fell into decline. 2pm & 3.30pm. Normal National Trust admission applies.

13th September, Honey Fair, High Street, Conwy A 700-year old Royal Charter fair selling honey and hive products along with plants and farmers’ market stalls. Local beekeepers sell over a tonne of honey by lunchtime!

Denbigh Plum Feast – celebrating Wales’s only native plum – marks its 11th anniversary on 5th October. Over the past 11 years, the event has grown and grown, and now attracts more than 6,000 visitors to Denbigh’s town hall. Primarily a Welsh food and drinks festival, the festival’s stallholders are encouraged to produce items using the now protected plum. Plums are a very versatile ingredient, and items available on the day range from gins, beers and ciders to breads, sausage rolls and marshmallows.

The festival will also feature cookery demonstrations by local chef Harri Williams, from Carden Park Hotel, and Mark Robertson of Coleg Cambria – a member of the Wales Culinary Team. Local Italian cook Marina Modolo will also be showing how to cook some Italian plum dishes. Local primary and secondary school pupils can also take part in healthy eating cookery competitions, the results of which will be announced on the day. Entry to the event is free and free car parking has been provided by Denbigh Town Council.

On track for Halloween fun

Live at Theatr Colwyn

Bala Lake Railway is gearing up for an evening of storytelling and ghoulish fun on 26th and 31st October. The Halloween-themed trains depart from Llanuwchllyn at 5.15pm and 6.30pm, taking you to Glan Llyn, where you’ll be entertained by the resident ghosts and ghouls. Tickets are £6 for adults and £3 for children. bala-lake-railway.co.uk

Justin Moorhouse: Northern Joker, 27th September Comedian. Actor. Dog walker. Parent. Undercover vegan. Northern Joker. Enjoy this hilarious tour from the comedian who’s been making people laugh for the past 20 years. 7.30pm. Tickets £15.

A delicious day in Llangollen Pick up some of your favourite products sourced from Wales and try some street food with a tasty beverage while enjoying fantastic live music and chef demonstrations at the Llangollen Food Festival on 19th and 20th October. The festival, held at the Llangollen Pavilion, also includes workshops where you can pick up tips to take home, discover new recipes and learn about traditional dishes. Entry costs £5 and is free for children under 15. llangollenfoodfestival.com

The Houghton Weavers, 28th September Enjoy a wonderful evening of entertainment suitable for all the family from the folk group that has recorded over 30 albums. 7.30pm. Tickets £16. ART, 24th October A multi-award winning masterpiece starring Gareth Bale (One Man, Two Guvnors), Kieron Self (My Family) and Richard Tunley (Bouncers), this classy, funny and heart-warming comedy is one of the most successful of all time. 7.30pm. Tickets £16.20. theatrcolwyn.co.uk

Go beyond at Wrexham Stiwt Experience life beyond death as Derek Acorah, Britain’s best loved and most entertaining medium, brings his The Eternal Life tour to Wrexham’s Stiwt on 4th October. Tickets cost £20. stiwt.com

6 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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WHAT’S ON NORTH WALES

A feast for all the senses in Conwy One of Wales’ biggest festivals, Gwledd Conwy Feast, returns on 25th to 27th October for a weekend celebration of food, music and art. The event, which began as a food festival but has grown to be so much more, has an exciting

programme that includes fantastic live music, delicious street food, demonstration kitchens, wine-tasting sessions and more besides. Visit the food halls packed with a fantastic range of produce from Wales and further

A busy season on Llangollen Railway There’s lots going on at Llangollen Railway this autumn. Celebrate Oktoberfest early on 14th September with German beers, lagers and wines available to enjoy as well as lots of lovely food and entertainment from a live oopmha band. You can see the line as the driver sees it on 14th to 15th September on a heritage scenic observation diesel train, as part of the Heritage Railcar Gala.

And come for a fun day out with Thomas from 24th to 26th October, when everyone’s favourite tank engine will be offering rides from Llangollen to Carrog. Then brace yourself for the Ghost Train from 6.30pm to 8.30pm on 27th October, when you can enjoy some spooky storytelling on an eerily decorated train as it creeks through the Dee Valley. llangollen-railway.co.uk

Colour Run comes to Coed Y Brenin An explosion of colour will greet runners taking part in a new charity event in Coed Y Brenin on 8th September. Gwynedd’s first Colour Run, launched by St David’s Hospice, gives

runners the chance to challenge themselves on a 5km trail run while being showered with 100% natural and eco-friendly powder paint. There is also a 1km fun run. Entry costs £15 for adults and £10 for children (eight to 15 years). The fun run costs £5 (under-eights are free). Call 01286 662772 or visit stdavidshospice.org.uk.

Corwen gets medieval The weekend of 14th and 15th September will be a celebration of the Welsh Middle Ages with particular emphasis on local hero Owain Glyndwr and the Age of Welsh Princes. The festival, Gwyl Y Fflam, will see medieval reenactors offering a glimpse

into Welsh heritage. It’s also a fantastic gastronomical feast with a medieval hog roast and drinks. gwylyfflam.com

afield, drop into one of the two festival bars, book a slot in the Family Cooking Academy and head to the Makers’ Market for unique jewellery, textiles, crafts and paintings. Weekend wristbands cost £14 for adults and £2.50 for children,

Art for all in Llandudno

DID YOU KNOW? Conwy is the last rake-only mussel fishing community in the UK

and include access to the full programme of talks, music and demonstrations, along with half-price entry to Conwy Castle. conwyfeast.co.uk

Big names at Venue Cymru

Get creative at Llawn, Mostyn Gallery’s free multi-arts festival that takes place across Llandudno from 13th to 15th September. This year’s festival features a mix of high-quality live art and performance, as well as a brand new mural trail that will transform buildings across the town in unexpected ways. Enjoy a colourful mix of visual art, cinema, performance and dance in this exciting and varied programme of events, meet artists and performers from Wales and beyond, and get the whole family involved with free workshops and activities. www.llawn.org

Back to nature at Plas Newydd Head into the woods at Plas Newydd on 30th October to enjoy the very best of the autumn season. Experts from Wild Elements will get you back to nature with den building, leaf collecting, woodland play, autumnal games and good oldfashioned conker contests. national trust.org.uk

Ant Middleton, 8th September The chief instructor on SAS: Who Dares Wins brings you a motivational journey of self-discovery. 7.30pm. From £29.50 Aled Jones & Russell Watson, 17th September Two of the world’s greatest classical voices take to the stage. 7.30pm. From £31. Diversity: Born Ready, 9th October The dance troupe are back with their landmark 10-year anniversary tour. 7.30pm. From £30. North Wales Autism Conference, 11th October An chance for individuals with an autism spectrum condition and their families to gain information. 8.30am5pm. £150. Exhibition area access free to public. Ben Phillips: Ben vs Elliot, 28th October Social media phenomenon Ben goes head to head with his brother. 7.30pm. £26.50. venuecymru.co.uk

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 7

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NORTH WALES WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 13TH-15TH SEPTEMBER

Family fun at Theatr Clwyd

13th September, Mountainface, The Sun Inn, Llangollen Mountainface’s music is driven by dynamic mandolin and guitar work, affecting lyrics and swelling three-part harmony – ‘alt folk played with the intensity and fire of raw bluegrass’. 7pm. Free.

How To Be Brave, 3rd-4th September Sian Owen’s one-woman play. 7.45pm. Tickets from £10. One Small Step, 6th-7th September An inventive, funny and surprisingly moving play about the race to the moon. Various times. Tickets £6.

14th September, North Wales Vegan Festival, Plas Coch Sports Centre, Wrexham Over 60 fantastic stalls, exciting cookery demos, inspirational talks, interactive workshops, yoga and children’s activities. 10.30am-4.30pm. £3 (under-16s free). veganeventsuk.co.uk

Stephen Kovacevich, 8th September The celebrated pianist plays a programme including Bach, Beethoven and Schubert. 7.30pm. From £10.

Live from theatres to cinemas Experience thrilling theatre without having to head to the big city with three fantastic live performances screened at Neuadd Dwyfor, Pwllheli, straight from the West End.

15th September, Harp Music in the Pin Mill, Bodnant Garden Listen to master harpist Dylan Cernyw playing in the beautiful setting of Bodnant Garden. 2pm-3.30pm. Free event but normal admission applies.

15th September, Joy4Life Wales Yoga Walk, Minera Quarry Nature Reserve, Wrexham Immerse yourself in nature during a guided yoga, mindfulness and walking experience, and learn about the unique varieties of flora and fauna at the. 10am. £5 adults (accompanied children free).

15th September, Urdd 5k Colour Run, Rhyl For happy memories, big smiles and the most colourful day you’ll ever have, enter the Urdd Colour Run! Be prepared to end the day looking like a rainbow! The run starts and finishes at the Arena on Rhyl Promenade. 11am. £15 adults, £10 children – the price includes Colour Run sunglasses, a sachet of paint, and a colourful medal. All proceeds raised go to the Urdd, Dinbych 2020.

Margaret Atwood, 10th September An evening of readings and conversation to celebrate the publication of Atwood’s highly anticipated new novel, The Testaments – a sequel to her most celebrated work, The Handmaid’s Tale. 7pm. Tickets £13 One Man, Two Guvnors, 26th September A Tony Awardwinning performance from James Corden, to mark National Theatre Live’s 10th birthday. 7pm. Tickets £13. Raymonda, 27th October One of legendary choreographer Marius Petipa’s final works and a mustsee from the Bolshoi Ballet. 3pm. Tickets £13. neuadddwyfor.com

Musical stars to visit St Asaph Shoppers at Tweedmill Shopping Outlet will get more than they bargained for when two giants of the classical world visit the store on 12th October. Aled Jones and Russell Watson will visit Tweedmill to help celebrate its 25th anniversary, entertaining shoppers with a performance. The pair, who have joined forces for a UK tour, will arrive at 11am and perform two 20-minute slots before taking a tour and meeting special VIP guests. tweedmill.co.uk

In Loyal Company, 20th & 21st September The true story of Arthur Robinson’s experiences during World War II. 7.45. From £10. Call Mr Robeson, 26th & 27th September The story of Paul Robeson. 7.45pm. From £10. Romeo & Juliet, 21st & 22nd October Extraordinary adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece. 7.30pm. Tickets from £10. theatrclwyd.com

Get in on the rally action Wales Rally GB, from 3rd to 6th October, takes drivers from the ceremonial start in Liverpool to the north Wales coast and then into the forests of Snowdonia. Friday sees teams face stages in the forests of Elsi and Penmachno before moving towards mid Wales for Super Saturday and an all-new evening stage on the promenade in Colwyn Bay. Sunday’s action takes place at Llyn Brenig Reservoir, with a ceremonial finish on Llandudno promenade. walesrallygb.com

Open doors to new discoveries Wonderful, unusual and beautiful buildings will be open to the public from 27th to 29th September as part of Denbigh Open Doors, including Denbigh Library, St David’s Church, Brookhouse Pottery, Valle Crucis Abbey and Dr Evan Pierce Memorial Garden. Visit www.opendoors denbighshire.org.uk or pick up a leaflet from Denbighshire library.

Colwyn Bay’s artistic flair Artists and art lovers will be heading for Colwyn Bay for ArtFest on 14th and 15th September. The two-day event is held at the Exhibition Centre, Porth Eirias from 10am to 5pm. See North Wales ArtFest’s Facebook page for more details.

8 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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VINTAGE WEEKEND 'HISTORY BROUGHT TO LIFE'

4th

October

6th

October

Victorian Railway Extravaganza Featuring our magnificent collection of beautifully restored original locomotives and carriages, with a supporting cast of costumed characters adding to the convivial atmosphere.

Come and enjoy a truly unique weekend as the Ffestiniog Railway turns back time to the 1890s (Further details will be added to our website as plans are finalised.)

RHEILFFORDD FFESTINIOG • FFESTINIOG RAILWAY www.festrail.co.uk 01766 516024 facebook.com/festrail

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DAILY TRIPS ACROSS THE PONTCYSYLLTE AQUEDUCT GROUP TRIPS AVAILABLE

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Halloween fun for the whole family! Hwyl i'r Teulu Stand out shows!

Monster hunt! and much more

19th October 3rd November

Gift Vouchers make excellent presents

To find out more and book your tickets visit

greenwoodfamilypark.co.uk

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

FIND OUT MORE ONLINE We are an outdoor attraction so remember to wrap up warm; it can get a little muddy & chilly!

JOIN US FOR OUR SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN SPECIAL EVENINGS

R H A G O R O FA N Y L I O N AR-LEIN Rydym yn atyniad awyr agored felly cofiwch wisgo’n gynnes; gall fynd ychydig yn fwdlyd ac oer!

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WHAT’S ON NORTH WALES

Thrills and spills at Galeri Caernarfon

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 16TH-26TH SEPTEMBER

Jon Boden, 26th September One of the foremost names in folk presents songs from his albums Painted Lady, Songs From The Floodplain and Afterglow. 7.30pm. Tickets £16 Mitch Ben: 10 Songs To Save The World, 18th October The ‘country’s leading musical satirist’

identifies the world’s problems and proposes (semi-serious) solutions. 7.30pm. Tickets £14. Doug Scott: A Crawl Down The Ogre, 24th October The mountaineer recounts the story of his eight-day descent of The Ogre in 1997, a tale of disaster and survival that is now part of mountaineering folklore. 7pm. Tickets £15.

DID YOU KNOW? Doug Scott and Chris Bonington made the first ascent of the Ogre

Welsh Wrestling, 26th October The glitz, glamour, thrills and spills… there’s nothing quite like live family-friendly wrestling entertainment! See the Welsh superstars in a night of superslamming action. 7pm. Tickets £12. galericaernarfon.com

William Aston Hall entertainment for autumnal nights

16th September, Owain Glyndwr Day, Rhuddlan Castle Join Jack the storyteller as he brings to life the legend of Owain Glyndwr, and enjoy medieval games and archery. 11am-4pm. £4.50 adults, £2.50 juniors, free for Cadw members.

20th-22nd September, North Wales Yoga Weekend, Plas Ceiriog Country Lodge, Glyn Ceiriog, Llangollen Set in idyllic countryside, Plas Ceiriog is a peaceful and luxurious retreat venue where you can immerse yourself in yoga asana and pranayama. £275 inclusive of all yoga sessions, two nights’ accommodation and meals.

Ben Elton, 22nd September The godfather of modern stand-up is back. 7pm. Tickets £27.50.

often controversial, the tour showcases the nation’s best loved medium. 7pm. Tickets £25.85.

The Dreamboys, 5th October The best girls’ night out in the UK. 7.30pm. Tickets from £24.75.

Psychic Sally, 27th September Sally Morgan returns with her 10-year anniversary show. Funny, touching, heart-breaking and

Fastlove, 4th October The world’s favourite George Michael tribute show, direct from the West End. 7pm. Tickets £26.40.

Jason Byrne, 25th October ‘The outright king of live comedy’ brings spontaneous fun. 7.30pm. Tickets £21.45. thewilliamastonhall.com

Harvest at Erddig Enjoy a feast for the senses at Erddig this autumn with apple talks and trails, cider press demonstrations and music and entertainment from 5th to 27th October. During half-term from 26th October to 3rd November children can go apple dipping and toast marshmallows on a campfire. nationaltrust.org.uk/erddig

21st September, The Ghosts Of Penrhyn Old Hall Ghost Hunt, Llandudno Join the ghost hunt at this quaint 14thcentury inn, which is said to be haunted by several ghostly entities. Experience vigils and séances, as well as Ouija-board and table-tipping experiments. 9pm-3am. £39.

Pontio performances The Tape Face Show, 20th September After heading to the US, Tape Face is back on UK soil with new jokes, new props, same tape. 8pm. Tickets £18. Suzi Ruffell: Dance Like Everyone’s Watching, 3rd October The last 12 months have been massive for Ruffell; a UK tour, TV appearances and she learnt how to make the perfect lemon cake. 8pm. Tickets £14. Woodland Tales With Grandad, 19 October A family show that

not only entertains but has an environmental message. 11.30am and 2.30pm. Tickets £6.50 Eye Of The Storm, 22nd & 23rd October An original musical play guaranteed to seize your heart, set in the Welsh Valleys. Times vary. Tickets £14 adults, £10 children. pontio.co.uk

22nd September, Trail & Canicross, Llyn Alwen Enjoy stunning views over the Denbigh Moors on this 11.5km course. Starts from the Alwen car park close to Llyn Brenig at 9.30am; canicross at 9.40am. £16. All runners receive a bespoke medal on completion.

26th September, Fron Male Voice Choir, St Mary’s Church, Chirk The male voice choir perform in aid of Chirk NSPCC/Childline. 7.30pm. £10.

Enjoy a taste of Bavaria in Wrexham Don your dirndl or leap into those lederhosen as the Oktoberfest returns to Wrexham on 25th and 26th October,

with live music from the Jäger Maestros Oompah Band and delicious Bavarian food. Prost! cycloneevents.co.uk September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 11

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NORTH WALES WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 28TH SEPTEMBER – 6TH OCTOBER

Take on the mountain

28th September, Textured Silver Pendant Workshop, Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno Learn how to make a bespoke silver pendant with Karen Williams. All materials are provided, but please bring along any source material or inspirations you may wish to work from. 10.30am4pm. £65. 01492 868191

29th September, Bangor Food Festival, High Street, Bangor Stalls showcasing the best local Welsh produce, national and international street food and locally produced beers, ciders and spirits. There will also be a live music stage, which will provide entertainment throughout the day. 9am5pm. Free admission.

2nd October, A5 Brass Quintet, Rhyl Town Hall The winners of the 2017 and 2018 National Eisteddfod Open Ensemble competition are already making their mark both as individuals and as an ensemble. Hear the Welsh brass quintet in this special concert. 7.30pm. £15.

5th, 12th & 19th October, Halloween Pottery Painting, Ty Pawb, Wrexham Come and paint some spooky pottery with Cwtch Ceramics in preparation for Halloween. There are pumpkins of all shapes and sizes available, as well as Day of the Dead mugs, zombie mugs, witches, wizards and more. 10am-4pm. typawb.wales

6th October, Bangor 10k & Half Marathon A scenic race that starts and finishes in the city centre and takes in the magnificent Penrhyn Castle Estate, along the Garth Pier over the Menai Straits, taking in views of Anglesey, Snowdonia and the beautiful north Wales coastline. Both races start at 9.30am. 10k entry from £20; half-marathon from £30. runwales.com

Pit yourself against the highest mountain in Wales in Man vs Mountain on 7th September. The mountain adventure run starts at sea level in the stunning setting of Caernarfon Castle and weaves its way to the summit of Snowdon and down the other side into Dinorwic Quarry, with a few of Mother Nature’s obstacles along the way. The 22-mile run, with 5,055ft of ascent, is a punishing race, designed to test your endurance,

DID YOU KNOW? Snowdon was used by Edmund Hillary when training for Everest

fitness and strength. Once you’ve braved the elements and descended from the summit of Snowdon, you’ll face the all-out Vertical Kilometre, a guided abseil and a series of land- and water-based obstacles designed to test what strength remains before you can cross the finish line. ratracemanvsmountain.co.uk

Literary delights at Gladfest

Food, glorious food! There’s something for every taste at the Wrexham Food & Drink Festival on 7th and 8th September. The festival, which will see over 75 local and regional food producers converge on the centre of Wrexham, will focus on the best products in and around the area, from tender lamb to juicy blueberries and tipples. There will also be street food stalls, chef demonstrations, food challenges, cookery classes, live music and even a spectacular fireworks display. This is one foodie event that you don’t want to miss! wrexhamfoodfestival.wales

The literary world comes to Harwarden for Gladfest on 6th to 8th September. The festival, which brings together the most exciting contemporary writing from all over the country, will be welcoming a host of authors including award-winning novelists Patrick Gale and Salley Vickers, Sarah Perry, Michael Nobbs and Oliver Emanuel. The Gladfest Fringe will be back once again, packed with free music, spoken-word poetry, family entertainment and refreshments. For a full programme visit gladfest.co.uk.

It’s music all the way at Rhyl Pavillion Priscilla Queen Of The Desert, 23rd-28th September Starring Strictly Come Dancing winner Joe McFadden, this is the hilarious adventure of three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus bound for the Outback to put on the show of a lifetime. 7.30pm, plus 2.30pm on 28th. Tickets from £28.50. Tosca, 6th October Opera doens’t get much better than Puccini’s Tosca. Let North Wales Opera convert you to this timeless jewel of drama, blood, lust, betrayal, sacrifice and devotion. 7pm. Tickets £17.50.

Lulu: Still On Fire, 12th October The songer, songwriter, actor and national treasure takes you on a journey through her music, with the support of a four-piece band. 7.30pm. Tickets from £34.50. Navi: King Of Pop, 19th October Moonwalk the night away with Navi, who earned a standing ovation from Jackson himself. 7.30pm. Tickets £23. The Snow Queen, 26th October The timeless tale brought to life with illusion and puppetry. 2pm and 5pm. Tickets £14.50. rhylpavilion.co.uk

Wrexham’s streets are alive with the sound of music More than 20 choirs will fill Wrexham with song at the Singing Streets festival on 28th September. The free event is set to attract more choirs than ever before. singingstreets.org 12 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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TIMEFORM OCTOBER MEETING Wednesday 2 October 2019 Gates Open 10:30am | Six races from 12:15pm

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23/08/2019 11:45


CAN YOU GIVE A CAT A LOVING HOME?

Call us today on 03000 12 02 69 or go to our website www.cats.org.uk/wrexham where you can browse the list of cats before visiting the centre to meet them. Cats Protection Wrexham and District Adoption Centre, Alma House, Madeira Hill, Wrexham, LL13 7HD Open 11am – 3pm, six days a week – closed Thursdays. No appointment required to view cats during these hours.

40+ diwrnod ym mis Medi a mis Hydref 30+ o fusnesau bwyd lleol 25+ o brofiadau bwyd unigryw

40+ days in September & October 30+ local food businesses 25+ unique food experiences

Archebwch ar-lein yn / Book online at www.TasteNorthEastWales.org

We also have a charity shop on Lord Street, Wrexham to raise money for our cat welfare.

MUSIC LESSONS

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0845 310 5374

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

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       

   

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23/08/2019 11:48


WHAT’S ON NORTH WALES

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 11TH-19TH OCTOBER

World-class music in north Wales North Wales concert featuring Only DID YOU International Music Boys Aloud, Doniau KNOW? Festival takes place Cudd, Llangollen The theme of from 14th to International Musical 28th September, this year’s bringing singers Eisteddfod’s Voice festival is and musicians to the Of The Future 2019 ‘Mother Earth’ intimate setting of St and internationally Asaph Cathedral. renowned young The festival begins on piano virtuoso Luke Jones. 14th September with an opening The programme continues with

Tea on the rails Enjoy tea for two on a historic steam train as you travel through Snowdonia National Park every Saturday until 2nd November with Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways. Travelling first class from Caernarfon or Porthmadog in a luxury Pullman carriage, you’ll travel 50 miles through the heart of Snowdonia pulled by a historic steam train. Tickets for two cost £165 for two people; add extra sparkle with a bottle of prosecco for £20. Booking is essential. festrail.co.uk

performances from Yu Kosuge, Sinfonia with mezzo-soprano Rebecca Afonwy-Jones, and the Gesualdo Six, among others. Other highlights include school concerts with Live Music Now musicians, a Folk Night with Awen Celtica and a Festival Community Chorus in association with the Welsh National Opera. nwimf.com

12th October, The Wrexham Antiques, Collectors & Vintage Fair, Memorial Hall, Wrexham Set inside a historic hall in the heart of Wrexham, this fantastic day out is an ideal opportunity to find something perfect to complement your home, collection or wardrobe! 9am3.30pm. £1.50 (free for children).

Steam into the past

Soak up the nostalgia at Ffestiniog & Welsh Highland Railways’ Victorian Weekend from 4th to 6th October. Costumed characters will parade around the station, ride the trains and pose for photographs. Harbour Station car park will also be filled with stalls selling local food and gifts. At 9.45am on Friday children from Ysgol Eifion Wyn will be singing on the platform. festrail.co.uk

Spooks in the woods Gypsy Wood Family Park is opening its doors for nine evenings of spooktactular fun from 24th October to 1st November. Creep through the deep dark woods, look out for mischievous imps, ride on Woody’s haunted train and to

11th October, Grey Seals In North Wales, St David’s Church Hall, Llandudno Dawn Thomas from North Wales Wildlife Trust talks about the life and times of the grey seals in north Wales. 2pm. £2, including refreshments. 07783 773225

A feast of family fun Mold Food & Drink Festival returns for its 14th year on 21st and 22nd September, bringing with it the very best exhibitors, cookery theatres and produce. Boasting a stellar line-up of celebrity and local chefs, the festival offers a full programme cookery demonstrations as well as other attractions. Grown-ups can listen some of the best live music around, while children can enjoy the popular Children’s Cookery School and Food Science Lab. Tickets cost £6 for adults and £1 for children. moldfoodfestival.co.uk

meet Witch Mo, if you dare… The park is open from 3.30pm to 7pm. Normal admission fees apply. gypsywood.co.uk

19th October, Bulrush Basket Weaving, Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno Rush basket-maker, Rosie Farey will teach you to make a small basket using English bulrush. All materials provided. 10.30am5pm. £45. 01492 868191

19th October, Calon FM Fundraising Concert, The Stiwt, Wrexham ClassicalXover4U presents a concert featuring Lucy Thomas (The Voice Kids), soprano Beth Ford, tenor Adam Lacey and more. 7pm. £15.

Science and space at Techniquest Glyndwr Two shows at Techniquest Glyndwr will make you gape with wonder. Behind The Magic (7th September to 20th October) and Elements Of Surprise (26th October to 1st December) are

15th October, Fungal Foray, Erddig, Wrexham Join volunteer enthusiast Ian Staniforth to see how many different varieties of fungi you can find on the 1,200-acre estate. Will you spot more than 100 different varieties? 11am-2.30pm. Normal admission charges apply.

19th October, Real Ale Train, Llangollen Railway Soak up the atmosphere while enjoying real ales at the bar. 6.30pm9.30pm. From £18 with free Llangollen Railway pint glass.

interactive family-friendly events that bring science to life and are guaranteed to amaze kids and adults alike. The monthly Astronomy Club also returns on 14th October. tqg.org.uk September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 15

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NORTH WALES WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 24TH-30TH OCTOBER

Experience the Good Life in Hawarden

24th-31st October, Pumpkin Carving, Chirk Castle Get messy and learn how to carve a scary pumpkin lantern, with stencils and lots of help to get you started. £4 per pumpkin.

26th October, Porth Eirias 10k & 1k Fun Run A fun and friendly 10k run along the North Wales Coastal path. Find the ‘fun in the run’ by dressing up in your finest and most wacky Halloween costumes! Children aged three to 15 can also dress up and enjoy the 1k fun run. 9.15am start for the 1k race; 10am for the 10k. All runners receive a medal.

26th October, Halloween, Welsh Highland Heritage Railway, Porthmadog Ghosts and spirits have taken over the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway. Mu ha ha ha ha! Trains depart at 6pm and 7pm from Porthmadog for a scary train ride to Pen-y-Mount. Booking essential. Call 01766 513402 or visit whr.co.uk.

29th October, Woodland Walk & Beach Clean, Wern Nynach, Barmouth A morning woodland wander followed by an afternoon beach clean with North Wales Wildlife Trust’s Eve Grayson. Bring lunch and gloves for the beach clean. 11am–3.30pm. Meet at car park end of the prom.

30th October, Wild Wednesday: Halloween Party, RSPB Conwy Nature Reserve, Llandudno Junction Get dressed up and join in some freaky fun at RSPB Conwy. Enjoy spooky Halloween games, learn about the reserve’s weird wildlife and get hands-on with some creepy crafts! Suitable for children aged five to eight. 1pm-3pm. Booking essential. Call 01492 581025 or visit rspb.org.uk/conwy.

Find the true meaning of the good life at a four-day celebration of the great outdoors, music, food, books, arts and crafts from 12th to 15th September. The Good Life Experience, a festival like no other, takes place at Hawarden Castle Estate near Buckley. The festival, known for its intimate size and family-friendly atmosphere, features top chefs cooking over a huge campfire, music

DID YOU KNOW? You can read our interview with Cerys Matthews on page 18

curated by BBC 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews, talks and debates, a wide range of wild adventures and an entire programme of activities for dogs, including the world’s first dog diving championship! Three-night camping passes start at £189 for adults. thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk

Artists open their doors

Greenwood’s awesome autumnal adventures

Discover amazing art on your doorstep with Helfa Gelf, north Wales’s biggest Open Studios event, on 14th, 15th, 21st and 22nd September in Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. Forge your own art trail, calling in on painters, sculptors, photographers, jewellery makers, woodworkers, potters, textile workers, glass makers, basket weavers and printers, each one with a highly individual skill. With more than 250 artists to choose from, there’s definitely something for everyone. Take the opportunity to hunt down undiscovered art treasures and see how they’re made – whether you’re just curious about what artists and craftspeople do or want to start your own collection of artworks bought direct from the makers. Helfa Gelf is free to visitors. See helfagelf. co.uk for details.

Nestled beneath the treetops in the foothills of Snowdonia National Park is an autumnal land full of old-fashioned family fun and awesome adventure that locals are right to be proud of. With the change of seasons, GreenWood Family Park not only bursts to life with colour but with a host of new activities, Halloween fun and forest theatre shows for the whole family to enjoy this October half-term Once you’ve had your fill of ghoulish goodies, warm up with a tasty hot chocolate in the Woodbarn Café & Play, choose from delicious hot and cold meals, as well as a great selection of fairtrade and locally sourced products. Family tickets start from £38.30. For more event information, opening times and to book, visit greenwood forestpark.co.uk.

Scary times at Zip World

New from National Opera

Experience a fearful evening of adventure, thrills, frights and food at Zip World Ffear Fforest, Betws-y-Coed, on 25th to 31st October Twist and turn through the trees on the Fforest Ghoster, enter the zombieinfested lair of the Treetop Zombies; feast on a menu of horrors at the Fforest Caffi, and enjoy scary stories and pumpkin carving. For an added fright, book a Screamride and fly through the forest at the dead of night. zipworld.co.uk

Welsh National Opera brings three lavish new productions to Llandudno’s Venue Cymru as part of their autumn season. The programme starts with Bizet’s opera Carmen, a classic tale of drama, seduction and passion, on 29th October, continues with Verdi’s dramatic and well-loved Rigoletto on 30th October (set in the White House during the Kennedy era) and concludes on 31st October with The Cunning Little Vixen, which is charming, funny and profound in equal measure. venuecymru.co.uk

16 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Mary Jones World, Llanycil, Bala, Gwynedd LL23 7YF bydmaryjonesworld.org.uk

Photography by Bible Society

Visit our award-winning visitor centre and discover how the story of a young Welsh girl changed the life of millions. Set on the edge of Llyn Tegid, the Centre tells Mary’s story through multimedia and interactive displays in a Grade 2 listed building. Complete with a picnic area, café and children’s playground, Mary Jones World offers a great time out for children and adults alike.

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23/08/2019 11:55


LIVING HER

BEST L I F E

Cerys is fiercely p

roud of

her Wels

h roots

Cerys Matthews shot to fame as the singer of Welsh indie rock band Catatonia in the 1990s and has been a regular fixture of the music and festival scene ever since, as well as being a radio presenter. She talks to Shire about her visit to Hawarden this coming September

W

e might know her best as the singer of several catchy Catatonia tunes we hummed in the 1990s (‘Mulder & Scully’, ‘Road Rage’), but Cerys Matthews’ achievements go far beyond that. She performed live on stage with the Pet Shop Boys at Glastonbury and Life d o o G collaborated with Sir Tom at IP V Everyone’s a Jones, as well as releasing many successful albums of her own. She has spent time as a radio and television presenter and even stepped in for Sir Tom as a judge on The Voice. But her impact on our region has been particularly strong in the festival scene – Cerys is a founder of the Good Life Experience, held at Hawarden every September since 2014.

Photography: Nenad Obradovich

Something for everyone

So what’s the event all about? ‘The Good Life Experience is a festival founded for curious types, like me, who think a great time is in the unexpected and in experiences,’ says Cerys. ‘So it’s a mix of great company, music, literature, physical activity, crafts, nature, cooking… and a few great handmade gin cocktails and amber pints of local ales too! One thing I think is really important is that there’s no VIP area – we are all VIPs at the Good Life Experience.’

Cerys says it’s a chance for both adults and children to be ‘let off the leash, to run wild, going from one attraction to another, including a free vintage fairground and bow and arrow making workshop. It’s a place to fill brains, connect with like-minded people, try out new skills or hear great music in the main tent.’ ‘Bring all generations of your family or come alone – this is one festival that can cater for all’

Wonders of Wales

Cerys is fiercely proud of her Welsh roots and has always been a big supporter of all things local – so the Hawarden location is perfect. It’s in Wales, but it’s just 10 minutes from Chester and within an hour’s drive of Liverpool and Manchester. Local talent and produce are championed at the event, especially in one of Cerys’s favourite festival areas, the Pen Bar Lag. ‘It’s a great place to hang out. It’s half bookshop, half bar and full to the brim of artists and historians from Wales ready to teach you some Welsh, regale you with tales of the Mabinogion or pour you a great pint or two of ale.’ She says there genuinely is something for everyone: ‘Archery, axe throwing, fire walking, blacksmithery, foraging, wild swimming, campfire cooking… and talks from whisky makers, beekeepers, Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space, poet Liz Berry and Dame Stella Rimington, former director-general of MI5.’ Unsurprisingly music is a pretty high priority too, with Guy Chambers playing gigs in Hawarden Castle, Norman Jay on the decks, folk singer Gareth Bowen Rhys performing and much more. ‘Bring all generations of your family or come alone,’ says Cerys. ‘This is one festival that can cater for all, and all are welcome. You can even bring your dog!’ The Good Life Experience takes place from 12th to 15th September. For more, visit thegoodlifeexperience.co.uk. You can read our review in Shire November/December

18 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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23/08/2019 10:41


Wrexham Symphony Orchestra (Orchestra in Residence at William Aston Hall) Wrexham Symphony Orchestra

Featuring ‘Stars In Their Eyes’ Finalist

P E T E B U LT I T U D E

(Orchestra in Residence at William Aston Hall)

50th Birthday Party 50 Birthday Party andand ConcertConcert th

And featuring Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto performed by

Former WSO Young Musician Oboe of the Year, Tom Blomfield And featuring Richard Strauss’s Concerto performed by Principal Oboist - Philharmonia – Classic FM’s Orchestra on Tour Former WSO Young Musician of the Year, Tom Blomfield Sunday November 3rd, 2019 at 3.30pm Principal Oboist - Philharmonia – Classic FM’s Orchestra on Tour William Aston Hall, Wrexham Glyndŵr University, Mold Road, Wrexham LL11 2AW

Sunday November 3rd, 2019 at 3.30pm Conductor: Russell Gray William Aston Hall, Tom Wrexham Glyndŵr Soloists: Blomfield - Oboe University, Mold Road, Wrexham LL11 2AW Sophie Rosa - Violin Tickets available from:

Conductor: Russell Gray Soloists: Tom Blomfield Oboe Sophie Rosa: Violin www.wrexhamorch.co.uk/Tickets www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wrexham-symphony-orchestra Wrexham Tourist Information Centre (01978 292015) Llangollen Tourist Information Centre (01978 860828) Rowanthorn Gift Shop, Oswestry (01691 238227)

Family Ticket £25 (2 adults and up to 4 children); Balcony £15; Stalls £12 (Concessions £10); Students, school pupils and young children £2.

Tickets available from:

www.wrexhamorch.co.uk/Tickets Supporting Classic FM’s

Charity www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/wrexham-symphony orchestra Wrexham Tourist Information Centre (01978 292015) Llangollen Tourist Information Centre (01978 860828) Rowanthorn Gift Shop, Oswestry (01691 238227)

Family Ticket £25 (2 adults and up to 4 children); Balcony £15 ; Stalls £12 (Concessions 10 Students, school pupils and young children £2. Supporting Classic FMs Charity

019_SHIRE_SO2019.indd 1

Europe’s top tribute show celebrating the hits of... GENESIS PHIL COLLINS PETER GABRIEL MIKE & THE MECHANICS Hits spanning from the late ’70s onwards including;

Turn It On Again, Sledgehammer, In The Air Tonight, Over My Shoulder, Against All Odds, That’s All, Solsbury Hill, You Can’t Hurry Love, The Living Years and many more.

SATURDAY 21ST SEPTEMBER - 7.30PM Tickets £22 (Booking Fees included) HAFREN BOX OFFICE

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23/08/2019 12:02


MID WALES WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 1ST-8TH SEPTEMBER

1st September, Cambrian String Orchestra, Gregynog Hall, nr Newtown Listen to the beautiful sounds of strings in the stunning surroundings of Gregynog Hall, followed by tea and cake. 3pm. £15 (under-16s free). cambrianstrings.org

1st September, Trail 10k Wales, Coed Y Brenin Visitor Centre, Dolgellau A stunning 10km route designed by runners for runners on the iconic trails of Coed Y Brenin. Perfect for seasoned trail runners, road runners and newcomers alike. 11am. runcoedybrenin.com

6th-8th September, Open Doors, Powis Castle & Garden, Welshpool Explore Powis Castle, Clive Museum, the Welsh Girls School exhibition and world-class garden. 10am-5pm. Free.

7th September, Heart of Wales Vintage Lorry Rally, Barmouth Dozens of wonderfully kept, classic lorries and vintage commercial vehicles will arrive in convoy as part of their 240-mile run. They’ll park in the main car park from 1pm.

7th September, Hay Music Presents… String Trio Plus, St Mary’s Church, Hay-On-Wye A quartet of fine string players (violin, viola and two cellos) play Beethoven’s String Trio Op.9 No 1 and wonderful but lesser-known Russian works by Alfred Schnittke, Reinhold Gliere and Anton Arensky. 7.30pm. £15. Tickets from Richard Booth’s Bookshop or at the door.

•7th-8th September,

Richard III, Willow Globe, Llandrindod Wells The LADS present William Shakespeare’s Richard III in a fun and adventurous performance at the Willow Globe, a living version of Shakespeare’s Globe. 3pm & 7pm. £12 adults, £6 children.

Laughs galore at Aberystwyth Arts Centre Rhod Gilbert: The Book Of John, 6th October The multiaward-winning Welsh comedian is back with a brand new live show. In his six-year break from stand-up, a lot has happened to Rhod. And just when he thought he’d hit rock bottom, he met a bloke called John. 8pm. Tickets £27.50. Ruby Wax: How To Be Human, 10th October Outrageously witty and smart, blending brilliant comedy and insightful life lessons, How To Be Human – based on Ruby’ s

bestselling book – is the show you need to help you upgrade your mind as much as you’ve upgraded your iPhone. 8pm. Tickets £22 Dave Gorman: With Great PowerPoint Comes Great ResponsibilityPoint, 19th October The man behind Modern Life Is Goodish is back on the road, and he’s bringing his laptop and projector screen with him. Expect a more detailed analysis of those parts of life you’ve never stopped to think about before. 8pm. £27.50. aberystwyth artscentre.co.uk

Welshpool time warp

Join the feast in Newtown

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, and smile, smile, smile at the Welshpool 1940s Weekend from 27th to 29th September. The living history weekend will give visitors a light-hearted look at life in a small rural town during the Second World War. Be captivated by the period costumes and vintage vehicle displays and be entertained by Johnny Victory, The Bluebird Belles and The George Formby Experience among others. welshpool 1940sweekend.co.uk

There’s music, food and fun in store at Newtown Food Festival on 7th and 8th September. The festival, held in the grounds of the town hall, celebrates Welsh food and drink and showcases an array of awardwinning products made in mid Wales and beyond. Discover gourmet chocolates, artisan breads, tasty cheeses and special festival beers and wines – in fact, everything from the healthy to the downright naughty! newtownfoodfestival.co.uk

Literary talent in Crickhowell Powis Castle’s half-term fun A host of renowned writers will descend on Crickhowell for its fifth annual Literature Festival from 28th September to 6th October including Chris Riddell, Alison Weir, Rhidian Brook and Sophie Hannah, to name but a few. cricklitfest.co.uk

Fair time in Coed Y Dinas

Hunt along the terraces and in the shadow of giant yew hedges to find carved pumpkins on the Pumpkin Trail at Powis Castle from 28th to 31st October. The family-friendly trail will lead you through the gardens as you collect all the clues. On the same dates, return after dark at 6pm or 7pm for a Family Torchlight Tour – a guided torchlight tour that will help you discover more about the lives of those who made the castle their home, and those who may not have left… nationaltrust.org.uk/powis-castle

This year’s Winter Food & Craft Fair in Coed-Y-Dinas will be bigger and better than ever, bringing three days of demonstrations, stalls and entertainment to the town from 1st to 3rd November. Go to coedydinas.co.uk for more.

20 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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WHAT’S ON MID WALES

At Wyeside Arts Centre

Explore beautiful Barmouth by foot

Put your boots on for the Barmouth Walking Festival from 14th to 23rd September and enjoy the dramatic beauty of coastal Snowdonia. The 10-day festival, which annually attracts more than 150 walkers, encourages people to

explore Barmouth’s magnificent where you can share stories surroundings with a range with your fellow walkers. of walks from short half-day The extensive programme rambles to full-day hikes. of walks, led by experienced There are more than 35 and knowledgeable local graded walks taking place, guides, offers something for providing the every interest and ability, DID YOU opportunity to try including two Super KNOW? little known routes Walks for those as well as some of There are great wishing to challenge the most popular places to stay near their stamina. Visit walks in the area, Barmouth – see the barmouthwalking and the festival festival website! festival.co.uk for the also includes three full programme and evening events registration details.

Jon Boden, 28th September The singer with progressive folk juggernaut Bellowhead presents songs from his solo albums, plus material from Bellowhead and Spiers & Boden. 7.30pm. Tickets £20. Mark Watson: The Infinite Show, 5th October As scrawny and impassioned as ever, Mark offers some thoughts about empathy. 8pm. Tickets £19. The John Hackett Band, 11th October With special guests The Kentish Spires. 7.30pm. Tickets £15.

All scream for more steam! Visit the Talyllyn Railway if you dare for a spooky trip into the haunted Dolgoch Woods! The spooktacular

event, suitable for all ages, runs on 29th, 30th and 31st October and promises a night of frightful fun. Come in your scariest fancy dress and enjoy a special Halloween feast at King’s licensed café before boarding the Ghost Train to Dolgoch, where you’ll be treated to a spooky story before returning to Tywyn. There will be prizes awarded for the best-

Watch out – dinosaurs about!

Dinosaurs are taking over Brecon Leisure Centre on 31st October in a brand new show full of roarsome fun! Dinomania is an arena extravaganza filled with music, lights and, of course, amazing dinosaurs. Come and meet

spinosaurus, triceratops, brachiosaurus, utahraptor, allosaurus (‘Little Al’) and king of the dinosaurs, the T. rex Watch eggs hatch in front of your eyes, find out where dinosaurs lived and how they would have roamed and hunted, meet Big Al, the biggest walking dinosaur in the UK, see some fantastic fossils and pet the amazing baby dinosaurs. The show starts at 1pm and lasts for approximately one hour. It is suitable for ages three and over. General tickets are £10; Danger Zone tickets are £14. dino4hire.co.uk

dressed passengers and best pumpkin lanterns, and spooky goody bags. The fun begins at 5pm and 7pm and tickets cost £23.50 for adults, £12 for children and £5 for under-threes. talyllyn.co.uk

Faustus, 24th October Award-winning folk trio, featuring three of the leading lights of their generation of folk artists: Benji Kirkpatrick, Saul Rose and Paul Sartin. 8pm. Tickets £15. wyeside.co.uk

Step into Elan Valley Head to the heart of mid Wales from 31st August to 8th September for a series of walks, talks and events designed to help you discover the beautiful Elan Valley Estate. The nine-day festival incorporates a range of walks for all interests and abilities. Hikers can step out on a series of short, scenic routes with Powys Ramblers, or tackle longer routes. Those with an interest in local history can enjoy the Dambusters walk and learn about the history of Caban Coch Dam. elanvalley. org.uk

Here be dragons Visit Rhayader this half-term for a week of dragon-themed celebrations. Rhayader Dragon Festival begins with Dragon Hatching Day at CARAD Rhayader Museum on 26th October, when you can see the baby dragons and enjoy children’s activities. The event continues until 2nd November with a procession, workshops, storytelling, live music and themed food and drink in venues around Rhayader. carad.org.uk

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 21

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MID WALES WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 8TH-15TH SEPTEMBER

Comedians galore in Aberystwyth

8th September, Planetarium Show, Elan Valley Visitor Centre, Rhayader Martin Nelmes and his team from the University of Aberystwyth help you to make sense of the stars and learn about the origins of the well-known constellations in four shows at 11am, noon, 2pm and 3pm. Free. Booking essential. 01597 810880.

12th September, Dyfi Gin Mastercalss, Aberystwyth Arts Centre Learn about gin with Danny Cameron of Dyfi Gin, the only distillery to have won the Best British Gin trophy twice. Enjoy gintasting and learn about the history and distillery of this popular tipple. 7.30pm. £15.

14th September, Raft Race, Llandrindod Wells Get a team together and build a raft for the 2019 Raft Race, which promises to be bigger and more fun than ever before. Rafts take to the lake at 2pm.

14th September, The Cambrian Coast Sportive, Aberdyfi Starting from Aberdyfi and set entirely within the Snowdonia National Park, this sportive is arguably the most scenic in the UK. There are four routes to choose from. £25-£37

15th September, Guilsfield Show Tractor Run, Guilsfield, Welshpool A great day out for tractor enthusiasts of all ages. Last year’s show attracted more than 25 tractors, which made an impressive sight setting off on their 44-mile route. The tractors set off at 9.30am from Maesglyn, Meifod, and spectators are welcome to watch them start their journey.

DID YOU KNOW? Audience capacity at the festival ranges from 50 to 400 people

Aberystwyth Comedy Festival, which takes place from 4th to 6th October, is establishing itself as a quality fixture on the comedy calendar. This year’s programme includes big-name stars including Mark Watson, Fern Brady, Rhod Gilbert,

Suzi Ruffell and James Acaster, Stuart Laws, Jordan Brookes, Sara Barron, Jake Lambert, Justin Moorhouse, Eleanor Tiernan and many more! There are around 40 shows in various venues across the town, allowing you to watch as much or as little as you wish over the weekend. There is plenty going on in town too, where you can soak up the atmosphere. abercomedyfest.co.uk

Gregynog sings its heart out

Are you brave enough?

Keen amateur singers have been invited to a special choral weekend in the beautiful surroundings of Gregynog Hall from 18th to 20th October. The Camerata Choral Weekend, organised by the English Choral Experience, is the first of its kind in Wales, and will give participants the opportunity to learn and perform a wonderful repertoire of choral works, led by internationally renowned choral conductor Paul Spicer. The weekend begins with an introductory dinner on the Friday and ends with a final performance in the music room at 5pm on Sunday. englishchoral experience.co.uk

Fancy a fright this Halloween? Then look no further than Terror Mountain on 18th and 19th, 25th and 26th and 29th to 31st October. You’ll run in terror as you encounter the creeps and freaks who have made their home at the Silver Mountain Experience near Aberystwyth. Descend into the depths of the great inferno, come face to face with demons, and step into the dark woods where unknown horrors lurk. You’ll need nerves of steel… Terror Mountain is open from 7pm to 11pm with last entry at 9.30pm. Tickets from £19. Over-12s only. terrormountain.co.uk

Take the plunge

Antiques aplenty in Builth

Experience the thrill of openwater swimming at Hurly Burly on 28th September. The 10k swim starts on the beach of Barmouth and takes swimmers underneath Barmouth Bridge and up the wide and sandy estuary with mountains on either side, making it one of the most scenic swims in the UK. The whole swim takes place on a fast, incoming spring tide that works like a bore to assist your swim, and ends at Penmaenpool, where you can get changed, gather for hot food and to warm up by the fire pits – and celebrate your achievement! Those who’d rather hit the road can take part in a scenic 11k run along the banks of the estuary. And those who simply can’t choose can opt for the runswim option and give themselves a double challenge. The swim starts at 6am, the run at 7.15am and the run-swim at 5am. outdoorswimming society.com

Find a unique collectable at the International Antique Fair of Wales, which takes place on 7th and 8th September at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells. Set across two huge exhibition halls, eight large buildings and several marquees, the event attracts dealers and sellers from across the continent, and promises a great day out whatever the weather. Open from 10am to 5pm; tickets £5. Early trade entry on Saturday from 8.30am, £10.

Have a wild Halloween with RSPB Join the RSPB at Lake Vyrnwy on 30th October for Halloween Hedgehogs, a special event dedicated to everyone’s favourite small, spiky creature. The event, which runs from 11am to 2pm, costs £4 for members and £5 for non-members. For a Halloween evening with a difference, head to Ynys-hir on 31st October, for an atmospheric Twilight Trail from 4.30pm. The trail costs £5 per child. rspb.org.uk

22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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WHAT’S ON MID WALES

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 21ST SEPTEMBER– 13TH OCTOBER

Brecon’s Baroque celebration Join renowned Baroque violinist Rachel Podger for five days of outstanding baroque music from the world’s leading performers in their field from 24th to 28th October. This year’s Brecon Baroque Festival is focused on exploring Bohemia’s rich musical heritage and includes choral, chamber

Be inspired at Theatr Brycheiniog

Hazel Findlay: The Climb Within, 6th September One of the world’s best young climbers explores how a sport such as climbing can push us to do more than we thought we were capable of. 7.30pm. Tickets £16. Greg Minnaar: Size Matters, 10th October One of the greatest mountain bikers takes audiences on a journey through his incredible racing career. 7.30pm. Tickets £18.50. Oskar’s Amazing Adventure, 31st October An play for children using a rich mix of storytelling, physical theatre, clowning, puppetry, music and song to tell the tale of a puppy’s search for friendship. 2pm & 4pm. Tickets £10 adults, £8 children. brycheiniog.co.uk

and orchestral works by Biber, Zelenka, Muffat and Mozart. Guest artists include Robert Hollingworth, members of I Fagiolini, In Echo and FIGO. Other festival highlights include Festival Evensong at Brecon Cathedral, a baroque dance workshop followed by a baroque tea dance in Sunbud

DID YOU KNOW? Rachel Podger was Gramophone magazine’s Artist of the Year 2018

Hall and a guided walk across the Brecon Beacons. The festival concludes with a celebratory finale concert on 28th October by the Brecon Baroque Festival Orchestra. breconbaroquefestival.com

A taste of Brecon Don’t miss out on the biggest Brecon Beacons Food Festival yet on 5th October. The event, held in the Brecon Indoor Market, welcomes more food producers than ever before, with more than 60 exhibitors offering the finest food and drink in the Brecon Beacons National Park. Sample produce

from bread and beer to cheese and Welsh cakes. Other foodie highlights include cooking demonstrations and Education Corner, plus live music. The free event runs from 9.30am to 4.30pm. brecon beaconsfoodfestival.co.uk

Drink up at the Llanbedr Beer Festival A weekend of real ale, live music and Welsh hospitality is on offer at the Llanbedr Beer Festival on 20th and 21st September. The popular event in the grounds of Ty Mawr Hotel offers a wide range of beers from north and mid Wales, along with a fantastic line-up of entertainment.

Last year’s festival boasted 40 beers, as well as a selection of ciders, and this year’s festival looks set to be bigger and better than ever. Beers cost just £1.70 per half pint token, with three tokens for £5, and food is available. Tickets cost £3 before 6pm and £5 after, including a souvenir glass. llanbedrbeerfestival.co.uk

Celebrate agriculture at Sennybridge Show The Sennybridge Show, which takes place on 7th September nine miles west of Brecon, is one of Wales’s oldest celebrations

of local farming, food and rural life. Popular attractions include a dog show, crafts, domestic and horticulture display tents, trade stands and livestock exhibits. Gates open at 7am. sennybridgeshow.com

21st September, Start In Oils Workshop, Elan Valley Visitor Centre, Rhayader Local artist Angela May Lewis will provide you with full tuition, enabling you to create an oil painting on canvas from start to finish. For all abilities. 10am4pm. £30. 01597 810880

21st & 22nd September, The Science Behind Gardening, Centre For Alternative Technology, Machynlleth Learn the principles of botany and the implications for how plants grow. £60. 01970 621580

22nd September, Lake Light Walk, Llandrindod Wells Enjoy a beautiful candle-lit walk around Llandrindod Wells’ lake in aid of the British Heart Foundation. 8pm. Visit bhf. org.uk for a fundraising pack.

24th September, Dying For An Ice Cream Murder Mystery, Talyllyn Railway Join Miss Whippy-Lash, Madam S’Orbet, Signora Gelato, Kit and Miss Manuka on board the Talyllyn Railway and travel back to 1990 to work out whodunit in this fun event. £23.50, including a two-course meal.

6th October, Linocut Workshop, Bleddfa Centre, Knighton With artist, author, and inspiring teacher Drusilla Cole. With only six students, there’s lots of hands-on tuition, and you’ll go home with prints to be proud of. £50.

10th-13th October, Hay Walking Festival With 20 walks, there’s something for everyone, including an opportunity to try walking with pack ponies. haywalking festival.com

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 25

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MID WALES WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 11TH-26TH OCTOBER

11th October, Live At The Club: Jazz Upstairs, Dolgellau Rugby Club An informal night of blues, jazz, soul, ska and more. 8pm. £5. 01341 450353

Music and mayhem at the Hafren Fawlty Towers Gourmet Night Cabaret Show, 17th-18th September Join Basil, Sybil, Manuel and Polly in the notorious dining room at the Fawlty Towers Hotel for a night of theatrical mayhem. DID YOU 7pm. Tickets £45. KNOW?

12th-13th October, Barmouth Beach Race Motorcycles and quad bikes race on a specially prepared circuit on Barmouth’s sands. The thrills and action can be viewed from the safety of the promenade. 07759 891209

Chitty Chitty Les Musicals, 11th October Bang Bang’s Immerse yourself in the screenplay was ultimate celebration of by Roald musical theatre with Jonathan Dahl Ansell of G4 and Britain’s Got

24th October, The Mid Wales & Borders Arts Society Lecture, Royal Oak Hotel, Welshpool Tony Crowe speaks on Court Jewellers To The Czars. 2.30pm. 01938 555574

25th October, Seonaid Aitken, The Dragon Theatre, Barmouth The violinist and vocalist brings a gypsy jazz flavour to Barmouth together with the Andy Mackenzie Trio. 7.30pm £10. 01341 450353

26th October, Spoon Carving, Centre For Alternative Technology, Machynlleth Discover the ancient art of spoon carving and leave with your own homemade spoon. 10am-4.30pm. £65, including tools and materials, and lunch.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, 24th-26th October The beloved movie comes to life on stage, telling the story of Caractacus Potts, his two children, and a legendary, rundown racing car that flies! 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets £15. thehafren.co.uk

Woolly fun at Llandovery Sheep Festival

•13th October, Ras Hwyl

Rheidol Fun Run, Aberystwyth All ages and abilities are welcome at this fun family event. The 5k and 2k races start at 11am from the Rheidol Power Station & Visitor Centre. £7 adults, £3 children; all proceeds shared between Ysgol Gynradd Penllwyn and Apel Melindwr Eisteddfod 2020.

Talent winner Jai McDowall. You’ll hear classics from Les Miserables, Phantom Of The Opera, Blood Brothers, Wicked, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Greatest Showman and more. 7.30pm. Tickets £23

Monstrous amounts of fun Head to the Vale of Rheidol Railway on the 14th and 15th September for its Forgotten Engines 2 steam festival. There’s spooky fun for all the family on the railway from 29th to 31st October. The Ghost Train to Devil’s Bridge departs Aberystwyth at 6pm, and tickets cost £28 for adults and £13 for children. For more spooky fun, come to the Monster Ball on 1st November. The ghostly trip for over-18s includes a train ride and a meal at Hafod Hotel in Devil’s Bridge. Tickets cost £35. rheidolrailway.co.uk

Arty events at Bleddfa Centre Experience unusual events with an arty twist at Bleddfa Centre, Knighton, this autumn. On 8th September authors Peter J Conradi and Jim O’Neill are interviewed about their memoirs. Get spiritual at a Gregorian Chant Day Workshop on 21st September and learn about artist Kate Green’s experiences ‘walking the pipe’ from Elan Valley to Birmingham on 28th September. bleddfacentre.org

The festival that celebrates all things sheep returns for its 10th anniversary on 21st and 22nd September. The Llandovery Sheep Festival celebrates the town’s drover heritage with a weekend of fun for all the family. Visitors can take part in craft workshops, see rare breeds, watch spinning and weaving demonstrations, browse quality crafts and enjoy locally produced knitting yarns, food, and musical entertainment. Highlights include a fantastic sheep race, sheep dog trials and sheep shearing demonstrations. Entry is free. llandoverysheepfestival.co.uk

Llanerchaeron’s spooky fare Enjoy some home-grown delights at Llanerchaeron’s Apple Festival on 6th October, which celebrates the apple harvest from the estate’s ancient espalier trees. Browse the food and craft stalls, chat with the apple experts and bring your own apples along to identify their variety and take them home as freshly pressed apple juice! All events run from 11am to 4pm and usual admission charges apply. nationaltrust.org.uk/llanerchaeron

New arrival at Welshpool & Llanfair Welshpool & Llanfair Light Railways’ Steam Gala takes place on 30th and 31st August and 1st September, featuring steam vehicles, extra trains, model railways and and special guest engine Nr. 2 Zillertal from the Zillertalbahn in Austria. Zillertal, which was built in 1900, will be the oldest locomotive on the line during its two-year

stay – it was built in 1900, making it just slightly older that the railway’s original locomotives, The Earl and The Countess, both of which were built in 1902. wllr.org.uk

26 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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JOIN US FOR mONStROUS Visit our we EVENtS tHIS bs for fur ite ther details AUtUmN of ev ents

HALLOWEEN TRAIN 29th, 30th & 31st October

MONSTERS BALL

1st November (Adults only)

GREG

YNO G 2019 EVENTS

Cambrian Summer School for Strings Tedesca Quartet Concert Saturday 31st August, 7.30pm The renowned quartet led by Nic Fallowfield presents a sparkling programme including the Ravel quartet. Tickets £15 per person and includes a Glass of wine or soft drink. Tickets available from https://tedesca-play-ravel.eventbrite.co.uk or on the door.

Limited tickets available so please book early to avoid disappointment! Park Avenue, Aberystwyth, SY23 1PG

Tel: 01970 625 819

or visit www.rheidolrailway.co.uk

Cambrian String Orchestra Sunday 1st September, 3pm The beautiful sounds of strings come to you this Sundayafternoon with Tea & Cakes to follow. Tickets £15.00 per person, (Children U16 free) includes Tea & Cakes.

Open Doors Sunday 8th September 12pm – 4pm

Gregynog Hall will be open free of charge today as part of the Heritage Open Day initiative. Come & explore the Hall and enjoy the exhibitions on display. Our Librarian Mary Oldham Tickets available from https://cambrianstrings.eventbrite.co.uk will be on hand to tell the story of the Hall and of those who have lived or on the door here. Tea & Cakes will be on sale in our Blayney Room. Booking not required.

Camerata – Choral Weekend 18th – 20th October

Gregynog’s eye catching black and white Hall is the perfect wedding location, standing in glorious gardens by offering inspirational For theGrade first time 1 in listed Wales, Paul internationally renowned choral Spicer’s ‘English opportunities Choral Experience’ for conductor Paul Spicer. photographs.

is holding a residential course in this For further information please Fourbeautiful of the historic roomsinare contact licensedece@paulspicer.com for civil ceremonies, rich and house, steeped or musical history inherited from the including the recently refurbished grand Music Room and the Visit www.englishchoralexperience. Davies Sisters. A wonderful repertoire Blayney Room with its 17th century oak carvings. or call co.uk/gregynog-course.php, of choral works to be learned and 0845 4961147. performed over thehas weekend is led a fantastic new range of wedding Our head chef designed

menus, using locally sourced Welsh ingredients, with wedding breakfast packages starting from £34.95 House Visitsper person. Sundays at 2pm – 22nd Sept www.gregynog.org 01686 650224 enquiries@gregynog.org Located near Newtown Powys SY16 3PL

Explore the Hall with our Librarian Mary Oldham. Discover the history, its heritage, treasures and the characters who have lived here for 600 years. £12 per person includes tea & cakes after the tour. Booking required.

Courtyard Café is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 5pm

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MERLSON

MWO SmallStages presents

Mrs Peachum’s Guide to Love & Marriage After last year’s sellout triumph of A Spanish Hour, MWO’s SmallStages team romps back onto stage with a radical reworking of John Gay’s 1728 ballad opera ‘The Beggar’s Opera’.

www.midwalesopera.co.uk 7/11 Llandinam - 8/11 Cwmbran - 9/11 Ystrad Aeron - 14/11 Abemule 15/11 Barmouth 16/11 Aberdovey - 21/11 Blackwood Miners

PRODUCTS Fine bone china angels

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

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Coed-y-Dinas FOOD & CRAFT FAIR 1st, 2nd & 3rd November Friday 1st Nov

8.30am - 5.30pm

Saturday 2nd Nov

8.30am - 5.30pm

Over 70 Stalls

Selling the best food and craft from mid Wales and the border!

Free Entry Sunday 3rd Nov

10.00am - 4.00pm

ENJOY LIVE

Demonstrations & Entertainment

Find us at...

Coed-y-Dinas, Welshpool, SY21 8RP www.coedydinas.co.uk

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WHAT’S ON MID WALES

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 26TH-31ST OCTOBER

26th October, Halloween Special Day, Corris Railway Enjoy some spooky fun in the Dulas Valley, complete with shivery surprises. £6 adults, £3 children. corris.co.uk

Join Mid Wales Opera for revamped comedy romp Mid Wales Opera returns this autumn with Mrs Peachum’s Guide DID YOU To Love & Marriage, KNOW? a radical The Beggar’s reworking Opera was of The written in 1728 Beggar’s by John Gay Opera.

Take action on climate change Be inspired to take action on climate change at the Centre for Alternative Technology Conference from 27th to 29th September. The conference will focus on ways to find solutions to climate breakdown in our own communities, organisations, cities, regions and nations. Tickets cost £200 per person with accommodation or £150 without, including workshops, lectures and buffet meals. cat.org.uk

The one act opera, adapted by Richard Studer in a new musical version by Jonathan Lyness, stars the brilliant Northern Irish mezzo Carolyn Dobbin in the title role, and Welsh soprano Alys Mererid Roberts as her feckless daughter, Polly. Expect melodies familiar and new, from ‘Lillibolero’

to ‘Greensleeves’ and as many twists in the music as there are in the plot. Mrs Peachum’s Guide… will be appearing at small theatres and halls across Wales 7th November to 7th December. For full details visit midwalesopera.co.uk.

27th October, Cross Mountain, Llandovery An off-road cycle event open to all mountain bikes and cyclo-cross bikes. Head into the Brecon Beacons with fantastic views of Pen Y Fan and Bannau Sir Gaer. acycling.com

Celebrate nature for the people Join Montgomeryshire Wildlife Trust in Llanfair Caereinion on 14th September to mark 100 years since Deri Wood was gifted to the community for all to enjoy. The event will give locals a chance to celebrate this beautiful wild space with a day of guided tours, storytelling, woodcraft, art and treasure hunts, and runs from 11am to 3pm. Email dan@ montwt.co.uk for more details.

Chulovskiy to visit Welshpool Piano virtuoso Andrey Chulovskiy will give an organ recital at St Mary’s Church, Welshpool on 21st September to celebrate 40 years as a professional musician. He’ll perform not only masterpieces by Bach, Reger and Shchedrin, but also his own compositions and arrangements for organ. Tickets cost £10 for adults and £5 for concessions. thehafren.co.uk

World-class driving through the forests Join thousands of spectators in the forests of mid Wales to see the Wales Rally GB pass by at break-neck speed. The rally, which begins in Liverpool

26th October, Halloween Train, Fairbourne Railway Join the skeleton crew on a fun-filled, spooky Halloween train. Booking essential. fairbournerailway.com

before touring through north and mid Wales and finishing on Llandudno promenade, attracts 100,000 visitors over its three days, with many travelling to mid Wales for the Super Saturday event. This year held on 5th October, Super Saturday takes drivers on three epic

27th October, Welsh National Foal Show, Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells WPCS Silver Medal show with foal classes for Welsh Section As, Bs, Cs, Ds, riding ponies and Welsh part breeds. welshnationalfoalshow.com

31st October, Spooky Spectacular Halloween Crafts, Elan Valley Visitor Centre, Rhayader Make your own scary accessories, including glitter tattoos. 10.30am-12.30pm & 1.30-3.30pm. £5. 01597 810880

special stages in Dyfi, Myherin and Hafren, incorporating the Sweet Lamb complex. Crews will be pushed to their limit as they tackle all three stages twice before heading for a lunchtime regroup on the streets of Newtown. Spectators can witness the action on the forest tracks or at the Sweet Lamb complex. walesrallygb.com

31st October, Frightful Photography, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth Create eerie photographs of yourself. 2pm-4pm. £2 per child.

Until 11th January 2020, A New World, National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth Follow the adventures, both legendary and factual, of some of the Welsh men and women who have discovered, explored and settled in the New World. 9.30am5.30pm Mon-Fri (4.45pm Sat).

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CHESHIRE WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 1ST-8TH SEPTEMBER

Until September 7th, The Deep, Chester Cathedral Exhibition featuring a magnificent collection of Lego brick statues. Come face-toface with a 1.75m yellowfin tuna made of 13,000 bricks, a fearsome Mako shark created with 80,000 bricks, a massive giant squid containing 120,000 bricks that is more than 2.5m tall and over 80 other creatures. 9.30am-4pm. £6 adults, £4 children, £15 family.

1st September, Autumn Plant Hunters’ Fair, Ness Botanic Gardens, Little Neston If your garden is looking a little tired, this is a great opportunity to find some late blooming plants to cheer it up. Autumn is also the perfect time to plant ready for next year’s bloom. 10am-4pm. £1.

1st September, Walking The Dane, Congleton Museum, Congleton Join Ian Doughty for an informative museum walk through Congleton. 2pm4pm. £3.50-£6. Ticket price includes a delicious cream tea.

1st September, The Beach Boys Tribute Show, The Brindley Theatre, Runcorn Join a journey in time and space, back to the 1960s, across to the sunny shores of the golden state of California, where the surf sound was conceived. A lively funpacked show that showcases more than 30 hit records, all performed live. 7.30pm. £21. •6th-8th September, Bennetts British Superbike Championship, Oulton Park, Tarporley One of the key weekends of the 2019 Bennetts British Superbike Championship, deciding the line-up for the championship showdown phase. MotoGP star Scott Redding is among those joining the fray. 8am-6pm. £28 adults, £17 teens, free for under-13s. •7th September, Middlewich Annual Show The whole family can show off their producegrowing, cookery, craft, flower arranging and photography skills. 9am4.30pm. See middlewich show.btck.co.uk for details.

Theatre highlights at Crewe Lyceum A Tribute To Cliff Richard, 6th September Enjoy hits from throughout Cliff ’s career, including ‘We Don’t Talk Anymore’, ‘Summer Holiday’ and ‘The Young Ones’. Tickets from £20. Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, 17th-21st September Musical full of unforgettable songs including ‘Go, Go, Go Joseph’, ‘Any Dream Will Do’, ‘Jacob And Sons’ and ‘Close Every Door To Me’. 1.30pm and 5pm.Tickets from £27. Rob Beckett: Work In Progress, 25th September After establishing himself on the comedy circuit, Rob’s cheeky persona has seen him winning even more fans on Live At The Apollo, Would I Lie To You, Eight Out Of 10 Cats, Mock The Week and Celebrity Juice, as well as in his role as resident comedian on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! NOW! 8pm. Tickets from £22.

The Children’s Bookshow, DID YOU 14th October A morning of stories and illustration KNOW? as author and illustrator Catherine Rayner Catherine Rayner illustrated Julia shares some of her Donaldson’s award-winning picture latest book books. Children will love seeing Catherine’s characters come to life as she draws live on stage. The event is suitable for children in Years 1 and 2. 10.30am. Tickets £5 for children; accompanying teachers and adults free. The Nutcracker, 17th October The Russian National Ballet presents the eternal seasonal favourite with music by Tchaikovsky. 7.30pm. Tickets £29.50, concessions £26.50. crewelyceum.co.uk

Creative celebrations at Storyhouse Chester Educating Creatively Conference, 4th7th September Leading thinkers, artists and practitioners from across the world come together to discuss, debate and celebrate the importance of creative education. 9.30am-8pm. Whole conference pass £80, two-day pass £60, one-day pass £35. Saturday Night Fever, 10th-14th September Marking 40 years since its UK cinema release, Saturday Night Fever is reimagined as a big new music and dance extravaganza. This stage version promises more drama, more music and hot new choreography, and is sure to have you dancing in the aisles. 7.30pm. Tickets from £20.40.

Caberet, 24th-28th September This multi-award-winning production of Kander & Ebb’s landmark musical has enjoyed two smash hit West End runs at The Lyric and The Savoy, and features show-stopping choreography, dazzling costumes and iconic songs ‘Money Makes The World Go Round’, ‘Maybe This Time’, ‘Cabaret’ and more. 2.30pm and 7.30pm. Tickets from £20.40. Bugsy Malone, 24th-26th October After its sell-out run with family favourite Oliver! last October, Castaway returns with Bugsy Malone – the story of rival New York gangsters Fat Sam and Dandy Dan, whose weapons of choice are splurge guns and the trusty custard pie. 2pm and 7pm. Tickets from £12. storyhouse.com

Dive in with Blue Planet Aquarium Enjoy a window into an underwater world at the Aquatheatre in the Blue Planet Aquarium at Cheshire Oaks. With at least three daily shows throughout September and October, you can learn all about the animals on display. The aquarium is home to more than 100 living displays, as well as one of Europe’s largest collections of sharks, offering plenty of marine life to marvel at. Open 10am to 5pm. Adult tickets from £17.10. blueplanetaquarium.com

30 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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WHAT’S ON CHESHIRE

Back a winner at the Roodee, Chester

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 7TH-20TH SEPTEMBER

Autumn Festival Day 1, 13th September Get your weekend off to a bang with a visit to the Autumn Festival at Chester Racecourse – what better excuse for a four-day working week? Racing from 2.05pm to 5.30pm. Tickets from £15.

Autumn Festival Day 2, 14th September The Stand Cup takes centre stage on the penultimate race day of 2019. Enjoy the thrill of this listed race and six other nail-biting contests on the card. Racing from 1.30pm to 5pm. Tickets from £15.

Beeston Castle’s creepy delights aged five to 17. Free entry for English Heritage members.

Autumn Fair, 5th-6th September Beeston Castle & Woodland Park celebrates the coming of autumn with falconry displays, music, foraging, local craftsmen, games and a dog show. You’ll also have the chance to explore the castle’s 4,000-year history and 40 acres of woodland park. Open 11am to 4pm. Tickets cost £8 for adults, £4.80 for children

Spooky Beeston Castle with Creepy Critters, 26th October – 3rd November A half-term feast of frightening fun. Gather your little monsters for a ghoulishly good day out, with wicked crafts and a spooktacular Halloween quest. Little horrors can also get up close to a host of real-life minibeasts, including snakes, spiders and more. Open 11am to 4pm. Tickets cost £8 for adults, £4.80 for children aged five to 17. Free entry for English Heritage members. english-heritage.org.uk

Folk and rock at Lion Salt Works The Salt Works Sessions: Merry Hell Acoustic, 20th September A band founded on the ever-evolving folk tradition – folk-rock with a great history and pedigree. Award-winning and critically acclaimed for their songwriting, with widespread radio airplay, Merry Hell have developed a reputation as a live favourite, both at home and internationally. Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £12.50. Heritage Open Day, 21st September As part of Heritage Open Days, the museum is offering free taster tours of the unique buildings at the Lion Salt Works. 10.30pm5pm. Free entry. lionsaltworks. westcheshiremuseums.co.uk

Season Finale, 28th September Toast the end of another fabulous season of racing on the Roodee at the Season Finale. Racing from 2pm to 5.30pm. Tickets from £15. Accompanied under-18s are free of charge. chester-races.com

Food-lover’s dream in Nantwich

From 30th August to 1st September Nantwich Food Festival will bring three marquees of top-quality food and drink from producers across the UK and beyond to the town, with something for every age, taste and wallet. Chefs at this year’s festival include Rosemary Shrager, renowned for her Tunbridge Wells cookery school and her appearances on Big Family Cooking Showdown, former Coronation Street actor Sean Wilson, and Matt Tebbutt from BBC’s Saturday Kitchen Live and Best Bites and Food Unwrapped on Channel 4. There will be also two stages of live music, and plenty of other entertainment for children and adults, including a wide range of exhibitors bringing more food and drink options than ever before. The festival is a not-for-profit endeavour and admission to all events is free of charge. For a full programme and opening times, visit nantwichfoodfestival.co.uk.

7th September, Farmer’s Market, Rode Hall, Scholar Green You’ll find an abundance of local produce at this month’s farmers’ market, including mouthwatering chard, plums, tomatoes and hand-picked flowers, all from the kitchen garden. There’s also live music and children’s activities. 9am-1.30pm. Free entry.

7th-8th September, RNLI Festival, Overwater Marina, Audlem, Nantwich Two-day festival comprising a boat share on Saturday and a dog show and boat share, stalls, events and more on Sunday. 10am-4pm. Free entry; parking £5 (donated to the RNLI).

12th September, Captain’s Club with Mark Cueto and Simon Shaw, The Chester Grosvenor, Chester Enjoy a delicious three-course meal accompanied by a half bottle of the sommelier’s choice wine. Guest speakers Mark Cueto and Simon Shaw will then entertain you with stories from the world of rugby union. The evening includes a question and answer session with questions from the floor. 7pm to midnight. Tickets £70.

14th & 15th September, Truckfest North West, Cheshire Showground, Knutsford Family fun-filled weekend with monster trucks, stunt bikes, children’s characters, celebrity guests and hundreds of trucks. 9am5.30pm. £14 adults, £5 children, £33 families. truckfest.co.uk

14th September, Back In Time Scarecrow Festival, Bramhall See over 75 scarecrows, plus stilt walkers, jugglers and much more throughout Bramhall village. 11am-4pm. Free entry.

20th September, Autumn Wine Dinner, Cottons Hotel & Spa, Knutsford Enjoy the start of the game season with a specially selected menu with wines to match each course. 7pm. £49. 01565 650333

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CHESHIRE WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 20TH-29TH SEPTEMBER

20th September, Footstool Upholstery, The Boho Shed, Grappenhall Learn how to make and upholster a lovely footstool from scratch in a day and take it home with you. Suitable for complete beginners or for people who have dabbled in upholstery but would like to learn professional techniques. All paints, tools and materials are provided except fabric. Bring a 1m piece of fabric to match your home decor. Furniture painting courses are also available. 10am-3pm. From £65. thebohoshed.co.uk

•21st & 22nd

September, Victorian Harvest Weekend & Heritage Open Day, Stretton Water Mill, Stretton Celebrate a traditional harvest with apple pressing (bring your own), butter making, corn dollies, recipes, music and the wonders of the bicycle. This delightful end to the season captivates all who experience the romance of the mill. Noon-5pm. Free entry; admission charges apply to the mill – £3.50 adults, £1.80 children, £8 families. strettonwatermill. westcheshiremuseums.co.uk

21st-29th September, Bollington Walking Festival A wide range of walks and social events covering all abilities and age ranges. Wear suitable footwear, clothing and bring a waterproof. 9.30am10.30am start times, with many of the walks starting at the Bridgend Centre, Bollington. Booking recommended. £3. For more information, including a full programme, call 01625 576311 or visit bollingtonwalkingfestival.co.uk.

•21st September,

Chester Duck Race, River Dee, Chester Come along to the Groves on the River Dee in Chester to watch the amazing sight of thousands of yellow, pink and blue ducks racing along the river all in aid of the Countess Charity for the Countess of Chester Hospital. Activities from noon – including the chance to view the ducks – and the duck race at 3pm. Ducks can be purchased for £2. There will also be a raffle, with a first prize of £250.

Funk, 80s and rock at The Live Rooms Craig Charles Funk & Soul Club, 27th September Following Robot Wars to Red Dwarf, Craig has now grounded himself as a funk and soul icon after 10 years of broadcasting on BBC 6 Music. Over-18s only. 9pm. Tickets £20. Martin Kemp: Back To The 80s, 28th September The Spandau Ballet star takes to the decks, spinning all the best of the hits from the 1980s as he presents the biggest 1980s night to ever hit Chester. 7pm. Tickets £20. Over-14s only.

Kris Barras Band, 10th DID YOU October UK guitarist Kris KNOW? Barras is known for his Kris Barras had a high-energy hybrid of successful 10-year no-nonsense rock, blues career as a mixed and country. Winner of martial artist Best New Band at the 2018 Planet Rock Awards, the Kris Barras Band are one of the UK’s fastest rising acts. Over-14s only. 7pm. Tickets £18.50. theliveroomschester.com

Feelgood festival and spooky tales at Tatton Park Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place Festival, 7th8th September A celebration of wellness, mindfulness, health and inspiration, to help you find the joy in every day and reach your full potential. Expect events including a creative workshops teepee in association with Not On The High Street, renowned experts to yoga classes, live podcasts and talks from inspiring individuals, plus outlets from exciting wellbeing businesses and joyful food to sample. 10am. Day tickets from £35.75. happyplacefestival.com Harvest Festival At The Farm, 14th-15th September See a running steam engine, have a go at scarecrow making and spinning, make your own corn doll and watch a woodturning demo. Harvest blessing at 2pm; bring your pets to be blessed. Noon to 5pm.

Normal admission applies (adults £7, children £5, family £19). Christmas Gifts Fair, 26th-27th October An early chance to look for those special Christmas presents not usually found in the high street shops. Inside the Tenants’ Hall. 10.30am5pm. Free entry. £7 parking. Haunted Hallowe’en At The Old Hall, 26th-31st October Take an eerie tour of this secluded medieval building, where haunted souls are said to roam. Join ghoulish activities and hear spine-tingling tales of haunted happenings. 11am-4pm. Admission charges apply to all (adults £7, children £5, family £19). tattonpark.org.uk

Grosvenor Museum’s highlights

Time warp at Gulliver’s Warrington

The Constant Flux: New Thrills In Contemporary Art, 3rd September Adrian Sumner takes a fresh look at modernism and how contemporary art must change to remain relevant. 1.30pm. Tickets £3.

Nostalgia Weekend, 14th-15th September A weekend commemorating the personnel who were stationed at Burtonwood from 1940 to 1993. Learn about life on the base and enjoy a range of attractions, from classic cars to vintage stalls. 10.30am-5pm. Tickets £3 or £10 per family. Usual admission prices apply.

Victorian Watercolours, 7th September – 8th December An exhibition looking at the muchloved watercolours of Louise Rayner (1832-1924), which present a charming vision of Victorian Chester. 10.30am-5.30pm. Suggested donation £3. Heritage Open Day, 14th September Make a threedimensional family tree to fill with photographs of your loves ones. 1.30pm-3.30pm. Free. grosvenormuseum.westcheshiremuseums.co.uk

Rock’n’Jive Night, 14th September Dance the night away with a retro DJ. 7.30pm. Tickets from £10. Gulliver’s Monster Mania, 26th October – 1st November Look out for some seriously spooktacular surprises alongside rides and attractions. 10.30am4pm. Tickets from £13. gulliversfun.co.uk

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© National Trust 2019 . Registered charity, No. 205846. © National Trust Images \Paul Harris.

A breath of fresh air made at Dunham Massey Rediscover nature's lost words in the park, sample the tastes of autumn on the wider estate, and listen out for the early morning sounds of the deer rut. Take in the drama of the season as nature puts on a colourful show at Dunham Massey. These are the places that make us. nationaltrust.org.uk/Dunham-Massey

2019 The White Oak uk Polo Series returns to Chester Racecourse

£10 OFF TICKETS †

MBNA AUTUMN FESTIVAL

Friday 13 September

Join us for Finals Day and the ultimate Family Social event at Chester Polo Club, in association with

on Saturday 7 September. * DJ * Laurent-Perrier Champagne garden * * Harvey Nichols Manchester and Marc Jacobs beauty pop-up * arts & crafts * * make your own pony * face art * toddler play space * kids pamper bar * pitch invasion *

SPORTPESA AUTUMN FESTIVAL Saturday 14 September

Tickets cost just £7.50 per person (children under 4 go free) Hospitality pacakges are available on Friday 6 & Saturday 7 September from £75+VAT per person^

Book your tickets online at chester-races.com/polo or call the Box Office on 01244 304 600 Tickets can also be bought on the day – free parking included ^Based on a Saturday hospitality package at the current prevailing rate.

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SEASON FINALE

Saturday 28 September

chester-races.com I 01244 304 600 480 Years in the Making. Our Story Continues. * Tickets for children aged 17 and under are FREE of charge when accompanied by a responsible adult. †£10 Off tickets available on MBNA Autumn Festival for Winning Post Enclosure, County Long Room, County Concourse and Tattersalls Enclosure, on a first come first served basis up to and including Tuesday 3 September 2019. ‡ Prices are per person +VAT at the current prevailing rate, based on a White Horse Garden Package.

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WHAT’S ON CHESHIRE

Music, food and lifestyle at Deva Fest Deva Fest takes place in Chester from 6th to 8th September, with three days of entertainment, fairground rides, sumptuous food and drink in and around a fabulous big top. It promises to be a real feast for the senses, with parades, colour, music, and even Roman gladiator fights. The festival starts Friday night with a party on the music stage. Saturday is Carnival Day with headline act The Feeling, while on Sunday Symphonic Ibiza close the festival by fusing live orchestra with high-tempo beats. Day tickets cost from £38.20 for adults and £30.50 for children, including fairground rides. devafest.co.uk

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 22ND–28TH SEPTEMBER

Go wild for courses at Chester Zoo Capture The Moment Photography Course, 16th-17th September & 21st-22nd September Develop your photography skills under the expert guidance of three acclaimed photographers. Designed for intermediate to more advanced photographers, with plenty of time spent in the zoo itself. 8am-5pm. Tickets £340, including breakfast and lunch. Facilitating Species Conservation Planning Processes, 14th-17th October Suitable for conservation professionals and academics working within zoos, universities and field projects. 9am-5pm. Tickets £400, including lunch and dinner. chesterzoo.org

Smiley babies at Ice Cream Farm

Crafty fun with Cheshire Wildlife Trust provided. 10am-4pm. Adults £75 (members £50). Family Forest School, 14th September, Moore Nature Reserve, Warrington Den building, environmental art and free play. Booking essential. 10.30am-12.30pm. Free event. Make Your Own Pallet Furniture, 28th September, Bickley Hall Farm, Malpas Training, tools and materials

Migrants & Early Winter Visitors, 5th October, Gowy Meadows, Ellesmere Port A guided walk with Steve Holmes. 9.30am. £10 (members £8). Beginners’ Hedge Laying, 9th October, Northwich Learn the basics of traditional Cheshire hedge laying. 10am-3pm. Adults £100 (members £50). cheshirewildlifetrust.org.uk

Open afternoon at Combermere Abbey On 3rd September visitors are being given a rare chance to enter the gates of the privately-owned Combermere Abbey near Burleydam. Explore the restored five-acre Victorian walled gardens, stroll through the Pleasure Garden and Garden Wood and visit the magnificently restored Messenger & Co glasshouse at the apex of

the walled gardens within the Abbey’s fruit tree maze, the only one of its kind in the world. The Abbey’s team of gardeners will be on hand at the plant and produce stall to answer any questions. The walled gardens’ gravelled paths are suitable for wheelchairs and there are disabled facilities in the Glasshouse and Pavilion café. Gates open at 1pm and close at 5pm (last entry is at 4pm). Adults £5, under-16s £2. combermereabbey.co.uk

A new weekly class for nonwalking babies starts at the Ice Cream Farm, Tattenhall, from 5th September. Laughter Tots South Cheshire will be running the classes which offer Mums and babies the chance to experience exciting exploratory messy play and imaginative guided sensory adventures. 10am. £7 per class. laughtertots.co.uk

Northwich Beer Festival

More than 50 beers, 20 ciders, gin and prosecco will be on offer at the Northwich Beer Festival on 20th and 21st September. The event, which takes place at Memorial Court, Northwich, will also feature live music in the evenings. The festival is open from 6pm to 11pm on Friday, and noon to 4pm and 7pm to 11pm on Saturday. Tickets cost from £3, over-18s only. northwichbeerfestival.co.uk

22nd September & 13th October, Autumn Foraging Course, Marbury Country Park, Northwich Start with a short introduction on what to look for and a brief of the general countryside codes then set off on a two-and-a-half-hour walk around the park, learning how to identify edible and poisonous plants and mushrooms. Homemade refreshments are available, including hogweed and wild garlic soup, elderflower champagne and fruit leathers. End the day with a tasty lunch based on what you’ve found. Noon-3.30pm. £50 adults, £25 under-16s. wildfooduk.com

26th September–3rd October, Art Fair Cheshire, Town Hall, Macclesfield Celebrating 20 years of exhibiting and selling art for East Cheshire Hospice, there will be a popup cafe with tea, coffee and homemade cake, workshops, artist-led tours and art to buy. 10.30am-4.30pm. Free event.

28th September, Alsager Craft & Gift Fair, Alsager Civic, Alsager Shop from a wide range of local artisans, crafters, makers and small businesses, all selling items you can’t find on the high street. Family-run tea room The Honey Pot will be providing hot and cold drinks, along with various snacks, cakes, pastries and light snacks. 9am-1pm. Free admission and free parking.

28th September, Priestley’s Element, Nantwich Museum With activities suitable for all ages, real-life chemists will help you investigate just a few of the elements listed on the periodic table. You’ll can even take home Priestley’s element, oxygen. 10.30am-3pm. Free entry.

28th September, Owls By Moonlight, Gauntlet Birds of Prey, Knutsford Start by meeting some of the smaller owls inside, with the opportunity to hold an owl on the glove. You will then be guided through the centre to the lantern-lit flying arena for a flying display, experiencing owls swooping silently overhead, then head into the darkness. You may even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of the local wild owls. Back inside, warm up with a buffet supper and an upclose-and-personal flying display in the indoor arena. 7pm-9pm. £20 adults, £12 children.

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CHESHIRE WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 2ND-19TH OCTOBER

2nd-30th October, Daytime Millinery Course, Hatworks, Stockport This five-week course focuses on blocking foundation fabrics such as buckram. This technique provides a lightweight but stable base that can be covered in a variety of ways. The course will also include millinery techniques such as blocking, wiring, finishing and trimming, and students will aim to make one finished percher hat. 1.30pm-4pm. £100. Booking essential. Call 0161 474 2399.

5th October, The Aronowitz Piano Trio, Leisure Centre, Holmes Chapel Magnus and Guy Johnston have played chamber music together since early childhood. They met Tom Poster in 2000, when Guy and Tom were in the final of the BBC Young Musician competition, and shortly afterwards began performing together as a trio. The Aronowitz Trio explore the trio and duo works of Schubert. 8pm. £11 members, £17 non-members, £1 under-16s. 01477 537769

•5th October, Now Northwich

International Dance & Street Art Festival, Northwich The streets of this old salt town will be transformed for a day as a cast of thrilling local and global artists perform alongside talented community groups and schools. Feel the energy erupt as dancers, acrobats and street performers bring the town centre to life with a real treat for the ears and eyes. As night falls and the climax approaches, join the dancing crowds that accompany a procession through the town. 1pm-10pm. Free. nownorthwich.co.uk

•6th October, Where The Trains Would Run, Congleton Museum, Congleton Join Ian Doughty for an informative museum walk through Congleton. 2pm-4pm. £3.50£6. Ticket price includes a delicious cream tea.

19th October, Chester Male Voice Choir in Concert with Rhys Meirion, Chester Town Hall Chester Male Voice Choir hosts a joint concert with the renowned Welsh tenor Rhys Meirion. The choir has established itself nationally and internationally as a major force in the world of male voice choirs. With the motto is ‘We sing to serve’ it has raised thousands of pounds for charitable and other good causes. 7.30pm. From £12.

Live events at Parr Hall, Warrington John Finnemore’s Flying Visit, 12th September John performs brand new sketches, some old favourites and possibly a song, with the help of special guests from Souvenir Programme plus an appearance from Cabin Pressure’s Arthur Shappey. Children welcome. 7.30pm. Tickets from £25. We’ve Only Just Begun, 15th September Vocalist Toni Lee performs the hits of The Carpenters, with her big band and singers. 7.30pm. Tickets from £22. Ben Elton Live, 19th October After a 15-year absence, the godfather of modern stand-up returns to the medium he did so much to define. In this all-new stand-up show, Ben promises to try to

Get tough at Cholmondeley Classic Car & Motorcycle Festival, 1st September An unparalleled selection of classic cars and bikes. 10am-4pm. Adults £9, children £3 (seven to 14 years). Tough Mudder North West, 7th & 8th September A 10- to 14-mile obstacle course. 9am-4pm. Race from £45, spectators £10. toughmudder.co.uk Autumn Tints, 6th-27th October Enjoy the array of colours in the gardens. 11am-4.30pm. Adults £8.50, children £4. cholmondeleycastle.com

Autumn capers at Capesthorne Hall

make sense of a world that appears to have gone stark raving mad. 7.30pm. Tickets from £29.50. Sir Ranulph Fiennes: Living Dangerously, 31st October A journey through Sir Ranulph’s life, from his early years to the present day. Both light-hearted and poignant, Living Dangerously spans Sir Ranulph’s childhood and school misdemeanours, his army life and early expeditions, right through the Transglobe Expedition to his current Global Reach Challenge – his goal to become the first person in the world to cross both polar ice caps and climb the highest mountain on each of the seven continents. 7.30pm. Tickets from £27.50. parrhall.culturewarrington.org

Go Goosfest! The 13th Goosfest takes place from 4th to 21st October in venues across Goostrey. The huge range of events promise something for everybody, from singer Barbara Dickson and a presentation by wildlife presenter Iolo Williams to Elvis tribute act and The Budapest Cafe Orchestra. There’s also the Goosfest Buzz Comedy Night, plus storytelling, drama and lectures. The events run from 10am to 8pm, with tickets from £5 (some events are free). goosfest.com

Welcome aboard ChesterBoat!

Cheshire Half Marathon, 1st September For runners of all abilities. 9.30am-5pm. Entry £26.

Half Hour City Cruise, 1st September-31st October Two departures per hour, weather permitting. 11am5pm. Adults £7, children £2.50.

Beagle Reunion, 8th September Celebrate last year’s World Record for the largest single-breed dog walk. 10am-4pm. Family ticket £23.

Iron Bridge Cruise, 1st-29th September Relax with a drink from the bar on this two-hour sightseeing cruise. Noon and 2.30pm. Adults £15, children £5.

Wedding Fair, 6th October Meet the region’s top wedding suppliers. 11am-2pm. Free entry. capesthorne.com

Eighties Pop Night Afloat, 26th October Enjoy a Club Tropicana vibe on the Dee. 7.15pm-10.30pm. Tickets from £33.50. chesterboat.co.uk

Cathedral of delights Last Night Of The Proms, 21st September Proms favourites and Welsh anthems. 7.30pm-9.30pm. £20. Science & The Christian Faith, 6th October A lecture by Professor Michael J Reiss. 2pm-5pm. £1. chestercathedral.com

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ef fortless fashion for contemporary women Th e B a r n s , L a n e E n d Fa r m , K e l s a l l R d , A s h t o n H a y e s , C H 3 8 B H

o l i v i a m a y. o r g

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AfternoonTea 1539 Restaurant at Chester Racecourse Enjoy panoramic views of the world’s oldest racecourse as a backdrop to your Afternoon Tea experience

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WHAT’S ON CHESHIRE

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 20TH-31ST OCTOBER

Seasonal fun at Arley Hall Film Exhibition, Tuesdays and Sundays Passionate about Peaky Blinders or crazy about Coronation Street? This new exhibition puts the spotlight on shows that have been filmed at Arley since the 1980s. Noon5pm. Admission fees apply. Stone Carving Workshop, 4th-5th September Learn how to carve stone with Pam Gordon. You’ll be shown the basic techniques, taught how to use the tools, map out your design and carve in the round. 10am-4pm. £120.

Step back in time at Little Moreton Hall Explore the iconic Tudor house at Little Moreton Hall free of charge on its annual heritage day on 14th September. You can join a free guided tour of the hall or explore the beautiful gardens. Return on the 17th October and you can also discover how to behave like a Tudor at the Manners Maketh The Man event from 7pm. Tickets cost £17. nationaltrust.org. uk/little-moreton-hall

Song and speech in Nantwich This year’s Nantwich Words & Music Festival, which takes place from 14th to 20th October, is expected to be bigger and better than ever. Confirmed acts include Hazel O’Connor, Holy Moly & The Crackers, Lindisfarne, Patrick Barkham, Thea Gilmore and Turin Brakes. Tickets cost from £10; become ‘Best Festival Friends’ for £30 and get priority entry and an invitation to the launch party. wordsandmusicfestival.com

Discover Tree Climbing, 8th September A safe and thrilling experience for anyone from age six upwards. 9am-5pm. £15.

DID YOU KNOW? Arley’s chapel was used to film Deidre Barlow’s funeral in Corrie books, lighting and decorative items. 10.30-5pm. From £5. Garden entry fees apply.

Plant Fair, 8th September Specialist plant nurseries sell unusual plants and shrubs. The Arley gardeners will be on hand to give advice. 10am-4pm. £1.

Wedding Open Day, 13th October Experts will be on hand to show you around and help plan the wedding of your dreams. 10am-5pm. Free event but garden entry fees apply.

Antiques Fair, 13th-15th September Nationally known dealers exhibit a wide range of items, including furniture, silver, jewellery, paintings, sculpture, glass, porcelain, antiquarian

Mushroom Walk, 20th October See and hear about the diverse array of mushrooms grown at Arley. Noon-5pm. £9. Garden entry fees apply. arleyhallandgardens.com

Muddy fun at Blakemere

Ellesmere Port Civic Hall

St Luke’s Cheshire Hospice and Blakemere Village host Woof Mudder, a 5k obstacle course for dogs, on 22nd September to raise money for the hospice. Tickets are £20 per dog and owner, which includes access, entertainment, food concessions, a dog bandana and Woof Mudder T-shirt. The event runs from 9.30am to 4pm. slhospice.co.uk; blakemerevillage.com

Seasonal flavours at Dunham Massey Celebrate autumn with A Taste Of Autumn from 7th September to 3rd November, a programme highlighting everything special about Dunham Massey at this time of year. From 7th September to 3rd April there is also The Lost Words season, with a series of workshops, activities and a trail, helping children to seek, find and speak words from the natural world that are disappearing from their vocabulary. nationaltrust. org.uk/dunham-massey

Harry Stachini, 20th September Harry’s stories and unexpected one-liners will have you in stitches. 8pm. £11. Les Musicals, 19th October The biggest hits from the West End and Broadway. 7.30pm. From £25. Snow White, 24th October Join Vienna Festival Ballet on a magical journey with their unmissable production. 7pm. From £20.50 adults, £16.50 children. brioleisure.org

Marvel at the moon Stars & Stones on 4th September offers visitors the rare opportunity to explore the Blackden Trust and Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre on the same day. Tickets cost £32.50. On 25th October, Jodrell Bank celebrates women and girls in STEM with Girls Night Out, focusing on the 50th anniversary of the first explorers on the moon. From 7pm, tickets from £12.50. jodrellbank.net

20th October, Antiques & Collectors’ Fair, Masonic Guildhall, Stockport Up to 70 tables and a huge variety of antiques and collectables – the ideal opportunity to find something to complement your home, collection or wardrobe. There will be a licensed bar and food available. 9.30am3.30pm. £2 (£1.50 concessions).

26th October, The Liberty Tree: Robin Hood & Other English Radicals, Methodist Church, Alderley Edge Nick Hennessey returns with fellow award-winning performer Hugh Lupton to tell and sing their way into the secret, dappled heart of Sherwood and the ancient tradition of English dissent. 7pm. £15.

27th October, Crewe Cosmopolitan Food Festival The best local food and drink producers, as well as great live music and children’s activities, including go-karts and fun competitions. This year is all about sustainability; there’s even a compostable toilet system that uses no water or chemicals and is odour-free. 10am-4pm. Free admission.

25th October, Beeswax Candle Making, Grappenhall Heys Walled Garden, Warrington Make dipped, rolled and moulded candles from beeswax. All materials are provided, along with expert tuition. Coffee and tea provided. 10am-3pm. £25. Booking essential – call 01925 213638.

26th October, Nantwich Spooktacular, Nantwich Showground Huge firework display, funfair, fancy dress, Punch & Judy, licenced bar and plenty of food and drink stalls. Over-18s can stay on for the Zootacular after-party. Gates open 4pm. £10 adults, £8 children.

31st October, Knutsford Pumpkin Path, King Street, Knutsford Knutsford celebrates Halloween each year by holding its free family friendly Pumpkin Path parade. Find the pumpkins, spot the spooks, enjoy the treats and atmosphere along the way. Hand in your entry form at the end for a chance to win a prize. Vote for your favourite window and dress up if you want. 4pm-7pm. Free admission.

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 39

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WHAT’S ON WIRRAL

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 1ST-29TH SEPTEMBER

On stage at Floral Pavilion The King Is Back, 6th September Ben Portsmouth looks like Elvis, sings like Elvis and has audiences believing at times they are watching Elvis. 8pm. Tickets from £28.50.

Ruby Wax: How To Be Human, 9th October Ruby answers every question you’ve ever had about evolution, emotions, addictions, relationships, the future and compassion. 7.30pm. Tickets £23.75.

We’ve Only Just Begun, 13th September Celebrate the music of The Carpenters with vocalist Toni Lee. 7.30pm. Tickets £26.50. Tom Gates, 18th-22nd September Based on Liz Pichon’s bestselling books, this is pure fun for the whole family. Show times vary. Tickets from £14.

Henning Wehn: Get On With It, 17th October You couldn’t make it up – surely the German comedy ambassador hasn’t bosched out yet another new show? What’s he still doing here anyway?! His lack of transferable skills and his belief that practice makes perfect are what keep him going. 7.30pm. Tickets £22.75. floralpavilion.com

Muddy good time at Church Farm

Ellesmere Port Family Festival is back

Raise money for Wirral Hospice St John’s at the Mucky Mudder fun run at Church Farm, Thurstaston, on 29th September. Expect fun, fancy dress and plenty of mud on the 5km course. At the finish, you’ll receive a DID YOU goody bag, medal and light KNOW? refreshments. It promises Wirral Hospice St to be fun for all the family, John provides free whether you jog, walk or skip! care for patients Entry costs £30 for adults with life-limiting and £20 for under-18s, plus illnesses sponsorship. wirralhospice.org

Ellesmere Port Family Festival returns for its third year during the October half-term, giving you the chance to treat the whole family to world-class theatre, music, storytelling, dance and more. There are shows for all ages, including Kaleidoscope (six to 18 months), a gentle play full of light and movement and Stitch Brothers Patchwork Wonders (five to eight years). Older children, meanwhile, will enjoy The Mystery Of The Raddlesham Mumps, a gothic tale which will make you shudder and laugh out loud. For more visit actiontransporttheatre.org.

Arts for all at Wirral Arts Festival The Wirral Arts Festival 2019 offers high-quality live entertainment and artwork in venues across Wirral from 28th September to 12th October. Try something different and meet new people – all on your doorstep. For the full programme see wirralartsfestival.co.uk.

National Waterways Museum makes a mark

Water Marks, an exhibition by Markmakers Artists, is at National Waterways Museum, Ellesmere Port from now until 3rd November. The works on display are inspired by the museum and its archive. The gallery is open from 10am to 5pm and tickets cost £9.75 for adults and £6 for children. canalrivertrust.org.uk

Local artists in the frame Williamson Art Gallery hosts the ninth annual open exhibition of Wirral Society of Arts until 15th September, featuring a diverse range of contemporary artists. The gallery is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm. williamsonartgallery. org; wirralsocietyarts.org

Plant fair in beautiful botanic gardens The popular Plant Hunters’ Fair visits the stunning Ness Botanic Gardens on 1st September – a great opportunity to find some late-blooming plants to cheer up your garden. The fair is open from 10am to 4pm and entry costs £1, redeemable against optional entry to the gardens. planthuntersfairs.co.uk

1st-22nd September, Cycling Through Time, Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Birkenhead A display of historic bicycles from the Museum of Liverpool. Includes a contemporary designer bike created from laminated wood and a classic penny-farthing. WednesdaySunday, 10am-5pm.

1st-22nd September, Forest, Birkenhead Priory An exhibition by Yan Wang Preston, part of Look Photo Biennial 2019. Forest looks at the modern practice of moving ancient trees into new places, or planting trees in climates that don’t welcome them. Free. Wednesday-Friday 1pm-5pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-5pm.

4th & 18th September, Live Traditional Jazz, The Irby Club, Irby Hear the best live Dixieland/Chicago style jazz from the Original Panama Jazz Band every first and third Wednesday of the month. With raffle. Suitable for teens upwards 8.30pm. Free. 0151 648 0900

7th September, Charity Coffee Morning and Bring & Buy Sale, St Paul with St Luke’s Church, Rock Ferry, Birkenhead Proceeds in aid of Cancer Research UK and the Marie Curie Open Water Swimathon 2019. 10.30am-1pm. £2, inclusive of tea/coffee and biscuits.

16th September, Psychic Switch, Village Hotel, Bromborough Experience four mediums in one amazing psychic night. Book a ticket for yourself or come with friends and family for a great social psychic evening. Everyone is guaranteed a message. Over-18s only. 7pm. £20. psychicswitch.co.uk

25th-29th September, Circus Zyair, Birkenhead Park The world famous Circus Zyair provides a two-hour show featuring clowns, acrobats, jugglers, the high wire and the sensational wheel of death. Show times vary. From £8.99. 0333 666 3366

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 41

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WIRRAL WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 27TH SEPTEMBER – 27TH OCTOBER

27th September, 80s Party Cruise, Mersey Ferries, Seacombe The 80s Party Cruise with DJ John B is back! Experience a night of pop perfection. Cruise lasts around two and a half hours, and departs at 7.30pm. £16.

29th September, Craft & Gift Fair, British Legion, Heswall With more than 15 stalls of craft, art and jewellery. 11am-4pm. 07460 304327

12th October, RSPB Bird Watching & Nature Discovery Cruise, Seacombe Ferry Terminal Take a cruise out into the bay – perfect for families and both new and experienced watchers. Sightings have previously included longtailed skuas, peregrine falcons, osprey and Atlantic grey seals. Experts will be on-hand to answer your questions and help with the spotting of wildlife. Perfect for families and both new and experienced watchers. Departs Seacombe at 11am. Cruise duration three hours. £16 adult, £8 children.

20th October, Liverpool Wedding Show Spectacular, Formby Hall Golf Resort & Spa Explore 50 luxury wedding professionals across three rooms with access to plenty of wedding experts, so enjoy and browse while enjoying free canapés and a drink of fizz on arrival. Noon-4pm. 0151 528 9989

At West Kirby Arts Centre 12 Silk Handkerchiefs, 14th September A song cycle and multimedia show about the Hull Triple Trawler Disaster of 1968, with songs inspired by the book The Headscarf Revolutionaries by Brian W Lavery. 7pm. Tickets £12. Charlie Dore and Julian Litman, 22nd September A night of folk as Charlie Dore teams up with Julian Littman of Steeleye Span to share her latest album. 7pm. Tickets £12.

Henry Priestman, 28th September Henry returns to the centre for the third time. 7pm. Tickets £12 Son Of Dave, 11th October Playing harmonica, layering beatbox grooves, stomping and percussion, then writing passionate growling infectious

The Hard Road To Everest, 25th October Mountaineering legend Doug Scott gives a fascinating insight into his life and achievements. 7pm. Tickets £15. westkirbyartscentre.org.uk

Wirral welcomes the Tour Experience the thrills of the fifth stage of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain as it arrives in the Wirral on 11th September. Birkenhead Park will host the start and finish of the 174km stage, which will help celebrate Wirral’s year as the Liverpool City Region’s Borough of

Culture, showcasing the area’s history and heritage. Riders will pass through Port Sunlight, Cheshire West and Chester before returning via Heswall, Caldy and Hoylake, taking in a loop through Seacombe, Wallasey and New Brighton. The Tour

is free to watch or you can upgrade with a VIP hospitality packages. tourofbritain.co.uk

New gastronomic delights on offer

Orchestra celebrates 10th anniversary

Rally together for top race

Wirral Food & Drink Festival brings together local producers and celebrity chefs from across the Wirral and beyond on 7th and 8th September. The two-day experience in Birkenhead Park will offer fantastic art and entertainment, alongside a mouthwatering array of food and drink.

The Wirral-based Orchestra dell’Arte is comprised of 55 classical musicians from various orchestras across the northwest of England. To mark the orchestra’s 10th anniversary on 22nd September, cellist Raphael Wallfisch will join the orchestra at St George’s Hall, Liverpool to play the cello concerto by Dvorak. dellarte.co.uk

Wallasey Motor Club’s Promenade Stages Rally takes place on Kings Parade, New Brighton, on 6th and 7th September The event offers challenging twists and turns for the racers, and excellent viewing for sepctators, allowing them to get close to the cars and chat to the crews in the open service area. wallaseymc.com

Orchestral treat in Birkenhead Park

27th October, New Brighton Floral Craft & Gift Fair, Marine Promenade, Wallasey You can expect more than 50 stalls offering the best crafts and gifts from the region and beyond. 07460 304327

songs overtop, the bluesman defies category. A true maverick. 7pm. Tickets £10.

To celebrate a year as Borough of Culture for the Liverpool City region, the Wirral presents an evening of popular classics, show tunes and film standards in Birkenhead Park on 7th September. The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will perform music from composers

as diverse as Bizet, Lennon and McCartney, John Williams and Holst, joined by Liverpool-born international mezzo-soprano, Jennifer Johnston under the baton of conductor, Richard Balcombe. This is the orchestra’s only outdoor performance of the year as a full orchestra. Tickets cost £15 (under-16s are free) and are on sale via the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Box Office. Call 0151 709 3789 for more details.

First stop for first aid Claremont Farm, Bebington, hosts a first aid course on 19th September for parents, grandparents and carers. Little Lambs first aid will cover choking, CPR, head injury and more. The class starts at 9.15am and costs £20. littlelambsfirstaid.co.uk

42 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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TOWN VISIT

Bridgnorth A town of two halves

N

amed, as you might have expected, after a bridge constructed further north than one that had already been built, Bridgnorth is a town that thrives on the quirks and peculiarities of its own existence. It’s divided in two by the River Severn, and the right and left banks are home to areas known as High Town and Low Town – and they’re connected in a highly unusual way. The Bridgnorth Cliff Railway is the steepest funicular railway in Britain, the country’s shortest railway line at 61 metres, and the only inland one of its type; it’s popular with visitors as well as residents needing to commute between the town’s distinct halves.

Bridgnorth may be split by the River Severn, but the Shropshire town’s two sides are fortified by attractive buildings – and a strong community spirit

between 1216 and 1223, together with elaborate gates, as the town was seen as a vital defensive post to protect the area from Welsh invasions. That threat lessened over the centuries but the military strength of Bridgnorth was reignited during the Civil War, when Bridgnorth was one of the Midlands’ main royalist strongholds. In 1646, while many royalist troops were garrisoned there, Cromwell’s Roundheads arrived with orders to take Bridgnorth. The resident troops managed a three-week siege before Cromwell was successful and he ordered that the DID YOU castle be demolished. KNOW? Much of the stone was Hitler intended to removed to rebuild the make Bridgnorth town, and the remaining the capital after a structure now leans at a Nazi invasion precarious 15° – an greater angle than the Tower of Pisa.

Stunning structures

Bridgnorth Cliff funicular railway

Bridgnorth in battle

Now home to around 12,000 people, Bridgnorth has been an ancient dwelling place since at least 895 when it was recorded by Danish settlers in the area who referred to it as Brigge, Brug and Bruges. Roger de Montgomerie was granted the manor by William the Conqueror, and established a castle and church in the town. Impressive stone walls were added

Bridgnorth boasts some architectural gems, such as the two impressive Anglican churches that dominate the High Town. The Church of St Mary Magdalene is built in the classic style of the late 18th century and was designed by Thomas Telford, while the Grade II listed St Leonard’s is now in the care of the Churches Conservation Trust. Alongside these, Bishop Church of St Mary Magdalene

The Bypass Bridge over the Severn

Percy’s House on the Cartway was built in 1580 by Richard Forster and was one of the few buildings of its type to survive the great fire of Bridgnorth in April 1646. Other beautiful buildings include the half-timbered Town Hall, established in 1650, the Northgate – the only surviving town gate – which houses the museum, and the Italianate market hall. The bustling town has a great range of chains and independent shops as well as the Theatre On The Steps, and a 1930s cinema, the Majestic. THINGS TO SEE AND DO The Northgate Museum Northgate WV16 4ER bridgnorthmuseum.org.uk The Severn Valley Railway Station Lane WV16 4QP svr.co.uk Castle Hill Railway 6A Castle Terrace WV16 4AH bridgnorthcliffrailway.co.uk Bridgnorth Castle 3 West Castle Street WV16 4AF

44 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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DAYS OUT

The historic Iron Bridge

Enginuity Blists Hill Victorian Town

The Lego bridge

Horse and cart rides at Blists Hill

Attractions galore in Ironbridge Gorge You’re never short of things to do in Ironbridge’s fantastic array of museums. This autumn you can see a Lego world record attempt and lots more besides

A

t Enginuity at Coalbrookdale from 31st August and you’ll be able to see the Ironbridge Gorge Museums attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Lego bridge with the longest span. The museums have joined forces with the Institution of Civil Engineers for the attempt and plans are for the new bridge to be 34m long with a span of 16.9m, beating the existing record of 16.46m. The bridge will be on display throughout autumn, but there’s lots more to see at the museums. During the October halfterm, there is a range of events with a lunar or Halloween theme, for example. Marking the 50th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon, you can enjoy an immersive lunar experience at Enginuity when artist Luke Jerram’s enormous 7m Moon sculpture is installed from 21st October to 10th November. The aweinspiring touring artwork was created using Nasa imagery of the lunar surface,

Half-term tile decorating workshops at Jackfield Tile Museum also have a lunar or Halloween theme. From 28th October to 1st November you can be as creative as your imagination allows and make your own ceramic masterpiece – perhaps the moon and stars shining in the night sky or the solar system and its planets.

Candy & Cobwebs

Created especially for younger people, Candy & Cobwebs at Blists Hill Victorian Town is a Halloween event Jackfield Tile Museum for under-eights taking place on 31st October and 1st November from 5pm to 7pm. Dress in your best Halloween outfit and explore the Upper Town’s historic streets, which will be decorated with lanterns, cobwebs and pumpkins. Try candle dipping, listen to a creepy story, design and colour in a pumpkin picture and knock on doors to ask for a treat from the spooky townsfolk.

Fireworks Night

Luke Jerram’s Moon at Enginuity

with an approximate scale of 1:500,000 – each centimetre of the spherical sculpture represents 5km of the moon’s surface.

DID YOU KNOW? There are 10 Ironbridge Gorge Museums

Blists Hill Victorian Town will also be getting fired up on 2nd November for its annual Fireworks Night. As well as the display at 7.30pm, you can see molten iron being poured into moulds during a dramatic iron-casting demonstration. Gates open at 6pm to allow time to explore the Victorian streets. Wrap up warm, tuck into hot food or a hot chocolate from the café and enjoy the smell of

coal fires burning as you make your way down to the Green for the show.

A Victorian Christmas

Blists Hill’s popular Victorian Christmas Weekends take place on 7th to 8th and 14th to 15th December, when the town will be festively decorated and Father Christmas will be in his Grotto. There’s also an exciting new festive event at Coalbrookdale.

The Furnace Kitchen

A new restaurant is now open at Coalbrookdale, providing a great place to eat and relax when visiting Enginuity or the Museum of Iron. Overseen by celebrity chef Marcus Bean, the Furnace Kitchen offers brunch, lunch, coffee and tea, cakes and main meals. Blists Hill also offers some great food options, including the entrance café, New Inn and the Fish Fryers with their renowned, traditionally cooked fish and chips. IRONBRIDGE GORGE MUSEUMS

Ironbridge Gorge Museums are open at varying times between the hours of 10am and 5pm. An Annual Passport Ticket, allowing multiple visits to all 10 museums, can be bought at the entrance or online saving five per cent; individual entry is also available. Activities vary from day to day and additional costs may apply. Call 01952 433424 or visit ironbridge.org.uk.

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 45

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SHROPSHIRE WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF

Satellite showings with Arts Alive

31ST AUGUST – 6TH SEPTEMBER

Whitchurch Canal Festival 2019, Llangollen Canal, 31st August – 1st September With food and craft stalls, and live bands, extending into the adjacent Whitchurch Waterways Country Park at Chemistry. 10am-4pm.

31st August – 19th October, Autumn Open Exhibition 2019, Willow Gallery, Oswestry View collections of artworks by local artists using mediums including print, embroidery, charcoal, oils and watercolour. willowgalleryoswestry.org

4th September, NGS Open Garden, Goldstone Hall Gardens, Market Drayton Five acres with highly productive beautiful kitchen garden, sedums and roses. Homemade teas served in award-winning pavilion. 2pm-5pm. £5.

5th September, An Evening With Mark Radcliffe, The Wynnstay Hotel, Oswestry Radio broadcaster and TV presenter Mark Radcliffe takes you on a personal journey of the tracks that changed music history. 7.30pm. £10 (£17 with signed copy of his latest book, Crossroads). bookabookshop.co.uk

NT Live: The Lehman Trilogy, 11th September, Church Stretton School The story of a family and a company that changed the world, told in three parts. 7pm. Tickets £12. NT Live: One Man, Two Guvnors, 26th September, Aston On Clun Village Hall, nr Craven Arms Based on The Servant of Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, with songs by Grant Olding and featuring a Tony

Award-winning performance by James Corden. 7pm. Tickets £10. Royal Opera House Live: Don Giovanni, 8th October, Church Stretton School Follow the life and fiery death of the world’s most famous seducer in Francesca Zambello’s production of Mozart’s dazzling opera. 6.45pm. £12. NT Live: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 17th October,

SpArC Theatre, Bishop’s Castle Captured live from the Bridge Theatre, London, and starring Gwendoline Christie (Game Of Thrones) and Oliver Chris (Green Wing). 7pm. Tickets £12. artsalive.co.uk

September screenings at Attingham Park Make the most of the late summer evenings with a weekend of outdoor movie screenings at Summer Nights Film Festival at Attingham Park, Shrewsbury. Enjoy dinosaur adventures with Jurassic Park on 6th September, a foot-stomping romp through Queen’s career with Bohemian Rhapsody on 7th September, and Abba-inspired song

6th September, Charity Market, Bailey Head, Oswestry Working closely with community supporters The Qube, Oswestry Markets host a charity market on the Bailey Head aimed at raising important funds and awareness for a wide number of local charities. 9am-3pm.

and dance numbers with Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again on 8th September. Bring the family and set up your picnic next to the historic mansion to enjoy a classic on the big screen. All films start at 8pm, gates open at 6.30pm. Tickets cost £15.50 for adults and £10.50 for under-12s. Group discounts apply. nationaltrust.org.uk

Scares at Ironworks Bring your little monsters to the Halloween Spooktacular at British Ironwork Centre, Oswestry, on 31st October. The park will be filled with scary sights, so only enter if you dare. Booking essential. britishironworkcentre.co.uk

Gin evening is just the tonic Join Ludlow Kitchen Cafe, Bromfield, for a Gin Evening on 26th September. Sample a range of gins and tonics, enjoy a few nibbles and quiz the experts in this fun and informative masterclass. The event starts at 7pm and tickets cost £12.50 per person. Places are limited, so booking is essential. ludlowfarm shop.co.uk

46 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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WHAT’S ON SHROPSHIRE Hot new venue at Coalbrookdale

Live performances at Festival Drayton Centre Los Pacaminos featuring Paul Young, 13th September The best in Tex Mex Border music, from the Texas Tornadoes and Ry Cooder to Los Lobos. 7.30pm. Tickets £20.

for another evening of classical and contemporary music. The evening will showcase four young musicians, including Market Drayton’s 17-year-old flautist, Ruby Howells. 7.30pm. Tickets £10.

DID YOU

George Egg: Movable Feast, 26th Tony Stockwell, 8th October The star KNOW? September During an evening of live of Street Psychic has a long-established Ruby Howells was credibility as one of the top intuitive cooking and laugh-out-loud comedy, the British Flute George demonstrates how procure mediums. 7.30pm. Tickets £21. Society Young items from the train buffet trolley, Performer beat rip-off airport restaurant prices Blake: Movies & Musicals, 18th and how to turn unexpected road-works October Britain’s number-one 2018 into a picnic. 7.30pm. Tickets £16. harmony group choose music from their favourite movies and musicals, and arrange them with their own exclusive harmonies. 7.30pm. Classical Stars Of Tomorrow, 5th October Tickets £23.50. festivaldraytoncentre.com Junior Royal Northern College of Music return

Delve into Derwen’s past Discover the fascinating history of Derwen College, near Oswestry, as part of Heritage Open Days on 14th and 19th September. The Gobowen college for young people with special educational needs and disabilities, is inviting visitors to discover its fascinating history and pioneering values. Find out about the people behind the founding of the college, including Dame Agnes Hunt who began the college with the purpose of supported physically disabled young people into a trade. Find out more about the amazing Agnes, her legacy and the people who have followed in her footsteps striving to make her ambitions a continued reality. Chat, examine some of the college archives and enjoy refreshments made and served by students working in the college’s commercial outlets. Talks are free and held between 11am amd noon on both days. Booking is essential; call 01691 661234 or email bookings@ derwen.ac.uk. visitderwen.co.uk

Visitors to the Ironbridge Gorge Museums at Coalbrookdale will be able to extend their stay with a visit to the new Furnace Kitchen overseen by celebrity chef Marcus Bean. Bringing fantastic fresh and locally sourced food to Coalbrookdale, the Furnace Kitchen will serve brunch, lunch, coffee and tea, cakes and main meals. The menu will feature an exciting mix of modern British cuisine and European classics, all handmade by a handpicked team of chefs. Returning to Shropshire where he started his cookery career in 2005, Marcus has a passion for cooking has seen him

By George, at Ludlow Library Discover the The Mysterious Tale Of George Eliot at Ludlow Library on 7th October – a onewoman performance revealing the mysterious tale of the writer. George Eliot’s life story is as dramatic and challenging as her own novels, and equally as intriguing and inspiring as her own storylines. Mary Ann Evans plays both the protagonist and the antagonist in her own life story. The performance starts at 7pm and tickets cost £6.50 per person. ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk

win Channel 4’s Iron Chef UK, make numerous TV appearances including ITV’s This Morning and take on a cookery school, bed and breakfast and a bespoke catering company. The Furnace Kitchen is open to museum visitors and the general public from 8.30am to 5pm daily (9.30am on Sundays), plus selected evenings, and has space for 50 guests inside plus an outdoor eating area for an additional 30. www. thefurnacekitchen.org.uk

Ghostly goings on at Whittington Castle Expect ghostly tales and Halloween fun at Whittington Castle, Oswestry, from 25th October to 1st November. Brave an evening Ghost Tour (not suitable for younger children), or join the daytime Halloween events on 27th October, when youngsters can follow a trail, play games and win treats. On 31st October, dress up, bring a torch and follow a procession. whittingtoncastle.co.uk September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 47

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SHROPSHIRE WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 7TH- 18TH SEPTEMBER

7th September, The Way Of Creativity: Breathing, Seeing, Drawing!, Stapleton Village Hall, Shrewsbury Inspiring day retreat offering a path into creativity while enjoying some all-important time for, mindfulness and renewal. 9.45am-4.45pm. £55. wayofcreativity.org

8th September, Magnificent Seven Crew, Crown Inn, Oakengates, Telford Enjoy an afternoon in the courtyard with another On The Record session. Bring your disks down to share with the crowd. 2pm. 01952 610888

On screen at Old Market Hall, Shrewsbury The Metropolitan Opera: The Barber Of Seville, 1st September A spirited production of Rossini’s comedy directed by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher. 6pm. Tickets from £16.50.

DID YOU KNOW? Rossini composed The Barber Of Seville in less than three weeks

8th September, Visit Snailbeach Lead Mine, Pontesbury Take an underground tour of the most complete collection of lead mine buildings in the country, nestled in a high valley with views over Shropshire. 11am-4pm. Free entry to site; underground entry £3 adults, £1 children. 07716 116732

The Metropolitan Opera: Aida, 15th September Anna Netrebko stars in Verdi’s grand drama. 6pm. Tickets from £16.50. Royal Opera House: Don Pasquale, 24th October Bryn Terfel heads the cast of this new production

10th September, Spoon Carving Workshop, Dudmaston, Quatt, nr Bridgnorth One-day workshop focusing on traditional techniques. 10am-4pm. £70.

11th-18th September, Heritage Open Days, Oswestry National initiative to open historical places to the public for free. Activities in Oswestry include archaeological digs, St Oswald’s tower, talks at Derwen College and the Park Hall trenches. oswestrytownmuseum.co.uk

Exhibition On Screen: Leonardo – The Works, 29th October To mark the 500th anniversary of Leonardo’s death, all of his paintings will be shown in UltraHD. Noon. Tickets from £12. Dracula, 31st October Northern Ballet’s thrilling adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic horror, broadcast live. 7.15pm. Tickets £16.50. oldmarkethall.co.uk

Ludlow’s 25-year-old recipe for success Ludlow Food Festival celebrates its Silver Jubilee with this year’s event from 13th to 15th September. To mark the milestone, the festival is hosting a spectacular line-up of demonstrations, talks, workshops and tastings, plus top-quality food and drink from 180 producers from across the Marches. Held in the grounds of the medieval castle, the festival attracts some of the most eminent names on the food scene. This year’s culinary

superstars include Michelin-starred chef Gareth Ward, TV cook and food stylist Juliet Sear, 2012’s Great British Bake Off winner John Whaite and food historian and writer Angela Clutton. Visitors can also participate in the muchloved sausage and ale trails around the town, enjoy the hustle and bustle of weekend markets in Castle Square and explore the many independent retailers and restaurants that thrive in the area. Three-day tickets cost from £24. ludlowfoodfestival.co.uk

Spice up your life in Market Drayton

8th & 28th September, 8th & 18th October, Autumn Foraging Course, Mortimer Forest, nr Ludlow This 1,000-hectare forest is home to a diverse selection of edible mushrooms throughout late summer and autumn. Meet at Black Pool car park. Noon-3.30pm. £50.

of Donizetti’s comedy of domestic drama. In Italian with English subtitles. 7.30pm. Tickets from £16.50.

Step out for a weekend of walks Much Wenlock Walking Weekend, from 30th August to 2nd September, offers an array of guided walks with something to appeal to everyone. It’s a great way to get active, see the local area and meet fellow striders. Well-behaved dogs on leads are welcome. www. muchwenlockwalkers.org.uk

The award-winning Ginger & Spice Festival makes a welcome return to Market Drayton from 25th to 28th September. Award-winning chef, author, presenter and food campaigner Rachel Green and Indian cook, food writer and author Mallika Basu headline the live cookery theatre. The fun-packed festival also includes many fringe events plus an abundance of speciality food and drink, with a ginger twist. ginger andspice fest.co.uk

Festival hots up at Dorothy Clive Garden The eighth annual Chilli, Cheese & Chocolate Festival raises the temperature at Dorothy Clive Garden, Market Drayton on 22nd September. Enjoy the artisan market, live music, cooking demonstrations and an eyewatering chilli eating contest. dorothyclivegarden.co.uk

48 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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WHAT’S ON in SEPT & OCT 19 Classic Car Rally, Alderford Lake

Sunday 6th October 9am

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

£2 per car for entry, but spectators are free

Blackberry Fair, Town Centre and Civic Centre Saturday 5th October 10am-6pm

The Maker’s Market, Town Centre and Craft Fair, Civic Centre Saturday

7th September 10am to 4pm

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For more information about Whitchurch, Shropshire and our great town, What’s On and more, visit www.whitchurch.info

6th September – 9am until 3pm Working closely with community supporters The Qube, Oswestry Markets host a charity market on the Bailey Head aimed at raising important funds and awareness for a wide number of local charities.

Heritage Open Days

11th - 18th September National initiative to open as many historical places as possible to the public for free. Oswestry has a wide number of interesting activities including archaeological digs, St Oswald’s tower, market activities, the Town Museum and the Park Hall trenches etc. Go to www.oswestrytownmusuem.co.uk for further details.

Apple Day

12th October – 9am until 2pm This established annual event celebrates the apple and healthy eating with lots of interesting varieties of apples and advice on growing by the local orchard group CROP.

Oswestry Produce Market

19th October - 9am until 3pm Handpicked Shropshire based food and craft producers selling the best the County has to offer in the town centre.

Halloween Market

26th October Scary goings on at the Bailey Head. Family fun, prizes, scary hunts, children’s rides.

Oswestry Community Games

15th September – 10am until 3pm Large annual event held in Cae Glas Park giving everyone the chance to try a number of sports for free including tennis, football, archery, martial arts, hockey, rugby, etc. Great family day out.

Annual Bonfire and Firework Display

2nd November – 6pm until 7pm Huge annual event held at Brogyntyn Park and managed by volunteers the Borderland Rotary. All proceeds to local charities.

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

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WHAT’S ON SHROPSHIRE

Concerts at St Laurence’s Church, Ludlow

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 13TH-18TH SEPTEMBER

John Challenger Organ Recital, 14th September Organist and conductor John Challenger, assistant director of music at Salisbury Cathedral, performs compositions by Francois Couperin, Jehan Alain, JS Bach, William Lloyd Webber, Harold Darke and Cesar Franck. 1pm. Free entry. Di Xiao Piano, 28th September Women, both as composers

Raise your glasses to an Oktober treat

Shropshire Oktoberfest returns to Shrewsbury’s Quarry Park on 4th and 5th October, bringing beer, music and comedy to revellers. Brewers from the region and beyond will serve up around 150 real ales,

plus lager, cider, perry, prosecco, gin and wine, plus street food, live music and comedy performances. Friday tickets from £6; Saturday tickets from DID YOU £12.50. KNOW? shropshire oktober VIP tickets fest.co.uk

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and as muses, are celebrated in this recital by Chinese pianist Di Xiao. Described as ‘a pianist of awesome gifts’ by the Birmingham Post, Di has built a reputation as a musician and international ambassador for the piano. A profound understanding of her art and a deep belief in the universal language of music give a special quality and integrity to her work. 1pm. Free entry.

Arcadia Music Festival, 5th October This year’s Fête Anniversaire celebrates 10 years of Arcadia and the 70th birthday of co-founder Eleanor Alberga. The four-concert series includes several of Eleanor’s compositions and highlights major works performed at Arcadia over the past nine years, by an ensemble of internationally acclaimed musicians. 7.30pm. Tickets £15. ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk

Stars and stories Take in the atmosphere at Stars & Stories by the campfire at Dudmaston, Quatt, near Bridgnorth on 28th September. Join Shropshire Astronomical Society and find out all about the star constellations above us, before settling down to supper and stories with ‘storybodger’ Simon Martin, national trust. org.uk

15th September, Voices In Harmony TryUs-Out Day, Astley Abbots Village Hall, nr Bridgnorth Friendly Bridgnorth-based community choir Voices in Harmony is starting its new term, learning songs for its next concert on 18th January 2020! Anyone interested in joining is welcome to sing for the day and try them out for free. Call Jane Read on 01584 891656.

Beatles bonanza Shrewsbury will be celebrating all things Fab Four from 20th to 22nd September with the Shrewsbury Beatles Weekend, organised by Phil Gillam, Mayor of Shrewsbury (above right). There will be a range of events, including music, guest speakers and film screenings – once again proving that ‘All You Need Is Love’. See Facebook for updates.

Spooks galore at Park Hall Farm Chilling surprises and spooky fun are order of the day at Park Hall Countryside Experience, near Oswestry, from 26th October to 4th November. Wander through the haunted house, join in games for all the family, carve a pumpkin and dress up for Halloween. parkhallfarm.co.uk

13th September, Coracle World Championships, Pengwern Boat Club, Shrewsbury The current coracle world record is four minutes 57 seconds – do you think you can beat it? Join the race in aid of Macmillan and find out. Coracles provided. 2.30pm. £300 registration for team of four. coracle worldchampionship.co.uk

RAF Cosford feels the Force Watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Top Gun at the RAF Museum Cosford on 20th and 21st September. Food will be available from the BBQ Bus and a pop-up bar will be serving cocktails, fizz, beer, wine and soft drinks. Tickets from £13. rafmuseum.org.uk

15th September, Boots & Roots Family Festival 2019, Hawkstone Park Follies, Shrewsbury An annual family day in the beautiful countryside, encouraging families to engage with each other in natural, fun and messy outdoor play. 10am-5pm. Family tickets from £35.

17th September, Moving To The Rhythm: A Life More Ordinary, Ludlow Assembly Rooms Activities for people living with dementia and memory loss, their families, friends and carers. 2pm3pm. £2, free for carers.

18th September, An Evening With Max Hastings, Lion Quays, Oswestry Bestselling military historian Max Hastings talks about the legendary Dambusters raid of 1943, and the fresh and compelling accoount of the raid in his new book Chastise. 7.30pm. £10 without book (redeemable against a signed copy) or £25 with signed book. bookabookshop.co.uk

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 51

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SHROPSHIRE WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 20TH-25TH SEPTEMBER

20th September, Concert with Peter Edge, St Alkmund’s Church, Whitchurch Singer Peter Edge is raising funds for a performance of the Messiah later in the year. £5 donation recommended. 5pm.

21st September, Do It For David, Bailey Head, Oswestry Market event to promote the reduction of single-use plastics and alternatives for a healthier environment.

The Place to be for entertainment An Evening With Aggers, 9th October Test Match Special presenter Jonathan Agnew learnt his craft Rob Beckett: Work In Progress, 23rd September under the tutelage Join Rob as he tries out new material. In his first year alone, Rob won four new of the legendary DID YOU Brian Johnston, act competitions, including Amused KNOW? Moose Laugh Off , Outside The emerging from the notoriety of the Test Match gloriously funny ‘leg over’ incident Box New Act of the Year and Reading Comedy Festival New Act Special was first to become BBC Radio’s voice of of the Year. 8pm. Tickets £19.50. cricket. 7.30pm. Tickets £24. broadcast Gary Meikle: The iBrow Guy, 20th September The viral sensation is back with a bang – and brand new brows. 8pm. Tickets £16.50.

in 1957

21st September, Michaelmas Fair, Bishop’s Castle A highly imaginative and artistic street fair during which the centre of Bishop’s Castle becomes a stage for musicians, dancers, theatre and children’s activities, along with trapeze artists, clowns, elephants, tractors, vintage cars and steam engines. Noon-9.30pm. Tickets £6.

22nd September, Oswestry Community Games, Cae Glas Park, Oswestry Large annual event held giving everyone the chance to try a number of sports for free, including tennis, football, archery, martial arts, hockey, rugby and more. Great family day out. 10am-3pm.

Swan Lake, 2nd October Russian National Ballet presents the greatest of all romantic ballets and one of Tchaikovsky’s best works, featuring some of ballet’s most memorable music. 7.30pm. Tickets £22.50.

Rev up at Alderford Lake Vehicle enthusiasts will want to head to the Classic Car Rally at Alderford Lake near Whitchurch on 6th October. From 9am you can peruse the line-up of fabulous motors that come to the picturesque lakeside spot for this wellsupported annual rally. Entry costs £2 per car; it’s free for spectators. The cafe is open for a delicious breakfast and coffees from 9am too. alderford.com

25th September, Fern Brady: Power & Chaos, Henry Tudor House, Shrewsbury Scottish comedian Fern reached the finals of So You Think You’re Funny at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe, where she finished joint third, the finals of the Piccadilly Comedy Club new act competition in 2012 and the Hackney Empire New Act of the Year in 2013. She has also appeared on Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats. 7.30pm. £13.20.

Whitchurch wonders

Bold, creative and original Scottish band Tannara, play the Talbot Theatre, Whitchurch on 14th September, covering indie rock to electronica, as well as folk. On 5th October, Blackberry Fair returns to Whitchurch High Street, followed that evening by party night the Pooka’s Polka in the Market Hall, featuring Baked A La Ska and more. whitchurch.info

The Sound Of Music, 23rd-26th October Sixty years after first hitting the Broadway stage, Telford musical theatre group TADLOP are bringing the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic back to life. Based on the real-life story of the Von Trapp Family Singers, and set in Austria on the eve of the Anschluss in 1938. 7.30pm (plus 2.30pm matinee). Tickets £15. theplacetelford.com

Spend a spell on Severn Valley Railway There’s magic, mystery and mayhem on Severn Valley Railway, Bridgnorth over the Halloween season. Board the VIP Wizard Express from 26th October to 3rd November for a journey along the enchanted Severn Valley, when you’ll attend mystical lessons, meet incredible characters and immerse yourself in the world of magic. A table for two costs £60. Or dare to board the Ghost Trains from Kidderminster to Arley for face painting, a spooky disco and things that go bump in the night on 26th, 30th and 31st October. Advance tickets cost from £14. svr.co.uk

Comedy and curry at Enginuity Laugh the night away at Ironbridge Gorge Museums’ Comedy & Curry Night in the Engine Shop at Enginuity on 6th September. The line-up includes Ian Stone, Kate Lucas and Jonathan Elston. Tickets from £10. www.ironbridge.org.uk

52 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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WHAT’S ON SHROPSHIRE

Live entertainment at Theatre On The Steps

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 26TH SEPTEMBER – 5TH OCTOBER

26th September, Stitched Surface machine embroidery, Artshack, nr Shrewsbury In this workshop you’ll play with experimental and unusual surfaces that can revolutionise your creative stitched artworks. 10am-4pm. £60, including tea/coffee and free parking. myartshack.co.uk

The Paulus Schafer Trio, 7th September Paulus is defining the modern sound of gypsy jazz, so expect to be blown away by his beautifully lyrical guitar playing. With Arnoud Van Den Berg and Chris Quinn. 8pm. Tickets £13. Whole Lotta Shakin’, 21st September The award-winning tribute to Shakin’ Stevens tells a rags-to-riches story based on the 40 hits of the 1980s rock’n’roll icon. Starring Rebel Dean (Hollyoaks, That’ll Be The Day) with full live band and projection screen. The performance includes a full concert including hits ‘Green Door’, ‘This Ole House’, ‘Oh Julie’ and ‘You Drive Me Crazy’. 8pm. Tickets £20. Bee Gees Fever, 4th-5th October The UK’s number-one premier Bee Gees tribute show celebrates 20 years of wowing audiences with their stunning live tribute to the music of the Brothers Gibb. 8pm. Tickets £14.

Grab a bargain in Shrewsbury Antique collectors and fans of vintage should visit West Midlands Showground, Shrewsbury on 21st and 22nd September and 19th and 20th October. The Shrewsbury Flea fairs offer something for everyone, with 100s of traders from all over the UK and Europe catering for all tastes and budgets. The fairs attract thousands of visitors and are gaining a reputation of being the perfect place to find that unique addition to your home. The fair is open from 8.30am to 3.30pm on Saturdays and from 9am to 3pm on Sundays. Admission is £2.50. josevents.co.uk

Top creature caricatures Learn to draw animal cartoons with caricaturist and Radio Times illustrator Jonathan Cusick at cartoon workshop, Bringing Animals To Life, at Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery on 31st October. The workshop runs from 11am to 1pm and costs £8. shrewsburymuseum.org.uk

DID YOU KNOW? The Bee Gees were originally called The Rattlesnakes

A Black Country Night Out, 16th October A show that is bursting at the seams with talent, bring comedy, music and even a tribute or two. Featured comedy acts include Dandy and host Ollie Spencer, while Emma Rollason is performing her wonderful tribute to the original Black Country comedienne, Dolly Allen. Musical accompaniment is from Joe Thomas and his ukulele, and Vivo. 7.30pm. Tickets £20. theatreon thesteps.co.uk

Three bring a crowd to Willow Gallery

26th September, Gin Masterclass, The Sabrina, Shrewsbury All aboard for three-hour cruise with a masterclass in gin brought to you by Wrekin Whiskies of Wyle Cop. Enjoy four local gins of various varieties while watching the sun set over the Severn. 7pm. £29.50. sabrinaboat.co.uk

29th September, Race On The Edge, Much Wenlock Organised by Wenlock Olympian Society, this year’s race will follow a similar format to the 2018 event, accompanied by a fun run for families and young people. Both events start and finish at Edge Adventures on the outskirts of Much Wenlock. 9.30am-12.30pm. From £15.

The Shackleton Trio bring their energetic music to Oswestry’s Willow Gallery on 12th October. One of the hardest working bands in folk, the Shackleton Trio are becoming an in-demand name on the circuit and have appeared on Cambridge Folk Festival’s main stage. Doors open at 7pm and tickets cost £12 for adults and £6 for children. Continuing the musical theme, throughout September you can see works inspired by May’s seventh Whittington International Chamber Musical Festival. Five Borderland artists were among the audience with sketchbooks in hand, recording their impressions of the programme of Czech classical music. See the results for yourself. willowgalleryoswestry.org

29th September, Apley Estate Autumn Challenge, Apley Estate, Norton, nr Bridgnorth The sixth running of the Apley Estate multi-terrain event presented by Wrekin Road Runners, raising funds for Stockton Church and St Milburga Church in Beckbury. 5km, 10km and 21km options, starting from 10.30am. £19-£26 entry. wrekinroadrunners.net

5th October, Whitchurch Blackberry Fair, Whitchurch Civic Centre Join in the revelry at locations on the High Street and in the Civic Centre. From 10am. 01948 665761.

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 55

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SHROPSHIRE WHAT’S ON

WHAT’S ON IN BRIEF 6TH OCTOBER – 3RD NOVEMBER

6th October, Shrewsbury Half Marathon, Greenhouse West Mid Showground The course begins at the Shropshire County Show ground before taking runners along the river in the quarry, through the historic town centre before heading out over the English bridge to run a loop in the Kingsland estate. Entry from £29.

•12th October, Apple Day, Bailey Head, Oswestry Annual event celebrating the apple and healthy eating, with lots of interesting varieties and advice on growing by the local orchard group CROP. 9am-2pm. 01691 680222

Reflections at Theatre Severn Sir Ranulph Fiennes, 3rd-4th September ‘The world’s greatest living explorer’, Sir Ranulph Fiennes has spent his life in pursuit of extreme adventure, risking life and limb in some of the most ambitious private expeditions ever undertaken. 7.30pm. Tickets from £29. Richard III, 17th-18th September Shakespeare’s Richard is a villain, comedian, lover, devoted brother, actor, scheming liar and loyal friend, until you fall out of favour. Richard’s fall from the peak of his tyrannical power and his final defeat ending the Wars of the Roses is mesmerising. 7.30pm. Tickets £17.50. Michael Morpurgo, 28th September The author of more than 130 books, including The Butterfly Lion, Kensuke’s Kingdom, Private Peaceful and War Horse, will be interviewed by award-winning actor and comedian Katy Brand to

12th-13th October, The Way Of Creativity: Sanctum, Stapleton Village Hall, Shrewsbury Retreat weekend that will see you up to the elbows in plaster, clay, wood and paint. An opportunity to peacefully and mindfully create a ’sacred shrine’ for your home. £95.wayofcreativity.org

26th October, Halloween Market, Oswestry Scary goings on at the Bailey Head. Family fun, prizes, scary hunts, children’s rides. A real spooktacular for all the family.

26th October – 3rd November, Spooky Half Term Fun, Rays Farm Country Matters, nr Bridgnorth Get creative with Halloween crafts, carve a pumpkin (additional charges apply), explore the creepy corners of Fairytale Forest (wellies recommended) and solve the Spooky Trail to earn a treat. 10am-5.30pm. £9.65 adults, £7.25 children.

On screen at Kinokulture

Varda By Agnes, 2nd & 4th September French New Wave pioneer Agnès Varda was always curious, creative and empathetic. This reflective documentary – her final film – was made shortly before she died in March. 7.30pm. £8. NT Live: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 17th October Shakespeare’s classic comedy brought

Simon & Garfunkel Story at Bridnorth’s Castle Hall Direct from its success at London’s Lyric Theatre, a sold-out worldwide tour and standing ovations at every performance, The Simon & Garfunkel Story brings classic songs to Bridgnorth’s Castle Hall on 28th September. Featuring a full live band performing all the hits. ludlowassemblyrooms.co.uk

DID YOU

celebrate his 75th birthday. KNOW? 2.30pm. Tickets £26.50. Michael and Clare

Morpurgo set up

Griff Rhys Jones: All the Farms For Over The Place, 17th City Children October It’s time to join charity one half of Alas Smith & Jones, one quarter of Not The Nine O’Clock News and one third of Three Men In A Boat as he presents an evening of hilarious true stories, riffs, observations and details of his recent medical procedures. 8pm. Tickets £22. Ed Byrne, 28th October Join Ed for a masterclass in observational comedy as he takes a long hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has any traits that are worth passing on to his children. 8pm. Tickets £26.50. theatresevern.co.uk to life like you’ve never seen it before. 7pm. Tickets £12. Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, 20th-24th September A faded television actor and his stunt double strive to achieve fame and success in the film industry during the final years of Hollywood’s Golden Age in 1969 Los Angeles. Rating 15. Starts 7.30pm. Tickets £8. kinokulture.org.uk

One final hunt for plants The last plant fair of the 2019 season takes place at Weston Park near Shifnal on 8th September, offering gardeners a great opportunity to find some late-blooming plants. Nursery staff will be more than happy to give you the benefit of their experience in planting and caring for the plants you buy, so you can get the best from them. The fair is open from 10am to 4pm and entry costs just £2.50. planthuntersfairs.co.uk

56 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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BIRMINGHAM

Birmingham Weekender, Digbeth, 4th-6th October The arts festival is back with three days of events in cultural venues, galleries, bars, cafes and outdoor public spaces across Digbeth and Southside, featuring arts, music, dance, poetry and performances for all the family.

The Divine Comedy, The O2 Institute Birmingham, 11th October Neil Hannon and co released their 12th studio album, Office Politics, earlier this year and are hitting the road to share their new work as well as performing all the old favourites – a must for fans new and old.

Cher: Here We Go Again, Arena Birmingham, 26th October The legendary singer, who holds the UK record for the biggest-selling single of all time by a female artist for ‘Believe’, treats audiences to an array of hits as well as songs from Dancing Queen, her tribute to ABBA.

CARDIFF

Film & Comic Con, Motorpoint Arena Cardiff, 7th & 8th September Dress up and enjoy the very best in pop culture, with plenty of stalls to browse and great guests to meet from the world of TV and film, including Starship Troopers’ Casper Van Dien and Doctor Who’s Camille Coduri.

Adrian Flux British FIM Speedway Grand Prix, Principality Stadium, 21st September Fans will be hoping for a repeat of the drama of 2018, when crowd favourite Tai Woffinden had to settle for the runners-up spot after Bartosz Zmarzlik blitzed the field.

Carmen, Wales Millennium Centre, 21st & 28th September and 6th & 10th October The Welsh National Opera brings this classic to the stage. Carefree and spirited Carmen is determined to keep her independence, so when she enchants Don José she is unprepared for the events that follow.

LIVERPOOL

Fusion Festival, Sefton Park, 31st August & 1st September One of the UK’s biggest pop music festivals brings some of the genre’s biggest stars to Liverpool. Stars appearing at this year’s festival include Little Mix, Dizzee Rascal, Sigala, Jonas Blue and Rudimental.

Nigel Slater’s Toast, Playhouse Theatre, 10th-14th September This a moving tale of love, loss and toast recreates chef Nigel Slater’s childhood through the tastes and smells he shared with his mother, from the playground politics of sweets to a domestic war over cakes.

9 To 5 The Musical, Liverpool Empire Theatre, 1st-5th October Dolly Parton’s smash hit tells the story of three workmates pushed to boiling point by their sexist and egotistical boss, with a rip-roaring score by the Queen of Country herself. The most fun you’ll have in the theatre all year!

MANCHESTER

BIG CITY WHAT’S ON

What’s Love Got To Do With It?, The Bridgewater Hall, 20th September Celebrating the music of Tina Turner, this tribute concert to one of the most loved musical artists of our generation brings high-energy, feelgood rock’n’roll and features all her greatest hits.

Alice Cooper, Manchester Arena, 4th October The rock legend performs his latest live show, Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back, with special guests The Stranglers. Featuring all the classics including ‘Poison’, ‘Bed Of Nails’, ‘House Of Fire’ and many more, this is a night not to be missed.

Bill Bryson: Observations On Life & The Human Body, Palace Theatre, 5th October Writer Bill Bryson has spent the past three years taking a long look at the human body. The result? His soon-to-be-released tome The Body: A Guide For Occupants and this accompanying live tour.

58 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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80S HITS ON THE PITCH, STOCKPORT RUGBY CLUB, CHESHIRE

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

see the elephants, where the infants were playing and the Mention Chester Zoo and adults were seeking out hay, most families will either recall jostling with their trunks and playfully trumpeting. the last time they went or mention Next we saw two ‘I walked how they must baby giraffes suckling through return again soon. their mother and were a tunnel It had been 15 able to get so close containing we really appreciated years since I’d last 250 bats!’ visited with my how tall and inquisitive daughter, who was they are. The majestic then five, so it was tiger also made an appearance and we spotted lovely go back together this summer. Our first stop was to a sun bear sunbathing. Walking through the dark tunnel containing 250 bats was an experience I won’t forget – I could feel the air on my face as they flew past, and could just about make out their silhouettes. There was no sign of damage following last December’s fire, and most of the zoo was accessible. It’s well worth a visit, to see how they’re conserving some of our most-loved animals, including orangutans, lions and red pandas. SW

OSWESTRY SHOW, PARK HALL Although the weather was a little mixed for this event at the beginning of August, thousands and thousands of people attended this year’s agricultural show. Even local MP Owen Paterson commented that there seemed to be more people than ever! A huge effort is put in every year to bring together this show – as the organisers said afterwards, a big thanks has to go to ‘all the committee members and volunteers who work tirelessly before, during and after show day organising, setting up, working and are now currently packing it all away again!’, not to mention the exhibitors, judges and stewards. It was a fun day out for everyone, from admiring the prize livestock on show (our favourite of the day’s activities), watching the horse jumping and dog displays, and the afternoon’s grand parade. The commentary during the grand parade was excellent – aimed at everyone giving interesting points about the breeds on display. DB

You might think Stockport Rugby Club a strange venue to host a line up of 1980s pop stars – I certainly did. But the place was filled to capacity with people ready to have a good time. The stage was positioned well so the artists could get close to the audience and be seen by everyone. Acts included Odyssey, Tight Fit, Toyah, Hazell Dean, Kelly Wilde, Wiggy, Martin Kemp and Sonia – not at all bad for an event in Bramhall! All were welcomed by the

SHREWSBURY FLOWER SHOW, QUARRY PARK In early August as the marquees go up in Quarry Park for the annual flower show, it’s amazing to see all of the beautiful and ornate flower arrangements adorning dozens of lampposts and hanging baskets around Shrewsbury and along the River Severn. I’ve been attending the two-day show since I was a toddler and have been taking my daughter too since she was young. Our lives, like so many in the area, have evolved along with the show. ‘A funDespite packed weather show for warnings in all the place, the family’’ sun shone brightly on the Saturday and brought in the crowds. Bounteous begonias illuminated the main flower tent, bonsai trees sat demurely alongside ingenious displays, and honey bees

audience, and Sonia even brought her daughter, Gracie, on to the stage to sing and dance with her. The best part of the evening was Martin Kemp of Spandau Ballet’s DJ set. To be honest, he could have just stood there and done nothing because all the ladies loved him, including me! His set had everyone singing and dancing. He spent most time at the front of the stage so we could all admire his physique and sparkling eyes! I think his DJ bookings must have doubled after this event! DL

made a beeline for the coconut cakes and sweets. MasterChef’s John Torode shared his love for Shrewbury and prosecco while cooking steak, the smell of which wafted through the Culinary Tent. With local food and drink, stunt riders, Scouting For Girls and an unbeatable fireworks bonanza, it was a fun-packed show for all the family. SW

wSeptember/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 61

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MEASURE FOR MEASURE, FESTIVAL DRAYTON CENTRE, MARKET DRAYTON

RHS FLOWER SHOW TATTON PARK, KNUTSFORD The annual bonanza of blooms held at Tatton park is a celebration of all things floral and shows off the RHS at its finest. Unfortunately, it also epitomises the British way of life, and one aspect that none of us can control is the weather. Arriving at the vast showground on the Friday of this year’s show, we were among a hardy few braving the torrential downpours. But we ploughed on, squelching underfoot, slipping on the show gardens and seeking shelter in the floral marquee. Despite the weather, the with hours of dedication and show was still a success. commitment clear to even Having attended in previous the amateur eye. The level years when lingering to of expertise and attention to admire the gardens was detail is awe-inspiring for a impossible because final result that is torn of the heat, in some apart, sold off and ways the displays packed away after ‘The level appreciated the four days – but while of expertise damper environment and attention the show is on, the – and there was no displays, entries and to detail doubt the scents even vendors that was awegiven off were flock to Knutsford inspiring’ enhanced by the put on a show that warm but wet, was, as always, well tropical atmosphere. worth donning a The spirit of Tatton was floral welly and braving the certainly not dampened and best of British elements every garden still impressed, to admire. KS

THE ROY ORBISON STORY, THEATRE SEVERN, SHREWSBURY It’s difficult to define this performance at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury by the genre it’s meant to fall into. Not because Barry Steele and friends don’t come up to standard as tribute acts go, but because they well and truly exceed it! The concert was performed as if a 21st century concert, with a backdrop showing details of Roy’s life and songs, his late wife Claudette and his children. It was a very moving tribute. ‘It’s Too Soon To Know’ was performed as footage of Claudette – the subject

with which ‘some rise by sin and some by virtue fall’ as the story unfolded. Sandy Grierson’s Angelo is ‘a man whose blood is snow-broth’. Charged Comedies don’t come much with cleaning up the city darker than Shakespeare’s by the departing Duke, he Measure For Measure. From the opulence of a sentences Claudio to death court waltz in for fornication. Lucy Phelps’ Isabella, a 1900s Vienna, ‘The novice nun, pleads for Gregory Doran’s performance her brother’s life with production for engaged the the RSC plunged a righteousness that Festival Centre elicits trepidation. us swiftly into audience as Angelo’s offer to the debauchery deeply as any save Claudio in of a suburban I’ve witnessed’ brothel. Between exchange for her virginity comes at these two worlds, her like a fist. When Shakespeare she threatens to tell all, he gives us a harrowing sneers convincingly, ‘Who account of sexual extortion and hypocrisy. will believe thee, Isabella?’ The returning Duke sets Streamed live from all to right in a denouement Stratford-upon-Avon, the performance engaged bursting with compassion, though Isabella’s anguished the Festival Centre expression at his proposal audience as deeply as any of marriage suggests I’ve witnessed. Interval her conflicts are not conversations buzzed with reactions to the intensity over. JH

of the song, who died in a motorbike accident at the age of 25 – played in the background. Steele himself is extremely unassuming. Off stage, he’s modest and humble; on stage he maintains Orbison’s stance and trademark look while subtly balancing the humour he was well known for. His vocals are so effortless you’ll even find yourself questioning whether IfIf you a show you have have a or not he mimes. He doesn’t. in Wales and the show happening Orbison’s three octave Borders, anywherewe in can Wales voice and unorthodox writing send a reviewer and the Borders,–we technique shone through and can can your send show a reviewer appear under thecan Steele’s act, with hit after hit – and your show spotlight on these from ‘Sweet Dreams’ to the appear under the pages too! beat dropping ‘Pretty Woman’ spotlight onEmail thesethe details to editorial@ pages too! Email creating an electric atmosphere shiremagazine.co.uk. details to editorial@ for the show’s culmination. We look forward to shiremagazine.co.uk If you get the chance to hearing from you! see this wonderful show, don’t miss it or you’ll be crying! CB

62 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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The Vikings – who had a big impact on the Shire area – have something of an image problem, being best known for brutal invasions, plenty of pillaging and general all-round nastiness. But is that reputation really fair? We take a closer look

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he Vikings have a Russia and Sicily. It’s estimated formidable reputation that Britain today contains – and perhaps that’s around one million people of no wonder when their name Viking descent, with higher comes from Old Norse for a proportions in those areas where pirate raid. Departing from the Scandinavians settled. their homelands of Norway, The Vikings first dabble with Sweden and Denmark, they Britain pretty much set their travelled great distances, stall out and earned them the mainly by sea and river, to formidable reputation they explore and, wherever retain. They arrived DID YOU possible, conquer. on the holy island KNOW? Viking explorer They showed a of Lindisfarne in Leif Erikson set certain determination 793, destroyed the foot on America and made it as far church, killed the 500 years before as North America to monks and took all Columbus the west, Russia to the the treasure they could east, Lapland to the north find. In the years that and the Mediterranean and Iraq followed, villages near the sea to the south. But while it’s true found themselves routinely they were responsible for some besieged by the invaders and savage attacks, they seem to have after a while no part of the developed their reputation for British Isles was left untouched. a unique viciousness unfairly From around 860 onwards, – every other travelling tribe Vikings stayed, settled and approached new lands in the prospered in Britain, becoming same way, after all. The Romans part of the mix of people who and Normans had a similar today make up the British style of settlement in the years nation. By 866 the Vikings that followed, for example. had made their way to York, So while we know Vikings or Jorvik as they called it, as great invaders and warriors, where they established a vital we should also remember they centre for their civilisation. were adventurous explorers, Across the Shire region, their wide-ranging traders and presence can still be felt – in the merchants, skilled craftsmen DNA of many of our readers, and brilliant boat-builders. in the names of our towns and villages, and even in some of In our blood the habits we maintain today. What we refer to as the Viking age lasted from approximately 800 to 1150 AD – their first invasion was in 793 and their last in 1066. During this period, around 200,000 people left Scandinavia to settle in other lands, mainly Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Ireland, England, Scotland, the islands around Britain, France (where they became the Normans), Vikings eventually settled here 64 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Vikings made regular incursions into Shropshire

Shropshire safe haven As various parts of Britain became Viking strongholds, Shropshire remained staunchly Anglo-Saxon, even though the Scandinavian invaders tried their hardest

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hroughout the ninth century, Shropshire – along with the rest of England – was subjected to frequent incursions by the Vikings. At the time, the area was part of the kingdom of Mercia. After several attacks led by brothers Halfdan Ragnarsson and Ivar the Boneless, King Burgred of Mercia negotiated peace in 867. He agreed that the Danes could keep Nottingham in exchange for leaving the rest of Mercia unmolested. The peace didn’t last long. By 871, the Danes were attacking Mercia again, in a campaign that lasted until 874 – in the process destroying the famous priory at Wenlock. In 884, another treaty was agreed, this time splitting Mercia in two – giving the north to the Danes while keeping the south in Saxon control.

Bloody battles

Not happy with this arrangement, the Danes revolted in 894, travelling north from Essex in the hope of taking over. They were met at Buttington in Shropshire, where they were soundly beaten by the Saxons in a battle. Several years later, another band of hopeful Vikings crossed

the Severn near Bridgnorth. By 912, Æthelflæd, Lady of the Mercians, had decided enough was enough and erected a fortress at Bridgnorth – another followed at Chirbury in 913. The situation settled for a century until 1013, when King Æthelred the Unready was defeated by marauding Danes and England was ruled by the Danish king Sweyn Forkbeard. His victory was brief, however, as he died the following year and Æthelred recovered his throne. By 1016 the new king, Edmund Ironside, decided to plunder Shrewsbury and the surrounding area to prevent it being used as a base by the still regularly invading Danes. He was defeated by Cnut (better known as Canute), who took over half of the kingdom before laying claim to the lot when Edmund died the following year. This remained the status quo until England was won back from the Danes by Saxon king Edward the Confessor in 1042. Over a period of several decades, much of Shropshire’s existence was influenced by the Vikings in one way or another, but they seem to have left little or no lasting reminder of their presence.

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 65

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Top spot for a

Scandi lot Vikings settled across the British Isles, but the Wirral was a Scandinavian stronghold like no other

A Viking dwelling

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describe it as clearly being their capital. The ith water on three sides, the Wirral peninsula is prone to earliest settlers established a parliament seafaring attacks, and the Vikings at Thingwall, gathering in fields there to were among the many who landed discuss and debate topics. Those on the estuary’s idyllic shores meetings are now considered to ‘Knowing be the first democratic parliament over the centuries. When the about links to warriors were sent packing from discussions held in Britain. the Vikings Ireland more than 1,000 years gives local people a ago and failed to claim Anglesey, Local links greater sense It is thought that 42 per cent Alfred the Great gave them of pride’ of Wirral people have Viking permission to settle on the Wirral. DNA, and the place abounds Making it their home, the with related mythology. Even the Vikings created a key element local football team, Tranmere Rovers, take of their society in the area and some their name from Old Norse – tran meaning crane bird and mere meaning sandbank. Other local places have clear links to a Viking past as well. Meols was once home to a Viking sea port and there is a well-known outcrop called Thor’s Rock at Thurstaston. According to legend, Vikings in their homeland thought the rock might actually be Thor’s hammer and sent a delegation to bring it back to Scandinavia. On arrival, however, they couldn’t find any metal and decided they were happy with the way Viking expert Stephen Harding in which their cousins in Cheshire were

Thor’s Rock, Thurstaston

preserving the stone and all the other Viking artefacts. One such key piece is the carved ‘hogsback’ tombstone in the churchyard at St Bridget’s in West Kirby. There are also pieces of a Viking cross preserved in St Mary & St Hilary’s Church, Neston.

Evidence and expertise

All this rich heritage has sparked a local fascination among the Wirral’s residents, none more so than Stephen Harding who listened to his grandfather’s tales with awe while growing up on the peninsula. Stephen has spent much of his life researching and writing about the Wirral and its Viking

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What’s in a name? The Vikings left their mark on our language in many ways, from place names to common everyday words. Here are just a few

Days of the week

Many days of the week are named after Norse gods, including Tuesday (from Týr, god of war) and Thursday (from Thor, god of thunder).

Things we eat

Many of our foodstuffs retain Viking names, such as egg, steak, cake and bread.

Strange descriptions

Many of the words we use to describe something strange are of Norse origin, such as fog, muck, gawk, lump, ugly and scrawny. Dirt, dregs and mire are of the same origin as well as, fittingly, ransack, take, gang, slaughter, blunder, beserk, sly, die and heathen.

past, and is now acknowledged as such an expert in the field that he was knighted by Norway’s Harald V for his work in spreading knowledge of the Vikings in Britain. As well as writing many books on the subject, Stephen has carried out vital research. ‘In all the areas that have been home to Viking family names since before 1600, we did DNA

studies of the male family members and discovered they were more than 50 per cent of Scandinavian heritage,’ he says. ‘Knowing more about these links to the Vikings gives local people a greater sense of pride in the Wirral, Chester and north Wales areas. This was once a vital hub for the country, and the Vikings were a big part of that.’

Friendly folk

It wasn’t all about plundering. We’ve also kept friendlier words including guest, gift, give, fellow, happy, jolly, skill, trust, skip, awe and glitter.

Practical terms

Our ever-so-capable ancestors left us knot, lathe, knife, seat, raft, loft and gun.

Places

There are two main categories of Viking place names in England: places they founded, which tend to end in ‘by’, and secondary settlements, which end in ‘thorpe’.

Surnames

A Viking polished wood carving of a wolf

Surnames ending in ‘son’ and ‘sen’ are thought to be of Viking origin, as they tended to add the suffix to indicate they were the son of someone. Other surnames that are believed to be Viking include Roger, Rogers, Rogerson, McIvor, MacAulay and McLeod. September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 67

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A nation

invaded Wales didn’t experience significant Viking settlement, but repeated raids by the Scandinavians left their mark – especially on Anglesey

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uring the era when Vikings were attacking and settling across Britain, Wales was divided into several independent kingdoms. And as these were busy fighting among themselves, they were unable to form a united front to ward off any threats from Scandinavia. From around 852 the attacks kept coming – each one making a greater impact. Those Vikings that had settled in Ireland were the worst offenders, routinely arriving on the shores of Anglesey and Gwynedd. Once they’d been driven out of Dublin, they attacked with renewed vigour, starting with an invasion of Anglesey. Despite these incursions, they failed to gain a foothold in Wales, sailing on to the coasts of Chester and the Wirral, where they had more success (see the previous page). But in 918 Anglesey was ravaged once again,

The Skerries, Anglesey, were named by Norsemen

and brutal and hostile takeovers recurred frequently throughout the rest of the 10th century. But there is also evidence that some Vikings settled as peaceful farmers, and archaeology has found evidence for them as colonisers, merchants, and skilled craftsmen.

Tracing the titles

Wales wasn’t colonised by the Vikings as significantly as other parts of Britain, but they did settle in small numbers in the south around St Davids, Haverfordwest and the Gower. Place names such as Skokholm and Skomer are evidence of these settlers – the city of Swansea itself was founded by Sweyn Forkbeard, who by 1013 was king of the Danes, Anglo-Saxons and Norwegians. Gower Peninsula has Norse place names, including Worm’s Head, from the Old Norse ormr for snake or dragon, because the Vikings believed the island was a sleeping dragon. Tusker Rock off the coast of the Vale of Glamorgan, meanwhile, takes its name from Tuska, the Viking who established a settlement in that area. But it’s Anglesey where you’ll find the greatest concentration of names derived from Viking invaders. In fact, the island itself began as Onguls-ey, presumably named for a Viking leader. Other notable Norse names in the area include The Skerries, Piscar, Priestholm and Osmond’s Air near Beaumaris, which comes from asmundr and eyrr meaning a gravel bank near the sea.

Viking silver has been found across Britain

Key clues

Archeological investigations have found a substantial amount of Viking silver in Wales, too, mainly in coastal areas. St Deiniol’s monastery in Bangor has produced two hoards, dated to around 925 and 970. The hoard from Bryn Maelgwyn near Llandudno was deposited in the mid-1020s, and may be Viking booty rather than local savings; and a remarkable hoard of five complete Viking silver arm rings of was found in the 19th century at Red Wharf Bay, Anglesey. Alongside these discoveries of ancient artefacts, Llanbedrgoch on Anglesey is home to one of Wales’s more macabre bits of Viking evidence when a skeleton in a shallow grave was unearthed. At first the body was thought to be that of a victim of a Viking raid, but more recent developments in technology have allowed scientists to clarify that the deceased had spent the early part of his life in Scandinavia… suggesting he was perhaps a Viking invader after all.

68 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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CLASSICAL STARS ALED JONES AND RUSSELL WATSON WILL BE HERE ON THE 12TH OCTOBER TO HELP CELEBRATE OUR 25TH ANNIVERSARY

069_SHIRE_SO2019.indd 1 Tweedmill Ad SeptOct19 210x297mm CJ.indd 1

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ACTIVE

GET YOUR HEAD IN E C LOUDS! H T L

langollen Round is an exhilarating 33-mile hiking route that visits every summit around the Vale of Llangollen. While it could never be described as a stroll in the park, it isn’t that difficult either and the views are out of this world. Llangollen is almost always in sight in the green valley below, and you can also see Snowdonia, the Clwydian Range, Shropshire Hills, Pennines, Arans and Arenigs, plus the estuaries of the Dee and the Mersey. Heading for Moel Fferna At a lower level, gems include Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the village of Carrog with its old pub and packhorse bridge. The route is fully waymarked and, despite being off the beaten track, offers some refreshment stops and public transport links. Buzzards and other raptors patrol A waymark

the wide skies, and in late August and early September the ground at your feet is a purple carpet of heather.

and you will be awarded a certificate bearing your name and time. On thellangollenround.info you can see the times taken by the All for charity participants in the 2018 The Round was conceived Challenge event to see if you can rival them. You’ll to raise funds for Cancer have to do it without the Research UK. Sales of the £5 colour guidebook aid of checkpoints, but you bring in a steady trickle of don’t need to complete it in cash, but the sponsored Moel-y-Faen seven hours seven minutes (the fastest time yet). Even Challenge hike, which takes if you take seven days, you’ll get a place every three years, is in another league. The last event, held in June 2018, certificate and have your achievements recorded online. attracted more than 400 walkers and Whether you raised over £66,000. Participants can choose to enjoy chose to complete the 33-mile distance the Llangollen in one or two days, and are helped along the way by ‘The fastest Round in all its beauty five checkpoints providing time yet at a leisurely food and water. is seven pace, regard it The challenge has hours and proved so popular, the as a personal Carrog Bridge seven challenge Llangollen Round now minutes’ or even as a fell race, or to raise offers a Permanent money for a good cause, you can Challenge, which can be done at any time of the find all the information you need at thellangollenround.info. year. Walk – or run – the route

RJAH physio runs the Great Wall Marathon A

competitive physiotherapist from the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital in Shropshire recently took part in one of the world’s most challenging marathons. The Great Rob Fox on the Great Wall Wall Marathon is considered one of the most demanding races due to the vast amount of steps and high elevation. This was the second time Rob Fox, an inpatient specialist physiotherapist at RJAH, had run the marathon, and he was the first British runner to cross the finish line. ‘Having the opportunity to take part in the Great Wall marathon for a second time was amazing – I had such a fantastic experience,’ says Rob. ‘I also got to take part in the challenge with my wife, who ran the Great Wall Half Marathon, which made the experience so much better. ‘In total I climbed 5,164 steps, which is just a phenomenal amount.’ Participants start and finish at Yin and Yang Square and run along the Great Wall as well as through traditional

villages. ‘On the day of the marathon, Yin and Yang DID YOU Square has such an amazing atmosphere with KNOW? spectators really encouraging you and pushing The Great Wall Marathon record you on.’ says Rob. ‘While running across the Great is three hours Wall, you also get to see some really remarkable nine minutes views due to being so high up – twice during 18 seconds the marathon, you’re 493m from the ground. ‘It was also fantastic to run through the villages. The local people were outside watching and some runners even stopped to have a chat to them, which was really nice to see.’ This year there were 645 participants and Rob placed seventh overall with a time of three hours 55 minutes 26 seconds. ‘I first took part in this race in 2007, when I placed 28th overall with a time of four hours 38 minutes, and my goal for this race was to beat my previous time,’ says Rob. ‘I’m extremely chuffed I managed to do this and that all the training really paid off. ‘I’m hoping my next challenge will be the Mount Everest Marathon. I’ve completed this before but I would like to take part again to raise money for charity.’ There are 5,164 steps September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 71

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ACTIVE

A CHEESY WAY TO UP YOUR RUNNING GAME One marathon runner has extended his athletic efforts to include some incredible feats of perseverance and stamina, and claims a local cheese has helped him along the way

H

uw Williams has run thousands of miles, including the world’s toughest ultramarathon – the 251km Marathon de Sables in the Sahara. The 46-year-old from Pwllheli also organises the Pen Llyn Ultras, which push athletes to their limits running up to 100 miles in a day. Huw is an inspiration to those tempted to run longer distances as he only started running on a whim in 2013. ‘There was nothing good on the telly and my wife said, “Why don’t you go for a run?” so I did!’ he says. ‘I went back out the next

South Caernarfon Creameries are very proud to have supported Huw for the past two years

day and then every day after that. A friend and I then set up a running club Huw Williams credits Dragon cheese with his running success in Pwllheli, Llyn good fats as well as things like coconut Striders. Since then, I’ve put more oil and avocados, is cheese,’ says Huw. than 200 people on the couch-to-5k He says the Dragon brand cheese made programme. We have people running by the creamery, based in Chwilog near everything from 5k to 200 miles.’ Pwllheli, is particularly good as it is made with the bestIncredible achievements ‘We have Huw claims one of the keys to his quality milk from its 130 dairy people success is eating the right way, farming members across north running and mid Wales. ‘It’s easy to and credits local cheese-making everything legends with helping him get there. digest because it hasn’t been from 5k to ‘On the Snowdonia 50 I hit an over-processed, so it’s very 200 miles’ almighty wall at 30 miles and close to the protein and fat as it made me realise how crucial it comes in its natural form.’ diet is,’ he says. ‘I started training Alan Wyn Jones from South Caernarfon Creameries says, ‘We’re with a high-fat, high-protein keto diet, and the results were phenomenal.’ very proud to have supported Huw When preparing for an ultramarathon, over the past two years with his athletic Huw now eats huge amounts of endeavours. We pride ourselves on the high nutrient content of the milk cheese from Wales’s oldest dairy farming cooperative, South Caernarfon that goes into our cheese, and Huw’s Creameries. ‘One of the best sources for success is testament to that quality.’

STUNNING VIEWS FROM SUPER SUMMIT Resident rambler Clive Williams takes on a route with a view, heading up Hope Mountain and around Waun-Y-Llyn Country Park in north-east Wales

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hen travelling along the A483 north of Wrexham, you’ll spot a large hill with an array of masts near its summit. This is Hope Mountain, which despite its modest height of 330m boasts outstanding views. From the top you can see across the Cheshire/Shropshire plain and Clwydian Range, and spot landmarks including Moel Famau, Liverpool Cathedral and Jodrell Bank. There are various routes to the summit as the area is criss-crossed with rights of

ways, bridleways and quiet lanes. With plenty of circular walks, an abundance of wildlife and remnants of the area’s industrial past, exploring Hope is a joy. Nearby Waun-Y-Llyn Country Park is also well worth a visit, with easy accessed paths to a disused quarry that was once quarried for hard silica sandstone, and an old tramway and winding house used to transport the silica down the hillside. More adventurous walks start at the base of the hill, but there is also a hilltop

NEW WALES COAST PATH APP LAUNCHED

N

Get a different view of the Wales Coast Path

ow it’s easier than ever to have a great family day out on the Wales Coast Path with a new free app. The new augmented reality (AR) app allows walkers to use their smartphones to enjoy exciting experiences at specific locations, such as exploring the sea floor of the Menai Strait. Users can also discover the birthplace of Lawrence of Arabia in Tremadog and learn about the ancient druids of Anglesey. A series of

car park offering access to far-reaching views with little effort, which is great for the little ones to enjoy some adventure too.

DID YOU KNOW? Hope Mount ain is classified as a ‘Marilyn’, ha ving prominence above 150m

family-friendly walks are also accessible via the Wales Coast Path website. Simply download the app before you arrive at your chosen site and scan one of the experience panels to unlock a range of interactive features. You can also share your experiences using the photo filter feature and capture images of the AR scenes. The smartphone app is available for free via the Apple App Store and Google Play – search using ‘Wales Coast Path’. For further information, visit walescoastpath.gov.uk.

72 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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UNMISSABLE NORTH WALES

ZIP LINE

The only zip line in the world which will fly you over man-made waves.

THIS YEAR’S BEST ADVENTURES

ADRENALINE INDOORS

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AWESOME WEATHERPROOF ACTIVITIES FOR THRILL-SEEKERS OF ALL AGES.

AERIAL ASSAULT & SLIDES

A unique obstacle assault course with the UK’s only extreme kicker slides!

Adrenaline Indoors entry from £12, activities from age 5+.

INDOOR ADVENTURE CLIMB

Ten clip & climb routes, a stairway to heaven and a leap of faith.

OUTDOOR ROCK & DROP

Take on 12-metre climbing walls and high rise ‘freefall’ jumps.

SOFT PLAY CAFÉ

Keep the smalls entertained, come rain or shine. Entry £5 Free for under 12 months | Under 7s only

SURFSIDE BAR & KITCHEN

The best local ingredients, freshly prepared by our chefs. FREE PARKING & ENTRY

SURF’S UP

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THE CAVES

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CONWY VALLEY, N. WALES. LL32 8QE Beat the queues and book your activity in advance at adventureparcsnowdonia.com or call 01492 353 123

23/08/2019 13:35


TOWN VISIT

Llandudno A shore thing

When picturing the archetypal British seaside town, complete with sandy shores, Victorian grandeur and picture-postcard promenades, what you come up with will be something like Llandudno…

The Llandudno Cable Car

The award-winning, Grade II-listed pier

A

between the twin headlands is backed by beach, a pier, a prom and a games arcade an impressive white Victorian promenade, – what more could any seaside town making the scene truly worthy of the want? Well, geography gives Llandudno a little extra help by supplying a pretty many picture postcards it dominates. spectacular setting: the cliffs of Great Orme Now housing a range of high-end hotels as well as homely B&Bs and everything headland jut into the sea to one side, and to in between, the prom continues to the end the other the smaller headland of Little of the north shore, where it meets Orme is a nature reserve. It’s no DID YOU Llandudno’s famous pier. The wonder the thriving coastal town KNOW? has been a firm favourite with award-winning structure was built In Llandudno in 1878 and is now Grade II listed. families since Victorian times. you can visit the world’s biggest The longest pier in Wales at 700m, From ancient origins – prehistoric it houses a bar, a café, fairground evidence of Stone Age, Bronze mine rides, amusement arcades, shops Age and Iron Age settlements has been found – Llandudno has kiosks and in the summer Professor Codman’s Punch & Judy Show, established developed into the largest seaside resort in 1860. At the opposite end of the sea in Wales, with a population of 20,000 front, the parade comes to an end to form a who are lucky enough to call it home. large, outdoor paddling pool for children.

Pier, prom and paddling

The main appeal is clear. The bay – all two miles of it – is one of the finest in Britain and a deserving winner of the Blue Flag Award. A shingled stretch of curved, sheltered beach stretching

Reaching new heights

Walkers can access the hillside from the seafront via numerous footpaths, but if you prefer to explore in style there’s a more glamorous way to reach the summit. In

1887, to mark Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Lord Mostyn gifted the town a former quarry called Happy Valley, which was landscaped and developed into gardens, golf courses and putting greens, and incorporated a popular open-air theatre. In 1969 this was linked to the town by the Llandudo cable car, which still takes passengers to the top of the Great Orme on what remains Britain’s longest single-stage cabin lift, providing views of Rhyl, the Irish Sea, Snowdonia and the Isle of Man. Although the theatre closed in 1985, the area has been reborn after the golf courses were transformed into an artificial ski slope and toboggan run as part of the town’s millennium celebrations, ensuring it remains a popular attraction today. And today Llandudno once more has a renowned theatre, Venue Cymru, built in 1994 and famed for its productions that include orchestral concerts, ballets and operas, circuses and pantomimes. THINGS TO SEE AND DO Llandudno Cable Car North Parade, LL30 2LP 01492 877205 Llandudno Pier North Parade, LL30 2LP 01492 876258 Venue Cymru The Promenade, Penrhyn Crescent LL30 1BB; 01492 872000, venuecymru.co.uk

74 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Holidays NANT GWRTHEYRN

BESIDE THE SEASIDE

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ith a 10-and-a-half-month season and direct access to Prestatyn’s beautiful award-winning Blue Flag beach with miles of golden sands, Lyons Lido Beach Holiday Park is well worth a visit. Close to local amenities and attractions, including horse riding, sea fishing, a dry ski slope and Prestatyn Golf Club’s championship and links course, you won’t want for much while you’re here. If you do want to explore a little further, though, the surrounding countryside boasts some of the most beautiful walks on the Welsh coast. The park is part of the Lyons group of holiday parks, and has recently enjoyed substantial investment that included the opening of a brand new Relaxation Suite for the enjoyment of holiday-home owners. This new facility includes a sauna, steam room, hot tub and mini gymnasium, and is open daily with exclusive fob access. A relaxed, clean and friendly park, Lido Beach offers the best of both worlds where you can enjoy peace and quiet or the hustle and bustle of local attractions and entertainment in the nearby towns of Prestatyn, with its newly opened Parc Siopa, and Rhyl with the amazing SeaQuarium.

Holiday-home owners at Lyons Lido Beach also enjoy complimentary use of the swimming facilities at the recently developed Nova Prestatyn. Travel a little further and just 30 minutes away you can find the historic Roman city of Chester, which is perfect for its varied shopping, rich history and famous zoo. Lyons Lido Beach Holiday Park is easy to reach from the A55 and is only 80 minutes from Manchester,

Lido Beach Holiday Park

Liverpool and Stoke-on-Trent, making it an ideal location for weekend breaks as well as long relaxing holidays. lyonsholidayparks.co.uk

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hen visiting the Llyn Peninsula, it’s well worth delving a little deeper into Welsh culture and heritage with a visit to Nant Gwrtheyrn, a former quarrying village that provides a fun day out for all the family. The heritage centre was opened in Capel Seilo in 2003 and offers a wealth of information and fascinating displays about the history of the area, the development of the site to the present day and the history of the Welsh language. There is also a free exhibition telling the remarkable story of the quarrying village of Port Nant, the development of the Welsh Language Centre and the history of the Welsh language. A selection of film and radio clips bring the thriving quarry village back to life through the memories of people who lived and worked in the area as well as an extensive and growing collection of photographs of Nant Gwrtheyrn. Or you can try your hand at one of the specially designed computer games to test your knowledge of a Victorian housewife’s daily chores, place names on the Llyn Peninsula and all things Welsh. nantgwrtheyrn.org

EMBRACE NATURE IN LLYN Peninsula may be the answer. Phases two and three of the luxurious Natural Land cottages have recently been completed, offering 25 two-, three- and five-bedroom properties. Each cottage is thoughtfully designed, built to a high specification and finished to a luxurious standard. Natural Land bought the assets from Yorkshire Bank, which were then divided into three sections. First, eight stone holiday cottages, a farmhouse/ reception building, 29 lodge pitches and services; second, a 35-room disused hotel overlooking Nefyn Bay, The Llyn Peninsula and third, Henbant Bach, a derelict farmhouse with 80 acres of land. ooking to invest in a slice of holiday ‘It’s our mission to share and preserve the world’s most beautiful spaces — heaven? A unique development of rare and create real, enduring value,’ says holiday cottages on the beautiful Llyn

L

Properties are finished to a high specification

Matt Spence, CEO of Natural Land. ‘To that end, we select projects based on their inherent potential. Our experience affords us the rare opportunity to craft resort communities that preserve the character, beauty and traditions of the landscapes they call home. It’s our mission to share and preserve the world’s most beautiful spaces — and create real, enduring value.’ naturalland.co.uk September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 77

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HOLIDAYS

HOLE UP AT THE WARREN F

or more than 80 years, the Haulfryn Group has endeavoured to deliver the highest specification holiday and residential parks, beautifully appointed luxury holiday homes and holiday breaks in outstanding locations. The familyrun company strives to deliver a personal experience where all home owners feel a sense of community with like-minded people, and the team challenge themselves every day to offer excellent customer service and parks of the highest standard. This is certainly evident at one of the group’s most stunning parks, The Warren at Abersoch. The Warren is a retreat for your senses. Its private beach location boasts golden sands and soulreviving views of Cardigan Bay and Snowdonia. A boat launch ramp accesses internationally recognised sailing waters washed by the temperate Gulf Stream, and its proximity to some of the UK’s most impressive mountains provides the perfect escape. Nearby Abersoch is also a desirable destination for retail

There are facilities for all the family

B O R T H S TAT I O N M U S E U M

The Warren provides peace and tranquillity

therapy and tasty local cuisine, while first-class leisure, sports and spa facilities offer relaxation and rejuvenation. This is the perfect spot to indulge in quality time – for you and your family. The Warren is an idyllic retreat offering exclusivity and peace in abundance. And it provides something for all generations so everyone will be happy, occupied, relaxed and entertained. There is a relaxed Beach Café and exclusive owners’ bar and restaurant, four tennis courts, three heated swimming pools, a brand new climbing wall and a fully-equipped gym for those who want to keep active. Holidaymakers seeking relaxation will enjoy the sauna and steam room, Elemis spa, beauty and tanning rooms and younger visitors will like the sports hall for badminton, squash, archery and more, indoor and outdoor kids’ play areas, a junior gym and skate park and The Hub for teenagers to hang out. There really is something for everyone. haulfrynholidayhomes.co.uk

O

pened in 2011, Borth Station Museum is the culmination of the dream of a small team of volunteers who were loathe to see the old railway station at the small seaside town of Borth fall into disrepair. After many months of hard campaigning, applying for support and, of course, a lot of blood sweat and tears, they were able to transform the old ticket office, manager’s office and waiting room from the derelict and abandoned shell into a true representation of how it was in its glory days during the 1900s. After many months of hard work, the station museum opened and has proved to be surprisingly popular with tourists, visitors, rail and heritage enthusiasts alike - many of whom make their journeys to mid Wales especially to see this incredible little hidden gem, tucked away in the once bustling seaside resort of Borth. borthstationmuseum.co.uk

GREAT ESCAPE AT AN IDYLLIC SPOT

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orthfield Holiday Park is a small, peaceful caravan and chalet park on the edge of the seaside village of Borth, boasting 13 comfortable, fully equipped caravans and two spacious timber chalets, which have beautiful views of Cardigan Bay. The park team will ensure that everything possible is done to give you an enjoyable holiday here – proven by the fact that after a recent Visit Wales inspection, marks of 100 Northfield’s stunning landscaped gardens per cent were given for cleanliness, service and welcome. A five-minute walk from the accommodation at Northfield can villages of Talybont, Dolybont, Llandre and Taliesin. Opposite Northfield, there is a path leading to a small, sheltered take you to a quiet cove where you cove with steps leading up to a war memorial on can go snorkelling or fishing, or to the main the cliff top, from where you can enjoy wonderful ‘Visit Wales views across the bay to Bardsey Island. safe beach of sand, gave marks of rock pools and dunes. Northfield is located just six miles from the university 100 per cent town of Aberystwyth and a half hour’s drive from the There are several for cleanliness, Dyfi Valley, declared a biosphere by Unesco and home to public footpaths service and in the area, too, some of the finest examples of special landscapes and welcome’ wildlife areas in Europe. The site itself reflects this, being including the coastal set in stunning gardens that have been thoughtfully path through Clarach to Aberystwyth and through landscaped with indigenous and tropical plants, making pastureland to neighbouring Northfield a hive of activity for wildlife. northfieldholidays.co.uk A timber chalet 78 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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THE FORMER POLICE STATION & COURT HOUSE HAVE BEEN BEAUTIFULLY RENOVATED AND TRANSFORMED INTO LUXURY SELF-CATERING ACCOMMODATION.

NEW MODELS FOR 2020 COMING SOON!

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

Ask about available plots on

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

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

A

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

A NEW CONCEPT IN HOLIDAY HOME OWNERSHIP. Ready to find out more?

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

01745 355 440

23/08/2019 13:44


DARE TO BE DYFI

HOLIDAYS

D

yfi Cottages & Aberdyfi Holidays is a family-run self-catering letting and holiday home company based in Aberdyfi on the Dyfi Estuary, overlooking Cardigan Bay and within the Dyfi biosphere. Established in 2008 to help local independent cottage owners advertise their holiday properties, the team provides a simple, The picturesque harbour easy-to-use website that allows you to book direct with the owners through a secure online system. homemade ice cream, but that’s about it. Then you must add The experts at Dyfi Cottages have worked with some of the location. The seafront squeezes on to a narrow shelf of the owners for years and built up strong relationships to land between beach ensure you enjoy the holiday of a lifetime. They and mountain. also have a range of properties available for every Some of Wales’s ‘All the group size planning a holiday in this special place. greenest hillside classic The village is a popular spot but only with those spill down on ingredients of to the rooftops, in the know – Aberdyfi’s fans never shout too loudly an unhurried while around the about it, preferring to seaside village corner there is keep the village can be found the stunning Dyfi to themselves. estuary, the Dyfi here’ It’s not difficult Osprey Project, to understand a delicious Aberdyfi has holiday homes of all sizes why they’re so protective. blend of woodland, dune All the classic ingredients and golden sand backed by the wild Cambrian Mountains. of an unhurried seaside Cader Idris is one of the most southerly high mountains village are here, from in the UK, with many upland species reaching their family-friendly sands southerly limit here, including the diminutive Dwarf Willow Surrounded by stunning countryside and a picturesque stone on the summit ridge. The area supports an extensive harbour to seafront pubs and houses washed in pastel shades. range of upland habitats, including blanket bog, upland The village’s simplicity is its main draw. There are shops heath, broadleaved woodland and a variety of grassland selling bucket and spades, clothes, arts and crafts and delicious types. For more information, visit dyfi-cottages.co.uk.

Cottages, caravans and perfect calm I

f the perfect holiday for you involves sitting back and relaxing, perhaps feeding the ducks as you sit and gaze across a tranquil lake, Bryn Bowlio Caravan Park is for you. The three-star, quiet country caravan park is set in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty at the foot of Moel Famau in the Clwydian Range. It is next to Loggerheads Country Park with Offa’s Dyke, hill forts and Arthur’s Stone all within easy reach. As well as offering the perfect spot to pitch up, at Bryn Bowlio there is also accommodation available to rent in the form of two holiday cottages fully equipped with everything to make your holiday comfortable. There are also 10 spaces for touring ‘The site is caravans – all super pitches – and there within easy are toilets, showers and a laundry room reach of with a washing machine and dryer on the market site. There is also free WiFi throughout towns of The site is within easy reach of Mold and the historic market towns of Mold, Wrexham’ Wrexham, Llangollen, Denbigh and Ruthin, as well as magnificent Snowdonia. Activities available nearby include walking, birdwatching, cycling, mountain biking, hang gliding

Bryn Bowlio has 10 super pitches

and canoeing, as well as visiting the area’s many country pubs for great food and entertainment. Bryn Bowlio is the perfect getaway on a hidden gem of a site within a short walk of the garage and shop, and two public houses that serve good food. The site is right on the edge of some of the country’s most scenic walks and outdoor activities and is reached easily from the M6, M56, A55 and the A5. brynbowliocaravanpark.co.uk

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 81

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DaysOut

HORSING AROUND

NORTH WALES

If you’re looking for a day out with a difference, why not saddle up and explore the area on horseback? You don’t have to be an expert and there are plenty of places to try it

SNOWDONIA RIDING STABLES

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ocated between Snowdon and the sea, these stables can take you on a superb ride among some of the best mountain and coastal scenery in the UK, whether you’re a complete beginner or a competent rider. With more than 30 years’ experience, the team will make sure you’re well matched to one of their carefully

selected horses and ponies. All rides start in the paddock so the experts can check you are comfortable and able to at least start and stop your steed, and after that it’s off you go for an hour’s walk or trot ride. Those with a bit more experience can go for an hour and a half and the regular riders can sign up for a half-day or fullday mountain riding experience. There’s something for everyone, reasonable pricing and a lovely warm welcome. Prices start at £25 for an hour’s ride. Call 01286 479435 or visit snowdoniaridingstables.co.uk.

BUTTERCUP STABLES

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et in the Cheshire countryside near Tarporley, Buttercup Stables & Trekking Centre has a friendly and relaxed atmosphere that will make you feel at ease. The team of highly motivated staff make learning fun and enjoyable in all their lessons, and one-off experiences and days out hacking are also welcomed. A wide range of beautifully natured horses and ponies are on hand – or should that be hoof – to ensure that even those with more

DID YOU KNOW? There are over 37,000km of bridleways in England and Wales nerves than experience can gain confidence and new skills. A particular treat for any visitor, especially complete novices who may feel they deserve a treat at the end of their session, is the coffee and cake ride – a 90-minute trek on one of the beautifully mannered horses followed by a hot drink and a delicious slice. The coffee and cake ride costs £25. For more information on all packages, call 01829 771674 or visit buttercupstables-and-trekking.co.uk.

LONG MOUNTAIN CENTRE

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he Long Mountain Centre in Shrewsbury offers fully licensed pony trekking packages that cater for all ages and groups. All treks are accompanied by friendly experienced guides who know the surrounding mountains and bridleways, and experiences are available for everyone from complete beginners to experienced riders, with hourly rides tailored to suit individual needs. All the horses are carefully chosen for their kind nature and sensible temperament. The team can arrange introductory half-hour rides, group lessons, pony experience days, longer treks and hacks, and even threenight horse riding holidays with cabin accommodation on site for the serious horse lover. Prices start from £19 for

half an hour. For more information, call 01743 891274 or visit longmountaincentre.co.uk.

82 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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ABS POOLS

JACUZZI HOT TUB RETAILER E X - D I S P L AY

SALE

Come & visit us

NOW ON

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

Including maintenance, servicing and supply of chemicals 01743 468968

Our Farm Shop is open every Saturday from 10am until 4pm

info@abspools.com www.abspools.com

or by appointment at other times - just call us.

www.mulberryalpacas.co.uk

38A Vanguard Way, Battlefield Enterprose Park, Shrewsbury, SY1 3TG

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

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

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The spa industry is one with ancient roots and a bright future

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he act of indulging in a bit of spa time has been around for centuries. The Romans are generally credited with the idea – as they marched across their empire they established baths as they went – along with the Ancient Greeks, who also liked to indulge. But the belief in the curative powers of bathing in certain waters actually goes back to prehistoric times. Archaeological investigations near hot springs in France have revealed Bronze Age weapons and offerings. In this country, ancient legends credited early Celtic kings with the discovery of the hot springs in Bath, now one of our best known spa resorts. To be specific, a ‘spa’ is defined as being a location where mineralrich spring water – or in some cases, seawater – is used to give medicinal baths. The word itself is derived from the name of the town of Spa in Belgium, whose ancient title from the Roman era was Aquae Spadanae, which may have taken some of its meaning from the Latin word spargere, meaning to sprinkle or moisten.

It’s no longer considered unusual or decadent to visit a spa

DIP A TOE IN Today a spa means so much more. It didn’t take our forefathers long to work out that there was a lot to be said for spending a bit of time relaxing, rejuvenating and generally indulging in a bit of me time. Before too long, entire towns and resorts dedicated to bathing and other treatments were popping up, with Bath, Harrogate and Leamington leading the way. For centuries, anyone who could afford it would make time to ‘take the waters’ and entire royal courts would decamp to resorts, intent of curing every possible ailment as well as generally boosting health and morale. Once it was clear the concept of spas was here to stay, they became the preserve of the affluent and glamorous. For decades only the rich and famous could afford to swan around in a white robe being pampered from head to foot, while the rest of us only dreamed of what went on inside those hallowed and heavily scented buildings.

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SEVEN STEPS TO HEAVEN There are so many lovely spa locations to choose from, knowing where to indulge can be tricky. In no particular order, here are a few of our favourites

CHANGING FACES More recently, there has been a shift in perceptions and spas are at now the forefront of the holistic health and wellness movement. They are no longer exclusive to the, well, exclusive – people everywhere are enjoying the benefits of maintaining a balanced body and lifestyle. Armed with some of the latest pioneering treatments and research into nutrition, mindfulness and wellbeing – and sometimes offering everything from perfectly tailored treatments during refreshing spa breaks to intensive boot camps for those determined to get leaner and stronger – the modern-day spa is so much more than a special occasion or hen-do outing.

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The Wild Pheasant Hotel & Spa in Llangollen has a warm hydrotherapy pool with thermal effects and powerful jets that will help to ease away life’s stresses and muscular tension, as well as a range of treatments and packages guaranteed to leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed and revitalised.

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Quay Hotel in Deganwy is home to the Marina Spa, which offers a range of truly amazing experiences. You can de-stress and relax in the Relaxation Room, indulge yourself and allow the demands of your busy lifestyle to float away. Renew, relax and restore your energies with a sumptuous treatment or two.

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Tucked away inside the Grosvenor Pulford Hotel, which itself is nestled in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, is a luxurious health, beauty and wellbeing oasis – Spa by Kasia. Ultimate relaxation is at the core of everything here and the spa team are specialists at helping you to unwind in luxury.

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SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE The first day spa was introduced by Elizabeth Arden in Manhattan in 1910 and the number of establishments that have popped up since is thought to be in the thousands in UK alone. Customers are no longer just wealthy women looking to be pampered, but encompass all demographics including men, teenagers and even children, looking for experiences at a range of price-points. Whether you go with a group and stay for the weekend or pop in for a treatment on the way home from work, it is no longer considered unusual or decadent to visit a spa. And with the global industry worth almost $100bn, demand increasing and the range of treatments growing at speed, spa season isn’t going to end any time soon. Over the next few pages we take a look at what’s spa options are on offer around the Shire area, as well as some treatments options you can have in your own home.

The team at Lion Quays Hotel & Spa in Shropshire have created the perfect haven for you to escape and unwind. A warm and friendly welcome awaits you as you embark on a journey of wellbeing to soothe your mind, body and soul. Choose from a range of treatments included in the spa day and spa break packages, or book the treatments of your choice.

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Visit Tre-Ysgawen Hotel in Anglesey to experience the latest in holistic and beauty therapies by ESPA and Guinot, as well as the spa’s very own signature treatments using Anglesey Sea Salt. Allow experienced therapists to indulge you in ultimate relaxation, allowing your mind, body and soul to be rejuvenated, revitalised and rebalanced. The spa at Bodysgallen Hall welcomes hotel guests, Spa Club members and non-resident guests. Open every day, it is a tranquil place to restore mind, body and soul, and houses a large indoor swimming pool with a spa bath, steam room and sauna at one end, a gymnasium, six spa treatment rooms, Club Room and relaxation room. One super spa venue to watch out for is the setting at Cheshire’s Carden Park Hotel. Already a great space for a chilled out spa day, relaxing spa break or simply a spa treatment for some indulgence, the spa is currently undergoing a £10m refurbishment, before launching as something extremely special later this year. Watch this space… September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 85

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BEST FOR STRESS Want to know how to get the most out of a spa visit? Jennifer Brennan, spa manager at the four-star Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa on the Wirral, who has worked in industry for a decade, reveals how – and why it’s important that we all indulge in a bit of me time

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hen swept up with the realities of work, family and everyday life, it can be all too easy to forget to take time for ourselves. But the benefits of doing so can be endless, and when escaping on a spa break, this ‘me time’ can feel so much more precious and valuable. Opposed to just taking a hot bath after an eight-hour working day and a two-hour commute, or having a glass of wine after the school run, after-school club and preparing three different dinners, a day spent in the spa can offer the mental and physical break we all need. A break from everyday noise to a peaceful soundscape of waterfalls and whale calls allows your mind to switch off, releasing those allimportant endorphins and allowing your body to let go of the tension and stress it so eagerly clings on to. The ambience and warmth of a spa are additional aspects that allow those shoulders to drop inches. We call this experience the ‘domino effect’ – where one thing affects another and so on. As your mind switches off, your body does too, allowing you to recuperate not only physically but also mentally. And as I think we can all agree, mental health is just as important as physical.

Massage is one of the most beneficial treatments for stress there is. Mental relaxation has its place, but we feel so much more at ease when our body gets the attention it requires. A massage reduces muscle tension, improves circulation and provides relaxation, in turn reducing those stress hormones than can make us feel weary. That being said, everyone has their own preferences when it comes to unwinding, so while as a massage can be beneficial to all, some guests find taking an hour out of their day for a foot pampering pedicure to be just as relaxing. OU DID Y ? KNOW ld or ’s The w a t saun larges na, u a Koi S e h t is any Germ

NO EXCUSE NEEDED The spa industry is always developing and improving, not only in terms of what individual spas have to offer their guests but also in how they sell themselves. We are always finding new ways in which to appeal to different clients. Spa days, for example, used to be seen as a luxury and only for those with a disposable income and lots of free time. But they are now popular with a range of people, from those who realise how important it is to take time out for themselves to people looking for an alternative way to celebrate a special occasion. We’re always giving people that perfect excuse to unwind! Thornton Hall Hotel & Spa in Thorton Hough, Wirral, offers thermal leisure facilities and treatments in a serene environment, alongside a clinical spa facility providing results-focused and high-performance treatments for those looking for more than just relaxation. For more information, visit thorntonhallhotel.co.uk 86 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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JENNIFER’S TOP CHOICES We asked Jennifer which treatments clients come back for time and time again 1

Lava Shell Full-body Massage Lava shells are the world’s first self-heating massage tools, allowing deep penetration into the muscles. This indulgent treatment combines the warmth of the shells with deeply relaxing massage techniques, bringing balance to the entire body and mind.

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CACI Ultimate Facial This non-surgical facelift is an advanced non-invasive facial that uses tiny electrical impulses to lift and tone the facial muscles while improving skin elasticity and reducing appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It uses a combination of microcurrent, microdermabrasion and LED light therapy, and is completed with a hydro-tone mask that leaves guests feeling not only refreshed but also 10 years younger!

SOUND ADVICE

LOCAL PRODUCTS TO TOP IT OFF Many of spas in the Shire area are keen to promote those local products and businesses that can bring the finish touches to their guests’ spa experiences. Here are a few of the best Llan Valley Soap

This small company produces a range of natural skincare and household products created with goat’s milk, honey and beeswax in the Vale of Llangollen. The gorgeous soaps, creams, balms and hair care products all, in the words of the business, ‘do what they’re supposed to without harming people, animals or the environment’. You can also try them out in your own home thanks to reasonable postage costs, and parcels come wrapped in beeswax rather than plastic. Check out the range at llanvalley.co.uk.

Elegance Natural Skincare

Read up on where you plan to go – on their website and what they offer, and what people are saying about them on forums such as TripAdvisor. Like any service, there will always be the occasional bad review (we can’t please all the people all of the time!) but if you read the detail of the good ones, you can get good feel for what a place is really about.

This family-run business was established almost by accident in 1985, after one member of the family found that spraying a little goat’s milk on her psoriasis while milking the family goats helped to smooth and speed up the healing of her irritated skin. The first product the family developed was Goat’s Milk Moisturising Cream, which has gone on to help thousands of people across the world with eczema, psoriasis, rosacea and dry sensitive skin. A rich hand cream with honey was later added to the range, which has also proved popular with gardeners and people who work with their hands. As the company’s range has grown, its ethos has remained the same. The family still make all the original products and more by hand to the traditional closely guarded ‘secret’ recipes, using the minimum of equipment. For full details of the range, plus stockists, visit natural-skin-care.com.

Just ask

Powerful Organics

Jennifer Brennan shares some wise words for future spa-goers Shop around

If you’re looking to book a treatment or a spa break, check out your options first and read some reviews. Many people are eager to find the cheapest deal available, but sometimes there are reasons for such low prices. Many high-quality spas offer budget packages, so don’t dismiss the more expensive options.

Do your research

When it comes to placing a booking, always ask for advice on your treatment or package. Nine times out of 10, the therapist or receptionist you’re booking with will know what you should go for more than yourself. If there’s anything you think needs highlighting, they will also know best when it comes to structuring your day/treatment plan.

There’s no such thing as TMI

The best thing to remember with a spa day is that you can never give Too Much Information – the more we have to work with, the better. We want to personalise every single guest experience to the best of our ability, so the more we know about you, your health and your personal preferences, the better your experience will be.

This business was founded on the common ambitions of its Shropshire-based owners to create a range of incredible products that promote positive change in the world. The philosophy behind the products is simple: to use the power of natural and organic ingredients to make you look and feel better. The range is as natural and organic as possible, free of harmful chemicals, and responsibly and sustainably resourced. The products are as good for you as they are for the planet, and all the rich and indulgent soaps, creams, butters and balms are certified organic, vegan and cruelty free. For more information, visit powerfulorganic.co.uk. September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 87

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decide on the product for you, taking into consideration factors such as your reasons for buying a spa (relaxation, pain relief, partying or socialising) and whether you really need a six-person spa if you’re a household of two. They can also make sure you choose the right one for your space and budget. It is the area’s sole distributor for Be Well and Platinum hot tubs, and is also happy to rent one out to you while you’re on holiday. betterlivingoutdoors.com

HUTS & STUFF If you love a steam, dream of spending time in a Jacuzzi, can’t resist a sauna and can’t always get to your local spa, why not bring the spa to you?

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n ever-growing number of companies are giving people the chance to bring relaxation into the heart of their homes with the installation of a home spa. It’s now quite common for people to rent a hot tub for a garden party or even while in a holiday rental, for example, and if you have the space having one permanently installed may be well worth the money. Saunas are another popular choice, with garden-based installations available. Here are a few local businesses making the most of this me-time boom time!

Best known for its shepherd’s huts, Huts & Stuff has been developing a sideline in the spa industry. The idea of using one of its huts as a sauna and hot tub came after the team delivered a hut to Norway. The combined Shepherd’s Sauna & Hot Tub hut – on wheels, of course – is a popular part of the range. It is wood-fired, heating up in about 30 minutes for the sauna and four hours for the hot tub. The lighting is solar-powered, so the whole thing can be completely off grid with only a water supply required for the hot tub. Both features are also available separately and since the huts are on wheels, they can be moved around your garden or field as required. hutsandstuff.co.uk

OU DID Y ? W KNO n a run You c r tub fo a hot 1 le as £ as litt a day

HEARTWOOD SAUNAS This company is the brainchild of Olly Davey, who wanted an outdoor wood-fired sauna that would last through the worst of the UK weather, offering the luxury, heat and enjoyment of a sauna right outside the house. ‘I wanted a beautiful, natural design that complemented the surroundings, allowing us to relax and enjoy the views from our garden while sweating nicely at 80°, before dousing ourselves with ice cold water,’ he says. The majority of Heartwood timber comes from a privately owned, sustainably managed woodland on the edge of the Snowdonia National Park, and saunas are available to buy or hire. heartwoodsaunas.com

BETTER LIVING OUTDOORS Award-winning dealer Better Living Outdoors supplies and installs highquality hot tubs, saunas and garden products, offering amazing value and excellent customer service throughout the UK. The team can help you

ABS POOLS Established for more than 13 years, ABS Pools can cater for all your wet leisure needs. The team builds and maintains swimming pools and has a beautiful showroom with Jacuzzi hot tubs, chemicals and supplies. ABS can assist you in the design of any new pool and take you right through to the end of your indoor or outdoor pool project. It also provides pool opening, or closing, maintenance and parts, and if you have an old pool it can refurbish it and bring it back to life. The company is a main dealer for Jacuzzi hot tubs, which are excellent for a bad back, insomnia, arthritis, or any other medical need, as well as just good family fun! It also supplies Endless Pools – small pools with an inbuilt counter current, giving an excellent swim or providing a professional training pool. abspools.com

88 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Our designs are 100% British made, focused around quality durability and comfort, whilst maxmising the health benefits and enjoyment of a traditional sauna. They are all hand made using the best materials: we supply the most energy efficent wood fired and electric heated saunas in the UK, and are designed to last. The majority of the timber we use is felled, milled and processed from private woodland too!

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Food&Drink Pan-seared wood pigeon with a wild mushroom pithivier and caramelised pumpkin

PERFECT PIGEON IN A PITHIVIER Graham Tinsley MBE, executive chef at Cheshire’s Carden Park, cooks up a perfect pigeon – and then hands over to the foodies of the future to describe it thought I’d share one student’s comments about it! Enjoy! ‘If you’re looking for something rich, intense and sultry, you’ve certainly come to the right menu item. The pithivier of wood pigeon is just that. The panseared pigeon breast screams wild game, which in turn screams dark, robust, big flavours. ‘The gamey pigeon breast is a perfect partner-in-crime for the delicate, earthy flavours of the wild mushroom purée. The golden puff-pastry case develops the image of an oversized profiterole which has busted at ver the years, Carden Park the seams and is overflowing and I have built up a close relationship with universities with these tasty elements. in South Africa, America and ‘The buttery flaked pastry creates boundaries to define France renowned for producing the dish and acts as a future prodigies of the sponge to absorb all hotel and catering DID YOU industry. Their the juicy flavours, so KNOW? students come to none go to waste. A pithivier is a Especially not the Carden Park for their round, enclosed pie with spiral wild mushroom sauce work placements, markings surrounding the dish staying for six or 12 from every direction, months depending on their academic level offering yet another intense component which While with us the students provides a creaminess void complete a project, documenting from the rest of the dish. the day-to-day running of ‘However, just when you think the establishment. They also there’s no reprieve from this take every menu item that is currently being served, dissect intense dish, the caramelised pumpkin provides a smidgen it and write a critique of it. of sweet relief. Be warned, So to introduce this issue’s this dish is most definitely not recipe, which has been on one to be taken lightly.’ the menu at Carden Park, I

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Ingredients

(serves four) 4 pigeon breasts 200g puff pastry 250g mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed Half an onion, finely chopped 1 clove of garlic 1tbsp brandy 1tsp tomato purée 1tsp chopped fresh thyme 1tsp chopped fresh parsley 500g pumpkin, peeled and cut into large cubes 25g butter 25g light brown sugar 50ml port 50ml red wine 200ml strong chicken stock 75ml double cream 2 tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and cut into cubes 100g cooked spinach leaves Method 1. Roll out the puff pastry to approximately 5mm thick, then leave to rest for 10 minutes. Cut out four circles 8cm in diameter and four circles 12cm in diameter. Leave in the fridge to rest. 2. Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan. Cook the chopped onion and garlic until soft, add half of the mushrooms and continue to cook for two to three minutes. Add the brandy, tomato purée and chopped herbs, and cook for five minutes. 3. Place the mixture into a food processor and blitz to a purée. Season with salt and pepper, then place in the fridge to cool. 4. Once cooled, put a spoonful of mushroom purée on to each of the smaller pastry circles. Place the larger circles on top and seal the edges as you would with ravioli. Brush with beaten egg yolk three times. 5. Drop the diced pumpkin into a hot frying pan with the butter and brown sugar, and keep the pumpkin moving until it is golden brown on all sides. Test to see that the pumpkin is cooked by inserting a small pointed knife. 6. Place the mushroom pithiviers on a baking sheet and cook in an oven preheated to 180°C/gas mark 4 for 12 to 14 minutes until golden brown. 7. Season the pigeon breasts with salt and pepper and cook in a frying pan with a little vegetable oil. The breasts should only take four to five minutes to cook. 8. Remove the breasts from the pan and keep warm. Pour off any remaining fat, then add the port and the red wine to the pan. Reduce until almost evaporated, then add the chicken stock and the remaining wild mushrooms. Cook for a further two to three minutes, then add the cream and the diced tomato.

To serve

Place a pastry case on each plate, with a spoonful of cooked spinach next to it topped with the pigeon breast. Garnish with the pumpkin and wild mushroom sauce.

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FOOD & DRINK

PASS THE CHEESE – IT’S WINE MOVIE NIGHT!

Chicken with morels and tarragon

Pip Gale selects four of his favourite wine-centred films and the tipples to enjoy while watching them

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ome wine-themed movies look like they were made just so the crew could have a holiday among the vineyards, while others use the wine itself as a plot point or metaphor. Whatever the case, enjoying a glass of wine while movie stars are doing the same seems to make the wine taste better. Here are movie pairings for you to try.

changed the wine world forever so I’m sure you can guess. All the wines mentioned in the film are crazy expensive; one not mentioned but that was in the tasting is Stags Leap Clos Du Val Cabernet, which you can pick up for less than £40.

Bryan Webb, owner and head chef at the Michelin-starred Tyddyn Llan restaurant near Corwen, shares a tasty chicken dish

C The Somm Trilogy A Good Year

I love The Good Year, cheesy though it undoubtedly is. The location is stunning, and the romance of the vineyard and wine making is there in full. It’s refreshing to watch a movie so clearly in love with its subject. The film is based in Luberon, France, so while watching this I’d recommend a glass of La Ciboise Rouge from M. Chapoutier, a master Rhone producer at an accessible price.

These movies are little more than propaganda for the Guild Of Sommeliers – being about them and produced by them – but that doesn’t stop them being the most informative and enjoyable documentaries on wine out there. The movies are about blind tasting, so why not get a friend to buy a bottle of wine and wrap it up so you don’t know what it is. Only revealing its name after the movie could make you feel like a true master!

hicken makes a perfect and affordable roast Sunday dinner, and the best part for a chef like me is picking at the wings and carcass and the oyster from the undercarriage. This little nugget is called the sot-l’y-laisse, which loosely translates as ‘the bit the silly idiots left behind’. Well, not when I’m around! When it comes to choosing a chicken, you get what you pay for. Until 10 years ago, if you wanted a fine bird you’d have to buy a French chicken – the most famous being the poulet de Bresse, with all its badges – but there is now wonderful chicken from a farm in Essex called Label Anglais, which is what we use at Tyddyn Llan. The birds are allowed to grow to maturity, which means the meat develops a proper texture and a much better flavour. If you want to try one, the chickens are available by mail order (labelanglais.co.uk). For this week’s recipe, I suggest using legs of chicken – after the oyster, my favourite part of the bird. Try to buy free range if you can, or from your local butcher – and stay away from the plastic-wrapped ones in supermarkets. The dried morels used in the sauce are now available from most supermarkets, but they are very expensive – you can use other mushrooms or leave them out. You can prepare this dish in advance and reheat – it makes a splendid mid-week dinner with spinach and mashed potato or a potato pancake.

Ingredients

(serves four) 4 large chicken legs or breasts 1 glass of sweet white wine 1 glass of dry sherry 50g dried morels, soaked in a little cold water and cut in half (save the water) 500ml chicken stock 500ml double cream Fresh tarragon picked 3tbsp sunflower oil

Bottle Shock

This is based on the true story of the ‘Judgement of Paris’ – the now infamous 1976 blind tasting in which wines from California were pitted against those from Bordeaux. The ever-perfect Alan Rickman plays Steven Spurrier, an Englishman with a shop in Paris who went to California to find wines to put in the tasting, while Chris Pine (Star Trek) plays the son of a vineyard owner. I won’t spoil the ending, but the result

Sideways

The daddy of all wine movies intertwines wine through the story of two men in their 40s on a stag do in California. Look out for the incredible pinot noir speech (spoiler: it’s not about pinot noir). I wouldn’t recommend matching the film wine for wine as you may end up dead or broke (or both), but my favourite wine in the movie is the one from Byron – its pinot noir is great and highly accessible.

Method 1. Heat the oil in a pan large enough to hold all the chicken. Place the legs in the pan skin-side down and fry until golden brown. Turn and season with salt and pepper, remove from the pan and discard the oil. 2. Add the wine and sherry and let it boil for a few minutes. Put the chicken back in the pan and cover with the stock and morel water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes (10 to 12 minutes if you’re using breasts). 3. Remove the legs from the pan and boil the juices until reduced by half. Add the cream and bring to the boil (taking care that it doesn’t boil over) until the sauce thickens slightly. 4. Strain the sauce into a clean container and then back into the pan. Add the chicken and the morels. 5. When ready to serve, add the picked tarragon. September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 91

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FOOD & DRINK

CHEERS TO CHESHIRE CHAMPIONS

DID YOU KNOW? All nominated clubs are assessed by a panel of volunteers

Regular columnist Chris Charters from CAMRA Wales sings the praises of a multi award-winning club and pub

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ecently named Club Of The Year by CAMRA North Cheshire for the fifth consecutive year – as well as National Club Of The Year and Branch Cider Pub Of The Year 2019 – Appleton Thorn Village Hall in Warrington is doing great things. The attractive old school sandstone building is the hub of the community, with a comfortable bar area, small pool room, garden area and bowling green. Home-cooked food is served on Sunday lunchtimes and the function room hosts quizzes, live music and an annual beer festival. On the bar you’ll find up to seven beers from regional and micro breweries, plus up to five ciders/perries and a gin bar. It could have been quite a different story. The school was built in the 1880s but owing to the increasing population by the 1960s

Drinkers enjoy the good weather at Appleton Thorn Village Hall

it was found to be inadequate and a new school built nearby. The sandstone building started to deteriorate due to underuse, until in 1978 a group of locals voiced a need for a meeting place in the village. Funds were raised to buy the old school building, and modifications took place to the inside of the builing, in sympathy with the building’s character and protected status. The community centre – or Village Hall as it became known – was officially opened ceremony in April 1980. Several years ago, the community decided to convert it into a community pub that is free of tie, resulting in the award-winning club its members can enjoy to this day. appletonthornvillagehall.co.uk

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onty’s Brewery Visitor Centre in Montgomery is the toast of the town after being shortlisted as a finalist in the Rural Business Awards 2019/20 for Wales and Northern Ireland, held in partnership with Amazon. Monty’s will now battle it out with other rural businesses from across the region in the Best Rural Tourism Business category for a place in the national final later this year. Local brewer shortlisted Founded in 2009 by Pam and Russ Honeyman, Monty’s Brewery opened its visitor centre in 2015 to showcase its beers, for a Rural Business Award sell merchandise and develop new brews. ‘This is exciting news,’ says Russ. ‘We’re used to our beers winning awards, but this is the first time we’ve entered the visitor centre. I hope it shows we give visitors – whether beer drinkers or not – an enjoyable, relaxed experience and an insight into what the brewery is all about.’ The Rural Business Awards celebrate businesses across the UK’s rural economy, which is especially important in Wales. ‘The 2019/20 awards have seen a record number of entries and it’s encouraging to see so many rural businesses express a ‘We give visitors a desire to celebrate their successes on a regional and national relaxed scale,’ says awards director and co-founder Anna Price. experience’ ‘On behalf of everyone at the Rural Business Awards, we want to say well done to Monty’s Brewery Visitor Centre and all the shortlisted businesses and wish them luck.’ For more about Monty’s Brewery, visit montysbrewery.co.uk; for the Rural Business Awards, visit ruralbusinessawards.co.uk. Russ and Pam Honeyman

MONTY’S BREWERY

E T Goch Co African S TAsauces,&made in Wales T S TE G

och & Co, established in 2012, is an awardwinning artisan producer of fine condiments and seasonings, with a range of chilli sauces, chutney, jams, marmalade and chilli oils. At Shire, we love a bit of heat in our food, so we were keen

to try the condiments with a variety of different foods – in scrambled eggs, spread on bread, with cheese and crackers, and with dishes such as Spanish omelette and chicken fajitas. The flavours range from extra mild to hot – and there’s a big

difference between the two, so make sure you pay attention to the chilli rating! The Naga Chilli Sauce, for example – made using one of the hottest chillies in the world – is genuinely very hot. We found 1tsp mixed with a cup of mayonnaise made an excellent spicy dip that kept well in the fridge. The fruity, sweeter varieties, like Serrano Fruit Chilli Sauce, were very mild – and spreadable on crackers. There are strong natural

flavours in all varieties, and with so many uses they can be put to in the kitchen they really do add something different to any meal. The hot varieties are really excellent value, as you only need small amounts. Stockists include Battlefield 1403 Farmshop,Tweedmill, Corris Craft Centre,The Little Cheesemonger in Rhyl, Porter’s Deli and Bodnant Welsh Food Centre; visit gochandcompany.co.uk

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SUMMER DEAL to include canapes with 6 course tasting menu, overnight stay and continental breakfast from £240 for 2 persons.

Tyddyn Llan is one of Wales’ most renowned restaurants set on the edge of Snowdonia National Park in the beautiful Vale of Edeyrnion surrounded by the Berwyn Mountains. Enjoy the simple pleasure of eating good food with warm hospitality.

We offer the finest ingredients cooked with confidence and simplicity in our elegant Georgian house, which has held a Michelin star for 10 years. Together with an award-winning wine list, it’s the place to take time off and relax and indulge.

Email: info@tyddynllan.co.uk Tel: +44

www.ludlowgin.co.uk

(0) 1490 440264

Tyddyn Llan, Llandrillo, Nr. Corwen, Denbighshire, North Wales LL21 OST

www.tyddynllan.co.uk

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

Real food, real people, real taste

Bromfield, Shropshire, SY8 2JR 01584 856 000 Shire Magazine - Ludlow Ad Jul 19 - Butchery.indd 1 093_SHIRE_SO2019.indd 1

Open 7 days a week

@ludlowfarmshop www.ludlowfarmshop.co.uk 04/06/2019 14:08:54 23/08/2019 13:47


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

Warm, friendly & welcoming

• Set in stunning rural countryside, ideally suited for Snowdonia

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

• A traditional, family-run

• Open all day

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

• Function room available

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

• Dogs welcome too • Free wi-fi

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

ww.jamiewardsbutchers.co.uk

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21-22 September 2019 9 New Street Car Park Mold Sat Nav:: CH7 1 NY N

Celebrity Chefs

Top Food & Drink Exhibitors Live Music Free Children’s Activities & Cookery School Admission: 10am-5pm

www.moldfoodfestival.co.uk

Vegetarian Chef & Author Eddie Shepherd

NEW ENTR PRICEY Adul

Award-winning Cheesemaker Sean Wilson

t: Child ren: £ £6 Under 1 (4-15) 4s fre (chilld e ren accom must be panie d by an ad ult)

Live Music Saturday

5pm- 8pm Adult: £3 Children: £1 (4-15) Under 4s free

s C @@moldfoodfestival ldf d df d ti l df

@moldfoodfest m ld mo M@mo

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We’re social

mold_food_and_ drink_festival

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FOOD & DRINK

FOOD FESTIVAL FEVER ’Tis the season to celebrate fine foods, artisan producers and specialist suppliers at the area’s many food festivals. We round up a few of our favourites Nantwich Food Festival

30th August – 1st September

Over one long weekend, the Cheshire town is transformed into a foodie paradise with three marquees of top-quality food and drink brought to you by producers from Cheshire, Great Britain and beyond. This year’s celebrity chefs include Rosemary Shrager, Matt Tebbutt, Sean Wilson and Nigel Brown. Entry is free.

Ludlow Food Festival

13th-15th September

Celebrate Shropshire’s great gourmets of the Shropshire area at Ludlow Castle, with more than 180 local food and drink producers, samples and tastings, workshops, bake-offs, talks and treats galore, as well as free kids’ cookery sessions and plenty to keep all ages entertained. Adult tickets from £12 a day or £26 for all three.

Mold Food & Drink Festival

21st-22nd September

Now in its 14th year, this event gets bigger and better every year, and has a growing reputation to match. This year promises to be the perfect recipe of exhibitors, activities, music and cookery demonstrations – something for everyone, with a dusting of a little Mold magic. There will be outstanding produce, some new faces and a welcome return for firm favourites, including the ever-popular children’s cookery school. Adults tickets £5.

Beaumaris Food Festival

Set in a stunning seafront location, Beaumaris Food Festival is a wonderful weekend filled with food, drink and entertainment. There will be more than 100 exhibitors; in addition to the abundance of food, drink and craft stands, there will be quality entertainment including a variety of live music acts on stage throughout the day, talk tents, children’s entertainment and a marquee dedicated to superb chef demonstrations from local, celebrity and Michelin-starred chefs. Adults tickets £5 per day, £7 for both.

E T Cheerbrook Farm S A TShop, Nantwich TCEST heerbrook’s aim is to provide quality, value and exciting homemade and locally produced food. Cheerbrook was originally a pork farm, but has diversified over the past 19 years and developed into an award-winning farm shop. It now makes a broad range of produce in its butchery, deli, kitchen and café. We put some of their goodies to the test…

Traditional Thick Pork Sausages £8.15 per kg Cheerbrook’s multi awardwinning sausages are handmade by its butchers using free-range pork from Packington Farms in Staffordshire, the closest freerange pork farm to Cheerbrook. These are high-quality bangers – the meat has a firm,

31st August – 1st September

even texture, and there was virtually no shrinkage or liquid draining into the pan when oven-cooked (we didn’t prick them first). They show you what is possible for the humble sausage with great ingredients. We really liked them!

Pork, Rocket, Leek & Black Pepper Sausages £8.95 per kg On Cheerbrook’s butchery counter you can find dozens of speciality sausages, using seasonal additions and classic flavour combinations. As with the Traditional Pork Sausages, these new additions use Packington free-range pork and natural casings. With sweet leek and noticeable pieces of rocket, these sausages have a nice

The innovative collaboration

WILD GIN

Two award-winning Shropshire businesses collaborate to produce county’s first ‘foraged gin’

J

ames Sherwin of the award-winning Wild Shropshire restaurant in Ternhill and the award-winning Shropshire Distillery in Ellesmere have formed a collaborative venture to make north Shropshire’s first foraged gins. They’ll work together to produce the series of copper-distilled, foraged artisan gins, distilled with locally found botanical ingredients from north Shropshire. The first gin will be a pineapple weed gin. Other editions will be available in due course and use will unusual, forgotten and unexpected ingredients. The limited-edition gins will be available at Wild Shropshire, as well as selected outlets, festivals and events in Shropshire. To book a table at James Sherwin’s Wild Shropshire restaurant, visit wild shropshire.net or call 07766 685076.

peppery tang throughout. There’s the same quality to the meat as with the Traditional Pork variety, and they’re well seasoned. A good combination of flavours, nicely balanced.

the oven. One is plenty for a serving – the burger is 100 per cent ground beef, so it’s filling. The gooey, creamy peppercorn centre is a great surprise when you first try one.

The Beefcake

Aberdeen Angus Sirloin Steak

£2.95 per beefcake This Aberdeen Angus steak burger is wrapped in puff pastry and has a peppercorn sauce at the centre. It’s unique to Cheerbrook – it was developed by its butchery team and soon became a firm favourite. We were curious about what a ‘beefcake’ entailed, and once we’d tried it we all thought it was a great idea! It is well presented, with a delicate puff pastry lattice topped with a slice of onion and tomato that browns in

A classic Sirloin steak, about 1in thick, with a line of fat on one side. We griddled it with just a covering of salt, approximately three minutes on one side, then two more when flipped, and let it rest for five minutes before cutting. The result: finely grained pink meat, with the soft succulence often associated with more expensive cuts. For more information about Cheerbrook, call 01270 666431 or visit cheerbrook.co.uk

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 95

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GREAT BRITISH FOOD is what we're all about BUTCHERY

DELI

BAKERS

OPENING HOURS: Monday - CLOSED Tuesday - 9.30 - 5.30 Wednesday - 9.00 - 5.00 Thursday - 9.00 - 5.30 Friday - 9.00 - 6.00 Saturday - 9.00 - 6.00 Sunday - 10.00 - 4.00

FARM SHOP

WWW.CHEERBROOK.CO.UK 01270 666431 Newcastle Road, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 7EL

CAFE

@CHEERBROOK

Opening times: (Monday to Saturday 11am to 10pm Closed Sunday) 18A Oswald Road, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 1RE T: 01691 659965 E: info@leponesitalian.co.uk www.leponesitalian.co.uk

A family restaurant All of our food is homemade, including fresh egg pasta and pizza dough. Join us and enjoy the culture of real Italian cooking.

If you are looking for traditional authentic Italian cuisine look no further. We know that delicious food should be at the heart of life – and we settle for nothing less. Made from the freshest ingredients we will prepare the most tantalising choice from our menu to delight your taste buds. Our chefs prepare each dish using only authentic recipes and skills, fresh for you each day.

Weddings

Set in the splendour of a renovated Presbyterian church in the heart of the picturesque market town of Oswestry, Lepone’s is the perfect location to celebrate your wedding. Our bespoke wedding package options cater for every type of wedding from small intimate occasions or grand and extravagant – we have it covered.

Cocktails • Afternoon teas • Live music events Fresh produce available from the restaurant. Available for private functions and outside catering

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REVIEW

LEPONE’S in OSWESTRY We visit the popular Lepone’s family restaurant in Oswestry to find out what makes their dishes authentically Italian

Bruschetta

Spaghetti gamberi

W

Antipasti

T H E BI LL

hen taking about Lepone’s, owner Paolo says, ‘I’m very proud to share my passion for fresh Italian cuisine, all made using traditional methods and the freshest ingredients.’ You couldn’t find a better way to sum up Lepone’s restaurant in Oswestry. Lepone’s is a family-run affair involving three generations: grandma Gioconda, Paolo and his wife Carolyn, and their children Kathryn, Marco, Michael and Francesca. Everything here is made by hand, using ingredients imported from Italy. Paolo’s family ran a restaurant in Sperlonga on the Italian coast halfway between Rome and Naples, and his whole approach to Italian cooking is borne out of those local traditions. Lesson one is how to make a proper pizza… which takes four days. See below for details!

Pasta In the kitchen with Paolo’s son Michael, we were able to see how the pasta is prepared for this dish – the long pieces of refrigerated fresh spaghetti are immersed in boiling water for one minute, with the pan of prawns, courgette and tomatoes in white wine already bubbling and ready. The blanched pasta is then drained and added to the saucepan – it’s all about speed. Spiralled into a tower, the dish is topped with fresh parsley and watercress, but no parmesan – this isn’t done with seafood pasta dishes in Italy.

Paolo in action

Antipasto Italiano £9.65 Bruschetta £6.85 Spaghetti gamberi con zucchini £11.55 Margherita pizza £8.35 Spigola all’acqua pazza (seabass) £20.95

Michael preparing pasta

Paolo on pizza

‘O

ur pizza dough is all made by hand, right here in the restaurant – we don’t use any machines, even to mix the flour. ‘It’s just flour, water, yeast, salt and a little olive oil. The dough then takes four or five days to rise. The most important thing about making pizza dough is time – you can’t hurry the process! ‘We mix enough for 15 pizzas in a large bowl, then knead briefly and cover, and over the next few hours and days we will knock it back several times until the dough is perfectly smooth and the gluten has developed, and is rising nicely.’ ‘When you stretch a pizza base, you never use a rolling pin – that just squeezes out all the air pockets you worked so hard on! A good trick it to stretch it on top of a thick layer of durum wheat – this is coarser flour and doesn’t stick to the dough at all. We then cook the pizza in a very, very hot oven – 350°C – for only three or four minutes.’

Antipasta A terrific starter for two, featuring dee-fried zucchini flowers, sundried tomatoes, artichoke hearts, marinated olives, mozzarella dressed with pesto and olive oil, parmesan shavings, feta, salami and parma ham. A platter of tasty Italian treats of generous proportions – a favourite for regulars at Lepone’s. Bruchetta Using gorgeous homemade bread, with fresh and thickly cut tomatoes sautéed briefly in garlic and olive oil. Served warm, the toasted bread has a crunchy crust and a soft centre. The fresh basil tops off a classic combination of flavours, but the secret to this excellent version is the fresh quality of the ingredients. Sea bass This is a traditional dish in Paulo’s home town, Sperlonga. Two fillets of sea bass, pancooked with the skin on in a white wine and tomato sauce, it’s served with waxy potatoes, spinach and parsley, with a pesto and olive oil dressing with lemon zest and cress to finish. The seabass is soft with a full flavour, complemented well by the wine-and-tomato base of the sauce. The potatoes provide a contrast in texture. Very much a satisfying comfort food.

Pizza Saving perhaps the best for last, we sliced into the margherita pizza – a simple tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella and fresh basil. In this case, less is very much more. The pizza base is crisp and slightly blackened on the base and edges, with an inside that is soft and chewy, a honeycomb of air pockets large and small. It’s a delicious contrast of textures, and very moreish – and completely different from commercial pizza bases. With a dough this good, we agree with the Italians – it’s not necessary to cover it with too many toppings. The pizzas are not always perfectly round, this happens when they are stretched by hand – and who cares when they taste this good!

Lepone’s Ristorante Italiano Oswald Road, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 1RE leponesitalian.co.uk info@leponesitalian.co.uk Lepone’s Delicatessen offers fresh pasta, sauces and pizza dough to make your own meals at home; call 01691 659965

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 97

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TOWN VISIT

Wrexham History and heritage in ancient town

The largest town in north Wales has been around for literally millennia. Considered to be the area’s capital, it’s a thriving and eclectic place to visit with a fascinating past

W

rexham, situated between the Welsh Colliery in 1934. The last of the original mountains and the lower Dee seven large collieries closed in 1986. Valley alongside the border with England, has been part of various counties and Forward thinking boroughs over recent years. Before that, More recently, the town has diversified it was occupied by conquering Romans, and embraced new developments and is Vikings and Anglo-Saxons. And even a centre for high-tech manufacturing, before that, evidence shows that it was a bio-technology, finance and professional chosen dwelling place before its population services. Now home to around 65,000 even had a name: human activity in the Stunning Erddig Hall residents, Wrexham also has the largest Wrexham area dates back to the Mesolithic retail sector in north Wales and in 2007 period, 8000 to 4300 BC. By the early the town was ranked fifth in the UK explored at Wrexham County Museum. Middle Bronze Age (around 1500 BC) for business start-up success. So it Alongside this the town boasts a DID YOU KNOW? the area had developed into a centre for a is no wonder that this thriving thriving shopping centre, two regular Wrexham Lager nascent metalworking industry. Meanwhile, community also has plenty of indoor markets, several historic pubs, was the first archaeologists have found a Roman civilian attractions and places to visit three parks and the recent addition of brewery in the settlement in the Plas Coch for residents and Ty Pawb – a cultural community UK to produce area of Wrexham too. incomers alike. resource that brings together markets, lager beer Reliable records began There are plenty arts and a food court. after the Norman Conquest of festivals and local and they show that by 1391, celebrations, such as Focus Wrexham was wealthy Wales which celebrates enough for a bard, jester, emerging talent and the Welsh juggler, dancer and goldsmith Wales Comic Con language. Wales Comic Con, to earn their living there. the largest fan convention in Hardworking locals kept the area at the Wales, brings actors, artists, writers and forefront of industry and a rich heritage sports personalities to the town every year. of ironworks, brewery, mining, and a Sporting and other events are held at the military barracks all developed in the town. Racecourse Ground, home of Wrexham FC Community arts and retail centre Ty Pawb Unfortunately Wrexham was hit by the and the world’s decline British industry oldest international THINGS TO SEE AND DO suffered in the 20th football stadium still century with the loss of in use, while glorious Erddig Hall Marchwiel LL13 0YT brickworks, steelworks gardens can be nationaltrust.org.uk/erddig and leather works. enjoyed at the The local coal industry 17th-century Wrexham County Museum County Buildings, Regent Street LL11 1RB suffered one of the stately home Erddig worst mining disasters Hall. The town’s Ty Pawb in Britain’s history technical prowess Market Street LL13 8BB; typawb.wales when underground is celebrated at Minera Lead Mines & Alyn explosions and a fire Techniquest Waters Country Park cost 266 men their Glyndwr, while its groundworknorthwales.org.uk Historic Hope Street lives at Gresford proud past can be The Royal Oak pub 98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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SUPPORTING THE HAND HOTEL ‘Enjoy a delicious meal in the newly refurbished restaurant’

Castell Howell Foods Ltd

We are delighted to showcase our

newly refurbished Restaurant

EAT | DRINK | STAY

Church Street - Chirk - LL14 5EY

01691 773472 info@thehandhotelchirk.co.uk

Proudly Supporting Local Businesses and Communities Luxury Welsh Dairy Ice Cream

www.chfoods.co.uk

We have a full and varied menu to cater for all tastes and budgets - including our popular Domestic

Agricultural

Commercial

Wharf House, Station Rd, Pant, Oswestry SY10 8JX info@sowenandsons.co.uk | www.sowenandsons.co.uk ✓ Heating Oil ✓ House Coal ✓ Calor, Propane & Butane Bottled Gas ✓ Quality Biomass ✓ Wood Pellets ✓ Oil Tanks supplied & fitted PLEASED ✓ Small Tanker available TO SUPPLY ✓ FREE DELIVERY THE HAND HOTEL, ✓ Friendly reliable service

Lunchtime Offer 2 light bite meals for £12

FOOD SERVED…………………………………………... LUNCHTIME 12PM-2.45PM EVENING 5PM-8.45PM SATURDAY 12PM - 8.45PM SUNDAY 12PM - 4PM

Why not pop along and enjoy a meal in the lovely new restaurant?

Celebrate Christmas at The Hand Hotel

Join us for a traditional three-course Festive Menu served in the Castle Brasserie or The Regency Restaurant, Monday to Friday between 12 noon and 2.45pm from 1st December to 23rd December.

CHIRK

Treat the family to Christmas Day Lunch or a stress-free Boxing Day Lunch with family and friends.

To place your orders call us on 01691 830315 or 01691 830163

Christmas Party nights! Enjoy an evening of great food, entertainment and festive fun! BOOKING ADVISED TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT

CHIRK SERVICE STATION Part of the Nationwide Trust My Garage Scheme

“We are pleased to support Paul and all the staff at The Hand Hotel”

WE ARE COMPLETE HOME FURNISHERS, PROVIDING A VARIETY OF SOFAS AND CHAIRS, RECLINERS, BEDROOM, DINING, FLOORING, ACCESSORIES AND MORE. WE CARE FOR OUR CUSTOMERS, OFFERING FREE LOCAL DELIVERY AND FREE ASSEMBLY.

www.shannonsales.co.uk

01691 773257 l Open Monday-Saturday l The Old School, Chirk LL14 5NA

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Full Diagnostics Air Conditioning Service All Insurance Work Guaranteed Body Repair Centre Free Estimates *Free courtesy car collection and delivery 

DISCOUNT TYRES

High Performance & 4x4 Specialists Largest Stock of Tyres in the area ‘All sizes, all makes from stock’

FAMILY RUN STORE FOR OVER 70 YEARS St. Martins, nr Oswestry, SY11 3AY www.stans-superstore.co.uk 01691 772 348 Shrophire’s Largest Independent Supermarket! • 72 seater Coffee Shop - Enjoy an early Starter Breakfast for only £3.79 • 50ft Deli counter stocked full of local produce • Garden Centre - Huge range PLEASED of compost & plants TO SUPPORT • Instore Butcher THE HAND • Petrol Station HOTEL, CHIRK • Post Office • In-store Pharmacy • Free to use Cash Machine • Dry Cleaning service, In-store Florist • Free & easy car parking for 250 cars

MULTI MAKE MOT, SERVICE & REPAIR CENTRE

CHIRK SERVICE STATION

We stock over 30,000 different products!

Holyhead Road, Chirk LL14 5NA Tel: 01691 773428 All major credit cards accepted

Huge range of white goods & electrical appliances

Delivery service available

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

DIAL–A–MATTRESS BEDS & FURNITURE Renewable specialist

Air Source Heat Pumps Ground Source Heat Pumps Underflooring Heating

Many Special Offers! Ask in store

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

01743 463157

Contact details: 01691 238180 contact@iheatltd.co.uk www.iheatltd.co.uk

CONSUL CLASSIC Recliner from

£899 Save £380*

FREE DELIVERY ON MANY ITEMS &

NEXT DAY AVAILABLE ON SELECTED ITEMS

PROMISE PRIC£ MATCH

on ALL items!

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

Enjoy the ultimate Stressless offer ®

Special edition Stressless® Consul Classic recliners. Available from stock instore now, in 3 leather & wood colours Batick Cream / Oak Batick Mole / Walnut Batick Wild Dove / Oak

Hafren Furnishers, Llangurig Road, Llanidloes SY18 6ES. T: 01686 414000 www.hafrenfurnishers.co.uk Opening hours: Mon - Wed: 9am to 6pm, Thurs: 9am to 8pm, Fri: 9am to 6pm, Sat: 9am to 5:30pm. Closed Sunday.

*Terms and Conditions apply. Available only in Batick Cream leather with Oak wood finish, Batick Mole leather with Walnut wood finish and Batick Wild Dove leather with Oak wood finish. Stressless® Consul Classic Small chair and stool £899 RRP £1279. Stressless® Consul Classic Medium chair and stool £999 RRP £1379. Stressless® Consul Classic Large chair and stool £1099 RRP £1589. Offer available while stocks last. Main image for illustrative purposes only.

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Homes&Interiors BRIGHTEN THE GLOOM

Awardwinning interior designer Suzanne Mercer of Kettle Design on the Wirral looks at how the political world is having an impact on our homes

Bored of Brexit? Suzanne reckons frustration with the whole process is driving the latest interior trends. ‘People want something wow in their homes rather than them being as bland, beige and exhausting as the current Brexit politics,’ shes says. ‘We’re seeing more people turning to some of the more exciting wallpapers on the market because they make a room more interesting with their instant impact. ‘There are some stunning wallpapers available and, often, they are now cheaper Botanical is this year’s buzzword. This vibrant, tapestry-like forest design is ideal for those who love feminine flowers but also want to make a bold statement

First impressions count, and this geometric wallpaper – which is a softer and gentler take on the linear styles of the art deco period – makes a good choice for an entrance hall

than paint by square metre. Also, if you have made a mistake with paint, it’s far easier to just paper over it. People are wallpapering whole rooms, single walls, using wallpaper to make a statement in an alcove, as a dramatic panel to resemble a piece of art or even to line the inside of a kitchen cupboard to make them smile when they open it.’

Tasteful textures

‘Silk effect and linen wallpapers, textured wallpapers and the most incredible ecofriendly papers made out of real papaya leaves are really popular,’ she continues. ‘When the politics is as grey as it has been for the past couple of years, it’s exciting to bring a splash of colour into your home.’ Below are some of Suzanne’s favourite wallpapers, which she has used in a newly built home in Cheshire.

This is ideal for a child’s bedroom. I love the beautiful hand-drawn butterflies, florals and foliage, with sublime flashes of watercolour. You don’t have to paper the whole room to make an impact This statement wallpaper in bold and luxurious purple and blue looks fabulous on one wall of a study. Infused with the rich history and elegance of Asian culture, the fanciful design brings the room to life

After a frantic day, the shimmering jewel-like feathers floating on a contrasting background make for a relaxing atmosphere

It often works well to bring a sense of the garden into a room. The delicate brushstrokes depicting a striking, trailing magnolia in a fusion of gentle pastels and versatile neutrals make for a calming bedroom scene

For more design ideas visit Kettle Design at 7 The Mount, Heswall, Wirral CH60 4RE, call 0151 538 9983 or see kettledesign.co.uk September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 101

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HOMES & INTERIORS

TOP IT OFF A worktop has the power to make or break a kitchen’s vibe, so choosing the right style and material is crucial

Laminate

F

or many years, a standard laminate work surface added the finishing touch to any kitchen, with a curved edge and matching finishing strip if you were really fancy. Over the years, the available range of colours and patterns increased and varying thicknesses arrived on the market, but laminate still remained the mainstay of most kitchens for decades. Today, though, there is a whole new world of materials offering the most modern, slick finish or a rugged traditional look to a new kitchen. Here we take a look at just some of the options if you want to top off your kitchen in style.

Laminate

Still the most affordable, and often the most practical, kitchen surface solution, today’s laminates come in so many varieties it’s hard to summarize in one section – and the difference in quality and finish is incredible. Choose from glistening, colourful effects or realistic natural fibre finishes. The low-maintenance, highly durable and easy-to-clean worktop can give an existing kitchen a whole new look for less.

Granite

Always considered the classy option, granite worktops give an expensive feel to any kitchen and the addition of this material can make even the most basic kitchen seem far higher quality than it is. It is worth noting that this type of worktop will add some serious weight to your base units, but at the same time the rock hard, solid surface is almost impossible to damage and shouldn’t show any signs of wear for many years.

Concrete

Wood

If you’re a fan of industrial chic, you may want to consider a concrete worktop to finish your kitchen in style. You’ll need a full fitting and installation service, as the surfaces are poured on site into moulds fitted specifically to your units – but this cost is balanced by the relatively good value of the raw materials. Concrete is hard-wearing, durable and can be polished to the kind of shine you would never normally associate with this most utilitarian of materials.

Wood

Proper wooden worktops are hard to beat, especially in a traditional or farmhouse-style kitchen. There are various thicknesses and timber types on the market, and stains and colours of all kinds. Wood gives a warm and cosy feel to any area of the home and kitchen worktops are no exception, but just make sure you treat the wood properly to keep it in top condition, as well as to ensure clean surfaces for food preparation.

Composite

One of the newer arrivals to the worktop market is the modern range of composite surfaces. These are made up of polymer resin infused with colour pigments and adhered to a MDF sub frame. They are available in a variety of shades and glossy or matt finishes. One of the main characteristics of composite worktops that makes them such a popular choice among kitchen designers is that they allow you to achieve a seamless surface with inconspicuous joins, giving a kitchen that modern feel with sleek, unbroken lines.

Composite Homes SeptOct 2019 jwDB FINAL.indd 2

Granite Concrete 23/08/2019 13:52


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23/08/2019 14:18


HOMES & INTERIORS

Keep a cosy home As autumn wraps around us, we need to make sure our homes are warm and ready for the winter months ahead. How better to do that than with a wood-burning stove?

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hey look great, heat efficiently and are a feature of any feeling of foraging for fallen or waste wood near their homes. But room… it’s easy to see why the humble wood-burning stove don’t forget that if wood is your first choice, you will get through has enjoyed an incredible renaissance over the past few years. quite a lot and will need a sheltered, dry area in which to store it. As well as creating a warm, cosy feel to any home, stoves can be a practical way to cut or avoid rising heating bills. In fact, a What to warm recent survey for consumer rights group Which? found that 52 per You should also consider where in the home you want to cent of those asked said that getting a stove installed had saved position your stove, and why. If you want it to function mainly them money on bills. Of course, it’s important to work as a living room feature that may be used to add a little out how long it will take you to recoup the money you toastiness on cold winter evenings too, the demands DID YOU invested in the stove in the first place, which can vary on your stove will be considerably less than one that KNOW? considerably. Stoves can be found for as little at £300 is connected to your central heating system. All stoves to £400, or you can spend upwards of £2,000. Some wood-burners can supply your home with must meet However much you decide to invest, there are all the hot water you could ever need, but it is worth UK building regulations some key things you need to consider first. remembering that on milder, summer days you’ll still need a regular supply of warm water but won’t necessarily want the extra heat or hassle of lighting a stove. To solve Burn, baby, burn this, many come with override options that allow a back-up The key question before you make any stove purchase is what electric immersion heater to heat your home and water supply. fuel you will burn. Those that use pure wood are often considered carbon-neutral because the carbon produced during burning is offset by the carbon absorbed by the tree during its growth. Stylish stoves Coal, on the other hand, is far less eco-friendly; some stoves offer The final point, but perhaps one of the most important, is what multi-fuel burning options that may help you remain flexible. style of stove you’re going for. Traditional log-burners look great It’s also important to work out how much fuel you plan to get in country homes or any period setting, but there are also plenty of through and if you’ll have a regular supply. It may be that you can models with more modern designs that will add a certain wow factor source your chosen fuel for free – many enjoy the back-to-nature to your home. There really is a stove out there to suit everyone!

Cleaner greener penguins C

hilli Penguin Stoves is launching a range of Ecodesign stoves to meet the 2022 clean air requirements, aimed at reducing emissions and improving air quality. The company is launching two versions of its 5kW Woody stove: a woodonly version that uses catalytic converter technology, and a multi-fuel version. Catalytic converter technology is common in the US, but relatively new to the UK market. Just like a catalytic converter in a car, it’s a chemically coated honeycomb structure with a large surface area. As gases pass over the surface, chemical reactions occur, converting carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon gases to carbon dioxide and water. The reaction also raises the temperature, burning off soot particles.

To meet the clean air requirements for smokeless fuels, Chilli Penguin has come up with a combination of three methods that work to increase the temperature in the fire chamber and increase the time the gases dwell in there in order to maximise the combustion of pollutants. Chilli Penguin is currently developing Ecodesign versions of its 8kW stoves and new round stove. All its stoves, made in the UK, are available in a range of six colours and have extended seven-year guarantees.

104 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Family Run Business trading in Oswestry for 30 years. If it’s Windows, Doors, Conservatory or New Living Space you desire, we offer both quality & a large choice to suit all budgets. We believe our stunning Indoor Showroom is the biggest and best in the area showcasing everything we do, so were definitely worth a visit to view the finest array of options under one roof.

PLEASE COME AND HAVE A LOOK AROUND AND BE INSPIRED, THERE IS ALWAYS SOMEONE TO OFFER FREE ADVICE AND IDEAS.

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

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HOMES & INTERIORS

HISTORIC HOUSE WITH AN INTRIGUING PAST AND A BRIGHT FUTURE

Stylish stoves from RN Williams

This newest model from Charnwood will be released soon

Dinham House in Ludlow has a rich heritage and a wealth of stories and legends to tell – as well as being home to one the area’s leading stove specialists

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estling in the shadow of Shropshire’s Ludlow Castle, Dinham House is a picture-postcard delight just waiting to be discovered. It is the largest Georgian house in Ludlow and displays the very essence of quintessential English country style, as well as enjoying panoramic views across the River Teme to Whitcliffe beyond. Dinham was built and extended in stages throughout the 18th century, growing in size and stature as Ludlow transformed itself into a fashionable social centre. It is easy to picture the great dining halls hosting lavish dinners, balls, assemblies and race meetings.

During this time, the house was the town residence of the Knight family, who also owned Croft Castle and Downton Castle. Lord Powis lived at Dinham House at one stage, as did Lord Clive – one-time Governor of Madras and better known as Clive of India. But perhaps the most famous occupant of all was Lucien Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon. He was a revolutionary and controversial character, often at odds with his brother, who lived here as a prisoner on parole for six months in 1811.

Warmth and comfort

Dinham House’s charm and rich heritage make it the perfect place to showcase the wares of Clearview Stoves. The DID YOU company’s range of traditional woodKNOW? burning stoves bring the wonderfully Dinham House restored and meticulously-kept also stocks Clearview rooms to life with their warm accessories glow, flickering light and faint, comforting scent. It’s hard to imagine a more perfect way to admire the Clearview range at the same time as soaking up the legends and history of the building itself. You can visit Dinham House in Ludlow from 9.30am to 5.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 10am to 5.30pm on Saturdays. Call 01584 878100 for more details

The Dovre Vintage is a change from the norm, and definitely divides opinion

This unusual egg-shaped model can be hung on a wall or placed on a wave plinth. Find out more at rnwilliams.co.uk

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 107

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Wreathen Works

Furniture Painting Workshops

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Bring autumnal hedgerow colours into your home with a bountiful harvest of blackberry, sloe, plum and heather hues

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ST Y L I ST ’ S T I P

Paler, muted shades of purple create a relaxing feel, perfect for a bedroom

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Astoria Snuggler, £1,169, Annetts Furniture, Hereford; annetts.co.uk Voyage Maison Buttermere lampshade, £89, Tweedmill Shopping Outlet, Denbighshire; tweedmill.co.uk Flowers In The Night embellished canvas, £19.99, The Range; therange.co.uk Blackberry & Bay scented natural soy wax candle, £20, Dexter & Mason, Holywell; dexterandmason.com Dutchbone Dolly lounge chair, £459, Cuckooland; cuckooland.com Deco fan glass tealight, £6, Gisela Graham; giselagraham.co.uk Madam Stolz glass candlestick holder, £19.95, Hurn & Hurn; hurnandhurn.com Hampton purple wall tiles, £22.99, Tile Mountain; tilemountain.co.uk Helen Tiffany screen-printed geometric glass bowls, £48 each, Mostyn, Llandudno; mostyn.org Liz Toole Beauty Of Life canvas, £295 framed/£225 unframed, Mostyn, Llandudno; mostyn.org The Lost Fox Squirrel limited-edition screen print, £40 unframed, Mostyn, Llandudno; mostyn.org Reversible throws, from £125, Tolly McRae; tollymcrae.co.uk Purple Crab silk cushion, £90, Lim Lace; limelace.co.uk Mineheart Back To Nature wallpaper, £152, Lime Lace; limelace.co.uk Scatterbox Patch and Drake cushions, £28 each, Hafren Furnishers, Llanidloes; hafrenfurnishers.co.uk Laufen Space two-drawer vanity unit, £778, RN Williams & Sons, St Asaph; rnwilliams.co.uk

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September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 109

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HOME VISIT

‘Oswestry Electrical were able to recommend specifically the units that would suit our designs’

New Bathrooms with Style! We pay a visit to Lawrence and Sue in Powys to take a tour of the three new bathrooms they had installed with the help of Oswestry Electrical & Plumbing Factors and Morgans Decorators

The couple were also on the lookout for decorators – and they found Morgans. ‘We’ve been going to Morgans ever since,’ says Lawrence, ‘and we’ve had a lot of work done on the bungalow since we moved in. We’ve gone to them to match old paint colours, and they supplied the paint for the new bathrooms to match the cabinet colour.’ Lawrence says their first choice would always be to use local people. ‘Rather than going on the internet, we look in magazines and talk to others about recommendations. The wet room was originally a wet room, but it was very clinical and looked like a hospital. We wanted it to look more stylish – it’s quite dramatic with dark tiles, a red radiator

‘A

fter we moved here we had to find a new set of local trades to help us with the house,’ says Sue. ‘We dropped into Oswestry Electrical & Plumbing Factors (OEPF) to find tradesmen. The first time we worked with them was to do the wet room, and they did such a good job we always said we’d go back there when we needed to.’ That was 13 years ago, and Sue says they’ve been a pleasure to work with ever since. ‘They knew their stuff and they didn’t patronise us, and we appreciated that they didn’t breathe down our necks in the showroom. They had in-depth knowledge of all the products, and could suggest the best options for us.’ and a silver shower unit. OEPF supplied all the fittings and liaised with the fitter to make sure it was all installed correctly.’ They then had their en-suite bathroom and main bathroom redone at the same time. ‘We used our own installer Shaun, who managed the whole project, and he came along with us to OEPF to have a meeting with Lee and go through the options,’ says Sue. ‘We were fairly open-minded, but there is just so much to choose from. The only things we had already decided were that we wanted white, and we wanted good quality – and that still left too many options! OEPF were able to recommend specifically the units that would suit Shaun’s designs and our needs. Lee’s knowledge was a huge help.’ There were one or two problems during the installation. ‘The main sink arrived

cracked from Germany – they think it was dropped at the dock,’ Sue says. ‘Lee pulled out all the stops and got a replacement as soon as possible, so the job wasn’t delayed, which was great. ‘The staff at both OEPF and Morgans are really helpful – nothing is too much trouble. They’re very happy to spend time explaining the latest technology and what is possible.’ It’s the excellent customer service Sue stresses above all else. ‘When you walk in to the showroom you feel they won’t jump on you just to take your money. Lee was brilliant – I must have sent him about 500 emails! Every question I’ve had, and every request, they’ve been kind courteous and helpful – beyond anything we’ve experienced before.’ CONTACT DETAILS

Oswestry Electrical & Plumbing Factors Mile End Business Park, Maesbury Road, Oswestry SY10 8NN 01691 670919 oepf-ltd.com Morgans Decorators Mile End Business Park, Maesbury Road, Oswestry SY10 8NN 01691 657700 morgansdecorators.co.uk

110 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Glyndwr Plants Autumn Time: The perfect time for Planting W

e have an enormous selection of fantastic plants for bedding and baskets, plus wonderful ready-filled baskets and pots too. There’s also a fine selection of unusual perennials. We have plants for every type of gardener! Relax in our coffee shop or on the patio and enjoy a selection of our scrumptious homemade cakes and scones. Choose from our menu of delicious light lunches, freshly ground coffees and various teas too.

Coffee shop 01490 413 688 | Garden Centre 01490 413 313 The Centre is on the A5104, half a mile out of Corwen www.glyndwrplants.co.uk

23/08/2019 14:57


Plants&Gardens

GOLDEN GARDEN GLORY Winter will be here before you know it, so make sure you take the chance to visit some of the region’s best gardens to see their fiery autumn displays with a last hurrah of colour

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utumn is a season of occasional bright sunshine, colourful foliage, mists and mellow fruitfulness. It’s also a time of year that is growing in popularity with gardeners, and the period from late summer into early Bodnant Garden autumn has become a distinct phase in the horticultural calendar. We are now showing a greater appreciation for autumnal plants that were often previously overlooked, with a greater emphasis on grasses and late-flowering perennials. Most leading gardens in Britain now have highpoints not only during the traditional May to June season, but also throughout September and October.

What to spot

Gone are the days when visiting a garden in September or October meant only a slight chance of catching some asters, a few fading roses and clematis hanging on, and perhaps the

Heathers add colour

most hardy of hydrangeas. These days, carefully planned planting means grasses that turn golden as the year progresses, use of seedheads of plants such as phlomis to form sculptural tableaux, and the rich and bright colours of prairie flowers such as rudbeckia and echinacea conspire to create the horticultural equivalent of an Indian summer. There are plenty of places to enjoy these seasonal delights in the local area, but we’ve rounded up a few of our favourites.

Ness Botanic Garden, Wirral

This 64-acre garden is good for seasonal bulbs and heathers. It’s particularly worth visiting at this time of year for the nation’s largest collection of rowans, which are dripping with berries Stunning displays

Bodnant Garden, Colywn Bay

Bodnant is famed for its berried trees and autumn foliage with a spectacular mountain backdrop, and the viburnums, euonymus and crab apples are particularly good at the moment.

The garden is a display of crimsons, ambers and golds, as the leaves, fruit and berries and late-flowering plants put on a show to rival the brightest of summer.

Asters: autumn favourites

Arley Hall, Cheshire

This garden is justly renowned for its spectacular double borders, which have been realised on an impressive scale. The plantings maintain interest well into early autumn, when the borders burst into colour with scarlet crocosmia, yellow kniphofia and the burnished oranges of rudbeckia, plus much more.

Hergest Croft Gardens, nr Kington, Herefordshire

A little further afield, this garden is worth the extra miles if you’re looking for spectacular autumn interest. The private tree collection was established by three generations of enthusiasts, and includes a maple glade and fine selection of mountain ash, offering both leaf colour and bright fruits. A walk up to Hergest Ridge is rewarded by views down to the tree-filled garden.

ADD WINTER COLOUR Choose the right plants and you can provide your garden with a splash of interest into the colder months Hellebore

Hellebores add winter and early spring interest to borders. They’re available in many colours and varieties, but generally produce flowers from late winter into spring. Many are evergreen with attractive silver or marbled leaves, and most prefer a position in light shade with full sun for part of the day. You can buy flowering plants ready for planting from late autumn, and if you have last year’s plants now is the time to divide them.

Cyclamen

With 23 distinct species, there are plenty of these winterflowering wonders to choose from. Plant now, but not too deeply or they may not flower – ideally choose part shade in any moderately fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil, avoiding excessive summer moisture. Flowers should offer a bright range of pinks, purples, whites and more through to early spring.

Pansies

These low-growing, bushy perennials are usually grown as annual bedding plants. They have large, striking flowers, bigger than those of violas, and heart-shaped leaves; many have been bred to bloom throughout winter in order to offer a cheerful display of colour when little else is in flower. The main planting season for winter pansies is from early September to mid-October. This is the ideal time as the soil is still warm and the rest of the garden is starting to fade.

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 113

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PLANTS & GARDENS

ALL HAIL THE HARVEST See out summer in style with this opulent and colourful creation from floristry technician Dave Billington from Reaseheath College in Nantwich

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wn vegetable patch, own produce, own pleasure – it’s a simple message that goes back to the Edwardian era, when homes were full of the mellow fruitfulness of the harvest, and is one we can be inspired by today. Constance Spry, the first truly international florist and an pioneer in flower arrangement – who opened her first A stunning statement shop in London in 1929 – is the inspiration behind Dave’s design for this issue. Her revolutionary style transformed the way flowers were used in the home and in formal diplays, by using all kinds of plant material. She integrated wild flowers and mosses, fruit and vegetables – in fact, anything that looked beautiful – into her cut flower arrangements, which proved a big hit with society. Think of a Dutch master’s oil painting and you get the idea – dark rich colours and luxurious velvety textures, all set off by an ample vase. To emulate this look, Dave suggests making a foraging expedition into your garden. Choose anything that catches your eye – dry poppy heads, vegetable leaves, late blooms – and get creative!

Gather what you’ll need

What you’ll need • An urn or similar wide vase (check out car-boot sales and • • • • • • • • •

charity shops, where you can often pick up a bargain) Wooden kebab sticks A ‘pillow’ made of recycled plastic (this new product is available from florists shops and is a more sustainable replacement for oasis, which isn’t biodegradable) Red and white roses Sunflowers Apple (purple) Sweet peas Poppy or teasel heads Grasses Red-veined chard leaves

TOP TIP ‘Don’t be too particular,’ says Dave. ‘Just go out and gather what catches your eye. It doesn’t matter if the leaves are blemished or the veg isn’t perfectly shape. Aim for a minimal colour palette – such as red, white, purple – and don’t use much foliage.’

Step 1

Step 5

Put water in the urn, adding a little feed if you wish. Place the cushion on the mouth of the urn, squeezing slightly to make it fit well.

Gradually introduce smaller flowers such as the sweet peas and grasses to exaggerate the design, aiming for a free rather than uniform shape. Try to keep the distribution of colour even.

Step 2

Start to make a frame with the red veined chard. Don’t pack it in – leave space for other material so you can enjoy each individual bloom or fruit.

Step 6

Step 5

Place the urn on an old book (50p from a charity shop) and set off with a few cut apples Step 2

Step 3

Add roses, poppy and teasel heads, and fruit or vegetables on skewers.

Step 6

Step 7

Stand back and admire your creation!

Step 4

Denude the sunflower, removing each petal carefully to leave just the centres for effect and interest. It’s best to add these low in the design to draw the eye in.

Step 4

For more about Reaseheath’s floristry department, visit reaseheath. ac.uk/floristry

The final design

114 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Gate Expectations Inwood (Cymru) Ltd

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GARDEN SHOPPING

OUTDOOR

STYLE

When the sun shines, make space in the garden by creating a whole new room. Add stylish seating, a barbecue and bright accessories to make your garden the perfect place to relax, socialise and play

Serax Marie mosaic plant pot, extra large £22, Hurn & Hurn; hurnandhurn.com

Avocado deckchair, from £120, ArtWow; artwow.co

Corten steel water bowl, available in five sizes from £72, Garden House Design; gardenhousedesign.co.uk

String Of Hearts plant, £19.99, Dobbies; dobbies.com

Galvanised steel Georgian-style boot washer, £365, Lesser-Spotted Furniture; lesserspotted.co.uk

Watering cans, from £16.50, Oliver Bonas; oliverbonas.com

Hunter Norris Field gardener boot, £70, NationalTrust; shop. nationaltrust.org.uk

Forest Garden Pinnacle log store, £179.95, Cuckooland; cuckooland.com

Bonfire Bembridge forage basket, £45, Garden Trading; gardentrading.co.uk

Watch the birdie

Traditional hand-crafted steel trough planter, £295, Lesser-Spotted Furniture; lesser-spotted.co.uk

Esschert Design reclaimed metal fire bowl, £169.99, Ludlow Stoves; ludlowstoves.co.uk Weatherproof multiple-purpose garden dome can be enjoyed all year around as gazebo, greenhouse, outside office or playroom, £849, Cuckooland; cuckooland.com Tweedmill cushions, £35, and throws, £50, Garden Trading; gardentrading.co.uk

Birdhouse, £3.99, Homesense; homesense.com

VES SHIRE LO Recycled plastic eco beacon bird feeder, £8, National Trust; shop. nationaltrust.org.uk

Garden Birds peg bag, £11, Sophie Allport; sophieallport.com

Personalised cedar bench, 600mm to 1,200mm in length, from £55 including delivery, Wreathen Works; 07300 013032, wreathenworks.co.uk

116 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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GAS • ELECTRIC • WOOD

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

23/08/2019 15:02


Pets&Wildlife DO YOUR BIT FOR SPINY SPECIES Ever since Beatrix Potter brought us Mrs Tiggywinkle, Britain has been in love with the hedgehog. These curious creatures are increasingly endangered, but we can all do our bit to help thanks to advice from the Wildlife Trusts

T

he European hedgehog is a gardener’s best friend, happily hoovering up pesky slugs and other threats to flora. Famously covered in spines, the small insectivore mostly comes out at night and hibernates over winter. They’re most commonly spotted in parks and gardens, where bushes and hedges provide the perfect daytime retreats and insect-rich lawns and flowerbeds make excellent feeding grounds. Hedgehogs have a special place in our hearts given their desire to munch up all kinds of invertebrates, particularly beetles, earthworms and slugs. At this time of year, they’re out and about busily filling themselves up before hibernating winter – from about November to April – in a nest of leaves or logs called a hibernaculum.

Having a ball

CUTE PETS

Labradors Luna and Storm

Archie the labradoodle having fun in the sun in Wrexham

Handle hedgehogs with care

bottle filled with hot tap water wrapped in a towel can provide a gentle heat source – just make sure it doesn’t go cold! You can also provide fresh water and meaty cat or dog food; just don’t try to feed the hedgehog directly. If you find hedgehog you’re worried about, you can contact the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, who will offer in-depth advice and help you find a local rescue centre. However, you may find that after a bit of rest and recuperation in your box, the hedgehog disappears into the night.

Hedgehogs are known for their ability to roll themselves into a ball of spines when threatened. These spines are actually modified hairs and the average hedgehog has about 7,000 of them, which are raised using powerful muscles along their back. They are not often spotted during daylight hours, so if you do happen see one in the day it may need a little help; if you approach it in the right way, you may be able to DID YOU provide much-needed care. However, Hedgehog-friendly habitats KNOW? it’s important to remember that The tiny creatures roam huge distances Hedghogs are hedgehogs are wild animals, and being every night in the search of food and lactose intolerant, handled is a stressful experience. mates – adult hedgehogs can travel so never give Prepare a cardboard box with high between 1km and 2km – with gardens, them milk sides by lining it with a towel or scrunched hedgerows, woodlands, grasslands, parks up newspaper (so the hedgehog can hide). and cemeteries all important habitats. Find yourself However, hedgehog territories are increasingly a pair of disappearing – and the creatures don’t like to be gardening hemmed in either. Talk to your neighbours about gloves and making a hole in a fence or dig a channel beneath then gently garden boundaries to connect your gardens. scoop up the Hedgehogs need to be able to cross borders, so hedgehog between us we have to make sure these little into the box. creatures are free to explore the region. Keep the box in a quiet, For more on how to make your garden more warm place: hedgehog-friendly, visit wildlifetrusts.org a hot-water and britishhedgehogs.org.uk

John the cock

Mili and Cali at Black Rock Sands, Morfa Bychan, near Porthmadog

Maggie

Daisy on holiday

WE WANT YOUR PETS! Send us a photo of your pet for inclusion in Shire! Just email the picture, with the name of your pet, to editorial@ shiremagazine.co.uk

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 119

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PETS & WILDLIFE

A NEW HOME FOR SWIFTS With the number of swifts in rapid decline in Wales, a unique partnership programme with the RSPB has seen a new special tower established to give them somewhere to call home

A

tower for swifts has been installed on Cardiff Bay Barrage as part of a partnership between RSPB Cymru, Glamorgan Bird Club and Cardiff Harbour Authority. The tower, designed by Polish architects Menthol, is the first of its kind in Wales and is located just a short distance from the footpath leading to the barrage. The unique Y-shaped structure will provide 90 nesting sites for swifts, protecting them from predators on the ground. A special call system powered by solar panels on top of the tower will help to attract swifts to nest. Although it may take up to three years for the tower to be used,

there’s a good chance that swifts will be flying by as they prospect for future nesting sites over the next few years.

Falling numbers

The installation of the tower couldn’t be timelier given that swift numbers in Wales have declined by 69 per cent since 1995. If numbers continue to fall at the same rate, we might lose them as breeding birds altogether in the next 20 years. Swifts nest high in the roofs of old houses and churches, and between gaps in brickwork and roof tiles. However, due to modernisation and building redevelopment within our towns and cities, these nooks and crannies are disappearing fast. This is one of the major causes for their population decline, as many swifts return from their winter migration to find their nest sites have been sealed up.

Watch the birdies The tower near Cardiff Bay Barrage

Swifts spend their winters in Africa, but every year they make an astonishing

6,000-mile journey to northern Europe. They stay here for approximately three months to breed, before returning south. The remarkable birds spend up to 90 per cent of their lives in flight, and they eat, sleep, drink and even mate on the wing. They’re superb fliers, and can be seen performing stunning aerial displays during long summer evenings. The Cardiff Swift Surveyor Volunteers will play an important role in monitoring the tower and the surrounding area for swifts over the next few years, helping the project leaders to understand which areas need to be protected as nest sites and to monitor any changes in Cardiff ’s swift population. The volunteers will also lead family-friendly swift walks in Cardiff, to help people spot and identify the birds and discover more about how we can help them. Have you seen a swift? Report it to the RSPB at rspb.org.uk

ZOO BEATS VISITOR RECORDS IN 2019

Bermuda and have delivered more than 80 conservation projects worldwide. We could not do all this without the remarkable public support.’

Chester Zoo reached the one million visitor mark in record time as it celebrates its 88th birthday

C

hester Zoo welcomed its one millionth visitor of 2019 at the end of June – the earliest the wildlife charity has ever reached the milestone in its 88-year history. The zoo, which is home to more than 27,000 animals from 500 Chester Zoo has 500 species species, is already the UK’s most visited zoo and the country’s most visited tourist attraction outside London. It is now on course to break two million visitors in a year for the first time. ‘To have reached this milestone earlier than ever before is just incredible,’ says Jamie Christon, Chester Zoo’s chief operating officer. ‘As our visitors become more aware of the threats to survival faced by thousands of species every day, it’s great to see so many of them supporting our charitable mission and helping us to prevent extinction. ‘This year, we’ve led a project to reintroduce five critically endangered rhinos in Africa, released 4,000 snails into the wild in

New for the zoo

The zoo has opened a number of new attractions this year, including a Madagascan dry forest zone that has the zoo’s first walkthrough habitat, where visitors are surrounded by some of the rarest lemur species on the planet. Building works are underway for a new Asiatic lion habitat, due to open in autumn this year. Looking further ahead, the zoo has planned a huge new grasslands zone – due to open in 2022 – which will see species such as giraffes, zebra and ostrich living side by side.

A new lemur attraction opened in 2019

120 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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830-2289-19-20: Image: Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com). Mae’r RSPB yn elusen gofrestredig yn Lloegr a Chymru 207076, yn Yr Alban SC037654. The RSPB is a registered charity in England & Wales 207076, in Scotland SC037654

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Child .00 £ 5.00 .00 £ 8.00

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FIND FIND US USON ON

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Gallery 1 & 3

Basketry – function and ornament Gallery 2

Aelwyd

– Towards a contemporary Welsh interior

Ruthin Craft Centre 20 July – 13 October 2019 Ruthin Craft Centre Galleries / Retail Gallery / Studios / Learning / Café

Ruthin Craft Centre, The Centre for the Applied Arts, Park Road, Ruthin, Denbighshire, Wales UK, LL15 1BB. Tel: +44 (0)1824 704774 FREE admission. FREE on-site parking. Open daily 10.00am – 5.30pm. www.ruthincraftcentre.org.uk

Image 1: Alison Dickens / photo courtesy of the maker. Image 2: James and Tilla Waters / photo: Stephen Heaton

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Arts&Crafts A scientific approach

Cheshire-based artist Anne Bonner swapped a lifetime of science and precision for the freedom and creativity of wielding a paintbrush and hasn’t looked back since

A

nne Bonner was born in the Rhondda Valley in south Wales and during her childhood lived on RAF stations in the east of England and Singapore, before finally settling in Farnborough, Hampshire, in 1966. She then moved to Frodsham, Cheshire, in 1992. ‘Although I’d always had an interest in art, I chose to follow a scientific career,’ Anne explains. ‘Over the years, I’ve worked as a pharmaceutical laboratory technician, a clinical biochemist and a part-time lecturer at a technical college. However, Anne eventually found time to rediscover her creative side. ‘In 1988 I began to follow my interest in drawing and painting again. I took up life drawing, which I’ve continued to the present day. ‘I was elected a member of the British Watercolour Society in 2006 and am a member of the Wirral Society of Arts and the

Grosvenor Art Society, Chester. I’m also a long-time member of Eddisbury Artists, which meets regularly in Frodsham.’

Show success

Getting back into painting has proved hugely successful for Anne, who in the past 26 years has exhibited widely in the north of England and north Wales, in group and solo exhibitions. She has also published a book about painting roses in watercolour. ‘I paint mostly flowers, gardens and landscapes,’ she says. ‘The landscapes of north Wales hold a particular significance ‘The for me as I have ancestors from the area and family living landscapes there still. I’ve also spent walking holidays in Snowdonia. of north ‘Over the years I have been influenced by the art of batik, Wales hold stained glass designs and Japanese woodblock prints. My a particular significance favourite media are watercolour alone, or watercolour and for me’ pen. Drawing and painting are equally important to me, so it’s natural to combine the two techniques. I find the combination suits my inclination to draw, and provides an underlying structure to the paintings which can be more loosely concluded with a limited palette of watercolour washes.’ Find out more about Anne’s work at annebonner.co.uk September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 123

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ARTS & CRAFTS AFONWEN CRAFTS Discover who will be visiting Afonwen Craft & Antique Centre in Flintshire over the coming months 7th & 8th September, Jackie @ Jewels Crafts Jackie makes wonderful jewellery using beads and stones, and also runs a repair service. 13th September, Charlotte @ Country Commissions Charlotte holds a paint-your-own furniture workshop – bring a small item of your own and learn how to paint. 17th September, local illustrator Natalie Griffiths Natalie’s work is mainly based around character-based imagery, and she takes commissions. 18th-22nd September, local artist Thelma Evans Thelma paints on canvas and her work consists mainly of flowers, landscapes and places of interest. 1st October, Paula @ Wood Be Special Assorted wooden items including trinket boxes, moneyboxes, door plaques and more, which can be engraved with names, dates and pictures.

Deep thinking at cathedral Chester Cathedral is something of a work of art in its own right, but recently it has become a venue worth visiting for far more than spiritual reasons with some great installations and artworks on display

affected by plastic pollution, as well as harmful human actions such as longline fishing, with all the sculptures within Saving The Deep depicting endangered species. He has donated his time creating the installation in order to raise awareness of pollution in our seas, as part of the cathedral’s year of extraordinary special events, Waves.

Beautiful building

Until mid-September the cathedral is also hosting a world premiere sculpture exhibition The Deep, ntil the end of October there’s a chance to made with Lego bricks. Created by Bright experience some incredible artwork Bricks, the world’s premier independent in the stunning surroundings of Chester toy-brick building firm, The Deep ‘The works Cathedral, focusing on the delicate nature offers visitors the chance to come face in Saving of our oceans and the risks they face. to face with a 1.75m yellowfin tuna The Deep The current exhibition has two made with 13,000 bricks, a fearsome were created elements. First is Saving The Deep, mako shark created with 80,000 bricks with waste a stunning and thought-provoking and a massive giant squid containing collected from installation by Jacha Potgieter in the 120,000 bricks and standing 2.7m tall. beaches’ cloisters of the cathedral. The work The Deep’s hand-built statues have by the north Wales artist includes been devised to entertain while also 10 sculptures, each one created from waste educating children and their families about collected from just three beach visits. the incredible diversity of life in the Earth’s The recent hard-hitting statistic that there will oceans, and about the major environmental be more plastic than fish in the sea by 2050 has issues that threaten their existence. really spurred Jacha on to raise as much awareness as possible about the marine species directly For more details, visit chestercathedral.com

U

2nd & 3rd October, Eco Silver Jewellery with Sandra Roberts Watch Sandra as she cuts, hammers and twists silver to create unique and beautiful jewellery. 4th October, Weaving with Trevor Blackburn Trevor will be busy weaving, and has some lovely woven scarves and cushion covers on display too. 8th October, Handmade Greetings Cards by Angela Angela makes stunning cards, using many different embellishments, and can also take commissions for any special occasions you may have coming up. 12th & 13th October, Encaustic Art by Linda Morris Linda uses hot wax with irons and glides it across special paper to create wonderful fantasy pictures. All Linda’s proceeds go to the Walton Centre, a neurological hospital in Liverpool. 15th & 16th October, local artist Gill Benjamin Gill will have some of her wonderful paintings on display and will be busy working on new designs. For more on upcoming events at Afonwen Craft & Antique Centre, visit afonwen.co.uk

124 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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ART SUPPLIES

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Why not get creative with our range of art supplies

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Byd Newydd New World 20.07.19 – 11.01.20 Arddangosfa Exhibition

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AFONWEN C R A F T & A NT I Q U E C E NT R E

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A R T I N YO U R A R E A

Until 18th September, Open Art Exhibition, Grosvenor Museum, Chester Featuring 203 exhibits by 162 artists from the surrounding area, the 13th open exhibition presents a kaleidoscope of colours and styles, a wide range of techniques and materials, and a rich variety of subjects and moods. Discover the best in contemporary art from the region and even hang some in your own home – most exhibits are also for sale.

Eerie mist over the Little Orme by Rita Murray

Until 29th September, Small Worlds by Rachel Porter, Oriel Plas Glyn-y-Weddw, Llanbedrog, Pwllheli Rachel Porter has been inspired by the small worlds that surround in this, her first solo exhibition. Using delicate watercolours, Rachel draws our attention to the common plants at her feet as well the insects and birds that create the special habitats of Pen Llŷn and Enlli. By drawing our attention to the details that make up these rich little worlds, Rachel succeeds in celebrating their beauty while at the same time emphasising the fragility of nature.

28th September – 30th October, Thump Of The Tale by Ruth Buchanan and Julie Cross, Granary Art Gallery, Weston Park, Weston-underLizard, nr Shifnal A snapshot of those works that seek not to illustrate the stories but to use themes and elements and connect them to memories as prompts. The exhibition also features some of the artists’ earlier animal studies, published works and sketchbooks.

Until 27th October, Mostyn Open 21, Mostyn Gallery, Llandudno Featuring works selected from more than 750 submissions from across the globe, the 21st anniversary edition of this internationally significant exhibition presents over 30 artists working in disciplines including textiles, photography, painting, sculpture, installation and film and video.

by Philip Taylor

by Rose Phillips

Sunset at Moel Famau by Lee Ramsell

126 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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ARTS & CRAFTS

by Wendy Briggs

by Philip Taylor

Umbrellas in the sky by Sue Hutchings

by Andy Armstrong

by Roger Fox

PHOTO COMPETITION THE SKY’S THE LIMIT

Red Arrows at Rhyl Airshow by Sue Hutchings

Wow! We were totally blown away by your contributions to Shire’s latest photography competition. We said ‘the sky’s the limit’ and you certainly showed us that is true! We’re sorry we don’t have space to include all the best entries, but keep sending us your pictures we’ll do our best! There are some incredible images printed here and we’ve tried to include even more than usual – keep up this response and we’ll soon have a whole dedicated photography section. We hope we can keep encouraging your amazing artistry for the next issue’s competition, which will be on the subject of Shadows & Reflections. As always, email your photographs along with your details to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk. Happy snapping!

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 127

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Don’t let the sunshine fade as autumn and winter approach – yellows are big news this season, with a host of mustards, ochres, golds, neon brights and baby lights

Sixties flower necklace £14, accessorize.com Betty Barclay outdoor jacket £170, www.houseoffraser.co.uk

Ellenour quilted shoulder bag £60, dunelondon.com

F&F jumper tesco.com Belted skirt £14, matalan.co.uk ChloBo gold bracelet £99, mococo.co.uk Principles Petite paisley midi dress £39, debenhams.com Miss Selfridge trainers £42, missselfridge.com

Marble & Co top £139, and wide-leg trousers £139, Olivia May, Cheshire; oliviamay.org Belted blazer £28, and long sleeve belted dress £18, direct.asda.com

Pleated skirt £34, next.co.uk Rosa midi dress £229, hobbs.co.uk

All from Tweedmill Shopping Outlet, Denbighshire; call 01745 730072 Roman shirt with 3/4 length sleeves £32

Bellfield chevron eyelash jumper £30, Bonmarché

Quilted gilet £20, Bonmarché,

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 129

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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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WEDDINGS A

SNAP TO IT

major part of planning your big day is making sure those special memories are captured for all eternity. Getting the right photographer, therefore, is vital – you won’t get the pictures you’re after unless you feel relaxed and comfortable around the person taking the snaps. Look at several companies or individuals before you make your decision and remember to be clear on what you want. If you Choose the style of photograph want purely formal, staged photos, make that clear from the outset; if social media-friendly, candid images are more your style, let your photographer know that too. Local photographer Allen E Gregory offers photographic services for any social event, whether that’s an informal celebration among friends, engagement, wedding, birthday gathering or anniversary. Allen also works at company occasions, photographing corporate or teambuilding events, or perhaps even a charity or sports club summer ball, black-tie evening or golf day. Whatever the occasion, Allen can capture the moment and record Capture every detail of your big day the memories for you. allenegregory.photography

Once upon a time… S

earching for a venue fit for a fairytale wedding? Look no further than Chateau Rhianfa. The château – beautifully positioned on the water in Menai Bridge, Anglesey – was built in 1849 by Sir John Hay Williams, Baronet of Bodelwyddan, as a gift for his wife Lady Sarah, and was inspired by the couple’s travels in the Loire region of France, where they were particularly enamoured by the architectural style favoured in the region during the 16th century. The magnificent interiors were chosen by Lady Sarah herself, and to honour her exquisite taste and connect the French-style château to its newly formed Welsh roots, a local vicar suggested that the house be christened DID YOU ‘Rhianfa’, meaning lady’s abode. KNOW? This story is all part of the magical Rhianfa’s fairytale setting The chateau atmosphere that greets all who discover was built as a ‘dower this hidden jewel in north Wales. The charming character, inspired by an enchanting love house’ story, lives on and makes a romantic and picturesque setting for any wedding celebration. In recent years, great care has been taken to preserve the treasured French-style architecture, and it’s hoped that the gentle restoration will ensure that the historic charm and unique character of Château Rhianfa will last forever – like any true fairytale should. chateaurhianfa.com

WHAT TO WEAR G

etting the bride and groom togged up for their big day is all very well, but their special guests need to be looking their very best too. So Chic is an award-winning ladies boutique selling beautiful clothing and accessories for the discerning woman, situated on the high street in the historic university town of Bangor. If you haven’t yet chosen your outfit for a wedding this year, this is the place to go – especially if you have an important role to play, such as mother of the bride or groom. Stocking beautiful, elegant, timeless designer clothing and accessories, So Chic will help you choose the perfect outfit. Since being established in 2006, So Chic has gone from strength to strength and even added a whole floor of special occasion wear back in 2010. The shop has an excellent reputation and is well known for the stunning collections, impeccable customer service and professional advice it offers. The team’s expertise has been recognised by experts as well as customers, and they have won a whole host of awards from the Welsh National Wedding Awards as well as being named Best Occasion Wear Shop in Wales in 2017. sochicbangor.co.uk

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 131

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WEDDINGS

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

With so many wedding venues in the area, picking the perfect place in which to tie the knot can be tricky. Here we’ve put together 20 of the best to help you make the right choice

Bodysgallen Hall, south of Llandudno, provides all that is best in country house hospitality and the perfect backdrop for those photos with spectacular views of Snowdonia and Conwy Castle. bodysgallen.com

Lepone’s is a well-known and established Oswestry restaurant set in the splendour of an old renovated Methodist church and can bring a taste of the true Italy served with flair to your wedding day. leponesitalian.co.uk

Tre-Ysgawen Hall is an awardwinning four-star country house hotel and spa on Anglesey. There are four suites to choose from, or Tre-Ysgawen has an outdoor wedding venue. treysgawen-hall.co.uk

The Old Rectory on the outskirts of Wem is a handsome Georgian hotel that radiates comfort and style. It offers luxury bedrooms, wonderful food and the personal attention your day deserves. oldrectorywem.co.uk

Holiday Inn Chester South is top for convenience and location, making it a popular choice for those with guests travelling to their big day. Facilities include a swimming pool, sauna and steam room. hichestersouthhotel.co.uk

The Grosvenor Pulford in Chester boasts impressive facilities and can offer intimate candle-lit ceremonies along with romantic outdoor nuptials within a lakeside gazebo. grosvenorpulfordhotel.co.uk

Plas Isaf Country Barn & Gardens in Corwen, Denbighshire, is a 17th-century listed barn offering a wealth of versatility for an intimate gathering of 30 or a celebratory party for 300. plas-isaf.co.uk

Rossett Hall Hotel in north Wales has a secluded, tranquil atmosphere. The building combines the grandeur and charm of a Georgian hall with the amenities and comfort of a modern hotel. rossetthallhotel.co.uk

Holt Lodge Hotel in Wrexham is a sanctuary of peace and tranquillity, with picturesque gardens and beautifully appointed function suites, offering the perfect setting for weddings and family celebrations. holtlodge.co.uk

The Hand Hotel in Chirk is one of the oldest hotels in north-east Wales. The team are proud of their attention to detail, from initial planning to the day itself, ensuring your wedding is as memorable as possible. thehandhotelchirk.co.uk

Carden Park near Chester is where all your dreams can come true. Take your vows surrounded by 1,000 acres of countryside, with the team on hand to make sure everything runs like clockwork. cardenpark.co.uk

Gregynog Hall near Newtown, Powys, is sure to impress your guests. This is the most romantic of locations, with cultural significance and laced with symbolism from the earliest times of the Princes of Wales. gregynog.org

The Wild Pheasant Hotel & Spa in the Vale of Llangollen combines the traditional charm and comfort of its 19th-century building with the contemporary chic of the new luxury wing and spa facilities. wildpheasanthotel.co.uk

Brookhouse Mill is a 17thcentury mill in Denbigh with a restaurant overlooking the river and gardens. It’s the ideal venue for any occasion, from an intimate dinner for two to a 70-guest wedding. Call 01745 813377.

Tyn Dwr Hall is a tranquil country escape near Llangollen. With five-star accommodation for up to 66 guests, stained-glass windows and romantic waterfalls, surrounded by breathtaking scenery. tyndwrhall.co.uk

Soughton Hall near Mold swept the board at the Welsh National Wedding Awards, claiming Best Venue in Wales. This is a stunning location that is definitely worth a visit. soughtonhall.co.uk

Portmeirion in north Wales is a wedding venue like no other. Spend your special day surrounded by colourful buildings, sandy beaches and winding woodland, with a choice of three locations for the ceremony. portmeirion.wales

Whittington Castle near Oswestry is an impressive slice of history dating back to 1222. The fairytale castle, ivy-clad walls, medieval moat and twin-towered gatehouse create the perfect romantic setting. whittingtoncastle.co.uk

Thornton Manor in Cheshire can accommodate 20 to 1,000 guests in its Walled Garden, Waterside Pavilion, Lakeside Marquee or Manor House, the former home of Lord Leverhulme. thorntonmanor.co.uk

Château Rhianfa in Anglesey has earned a reputation as a premier wedding destination, with a range of wedding packages for couples looking to take advantage of the hotel’s fairytale setting. chateaurhianfa.com

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A real life fairytale hotel in Anglesey Our story goes back many years to the exquisite scenery of the Loire Valley in France, told through the magnificent architecture of our Grade ll-listed Château on the Isle of Anglesey’s Menai Strait with breath-taking views overlooking Snowdonia.

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Health&Beauty

DRAWING THE LINE As we age, wrinkles – laughter lines or crow’s feet, deep furrows or fine lines – are inevitable, but there are ways to reduce or disguise them

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geing is a natural process and one we can’t fight, but many of us still try. Signs of advancing years crop up in all sorts of places, but one area that can show wear and tear more than most is on our faces. Whether we’re collecting an endearing cluster of laughter lines as evidence of a full and happy life, or years of stress and tension at work are leaving frown lines where we don’t want them, there are ways to either get rid of our wrinkles or at least hide them.

Make sure your diet is doing its bit to help too, with plenty of fruit, nuts and vitamin C.

Lifestyle changes

to try a few and make your own decision. However, there are key active ingredients that make the difference, so it’s worth looking out for the following: retinoids, hydroxyl ‘Make facial acid, coenzyme Q10, peptides, massages niacinamide, tea and herbal extracts.

Simple changes to the way we live can to help prevent wrinkles as we part of age. It’s a good idea to avoid too your much sunlight, for example. Smoking Lose a layer routine’ will cause wrinkles A more radical option to get rid too, through of lines is to remove dead and the damage done to damaged skin cells. There are several ways your circulation and the of doing this, including chemical peels. constant puckering of the These will leave your skin feeling tighter lips. Make sure you wear and fresher but the effects won’t last forever. glasses if prescribed and Microdermabrasion has a slightly longersunglasses if it’s bright Nature’s way lasting effect; the same result can be achieved too as squinting can Before you start through laser treatments that vary on cost, stretch the skin as well. looking at expensive impact and longevity depending on the clinic Making regular facial or even intrusive and the approach, so investigate fully before A diet rich in vitamin C can help massages part of your solutions, there splashing out on this level of intervention. routine can also help. Stimulating the nerve are several approaches that can help the endings and muscles in the face encourages appearance of wrinkles in a natural way. Hidden depths blood flow to keep the skin plump. Experts have long advocated the benefits A different approach is to plump the of drinking plenty of water and this is skin around the wrinkles to even out the definitely true when it comes to keeping your Lotions and potions complexion. Botox injections are one skin in good condition – around eight glasses There are anti-wrinkle creams for every option, as are a range of facial fillers. a day is recommended. Using moisturiser is budget, from a few pounds a pot to several Once the preserve of the rich and famous, also advised; a natural one if possible – olive hundred. Some work better than others, but clinics across the region now offer these oil, shea butter or aloe vera are good bets. everyone has their own opinions so it’s best services at affordable prices. We untie the myths surrounding our tongues

HEALTH MYTHS

Different parts of the tongue taste different flavours The theory of taste zones, often mapped out on diagrams of the tongue, goes back a long way and has been circulated far and wide. However, scientists don’t hold much faith in the notion and suggest that tastebuds can sense things differently and connect with different neurons in the brain. We can differentiate many flavours, but not necessarily because of where they touch our tongues. You can swallow your tongue This is often said as a warning, especially if someone

is having a fit or seizure, but it is actually impossible to swallow your tongue. While a person loses a lot of muscle control during a seizure, there is tissue in your mouth beneath your tongue that holds it in place. Your tongue can inform a medical diagnosis The old adage of sticking your tongue out for the doctor actually holds an element of truth – the tongue can be a useful indicator for some conditions. Since ancient times, Chinese medical practitioners have looked at patients’ tongues to diagnose disease and to this day, to the trained eye, features on your tongue can offer clues to help identify the cause of conditions throughout your body.

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HEALTH & BEAUTY C O M P L E M E N TA R Y H E A LT H

HOMEOPATHY

BE STRONGER FOR LONGER Tanya Grenade, MSc in human nutrition, from University of Chester shares her advice on the good habits that will help to improve your bone health

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The reference nutrient intake (RNI) of steoporosis is calcium for girls aged 11 to 18 is 800mg a a condition where the bones day and and 1,000mg for boys. A glass of become brittle and milk contains around 290mg of calcium. weak. The condition Our skin also converts sunlight into is often known vitamin D. From late March to the end of as a silent disease September, the sunlight in the UK is enough because it may not for most people to get the recommended display symptoms or amount of vitamin D. However, it is be diagnosed until important to ensure that skin is protected Tanya Grenade a fracture occurs. with sunscreen to avoid redness or sunburn. Women are at an increased risk of osteoporosis, with about one in two Excellent exercise women over 50 breaking a bone because of Weight-bearing exercise, such as walking, osteoporosis compared with one in five men. jumping, skipping, climbing, weight-lifting Although 80 per cent of bone strength is and dancing, all help to promote bone determined by genetics, some straightforward mineral density. While activities such as lifestyle changes can lower the risk. swimming and cycling are brilliant About 80 to 90 per cent of for our general health – for our DID YOU peak bone mass is developed hearts and our minds – they aren’t KNOW? from the ages of 12 to 18, so it’s weight-bearing and therefore An estimated 3.5 million people should be used in conjunction important for teenagers to adopt in the UK have healthy behaviours to promote with a weight-bearing activity. osteoporosis strong bones and reduce the risk The Chief Medical Office of osteoporosis. An estimated 10 recommends that teenagers should per cent increase of peak bone mass in do at least an hour of moderate exercise childhood reduces the risk of an osteoporotic every day, with adults recommended to fracture during adult life by 50 per cent. achieve 30 minutes five days a week. The However, bone health promotion doesn’t exercise should make you breathe a little end in adolescence. So what can you do to harder, but you should still be able to talk. promote bone health? Well it’s as easy as C, This amount doesn’t have to be achieved D and E – calcium, vitamin D and exercise. all at once – 10-minute bouts that add up over the day have been shown to be Vitamins and minerals effective too. If you prefer to work out more vigorously, 75 minutes a week is the Calcium is essential for building strong bones and teeth, while vitamin D helps to recommendation – so more effort, but less regulate the amount of calcium in the body. time required to reap the benefits! However, it’s thought that around one in five people in the UK have low vitamin D levels. To find out more about osteoporosis, visit theros.org.uk; to see if your calcium Both can be obtained through foods such as milk, cheese, yoghurt, sardines, intake matches the requirements, visit green leafy vegetables, eggs and salmon. iofbonehealth.org/calcium-calculator

WHAT Homeopathy is a natural form of medicine used by more than 200 million people worldwide to treat both acute and chronic conditions. The holistic nature of homeopathy means each person is treated as a unique individual, and their body, mind, spirit and emotions are all considered in the management and prevention of disease. WHERE Homeopathy as a system of alternative medicine was created in 1796 by German doctor Samuel Hahnemann.

WHO Homeopathy is suitable for most patients and can be used to treat an extremely wide range of conditions, including physical conditions such as asthma, hay fever, arthritis and high blood pressure, as well as psychological conditions such as depression and anxiety. HOW A basic belief behind homeopathy is that ‘like cures like’. In other words, something that brings on symptoms in a healthy person can, in a very small dose, treat an illness with similar symptoms because the dose could potentially trigger the body’s natural defences. However, there is little scientific evidence of its effect and although some people who use homeopathy may see an improvement in their health condition due to a placebo effect, there is no proof of its impact.

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 135

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Retirement Living Brands don’t represent us, say over-50s New research has revealed that many over-50s feel most brands do not accurately represent them and their increasingly active lifestyles

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detailed study has revealed that far from being stuck in a middle-aged rut, today’s 50-year-olds are challenging perceptions and living life to the full. Researchers found that the modern 50-something has a gym membership, watches YouTube and has sex every couple

Today’s over-50s are ‘energised adventurers’

of days. They can regularly be found having a pint in the local pub, eat out once a month and enjoy gigs as much as the younger generation – and one in 10 says their sex lives are better in their sixth decade. Today’s 50-somethings are also up-todate with the latest and best TV shows and boxsets, and would much rather watch Game Of Thrones than settle down to an episode of EastEnders. One-fifth attend gigs every few months, while the same percentage will watch their favourite music artists at least four times a year.

Poor presentation

Brands need to change their perception

However, while the over-50s are living life to the full, many feel misrepresented by brands. Around one in four grumbles at clothing brands for failing to represent their age group accurately, while a fifth

believe the common depiction of middle age in advertising is totally wrong. The study was commissioned by TUI UK as part of an ongoing programme to fully understand its customer base. ‘We all have an idea of what we perceive over-50s do and think – and this stereotype is often informed by movies, TV and advertising,’ a company spokesperson said. ‘We know there’s a whole group of middle-agers who are energised adventurers and this latest study shows middle age is an active and social time of life. ‘It’s a time where many have fewer responsibilities as children have grown up and flown the nest, as well as having more disposable income than they did when they were younger. The lifestyles of over-50s are reflecting this and brands need to learn more about the age group to make sure the image they show of this generation is correct.’

OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD FUN FOR RESIDENTS The 50th anniversary of the moon landings were celebrated in style at one Wrexham care home thanks to the creativity of the staff

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in space suits to mark the are home residents in Wrexham took anniversary of Neil Armstrong a giant leap with a madcap celebration and Buzz Aldrin becoming of the recent 50th anniversary of the moon landing, as their lift was transformed the first humans to walk on into Apollo 11’s lunar module, Eagle. the lunar surface in 1969. The wacky experience at Pendine One small step Park’s Highfield House Care Home was accompanied by appropriate music, such ‘I was trying to think of as Frank Sinatra singing ‘Fly Me To The something different to inspire residents Moon’ and ‘Walking On The Moon’ by but in a fun way,’ says Christine. ‘I The Police. Once they reached thought up the idea of transforming the lunar surface – aka the the lift into a space capsule and ‘The event first floor – residents planted recreating the surface of the moon brought a flag in a decorated sick bowl on a landing at the care home using back that was doubling as a crater. bubble wrap and painted sick bowls, memories!’ The special event was the which make perfect lunar craters. brainchild of Pendine Park’s ‘It certainly got residents thinking, with some recalling lead enrichment and activities coordinator, Christine Lewis. She and what they were doing when the moon her colleague, James Wallice, dressed up landings took place 50 years ago.’

Waiting for lift-off: (l-r) James Wallice, Gladys Cross, Christine Lewis, Rose Samuels and Noel Hughes

Resident Glenys Cross, 85, was one of the first to brave the moon-bound capsule. ‘The rocket to the moon was really good and better than watching telly,’ she says. ‘The event brought back some memories but most of all it’s been good fun. I really enjoyed it.’ Fellow resident Noel Hughes, 71, also had a ball. ‘It was brilliant! I was only a lad really when the moon landings happened but I do remember it vividly. We have had a brilliant day and I enjoyed making the sounds of rockets and astronauts talking on the radio.’

138 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Meet the Expert Mr Simon Hill The consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital (RJAH) in Oswestry talks about the latest surgical techniques for the foot and ankle

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he foot and ankle unit at RJAH is one of the largest in the country, with four full-time foot and ankle consultant surgeons; we’re currently looking for a fifth. Surgeons in this field tend to start out working in an elective and trauma unit; with time, sub-specialist work takes over. At RJAH we do a fair bit of tertiary referral work from other hospitals. This can be because a patient is having problems after surgery or their case is a complex one – for example, if a previous fracture has healed incorrectly. We also work with acute trauma and uncommon fractures, such as talar or calcaneal fractures.

Ankle replacements

We can replace ankles, and this is being done in increasing numbers in the UK – although still many fewer than the number of hips and knees being routinely replaced in the UK. At RJAH, ankle replacements are performed by two of my colleagues, Mr Andrew Bing and Mr Nilesh Makwana. One reason we’re seeing more ankle replacements is the improvement in the implants – we’re now on the third and fourth generation. Some designs now have a fixed bearing, which inhibits side-to-side movement, and

this improves stability of the implant and may reduce wear and tear with use. Replacing the ankle is now a realistic option rather than fusing the ankle joint, which although more robust is restrictive. An ankle replacement is a treatment offered to arthritis patients, both rheumatoid – who tend to be younger – and osteoarthritis patients – who tend to be older. Younger patients with osteoarthritis, however, may be better suited to an ankle fusion.

Neuromuscular

Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease is a hereditary condition that affects sensory and motor nerves, which causes problems in the

Mr Hill in theatre at RJAH

feet and hands. Patients end up with a deformity, with their feet and toes clawed and their whole foot curved inwards, which severely affects walking. To treat this condition we try to use conservative methods first, such as physiotherapy and

orthotic devices. With surgical procedures, our aim is to provide a foot that is flat to the ground. This can be done by soft tissue balancing of the muscles and tendons, Mr Simon Hill outside RJAH but may involve cutting bones to improve bone growth and correction alignment or stiffening joints. of the deformity. We check progress regularly with x-rays Using frames and CT scans if necessary, and we clean and change the The causes for lower limb dressing on the pins each week. deformity can be congenital, Frames aren’t for everyone, meaning the patient was born but they allow the patient’s with the problem. But most leg to be weight-bearing cases of lower-leg deformity during treatment and patient are trauma related, where there outcomes are excellent. has been a mal-union – the Andrew Bing and I visited bones have healed in the the Ilizarov Institute in Kurgan, wrong position – or a Siberia, to gain further training delayed or non-union, in the frame techniques from which causes pain at the the institute that introduced site of the original break that hasn’t healed. the use of circular frames. We’ve been using Ilizarov developed a technique to fix fractures using fine wires circular frames – the Taylor spatial frame – since and circular ring fixators where compression was used to help 2003. After the frame is fractures heal. A patient been applied, we use x-rays to measure the deformity and distracted his fracture rather frame-mounting. We then use than compressing it and Ilizarov noticed this caused the bone to a computer program to work out how each of the six struts grow. This technique is now used to lengthen bones, and we have are to be adjusted daily – the patient then does this at home. continued to use these This is a multi-dimensional techniques at RJAH. way of minutely controlling

Mr Hill’s CV Clinical and research interests Foot and ankle surgery and trauma, conditions such as bunions, keyhole surgery to ankle and toe joint, rheumatoid arthritis-related conditions, use of circular frames

The foot and ankle consultant surgeons at RJAH: (front row, left to right) Mr Nilesh Makwana, Mr Andrew Bing, Mr Chris Marquis and Mr Simon Hill

Qualifications Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MB ChB) degree; Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS) in Trauma and Orthopaedics

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20

QUESTIONS

Former athlete Colin Jackson, who represented Wales and Great Britain in the 110m hurdles and won medals at the Olympic and Commonwealth Games, is enjoying a new role as chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University

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What is your full name? Colin Ray Jackson

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What is your current job title/role? I’m a BBC Sports commentator, global sport director for Wings for Life, charity fundraiser and motivational speaker.

15 If you had to take part in a reality TV show, which would you have the best chance of winning: Strictly Come Dancing, The Great British Bake Off or I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!? Well, I’m already a Strictly winner! I won the 2017 Christmas special and was runner-up on the main show in 2005!

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Describe your home life It’s just me!

16 What is your guilty pleasure? Sweets! I can’t resist sweets!

4

What has been your highlight of the past 12 months? I think the highlight of the last year has been returning to coaching athletes. Aside from becoming the chancellor of Wrexham Glyndwr University, of course!

17 When did you last laugh uncontrollably and why? I’m always laughing and enjoying myself. I spent the weekend at RunFestRun [a running festival in Wiltshire] and laughed for the whole three days!

5

What was your worst moment of the past 12 months? Luckily, I haven’t had any.

6

If you could come back as any animal, what would you be and why? A black panther because they are beautiful and graceful, but shouldn’t be underestimated because of that beauty.

7

What would be your desert island disc and why? ‘Try Again’ by Aaliyah because it encourages you to keep going.

8

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why? Flying. Because I could pack up and go wherever I like whenever I feel like it, just like a bird!

9

Who is your all-time hero and how have they inspired you? Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He stays positive during negative times.

10 What is your worst fear or phobia? I fear nothing! 11

18 You’re hosting a celebrity dinner party for four guests – who do you invite? Barack Obama, Martin Luther King, Jimi Hendrix and Dawn French. 19 Where is your favourite place in the world and why? Toronto, Canada. Lots of things are similar to Britain so it’s like home but with the added benefits of being in North America. 20 What is your proudest achievement so far? Raising money for all the charities I’ve supported.

‘I’m in my dream job – it doesn’t feel like work!’

What would be the first thing you would buy if you won the lottery? First-class plane tickets for friends and family to go on a good holiday.

12 What is your dream job – other than your current roles? I already feel like I’m in my dream job because it doesn’t feel like work – I’m living the dream! 13 If you were representing your country in the Olympics, which sport would you choose? I’d still do the hurdles! 14 What is your favourite drink? Coffee. 142 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

20 Questions SeptOct 2019 jwDB FINAL.indd 1

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diwrnodau agored. israddedig

7 Medi 12 Hydref

open days. undergraduate

7 September 12 October

Archebwch nawr / Book now

01978 293439 wgu.ac.uk/openday 143_SHIRE_SO2019.indd 1

23/08/2019 15:33


TOGETHER WE ALL ADD UP TO

Co-educational day school 4-11 01952 223117 admissions@oldhall.co.uk Wellington, Shropshire TF1 3LB

GREAT OPEN DAY Joint Open Day for Old Hall School and Wrekin Saturday 5th October 10am - 1pm Wrekin Sixth Form Open Evening Thursday 26th September, 6pm

Co-educational day and boarding school 11-18 01952 265603 admissions@wrekincollege.com Wellington, Shropshire TF1 3BH

REGISTER ONLINE OR FIND OUT MORE: www.wrekincollege.com • www.oldhall.co.uk Registered Charity No. 528417

Registered Charity No. 528417 TF1 Wellington, Shropshire,

3BH

MOOR PARK was given the top grades and deemed to be EXCELLENT IN ALL AREAS (ISI June 2019) The quality of the pupils’ academic and other achievements is EXCELLENT. The quality of the pupils’ personal development is EXCELLENT.

Moor Park’s TICK TOCK NURSERY was judged to be OUTSTANDING IN ALL AREAS (ISI June 2019) The overall effectiveness of the early years provision is OUTSTANDING The effectiveness of leadership and management is OUTSTANDING The quality of teaching, learning and assessment is OUTSTANDING The personal development, behaviour and welfare of children are OUTSTANDING Outcomes for all children are OUTSTANDING

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Moor Park - Richards Castle - Ludlow - Shropshire - SY8 4DZ www.moorpark.org.uk - T: 01584876061 - E: head@moorpark.org.uk

23/08/2019 15:34


Top of the Class TOP MARKS FOR MOOR PARK

M

oor Park School, Ludlow, has been given top grades and deemed excellent in all areas in the latest report from the Independent Schools Inspectorate. The result was an improvement even on the previous very positive report in 2011. Headmaster Charlie Minogue was delighted with the findings. ‘This report highlights both the historical strengths of Moor Park together with the improvements to the school made Moor Park received an excellent report over the last few years, made possible due to the excellent working relationships curriculum and our teaching methods have between staff, pupils and parents,’ he says. been evaluated, from Tick Tock Nursery to ‘It is well-deserved recognition of the Year 8, to ensure that Moor Park children are hard work contributed by everyone.’ deliberately encouraged to think in carefully The Educational Quality inspection selected ways. Critical thinking, curiosity, reports on the quality of outcomes creativity, confidence, independence ‘We are for children in two key areas: their and resilience are all part of a Moor keen to achievement, including academic Park education at all levels.’ give development, and their personal Moor Park sends children children an development. Moor Park was to complete their secondary advantage’’ judged to be excellent in all areas, education at a range of schools, the highest rating available. including Shrewsbury School, The inspection specifically mentions the Malvern College, Cheltenham College school’s new innovative approach to teaching, and Hereford Cathedral School, as well Moor Park Mindsets, as being central to its as other high-profile schools further success at encouraging higher-order thinking afield such as Winchester, Radley, Eton, skills in all children. ‘We are keen to give Harrow, Uppingham and Oundle, with children an advantage in a rapidly changing, a high percentage of students obtaining AI-dominated world, where the right scholarships. In the past three years, 81 thinking skills are likely to be as important children have won a total of 68 awards – a as knowledge,’ says Charlie. ‘The entire remarkable record for a non-selective school.

Musical masterpiece from choir S tudents at a Shropshire college are hitting all the right notes with music-lovers after releasing a CD. The Choirs Of Ellesmere College’s Such A Love As None Can Part features 14 tracks across a range of genres and offers something to suit all musical tastes. Students at Ellesmere College sing in five choirs – Chapel Choir, Lower School Choir, Coro Lux, Chamber Choir and the College Choral Society – and in a little over a year there have been prestigious performances in the BBC Young Choir Of The Year and Barnardo’s National Choir competitions. During that time, the college choirs have also performed at St Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon in Rome, the amphitheatre in Pompeii, Queen’s College Oxford and St George’s Chapel, Windsor. ‘Music plays such a major role in our lives and is an important part of life at the college,’ says director of music Tony Coupe. ‘Our choirs are highly regarded both nationally and internationally, and have performed at some amazing venues in front of many music aficionados.

Ellesmere College’s choirs perform across the world

‘The students really enjoyed recording this CD and they can take great pride in how it turned out. It’s all about enjoyment and the ability to interpret and communicate something of meaning to the listener that’s what makes a great performance. ‘The CD features 14 carefully selected tracks across a wide range of musical genres, from ‘Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel’, a traditional spiritual piece, to ‘Mr Blue Sky’ by ELO, and four of our choirs – the Chapel, Lower School and Chamber Choirs and Coro Lux – performed on the CD.’

EDUCATION

SCHOOL NEWS BEST YOUNG BUSINESS PEOPLE Talented students from Abbey Gate College rose to the ultimate business challenge to be crowned North West The winning team Company Of The Year in the regional finals of the Young Enterprise Company Programme. The winning team, GreenBean, battled it out against eight others from Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester and Lancashire, who over the course of a year all set up and ran successful companies. The team also received the award for Best Presentation. GreenBean, who’d previously won the county final, developed the BabyBean – a mini beanbag made from recyclable materials that can be used as a stress aid and to assist dexterity. The competition held by Young Enterprise, a national charity that supports young people to successfully earn and manage money, celebrates talented young entrepreneurs changing the face of business.

Children at the Eisteddfod

POIGNANT PEACE MESSAGE FROM PUPILS Children from Wrexham schools Rhosymedre Community Primary and Ysgol Min Y Ddol delivered a poignant peace message during the Children’s Day of the annual Llangollen International Eisteddfod. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Earth’s Little Heroes’ in celebration of the festival’s continued efforts to reduce plastic waste. Performances on the day included local schools from Denbighshire – Ysgol Y Gwernant, Ysgol Bryn Collen, Ysgol Bro Dyfrdwy, Caer Drewyn and Ysgol Carrog – exploring the World Warriors theme together with Kakatsitsi Master Drummers from Ghana. Rhosymedre and Ysgol Min Y Ddol also led a peace message. Children took to the stage in the pavilion for a day of fun activities and educational workshops. Special guests included the Holloway Children’s Choir from China.

STUDENTS SHOW THEIR DRIVE AND AMBITION OsBiz is an entrepreneurial society at Oswestry School, where young people in the sixth form with valid business ideas pitch to secure funding from the school to help with their start-up ideas. Once their business is up and running, the young entrepreneurs are asked to donate their profits to assist with OsBiz projects for the following academic year. The grand total raised this year is £929, which has been earmarked to renovate the OsBiz kitchen, and will be matched by the school’s headmaster, Julian Noad. The plans for the kitchen include new cooking, cleaning, storage and preparation facilities.

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 145

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EDUCATION

SCHOOL NEWS STAGE-STRUCK STUDENTS

PUPILS GAIN TOP SPOTS AT SECONDARIES T

Much Ado About Nothing

Year 6 leavers at the Firs School in Chester took part in the school’s annual tradition of producing a superb end-of-year play, performing an excellent version of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing. The children’s breathtaking display was thanks to teamwork, hard work and inspired direction. ‘The children performed a wonderful production and we were extremely proud of them,’ says headteacher Lucy Davies. ‘At the Firs School, we have such an excellent team of talented staff and dedicated parents, and I would particularly like to thank Mr Philips for his wonderful direction to create such a memorable and excellent performance.’

he Firs School in Chester is once again celebrating the fact that all its Year 6 pupils received and accepted their first choice of secondary schools. In fact, many pupils found themselves with the dilemma of being offered several places. Two pupils have also been offered academic scholarships. Pupils will be heading to West Kirby Grammar School, Abbey Gate College, King’s School, Queens School, The Grange, Upton by Chester High School, Christleton High School and Calday Grammar. ‘We’re very proud of our pupils for working so hard to achieve their first choice

secondary school,’ says headteacher Lucy Davies. ‘We start to prepare pupils for the rigorous entrance procedures well in advance with our comprehensive Transfer programme, and our children are going to a variety of excellent schools both state and independent. ‘Our Gifted & Talented programme starts in Year 2, ensuring pupils who show a special talent or gift for an area such as maths, English or music are provided lots of extra-curricular opportunities to progress. We’ve had a wonderful year with our Year 6 students and look forward to seeing how they continue to fly in their next schools.’

MORETON MAESTRO PERFORMS AT FESTIVAL

The Firs School’s successful Year 6 cohort Selina Shi

Moreton Hall GCSE music student Selina Shi performed as part of the Young Musician Ensemble at this year’s International Chamber Music Festival in Whittington. The 15-year-old was invited to participate after winning the 15-and-under string solo class at the Oswestry Music Festival in March. ‘It was good to play with other professional musicians,’ says Selina. ‘We practised on Thursday evening and performed on the Friday night, so there was only a short period of time to practise. I was nervous walking on to stage, but once I started performing my nerves were gone. Experience in previous competitions helped to calm my nerves.’

THE NEXT STEP IN STUDIES North Shropshire College has two campuses, each with excellent facilities. The Oswestry campus shares sites with the purpose-built Oswestry Leisure Centre and has top-ofthe-range facilities including a restaurant for teaching and commercial use, and a dedicated hair and beauty salon. Its Learning Resource Centre has recently been updated with stateof-the-art ICT facilities. The Walford campus offers a diverse range of land-based courses in a beautiful rural setting close to Shrewsbury. Thanks to a recent investment of more than £10m, Walford provides some of the best land-based facilities in the region. The extensive grounds include mature woodlands, new tree plantations, fishing pools and a rough game shoot. It is home to an animal care centre with specialist facilities to cater for 100 different species, as well as an engineering centre, sports facilities and a working farm with a milking herd of 200 cows and a flock of 65 breeding ewes. Adjacent to the farm is an equestrian centre with an indoor arena, outdoor school and stables.

CONCERT SHOWCASES MUSICAL TALENT T

he recent annual Gala Concert at Abbey Gate College, Chester, was a highly varied musical evening featuring the Chapel Choir, Concert Band, Just Sing, the Infant & Junior Choir, the String Group and the Orchestra. The evening showcased the excellent calibre of musical talent at the college across all age groups. The Chapel Choir, under the direction of James Andrews, gave a magnificent performance of ‘Evening Hymn’ by Balfour Gardiner among other music, while the Junior Choir and Just Sing gave heartfelt performances of ‘The Rhythm Of Life’ and ‘Sun Arise’. Performance highlights included outstanding solos ‘An from Felix Gideonse on piano, excellent Megan Rolf on cello, Harry calibre of Tomlins on piano and Tom talent’ Fesmer singing ‘Stars’ from Les Miserables. Felix has been attending the Junior Royal Northern College Of Music in Manchester, and

All ages were involved in the concert

Tom has been awarded a scholarship at the Royal Academy Of Music in London. Music from film and TV featured, with the Concert Band performing The Great Escape theme, the String Group playing the theme from Game Of Thrones and the newly formed Orchestra giving a powerful performance of music from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The finale was a piano duet by former director of music Stewart Smith and his son, Henry.

146 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Prep, Senior and Sixth Form

Open Day

Saturday 21st September, 10am An Opportunity to Meet the New Principal www.moretonhall.org/Open-Day Independent Boarding and Day School - Girls 3-18, Boys 3-11

“It’s everything a school should be”

registrar@moretonhall.com | 01691 773671 Moreton Hall, Weston Rhyn, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 3EW

Tatler Schools Guide

Myddelton College “Learning to thrive in the 21st Century” Visit us on our Open Day 19th October 2019 from 10am Ages 7-18

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Tel: 01745 472 201

www.myddeltoncollege.com

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Packwood Shire mag A4 bleed 010219.qxp_Layout 1 01/02/2019 15:58 Page 1

Please come for a tasteof Packwood... Open Day

Saturday 28th September

Packwood

Haugh

www.packwood-haugh.co.uk

Packwood Haugh School Ruyton XI Towns, Shrewsbury SY4 1HX Telephone 01939 260217

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23/08/2019 16:18


EDUCATION

NEW HEAD AT FAST-GROWING COLLEGE

SCHOOL NEWS

A

new headteacher has been appointed at Myddelton College in Denbigh, the second-fastest growing private school in the UK. Andrew Allman, 39, said he was ‘proud and privileged’ to take the helm at the co-educational day and boarding school, which was recently hailed by inspectors as ‘a vibrant international learning community’. Myddelton College opened in 2016 on the site of the former Howells School. Two-thirds of its students come from Denbighshire, Flintshire and Conwy, and it also attracts boarders from 16 different nationalities as far afield as Kazakhstan, Russia, China, Nigeria, Spain, Italy, Mexico and Chile. Pupil numbers are due to increase to 280 as this academic year begins, up more than 27 per cent on the previous year. Andrew is originally from Shrewsbury and attended Shrewsbury School, another of the country’s leading private schools which produced politician Michael Heseltine and former Monty Python star and travel show presenter Michael Palin. He went on to study a bachelor’s degree in theology and an master’s in education as well as teaching qualifications at Durham University before joining the staff of Barnard Castle. He came to Myddelton College two years ago as head of academic studies, and worked closely with

Andrew Allman

his predecessor to strengthen the new school. ‘Mark Roberts did a fantastic job here and we completely overhauled the school to give it the academic rigour it needed,’ says Andrew. ‘I’d been at Barnard Castle for 15 years and was ready for a new challenge. It was the opportunity and the vision of establishing a new independent school with all the opportunities to introduce a teaching style and techniques appropriate for the generation that we’re living in. ‘It’s about balancing traditional teaching techniques with the 21st-century technology that we have available, and it’s perhaps easier to do that at a school at the beginning of its history. I want it to be a calm, kind, happy school where pupils have mutual respect, and can thrive and reach their goals.’

Tallulah Batley

ART RECOGNITION FOR TALLULAH Tallulah Batley, a Year 12 pupil at Colwyn Bay’s Rydal Penrhos School, has taken part in the Museum Of Modern Art For Wales competition, which showcases the brightest young artistic talent in the country and holds an exhibition detailing the winning entries. The newly appointed joint deputy head girl produced an incredible hand painting as part of her contribution to the competition, which drew rave reviews from adjudicators thanks to its detailed nature and overall quality. ‘Tallulah is a wonderfully talented individual who has thrived as part of our art provision,’ says Sally Ann Harding, senior school head. ‘The consistent high-quality of her work has to be seen to be believed, and Tallulah can be incredibly proud of attaining such a high finish in such a well-respected competition.’

SUPER SPORTS SUCCESS R ydal Penrhos School in Colwyn Bay has been shortlisted for a prestigious award from a leading independent education magazine. The school’s incredible academic year has seen it nominated in the Sporting Achievement category at Independent School Parent magazine’s Independent Schools Of The Year 2019 awards. It has been another phenomenal year for Rydal Penrhos’s sporting provision, which continues to produce international-calibre athletes thanks to its elite coaching programme. Reuben Bather and Zach Speakman are two of the country’s best young prospects in golf and swimming, and sixth former Keira Bonnington was recently crowned British Indoor Skiing Champion in the

Rydal Penrhos’s sporting stars

under-18 girls’ event. Sailing continues to be one of the cornerstones of the school’s sporting success, with Josh Manning securing a place on the Team GB squad for the World Youth Championships and the duo of Ewan Luke and Zac Blomeley also part of the national set-up. There has also been plenty to shout about in cricket, rugby, netball and hockey, and Cameron Shaw has enhanced the school’s triathlon reputation thanks to a series of exceptional results in a competitive environment. Dr Helen Wright, chair of the Independent Schools Of The Year 2019, says, ‘The response we’ve had to the Independent Schools Of The Year 2019 awards has been fantastic and we’re thrilled to have surpassed the number of entries received last year. Hundreds of schools of different sizes have submitted high-quality entries in all 20 awards categories, and we’re delighted by the enthusiasm being shown by schools. ‘The aim of the awards is to highlight the excellence of the student experience in independent schools, and there’s no doubt whatsoever that the independent school sector in Britain is thriving.’

Keira Bonnington

SKIING TO VICTORY Talented skier Keira Bonnington added another exceptional title to her list of achievements at a recent prestigious national competition. The Year 12 pupil at Rydal Penrhos School, Colwyn Bay, took her place in the under-18 girls’ category at the British Indoor Skiing Championships, which took place at the Chill Factore in Manchester. The prefect demonstrated her incredible potential on the dry slopes to record a best time of 15.72 seconds, enough to see her finish top of the podium and secure the title. ‘Keira is a supremely talented young sportswoman who has really been at the top of her game across multiple areas during the academic year,’ says the school’s director of sport, Allen Boyd. ‘For her to win such a high-profile event is a just reward for her outstanding overall contribution. ‘It was an extremely pleasing performance from a Rydal Penrhos perspective at the British Indoor Skiing Championships, which saw senior and prep pupils achieve considerable success to prove once again they are worthy of being considered as some of the top young prospects in the UK.’

September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 149

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EDUCATION

Superb survey scores for Shrewsbury

OPEN DAYS Abbey Gate College

Infant and Junior School 21st September, 11am to 2pm 4th November, 1.45pm to 3.15pm Senior School 21st September, 9.30am to 12.30pm Sixth Form 16th October, 6pm to 9pm

H

igher education students are among the most discerning groups of consumers, particularly when it comes to their chosen course and college. It’s for this reason that the annual National Students Survey (NSS) is so revealing when it comes to understanding the true performance levels demonstrated by higher education establishments. It’s impressive, therefore, that Shrewsbury Colleges Group (SCG) has exceeded expectations in every one of the key performance indicators measured by the NSS, with an overall satisfaction rating of 90 per cent – an increase of nearly seven percentage points from last year and above the national average of 84 per cent. Students are invited to comment on a variety of factors, including how

Shrewsbury Colleges Group

they view the teaching of their course, the assessment feedback and general academic support. In every area, SCG’s students rated the group higher than in the previous academic year, with teaching standards alone jumping from 83 per cent satisfaction to 90 per cent. ‘SCG has a fabulous team of teachers who work closely with their students to nurture them and maximise their talents,’ says Helen Fellows, curriculum leader for education, counselling and higher education at SCG.

NEW MUSIC SCHOOL HEADS FOR SUCCESS

W

rekin College in Wellington has been shortlisted for Performing Arts School Of The Year at the Independent Schools Of One of Wrekin’s stars The Year 2019 awards and will now go forward to the final to be held in London in October. It will be part of an exciting year for Wrekin, which is also preparing to take the wraps off its £2.5m music school in January and also saw the school’s jazz band recognised for its talent after attaining a platinum award

at the National Concert Band Festival national finals for the second time. ‘I’m so proud of all that has been achieved by the performing arts department and the exciting times we have ahead of us,’ says Simon Platford, director of music at Wrekin College. ‘Music at Wrekin is going through an exciting period as work continues on the new music school, which will feature a dedicated, acoustically engineered rehearsal space for our large ensembles along with a host of smaller rooms for small groups, individual practice and tuition.’ The new music school is due to be officially launched on 10th January 2020, when guests will be given the chance to not only attend a concert but also to get a behind-the-scenes look at the music school.

Coleg Cambria

Llysfasi Campus 9th November, 10am to 1pm Deeside Campus and Sixth Form 13th November, 5pm to 8pm Northop Campus 16th November, 10am to 1pm Yale Campus, Sixth Form and Bersham Road Campus 20th November, 5pm to 8pm

Ellesmere College

12th October, 1pm to 4pm

The Firs School

Preschool 4th December, 9.15am to 11am

Moreton Hall

Prep School, Senior School and Sixth Form 21st September, 10am Sixth Form Information Evening 17th October, time TBC

North Shropshire College Oswestry Campus 23rd October, 5pm to 7pm Walford Campus 19th October, 10am to 12pm

Reaseheath College

3rd September, 6pm to 8pm 19th October, 10am 16th November, 10am

University Centre Reaseheath 12th October, 11am 9th November, 11am

Wrekin College & Old Hall School Wellington Campus 5th October, time TBC Sixth Form 26th September, 6pm

Wrexham Glyndwr University 10th November, 10am to 2pm

a flexible MBA from Wrexham Glyndwr University – any time, anywhere and on any device,’ says Aulay Mackenzie, the university’s groundbreaking set of new postgraduate programmes pro-vice chancellor of partnerships. ‘With a new cohort now by Wrexham Glyndwr University have welcomed their beginning their studies, that ambition is beginning to be realised. ‘Industry-led courses like this are at the heart of what we first students. The new master of business administration (MBA) programmes are delivered entirely online, and do here at Glyndwr and that’s something we believe has contributed to our leading employability scores in recent years.’ students can choose from an MBA, MBA Human Resource Management and MBA Marketing. Laura Gough, project manager for the new online programmes, Among the current cohort are a says, ‘Welcoming our first cohort on to these programmes is just one of the latest ways we are number of students studying the programme internationally – with diversifying at Wrexham Glyndwr University.’ Meanwhile, programme leader Dr students in Canada, Australia, America and Europe. They have Alexis Mason adds, ‘Designing and joined students from across north implementing a postgraduate qualification Wales, north-west England and that is delivered entirely online means that Glyndwr can help people to take the the rest of the UK on the course, next step in developing their careers. which has been designed to build on ‘The way the course is taught means that Glyndwr’s considerable expertise in flexible and career-focused courses. our students are just as likely to be based ‘The MBA programmes in one of our local industries as they are in Australia – what unites our students are designed to give working is that they want to get a high-quality professionals, across both the UK and MBA in a manner that suits them.’ the world, the opportunity to gain Alexis Mason, Aulay Mackenzie and Laura Gough

ONLINE STUDENTS MAKE A START

A

150 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Ellesmere College Open Day

Saturday 12th October 2019 • 1pm - 4pm Saturday 7th March 2020 • 10am - 12pm “We were impressed by the pupils; ambitious, enthusiastic and focused. Ellesmere opens a lot of doors” - TATLER 2017 | Excellent GCSE, A-Level, BTEC and International Baccalaureate Results | Superb Pastoral Care | Award-Winning Arts Provision and Co-Curricular Education | Extensive Bus Routes | Excellent Sporting Traditions with 7 World Class Sports Academies | Generous Scholarships | Innovative Careers Partnership Programme | Flexible Day and Boarding Options To find out more and to register please contact our admissions team on:

01691 626 510 • www.ellesmere.com Ellesmere College, Ellesmere, Shropshire, SY12 9AB

@ellesmerecoll

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/EllesmereColl

ellesmere_college

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EDUCATION

MEET THE EXPERT Kathryn Ellis, senior lecturer in history at Wrexham Glyndwr University, answers our questions about her course

QHow did you get into this career?

A

I studied history as an undergraduate – although I initially started off studying law before realising very quickly it wasn’t for me! My passion had always been history, so I thought I’d be better studying a subject I loved. After my degree, I went on to complete a doctoral thesis on the political and procedural workings of the House of Commons in the late 17th century. I got to go down to London, working in places such as the British Library, the House of Lords Record Office and the Houses of Parliament. Then, of course, you get to a point where you have to earn some money – and I realised I wanted to do something that involved education. I got a job as a lecturer and have been happy ever since. Having a career in what you’re interested in is a very fortunate thing to have!

QWhat do you specialise in?

A

I began as a political historian but I’m now drawn to the social and cultural lives of people in the past, from both a local and national perspective. In some ways, my academic interests have ‘All students altered in line with my life. As I got older, married have the and had a family, I got more and more interested opportunity in looking at society and culture – the history to do a work of families, domestic life and cultural activity. placement One of the things I found years ago was that in the there was a bit of a hierarchy in history – it local area’ was about ‘the great men’ and that was ‘proper’ history. The discipline has been democratised and now the history of fashion, of women, of minority groups is just as important – it has moved from ‘the great men’ to ‘the great many’.

QWhat’s required to get on the course?

A

Our students range in age from 18 to 80-plus and come from a variety of backgrounds. So in addition to formal academic qualifications, we consider students on the basis of professional experience, and enthusiasm and passion for the subject. The nature of the subject is such that people do come through the traditional route, but equally there is an opportunity for people to study with us who have done lots of other things in their lives – they can come here and apply those skills. The first thing to do is to come and talk to us if you’re interested!

QWhat does the course entail?

A

Study past lives

The course is now called social and cultural history, and it covers themes such as family, fashion, crime, art, politics and propaganda, from the Roman era through to the modern age. Throughout the course we consider the ways in which the past is presented and has impacted on the present. We look at the day-to-day business of people’s lives – the

kind of research we have been doing recently is into things such as the lives of women at Erddig Hall in the 18th century and the history of mining communities in Rhosllanerchrugog

QWhat practical work do students get involved with?

A

Alongside regular class-based teaching, there are visits to country houses, historical archives and sites of historical importance. These provide a strong practical element to the degree. One of the things we’ve found is that there is nothing quite like experiencing places and seeing history on the ground. For example, we’ll Erddig Hall, Wrexham go to a country house like Erddig and we’ll examine the fabric of the house itself – you can read as much as you want about objects in an inventory, but it’s not the same as seeing the furniture in front of you! We also go to a lot of industrial sites, particularly in this part of Wales, we have to celebrate our industrial heritage. All our students have an opportunity to do a work placement, and spend some time looking at how history is relevant to a whole host of different careers – that can be things like being an archivist through to working in a museum, a job at a stately home or National Trust site… all kinds of things. They almost all end up enjoying themselves so much they carry on volunteering. Some have even gone on to get jobs and build careers as a result of their placements.

career opportunities QWhat can your course lead to?

A

A history degree prepares you for professions requiring analytical and research skills. Obviously, our graduates go into Build valuable research skills history-based work such as being an archivist or working in the heritage sector – but they also enter professions such as teaching, research, the financial sector and law.

QWhy should people choose Wrexham Glyndwr University?

A

You’ll find yourself doing a degree you love, with some great work-placement opportunities, a diverse curriculum and friendly approachable staff. As your tutors, we’ll get to know you as a person and we’ll be there to support you through your studies.

152 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Open Events Whole School Open Morning Saturday 5 October, 10.30am–1.00pm Whole School Open Evening Thursday 10 October, 6.30pm–8.30pm Year 6 Taster Day (For Year 7 Entry 2020) Wednesday 27 November Our fantastic School offers outstanding provision and education for girls aged 2–18.

01625 583028 www.aesg.co.uk admissions@aesg.co.uk

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You are invited to our

OPEN DAY

INDUSTRY FOCUSED CAREER READY

on Saturday 12th October 10am - 12.30pm Independent pre-school and primary education for boys and girls 2-11

We offer an exciting range of technical courses from Level 1 to Level 3

• • • • •

Join us at one of our monthly course open events

New transport service - offering a pick up and drop off service to and from the Wirral

Inspirational - delivers exceptional learning Happy - nurtured and filled with a love for learning Outstanding - achieving the full potential of every child Focused - primary school specialists Caring - a Christian ethos, respecting all faiths & none

reaseheath.ac.uk/experience For further information or to arrange a visit contact:

01270 613242

fe-enquiries@reaseheath.ac.uk

The Firs School, 45 Newton Lane, Chester, CH2 2HJ. Tel: 01244 322443 Fax: 01244 400450 Email: admin@firsschool.org www.firsschool.net

Reaseheath College, Nantwich, Cheshire CW5 6DF v•

Academic excellence in a caring environment Academic excellence in a caring environment School Open Day

Sixth Form Open Day

School Open Tuesday 8th OctoberDay 2019

Academic excellence Tuesday 8th October 2019 in Morning tours at 9.15 am & 11.45 am

Sixth Thursday 3rdForm October Open 2019

Day

a Daytime caring environment Thursday 3rd October 2019 tours by appointment

Morning tours at Day 9.15 ampm & 11.45 am Daytime tours appointment School Open Sixth Format Open Day Open Evening 5.30 – 8.00 Presentations 5.30by pm and Tuesday 8th October 2019 Open Evening 5.30 – 8.00 pm

Thursday 6.30 pm in3rd theOctober Stanier 2019 Hall

Morning tours at 9.15 am & 11.45 am

Daytime tours by the appointment pm 5.30 in Stanier Open6.30 Evening – 8.00 pm Hall

Open Evening 5.30 – 8.00 pm

Presentations at 5.30 pm and Open Evening 5.30 – 8.00 pm 6.30 pm in the Stanier Hall

Presentations at 5.30 pm and

Open Evening 5.30 – 8.00 pm

Alternatively, please call to arrange a convenient time to visit. Telephone: 01939 237000 or email: enquiries@thomasadams.net

Alternatively, please call to arrange a convenient time to visit. Alternatively,01939 please237000 call to arrange a convenient time to visit. Telephone: or The email: enquiries@thomasadams.net Thomas Adams School, Telephone: 01939 237000 or email: enquiries@thomasadams.net Sixth Form and Boarding, Lowe Hill, Wem, Shropshire, SY4 5UB

www.thomasadams.net

www.thomasadams.net www.thomasadams.net

154_SHIRE_SO2019.indd 1

The Thomas Adams School,

The Thomas Adams School, Sixth Form and Boarding, Lowe Hill, Sixth Form and Boarding, Lowe Hill, Wem, Shropshire, SY4 5UB Wem, Shropshire, SY4 5UB

Cruckton Hall

Autistic Spectrum Disorder Specialists Cruckton School offers education on a residential or day basis to boys aged 8 to 19 years who have been diagnosed with an autistic spectrum disorder, providing a warm, structured, caring learning environment. The school specialises in educating boys with autism, severe learning difficulties, global development delay and challenging behaviours and providing continuing support throughout and beyond into adult provision. Cruckton Hall offers personalised curriculum programmes which are inclusive of a range of therapeutic interventions. Our approach allows each individual to develop their independence and look to the future with increased confidence. Placements may be on a day basis, weekly, termly, full 52-week residential, for respite care overnight, at weekends and during school holidays. Please contact: T: 01743 860206

Cruckton Hall School, Cruckton, Shrewsbury, Shropshire SY5 8PR

www.kisimul.co.uk email: referrals@kisimul.co.uk

23/08/2019 15:39


Books&Poetry DENIS LAUNCHES FIRST OF HIS DEADLY TRILOGY Retired Shropshire resident Denis Brookes put his new-found spare time to good use by penning not one but three thrilling novels

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man is drawn, through his own hat should you do with your greed, into an Iranian international retirement? It’s a question with terrorist operation that threatens many answers, but for one Market Drayton man, Denis Brookes, it afforded the world’s democracies, as well as Middle Eastern stability, and how he the opportunity to write a trilogy of is used and deceived by a thrillers, the first of which female MI5 agent with whom has just been published. he falls in love,’ says Denis. ‘The A Very Deadly Sin is set ‘The third in Shrewsbury and the novel starts by introducing the novel will draw characters before becoming surrounding area, and was on Denis’s more sinister as it progresses. informed by Denis’s life as a extensive Some parts are horrific – Shrewsbury-born Salopian. experience in especially the Iranian secret For the plot, Denis drew on his UK politics’ biological testing establishment experiences as an army vehicle which uses human guinea pigs.’ mechanic, a driver/bearer with a firm of Shrewsbury undertakers, a self-employed grave-digger and as Three times the drama a detention officer with West Mercia A Very Deadly Sin is the first in a planned Police. Denis also received invaluable trilogy of thrillers featuring the lead assistance from a firearms-trained police character Justin Parkes, described as a officer for accuracy with the armed ‘likeable and easy-going man who makes police response account in the book. his living as a grave-digger’. Denis is ‘The first book in a trilogy, A Very currently working hard on the the Deadly Sin, relates how an innocent follow-up, which is due to be published

Denis Brookes with his first published novel

at the end of the year. The third and final part of the trilogy will draw on Denis’s extensive experience with a UK political party, as a county councillor and parliamentary candidate; in the book, Justin Parkes – now working for MI5 – has to infiltrate organisations who seek to destroy democracy through a new world order. A Very Deadly Sin: A Justin Parkes Thriller by Denis Brookes is available as an e-book or paperback from Amazon

B O O K E VE NTS Mark Radcliffe, 9th September, Neston Cricket Club, Parkgate The radio and TV presenter launches his latest book, Crossroads, a personal reflection on the crucial turning points in the history of music. The intimate account of music and its power to transform lives is set against Mark’s own sense of being at a crossroads in his life. 7pm. Tickets from £16.99 including book. Call 0151 342 7290 or visit linghams.co.uk. Writing A Novel, 16th-21st September, Ty Newydd Writing Centre, Llanystumdwy, Criccieth Whether you’re halfway through a first draft or deep into a fifth, this course is designed to assist you in refining your own voice, deciding what form your novel should take, creating convincing characters and settings, and plotting and pacing

to keep your reader hooked from the opening lines. Most importantly, you’ll write and write and write, and move another step closer to The End. £550 per person. tynewydd.wales

Max Hastings, 18th September, Lion Quays Hotel, Oswestry Join bestselling and critically acclaimed military historian Max Hastings as he talks about Operation Chastise and the famous Dambusters raid of 1943. In his new book, Chastise, Max offers a

fresh and compelling account of the Dambusters raid. 6.45pm. Tickets £25, including signed book, from Booka Bookshop. bookabookshop.co.uk David Baldacci, 25th September, Heswall Hall, Heswall David Baldacci is one of the world’s bestselling thriller writers. With more than 130 million copies in print, his books are published in over 80 territories and 45 languages, and have been adapted for both film and television. He has established links to government sources, giving his books added authenticity, and he’ll be in Heswall for one night only to mark the release his latest book, One Good Deed. 7pm. Tickets from £18.99 including book. Call 0151 342 7290 or visit linghams.co.uk.

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BOOKS & POETRY REVIEWS

As autumn wraps around us, our friends at Linghams Bookshop in Heswall have been reading through the latest titles and choosing which to recommend to us this edition The Autobiography, by Alastair Cook To understand England’s greatest cricket player is to know what it takes to succeed. Alastair Cook is the greatest batsman to ever play for England and, as one of the most gifted players in the world, he knows that his triumphs are as important as the challenges and moments of resilience. Celebrate this fantastic year of cricket with the definitive memoir from cricketing legend Sir Alastair Cook, who in his 12-year international career played 161 Test matches, achieved 12,472 runs – including 33 hundreds – and four Ashes series wins. Following his dramatic retirement in 2018, Alastair tells his story: a close-up account of his last chapter, his 33rd and last Test hundred, an intimate tale of his life, his family, of the man he is today and the man he will be after cricket. An icon, a role model and one of the loveliest men alive, Alastair is lauded as a person as well as a player and this is his never-before-heard story. Seashaken Houses by Tom Nancollas Watching the sea, especially when the weather is wild, you’re only too aware of how dangerous it can be. Nothing points to this danger more than the sentinel lighthouses that stand watch along our coastline and have saved countless lives while surviving the unimaginable battering of storms. This book is a fascinating and detailed history of these monumental structures – the cover alone is evocative of the power of nature and the strength of these life-saving towers. How many have you visited? Have you ever stayed in one? After reading this it’s something you’ll want to add to your bucket list.

A Holiday by Norman Marshall We tasted sex for the first time On a package tour; Two weeks in the sun And a determination to score. After a little hesitation We swam on, Lost for a fortnight in each other Where the sun always shone. Then came the last day: All bills presented and paid, Memories now for souvenirs And musings why there we stayed. It was a short escape Away from drudgery and routine, Now all appears distant and faded, A brief encounter in our usual scheme. The Butterfly & The Hurricane by Sarah Woods Look how she glows! Colours radiating! Wings proudly displaying a lifetime of scars from unspoken wars, they mingle within her unique design and become one. See how she flies! She’s at the prime of her life! Spreading her wings and sharing her finds – she’s divine! All too soon, war resumes, her battle persists. Into the dark and out of control, she clashes with forces that refuse to desist. To see her she’s dancing, it’s glorious to see, but inside she’s fighting what can never be seen. People pass comment on this beautiful sight, never really seeing her personal plight. Out in the open she sees other’s around, dancing the same dance on this twisted merry-go-round. Beautifully unique, yet tragically the same, all caught within this cruel hurricane. At times its power slows, and her confidence grows, she begins to believe she can fly without its control. She tries to mend…. but all too soon that familiar trend, the vortex that consumes returns. And so, her beautiful, silent, war-dance continues, looked upon by many, yet truly seen by few.

Chester Railway Station 2007 by Dean Fraser Activity abounds all around Hustle and bustle People lending extra action Extra stress Cars attempt parking Travellers soon to be train-ward bound Madness of arrival And even more departure The cacophony of taxi horns A car strayed onto their ‘patch’ Hurried hugs of loved ones Friends air kiss Not a moment to be lost The queue to park grows bigger Car drivers jostling Finally find your seat Booked in advance Soon beginning to unwind The Cheshire countryside flashes by Leaving on a fast train deanfrasercentral.com The Cyclist by Jo Young My muscles scream and energy flows and it is my breathing that blows I am the queen of cat and mouse My competitors I am keen to trounce My tyres go round and round – going quicker and quicker I go high, I go low – I am that crafty nipper As I edge nearer and nearer to the end line I simply try to better my time The crowds noise grows and grows and with a final burst of speed, I attempt to show that I can achieve and am ready to glow!

We want your poems! We’ll print our favourites each edition and share your creative spirit with our readers. Send them to Poetry Page, Shire, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR or email editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk.

156 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Fairholme Preparatory School St. Asaph We would like to invite you and your children to our

OPEN WEEK

Monday, 7th October to Saturday, 12th October 10 am to 3 pm

Fairholme is an inspirational school where pupils are celebrated for who they are, and encouraged to reach their full potential. Our dedicated teaching staff and outstanding facilities will give your child the best possible start to their learning journey. A child at Fairholme can typically read and spell at a level that is two years above the national average and we help our pupils to gain scholarships for their chosen secondary schools.

Come and see for yourself. Call in anytime during our open week. Taster days are available. For further information contact the Principals, Mr and Mrs Perkins on 01745 583 505 or email admissions@fairholmeschool.com

www.fairholmeschool.com Mount Road, St. Asaph, Denbighshire, LL17 0DH

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Charities&Volunteering RJAH Appeals

CHARITY BALL RAISES MORE THAN £12,000

Donations to RJAH charity made more simple

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he High Sheriff of Clwyd raised more than £12,000 for a Parkinson’s disease charity with a glittering ball in aid of a cause close to her heart. Stephanie Catherall organised the blacktie event at Carden Park country hotel to raise money for Parkinson’s UK, which aims to help find a cure and improve the life of everyone affected by the condition. Stephanie’s husband, David, was diagnosed with the ‘There was condition 10 years ago and so much was at her side for the event. generosity Guests were treated to from our a champagne and canapé guests’ reception, a four-course meal and live entertainment from Sing Out Gospel Choir. There was also a glittering array of prizes available in the auction, as well as a raffle on the night that raised £1,000 for Crimebeat, the official youth crime

T High Sheriff of Clwyd, Stephanie Catherall, centre, with Andy and Beverley Williams

prevention charity of the High Sheriffs’ Association of England & Wales. ‘The room looked fantastic, the food was amazing and the hotel team were superb,’ Stephanie, of Nercwys, near Mold. ‘The staff just couldn’t do enough. Special thanks must go to Hamish Ferguson, the general manager, executive chef Graham Tinsley and the whole brilliant events team. It was a lot of hard work but there was so much generosity from our guests which helped to make the night a true success.’

TRUSTEES COMPLETE 101-MILE FUNDRAISING WALK

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AF Museum trustee Nick Sanders set to enhance the visitor experience for local families and school groups. and museum ambassador Robin Their journey was incredibly tough, Southwell completed a gruelling 101-mile walk at the RAF Cosford Air Show. with the weather against them for a large Nick and Robin led the proportion of the walk, but march to raise money for a they arrived at Cosford in good spirits with the bespoke outdoor children’s playground at the museum sun shining, having gone in Cosford. The aviationthe extra mile to kickstart themed playground will the fundraising for a play include miniature versions area where children can of iconic aircraft and is Robin and Nick at the finish line learn and also have fun.

Truck driver takes on special deliveries

HAVING A BALL FOR A GREAT CAUSE

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truck driver who wanted to repay the NHS for helping save his partner Ruth’s life after she was twice diagnosed with breast cancer has put his motoring skills to good use by becoming a ‘blood biker’. Phil Sharrock, 53, who works for Wrexham-based McCarthy Distribution, is a volunteer rider for the charity Blood Bikes Wales, which transports life-saving blood supplies, plasma, breast milk and documents between hospitals free of charge. His partner Ruth Gallop, 56, is also a keen motorcyclist. ‘I’m on call for a weekend every one or two months,’ says Phil. For more information visit blood bikes.wales. Phil and Ruth

charity ball, staged by Wrexham businessman Vaughn Rawson and his wife Joanne, has Vaughn and Jo Rawson, raised more far left, with sponsors than £30,000 to help children with a rare genetic disease. This is the eighth time the event has been held to help families living with the genetic condition known as ataxiatelangiectasia (A-T). The children of the Rawsons’ close friends have the disease and the couple have raised a staggering £260,000 for the cause to date. ‘Joanne and I have seen first-hand how devastating this disease is,’ says Vaughn, ‘and that has been our big motivation.’

he RJAH charity has launched a new online donation system, making it Helen Knight and a donor quicker and easier to make a contribution. The online donation function allows individuals to donate money directly to the charity or the Veterans’ Orthopaedic Centre Appeal – the current fundraising appeal at RJAH. ‘The new system is a really innovative way of our supporters and fundraisers being able to donate to the trust,’ says fundraising manager Helen Knight. ‘Money received by the charity really makes a difference and helps us to support research and develop new treatments, provide state of the art equipment and facilities and provide extra comfort to our patients and staff. If you’d like to donate to the RJAH charity visit rjah.nhs.uk/ charity; to donate to the Veterans Appeal, visit rjah.nhs.uk/voca

Extinction Rebellion at Agricultural Show

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swestry & Borders Extinction Rebellion (XR) braved a wet and windy Llanfyllin Agricultural Show armed with a questionnaire aimed at rural folk to get their take on the climate change and the climate emergency, and how it affects rural life and farming in particular. They shared a space with the BRACE (Building Resilience in a Climate Emergency) group from Llanfyllin. ‘On the whole we were met with a friendly and interested reception,’ said a group spokesperson. ‘Some of the people approached didn’t think there was a climate problem and didn’t want to fill the in the questionnaire, but most people did have concerns and were keen to take part.’ Oswestry & Borders XR is an active group meeting twice a week in Oswestry. ‘We’re an open and inclusive group and welcome all people and opinions – we hope it is this diversity that will drive this forward.’ xroswestry.org

If you would like to see your charity event featured on these pages, please email the details to the Shire team at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk 158 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Y

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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR A

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nother issue, another bulging postbag at the Shire offices! We’ve been delighted to receive so many lovely letters and have printed as many as possible. Please keep them coming – we love to hear from you, whether it’s just to let us know what you think of the magazine or to point out a mistake we’ve made! We always appreciate a picture to go with your letter, so please post them or email us at editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk. If you’ve missed an issue or would like an extra copy, please send an SAE for £1.60 and

EE FR

THE BEST OF NORTH AND MID WALES, CHESHIRE, WIRRAL AND SHROPSHIRE

specify which magazine you need and we’ll pop it in the post to you. To make sure you never miss a copy, why not subscribe? See opposite for details of how to do this. A great way to keep in touch with us is via shiremagazine.co.uk, Facebook and Instagram. Find us online and be first in line for weekly events updates, great pictures, competitions and more… So keep writing, emailing, tweeting and following us until the next time! Write to us at: Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR

JULY/AUGUST 2019

www.shiremagazine.co.uk

Wet & Wild Dive into our feature on fantastic local watersports

Bottoms up! Top tipples to try with our guide to local drinks Summer style Fashion to help you look and feel your best this season

MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY MINUTE INSIDE: 60-PAGE GUIDE TO WHAT’S ON THIS SUMMER

WIN Shopping vouchers worth £200, festival tickets, and a luxury afternoon tea! Turn to page 161

Home sweet home Interior style and advice from the experts Wedded bliss Our guide to the very best local venues

Celebrity chat Shire meets chart-topping star Jess Glynne

WE VISIT

LUDLOW

The thriving Shropshire town with an arty heart

ANGLESEY

An island rich in history and beautiful beaches

COLWYN BAY

Britain in Bloom winner with activities galore

HEALTH & BEAUTY | GARDENS | PHOTOGRAPHY | ART | BOOKS & POETRY zDBTS_Cover_julyaug 019 2.indd 1

Date for the birds

I would like to share with your readers details of the Wirral Bird Club’s September and October illustrated presentations. The first takes place at 7.30pm on 26th September and is entitled Serious Jockin: Birding In The Scottish Highlands, presented by Jeremy Bradshaw. The second event takes place at 7.30pm on 24th October when David Hollis presents Wild Norfolk: Spring & Photos by Jeremy Bradshaw (l) and David Hollis (r) Summer, offering a film tour of these wildlife hotspots. Both presentations take place at Kingsmead School Hall, Bertram Drive, Hoylake, Wirral CH47 0LL. The cost is £4, which includes tea/coffee and biscuits. This is not a ticket event – please just come along. Details of further illustrated presentations and field trips can be found on our website at wirralbirdclub.com or by calling 07795 148140. Bill Wonderley

Talking art

The September lecture of The Arts Society Mid Wales & Borders takes place on 26th September, titled Back Stage At The Opera. The speaker is Simon Rees and the venue is the Powis Suite, Royal Oak Hotel, Welshpool. The talk starts at 2.30pm; at 2pm the AGM will take place. The October lecture, Court Jewellers To The Czars by Tony Crowe, takes place on 24th October. Everyone is welcome or email djduggan@ supanet.com or call 01938 555574 for information. Dennis J Duggan, Welshpool

New group for the over-50s We’ve recently started a local interest group with the aim of reconnecting people who are over 50, providing them with activities in their community and opening up the opportunity to meet new people and make friends. It is open to all, especially those who have a taste for coffee, tea, social companionship and laughter. We meet at the Garth & Trevor Community Centre in Wrexham between 2pm and 4pm on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month, starting on 11th September. The cost is £1 (to include tea and biscuits!). Pam Lewis

A place to play

I have recently opened a play therapy room in Oswestry town centre. Up to one in 10 children are believed to be struggling with their mental health and often adults are unsure where to turn to for help. As a qualified social worker and BAPT play therapist, I can offer direct therapeutic work with children and I hope my project will be able to offer some support to local families. Gina Obertelli, Oswestry

23/06/2019 17:20

READER F E E D B AC K I picked up a copy of Shire magazine just today not having seen it before, and felt compelled to email you and offer my congratulations. Despite having to cater for so much content, you have managed to create a quality feel similar to the County Life publications. It is top quality. I also applaud you for your editorial features and the various sections you manage to include. I am particularly interested in the Arts section and enjoyed the feature on the chainsaw sculpture, being an artist myself! Well done! George Telford

On reading your July/August’s issue relating to the article of Colwyn Bay, may I please point out that your photograph of the promenade is in fact Rhos on Sea! Karen

Hello Shire! We love your magazine and think it’s such a valuable asset for Wales and the Borderlands! Gulzara Jones, festival coordinator, Gŵyl y Fflam, Edeyrnion Community Action Group

Well spotted, Karen, and thank you for letting us know. We do apologise but we often rely on submitted images or agency stock photography, and if it’s wrongly labelled these things can happen. That’s no excuse, though – we all live locally and should have spotted it! We’ll just have to make sure Colwyn Bay, left, and Rhos, right we triple-check in future!

Venue Cymru has advertised in Shire since day one. The quality of the publication is a great standard and one we enjoy being associated with! Richard Jones, marketing manager, Venue Cymru & Theatr Colwyn

Support in Oswestry

Wrong prom!

Make a jazzy date

Could I please use your pages to let your readers know about a few great nights of music coming up this month and next. Live traditional jazz will be performed on 4th and 18th September and then again on 2nd and 16th October at The Irby Club, Thingwall Road, Irby. This is a free event and a chance to dance and listen to the best live Dixieland and Chicagostyle jazz from The Original Panama Jazz Band. Jazz at the Irby Club The band performs every first and third Wednesday of every month and entry is always free to the comfort of the Club’s licensed lounge, and there are occasional surprise visits from guest musicians. The music starts at 8.30pm and there is a raffle, a good choice of wines, beers, soft drinks, coffee and tea. It’s suitable for teens upwards, and there’s a good fun, friendly atmosphere and great music. Jonathan Critchley September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 159

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What’s in your stars? Aries

20th March – 20th April The fire element ruling your sign is symbolic of a burning desire to outrun all rivals. Your pioneering spirit shines with each new challenge met, so you will enjoy the chase – but don’t tire when you’ve caught your quarry. You’re quick to grasp the essentials of what’s required, just don’t fall in love with love – fall in love with the art of loving!

Cancer

21st June – 23rd July Did you know a femtosecond is one quadrillionth of a second? Would you care if you did? Probably not. But you do care about family, and responsibility towards a relative has taken up valuable time – partly because you soak up everyone’s emotions – and pandemonium in other areas has resulted. Focus on matters that need attention outside of family.

Libra

23rd September – 22nd October Saturn halfway through Capricorn has tested you within the sphere of business, which is no bad thing because it examines what’s valid and what isn’t. Don’t think failure if something hasn’t worked out; it wasn’t meant to. Be patient – Saturn energy learns lessons the hard way to give the experience required, and what’s life without experience?

Capricorn

21st December – 20th January Are you a he-devil/she-devil or just plain misunderstood? Saturn travelling through your sign is certainly testing you. Whatever your age, life feels like pushing an elephant up Everest. Fear not – explain your actions instead of putting up a wall every time you feel challenged and the elephant will simply roll down the other side of the mountain!

Taurus

20th April – 21st May The hub of your universe is security, both emotional and material, and with one or the other or even both being rocked, it’s easy to see why you’re acting in an unpredictable manner, which is quite unusual for you. Shifting sands require a move to solid ground, but don’t fear change – generally, it creates just what’s required to make life richer.

Leo

23rd July – 23rd August The term ‘sun sign’ means exercising its power influence through a zone of the Zodiac, not a constellation, at birth – a complex technical division. The sun rules Leo, showing you’re one of the warmest of people, but you’re also one of the proudest. Remember that pride goes before a fall and you’ll realise why there are stumbling blocks in your life!

Scorpio

23rd October – 22nd November Following the September equinox, the brightest star in the constellation of Pisces, Fomalhaut, makes its way across the heavens. It’s used for navigational purposes, which could be useful because you need to know where you’re going. Or instead of using star power as a pilot, use intuition. It hasn’t failed you before and is probably the best guiding light of all.

Aquarius

20th January – 19th February Sometimes you feel the love of your life is as distant from you as the stars are from planet Earth. Love, like fortune, turns upon a wheel and is given to rising and falling, but when you look for it you’ll find it waiting for you. Maybe try warming the air around you because sometimes you create quite a chilly breeze!

Gemini

21st May – 21st June Writing and copying calendars of saints’ lives was a major focus for scholars during the Middle Ages. You may not know any saints, but the year is rushing by and some people in your life feel a little neglected. Study those who need a catch-up and focus on a little time-sharing, and it could be you wearing a halo!

Virgo

23rd August – 23rd September As the poem goes, ‘Yellow the bracken, golden the sheaves; Rosy the apples, crimson the leaves; Mist on the hillside, clouds grey and white; Autumn, good morning! Summer, goodnight!’ Yes, it’s harvest time – for you a time to look back and see what you have stored up so you have every resource you need for a busy schedule ahead.

Sagittarius

22nd November – 21st December Why are you reading this? Curiosity? Amusement? To question? If the latter, not all your questions have answers – but you’ll find life is one long learning curve. Now what do you do with all that knowledge? Don’t scatter it as you’re presently doing; you have a oncein-12-years opportunity to do something really worthwhile. Seize the day!

Pisces

19th February – 20th March The magical full moon highlights Pisces in September, illuminating feelings and the stars shining in your eyes. When in love, you’re enveloped in a dream world like Cinderella or Prince Charming – but beware becoming a prisoner of your desires. Pisces rules the feet, which says a lot about standing on your own and not walking in the shoes of another!

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. 160 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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SHIRE’S FANTASTIC COMPETITIONS!

Another edition of Shire, another chance to win some of our fabulous prizes – exclusive tickets available to our lovely readers. And this issue we have two star prizes! Good luck!

TAKE TEA WITH ALED JONES THANKS TO TWEEDMILL

You have to be in it to win it! Go on, enter today!

BECOME A REAL THEATRE BUFF WITH VENUE CYMRU

We have an extraspecial prize up for grabs this issue – the chance for one lucky winner and a friend to have afternoon tea with world-renowned singer and radio presenter Aled Jones. Aled shot to fame in the 1980s when the then-choirboy’s performance of ‘Walking In The Air’ launched his career. Many albums, singles, tours and performances later, Aled is still a national treasure and never far from his routes in north Wales. This October, the star is helping another local legend – Tweedmill Shopping Outlet – celebrate 25 years of serving the local community. A total shopping experience with more than 300 quality brand names, cafe, coffee shop and farm shop all under one roof, Tweedmill is the area’s one-stop destination for so much more than shopping. To mark its 25th birthday, Tweedmill is hosting a special event on 12th October, when singing sensations Aled Jones and Russell Watson will perform together in store. The event is free and open to the public… but only our lucky competition winner will be invited to afternoon tea with Aled at 2pm. They’ll be able to bring a friend as the prize is for two, and can chat to Aled about his amazing career while enjoying a sumptuous selection of sandwiches, cakes, scones and other delicious delights.

Theatre fans are in for a real treat this issue, as Shire has teamed up with Venue Cymru in Llandudno to offer one lucky winner the ultimate theatre package worth £280! To celebrate the theatre’s autumn season, we’re offering one winner five pairs of tickets to forthcoming shows – and the package includes something for every member of the family, including Venue Cymru’s impressive panto. Whoever wins is going to be very popular over the next few months! Performances included in this amazing prize are: Welsh National Opera’s production of Carmen on Saturday 2nd November; Peppa Pig’s Best Day Ever on Saturday 9th November; Respect: The Aretha Franklin Songbook on Monday 11th November; and a spot of musical theatre with Beyond The Barricade on Thursday 14th November. And what better way to finish off your very own theatre season, than with a pair of tickets to the pantomime of your dreams, Sleeping Beauty, on Saturday 7th December? One pair of tickets will be allocated per performance, and only for the dates listed. They’ll be available to collect from the theatre box office an hour before the show.

To be in with a chance of winning this amazing prize, fill in the form below and send it to Shire at the address shown by 5th October.

To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, fill in the form below and send it to Shire at the address shown by 21st October.

WIN! A pair of tickets to the North Wales International Music Festival

This year’s festival, which takes place from 14th to 28th September in St Asaph Cathedral, is regarded as one of the cultural highlights of north Wales. We have two tickets to the orchestral concert with the orchestra in residence and mezzosoprano Rebecca Afonwy-Jones on Thursday 26th September at 7pm. CLOSING DATE: 21st September

WIN! Two tickets to the Saturday night concert at the Ginger & Spice Festival This

annual community fringe festival takes place in and around Market Drayton from 25th to 28th September, celebrating the town’s rich history and culinary heritage with an eclectic mix of talks, demonstrations, tastings, meals and music, including this concert on the evening of the 28th. CLOSING DATE: 21st September

WIN! A pair of tickets to the opening night of The Entertainer at Theatre Severn

Starring Shane Richie, Diana Vickers and Sara Crowe, The Entertainer tells the story of Archie Rice, a washedup entertainer playing a summer season. We have two tickets to the opening night of this electric new version of John Osborne’s classic in Shrewsbury on 18th November. CLOSING DATE: 21st October

WIN! Tickets to the final day of Wales Rally GB and celebration parade The

12th round of the World Rally Championship, which takes place from 3rd to 6th October across north and mid Wales, has a vibrant new home at Venue Cymru, right in the heart of Llandudno, where the final day will include a ceremonial finish on the picturesque Llandudno Promenade. CLOSING DATE: 21st October

Winners

Congratulations to our lucky winners from the July/August issue of Shire!

Margaret, Stoke-onTrent Oliver tickets

Nina, Sandbach Farmer Phil’s

Sally Shrewsbury Folk Festival

Corrine, Wem Classic Motor Show

Joyce, Hawarden Cheerbrook Tea

Leona, Trefnant Abi Fisher vouchers

Shirley, Oswestry Ironbridge passes

HOW TO ENTER Fill in the form with your answer circled (you’ll need to read the magazine to find it!), and include your name, address and daytime contact number. Send it by the closing date to Competitions, Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR

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 shiremagazine.co.uk.

Q: Who wrote the screenplay for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? a) Kevin Smith b) Roald Dahl c) Steven Spielberg

Name Address

ALED JONES/TWEEDMILL VENUE CYMRU NORTH WALES MUSIC FESTIVAL

Postcode

GINGER & SPICE FESTIVAL

Daytime contact number

THE ENTERTAINER

Email (please complete)

WALES RALLY GB

Please send me further information about Shire September/October 2019 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 161

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PICK UP THE NEXT ISSUE AT THE SUPERMARKET FROM 1ST NOVEMBER

COMING NEXT ISSUE Looking ahead to our next edition, there’s one word we can’t put off saying any longer… Christmas! Yes, although it’s hard to believe, the festive season will be upon us – and as you would expect, our November/ December issue will be bursting with glitter, sparkle and yuletide joy. Make sure you get hold of it and Shire will help you face the festivities with flair

LOOKING THE PART-Y

FESTIVE FEVER

If your festive season is likely to be riddled with receptions, packed with parties and overdone with dos… don’t panic! The Shire fashion and beauty team will help with the latest looks and some style suggestions that won’t break the bank, but will make sure you still look a million dollars this Christmas.

Whether it’s local pantos, dinner recipes, party outfits or gift ideas you’re after, Shire will have everything you need to make this Christmas season a memorable one. Our next edition will be packed with all the essentials to make sure you not only survive but thrive through the build-up to the big day so that everyone enjoys the season.

YO U R T O W N

CELEBRITY SPARKLE Readers are in for a musical treat next time as not one but two members of the much-loved British band Squeeze talk to us about their current tour. Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook, who will be performing locally this November, share their thoughts on the songs that have made the group so enduringly popular over their decades of success.

As always, Shire will focus on a couple of prime locations within the patch and next issue of we’re taking a closer look at Chester, Ruthin and Betws-y-Coed.

A TIME FOR FEASTING If ever there was a season when our food and drink section was needed most, this is it! Resident chef Graham Tinsley will be on hand, our wine experts and beer guru will offer their wisdom and our fabulous local producers will make sure we’re all well stuffed this Christmas.

Behind the scenes We’ll also get some insights into life at the UK’s most popular tourist attraction outside London – Chester Zoo. Meet the man responsible for keeping 1.9m annual visitors (and 27,000 animals) happy at this worldclass facility, which also works to save endangered creatures.

D O N ’ T F O R G E T…

SHOW REVIEWS

SNUGGLE UP! Shire’s November/December edition will help keep you cosy on those winter nights. As the cold weather creeps in, our Homes section will offer heating advice and highlight the best new products on the market to make sure you’re snug as a bug! As always, expect practical and stylish suggestions from our homes and interiors experts.

Holiday hopefuls If the winter weather is getting you down, maybe it’s time to start looking ahead to your next break. We’ll have our usual round-up of local parks and holiday homes, as well as suggestions of locations you’ll love to inspire your next escape.

The dedicated and hardworking Shire team will continue to keep you in the loop by making sure we report back from as many events and shows as possible and give you our feedback in our extensive review section.

Don’t go anywhere until you’ve checked our What’s On guide for November and December. With festive events, perfect pantomimes and a few school holiday treats too, it’s a great idea to keep your copy of Shire – with its 60-page guide to all the events and activities going on across the region – close to hand.

GET IN TOUCH Shire wants to hear from you! 1. Tell us about your upcoming events We work in advance, so 1st October is the deadline to let us know about events for our November/December 2019 issue. 2. Share your reader stories Have you got an extraordinary or exciting story to tell? We would love to share it with our readers. Send us an email and don’t forget to include a picture or two! 3. Contribute to one of our pages Send all your submissions and pictures by email to editorial@shiremagazine.co.uk or call 01691 661270. You can also get in touch via social media – just search for ‘Shire Magazine’ on Facebook or Instagram.

162 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2019

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Profile for Superstar Publishing

Shire Magazine September-October 2019  

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