Page 1














Pick up new skills, whatever your age



North Wales's slate landscape makes the Unesco World Heritage List

Later learners

45 Y

Heritage heroes






Autumn breaks We help you choose the perfect escape Green fingers at the ready Get your garden in order before the temperature turns The Voice speaks Shire talks to Russell Watson about lockdown and his new tour


Time to tuck in

Great days out and fab gift vouchers Turn to page 129

Recipes and reviews from foodie favourites

Use your time wisely…    

Check out the latest reads Be inspired by local artists Enter our photo competition Send in your favourite pet pics


27/08/2021 11:54

002_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 13:04


Managing Director Dan Bromage Editor Kate Speedie Chief Subeditor Jo Williams Staff Writers Helen Gordon Adele Barry Sarah Waterfall Designers Ella Knight Meryl McIntosh Subeditor Chris Miller Advertising Design Sarah Norman Sales & Marketing Pauline Jones Claire Duffy Distribution Manager Paul Howard Finance & Accounts David Kynaston Nicky Kynaston Jane Osman Contributors John Hargreaves, Gloria Mans, P Parker, Helen Cooke, Pip Gale, Lizzie Deery, Deborah Law, Jennifer McKinney, Bob Hickman, Lisa Whelan, Adam Gaunt-Evans, Eryl Jones


his edition of Shire arrives just as the summer comes to an end and we hope that all our readers have been able to enjoy the warmer weather over the last few months. Many of us have been able to get out and about for the first time in a long while, so here’s hoping everyone has been able to make the most of our lovely region and catch up with friends and family at long last. As a new term arrives and children go back to school, we thought we’d take a look at the learning opportunities available to adults as well. It’s never too late to pick up a new skill, tick off an extra qualification or retrain entirely – and if recent times have taught us anything, it’s to make the most of these opportunities. Turn to page 52 for everything you need to know about adult education across the patch. This issue we’re also celebrating the fact that another special site in Wales has made it on to the esteemed Unesco World Heritage List by taking an in-depth look at what that actually means. How does the status help? Who decides which places get on the list? And where else can you find World Heritage sites in our local area? All these questions are answered in our feature on page 46. In addition, we also have all your usual favourites: top recipes from local chefs to help you make the most of the autumn harvest, the latest news from the region’s schools as the academic year begins, and all the arts, books and homes news you’ve come to expect from Shire. Enjoy! IN THIS ISSUE

Email Shire magazine

Back to school Discover the joys of lifelong learning in our special feature on page 52

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

Local heritage

Learn more about the World Heritage Sites near you on page 46

Print ISSN 2514-3913 Online ISSN 2514-3921

SHIRE MAGAZINE is published bi-monthly by Superstar Publishing Ltd. Every effort is made to ensure that the information and advice contained in these articles is correct and appropriate, but no liability or responsibility for loss or damage to any person acting or refraining from action in reliance on or as a result of anything omitted from such articles can be, or is accepted by, the authors, the publishers, their employees or any other persons connected with Superstar Publishing Ltd. Views expressed by contributors to Shire magazine are not necessarily those of the magazine or of Superstar Publishing Ltd and should be attributed to the authors concerned. Save as expressively permitted by law no part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written authority of the Publisher, acting for Shire magazine. Privacy Policy published online at © 2021 Superstar Publishing Ltd, all rights reserved. Registered Number: 10604188.


Winter warmers Healthy and delicious recipes and more in our Food section, from page 74

GET IN TOUCH! We want to hear from you…

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



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 125 for more.

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

We have lots of regulars readers can contribute to:

Reader photos Taken a great shot recently? Email your best effort and you might get picked! See page 100.

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

A free copy of Shire delivered to your home! To help readers during this difficult time, if you’re having trouble getting to the supermarket and would prefer a copy delivered to you at home, please just send us an A4 SAE with £2.00 postage to Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR. We will send you the latest issue by return.

with their name and anything else you want to tell us. See page 88 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 and send submissions and information by email to

TURN TO PAGE 126 for our fantastic subscription offer!

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 3

Welcomepage_SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 13:56



tht-rlt-'s so JrliAc.h to do... FAMILY FUN PARK


check online for dates & times

004_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

Ride on Woody's train, find the fairies, meet the animals, fabulous adventure play areas, gift shop, cafe & much, much more!

'oOOK. �OIA'/- tnc.hAAti visit onn� ,, WWW.GYPSYWOOD.CO.UK


27/08/2021 14:22

Contents S E P TE MB E R /O C TO B E R 2 021 6 What’s On As venues reopen their doors, we round up what’s happening in north and mid Wales, Cheshire, Wirral and Shropshire, including half-term and Halloween events

PAG E 3 3

14 Harlech Explore the culture and the castle in this lovely town with a terrific beach

Russell Watson

PAG E 5 9

30 Chester Races And they’re off! Discover why the Roodee offers the perfect day out with friends and family

Relight your fire

33 Russell Watson We speak to the classical superstar about getting back on the road after lockdown 44 Reviews We share our thoughts on the area’s shows and events we’ve attended this summer PAG E 9 8 PAG E 1 0 3

Inspired by nature

Your big day

COVER FEATURE 46 World Wonders Discover the World Heritage Sites on your doorstep, including the latest addition: the slate mining landscape in north-west Wales COVER FEATURE 52 Learning Is For Life Don’t let the kids have all the fun – check out the options for adult education across the region

PAG E 1 0 5 Women’s fashion

59 Homes & Interiors Make your home cosy before winter with our interior style tips and expert advice, including choosing a fire pit, top kitchen organisation and the latest from our antiques expert 72 Green Living The latest on local environmental schemes and the ways you can do your bit for the planet 73 Breathing Space Bring calm to your home with nature-inspired accessories

PAG E 4 6

PAG E 7 3

Local heritage

Pretty pieces

76 Food & Drink A healthy recipe from one Cheshire chef, CAMRA’s pick of the best local boozers and the local restaurant that has picked up a national award 81 Three Eagles Bar & Grill We visit Llangollen’s most popular eatery and discover tasty dishes and a welcoming atmosphere 82 Water Of Life Add focus to your garden with a fountain, pond, bird bath or water feature 83 Plants & Gardens All the advice you need to get your garden in order before winter

86 Over The Farm Gate Eryl Jones shares his thoughts on the changing face of British farming 87 Pets & Wildlife Meet the newest inhabitants at West Midland Safari Park, plus your pet pictures 91 Holidays Thinking about owning your own holiday home? One of these parks will hit the spot 97 Active Shire’s walking columnist takes you on a tour of Cannock Chase 98 Arts & Crafts Meet the illustrator whose latest book takes a close look at the wildlife of Anglesey 103 Weddings The region’s top venues for your important day 105 Adventure Awaits Look your best in the outdoors this autumn 106 Layer Up Stylish separates to keep you cosy and warm this season 107 Motoring Bob Hickman shares his views on the Vauxhall Corsa Elite 109 Top Of The Class The latest news from the area’s schools and colleges as the new academic year gets under way 118 Health & Beauty The benefits of tai chi, plus the truth about tanning 121 Charities & Volunteering Good deeds and fundraising around the Shire patch 122 Retirement Confused about the pension triple lock and what proposed changes may mean for you? We explain all 124 Books & Poetry The best local authors as well as reviews and Shire readers’ verse 126 Subscribe To Shire! How to ensure you get every single issue 127 Letters to the editor We hand over to you, our lovely readers, to discover what you have to say about Shire and events across the region 128 What’s In Your Stars? Check out your horoscope provided by Gloria Mans 129 Competitions Don’t miss your chance to win one of our amazing prizes!

PAG E 6 Halloween happenings

Contents SeptOct FINAL_V3.indd 1

27/08/2021 13:56



4th September, Zip It To Stop MS, Zip World, Bethesda Are you brave enough to tackle Velocity 2, the world’s fastest zipwire, to help stop MS? Travelling at speeds of over 100mph at a height of 500ft, participants will experience the freedom of flying while raising vital money for MS research. £35 per person, with a minimum fundraising target of £200.

4th September, St Kentigern Hospice Dawn Walk, St Asaph Put your best foot forward on the 10th anniversary of the Dawn Walk in aid of St Kentigern Hospice. The 10km sponsored walk starts from the hospice at 5am and is open to everyone over the age of 10. £25 adults, £12 children, including a bacon butty, limitededition T-shirt and medal.

4th & 5th September, The Fun Ship Street Food Festival, Llanerch-Y-Mor Dock Enjoy a weekend of street food and Convent Garden street performers in this two-day festival that takes place on the quayside next to the historic Duke of Lancaster ship. Featuring stalls, a beach bar, live wrestling show, bouncy castles, live music and the RNLI Lifeboat and crew. 9am-6pm. £5.

5th September, Horrible Histories: Gorgeous Georgians & Vile Victorians, Theatr Clwyd, Mold Are you ready to swing with a Georgian king? Can you see eye to eye with Admiral Nelson? Does the Duke of Wellington get the boot? Don’t miss this horrible history of Britain with the nasty bits left in in this “bring your own chair” outdoor production at Theatr Clwyd’s outside stage. Performances at 2pm and 5pm. Tickets from £10. Recommended for children five years and over. To book, visit

A song and dance at Rhyl Pavilion

Toploader, 3rd October The “Dancing In The Moonlight” hitmakers are celebrating the 20th anniversary of their album Onka’s Big Moka with a special live set, featuring the singles from the bestselling album as well as some of the band’s favourite tracks and classic covers. 7.30pm. Tickets £20. Sleeping Beauty, 6th October The Russian National Ballet returns with the classic story of love

Very vegan delights

North Wales Vegan Festival takes place in Wrexham on 18th September, with more than 70 stalls selling a vast array of produce. There will also be cookery demos, inspirational talks, interactive workshops, yoga and children’s activities running throughout the day at the Plas Coch Sports Centre. Entry costs just £4 (under-16s free) or £15 for a VIP advance ticket that includes a goody bag.

and innocence, mystery and magic set to Tchaikovsky’s sublime score. Stunning choreography, sumptuous costumes and wonderful sets form the fantasy world in which the Lilac Fairy struggles against the evil Carabosse. 7.30pm. Tickets £22.

Masters of their craft Ruthin Craft Centre’s exhibition Mastery: Women In Silver, which runs until 18th September, is the first to focus on the UK’s contemporary female silversmiths. The exhibitors represent a large cohort of women working at the highest level of silversmithing and include established and mid-career

Stars come out for great movies Rhyl’s roarsome fun

Majestic Events UK presents Jurassic Live at Rhyl Leisure Centre on 18th September. Families will be treated to an interactive show featuring velociraptor Blue and a terrifying T-rex! You’ll also get to meet the dinosaurs after the show and grab a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal for a selfie. The show is suitable for children of all ages and is followed by a dino disco. For tickets, visit

DID YOU KNOW? “Dancing In The Moonlight” sold an incredible 1.8m copies in the UK

Enjoy big-screen magic in the beautiful surroundings of Erddig Hall near Wrexham thanks to Adventure Cinema. You can watch Mamma Mia! on 3rd September, Grease Sing-A-Long on 4th September and Dirty Dancing on 5th September. The films start shortly after sunset, so bring a blanket or camping chair and a picnic and enjoy great films under the stars.

artists alongside emerging makers. Look closely and you’ll discover a sense of fun and a vein of playfulness, as well as an intention to surprise, delight, question and subvert. Such feats are only achievable by those working at the very top of their game: masters of their craft. Ruthin Craft Centre is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 5.30pm.

Explore science in Wrexham

Discover the joys of science this October at Xplore!, the new handson science and discovery centre in the heart of Wrexham. The museum is packed to the brim with brain-teasing, mind-bending, eye-opening exhibits. There are also regular science shows, suitable for all the family, that explain how science is used in the real world. Xplore! is open at weekends and every day during half-term (23rd to 31st October). Entry costs £7.50 (under-fours free).

6 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WONorth Wales SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 11:14

WHAT’S ON NORTH WALES DID YOU KNOW? Billy Ocean’s real name is Leslie Sebastian Charles

Deserts and Ocean at Venue Cymru, Llandudno Ben Fogle: Tales From The Wilderness, 19th September Ben has climbed Everest, been swimming with crocodiles, saved elephants, dodged pirates, been marooned for a year on an uninhabited island, walked to the South Pole,

Events and offers at Plas Maenan hotel

From 6th to 9th and 13th to 16th September, Plas Maenan Country House in Llanrwst is offering 10 per cent off food for those living in LL26 and LL32 areas. Other events this autumn include Oktoberfest on 1st and 2nd October, an adults’ Halloween party on 30th October and a kids’ version on 31st October. Call 01492 660977 or visit

Run through the dark

Run into the night in support of Hope House children’s hospice with the charity’s Dark Run on 30th October. The run is open to all ages and abilities and you can choose to run, jog or walk at either Chirk Castle or on the beautiful island of Anglesey. You can even complete your Dark Run virtually! Everyone taking part will receive a glow-in-the-dark medal and a fabulous goody bag. Registration costs £20 for adults and £5 for children.


recount his thrilling tales with warmth and honesty. 7.30pm. Tickets £28.

crossed the Empty Quarter with camels, rowed across the Atlantic, tracked the migration of the wildebeest, swum from Alcatraz, had a flesh-eating disease and messed around with ferrets. Hear the much-loved TV adventurer

Billy Ocean, 25th September British soul icon Billy Ocean performs the best of his greatest hits and songs from his latest studio album One World, which was released in September 2020. 7.30pm. Tickets from £28.

Classic cars on display at the castle

A festival of photography

North Wales Classic Car & Motorcycle Show returns to Bodrhyddan Hall on 19th September featuring a huge display of vintage, classic and modern classic vehicles, as well as classic motorcycles. Tickets cost £9 for adults and £3.50 for children (under-sevens free).

A boat trip with a difference

Horse-drawn boat trips are available daily from Llangollen Wharf until the end of November, allowing you to relax and take in one of Britain’s most beautiful canals. Covered seating is available so trips can go ahead whatever the weather. Standard trips of 45 minutes run between 11am and 4pm, departing approximately every hour. Booking is advisable. Adults £8.50, children £4.

8th September, Ruthin Evening 5k Chase the evening sun in this popular 5km race. The fantastic route is well marked and offers runners incredible views of the Welsh countryside. 6.45pm. From £10.50.

11th September, Penrhyn Old Hall Ghost Hunt, Llandudno Are you brave enough to spend a night in this 14thcentury haunted manor house? Join this spooky ghost tour and experience a séance, dowsing and table tipping. 8pm-2am. £20. www.deadlive.

Northern Eye Photography Festival, a collaboration between Oriel Colwyn Photography Gallery and Aberystwyth’s The Eye Festival, brings outstanding photographers, speakers and exhibitions to Colwyn Bay. from 9th to 10th October. Weekend tickets cost £40.

Music returns to Wrexham’s Stiwt

11th & 12th September, Owain Glyndwr Day, Harlech Castle Celebrate Owain Glyndwr in the castle he took in 1404, and see the Ardudwy Knights bring history to life. 11am4pm. Standard admission applies.

12th September, Volunteer Recruitment Day, Bala Lake Railway Find out what working on a narrow-gauge steam railway involves.

La bohème, 9th & 10th September North Wales Opera Studio’s production of Puccini’s tearjerker. 7pm. Tickets £18. Here Come The Girls, 16th October Eleven amazing tributes in one show including Cher, Madonna, Shania Twain and Blondie. 7.30pm. Tickets £18.

13th September, Historical Honey, Plas Mawr, Conwy Visit the finest surviving Elizabethan townhouse in Britain and learn how the Tudors used honey. 11am-4pm. Standard admission applies.

18th-19th September, Wild Camping Experience, Snowdonia Join an expert guide at one of the best spots in Snowdonia. £95.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 7

WONorth Wales SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 11:14



22nd September, Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, Venue Cymru, Llandudno A thrilling night of adventure with a new collection of short films from the world’s most prestigious mountain film festival. 7.30pm. £15.

Culture at Theatr Clwyd

Gary Delaney, 12th September The long-standing Mock The Week guest brings you the kind of one-liners only a master could craft. 8pm. Tickets £20. The Hound Of The Baskervilles, 21st25th September An ingenious adaptation of Arthur Conan Doyle’s adventure. 2.30pm & 7.30pm. Tickets from £10. Dial M For Murder, 27th September-2nd October Starring Tom Chambers and Diana Vickers, this seat-gripping drama is not to be missed. 7.30pm. Tickets from £10.

24th September, No Time To Live Murder Mystery Evening, St George’s Hotel, Llandudno Herr Otto Matic plans to dispose of his archenemy Jimmy Pond. But things aren’t as simple as they seem in this farcical murder mystery. Come dressed to kill, enjoy a three-course dinner and work with your fellow diners to crack this James Bondinspired mystery. 7pm. £40.

24th-25th September, Wild Swimming Weekend, Llanberis Spend a weekend swimming in the pools, lakes and rivers of Snowdonia. From £225.

25th September, Rainbows Snowdon Trek Tackle the highest mountain in Wales while helping to support local children and young people with life-limiting conditions. 9am. £35, minimum sponsorship £120.

Rush: A Joyous Jamaican Journey, 31st October Discover the story behind reggae music. 7.30pm. Tickets £22.50.

A feast for the senses in Wrexham

23rd September, Maesdu Golf Day, Llandudno Enjoy a great day of golf while supporting seriously ill local children and their families. £250 for teams of four, which includes bacon rolls and tea/coffee at registration, 18 holes with a shotgun start, a two-course dinner, raffle and prize presentation. All money raised goes to Hope House.

Being Mr Wickham, 8th & 9th October Adrian Lukis is Pride & Prejudice’s roguish George Wickham… 7.30pm. Tickets from £10

Music at Galeri Caernarfon

Calan, 18th September Join the award-winning band as they breathe fire into old traditions. 7.30pm. Tickets £15. Darkside: The Pink Floyd Show, 24th & 25th September Friday’s show features Dark Side Of The Moon in its entirety, while Saturday’s includes the whole of the album Animals. 8pm. Tickets £18.

Visit the birthplace of modern Welsh

Enjoy a rare chance to see inside Dolbelydr in Trefnant when the property is open to the public as part of Cadw’s Open Doors scheme on 11th and 12th September. The 16th-century building has a good claim to be the birthplace of modern Welsh – it was here that Henry Salesbury wrote Grammatica Britannica, the first Welsh grammar. Entry is free but must be booked at

DID YOU KNOW? Screen versions of The Hound Of The Baskervilles have been made in 10 countries

Wrexham Feast, the new name for the town’s food and drink festival, takes place on 25th and 26th September. The weekend will feature cookery demonstrations, the best local and national producers, children’s workshops and live entertainment. Tickets are £4.75 from

All aboard for Halloween fun

Are you brave enough to join in the spooky fun at Bala Lake Railway on 29th and 30th 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. Expect cobwebs, pumpkins and ghostly guards at this spooky event for all the family! Special fares apply.

Get set for wedding bells

If you’re dreaming of your big day, don’t miss the North Wales Wedding Fayre on 24th October at Coleg Cambria in Deeside. The biggest wedding show in north Wales brings together more than 90 wedding specialists, from florists and catering options to live music. Entry is free if you register at www. or £2 on the door. VIP tickets cost £7.

Capture the beauty of Wales

Photographers can improve their technique and learn the tricks of the trade during an inspiring one-day course in the Clwydian hill range on 14th October. Professional photographer David White will teach you to get the best out of your equipment and simplify the natural world around you into pleasing fine-art compositions. The course costs £95 per person.

8 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WONorth Wales SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 3

27/08/2021 11:14

Dod â gwyddoniaeth yn fyw i bawb Bringing science Archebwch Eich to life for all tocynnau ar-lein heddiw

Book your tickets online today

15% oddi ar eich tocynnau a archebwyd ymlaen llaw gan ddefnyddio cod XploreSM21 Defnyddiwch y cod hwn wrth ein til ar-lein i gael 15% oddi ar eich tocynnau Derbyn Cyffredinol

Wrecsam, LL13 8AE

15% off your pre-booked tickets using code XploreSM21 Use this code at our online checkout to get 15 % off your General Admission tickets

Expiry: Nov 30th


the new name for wrexham food festival

25th - 26th September 2021

llwyn isaf, wrexham town centre, ll11 1ay food - drink - live entertainment - cookery demos - children's activities - shopping -

book yo yyour our tic tickets icckets at wrexhamfeas st. st. st t tcom or by phone on 0344 8000 410 under 16's free with accompa accompanying panying pa a adult lt

009_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 14:23

Esther Wintringham I am a freelance artist who enjoys painting mainly in oils and watercolours. My favourite topics are some of the beautiful scenery in North Wales. I sell original pictures and prints and also accept commissions. My virtual shop is on Etsy,

• Over 110,000 readers • Coverage throughout North Wales, Mid Wales, Cheshire and Shropshire

Advertise your



Has your event been postponed? Do you need to tell our readers? Get in touch we can help. Shire Magazine, The best of North and Mid Wales, Cheshire, Wirral & Shropshire or 01691 661270


House ad Events MayJun20 97x140mm SN.indd 1

21/08/2020 10:33






010_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 14:35


DID YOU KNOW? Finch and Keita’s album Soar is based on the osprey’s migration


•26th September,

The North Wales International Music Festival goes hybrid for 2021 A mixture of live concerts in St Asaph Cathedral and online concerts recorded in Bangor, Caernarfon, Cardiff and London make up the 50th North Wales International Music Festival, which runs from 30th September to 4th October. Live concerts include the extraordinary musical fusion of Catrin Finch and Seckou Keita, featuring music from their first two award-winning albums and previewing new material from their upcoming

Spooky happenings at Gwrych Castle

If you’re looking to get up close and personal with the spirits this Halloween, join a Ghost Hunt at Gwrych Castle, Abergele, on 23rd and 31st October. Visit the chapel, bakehouse and coach house, then the Countess’s Tower, said to be haunted by the countess herself. Tickets cost £40 and the event runs from 8pm to 1am. www.

third album. Other performers include London Tango Quintet, NEW Sinfonia with pianist John Frederick Hudson, Family Affair with Brian Hughes and tenor Dafydd Jones, and Ensemble Cymru. A free virtual festival will be held online in November, including recordings from the St Asaph Cathedral concerts, BBC National Orchestra of Wales in Cardiff and folk musician Gwennan Gibbard. For the full programme, visit

Ghosts on the run

Come in your best spooky fancy dress for the Halloween Porth Eirias 10k on 30th October. The event starts from the Colwyn Bay Water Centre and follows a largely flat course along the cliffs and beaches of north Wales. The chip-timed race begins at 9.30am and entry costs £16 for adults and £6 for children. To register, visit

Live music at Theatr Colwyn The Houghton Weavers, 25th September The Houghton Weavers have been entertaining audiences for over 40 years with their unique blend of popular folk music, humour and audience participation. As their motto says, they “Keep Folk Smiling”. 7.30pm. Tickets £16.50.

Gruffydd Wyn, 2nd October The Britain’s Got Talent finalist will be singing songs from musical theatre, pop and opera

along with some hauntingly beautiful Welsh folk songs and hits from his album Chapter One. 7.30pm. Tickets £18.

Llangollen Food Festival is now bitesize

Soughton Hall Autumn Wedding Fayre, Mold Plan for your big day with this free event set in a stunning Georgian country house and luxury boutique wedding venue. 1pm-4pm.

26th September, Let’s Walk & Talk, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct & Trevor Basin Visitor Centre Take a walk with local author Pete Evans, who has written a book about the River Dee. 9am-5pm. £9.50.

This year’s Llangollen Food Festival, on 16th and 17th October, has been scaled down to keep everyone safe but is still offering a great mix of food and drink, showcasing a range of local producers selling everything from fruit gins to chocolates, wines and cakes. www.

It’s party time at the Three Eagles

28th September, In The Night Garden… Live, Venue Cymru, Llandudno Igglepiggle, Upsy Daisy, Makka Pakka and friends are magically brought to life using full-size costumes, magical puppets, enchanting music and dancing. 10am, 12pm, 2pm & 4pm. £19 adults, £16 children.

1st October, Ceramic Pumpkin Carving Course, Glosters, Porthmadog The perfect alternative to carving a real pumpkin. Glosters supplies the pot thrown and ready for you to carve. All the carved pots will be ready and glazed in time for Halloween. 2pm-5pm. £48.

10cc’s Graham Gouldman & Heart Full Of Songs, 13th October Graham formed what became Heart Full Of Songs six years ago. The acoustic four-piece tour Europe and the UK performing to appreciative audiences. 7.30pm. Tickets £29.

Three Eagles Bar & Grill in Llangollen presents Summer Sessions Closing Party from 9pm on 3rd September, with live music from FaceValue. The local band will mark the end of the Summer Sessions in the Three Eagles courtyard with a set of covers and feelgood crowd-pleasers from the 1960s to modern day. Booking is essential. To reserve your table, visit

2nd-3rd October, Carve A Knife, Fork & Spoon, Wernog Wood, Ruthin Learn to carve from freshly cut green wood, led by David White. £190 including materials.

9th October, Autumn Foraging Walk, Chirk Castle Join The Woodland Classroom on the hunt for the best wild foods autumn has to offer. Learn to identify a variety of plants, nuts, berries and fungi. 10am-1pm. £30. www.woodland

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 11

WONorth Wales SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 4

27/08/2021 11:14



10th October, Make A Patchwork Storage Basket, Cambria Costume House, Mold Tutor Carolyn Buxton will guide you through the process of making a fabulous patchwork storage basket with pockets, perfect for storing all your knick-knacks or giving as a beautiful gift to friends. 10.30am-4.30pm. £58. cambriacostumehouse

11th October, Crochet Wire Poppy Workshop, Plas Pentwyn, Coedpoeth Make a stunning crochet wire poppy in readiness for Remembrance Day. You’ll be given enough supplies to make three poppies, plus full written instructions, wire, hook and pins to take away. 6.30pm-9pm. £10. www.

17th October, Flintshire 10k & 5k, Mold Choose a distance or race both to claim your interlocking medals. The race starts and finishes at Mold Leisure Centre and takes a loop around the town in an undulating but quick course. 5k at 9.30am, 10k at 10.30am, 1k fun run at 9am. From £14 (fun run £3).

Live events at William Aston Hall

Scouting For Girls, 30th September With tracks from their new album Easy Cover and all their hits. 7pm. Tickets £27.50. Jason Byrne, 1st October Jason does what he does best: connecting with the audience in a way no other comic can. 8pm. Tickets £21.85. Lucy Spraggan, 7th October Lucy’s songs and stories hit with great force, straight to the heart and emotions. 6pm. Tickets £19.80.

Triathon returns to Llyn Tegid, Bala One of the most exciting events of its kind, Bala Standard Triathlon, takes place on 5th September. The race, which is open to beginners and experienced athletes alike, is stage five of the Welsh Triathlon Super Series 2021 and will be aired on S4C, so spectators around the country can enjoy the action.

22nd-24th October, OutFit Fitness Weekender, Anglesey With activities such as trail running, hiking, stretch and Pilates, beach workouts, orienteering, navigation and the famous HillFit sessions, there is plenty to do for all abilities in this active weekend based at Anglesey Outdoors. £80 excluding accommodation.

27th October, Glass Painting, Wernog Wood, Ruthin Discover the art of traditional glass painting on this beginner’s course with glass artist Verity Pulford. Learn how to mix paints, apply and layer paint to create line and tone, and how to use the sgraffito technique to create tone and pattern. £120 (plus £25 for materials). www.wernog

Seven Drunken Nights: The Story Of The Dubliners, 15th October The feelgood show returns on its fifth anniversary tour. 7pm. Tickets £27.50.

Ross Noble: Humournoid, 23rd October The surreal stand-up returns with a new show. 8pm. Tickets £28.60.

Beautiful Brynkinalt

Take a stroll through the gardens of Brynkinalt on 2nd September as the grounds are opened as part of the National Garden Scheme. Brynkinalt Hall in Chirk has been home to the ancestral Trevor family since 942 and is steeped in history. The gardens have been extensively redesigned to bring them back to their former glory and will be open from noon to 4pm. Entry is £5 for adults and free for children. Visit for details.

Run through a riot of colour FOCUS on Welsh talent in Wrexham

FOCUS Wales, from 7th to 9th October, places the spotlight on emerging talent in Wales with more than 250 artists appearing on 20 stages across Wrexham. The programme includes a huge range of concerts, interactive industry sessions, arts events and film screenings, so make sure you check the programme and don’t miss out. Full details can be found at

DID YOU KNOW? Ross Noble has appeared in Young Frankenstein and The Producers on stage

Get set to party rainbow-style at the Urdd Rhyl 5k Colour Run on 26th September. Runners start the day in white T-shirts, only to get covered from head to toe in a rainbow of colours at each kilometre of the course. You can choose to walk, skip, hop or dance your way around – it’s all about the fun! Entry costs £15 adults, £10 children and £4 under-threes.

Music and laughter at Pontio

Fleetwood Bac, 4th September The world’s best Fleetwood Mac tribute band. 7.30pm. Tickets £20. Ed Byrne: If I’m Honest, 29th September Ed takes a long hard look at himself and tries to decide if he has any traits worth passing on to his children. 8pm. Tickets £25.

Join the ale trail in Conwy

Spend a day rediscovering the charm of authentic Welsh pubs and unique Welsh real ales without having to worry about who’s driving! The Conwy bus-based Real Ale Trail on 25th September will organise the transport to take you to some of the best pubs around the county of Conwy. You can start and finish at any of the pubs on the route and hop on and off the shuttle bus as many times as you like between 11am and 10pm.

12 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WONorth Wales SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 5

27/08/2021 11:14


We have five studio centres throughout North Wales 1-2-1 LESSONS CENTRE-BASED OR REMOTELY ONLINE. SENIOR /FAMILY GROUP DISCOUNTS

See the Autumn colours in Southern Snowdonia by steam train

Beautiful lake and mountain views Family friendly attraction – dog friendly too!

Diesel Day – October 17th

A rare chance to see our range of diesels in action and to ride behind them, steam will feature too!

Halloween Trains – October 29th & 30th Join us if you dare! Halloween hauntings by train

Departures at 5:15pm and 6:30pm. Dress up! Pre-booking essential

Check our website for details of Santa Trains For further details visit our website or tel: 0845 3105374 Registered Charity no: 1156684

Trains most days to 3rd Oct, then Thurs & weekends plus half term

North Wales Music Tuition Centres

2021 REMAINING FIXTURES Friday 30 July Monday 16 August Tuesday 24 August Wednesday 29 September Tuesday 26 October Wednesday 10 November Saturday 27 November Friday 10 December

01978 780 323 Bangor-on-Dee Racecourse, Bangor-Is-Y-Coed, Wrexham, LL13 0DA

013_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 16:49

A castle, a college and a steep climb The small but beautifully formed community of Harlech is the location of many ancient legends and has been the inspiration for music and art throughout the centuries

DID YOU KNOW? The military march “Men Of Harlech” was first published in 1794 The beautiful, sandy Harlech Beach


arlech in Gwynedd is small and easily overlooked by passersby, but those who do stop at the seaside resort are delighted with what they find. The town sits deep in the Snowdonia National Park, nestled in Tremadog Bay with a stunning beach backed by sand dunes and the Royal St David’s Golf Club, and the Rhinogydd mountain range rising to the east. The town itself sits half a mile from the sea and its population of around 2,000 people is split between the low and high towns, which are linked by a steep hill. The name Harlech is thought to derive from the combination of two Welsh words: hardd (fair or fine) and llech (slate or rock).

Bloody battlegrounds

Harlech’s most famous son is Owain Glyndwr, leader of the Welsh Rebellion and the last Welshman to claim the title Prince of Wales, who was born here in 1359. Its most famous site is Harlech Castle, built by Edward I in the 1280s during his invasion of Wales, and the scene of many

a tussle over the centuries. It captured by Glyndwr at one point, later becoming a Tudor stronghold in the 1480s, and still stands proud today. Indeed, it’s one of Cadw’s most popular attractions and a designated World Heritage Site. The castle was completed from ground to battlements in just seven years under the guidance of gifted architect Master James of St George. It has a classic walls-within-walls design and makes the most of its natural defences. Even when completely cut off during the rebellion of Madog ap Llywelyn in 1294, the castle held out thanks to the “Way from the Sea”. This path of 108 steps up the rock face allowed the besieged defenders to be fed and watered by ship. Harlech Castle is easier to conquer today – a floating footbridge allows you to enter the castle as Master James intended.

Seat of learning

The town has a primary and a secondary school, and until recently was home to Wales’s only long-term adult residential college, Coleg Harlech, also known as the “college of second chances”. This is now part of Adult Learning Wales and the site also incorporates Theatr Ardudwy, which stages a varied selection of plays, music and films throughout the year. Other attractions nearby include the wreck of a US aircraft that is sometimes

visible among the sands. The aircraft came down in September 1942 and is known as the Maid of Harlech. It spends most of its time below the seabed just off the coast, but when the conditions are just right it can be spotted – the last sighting was in 2014. Another popular part of town with tourists is Ffordd Pen Llech, once named in Guinness World Records as the steepest street in the world. It has since lost its title to a street in New Zealand, based on a different way of measuring the gradient, but the calf-aching climb is still worth a visit to admire.

The ghostly wreck, the Maid of Harlech THINGS TO SEE AND DO Theatr Ardudwy St David’s Hill, Harlech LL46 2PU Harlech Castle Harlech LL46 2YH harlech-castle Ffordd Pen Llech Harlech LL46 2YL

14 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Town Visits Harlech SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 40

27/08/2021 13:55

015_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 14:38



6th September, An Evening with Ruth Jones, The Manor Hotel, Crickhowell The cocreator of Gavin & Stacey and author of the bestselling Never Greener talks about her new novel, Us Three. 7.30pm. From £20 including a signed book.

8th September, The Elan & The Wye Walk, Pont ar Elan car park, Elan Valley Join Chris from Powys Ramblers on a 6.5-mile walk encompassing rough ground, with excellent views of Craig Goch Reservoir and the Elan and Wye Valleys. 11am. Free.

9th September, Found Poetry & Text Art: Collage & Creative Writing Workshop, Caffi Clywedog, Llanidloes Artist and writer Emily Meredith helps you to create collaged poems and artworks from books, magazines and found art materials. 11am-4pm. £35.

11th-12th September, Introduction To Bees & Beekeeping, Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth Delve into the practicals of equipment, set-up, maintenance and sympathetic bee-handling skills as well as the life cycle of bees and how honey and beeswax are processed. £240.

•11th-12th September,

Loco No4 “Edward Thomas” 100-Year Celebration Gala, Talyllyn Railway Enjoy a weekend of steam action, including the Corris loco 7.

14th & 21st September, Dam Open Day, Elan Valley Venture into Pen y Garreg Dam and up to the central tower. £5 adults, £1 children. 10am4pm.

Laugh out loud at the Aberystwyth Comedy Festival The Aberystwyth Comedy Festival, which takes place from 1st to 3rd October, is an up-andcoming event that’s establishing its reputation as a high-quality fixture on the comedy calendar. This year’s programme includes a number of big-name stars, including Flo and Joan, Joe Lycett, Loyiso Gola, Lou Sanders, Mike Wozniak, Bridget Christie, Stephen Bailey, Richard Stott, Sophie Duker, Sunil Patel, Sara Barron, Olga Koch and many, many more! The festival consists of numerous shows that take place in various venues across the

Into the Elan Valley

Get your walking boots for a series of walks designed to help you discover the beautiful Elan Valley Estate from 4th to 8th September. The five-day festival includes a range of walks that cater for all interests and abilities, including a six-mile walk to the quartz crystal standing stone at Pen Maen-wern, an 11-mile walk in the upper Elan Valley and an energetic nine-mile circular hill walk. All walks are free but must be booked.

Take on the trek

Take on a TrekFest challenge in the Brecon Beacons on 18th September – simply choose a distance and charity and make every step count! There are 25km and 50km routes, and whether you walk, jog or run you’ll be challenging yourself in one of the UK’s most beautiful national parks. Entrants can sign up solo or as a team, and choose to raise money for any charity that’s close to their hearts. For more information, visit

P was

town, allowing you to watch as much or as little as you wish over the weekend. There will be plenty going on in the town too, so come along, soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the talents of some of Britain’s funniest people. For ticket information and the full programme, visit

Stunning swimming

Enjoy beautiful, challenging and friendly tidal estuary swimming in Aberdyfi on 25th and 26th September. Swimmers can choose to Beat the Tide in a scenic 4km swim, tackle the 8km Tafol Tumble or take on The Dovey, a 13km swim all the way up to the tidal limit of the Dovey Estuary. All swims start at the beach.

A triathlon with a difference

Not many triathlons include a leg by canoe, but that’s exactly what you can expect from the Montgomery Canal Triathlon, which returns on 4th September. Competitors will cycle 11.5 miles, canoe 5.5 miles and finish the final 9.5 mile section on foot. You can attempt one or two sections or, if you’re brave, tackle all three! The event supports the restoration of the Montgomery canal. Email triathlon@

Wyeside Arts Centre The Rheingans Sisters, 15th October Playful, powerful and richly connecting music that is wholly contemporary while deeply anchored in folk traditions. 7.30pm. Tickets £14.

Jamie Smith’s Mabon: Taith “The Last Huzzah”, 24th October Mabon are going out on a high with a fantastic farewell tour showcasing their Celtic folk expertise and stagecraft. 7.30pm. Tickets £16.

See Classic Lorries in Barmouth

Barmouth’s main car park will host hundreds of rare and vintage lorries at the Heart of Wales Lorry Rally on 11th September. Classic vehicles of all ages and models will be driven in convoy through the heart of Wales, stopping in Barmouth for a few hours along the way, giving visitors plenty of time to see them up close. For more information, including timings, visit www.

16 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WOMidwales SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 11:02

WHAT’S ON MID WALES DID YOU KNOW? Puss In Boots was first published in Italian in the 1550s


Be inspired by Aberystwyth Arts Centre Ben Fogle: Tales From The Wilderness, 1st September Ben shares his stories of the wilderness, from crossing Antarctica to conquering Everest. 8pm. Tickets £26.50

Puss In Boots, 26th September Would you trust a talking cat? You never know – he might turn you from a pauper to a

prince, just like the hero of this story. 2pm & 4.30pm. Tickets from £12.50.

Marisha Wallace: Tomorrow, 30th September One of the West End and Broadway’s leading ladies effortlessly infuses jazz, gospel and R&B with a healthy dose of soul. 7.30pm. Tickets £28.

Nick Butter: A New World First, 21st October Hear Nick’s fascinating tales of running a marathon in every country in the world. 8pm. Tickets from £14. Speirs & Boden, 26th October English folk’s bestloved duo are back together. 8pm. Tickets from £10. www.

16th September, Night Hike, Pen y Fan Join TrigPoint Adventures and climb up to Corn Du to watch the sun set, then head across to Pen y Fan to enjoy the exceptional views the dark sky reserve can provide. 7pm-midnight. £38.

17th September, Make An Appliqué Purse, Make It In Wales, Stiwdio 3, Cardigan Spend a day with textile artist Harriett Chapman and create a unique metalframed purse. 10am-4pm. £68 including materials.


Sample something delicious at the Abergavenny Food Festival on 18th and 19th September. The festival enjoys an exceptional reputation as a place for chefs, food businesses, journalists, farmers and food producers to come together, and delivers delicious opportunities for people from all walks of life. Enjoy an impressive programme of events including product tastings, kids’ activities, masterclasses, cookery lessons and topical debates. This year’s festival welcomes Matt Tebbutt and Olly Smith from BBC’s Saturday Kitchen.

Spooky surprises underground Visit the Silver Mountain Experience in Ponterwyd, Aberystwyth, from 23rd to 31st October for some ghoulish fun for all the family. With a whole host of activities fit for monsters big and small, this is one Halloween party everyone can enjoy! For more details, visit

Brecon Baroque Festival

Join Rachel Podger for four days of outstanding baroque music from the world’s leading performers in their field at Brecon Baroque Festival from 22nd to 25th October. For further programme information and tickets visit

Stroller wristbands, which give you access to the whole festival, cost £10 per day. Under-16s go free.

Take a big hike for cancer

Cancer Research’s 24.9-mile Big Hike Brecon Beacons takes place on 11th September. Entry costs £25, including a T-shirt and a finisher’s medal, with a suggested fundraising target of £300.

18th September, Wild Weaving, Nant-y-Bedd Garden, Abergavenny Learn the basic principles of hand weaving using a portable loom. Participants will take part in each aspect of the weaving process, from warp design and loom threading to the weaving itself. 10am-3.30pm. £60 including all materials, lunch, tea and cake.

18th September, Cwm Mynach: In the Pawprints Of Pine Martens, The Dragon Theatre, Barmouth Join the Woodland Trust and Vincent Wildlife Trust volunteer Matthew Davies to discover the secrets of this secluded valley and learn about its past and future. The 8-9km walk begins from the theatre at 9.30am. £8. www.

Get walking in Montgomery

The Montgomery Walking Festival takes place on 2nd and 3rd October, offering a variety of walks including the Offa’s Dyke Circular, the 13-mile Lonely Church walk and the 18-mile Challenge Walk. All walks, led by experienced knowledgeable guides, are free but booking is essential. For more, visit

19th September, OneDay Pilgrimage to Strata Florida, Pontrhydfendigaid A contemplative five-mile walk along logging roads and through farmlands and ancient forest to the 12thcentury Cistercian abbey. There will be plenty of time to explore the ruins. £25.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 17

WOMidwales SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 11:02



Fresh sounds at The Globe, Hay-on-Wye •

23rd September, Abstract Nature: Botanical Painting Workshop, Caffi Clywedog, Llanidloes Create colourful abstract artworks using acrylic paints in this intuitive and playful workshop, suitable for all abilities. 11am-4pm. £35.

Crinkle Cuts, 18th September A blast of tantric funk, smooth reggae and new-wave Latin ska. 8pm. Tickets £8 in advance/£10 on the door.

Jo Carley & The Old Dry Skulls, 25th September A combination of 1930s voodoo sounds, vaudeville, blues, skiffle, early ska and old-timey country and folk. 8pm. Tickets £7 in advance/£9 on the door. Mischa & His Merry Men, 9th October A dynamic and inspiring collective of musicians with

24th September, An Evening with Rick Stein, The Manor Hotel, Crickhowell The chef, restaurateur and television presenter discusses his new book, Rick Stein At Home. 7.30pm. £26 including a copy of the book.

25th September, Welshpool Blitz Ball, Welshpool Town Hall Step back in time and enjoy a 1940s-style dance at this special evening featuring Ashby Little Big Band. Bop and jive the on a large sprung dance floor and get refreshed at the licensed bar. Due to ration restrictions please bring your own supper! 7.30pm. £12. www.jumblebee.

1st-3rd October, Walking & Waterfalls Weekend, Brecon Beacons Wallow in the splendid views from Pen y Fan, wander among the waterfalls and relax in the peaceful surroundings of the beautiful, converted Coed Owen bunkhouse while mingling with a great bunch of people. £139, including two nights’ accommodation.

Mark Harrison Band, 23rd October Widely considered one of the most original artists in the UK. 8pm. Tickets £6 in advance/£8 on the door. Mr Tea and the Minions, 30th October Raucous ska folk blended with full-fat Balkan beats and a squeeze of tangy dub. 8pm. Tickets £8 in advance/£10 on the door.

Theatre at the Willow Globe

•24th September, The Hawkmen, The Pavilion,

Llandrindod Wells Described as “upbeat” and “extremely danceable”, The Hawkmen draw from an array of influences such as rhythm’n’blues, soul, and rock’n’roll, which they bring together in a classic, rootsy hybrid. 8pm. £9.

a fusion of folk, blues, rock, reggae, funk and ska. 8pm. Tickets £8 in advance/£10 on the door.

Stargazing in Staylittle Marvel at the majesty of the night sky in a special stargazing weekend in Staylittle, Powys, from 1st to 3rd October. The event, organized by Dark Sky Wales, offers two days of astronomical tuition and observation, and is aimed at all levels of experience with the aim of getting you more accustomed to the night sky and taking your own images. Accommodation comprises six deluxe wigwam cabins sleeping up to four adults or a family of five, all with excellent facilities. The course costs from £479.

Run the distance

Beacons To The Blacks takes place on 18th September with four distances to choose from: a 50-mile ultra, a marathon, a half marathon and a 12km race. The ultra and marathon races both start at Gilestone Farm in the Brecon Beacons and finish deep in the heart of the Black Mountains, while the half marathon and 12km race start at Perth y Pia in Llanbedr. Entry costs from £30 to £80 depending on the distance and all runners receive a bespoke medal, gift and refreshments.

See live theatre come to life at The Willow Globe, a scaled down, living version of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, based in Llandrindod Wells. Romeo & Juliet is on 4th September, adapted and directed by Kirsty Bushell and performed by second-year students from The Fontainebleau School of Acting. On 11th September, see The School Of Night – stories and interludes inspired by suggestions from the audience.

Race For Life

Join Cancer Research UK’s Race For Life and help raise money for research into all 200 types of cancer while challenging yourself to run 3km, 5km or 10km. The Aberystwyth Race For Life takes place on 19th September and entrants can walk, jog or run their chosen distance. Entry costs £14.99 for adults and £10 for children. To find out more, visit raceforlife.

Steaming ahead

Experience the railway as it was over 150 years ago at Talyllyn Railway this September, with a trip on an original passenger train dating from the 1860s. The train leaves Tywyn Wharf at 11am and will stop for lunch, photographs, forest walks and more before returning to Tywyn at 3.55pm, when you’ll be served a cream tea and taken on a guided tour of the Narrow Gauge Railway Museum. Trains run on 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th September and tickets cost £39.50 for adults and £15 for children.

18 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WOMidwales SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 3

27/08/2021 11:02


Opening times: Monday – Saturday 10.00am – 5.00pm Sunday 10.00am – 4.00pm STYLING YOU AND YOUR HOME FOR OVER 25 YEARS



L ------------ J

019_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 14:39

Croeso’n ôl! Welcome back! Mae ein horielau ar agor ac mae gwledd o arddangosfeydd yn eich disgwyl dros yr haf … Our galleries are now open with a variety of exhibitions this summer…

Nick Treharne: Portread o Gymru | A Portrait of Wales 19.07.21 - 28.05.22 Ar Bapur | On Paper 19.07.21 - 12.02.22 Byd Llenyddol Paul Peter Piech | The Literary World of Paul Peter Piech 19.07.21 - 04.12.22 I archebu tocyn ewch i: | To book your ticket visit: llgcymrunlwales

@LLGCymru | @NLWales

@librarywales 01970 632800

Lorem ipsum




Escape to the countryside between Welshpool and Newtown. Some of the fantastic places of interest within 35 mile radius: Chirk Castle, Lake Vrynwy RSPB, Coed y Dinas, Powis Castle, Hafren Forest, Ynyshir RSPB, Devils Bridge, Elan Valley, Abbey Cwm Hir, Whittington Castle, Stiperstones, Long Mynd, Clun Castle.

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

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

ABERMULE, MONTGOMERY, POWYS, SY15 6NW Tel: 01686 670 408 Email:

www.goetreretreatcaravan park

020_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 14:42


Mid Wales Opera gets back to life on the road

Mid Wales Opera’s SmallStages productions return this autumn, bringing professional performances to community venues and theatres across Wales and the borders. And where better to start than with one a celebration of one of opera’s most loved composers, and two of his best loved works? MWO’s Puccini In Paris season starts with Il tabarro (The Cloak) as the centrepiece of the SmallStages autumn tour followed in spring 2022


by a fully staged production of La bohème in partnership with Ensemble Cymru. The cast includes talented Welsh performers including soprano Elin Pritchard and tenor Robyn Lyn Evans, Stephanie Windsor Lewis, Huw Ynyr and Emyr Wyn Jones, as well as baritone Philip Smith. Selected dates across the area include 1st October at Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon, 2nd October at SpArC Theatre in Bishop’s Castle, 8th October

A festival for the feet


Enjoy a night of movie magic at the magnificent Powis Castle as Adventure Cinema brings two firm favourites to the big screen: The Lion King on 11th September and Bohemian Rhapsody on 12th September. Bring a blanket or camping chair, pack up a picnic, and enjoy great films on a giant cinema screen under the stars.

Enjoy spectacular walking near Llanwrtyd Wells at the Mid Wales Walking Festival from 15th to 18th September, with waymarked routes of 12 or 20 miles and guided walks of five and eight miles. Way-marked walks costs £10 per day or £35 for all four days; guided walks cost £5 per day.

Pavilion Llandrindod Wells

Jo Whiley’s 90s Anthems, 16th October Bringing you all the best tracks from music’s greatest decade: think Blur, Oasis, Fatboy Slim, Primal Scream, The Verve, The Prodigy and a whole lot more. Undoubtedly the biggest night out you’ll have all year. 8pm. Tickets £25.18.

Scouting For Girls, 22nd October The indiepop three-piece are back on tour with a joyous album of 80s covers alongside some incredible new tracks, and an optimism that 2021 can be everything that 2020 was not! 8pm. Tickets £32.

at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama in Cardiff, 9th October at Neuadd Dyfi in Aberdovey, 12th October at Congress Theatre in Cwmbran, 14th October at Pontio Arts Centre in Bangor, 27th October at Aberystwyth Arts Centre and 29th October at St Andrews Church in Presteigne. Full details of the tour can be found at MWO’s website Check with individual venues for prices and ticket details.

8th October, Introduction To Bushcraft, Nannerth Fawr, Rhayader Learn knife-handling skills, light a fire using several methods, make rustic bread and discover shelter-building techniques. £65 adults, £40 under-18s.

8th October, Gathering In: Autumnal Mandala Day Retreat, Denmark Farm Conservation Centre, Lampeter A nourishing day retreat offering deep thanks for the gifts of our lives at this autumnal time of Gathering In. 10am-4pm. £55.

Garden for wildlife

Explore wildlife gardening with the experts from the Centre for Alternative Technology in Machynlleth at a Gardening for Nature Experience Day on 4th September. Learn all about plants that encourage wildlife and biodiversity, get expert advice about natural pest control and growing food for birds. The course costs £60 for adults (£50 for members) and £30 for under-16s.

9th October, Moth Night Experience, Centre for Alternative Technology, Machynlleth CAT’s visitor centre and woodland are home to an amazing number of species of moth and there are several active bat roosts close by too. 8pm-midnight. £15 adults, £5 under-16s.

Get creative in Cardigan

Cardigan’s Stiwdio 3 has a huge variety of craft workshops available this autumn. Workshops available over the coming months include Porcelain Cups with Alanda Gunn-Wilson on 11th September, Macrame Wall Hanging with Alice Thomas on 24th September, Upholster A Milking Stool with Mick Sheridan on 8th October and Make A Wax Jacket with Angela Pitcher Dowdell on 15th and 16th October. For a full diary of classes and prices, visit www.makeitin

12th October, Group Stargazing, Brecon Beacons Astronomers will guide you around the night sky from constellations to nebulae, learning the mythology and science of astronomy. 8pm10pm. £20. www.darksky

16th October, Climb Pen y Fan, Brecon Beacons Experience the beauty of this spectacular mountain under the leadership of a fully qualified guide. £30.

30th October, Needle Felt a Black Cat, Make It In Wales, Stiwdio 3, Cardigan A fun workshop with artist/ maker Ruth Packham. Suitable for beginners but not children. 10am-2pm. £79.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 21

WOMidwales SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 4

27/08/2021 11:02


Live theatre at Crewe Lyceum

DID YOU KNOW? Gyles Brandreth founded the Teddy Bear Museum in North Yorkshire

Gyles Brandreth: Break A Leg, 18th September They say all political careers end in tears. In Brandreth’s case it’s tears of laughter as the ex-MP, actor, author, One Show reporter and Countdown star is back with his new show celebrating all things theatrical. Gyles delivers a dazzling evening of wit, wisdom, high drama, low comedy and hilarious name-dropping. 7.30pm. Tickets £24.

Alexander’s Live

Comedians from the UK and beyond perform at Alexander’s in Chester on Fridays. Four hand-picked comedians will give you an uproarious night out at a reasonable price. There are also exclusive food and drink offers. If you prefer live music, fantastic bands are playing the venue during September and October. Doors open 7pm. Admission £13.20.

Movie nights go nuclear

Travel into Hack Green Secret Nuclear Bunker, Nantwich, on 10th September for a screening of When The Wind Blows, the film that taught a generation the truth about nuclear war. Tickets cost £15 and include a Protect & Survive badge, a fallout-free drink and reduced entry to the museum. On 31st October you can watch a horror film in the haunted cinema, with spooky drinks and snacks, a fancydress competition and a candlelit ghost tour of the bunker. Tickets £23. Over18s only.

Swan Lake, 20th October After sell-out performances of The Nutcracker in 2019, Russian National Ballet returns to the UK with the most famous ballet of all time. Swan Lake is one of Tchaikovsky’s best works, featuring some of ballet’s most memorable music and breathtaking dance. 7.30pm. Tickets £32.

Fun times at Arley Hall The Great British Food Festival, 25th & 26th September A weekend of gastronomic delights. 10am to 5pm. Tickets from £10.80 adults, £4.50 children. Mushroom Walk, 9th & 23rd October See and hear about the diverse array of mushrooms at Arley. 11am and 2pm. Tickets £9. Halloween at Arley, 25th to 31st October Spooky half-term fun. See www.

Autumn capers at Capesthorne Hall

Cheshire Half Marathon, 12th September Start and finish outside the hall and run around the local flat and rural closed roads. The perfect opportunity for runners of all abilities. 8am to 4pm. Entry £32. Wedding Fair, 26th September There will be huge sail-cloth tents, chill-out areas, street-food vendors, live bands and more than 70 luxury wedding suppliers who are able to make all your wedding planning ideas a reality. Open from 11am to 3pm. Free entry for you and your bridal party. For the latest updates, visit

Underwater adventures at Blue Planet Aquarium

Blue Planet Aquarium in Chester is home to more than 100 living displays, as well as one of Europe’s largest collections of sharks. The aquarium offers plenty of marine life to marvel at and is open daily from 10am to 5pm and tickets cost £20.45 for 13 years and over and £14.50 for under-13s.


The Secret Lives Of Henry & Alice, 15th19th September For Henry Smith – actor, comedian, raconteur, sporting hero, business tycoon, secret agent, casanova and acting President of the United States – life was rarely dull. For Alice Smith, housewife, life was rarely anything else. 7.30pm. Tickets £12. Jason Manford: Like Me – Work in Progress, 16th September It’s been a busy few years for Jason since his last smash-hit show but fans will be glad to know this acclaimed comedian hasn’t changed a bit. Shows at 6pm and 9pm. Tickets from £22. www. thebrindley.

22 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WOCheshire SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 11:16



Events with a view at Cholmondeley Castle •

Saturday Club, 4th September On the first Satruday of the month at Cholmondeley Castle and Gardens, you can cycle, jog or walk a 3km circuit, take part in yoga and enjoy wild swimming in the freshwater lake. Paddleboards are welcome too. Open 9am to 1pm, with lakeside yoga taking place at 9.30am and 10.30am. Advance booking is required. Tickets costs £20 per car or £8 per single entry (underfours free).

Luxury spa and resort

Unwind in style this autumn at Carden Park’s luxury spa near Chester, with an exclusive spa garden and Bollinger champagne bar. The golf and leisure club is also open alongside the hotel and restaurants.For anyone planning a wedding, the impressive country estate makes the ideal venue. Prices for spa breaks and activities vary. For more information, including prices and booking, visit


Join staff from Cheshire Wildlife Trust at Bickley Hall Farm near Malpas on 2nd and 3rd September for a guided walk, pond dipping and minibeast hunt. The two-hour tours will begin at 10am and 1pm. Free entry. www. cheshirewildlife

Roman tours of Chester

Tough Mudder North West, 4th & 5th September A 10- to 14-mile obstacle course designed by Special Forces to test competitors’ all-round stamina and mental grit. A shorter 5km route and children’s 1km route are also available. The gardens will be closed to the public during the event. Various start times between 9am and 4pm. Tough Mudder tickets cost from £77 for adults or £10 for children and spectators. To sign up, visit

Cheshire Motor Show On 19th September you can expect to see 250 vehicles – including vintage and modern classic cars, motorcycles and special interest vehicles – at Frodsham Community Centre. There will be a barbecue and bar, plus live entertainment, children’s rides and stalls. Open 10am to 4pm. Entry £4 adults, children free.

Set sail and party the night away

ChesterBoat Party Nights Afloat set sail every Saturday. Choose your theme and sail back in time through your favourite eras in music from the 1970s and Motown to the 1990s and Mamma Mia. Cruises depart at 7.30pm and return at 10.30pm. Tickets cost £33.50 and include a glass of wine, a barbecue-style buffet supper and a disco. Fancy dress welcome.

Allow a Roman soldier to guide you on a journey through Chester’s heritage and gain a unique insight into life as it was in Roman Britain. See sights ranging from the amphitheatre to remains hidden away in the basements of the high street shops. Tours take place throughout the day, lasting approximately 90 minutes. Over-12s £8, children £4, under-fives free.

5th, 11th & 12th September, Gin Cruise, Danny Cruises, Chester An ideal introduction for anyone keen to learn more about gin, its history and its diversity, this cruise includes a talk from an expert that will send you away with fresh knowledge and interest about the juniper-infused drink. You can also ask any questions about gin’s rich and wild past. Cruises run from 2pm. £35.

19th September, Delamere Forest Run, Northwich Join a new running series across the nation’s forests. Whether you are a 5km or a 10km runner, choose your challenge and enjoy a run in some beautiful surroundings. Starts 9am. 5km £20 (over-12s only), 10k £22.50 (over-16s only).

25th September, Big Green Festival, Grosvenor Park, Chester Guided walks, talks, film screenings, litter picks, community greening, workshops and a fantastic Great Big Green Week Festival on the Saturday. Free. Check Facebook for timings.

Until 29th September, Rode Hall Gardens, Scholar Green The gardens and courtyard kitchen are open at Rode Hall on Wednesdays. There is also a farmers’ market, which takes place on the first Saturday of the month (pictured above). 11am-4pm. Adults £5.50, children £2, under-fives free.

8th October, Jon Courtenay: What’s It All About?, Ellesmere Port Civic Hall Comedian and musician Jon Courtenay was the first ever Golden Buzzer act to win Britain’s Got Talent. You’ll roar with laughter, maybe shed a few tears and definitely be inspired by his music and the hilarious tales of his family, relationships and life on tour. 7.30pm. From £16. www.ticketsource.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 23

WOCheshire SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 11:16



Until 5th December, Curated Closet Bridal, Lion Salt Works, Northwich A fresh look at bridal dresses through the decades using stunning photographs of some of the Grosvenor Museum’s historic wedding dresses collection. Tues, Wed, Thur & Sat, 10.30am-1.30pm & 2pm–5pm. Adults £6.60, children £4.20. lionsaltworks.

Until 5th December, Curated Closet Fashion, Grosvenor Museum, Chester A fun fashion catwalk with an array of 20th-century clothes, jewellery and accessories from the museum’s collection of over 3,000 items. Tues-Sat, 10.30am-5pm. Free, donations welcome. grosvenormuseum.

Laughter and stories at Parr Hall

John Bishop, 5th September John has achieved huge success with his comedy, entertainment and documentary shows on the BBC and ITV and his eighth stand-up show is shaping up to be his best yet. 8pm. Tickets £37.75. Fireman Sam Live, 26th September Come along to Pontypandy and watch the adventures unfold with Sam, Penny, Elvis, Station Officer Steele and Norman in an action-packed show. 10.30am and 1pm. Tickets from £15.50.

Conservation course at Chester Zoo

Children aged 12 to 15 can learn how technology is being used for conservation every Saturday from 25th September to 9th October at Chester Zoo. It’s an amazing insight into conservation and research, and experts will be on hand to demonstrate the tools used across the globe. Tickets cost £36.

BeWILDerwood’s most fantastical event of the year, the Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade, takes place this October half-term. Travel through a magical light extravaganza and watch the story unfold as you walk down mysterious paths. Make marvellous

Woodland wonders •

Anderton Boat Lift, Northwich The grounds and takeaway are now open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm at the Anderton Boat Lift, known as one of the “Seven Wonders of the Waterways”. Together with its visitor centre, coffee shop, new play area, this is an unmissable place to visit in Cheshire. Parking costs from £2 for three hours.

Fun at Gulliver’s Warrington Superhero Summer Finale, 4th & 5th September Shows, entertainment and fancy dress. Tickets £24, under-90cm free.

Fright Fiesta, 23rd-31st October Bursting with colour, costumes and music. Tickets £21, under90cm free.

See BeWILDerwood in a new light

Abbeywood Estate, Delamere Abbeywood has lots to offer including six acres of informal and formal gardens. Children can enjoy the 2km wildlife walk, incorporating 27 acres of mature and newly planted woodland. There is also a garden café and an outdoor children’s play area. Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm. Adults £6, concessions £5, children free.

An Evening with Sir Michael Parkinson, 18th October Celebrate the life and career of a man who has interviewed over 2,000 of the most important figures of the 20th and 21st centuries. Sir Michael will be in conversation with his son Mike, and showing highlights from the archive. 7.30pm. Tickets from £27.50. parrhall.culture

Visit an interactive outdoor lighting and audio display at Magical Woodland, Blakemere Village from 9th October to 7th November. You’ll see dazzling lights and hear intriguing sounds in the depths of 15 acres of Cheshire woodland. The 90-minute experience has stunning effects with performance art and hands-on elements. Time slots are available from 6pm. Adults £19.95, children £15.50, families £60, under-twos free. www.magical

memories as a family, and don’t worry if you aren’t the bravest Boggle – it’s spooky not scary! Start your adventure at dusk and craft your own Boggle Bindle Lantern to help the Boggles light up the woods at Hazel’s Hideaway. Don’t be afraid to dress up as a nice witch, BeWILDerBat, Creepy Crawly or even a Crocklebog! Tickets must be booked in advance. Visit for full details.


Visitors at Jodrell Bank Discovery Centre can view the Astronomy Photographer of the Year exhibition until 30th October. A selection of winning entries is displayed along the Exhibition Pathway, allowing visitors to explore inspirational astrophotography outdoors. Advance booking required. Adults £8.50, children £6.50, families from £20.

24 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WOCheshire SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 3

27/08/2021 11:16

Christmas Party Nights Afloat Now available to book for December

Two-hour Iron Bridge Cruises Sailing on selected dates

Half-hour City Cruises Sailing every day

Boat & Bus Tours Combine and save

Private Hire Booking for 2022

Find us on The Groves in Chester, CH1 1SZ

025_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

01244 325394 |

27/08/2021 16:35



Friday 10th September Saturday 11th September Saturday 25th September Saturday 2nd October

Visit to book T H E

026_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1





27/08/2021 16:35



Free science for all Entry to Catalyst Science Discovery Centre in Widnes is free of charge on 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th September as part of the national Heritage Open Days. Visitors can explore the ground floor interactive gallery, Birth of an


At the National Waterways Museum in Ellesmere Port you can enjoy the peacefulness of the canal, absorb the history from the Grade II listed buildings and learn about the lives and work of the canal people. The museum is open 10am to 4pm, Thursday to Sunday, and refreshments are available. Adults £9.75, children £6. www.canalriver

Rock out at Northwich Memorial Court

One Night of Adele Live, 8th October Christina Rogers brings you a tribute to the star like no other performing hits including “Hello” and “Rolling In The Deep”. 7.30pm. From £19. Hi-on Maiden with Sack Sabbath, 29th October The most popular tribute to the mighty Iron Maiden. 7.30pm. Tickets £14.50. ticketsource.

DID YOU KNOW? You can make your own soap at Catalyst on the Heritage Open Days!

Industry Gallery, the Baker Gallery, the Archive Room and the Observatory Gallery, where you can make use of the interactive tablets to discover more about the heritage of the area. Open 10am to 5pm.

Beeston Castle, Tarporley The grounds, castle and roundhouse at the magnificent Beeston Castle are now open. Measures are still in place to keep everyone safe, and you will need to book your visit in advance. 10am-5pm. Adults £9, children £5.40, families from £14.40.

Brewhouse & Kitchen, Chester Join a beer tasting, a gin tasting or a beer and food matching masterclass at this popular Chester venue. From £25. www.

Live entertainment at its best You’ll find amazing tribute bands at The Live Rooms in Chester. Catch The Killaz UK on 3rd September, AKA Noel Gallagher on 10th September, Definitely Oasis on 9th October and BURN – A Tribute to Deep Purple on 22nd October. Open 7pm to 11pm with tickets from £8.

Dunham Massey, Altrincham You’ll find a garden for all seasons at the National Trust property, as well as an ancient deer park and a house filled with treasures and stories. 9am5pm. Adults £8, children £4, families £20. www.nationaltrust.

Superbikes at Oulton Park

You can expect to see plenty of drama at the Bennetts British Superbike Championship at Oulton Park on 24th to 26th September. Watch the title challengers right in the heart of the action. Reigning champion Josh Brookes will hope to be in the title fight as a hungry chasing pack attempts to steal his crown. Gates open at 8.30am Friday, 8am Saturday and 7am Sunday. Tickets from £14. www.oulton

Raise a glass for charity

More than 50 beers, 20 ciders, gin and prosecco will be on offer at the Northwich Beer Festival on 17th and 18th September, which in 2019 raised over £10,000 for local charities. There will be live music on both evenings and gates open at 6pm on Friday and noon on Saturday. Tickets from £4, over-18s only.

Ice Cream Farm, Tattenhall There is more than ice cream at this family day out. From Strawberry Falls Adventure Golf, Daisy’s Garden, Rocky Road and Silvercone racing track to Mini Scoop, Mini Tractors and Gemstone Cove. 9am-5pm. Entry £1, must be pre-booked. Additional charges apply for some attractions.

Little Moreton Hall, Congleton Visit this iconic Tudor manor house that will take your breath away with its wonky angles and quirky character. Built to impress by craftsmen’s hands more than 500 years ago. 11am-5pm. Adults £8, children £4, families £20. uk/little-moreton-hall

Lyme Park, Stockport The car park, parkland and garden are open. To avoid disappointment please book in advance, especially at busier times. 9am-4.30pm. Adults £8, children £4, families £20. www.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 27

WOCheshire SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 4

27/08/2021 11:16




Live events at Storyhouse •

Manley Mere, Frodsham Follow the woodland adventure trail or have a wet, wild and fun day out with the Wipeoutstyle water park assault course. Open-water swimming, water sports, fishing and kayak hire are also available. 10am-5pm. Trail tickets £12, under-fours free, aquapark £20 (over-sevens only).

Blood Brothers, 28th September-2nd October The captivating and moving tale of twins who, separated at birth, grow up on opposite sides of the tracks, only to meet again with fateful consequences. The superb score includes “Bright New Day”, “Marilyn Monroe” and the emotionally charged hit “Tell Me It’s Not True”. 7.30pm. Tickets from £20.50. Mark Thomas: 50 Things About Us, 29th October Mark uses his trademark style of storytelling, stand–up, subversion and well-researched material

Nantwich Museum This •quirky gallery has a programme

Autumn Festival, 10th-11th September A day of top-class racing as the Stand Cup takes centre stage.

Stretton Water Mill, Malpas Step back in time to visit an historic working corn mill in beautiful rural Cheshire. Open weekends 1pm-5pm. Adults £3.50, children £1.80, admission includes a guided tour of the mill. strettonwatermill.

Cheshire Day, 25th September The penultimate fixture of the season – a day to dress up! Season Finale, 2nd October Toast the end of the racing season.


Run Through 10k, 11th September & 9th October A fast, undulating, road-closed 10km race. Starts before the park opens, giving runners the chance to charge down the trafficfree and scenic Knutsford Drive. 9am to 11am. Entry £21. Dogfest, 25th & 26th September Join a community of dog lovers as they celebrate our best friends and treat them to a day out that’s all about them. 9.30am to 5pm. Tickets from £17.50 adults, £10.50 children.

Chester Little Theatre returns

Watch Sue Townsend’s comedy Bazaar & Rummage at Chester Little Theatre from 9th to 16th October, which follows three severely agoraphobic women as they leave their homes for the first time in years to go to a jumble sale. Tickets £10. Show times vary. www.

Be spooked by Chester’s ghosts Locomotives in the cathedral

A model railway event chugs into Chester Cathedral until 3rd September. Created by railway enthusiast Pete Waterman, the event presents a bespoke model railway that demonstrates the West Coast Mainline. Open 10am to 4pm. Donations welcome.

Let Chester’s tour guides take you on a night-time journey every Thursday, Friday and Saturday to visit the eerie haunts of the city’s mysterious and murky past. Tours leave the town hall at 7.30pm and last 90 minutes. Tickets £10. www. chesterghost

Mary Ann Cameron

Tabley House Collection, Knutsford See the wonderful historic splendour of Tabley House State Rooms. Admire the extraordinary art collection and furniture, and hear about the intriguing history of the Leicester family. ThursSun, 1pm-5pm. Adults £7, children and students £3.

Luisa Omielan: God Is A Woman, 31st October Luisa has created a unique genre of comedy that’s a heart-wrenching journey – part rave and part rally. Her shows are uplifting, thought-provoking and damn funny. 8pm. Tickets from £16.50.

Back a winner at Chester Races

of temporary exhibitions throughout the year for visitors to enjoy. 10.30am-4.30pm. Free.

Quarry Bank, Wilmslow The gardens, estate, mill, apprentice house, restaurant, café and shops are all open. On weekdays you don’t need to pre-book but at busier times, such as weekends and school holidays, it is recommended. 10.30am5pm. Adults £15, children £7.50. www.nationaltrust.

to find out how the hell we ended up here. 8pm. Tickets from £14.

DID YOU KNOW? Blood Brothers is the third longestrunning musical in West End history

28 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WOCheshire SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 5

27/08/2021 11:16


029_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 14:45

A day at the races If you’re looking for a special occasion with fun and thrills, the chance to get dressed up and even the opportunity to win thousands of pounds, look no further than a day out at Chester Races


Something for everyone

stablished in 1539, Chester is the oldest racecourse still in operation in the world. But during the Roman occupation of Britain, most of the current 65-acre site wasn’t even dry land; it was an important harbour on the River Dee, which supplied the Roman garrison of Deva (now the city centre of Chester) – some of the anchor stones used at the port can still be seen at the current racecourse. Following several centuries of river action, “Chester stages 15 days a build-up of silt resulted an island forming of competitive in the river, where a stone and quality cross was built. The racing every alternative name for the racecourse – the Roodee season” – is a mixture of the Norse and Saxon meaning “the island of the cross”. By the early Middle Ages, the construction of a weir system on the river caused much larger quantities of silt to be deposited, and the original Roodee was converted into a riverside meadow, laying the foundation for the area to be eventually turned into a racecourse.

Glory days

Chester is renowned for several achievements in the era of modern horse racing. It’s where the first prize being given to a horse racer was recorded, at a Chester fair in 1512, and the place where Henry Gee, who became mayor of Chester in 1539,

See racing at the Roodee

Still to come this season...

The Autumn Festival, 10th & 11th September Make the most of the remainder of the season with a well-deserved long weekend of racing. This is the perfect opportunity to show off your best suits and dresses. Cheshire Day, 25th September The penultimate fixture of the season is a day to dress up and enjoy the best that Chester Racecourse has to offer. There is no better place to enjoy the last of the lighter days and warmer weather! Budweiser Brewing Group Season Finale, 2nd October The culmination of this year’s triumphant return to racing promises to be unlike any other. The races will be more hotly anticipated than ever and the crowd on the absolute edges of their seats. For more information on these events, visit

introduced an annual horse race meeting. The mayor’s name became so synonymous with racehorses, they’re often still called “gee-gees”. By 1817, the vast crowds at the races made it economically viable to build a grandstand. This proved an unqualified success, enabling racegoers to enjoy every facet of the action. In recent years, Chester has extended its racing programme, staging 15 days of competitive and quality racing. In recent years, the Roodee has grown to encompass many purpose-built facilities where you can enjoy raceday, accompanied by mouthwatering dishes and an extensive selection of wines and champagnes. This “Chester experience” is what the course is now famed for. Whatever the result of the race, jockeys, trainers and race-goers all return home with smiles on their faces.

30 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Chester Races SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:00





031_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 16:35



27/08/2021 14:47

Finding his voice again

For over two decades, Russell Watson has been one of the most popular classical stars on the planet. His current tour – which sees him play Shrewsbury and Crewe this autumn – marks 21 years since the release of his debut album, The Voice, which shot him to fame


ith a string of hit albums behind him, Rusell Watson, the man dubbed “The People’s Voice”, has performed for popes and presidents and opened sporting events from the Champions League final to the Commonwealth Games. Now, with live music opening up again, the Salford-born singer is finally getting back to doing what he does best, playing a series of live shows to celebrate 21 years since the release of The Voice, the debut album that made him a household name. He is due to perform at Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury on 22nd October and Crewe

Lyceum on 21st November, as well as various venues skirting the Shire region. As if that wasn’t enough, Russell has also released 20, a collection of new versions of his biggest tracks. With a career as long as Russell’s, there were plenty of tracks to choose from, but he came up with a list that is sure to please everyone. “There were the obvious ones that had to be in there, those ones the fans always demand such as ‘Nessun Dorma’ and ‘Volare’,” he says. “They made it straight on to the record! Another easy choice was ‘Where My Heart Will Take Me’, the theme from Star Trek: Enterprise.

“I just want to get back out on that stage again and do what I love doing more than anything in the world”

That was such a career highlight for me, to be asked to sing something that’s going to go down in history forever. I watched Star Trek as a kid, so it was a real shock that out of all the artists in the world, Paramount chose me to do that. I’ve always been very proud to have been involved with that. “The album kind of chose itself, though there are still a few that maybe could have been there too, such as ‘You Raise Me Up’.”

Drive and determination

Russell has come a long way since his days grafting on a Salford factory floor by day and singing in clubs by night, but he maintains that to get where he is today has taken a lot of drive and resilience. “I don’t know where the drive comes from, but it’s always been there,” he says. “I lost count of how many times when I was working through that period in the clubs when I was told to forget about it, but the more I was told no, the more determined I became. It was like a red rag to a bull! “Even 18 months before I had my first album at the top of the Classical Charts I was told by a major label that I would never be a classical singer and should try Broadway or something. But there was always something in my mind that just knew I’d achieve my goals in life, no matter how long it took. That drive and determination have always been in me.” Russell’s work ethic is clear from what has been a relentless touring schedule throughout his career – so having live music put on indefinite hold during the pandemic was a big change. Naturally, Russell says, his first concern is for people’s safety but he admits not being able to do the thing he loves the most has been difficult, making his upcoming tour all the more special. “It’s become much more relevant to me these past 18 months or so that I live to sing. It’s something that’s very personal to me, so when I’m not in tune with performance, the adrenaline rush and the thrill that it gives me to be on stage in front of an audience, it fundamentally affects me and who I feel as I am as a human being. Obviously, we’ve gone through the darkest of times and there are many, many people way worse off than me, but it still wasn’t easy. I just want to get back out on that stage again and do what I love doing more than anything in the world. I’m just so thrilled to get that opportunity to do that again. I cannot wait.” September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 33

Celebrity SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:04








Visit our award winning showrooms for inspirational ideas and advice for the most important rooms in your home. Displaying quality items from exclusive brands you can trust, all at competitive prices and with help from our experienced team.

Chester Street, St Asaph, LL17 0RE 034_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1


01745 582254

| 27/08/2021 16:08



Muddy mayhem in Birkenhead Are you ready to get muddy to raise money for Cancer Research UK? Race for Life’s Pretty Muddy is a brilliant 5km obstacle course that allows you to do just that. Scramble over the A-frame, crawl through the mud pit, have fun with your friends and raise valuable funds for life-saving


Heritage Open Days on 10th to 19th September give you the chance to visit places including Bidston Observatory and Clifton Road Masonic Hall free. www.

DID YOU KNOW? Race for Life events have been running since 1994

research. There is a separate event for kids, allowing them to get gloriously muddy with their friends and raise money too! Pretty Muddy takes place in Birkenhead Park on 9th October. Entry costs £19.99 for adults and £10 for children over 13. Visit

Sublime ceramics on show See richly coloured pottery and tiles in a new exhibition of De Morgan Ceramics at the Lady Lever Art Gallery from 1st October. Visit www.


The Irby Club has live traditional jazz on the first and third Wednesday of every month. Admission free. 8pm.

Get set to cycle

The Leverhulme Summer Cycle on 12th September is ideal for cyclists of all ages and abilities – a great day out for all the family. Free but registration is required.


Ian Waite and Vincent Simone: Act Two, 4th October The Ballroom Boys double act returns! With beautiful costumes and world-class routines, the Strictly stars promise a wonderful evening of dance, comedy and song. 7.30pm. Tickets from £31.75. Alistair McGowan: The Piano Show, 7th October McGowan combines his talents as an impressionist and comedian with his newfound talent as a classical pianist. 7.30pm. Tickets £24.

Peppa Pig: Best Day Ever! 23rd-24th October From dragons to muddy puddles, this a show packed with fun as well as songs and laughter! 10am. 1pm & 4pm. Tickets from £14.75 children, £16.75 adults. www.

18th September, Roaring Twenties Summer Ball, The Neston Club, Neston Head back to the 1920s for the social event of the season! The Neston Club’s black tie ball includes bubbles on arrival, a wonderful threecourse meal and a great band with dancing till late! 6.30pm. Early bird tickets £52.50.

Enter the Mersey Tunnel 10K to run right under the river Mersey! The race on 26th September starts on Blackstock Street and takes runners through the Wallasey Tunnel for 2.5km. With a flat second half, this race is popular with those looking for a PB. Entry costs £25 to £27.

Jazz hands!

11th September, Mindful Macramé: Sustainable Plant Hanger, Make Hamilton, Birkenhead Join Vicki for an afternoon learning the basic knots and techniques that form the foundation of macramé, and put your newfound skills to great use creating a beautiful plant hanger of your own. 1pm-4pm. £30. www.

18th-19th September, Woodcarving for Beginners, Ness Botanic Gardens Get started on this fascinating craft with a two-day course led by renowned woodcarver John White, designed to teach participants the basic techniques needed for all types of woodcarving. Tools and materials supplied. £150. www.

24th September, The Killers Kollective, Heswall Hall The Killers Kollective are a popular and polished tribute act. Playing hits including “Mr Brightside” and “When You Were Young”, they always leave the crowd on a high! 7.30pm. From £14.

2nd October, Autumn Gin Tasting, Tappers Gin Distillery, Birkenhead Celebrate the arrival of autumn with a gin tasting at the Distillery Tasting Room. After a brief tour of the distillery, the tasting will be led by producer Dr Steve Tapril. 7pm. From £25.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 35

WOWirral Sept Oct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 10:48



3rd October, All Star Superslam Wrestling, Floral Pavilion, New Brighton A knockout tournament to decide the new All Star Superslam Wrestling tag team champions. Enjoy a night of non-stop action that will have you on the edge of your seat. 3pm. £16.50 adults, £11.50 children.

9th October, West Kirby Autumn Wine Festival, West Kirby Arts Centre Raise a glass as Dove and Olive bring you a selection of their favourite wines from around the world. There will be live acoustic music, a wine quiz and nibbles. 5pm-10pm. £10. www.

•16th October,

Heswall Farmers’ Market, Heswall Hall Pick up some delicious goodies and support local producers. Stalls vary but there’s always something for everyone including: meat, fish, fruit and vegetables, cheeses, pies, jams and chutneys, cakes and other baked goods, pizza, ice cream and street food. 10am-2pm. www.facebook. com/HeswallFarmerMarket

Live at Gladstone Theatre

Jesus Christ Superstar, 15th-18th September HAWK Theatre’s talented cast and live band breathe new life into the award-winning musical. 7.30pm. Tickets £14. John Lydon: I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right Q&A, 21st September The frontman of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd talks about his extraordinary career and takes audience questions 7.30pm. Tickets from £30. Women in Rock, 8th October A full two-hour set from the UK’s premier show dedicated to legends from Janis Joplin and Tina Turner to

On the Ale Trail

The Wirral Real Ale Trail returns on 4th September to transport you to fantastic pubs without worrying who’s driving! The real ale bus takes you to some of the best watering holes in the Wirral, with a minimum of three real ales in each pub – and plenty more besides. www. realaletrail.


With a great mix of challenging terrain, this eight-mile race takes runners to beaches, hills and trails with amazing views across to the north Wales coastline. 10am. £23£25, with a medal for every participant. www.btrliverpool. com/off-road-8-event

•31st October, Wirral 10 Miler & 10K, New Brighton

Both events offer a flat course perfect for setting a new PB, with a stunning route along the waterfront promenade. 9.30am. Entry £24£29. www. btrliverpool. com

Harry Panto: Return to Frogwarts!, 27th October Magical illusions, pop songs and things that go bump in the night in this bewitching show sure to delight all the family. 2.30pm. Tickets from £11.50.

Enjoy a musical feast at the seventh annual Parkgate Proms at The Neston Club on 19th September. Relax, enjoy fine food and wine and listen to the wonderful 32-piece Orchestra dell’Arte, who will bring you a varied programme with a regal feel. 1pm. Tickets from £25.


•16th October, Off Road 8, Thurstaston Country Park

Debbie Harry and Joan Jett. 7.30pm. Tickets £18.

The Wirral Arts Festival from 2nd to 16th October offers highquality live entertainment and art in venues across Wirral. www.wirralarts

Wirral Wedding Fayre

Love will be in the air on 17th October at the Wirral Wedding Fayre. Some of the region’s finest wedding specialists will be at the Holiday Inn, Ellesmere Port, with advice and inspiration. Noon. Free entry and goody bag for all. www.redevent

DID YOU KNOW? Tina Turner was inducted into th e Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year

Challenge yourself to beat cancer

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life returns to Birkenhead Park on 10th October. These events are more important than ever, so come along, challenge yourself and raise money. £14.99 adults. raceforlife.

Music at West Kirby Arts Centre All I Have To Do Is Dream, 10th September Tennessee Waltz celebrate the hits of the Everly Brothers. 7.30pm. Tickets £15. Steve Knightly: Pass Notes, 12th September The art of songwriting. 7.30pm. Tickets £20. Harbottle & Jonas, 16th October Multi-instrumentalists with astonishing vocal harmonies. 7.30pm. Tickets £10. Roving Crows, 29th October Celtic folk. 7.30pm. Tickets £10.

36 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WOWirral Sept Oct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 10:48

037_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 14:50


Middleton Road, Oswestry SY11 2PN T: 01691 680008 E.

Contact us for our latest colour brochure

Middleton Road, Oswestry



3rd September, Whitchurch Comedy Festival, Dodington Lodge Hotel Various acts are performing during the month, starting with Paul Sinha. 8pm. £18.

10th-12th September, Sausage’n’Cider Festival, Ellesmere Cricket Club Folk/ acoustic music on Friday, cricket and evening entertainment on Saturday and a fun day Sunday. See Facebook for details.

Top pop in the Town Park •

11th September, Oteley Estate Open Gardens & Market, Ellesmere Explore the 10-acre garden and do a little shopping. 10am-5pm. Parking and market entry free; garden £5 adults, children free.

•12th September,

Porthywaen Silver Band, Cae Glas Park, Oswestry The band, a registered charity, has been in existence since 1934, and puts a strong emphasis on helping young people learn instruments. 2pm-4pm. Free.

Telford’s QEII Arena is welcoming two headline acts this September. Legendary crooner Sir Tom Jones performs on 3rd September, and former X-Factor contender and cheeky chappy Olly Murs appears on 5th September. Sir Tom – now 80 – is

Theatre Severn highlights

Ben Fogle: Tales From The Wilderness, 14th September Tales from Ben’s adventures around the world. 4pm and 7.30pm. £28.50.

Spontaneous Potter, 10th October An improvised, totally

12th September, Walk & Talk: Late Summer Colour, Dorothy Clive Gardens, nr Market Drayton Head gardener Zdenek Valkoun-Walker will advise on extending the flowering season and coping with particular gardening concerns. 1.30pm3.30pm. £5 plus garden entry.

From 16th September, PYO Pumpkins, Llynclys Hall Farm Shop, nr Oswestry Known locally as simply “the pumpkin farm”, Llynclys Hall has thousands of pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. For further details visit www. llynclyshall.

a true national treasure with a career in music lasting more than five decades. Olly first found the spotlight in 2009 and has since become a familiar face on TV. Standard ticket prices start at £55 and can be booked via

Boots ready?!

A number of walking festivals take place this autumn. Head to Ironbridge from 4th to 12th September (www., Wellington from 13th to 19th September (www.wellington uk) and Montgomery from 2nd to 3rd October (www.

unofficial adaptation. 4pm and 7.30pm. From £11.50. Adam Kay: This Is Going To Hurt, 14th October Adam shares tales from his time as a junior doctor. 8.30pm. £26.50 Russell Watson, 22nd October Celebrating 20 years since the release of The Voice. 7.30pm. From £39.50.


Take the change to explore places often hidden from the public with Heritage Open Days from 10th to 19th September. Venues include the Greek Orthodox Church in Shrewsbury, the Bishop’s Castle Railway Weighbridge Project and the White House at Aston Munslow (left). www. heritageopen

Treasure hunting

Oswestry Antique & Collectors Fair takes place at Oswestry Showground on 18th and 19th September. There will be a mixture of indoor and outdoor stalls offering a wide range of items. Free parking is available on the site and dogs are welcome. Open 8.30am to 3pm. Adults £3.50, under-16s free.

Discover a trail of open studios

The annual Secret Severn Art Trail takes place from 1st to 12th September, with a number of studios open in and around Ironbridge Gorge. An additional pop-up studio will also be open so visitors can enjoy the work of more than 40 local artists.

38 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WOShropshire SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 10:50



DID YOU KNOW? Weston also hosts Porsches on the Park on 19th September

Models and more at Weston Park Weston Park’s International Model Air Show celebrates its 25th anniversary on the weekend of 3rd to 5th September. As well as full-size and model displays of aeroplanes, cars, boats and helicopters, there will be trade stands, crafts, food

Go green!

The auditorium at Festival Drayton Centre hosts two festivals dedicated to improving the wellbeing of both ourselves and the planet this October. Health & Wellbeing takes place on 13th October from 10am to 2pm, while Go Green will be held on 29th October from 10am to 2pm, as part of Drayton Arts Festival. For further details visit

Quick-fire comedy

Bristol’s highly acclaimed comedy improvisation company Instant Wit return to the Festival Drayton Centre on 30th October for an evening of songs, gags and silliness. The show starts at 10pm. For details, visit

and drink stalls, a fun fair and live music. Saturday finishes with the Night Fire Festival, which sees a computer-controlled light display and fireworks finale. Tickets cost £14 for adults and £6 for under16s, plus booking fee.


Ludlow Racecourse’s first National Hunt race of the season takes place on 6th October, with a subsequent meet on 21st October. The racecourse opens two hours before the first scheduled race, and hospitality packages are available. Tickets cost from £10, and entry for under-18s is free. For more, visit


The annual Ludlow Song takes place on 29th and 30th October in the “Cathedral of the Marches”, St Laurence’s Church. It features six live performances of music and poetry, and tickets start from £30 per event. To book, visit www.ludlowenglish

An evening of military magic

Britain’s Got Talent winner and magician Lance Corporal Richard Jones will be wowing audiences at Festival Drayton Centre on 29th October. With some new tricks and plenty of awe-inspiring magic, the theme of this tour is “magic with meaning”. Tickets cost from £22 for adults and £19.50 for under-16s.

16th September, Only Fools & Boycie, The Place, Telford Comedy actor turned author John Challis shares stories and anecdotes from his showbiz career. A meet and greet takes place after the show. 7.30pm. From £19.

18th September, Ultra White Collar Boxing, The Buttermarket, Shrewsbury Amateur boxers slug it out to raise money for Cancer Research UK. A strict blacktie dress code is in place. 5pm. Standard tickets £25, VIP options available. www.

18th September & 30th October, Late Night Shopping & Dining, Market Hall, Shrewsbury Unique, independent, boutique stalls and an eclectic range of eateries, open until 10pm www.

18th September13th November, Brick By Brick: International Lego Brick Art, Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery A display from artists around the world using Lego as their inspiration. 10am-4pm. A small entry fee to the museum may be payable. www.

1st October, All Stars Superslam Wrestling, The Place, Telford An action-packed night of tag team wrestling to decide who will become the new All Stars Tag Team champions. 7.30pm. £15.50 adults, £10.50 children, families £46.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 39

WOShropshire SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 10:50


Halloween happenings in Ironbridge Gorge


3rd October Classic Cars, Alderford Lake, Whitchurch A mix of classic cars and motorbikes dating from the start of the 20th century to the present day will be on display. Food and drink is available from the café. Open from 9.30am. Spectators should select general admission when booking tickets. £7 for car with two people; additional person pass £1.50.

9th October, Apple Day, Bailey Head, Oswestry Annual event celebrating apples, healthy eating and environmental awareness. Local orchard group CROP will be on hand to offer growing advice, and there will be lots of varieties to try. 10am-3pm. Free.

A range of spooktacular activities are on offer at Ironbridge Gorge Museums this October. The Witches Potion Trail runs from 23rd to 31st October at the Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron, and on 26th and 28th October, younger visitors can get involved in Coalbrookdale Cauldrons, a storytelling tour aimed at three- to Created by a group of volunteers, along with six-year-olds, with witchy fancy dress welcome. Shropshire Climate Change Action Partnership Older visitors, meanwhile, may prefer the and Shropshire Wildlife Trust, the Shropshire storyboard and cartoon Love Nature Festival is taking place at a number of workshops happening venues across the county. Fordhall Organic Farm at Blists Hill Victorian hosts several events, including Town on 27th October. the Muck & Magic Tour on All children must be DID YOU 1st September at 9.30am. accompanied, and KNOW? Tickets cost £7.50 and can be activities are included Before pumpkins booked at www.fordhallfarm. with regular admission. arrived from the com. Other festival events are For full details, visit US, Britons would listed on the Shropshire Love carve turnips! Nature Festival Facebook page.

Get back to nature

Church open gardens

A number of private church gardens are open to visitors this September as part of Shropshire Historic Churches Trust’s open gardens event. Small entry fees are payable, with monies raised going directly to conservation of these ancient buildings. For the full listing, visit

16th October, Showaddywaddy, The Place, Telford Formed in Leicester in the 1970s, Showaddywaddy have sold over 20 million records and will be playing all their biggest hit songs during this uplifting show. 7.30pm. £26.50.

Film screenings

Shropshire Supports Refugees, Shropshire Ethnic Minority Alliance, The Hive and Arts Alive present a selection of four international films exploring what it is to be human, starting with the Oscar-winning Minari (pictured) on 6th September.

16th October, Mark Thomas, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury The godfather of political comedy is back on the road with his biggest tour to date. From £19.

Visitors to West Midland Safari Park this autumn will get the chance to see two special arrivals: rare baby white rhino calves. The park is open daily for safari visitors, with VIP options and animal experiences available. Currently all guests booking tickets online will receive a free return code valid for up to six months after their original visit. Exclusions apply.


20th October, Kiki Dee and Carmelo Luggeri, Henry Tudor House, Shrewsbury “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” singer Kiki Dee and guitarist Carmelo Luggeri perform original songs and covers. 8pm. £25.

See the baby rhinos!

Paranormal investigation behind bars

The original food festival returns to Ludlow Castle for its 26th year from 10th to 12th September. More than 180 exhibitors will be present, showcasing the best in local food, perry, cider, wine and real ale. It’s a true delight for the senses. Adults £12, children £4. www.

With its long and grisly history, Shrewsbury Prison is a prime site for ghost hunters. Paranormal investigations run regularly, operated by a variety of professional external organisations. The next one takes place on 4th September. Warm clothing, appropriate footwear and torches are recommended. Tickets cost £55 and can be booked at 40 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

WOShropshire SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 3

27/08/2021 10:50

Family Run Business trading in Oswestry for 30 years.

• A family run business trading • A runyears business trading forfamily over 32 for over 32 years • One of Shropshire’s leading • One of Shropshire’s leading installers installers • A stunning indoor showroom • A stunning indoor showroom that’s the biggest and best in that’s the biggest and best in the area the area • Call in for a free quote and • Call in for a free quote and professional advice professional advice

Showroom: Showroom: Unit 5, Moreton Business Park Unit Gledrid, 5, Moreton NR Business OswestryPark Gledrid, NRLL14 Oswestry Shropshire 5DG Shropshire LL14 5DG Opening Hours: Opening Hours: Mon - Fri - 9am - 5pm Mon Fri 9am 5pm Sat - 9am - 1pm Sat - 9am - 1pm (01691) 773993 (01691) 773993 041_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 14:51


Whitchurch Friday Market


is operating both indoors and at the front of Whitchurch Civic Centre, every Friday 7.30am – 12.30pm. Contact Civic Centre directly on 01948 665761 #ShopWhitchurch

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

Oswestry Food & Drink Festival

Friday 3 September 2021 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.

Saturday 18-19 September 2021 Huge town centre event boasting the best Shropshire food producers. Free entry.

Global Grooves (Food Festival Weekend)

Sunday 19 September 2021 Bulgarian Music & Dance Event 12noon - 5pm. Free family music in Sunday 5 September 2021 the award winning Cae Glas Park. Cae Glas Park. 12 noon - 5pm. Apple Day Free event Saturday 9 October 2021


Saturday 18 September 2021 Cae Glas Park hosts local football team TNS who will provide plenty of free family activities.

• Wide choice of subjects – A Level and BTEC • Excellent pastoral care • Extensive bus routes and train links • Outstanding post-18 advice and guidance • Fantastic facilities in a rural setting • Set within a 30-acre campus • Supervised study hub sessions • Daily access to a tutor • Great range of enrichment activities • Full and weekly boarding available • A home away from home

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.

For further information call 01691 680222 or visit:

042_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

Why choose us?

• Adams House - state boarding

Saturday 11 September 2021 Cae Glas Park. Celebrating culture with art and dance

TNS Fun Day (Food Festival Weekend)

Academic excellence in a caring environment

Come and take a look for yourself individual tours can be arranged Telephone: 01939 237000 or email:

The Thomas Adams School, Sixth Form and Boarding, Lowe Hill, Wem, Shropshire, SY4 5UB

27/08/2021 14:54

WHAT’S ON SHROPSHIRE DID YOU KNOW? The original Oktoberfest in Munich has been running since 1810


Telford Exotic Zoo Now at a new location within Telford Town Park, Telford Exotic Zoo is open daily 11am-4pm. Adults £6, children £5, undertwos free.


Shropshire Oktoberfest takes place in the Quarry Park on 1st and 2nd October. The fun event offers more than 180 real ales, a lager bar, a gin den and a prosecco parlour along with mixology classes, a farmers’ market, comedy, live music and a silent disco with capacity for 500. Organisers are proud to showcase local producers with no national brands on sale. Last orders will be called on both dates at 9.30pm. Adult tickets start at £9, with VIP options available. Dogs are not permitted.

Mud mayhem awaits

Join the Shropshire Mud Run at Eaton Mascott Hall near Shrewsbury on 18th September. Entrants can choose between 5km and 10km distances, each offering more than 20 obstacles to overcome. Prices vary according to length of race, and group tickets are available. www. ultimate fitness


Travel all day or all night on Severn Valley Railway during its Autumn Steam Gala, from 16th to 19th September. Prices start from £30 per person. For details, visit

Turn detective in Telford

On 23rd October Clued Upp Games hosts an outdoor detective adventure guided by app, when teams can solve the mystery of the Telford Ripper. Team tickets cost £36.

Food festivals brighten up autumn culture. Additional activities are taking place over the weekend in conjunction with the festival, including the TNS FC fun day. For the latest on the exhibitors, visit

Shrewsbury Food Festival, 4th & 5th September Expect local food and drink exhibitors, cookery demonstrations, chef school, a barbecue stage, kids entertainment and live music at The Quarry. There is even a dog creche provided by Dogs Trust. Day tickets are £16.50 for adults, £8.50 for children and £48 for families when bought in advance. Oswestry Food Festival, 18th & 19th September The free, friendly food festival takes place in the town centre, where there is already a thriving café

Ginger & Spice Festival, Market Drayton, 25th September Did you know Market Drayton is the home of gingerbread? The recipe first arrived in the country at the time of the Crusades, and the earliest record of gingerbread being baked in the town was in 1793. Visit the street market, or follow the follow the heritage fodder and tipple trail. Newport Food Frenzy, 25th September There will be more than 50 stalls along St Mary’s Street, Lower Bar and the High Street from 10am to 4pm, offering a variety of local produce from meats and wood-fired pizza to beers and gin. Local eateries are also joining in and hosting their own events on the day.

Sundays, Live Music, The New Inn, Newport A wide range of acts perform every Sunday evening. Free admission. Full listings can be found at

Whitchurch Walkers Whitchurch was granted Walkers Are Welcome status in 2012 and this group offers two walks per month, a small group walks programme for members and a threeday annual Walking Festival. New members welcome!

River Severn Ghost Tours, Sabrina Boat Tours Themed cruises take place throughout October. As you travel along the River Severn, your guide will regale Shrewsbury’s spookiest tales. £10. Pre-booking essential.

WednesdaysFridays, Afternoon Tea, British Ironwork Centre, Oswestry A selection of delicious sandwiches, giant scones and sumptuous cakes, served with Forge Café tea! Vegetarian and gluten-free options. £15 per person. 10am-4pm. Call 01691 610952 to book. www.

Saturdays, Gin Tours, The Shropshire Distillery, Ellesmere Learn about the history of gin and enjoy a welcome drink along with samples of the distillery’s finest, including limited edition. £25. From midday. Booking required. www.the shropshire

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 43

WOShropshire SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 4

27/08/2021 10:50

If you have a show in Wales and the Borders, we can send a reviewer – and your show can appear on these pages too! Email editorial@ We look forward to hearing from you!

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

BeWILDerwood Cheshire is a new adventure park based on the books by Tom Blofeld, featuring slides, mazes, zip wires, puppet shows and so much more. On entering some Twiggles explain how best to enjoy your visit. Children of walking age can play on the slides and swings at Toddlewood on the Hill or Tiptoe Valley, but my two-yearold loved the Twiggle Whizzers – small aerial swings for Teeny Twiggles (under 105cm). Brave Boggles (over 105cm) can whizz down the Wobbly

Abel Selaocoe Abel Selaocoe likes to begin his recitals with improvisation “because it’s a new moment, unlike any other”. This tradition from community music-making in his native South Africa was never more apt than for his concert in Market Drayton – the first live performance at the Festival Centre in over 16 months. From an incredible range of sounds created by voice and cello, Selaocoe’s improvisation segued into one of the Capricci For Solo Cello by 18th-century Italian composer Dall’Abaco. “Time for the tribal elders to speak.” This wasn’t genre-bending so much as a merging of different musical traditions to reveal strengths and joys in common. Deep-throated grunts, clicking sounds from other languages, and lyrical sweeps of the voice combined with his virtuosic playing of the cello. It seemed that he was creating a whole new community of sounds.

Wires, get lost in the Mish Mash Maze or seek their thrills on the Slippery Slopes. I relived my childhood by braving the highest slide – I’m still recovering! Every hour you can see a show on the Storytelling stage, lasting approximately 10 minutes. Seating is limited, though, so make sure you get there early. Hot food, drinks, snacks and ice cream is available from the two outdoor cafés, but picnics are welcomed and there are plenty of benches and seats around the park. There’s also a lovely gift shop with an array of toys, books and gifts with consideration for all budgets. In the days after our trip all we talked about was Swampy the Boggle, Mildred the Crocklebog and when we could next visit the magical world of BeWILDerwood! CD 

CarFest North

The “straight” movements from Bach’s cello suites, when they came, sounded more luminously modern and universal than ever, while Selaocoe’s own compositions were steeped in classical gravitas. The programme ended with Giovanni Sollima’s Lamentatio, given harrowing power and poignancy by Selaocoe’s intense interpretation. The entire concert gave the sensation of a new moment, unlike any other. JH 

Foodies Festival

CarFest is massive. In the 10 years since the event was created by DJ Chris Evans, more than 1.2 million people have attended either CarFest North or South. It has featured 1,834 cars in the paddock, including 153 Formula One cars and 462 supercars. You can camp for the weekend or go in as a day visitor. There are hundreds of food stalls, fairground, beverage stands – but I go to see the musical acts on the two main stages. At year’s event, which took place in July at Bolesworth Estate,

As with everything recently, July’s Foodies Festival at Tatton Park, Cheshire, was a case of will it or won’t it happen? It was a day of torrential rain in the morning and hot sun in the afternoon. The place was packed! Walking around, I bumped into MasterChef 2021 champion Tom Rhodes and his family. Tom tells me he is originally from Rochdale and is loving being at this event. I tell him his family are obviously very proud of him, and he smiles. There’s no time to waste: Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown is on stage in the Chefs Theatre and again straight afterwards in the Cake

Cheshire, the music really flowed – while one band was on stage, another was getting ready on the other stage. There wasn’t an inch of space once the music started Chris came out many times between the two stages, chatting to the public and his many invited friends – there were celebrities everywhere! The music had something for everyone. Howard Donald (Take That) and Gok Wan did DJ sets, while All Saints looked and sounded as good now as ever. I also saw Marc Almond, Ray Mears, Giovanna Fletcher, Rag’n’Bone Man and many more. Chris brings his family on stage every year, which the crowd love, and it was 10pm that I made my happy way home. CarFest has raised over £20m for children’s charities. Why would you not want to go every year? DL  & Bake Theatre. Candice starts her cooking demonstration and talks about being diagnosed with ADHD and mental health problems. She says she is nervous because it has been so long since she faced the public. She had just bought a pub with her brother when lockdown happened – she also got divorced after two years of marriage – so it has been really difficult for her, but she comes across really well and seems very happy. The Foodies Festival always sells out in advance because it manages to cater for everyone’s tastes. There are six different demonstrations in each of the four seated theatres, as well as food stands, shopping and a children’s play area. The day ends with a sparkling performance by Sophie Ellis Bextor on the music stage, and during her set many small children run to the front of the stage – proving what a great family day it has proved to be. DL 

44 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Show Reviews SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 40

27/08/2021 13:55

North Shrophire’s

Entertainment Venue Delighted to announce our special headline event for the 2021 Drayton ArtsFest.

‘Instant Wit!’ at the Festival Drayton Centre A highly innovative show where the audience creates the action! Very funny with hilarious antics not to be missed -a tonic for everyone. Sat 30th October at 7.30pm Tickets £10 FDC Box Office 01630 654444

Online booking available Festival Drayton Centre, Frogmore Road, Market Drayton, Shropshire TF9 3AX. Box Office: 01630 654444 (opt 1)

“Enjoy a fabulous ‘staycation’ in the UK this summer with door-to-door pick-ups on most of our holiday tours”


JERSEY BY AIR ***Monterey Hotel – St Helier 20th – 25th Sept 6 Days FROM £705.00 per person

JUST A SMALL SELECTION OF OUR UPCOMING DAY EXCURSIONS SEPTEMBER Sat 4th Barmouth Wed 8th Bury Market Sat 11th Beautiful Bath Sun 12th Ludlow Food Festival Thurs 16th Portmerion Village Sat 18th York Sun 19th Llandudno Sat 25th Mystery Tour Sat 25th Blackpool Illuminations Sun 26th Malvern Autumn Show


045_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

(Sharing Twin/Double Room)

• • • •

Return Flights From Birmingham All Airport Transfers 5 Nights Dinner, Bed & Breakfast Island Excursion Programme

THE CORNISH RIVIERA – LOOE *** Portbyhan Hotel – Our Customers Favourite

16th – 20th Sept 5 Days from £499

RING OF KERRY - IRELAND Discover the natural beauty of Southern Ireland 19th – 24th Sept 6 Days from £559

BEAULIEU-FUL GEMS in the SOUTH EAST Beaulieu Palace, Whitchurch Silk Mill & Exbury Gdn 6th – 10th Oct 5 Days from £415

LLANDUDNO – Jewel of North Wales Incl. Bodnant Gardens & Portmeirion Village 18th – 22nd Oct 5 Days from £405 OUR 2021/22 AUTUMN – SPRING BROCHURE IS AVAILABLE NOW FEATURING A GREAT SELECTION OF FESTIVE BREAKS – CALL NOW FOR YOUR FREE COPY.

27/08/2021 14:55

GLOBAL GLORIES for local landscapes

The Shire region is blessed with a number of Unesco World Heritage Sites and has just gained another – the glorious slate landscape around Gwynedd. Discover more about the wonders on your doorstep and why the accolade is so important to the places it’s bestowed upon

46 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Feature World Heritage SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 11:27


eing named a World Heritage Site is a big deal. Joining the hallowed list alongside sites such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the Great Wall of China and the Hill Forts of Rajasthan is worth shouting about, and we’re here to do that about the slate landscape of north-west Wales – the latest UK site to be added to Unesco’s World Heritage List. There are now 33 such sites in the UK (after Liverpool’s historic docklands unfortunately lost its listing this year), and we’re particularly fortunate in this part of the country to be within easy travelling distance of at least six – with four in Wales alone!

in 1976 and is made up of representatives of 21 of the countries that have signed up to the 1972 World Heritage Convention. The convention was created after nations from around the world stepped in to prevent a dam being built that would have led to the flooding and destruction of several ancient Egyptian sites, temples and artefacts. After the work was redesigned in a way that preserved these vital historic places, nations came together and pledged to safeguard the future of similarly significant sites. To date, 193 countries have signed the convention and the committee members are elected from within them on six-year terms.


Once a site is on the World Heritage List, the resulting prestige can help to raise awareness among citizens and governments when it comes to preserving that heritage. The idea is that greater awareness will lead to a general rise in the level of


You may be forgiven for wondering what all this means and why it’s important. The World Heritage system is governed by Unesco, the United Nations Educational,

“There are now 33 World Heritage Sites in the UK, many within easy travelling distance” Scientific and Cultural Organisation. “World Heritage” is the designation given to places on Earth that are of outstanding universal value to humanity and, as such, have been inscribed on the World Heritage List to be protected for future generations to appreciate and enjoy. This list is upheld, with newcomers being considered and existing places constantly assessed, by the World Heritage Committee. This was formed

Clockwise from left: the slate landscape of Gwynedd is the newest World Heritage Site in the UK; Jodrell Bank in Cheshire; the Iron Bridge

the protection and conservation given to heritage properties in general. A country may also receive financial assistance and expert advice from the World Heritage Committee to support activities for the preservation of its sites. The committee meets once a year to discuss all matters relating to the implementation of the convention and in particular those matters relating to the organisations four main duties: • To select new sites for the list from those nominated • To monitor the state of conservation of sites on the list • To decide in cases of urgent need which sites on the list should be placed on the List of World Heritage Sites In Danger • To distribute money to protect sites on the list Having a new site in Wales on the list is a great achievement and the result of many years of tirelesss campaigning to have the status awarded. Turn the page to take a closer look at the latest member of this exclusive hall of fame, as well as the other World Heritage Sites that truly put our region on the world map.


September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 47

Feature World Heritage SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 11:27

Wonders of Wales The

The addition of the slate hills to the World Heritage List means Wales now has more Unesco sites per square mile than anywhere else in the world

T H E S L AT E L A N D S C A PE O F N O RT H - W E S T WA L E S The newest member of heritage’s elite club includes the historic settlements, railways and landscape of six main quarry areas: Penrhyn, Dinorwig, Nantlle Valley, Gorseddau and Prince of Wales, Ffestiniog and Bryneglwys. The area spans 8,053 acres, making it the 10th largest of the UK’s 33 Unesco areas. “The quarrying and mining of slate has left a unique legacy in Gwynedd, which the communities are rightly proud of, ” says Mark Drakeford, first minister of Wales. In the 1890s, the slate industry employed nearly 17,000 people and produced 485,000 tonnes of slate a year. Slate from Gwynedd was used to build the roofs of the Houses of Parliament in London, Copenhagen city hall and the Royal Exhibition Building in Australia. In bestowing its new status, the World Heritage Committee (WHC) said: “The slate landscape of north-west Wales illustrates the transformation that industrial slate quarrying and mining brought about in the traditional rural environment of the mountains and valleys of Snowdonia. The territory was internationally significant not only for the export of slates, but also for the export of technology and skilled workers from the 1780s to the early 20th century. It offers an important and remarkable example of interchange of materials, technology and human values.”

Ffestiniog Railway’s role in moving slate

When slate was first quarried in north-west Wales, it was transported by horse and cart, and then on to river boats. As demand for slate grew, a better system was required. Ffestiniog Railway opened in 1836, and a combination of horse power and gravity was used to take loaded wagons from Blaenau Ffestiniog to Porthmadog. Steam locomotives were introduced to the railway in the 1860s, and engineers from all across the world came to see and to learn about the innovative use of powerful, reliable, narrowgauge locomotives in a mountainous landscape. Similar railways were developed elsewhere, such as the Himalaya (Darjeeling) Railway, itself now a World Heritage Site. You can learn more about the history of the Ffestiniog Railway at


DID YOU KNOW? Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and Canal was built between 1795 and 1808 by Thomas Telford and William Jessop

The creation of the aqueduct and canal was an early and outstanding example of the innovations brought about by the Industrial Revolution in Britain. “The 18km-long aqueduct and canal is a feat of civil engineering,” says the WHC. “Covering a difficult geographical setting, the building of the canal required substantial, bold civil engineering solutions, especially as it was built without using locks. “The aqueduct is a pioneering masterpiece of engineering and monumental metal architecture, conceived by the celebrated civil engineer Thomas Telford. The use of both cast and wrought iron in the aqueduct enabled the construction of arches that were light and strong, producing an overall effect that is both monumental and elegant. It is inscribed as a masterpiece of creative genius, and recognized as an innovative ensemble that inspired many projects all over the world.”

B L A E N AVO N INDUSTRIAL L A N D S C A PE This area at the upper end of the Avon Llwyd valley in south Wales is a proud reflection of the area’s international importance in iron making and coal mining in the late 18th and early 19th century. The heritage status covers a number of sites including Blaenavon Ironworks and Big Pit, as well as the outstanding landscape shaped by mineral exploitation, manufacturing, transport and settlement. Across the site there is evidence of industrialisation: coal and ore mines, quarries, a primitive railway and canal, furnaces, workers’ homes and the infrastructure of the early industrial community. Visitors today can gain a great insight into the lives of people involved in the industry and take a step back in time to an era of industrialisation that was important to the development of the world. Some of the structures, such as furnaces, are said to be the

48 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Feature World Heritage SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 3

27/08/2021 11:27

best preserved in the UK. Other surviving structures are a water tower and two of the original casting houses, while you can also see the remains of the workers’ housing provided on site around the base of the massive chimney to the blowing engine house, and the cast-iron pillars and brackets that carried blast pipes to the furnaces. Adding to the location’s slightly eerie nature, Big Pit was the last working deep coal mine in the Blaenavon area; the surface buildings, including the winding gear, remain almost exactly as they were when coal production ceased in 1980. The underground workings are still in excellent condition and can be seen on guided tours. “Taking all these elements together, the property provides one of the prime areas in the world where the full social, economic and technological process of industrialisation through iron and coal production can be studied and understood,” says the WHC.

T H E C A S T L E A N D TOW N WA L L S O F K I N G E DWA R D IN GWYNEDD The vague title of this site is a bit hard to get your head around but if you know your local history, you’ll know that King Edward I of England had a hand in more than a few of the area’s most magnificent monuments and fortresses. The official Unesco listing includes the four castles of Beaumaris, Conwy, Caernarfon and Harlech, as well as the associated walled structures at Conwy and Caernarfon – said to be the finest examples of late 13th and early 14th century military architecture in Europe. The level of their preservation is second to none and they are lauded for their completeness, pristine state, and extraordinary medieval architectural form. These credits come as no surprise when you consider that the man responsible for their design was James of St George, Edward I’s chief architect, and the greatest military architect of the age. Anyone who knows the area will have a particular favourite among these castles. Not only do these structures form a vital part of north Wales’s heritage, they are also key in making our local coastline the thing of beauty it is today and has been for centuries. >

For your consideration

To be considered for inclusion on the Unesco World Heritage List, sites must show their importance in one of the following categories Cultural heritage – includes architectural works, works of monumental sculpture and painting, cave dwellings, buildings, works of man or the combined works of nature and of man, and areas including archaeological sites that are of outstanding universal value from historical, aesthetic, ethnological or anthropological points of view. Clockwise from top: Blaenavon’s industrial landscape, Edward I’s castle at Conwy, Pontcysyllte Aqueduct and the slate landscape of north-west Wales

Natural heritage – includes geological and physiographical formations and precisely delineated areas that constitute the habitat of threatened species of animals and plants, and natural sites of outstanding universal value from the point of view of science, conservation or natural beauty.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 49

Feature World Heritage SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 4

27/08/2021 11:27

Modern marvels

DID YOU KNOW? The Iron Bridge was permanently closed to traffic in 1934, although tolls for pedestrians were collected until 1950


Home to multiple museums, Ironbridge Gorge is one of Shropshire’s most popular tourist sites. The area is often referred There are two further World to as the “birthplace of the Industrial Heritage Sites in our area, Revolution”, and as is obvious from its World Heritage status, it certainly played recognised for their contribution a pivotal role in transforming the way we to science and industry lived in the 18th and 19th centuries. The site comprises a 5km length of the Severn Valley, from immediately west JODRELL BANK of Ironbridge to Coalport, as well as two smaller valleys extending northwards to Coalbrookdale and Madeley. It provided O B S E RVATO RY the raw materials that revolutionised Jodrell Bank strikes an impressive form on industrial processes, and today offers a the Cheshire Plains. It can be stunningly powerful insight into the origins of the Industrial Revolution. Extensive evidence photogenic and is even the location for a of that period remains, including mines, regular music and science festival. But the pit mounds, spoil heaps, foundries and telescope is much more factories, housing and transport systems, than a local landmark: it made its way on to as well as the traditional landscape and forests of the Severn Gorge. the World Heritage Several features were highlighted as being List for its sheer of particular interest by the judges who scientific superiority. gave the site its listing back in 1986. It was The observatory’s in Coalbrookdale in 1709 that Abraham location was selected Darby first developed the technique of because it was free smelting iron with coke, which began the from radio interference, great 18th-century iron revolution. In and today Jodrell Ironbridge, the community draws its name Bank is one of the world’s leading from the famous Iron Bridge erected in radio astronomy 1779 by Abraham Darby III – the first observatories. At in the world to be constructed of iron, the beginning of which had a considerable influence on its use, in 1945, the developments in the fields of technology property was a base and architecture. Also worthy of note for research on cosmic Ironbridge Gorge (top) and the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank are the remains of two blast furnaces, rays detected by radar the Bedlam Furnaces, which were built echoes. The observatory, which is still in operation, in 1757, while in Hay Brook Valley, south of Madeley, the large includes several radio telescopes and working buildings, open-air museum now incorporates the remains of the former including engineering sheds and the control building. Blists Hill blast furnaces and Blists Hill brick and tile works. Jodrell Bank has had substantial scientific impact in fields such as the study of meteors and the moon, the discovery of quasars, quantum optics, and the tracking of spacecraft. This exceptional technological structure was listed because it illustrates the transition from traditional optical astronomy to radio astronomy, which For a property to be included on the World led to radical changes in the understanding of the universe. Heritage List, it must do one of the following… The site is dominated by the 76-metre-wide Lovell Telescope – the most well-known part of the site, and the bit you can see • Represent a masterpiece of human creative genius for miles around. • Exhibit an important interchange of human values There are spaces • Bear a unique or exceptional testimony to a cultural open to the public, tradition or to a civilisation including a visitor • Be an outstanding example of a building, structure or landscape illustrating a significant stage in history centre around the • Be an outstanding example of a human settlement telescope itself. • Be directly or tangibly associated with events or Jodrell Bank living traditions, ideas or beliefs, with artistic and earned its place on literary works of outstanding universal significance the list in 2019, • Contain superlative natural phenomena or areas of after a nine-year exceptional natural beauty and aesthetic importance application procedure. Those involved say the hard work was • Be outstanding examples representing major worth it. At the time of the listing they said: “World Heritage stages of Earth’s history • Be an outstanding example representing significant Site status is an enormous accolade for both the region and ecological and biological processes in evolution the UK, enhancing global recognition for Jodrell Bank. World • Contain the most important and significant natural Heritage Site designation enshrines the unique heritage of Jodrell habitats for conservation of biological diversity Bank, and ensures that the physical heritage of the site will be managed, protected and conserved… for future generations.”

“Jodrell Bank is dominated by the 76-metre-wide Lovell Telescope, which you can see for miles around”

The final reckoning

“Ironbridge Gorge provided the raw materials that revolutionised industrial processes “

50 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Feature World Heritage SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 5

27/08/2021 11:28

We are delighted with the fantastic news that the Slate Landscape of North West Wales has obtained World Heritage Site status. The Ffestiniog Railway is an integral part of this heritage, linking the slate quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog with the harbour at Porthmadog. Many of those Victorian steam locomotives and carriages are still working today to take you on a trip through this beautiful landscape. These are hugely exciting times for everyone in the area and we cannot wait to play our part in welcoming visitors to North West Wales! Full details of all journey options are on our website – where you can also buy tickets for your visit.

Harbour Station, Porthmadog, Gwynedd, LL49 9NF

01766 516024

Ruthin Craft Centre offering unique, hand-crafted gifts Please view our website for current visitor information

051_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

Enquiries: call 01824 704774 or email: 10am – 5.30pm Tuesday – Sunday

27/08/2021 14:56


Education brings untold rewards, whatever your age. As Adult Learners’ Week takes place in Wales from 20th to 26th September, we take a look at the many ways you can keep learning throughout your life and the benefits you’ll reap

is for A

s adults, many of us fall into a rut, both personally and professionally, becoming complacent with our abilities and shying away from new challenges. Yet learning can bring great rewards, and continuing our education throughout our lives can have a positive impact not only on our careers but also on our outlook and mental wellbeing. What’s more, there’s always something new to learn. From pursuing a personal passion and rediscovering basic skills, to embarking on continuing professional development (CPD), the possibilities are endless. Every new skill you learn will have a positive outcome in terms of your health, wellbeing and confidence.

Celebrating learning

September is the perfect time to focus on continuing learning. Not only is it the start of a new school year and the time when many courses begin, it’s also Festival Of Learning’s Have A Go Month and the month in which Adult Learners’ Week takes place in Wales. Festival Of Learning ( is the biggest celebration of lifelong learning in England, championing the benefits of continuing your education and inspiring more people to have a go at learning something new. During Have A Go Month, organisations and learning providers offer free learning 52 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Feature Learning SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

DID YOU KNOW? There were almost 1.75 million participants in adult further education and skills in England in 2019/20


”Learning brings great rewards, and continuing our education throughout our lives can have a positive impact not only on our careers but on our wellbeing”

activities for adult, which includes taster sessions, online talks, lectures, open days and much more. In Wales, the annual Adult Learners’ Week, which this year runs from 20th to 26th September, also encourages thousands of adults to continue their education. The campaign, organised by Learning & Work Institute Wales (, signposts free taster sessions, tutorials and short courses, many of which are now delivered digitally. Both campaigns celebrate the benefits of continuing education, offer advice and guidance, and share the stories of learners who have created new futures for themselves. Shire’s regions contain a huge number of colleges, universities and other learning providers offering a vast array of academic, practical and CPD courses. Here we round up some of our favourites, whether you’re looking to expand your technical knowledge, want to get back to basics or feel like exploring your creative side…

27/08/2021 10:00

ning Five reasons to keep learning

1 2 3 4


It can help you succeed Having desirable qualifications vastly increases your chances in the job market. Adding to your skillset or knowledge base not only helps you stand out from the crowd, but also has a positive impact on job satisfaction. It keeps your brain healthy Research shows that learning keeps brain cells working at optimum levels, limiting cognitive and memory decline as you age. Stretching your brain’s capacity for learning can also build better memory and quicken your processing abilities, which means learning becomes easier the more you do! It boosts your confidence Learning new skills can vastly improve how you feel about yourself. Mastering things gives you a feeling of accomplishment, boosting your confidence in your own capabilities and making you feel ready to take on new challenges. It keeps you connected Whether you’re taking a night class, enrolling on a degree course or engaging in an online study group, learning brings people together. This can give you the chance to network with other professionals working in the same field, or simply connect with others who share your passion. Either way, you’ll come out better connected and possibly with a new friends too. It makes you happier Learning is linked to feelings of satisfaction, energy and motivation. Embarking on a new project can remind you of your passions and goals, and help you to take steps towards achieving them. The skills you learn can enrich your life and you may discover you’re capable of more than you thought.

life Feature Learning SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

Create more

Creativity is one of the most essential human characteristics and nurturing it is important for self-awareness and expression. What’s more, there’s evidence that creativity can help with problemsolving, productivity and confidence too. Here are some of the courses available near you

Creative writing

They say everyone has a book in them, and if yours is ready to be put down on paper, why not join a creative writing class and find out how to translate your brilliant ideas into poetry, stories, plays or even a novel? Writers of any level are welcome to join the Write Away Group, which is led by published author Janet Brown and held monthly at Oswestry Library. The friendly and supportive group is open to complete novices as well as practising writers, and Janet will lead you through the process of putting pen to paper in a series of informal exercises that are sure to get Ready to write? the creative juices flowing. Writers can join the group, which next meets from 10am to noon on 3rd September, for just £5 per session. For more information, email Those looking for more formal training can enrol on Creative Writing Beginners at the Hereford campus of Herefordshire & Ludlow College, which takes place in September, January and April. The eight-week course is aimed at anyone who is setting out to write creatively and will help you understand what’s required to create your own work through teaching, discussion and practice. Focusing on short stories, poems and non-fiction, the classes will enable you to explore different writing techniques and genres, create your own creative writing “toolbox” and get regular feedback on your work.


Discover the simple joys of pencil and paper with a life-drawing class that allows you to capture the beauty of the human body. Wrexham Hone your artistic skills at a life-drawing class Glyndwr University runs a short course that introduces students to a range of technical life-drawing principles. Fine art theories will be included across the course to allow both technique and theory to develop in unison, and there will be lots of practical skills sessions along with exercises designed to promote group learning. Budding artists based on the Wirral can also head to West Kirby Arts Centre, which runs regular portrait and figure drawing classes every Monday from 4pm to 6pm for just £15 a week (or £150 for a 12-week course). The sessions are taught by Joe McGillivray, who has been teaching at degree level in art schools for more than 30 years and was previously head of the art school at Wirral Met College. For more information, email


September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 53

27/08/2021 10:00

Go back to school


Whether you’re a seasoned artist or picking up a paintbrush for the first time, why not try an online class and take your painting to the next level? Professional artist Put your thoughts on canvas Andrew Jenkin, based in north Wales, invites artists of every level to join him in his virtual studio, where he’ll guide you through weekly watercolour tutorials. The course consists of weekly video modules with regular feedback via WhatsApp, Zoom and email, and costs £25 per month. You’ll build a solid foundation in watercolour painting, learn various brush techniques and create amazing colour mixes. Visit to learn more. If you’ve always fancied trying your hand at oil painting, Wrexham Glyndwr University offers a part-time course that takes you back to the very basics, focusing on the fundamental skills of painting in this medium while teaching you how to manipulate the medium in a manner appropriate to the subject. Grwp Llandrillo Menai, meanwhile, runs an eightweek introductory class to silk painting at Denbigh HWB, teaching you about the materials involved and giving you the opportunity to practise the techniques and create a stunning silk painting that you can take home at the end of the course.

1. If you’re looking to learn Welsh, Bangor University has courses for all levels 2. Gain a GCSE in maths or English at Shrewsbury Colleges Group 3. Coleg Cambria runs a range of Skills for Adults courses, including those that can help you support your children’s learning

Taking control of your learning as an adult is a very different prospect to learning at school, and certain qualifications can be vital to securing employment or progressing in your career of choice

Master the basics

1 2


A good grounding in English and maths will not only stand you in good stead for life, but will also help you gain confidence and take the next step on the employment ladder. Those looking to build confidence can begin with Functional Skills in either maths or English at North Shropshire College, which are aimed at helping you to improve your literacy and numeracy skills in a friendly, relaxed environment. The courses, which are free for all learners over the age of 19 who don’t have a GCSE grade C/4 in maths, will boost your confidence in the subjects and enable you to gain a City & Guilds nationally recognised qualification. If you want to gain a GCSE, Shrewsbury Colleges Group runs part-time maths and English language GCSEs from its London Road campus. The courses, which are split into several units and assessed via external examination, are free for those who are currently unemployed or on a low income. Coleg Cambria runs Skills for Adults courses, including Help A Child With English and Maths courses to help parents brush up on their literacy and numeracy skills. The classes aim to give parents a better understanding of how the subjects are now taught in schools and how to support their children.

“Developing your language skills is a great way to stretch your brain’s capacity, enhance your CV and connect with different cultures” Learn a language

Developing your language skills is a great way to stretch your brain’s capacity, enhance your CV, connect with different cultures and get the most out of international travel. Grwp Llandrillo Menai runs a range of Spanish courses at various levels, including Conversational Spanish For Holidays at its Abergele site and every stage from one to 10 at locations including Bangor, Colwyn Bay Library, Denbigh HWB and Rhyl. Learners can also engage in classes via remote learning. You can learn Welsh at Bangor University, which runs a range of courses for those starting from scratch to those looking to brush up their knowledge. Over the past 40 years, tens of thousands of students have benefited from these carefully graded courses led by committed and experienced tutors. To find one that’s right for you visit If English isn’t your first language, Coleg Cambria runs ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) courses from Monday to Friday, focusing on the core skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening over seven levels.

54 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Feature Learning SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 3

27/08/2021 11:48

Get While many people like traditional classroom-based learning, others prefer to get more hands-on as they practise new skills

Blacksmithing courses are available


If you’d like to boost your flower-arranging skills beyond the basic, Reaseheath College in Nantwich, Cheshire, offers a range of courses that will enable you to create some stunning floral designs. The Open College Network (OCN) course focuses on creating and experimenting with a diverse range of floristry designs, including hand-tied bouquets, floral arrangements and wedding work. Students create two practical pieces each week, and there’s also a small amount of written work that is designed to help you understand the principles of practical designs.



You can explore the wonderful malleable material that is clay at Coleg Menai in Bangor, part of Grwp Llandrillo Menai, which offers a part-time ceramics course. Over the 10 weeks, you’ll be guided through techniques including pinching, coiling, slabbing, glazing and throwing on the potter’s wheel. Everyone’s welcome, whatever your level of experience, and the course fee includes all materials and firing.

Jewellery making

to a final project of making your very own stone set ring. As part of the course, you’ll generate design ideas, learn how to form, shape and texture metals and learn simple stone setting too.

DID YOU KNOW? 61 per cent of participants in adult further education and skills are female

Have you always wanted to learn the skills to make your own silver jewellery? Wrexham Glyndwr University is running a class that will guide you through the craft, designing and producing beautiful bespoke pieces from simple earrings and bangles through


Why not try your hand at something completely different? The Rural Crafts Centre at the Holme Lacy campus of Herefordshire & Ludlow College is recognised as the foremost national centre for smiths, and runs a variety of courses for those interested in this traditional art. Beginners can enrol on Introduction To Blacksmithing, which will teach you the skills of fire management, forging, forming, cutting and joining while giving you the opportunity to produce small decorative pieces and tools. There are also further courses available for those with some experience looking to develop their design and forgework skills.


The sewing class at Shrewsbury Colleges Group is aimed at complete beginners and those who wish to learn the basics of using a sewing machine. Students learn how to thread a sewing machine and follow a pattern to make a tote bag. From there, you’ll progress to sewing button holes, inserting zips, discovering different seam finishes and using each of these techniques in a project.


Learn how to use a sewing machine

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 55

Feature Learning SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 4

27/08/2021 10:00

Get to grips with technology

DID YOU KNOW? The majority of courses you can apply for through Adult Learning Wales are free

Like it or loathe it, technology is an integral part of our everyday lives, and the best way to get ahead is to embrace it! Whatever your interest and level of experience, there are a range of courses on offer

Start at the beginning

Basic digital skills such as how to make a video call or shop online are essential for modern survival, and in acknowledgement of this Reaseheath College in Nantwich, Cheshire, runs an Essential Digital Skills qualification. Aimed at those who have few or no digital skills, the free course provides adults with the skills needed in life and at work. It focuses on topics including creating and editing documents, communicating online, using devices and handling information.

Further development

Those looking to take their IT skills to the next level can get ahead at Grwp Llandrillo Menai, which offers a range of computing and technology courses, including a suite of Digital Literacy courses suitable for every level. The courses, which can be undertaken for

“Modern photography is a technical business – and a course can help you make the most of it” How to begin your learning journey Assess your personal ambitions and interests Reflect on what you’re passionate about and what you’d like to accomplish. Identify a goal Whether your learning interests are career- or passion-driven, it’s important to set goals that are realistic and achievable.

career development or for pleasure, are suitable for all – from those looking to learn basic typing and keyboard skills to people who are confident with technology and are now looking to advance their skills by learning new techniques and programmes. If you’re looking to gain more specialist technological knowledge, Coleg Cambria runs courses on AI Fundamentals (with Python), Software Development, Drones, Excel, Cybersecurity and more.

Photography for the modern age

Modern photography (and we’re talking about more than using your phone camera here) is a technical business – and if you want to make the most of your digital equipment, Shrewsbury Colleges Group can help. Its Digital Photography course combines a mixture of theory and practical work to cover all the basics including the SLR camera and its controls, exposure, focusing, focal length, shutter speeds, apertures, depth of field, filters and more. Those wanting to take their photography a step further can also enrol on the Introduction To Photoshop course, which will guide you through the process of creating and manipulating digital images. With lots of hands-on practice, this will allow you to edit and transform your photographs using Adobe Photoshop, design original illustrations and create your own digital masterpieces.

Look at the time and resources you have available Courses vary widely in cost and the amount of time you have to commit to them, so make sure you find one that works for you. Do your research There are lots of colleges and course providers, all offering numerous part-time courses. Spend some time looking through their websites to ensure you enrol on the right course for you. Make time for learning Embarking on a new learning journey takes considerable time and effort. Ensure that you make space in your busy life to accommodate it. Committing to your learning is essential for success.

Useful resources Coleg Cambria Glyndwr University Grwp Llandrillo Menai Herefordshire & Ludlow College North Shropshire College Reaseheath College Shrewsbury College Group

56 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Feature Learning SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 5

27/08/2021 10:00

Newport, Shropshire, TF10 8NB

Top 30 Top 10 UK University

The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021

for student satisfaction NSS 2021


for Graduate Employment

Graduate Outcomes 2020

Forge your future

with a degree that matters Agricultural Sciences Animal Sciences

Business Management Environmental Management

Food Supply Chain Management Food Innovation & Technology

Mechanical Engineering Land, Property & Estate Management Zoology

Open Day - October 9th

057_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 14:57

Renewable specialist:

Air Source Heat Pumps Ground Source Heat Pumps Underflooring Heating

Renewable energy


As part of the government’s new Green Switch from LPG/Oil to a home Grant Scheme, Vouchers will be greener energyand bylandlords installing give to homeowners to make their homes more energy efficient. With the schemeHeat starting in september Air Source Pumps and running for 6 months untill March 2021, demand is going to be high. Ground Source Heat Pumps

Underfloor Heating At the time of placing this advert, the Government have not released the full details of the scheme contact Iheat ltd to register your interest.

Financial Benefits Financial Benefits

Period Hardware & Traditional Ironmongery

Rewards available for those Rewards available for those who use renewable energy who use renewable energy We are proud to MCS Certified We areyou proud to MCS in Certified Giving confidence home-grown energy Giving you confidence in home-grown energy


Telephone: 01691 238180 Telephone: 01691 238180 Join the Iheat team. Email us your CV.

Shop and Online Store Based in Church Stretton, Shropshire. 4, High Street, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BU Tel: 01694 720189 Email: Web:

The European Market Leader in Home Life Safety

The leader in home life safety, pioneering new technologies, promoting best practice, engaging with our communities and delivering safer homes. | 01691 664100 |

Half page_Alarm Smoke.indd 1 058_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

20/08/2021 08:36:29 27/08/2021 14:59


Pit stop!

Autumn is here, but some of us aren’t ready to swap garden living for the inside of our cosy homes. Adding a fire pit to your outdoor area can help extend the warmer season – here’s how to blend indoor and outdoor design


uring the periods over the past year when outdoor but not indoor mixing was allowed, we’ve huddled in gardens and on patios to catch up with friends and family. It’s no surprise then that fire pits have seen a great surge in sales and now, as we say goodbye to the summer, it’s a great time to invest if you haven’t already. Perfect for extending the season and making your outside space an integral part of the home, they can also double as barbecues or even pizza ovens, and one Welsh producer has some beautifully designed pieces that provide a stunning focal point too. FirepitsUK has a range of over 40 original designs of fire pits, pizza ovens “There are and outdoor kitchens which are all myriad hand-forged from high-quality British ways to steel in its workshop in Wales. All its fire pits are ideal for cooking as well as cook over for keeping the chill in the air at bay. fl ames The range of clever cooking accessories, outside” including the unique detachable swing arm barbecue grill, make cooking over a fire pit so easy the old barbecue will soon be relegated to the shed. And once the cooking is finished, simply throw on more logs and enjoy the warmth and atmosphere long into the evening.

FirepitsUK offers a huge range of product styles

options suitable for a small garden from £130 as well as majestic 160cm fire pits and full outdoor kitchens and everything in between. Models vary from classic to contemporary, offering myriad ways to cook over flames with a wide range of accessories. All fire pits are designed to withstand storage outdoors for 10 years and more, guaranteeing a far superior lifespan to others on the market. FirepitsUK customers will be pleased to know they are buying British and sustainably. All the company’s fire pits are made by hand in Wales from steel that has only travelled the short distance from the Port Talbot steel works where Welsh warmth it is manufactured. Tim and FirepitsUK was founded in 2014 by husband-and-wife team Tim and Emma say: “We’re very proud Emma Ross, and its products are handmade from British steel by a team of craftsmen in the heart of the Monmouthshire countryside. to be a British company With an extensive range of designs, FirepitsUK offers through and through at a time when people value DID YOU the provenance and KNOW? responsible production E-retailer Etsy of the things they saw a 200% ris e are buying.” in searches for fire pits in 2020

The swing arm barbecue grill makes cooking easy

Made from British steel in Monmouthshire September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 59

Homes SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 109

27/08/2021 09:43



Whether you’re determined to keep a new kitchen clean and tidy or tackling the disorder of your existing one, there are products available to make the job easier than ever


he queen of clean, Sophie Hinchcliffe aka Mrs Hinch, star of social media home hacks and shortcuts to cleanliness, has started a trend for organisation that many of us aspire to in our homes – with kitchen areas being the worst offenders for clutter and chaos. One brand that Sophie and other influencers swear by is Kath & Kin’s organisational must-haves. From reusable pump bottles to labelled storage boxes and wardrobe dividers, they’re always popping up on Sophie’s Instagram. To help Shire readers get their kitchens in order, the firm’s founder, Kathryn Hall, has pulled together some top tips for organising your kitchen like a social media star… 1. To save time, money and food waste, store your sundries in labelled, clear glass or plastic containers in a cool dry place in a kitchen cupboard or pantry to keep the temperature consistent. This keeps the contents fresher for longer, while the clearly labelled storage jars allow you to see when your stock is running low, avoiding overspending on the food shop and cutting waste – which is better for the environment.

DID YOU KNOW? Mrs Hinch has more than 4m Instagram followers

2. Store cut carrots in water in a covered container but make sure you change the water every four to five days to avoid bacteria. Cut carrots will last around a month when stored in this way.

Kath & Kin storage solutions keep your food fresh and your kitchen tidy

3. Freeze sliced bread in the summer, when bread tends to go mouldy much sooner. Take out slices when required rather than removing and defrosting the entire loaf. 4. Store items with a longer shelf life that you use less regularly at the top of cupboards and shorter life essentials at the bottom and front. This avoids waste and will save you over-buying items you forgot you had. 5. Store your baking ingredients and tea, coffee and sugar in labelled, clear glass jars to keep the contents fresh and aromas locked in. As well as enabling you to see when you need to restock, this also saves you rummaging to find things and avoids bags of flour tearing so your cupboard stays clean and organised. For more information, visit

Young entrepreneur Maddie Ashbrook

Moo and Boom

Maddie Ashbrook has opened a sustainable lifestyle and wellbeing store in Whitchurch


fter being made redundant, I moved back home to Shropshire to embrace a new direction. The amount of unsustainable clothing and packaging and how much we dispose of without a second thought deeply unnerved me, so my business idea was formed. I would start a sustainable living and wellbeing shopping experience.

“I took on the old M&Co shop in Green End, Whitchurch, a huge store that I had refurbished during lockdown. The investment was worth it and with help from my mother and a friend, Dana Griffiths, who have invaluable experience, my dream came to fruition. “So now we have a one-stop store where you can furnish your home, buy aromatherapy, discover cushions and throws made with upcycled fabrics and rugs made of plastic bottles, and find sustainable clothing and books made with recycled paper. “There’s also a health side to the business, taking a holistic approach to wellbeing and providing supplements Recycled rugs and nutritional support as well as a studio for workshops and classes. We use local stockists and other small businesses to stock our store and give a percentage of profits to a different charity every month. Nothing to landfill is our motto! “The response has been incredible, and the support we’ve had shows that people want to engage with a cleaner way of living.” Moo & Boom holds regular classes and workshops in tai chi, yoga, Pilates, meditation, journaling, crafts and more! For details and to book, visit

60 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Homes SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 110

27/08/2021 09:43

Abbey Kitchens, Shrewsbury Quality kitchens, cabinets and appliances We are a family run business established in 1993. We pride ourselves on supplying the best quality kitchens cabinets and doors in Shrewsbury with over 100 years of collective experience. Experts in design, planning and after sales service, we deliver an exceptional standard of product and service to our clients.

Enjoy a hot Neff coffee while you browse or have an informal chat with our designer about your project. You can also see your new virtual kitchen, get a feel for the space on our top of the range CAD system. This puts you in the driving seat, ensuring you get the perfect kitchen for you and your family that you can delight in for many years to come.

061_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

Abbey Kitchens, Unit 3, 93, Whitchurch Road, Shrewsbury SY1 4EO

01743 588656 I

27/08/2021 14:59


CHANGE YOUR MATTRESS & CHANGE YOUR LIFE W e sleep for one-third of our day, so from a health perspective the mattress we sleep on every night has to be right for us. Your body may be experiencing aches and pains owing to poor positioning in bed. This can lead you to wake up late. Perhaps you or your partner has started snoring (more) or your sleep has started to become interrupted or intermittent. You wake up feeling like you haven’t slept much at all and feel more tired than when you went to bed. If any of these resonate with you, it could be your mattress making you feel this way. The lifespan of a mattress depends on the “Your brand. Generally it’s thought that most last mattress six to eight years, but it does depends on is an the construction, the design and the quality and type of materials used. Some mattresses investment can last up to 10 or even 15 years, while in your others are best replaced after just five years.


Find the mattress that’s right for you

Coffee table chic W

hen you want to make a statement in a living room, Pash Classics’ reproduction Noguchi Tribeca coffee “Both a table perfectly piece of encapsulates furniture the ethos “form and a follows function”. Aaran Hall, founder Crafted from a and director Pash Classics, piece of says: “The right coffee locking two-piece art” base of solid table will act as the focal point in your living area, wood and topped with 19mm tempered glass, this serving a practical purpose and coffee table is both a piece of injecting style too. The original furniture and a piece of art that Isamu Noguchi Tribeca coffee table, designed in 1947, is an blends effortlessly into any room. extraordinary harmony of form and function. Simple and chic, this faithful reproduction is a timeless investment piece.” It is available in three finishes – walnut, natural and black – and is priced at £349.

Your mattress can seriously affect your sleep

Rather than go with just lifespan as your catalyst for change, it’s important to focus on how your mattress is making you feel. If it has obvious signs of damage such as sagging or broken springs beginning to protrude through the material, or developing a hammock effect, or just becoming way too lumpy to lie on, this is really going to affect how you feel when you wake up in the morning, as well as how you go about your day, your performance at work and your overall health and wellbeing. The experts at Shropshire’s Newport Beds understand changing your mattress is not just a financial investment – it’s also a health and wellbeing one too. You’ll receive a friendly, professional and informative service to ensure you end up with the mattress that’s right for you and is the best investment for your health and wellbeing. Find out more at


One Chester company has created a smart device to add to your kitchen wish list


e all know we need to drink more water. And thanks to Aqua Optima, a water filter company based in Pulford, Chester, it can be easy and stylish at the same time. The company has launched the Lumi, a practical and attractive filtered water dispenser. Compact and stylish, it sits on your worktop ready to give you chilled, filtered water at the touch of the button. Aqua Optima’s Lumi Suitable for any home, office, kitchen, utility room or workspace, the Lumi has an internal chilled water tank of 800ml and can chill the water to 12°C in just 30 minutes. The blue LED cool light illuminates when the filtered water is chilled. Simply push the button to dispense. Using Aqua Optima’s fast-flow, five-step filtration, the built-in Evolve technology reduces impurities such as limescale, chlorine, heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides from tap water, giving you better-tasting water. Investing in the Lumi will save you plenty compared with the cost of branded bottled water and helps reduce your plastic waste by letting you top up your hydration bottle, glass or jug, with chilled, great-tasting water, to drink at home or to take with you on the go. Available from Amazon, priced £129.99.

62 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Homes SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 111

27/08/2021 09:43

Call into our extensive showrooms for a superb choice of beds, flooring and mirrors

6 Springfields Industrial Estate Newport TF10 7NB • 01952 820401

063_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

79 High Street, Newport TF10 7AU 01952 820820

27/08/2021 15:01


Hit huts the

The huts ha ve many us


Dave from Huts & Stuff in Churchstoke, Powys, talks about the company’s garden offices and more off-the-wall projects…




ow is the perfect time to sit outside around a fire pit or chiminea and enjoy watching the darkness envelop the sky. However, when you do so, it’s important to stay safe: • Ensure the fire pit is on a flat, solid surface and is a safe distance away from flammable materials and hazards. • Never leave a fire unattended and keep children and pets away from the flames. • Once finished, ensure the flames are fully extinguished. Darker nights also provide a great backdrop for fireworks, but you should always keep these safety measures in mind: • Ensure children are supervised around fireworks and sparklers. • Consider using a carrot as a handle to help smaller hands safely hold sparklers. • Make sure all sparklers are extinguished completely. • Never approach a firework once it has been lit. Autumn also means Halloween! Make sure you keep it fun by reducing the risk of fire: • Consider using batterypowered lights inside pumpkins or coloured glow-sticks for a really spooky look!

• Place decorations away from candles and other open flames. • Keep in mind that Halloween costumes are often made from flammable materials. With the temperature dropping, boilers and log burners are roaring back into life. Any appliance that burns fuel is at risk of leaking carbon monoxide (CO) – a poisonous gas that you can’t see, smell or taste, which makes it more dangerous because you won’t know if your appliances are giving off the gas. Symptoms of CO poisoning include dizziness, headaches, breathlessness and nausea, and as it worsens it can lead to collapse and unconsciousness. In worst cases this can be fatal, which is why CO alarms are vital. Remember that alarms save lives, so ensure you have adequate fire and carbon monoxide alarms in your property and test them regularly. Aico is the European market leader in home life safety and Andy Speake is national technical manager. Visit, call 01691 664100 or email

64 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

P64_Huts and Stuff SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

uts & Stuff is a small family-run business that has been building huts and other stuff for more than 20 years. We build great garden structures, including shepherd’s huts, showman’s wagons and other wood and metal creations. “Our huts make great garden offices, sheds and spare bedrooms. They can be seen at many fantastic glamping sites across the UK, and are also used as food trucks and florists. We’ve even made huts that are used for saunas and hot tubs! “Our Office Hut is very popular at the moment thanks to more people working from home. The standard size is 12ft by 7ft, it’s fully insulated and can be fitted with a desk, shelving and so on. We also fit extra power outlets and USB sockets. Smaller versions are also available if space is at a premium. We deliver and site all our huts ourselves – all we need is reasonable access and a fairly level site. Delivery and siting is usually done within a few hours, so you can be using your hut the same day! “As well as huts, we make smaller objects from metal and wood. These include garden ornaments, fire pits, wooden benches and boxes, bread boards, coat hooks, signs and plaques. During lockdown, we

invested in a CNC Ready for work plasma machine that allows us to create a variety of metal objects. “We also build traditional wooden boats, such as small rowing boats for canal and river trips, and are currently building a river launch boat designed to take four adults. We originally planned for it to be a steam launch, but we have now decided to go for a more eco-friendly electric option. “Before lockdown we took our hand-built vintage car to rally in Europe, and we’re currently working on a 1920s Austin 7 we’re converting to electric power. We’re also creating a large-scale garden railway at home as a side project. “Our blog has more information on all our projects. If you wish to find out more about our exciting and off-thewall projects, please contact us. We are always happy to discuss any ideas you might have over a cup of tea and biscuits.” For more about Huts & Stuff, call 01588 620132, email or visit

Striking m



Garden orname

27/08/2021 10:41


The mouse about the house

English oak plant stand, c.1954

We speak to Cheshire interiors expert Holly Johnson about the life and works of one her favourite interior designers, the hugely influential Robert “Mouseman” Thompson


because Mouseman pieces really hold their money. It’s all so beautifully made and the quality is so high. The oak was seasoned for five to eight years before it was even touched. While today many collectors are wealthy clients or leaders of industry, when the furniture was first made it was often sold to local farmers who used it for bartering.” As prices go up, copies could become more of an issue. If the mouse is stuck on rather than carved, it’s a fake. If the mouse is on the board rather than the handle, it’s from the 1940s or earlier. On 1930s pieces, the mouse has quite a narrow neck, Oak firescreen with embroidery, c.1934 but the ears were prone to being knocked off so later designs feature a slightly chubbier mouse with a broader neck and flatter ears. One of Holly’s favourite items featuring the trademark mouse is an English oak tray Varying values from 1960, on sale for £1,000 in her showroom. “We’ve been buying and selling Mouseman items for the past 12 At the Mouseman Visitor Centre in Kilburn you can years,” says Holly Johnson, who owns Holly Johnson Antiques in take an amazing journey through the life and times Knutsford, Cheshire. of Robert Thompson. There are rooms full “Prices start at around of Thompson’s own furniture made with £120 for an ashtray, but his own hands and signed with early an early desk or sideboard 0 examples of the carved mouse can be as much as £33,000. 96 c.1 y, symbol. Although the centre The record price for a a r t ak will remain closed for the Mouseman is $70,000 for rest of 2021, you can a cupboard that sold at learn more at Sotheby’s in New York. www.robert “Over the last four thompsons. years, the market has Octagonal oak dining really risen, mainly table, c.1950 En gl is



obert Thompson began making furniture during the Arts & Crafts era (1880s to 1930s) and was inspired by the English styles of the 17th century. The furniture maker was born and lived in Kilburn, North Yorkshire, where he set up a business manufacturing oak furniture, which featured a carved mouse on almost every piece of work. The idea of the mouse carvings came about when Thompson was commissioned to repair a church and was carving a “All his huge cornice for a screen. He was pieces will chatting to his apprentices and last four one of them commented that they or five were “as poor as church mice”. Thompson rejected modern generations” machinery in favour of traditional tools and techniques. A lot of his pieces were made using a medieval tool called an adze, which cuts into the wood against the grain and creates a scalloped pattern that looks supershiny when waxed. All his pieces are highly usable and will last four or five generations because they’re so well made.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 65

Homes SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 112

27/08/2021 09:43

New Homes

Happiness in the heart of the home An extensive study by the kitchen experts at Magnet has revealed what we really want from our kitchens


hite kitchen units are the number-one choice if you want to feel happy in your kitchen, according to new research from Magnet. One in six people believe that a crisp white finish will bring them the most joy, while one-third of people (28 per cent) said that incorporating an island is their preferred configuration for boosting contentment. An open-plan kitchen/living space was also a popular option, with one in five people saying it would be their go-to choice. When it comes to kitchen features, walk-in pantries were voted top for making people happiest (15 per cent), followed by an Americanstyle fridge-freezer (14 per cent) and a coffee machine (10 per cent). However, opinions were divided between men and women – only one in 10 men choose a walk-in pantry, compared with one in five women.

“A kitchen is about so much more than just eating”

The research discovered that kitchen organisation is key, with over two-thirds of people (68 per cent) agreeing that practicality and organisation in the kitchen is more important than the size of the space. Having ample storage was voted the most important factor, beating having the latest appliances and technology, being open plan and even having a large space. Perhaps surprisingly, 32 per cent of people said they practised feng shui or similar home arrangement methods, with 78 per cent of those saying it makes them feel happier.

Changing ways

“Lockdown has changed how we live and the way in which we interact with our home spaces,” says Hayley Simmons, director of commercial range at Magnet. “A well-designed, functional space that makes for an organised, happy home is now more desirable

DID YOU KNOW? Around 3.7m households ow n a coffee capsul e machine

than size, with only 11 per cent of people choosing size as their most important consideration. “This insightful new research brings to light just how consumer behaviour is shifting, and how priorities have changed. Now that socialising and hosting is back on the cards, we want an organised space that complements our lifestyles, while also looking Have you got the fridge you want? stylish and premium. “Consumers desire more ‘mindful moments’ at home and want a well-balanced, tidy space to enjoy those in. A morning coffee was voted the top mindful moment to enjoy in the kitchen, with one in five people claiming it would make them the happiest, closely followed by eating dinner with family or housemates.”

Forget the rules

Homes lover and Interior Design Masters contestant Amy Wilson says: “A happy kitchen for me is a magic mix of some very simple ingredients: thoughtful design, key e is functionality and personality. rag o St “There are no rules when it comes to creating a happy kitchen – simply have some fun and design a space where people want to stay, and memories can be made. My happy kitchen starts with dancing on the table! “A kitchen is about so much more than just eating – it is a space with great energy where family and friends can gather and share.”

66 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Homes SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 113

27/08/2021 09:43


Unit 9, Maesbury Road Industrial Estate, Oswestry SY10 8HA. Telephone: 01691 658500 Email: FB:

Everhot Demonstration day at Bright and Shine’s Showroom in Llanidloes September 24th at 11am Your chance to view a live demo of our Everhot’s • See our fantastic range of display models • Sample tasting • Have your questions answered. Free Delivery and installation for Everhot orders placed during the demo. Call or email to book your space. WE HAVE THE FOLLOWING BRANDS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE AND IN OUR SHOWROOM.

5D, Parc Derwen Fawr, Llanidloes SY18 6FE

067_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

01686 449347

27/08/2021 15:02

Pet-proofing your new home

With a rise in the number of dog owners coinciding with a huge boost in house sales, one Cheshire flooring company is helping people protect their new homes – and especially their floors – from the impact of muddy paws



tiles will cope with anything that your pet throws at them. They can’t be dug up, scratched or chewed, making them a longlasting, convenient option. Ensure you pick a tile that offers a degree of grip. Highly polished tiles may look nice, but a non-slip finish will help your pets to avoid hurting themselves. Young puppies who slip and slide may look cute, but the damage this can do is em to their young joints and muscles can bl e hid be detrimental in later life. Tiles offer rns Patte a level of coolness for pets, which is great on a hot summer’s day but not so ideal when there is ice and snow on the ground, so you’ll need to ensure that suitable bedding is available. For a striking finish, check out the bold geometric patterns available, many with a patterned and distressed finish with worn edges – perfect for disguising the odd muddy paw print. They are also water-resistant and suitable for all high-traffic areas of your home, such as hallways and the kitchen.

Geometric patterns provide a striking look


omeowners can find themselves forever cleaning up after their pets and carrying out home improvements for more durable and convenient pet-friendly Vinyl flooring. A recent report showed that 51 per cent of the UK adult Vinyl flooring has come a long way in recent years and population now own a pet, and with this figure expected to rise Best4Flooring’s luxury vinyl tile (LVT) continues to be a firm as a result of lockdown, so too has the need for favourite with pet owners because it’s pet-proof flooring. But with so many products on super-hard-wearing against the daily grind of four paws. Ideal for when those the market, what should owners look for when choosing something little toilet accidents occur or when an durable, stylish and cost-effective? overzealous puppy sends a water bowl “Tiles Best4Flooring has more than 20 flying, LVT is waterproof and easy to can’t be years’ experience in the flooring trade clean, and comes in a variety of effects and dug up, and has been selling online since 2009. installation systems, meaning there’s a style It is based in Cheshire but supplies to suit every taste and home decor. Some scratched ranges even look and feel like a wooden consumers and trade throughout or chewed” the UK, as well as exporting floor, right down to the embossed texture products across Europe, the US and that allows you to feel all the wood grains Australia. With the recent rise in pet and knots in the design, while providing ownership, some of Best4Flooring’s hardwearing but a soft, comfortable feel underfoot. Some vinyl looks and feels like wood attractive products have seen a surge of interest. At the budget end, there are also plenty Here are Best4Flooring’s top tips for protecting your floors of options in standard sheet vinyl ranges which makes an easy DIY against inadvertant damage from those pets we love… flooring choice. It is cushioned and warm underfoot and allows you to create an amazing floor at a fraction of the price. With hundreds of designs in a variety of colours, sheet vinyl is also easy to clean, Tiles although consideration should be given to which areas of the Probably one of the most hardwearing options, a tiled floor offers home it might be used in and if you have a digger or chewer! many benefits to a pet owner. Easy to clean and stain-resistant, 68 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Homes SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 114

27/08/2021 09:43

Extensive Range of Wallpapers, Paints and all Decorating Materials. Paint Mixing Service available • Colour Matching


Decorating Centre Ltd

01686 623523

Unit 25, Mochdre Industrial Estate, Newtown SY16 4LE

Lifestyle and Wellbeing Store in the heart of Whitchurch Sustainable living made easy and a Zen Shopping experience.

Here at MOOand BOOM we stock products that are sustainably sourced from Fashion in organic cottons and recycled fabrics, Beauty that is natural, Supplements and Holistic Therapies, Interior pieces that are unique and fairtrade, we have a Studio which lends itself to Yoga, Pilates, Tia Chi, Meditation and workshops that include Pottery, Sewing, Crystal healing and Journaling. Our Cafe' has organic, vegan and gluten free options and specialise in loose leaf tea or a Cheeky Two Chimps Coffee.

10A Green End, Whitchurch, SY131AA 07741 602669 @mooandboom


37-37a Church Street, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 2SZ



Visit us for our iconic pure wool products woven on site.

Plus pure wool knitwear, scarves, hats, socks, slippers, sheepskin rugs, gloves, craft kits and gifts.

Stock up for winter! Shop open: Monday - Saturday or order our products online! Trefriw Woollen Mills, Main Road, Trefriw, Conwy Valley LL27 0NQ T: 01492 640462. W: Five miles north of Betws-y-Coed on the B5106

069_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

Tel 01691 725145

27/08/2021 15:08

070_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:08


A bespoke designed kitchen

Helen from Gobowen explains how her kitchen was designed and installed by Oswestry Kitchen & Bathrooms OKB recommended a practical worktop solution

“OKB listened to our exact vision of what we wanted, and only suggested changes where they would be more practical”

The bespoke island provide lots of storage

It was exactly as it is now, except we wanted glass units over the cooker. We went into the showroom a couple of times to look at appliances, taps, handles and so on, ready for installation to start as agreed on the 4th May.

Design touches


en Jones, partner at Oswestry Kitchens & Bathrooms (OKB), is a friend of a friend and we’ve both lived in the area all our lives, so he seemed a good person to go with when we wanted to update our kitchen. OKB is a new company, but Ben has worked in kitchens and bathrooms for many years and is a nice guy, so we wanted to support the new venture! “Ben came out on 1st March this year to measure up and discuss what we wanted, and within two days he had sent me the plans showing what the kitchen would look like.

“When I was designing my dream kitchen I knew I wanted a dark, rich flooring, so I chose that first. And because it was such a big area, I knew the units and the tiles had to be white, with dark worktops. The worktop doesn’t match the floor completely, but I like that, and I’ve introduced colour by using some mixed woods in the kitchen. OKB even used the same wood colour to replace the windowsills; they also replaced the skirting and did all the electrics for the kitchen. “It’s a Shaker-style kitchen, and the bespoke island has pantry-size shelves on the side facing the cooker and bigger cupboards and shelves on the dining table side. In fact, the island has so much storage, some of the cupboards are still empty! The top is is really easy to clean – originally I wanted real wood, but Ben explained it would expand and discolour.

It was really good to get his expertise about what would be practical in a family kitchen – and it still looks perfect today.

Speedy installation

“It only took 10 days for the whole kitchen to be finished, so it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought. We’ve got a six-year-old and a one-year-old, and we thought it would be much messier and time-consuming than it was – but it was fine. We were all out during the day, except my husband who works from home, and I’d catch up with OKB first thing in the morning and at the end of the day. “I would 100 per cent recommend OKB, without question. The best thing about them was the speed – everyone I’ve spoken to who has had a kitchen installed was blown away with how quick it was. The date they said they’d start work never changed – they stuck to what they said – and with us working and having two young children, we needed them to take care of everything, which was great. They also listened to our exact vision of what we wanted, and only suggested changes where they would be more practical.” Oswestry Kitchens & Bathrooms Unit 9, Maesbury Road Industrial Estate, Oswestry SY10 8HA 01691 658500 September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 71

Home Visit SeptOct 2021 FINAL v3.indd 105

27/08/2021 11:46

GreenLiving Rare trees kept in the dark for major north Wales planting project A huge boost to our nation’s tree species is under way as part of a major planting programme being carried out by the North Wales Wildlife Trust

L-R: Jonathan Hulson, Sarah Ellis and Lisa James


mini forest has been stored in suspended animation in north Wales, including one of the rarest and most valuable trees in Europe. More than 16,000 small saplings are housed in a steel storage unit supplied by Denbigh’s Container Sales Centre (CSC), waiting to be planted at North Wales Wildlife Trust’s Aberduna Nature Reserve. The former shipping container is the ideal place for the saplings. “It’s perfect because it doesn’t let any light in at all and that way we can keep the small trees in a state of suspended animation for a few months,” says Jonathan Hulson, a project manager at Woodlands For Water. “Once the trees come out, they soon come back to life.”

Super species

Among the varieties are native species such as sessile oak, rowan, hazel, field maple, willow, silver birch and Scots pine. There are some

Recycling b m challenges system The recent rise in the amount of household recycling has prompted fears that facilities won’t be able to cope


less common trees too, including the wild service tree, which was common before farming saw much of the land cleared and is now highly valued in Germany, where veneer-grade wild service timber can fetch prices of over €4,000 per cubic metre. “The specimen we’ve got came from a woodland in the Vale of Clwyd, but hopefully in a couple of hundred years there will be lots of them in our landscape,” says Jonathan. “We are planting them for their value in slowing the rate at which water drains from the land, an important aid in preventing flooding.” The trust has four nurseries growing young trees around Aberduna Quarry, and many of the saplings are then being planted on farmland, new housing developments and industrial estates across the area. They are grown to between 90 and 120cm high, which is just tall enough to prevent the top leaves being grazed by sheep.

“Hopefully in a couple of hundred years there will be lots of wild service trees in our landscape”

Going native

“The container is proving ideal for us because we have been able to keep the trees dormant for planting out in the field or potted up in our nursery,” says Sarah Ellis, a Woodlands For Water project officer. “Our remaining ancient woodlands in north-east Wales are generally poor in terms of species diversity because native trees such as sessile oak were mostly cut down to be used as pit props and fuel in the mining industry.” of home recycling. To highlight the problem, the packaging brand created a larger-thanlife recycling bin, standing

study of 2,000 adults found that one-third have seen a boom in their recycling since “More than one You’re gonna need a bigger bin shed… the beginning of the pandemic, with almost in 10 people two-thirds (64 per cent) putting this down to at just under 7ft tall, to demonstrate the admitted to being home more. Almost half (48 per cent) scale of the changes that are needed. blamed packaging from online deliveries for “Even before the pandemic, we were making simply putting their overflowing bins, with many saying they the switch to online shopping and working recycling into have run out of space in their bins as a result. from home more, but Covid-19 restrictions their rubbish bin” revolutionised these trends,” says Rogier Gerritsen, Top items people are recycling more of include hand soap containers (30 per cent) and toilet rolls managing director of DS Smith. “With many of (25 per cent), while 35 per cent say they’re embarrassed about these changes looking set to stay, including our new recycling habits, the amount of waste they produce. But more than one in 10 we need to ensure that our collections infrastructure enables us to (12 per cent) admitted to putting recycling into the rubbish recycle as much material as possible from our domestic streams. bin, meaning it is likely to end up in landfill or incineration. “We applaud the government for its ambitious recycling targets, According to recycling and packaging company DS Smith, but at the moment we’re not on track. Based on current recycling which commissioned the research, the UK’s recycling trends our data suggests that we’ll only meet the 65 per cent recycling infrastructure isn’t equipped to deal with the increased volume target for municipal waste in 2048, over 10 years too late.” 72 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Green Living SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 105

27/08/2021 09:18




6 4 5

g n i h t Breaace sp



Choose a neutral palette and natural materials to bring calm to your home




12 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15.

Natural seagrass woven pendant lampshade, £35, Oliver Bonas; Winglefield extending dining table, £2,795, OKA in Knustford, Cheshire; Rustic coaster set, £20, Vinegar Hill in Shrewsbury, Shropshire; TheLittleBoysRoom real oak wooden clock, £34.95, Not On The High Street; Miriam Jones splated beech bowl with navy thread, £50, Mostyn in Llandudno; Larisa jute rug, from £30, Dunelm; Rope table lamp, £59, Make Your House a Home in Whitchurch, Shropshire; Chunky rustic double bed, £360, AJR Rustics in Ellesmere, Shropshire; Kirsti Hannah Brown ceramic Archaeology vessel, £60, Mostyn in Llandudno; Bournemouth eight-drawer chest, £849.95, Cousins Furniture in Shrewsbury, Shropshire; Tiree driftwood mirror with shelf, £95, Driftwood Interiors; Acacia wooden cheese board with slate, £9.99, Cheshire Homewares; Umbra Woodrow waste can, £20, The Silver Pear in Ludlow, Shropshire; The Fine Bedding Company ECO double duvet, £49, Hafren Furnishers in Llanidloes, Powys; Villeroy & Boch Antheus vanity unit, from £3,340, RN Williams in St Asaph, Denbighshire;




September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 73

Home Shopping SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:48


Did yo u kn ow?

U p s id e-d o wn e g n a r o , d n o m al e k a c t u n o c o c & Plates with creativity,

colour, health and happiness After a life-changing medical experience, one Cheshire chef decided to have a complete overhaul of her diet and now shares her experiences and recipes with others


Joanne Wood

oanne Wood lives and works in Knutsford, Cheshire, where she runs her website, food blog and lifestyle ethos at The Balanced Kitchen. For Joanne, food is about much more than sustenance and she believes it can bring creativity, colour, health and happiness to our lives. As we head into autumn, she shares a sweet and comforting dessert that is bright on colour to keep the summer vibes going and light enough to ensure you don’t feel too full, but still warming and comforting as the days get shorter and colder.

An ora ng e con tain s six per cen t of you r rec ommend ed da ily cal ciu m intake

INGREDIENTS (serves 10) 3 small oranges, sliced thinly 200g softened butter (150g for the cake, 50g for oiling the baking paper) 100g xylitol 4 large eggs, beaten 50ml plain yoghurt 150g spelt wholemeal flour 120g ground almonds 2tbsp desiccated coconut 2 level tsp baking powder

METHOD 1. Line the bottom of a 23cm springform tin with baking paper and use paper towel to spread 50g butter on top of the baking paper. 2. Arrange the orange slices, starting from the middle and working towards the edges, overlapping as needed to cover the bottom of the tin. Set to one side. 3. Cream the remaining softened butter and xylitol together in a bowl. Add the eggs and yoghurt and whisk until incorporated. 4. Gradually whisk in the flour, almonds, coconut and baking powder until the batter reaches a smooth consistency. 5. Gently pour the batter on top of the orange slices and spread evenly. It may help to pour the mixture in four parts, using a spatula to gently smooth the batter over the oranges so as not to disturb them. 6. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4 for 45 minutes. Place a piece of foil over the cake during the final 10 to 15 minutes if it begins to brown too much. 7. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 15 minutes. Once cooled, release the springrelease and lift away the edges from the tin. Place a plate on top of the cake and quickly turn over so the oranges are now on top. Carefully peel off the baking paper. TIP The cake is best eaten on the day of baking. If you store any uneaten cake in the fridge and find it has soaked up the juice from the orange slices, you can reheat it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to help dry it out again.

74 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Food SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:11


Cheers to

THE BEERS Real ale fans from the Campaign for Real Ale have revealed the results of their prestigious awards for 2021 and several local venues have scooped honours for their beers


he Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has handed out multiple national awards in what is a particularly important year for the organisation as it marks 50 years of campaigning. As part of its anniversary celebrations, CAMRA is recognising people, groups and businesses that have made a significant contribution to CAMRA’s aims, and rewarding them with a Golden Award. Four popular venues within the Shire region were lucky enough to receiving one of these awards. They are… All Nations, Madeley, Telford, Shropshire This past winner of the local CAMRA Pub of the Year Award has brewed its own beer since it was first licensed in 1832 and has appeared regularly in The Good Beer Guide.

Crown Inn, Oakengates, Telford, Shropshire Around 18,000 different cask ales have been served at the Crown over the past 25 years. This pub has regularly appeared in The Good Beer Guide and consistently pours great pints.

Appleton Thorn Village Hall, Cheshire CAMRA’s National Club of the Year winner in 2019 that has consistently poured great pints.

Borough Arms, Crewe, Cheshire A popular town pub with 10 ever-changing real ales plus a wide selection of Belgian beers on tap and in bottles.

Did yo u kn ow?

C A M RA G ol d en A wa rd

CA MRA’s po dc ast is cal led “Pubs. Pin ts. Peopl e”

CAMRA’s awards director, Gary Timmins, says: “I am delighted to be honouring these pubs with a CAMRA Golden Award. This is our anniversary year and we want to take this opportunity to celebrate the successes of great British locals as well as CAMRA’s achievements – we wouldn’t have got far without their support! “This anniversary comes on the heels of an incredibly difficult time for the industry after a year of lockdowns and restrictions. I hope the teams behind the winning pubs and their locals will take

“I applaud these pubs for their dedication, for being community stalwarts and campaigning heroes” this award as appreciation for all the hard work involved in running the pub, over the decades and especially now. Nominations were submitted by our members and consumers, which says a lot about the support and impact they have had. Winners have been chosen for their successes in standing the test of time, for being convivial, characterful and community-focused, and of course for consistently pouring great pints. I applaud these pubs for their dedication, for being community stalwarts and campaigning heroes.” Jim Birtwhistle, owner of the All Nations in Madeley, says: “All of us at the All Nations are absolutely delighted to have been awarded a CAMRA Golden Award. Our heartfelt thanks go to our wonderful staff but, most of all, our fantastic customers for their loyalty and good humour on returning after lockdown. It has been a privilege for the last 19 years to follow the Baguley and Lewis families who owned the pub since 1832, and to carry on the traditional community ethos of the All Nations Inn.” The full successful cohort contains 32 pubs, including five that have appeared in all 48 editions of The Good Beer Guide, the UK’s longest-standing community-owned pub, and the current Pub of the Year title holder. Nominations for the Golden Awards were made by CAMRA members and locals and more than 240 pubs submitted before being whittled down to the award winners. CAMRA is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a host of activities including awards, virtual festivals, commemorative merchandise and the release of a new biography, 50 Years Of CAMRA. For details, visit September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 75

Food SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 09:11


n al W in n ers o f a N at io Pu b & B a r A w a rd T hree Eagles is a Winner in the

National Pub & Bar Awards

The best venues in every UK county have been named – and Llangollen’s Three Eagles was given top spot for Denbighshire


Adam Gaunt-Evans, above, is proud of the hard work his team at the Three Eagles has put in over the past 18 months

hree Eagles Bar & Grill in Llangollen has been named best venue in the county in the National Pub & Bar Awards 2021. Having taken top spot for Denbighshire, the Three Eagles team are thrilled! The National Pub & Bar Awards aims to put the finest food and drink venues across the UK in the national spotlight, showcasing just how diverse and creative the hospitality industry really is, as well as how these inspirational operations have survived the pandemic. A total of 94 pubs and bars were named as county winners.

The red carpet awaits!

The venues, which were selected on overall best practice across a number of categories, are officially crowned at a red-carpet celebration at in London on 6th September. At the grand finale, 15 regional winners will also be announced, as well as the esteemed accolade – the overall National Pub & Bar of the Year.

Three Eagles will go up against seven county competitors in a fight for the regional title and hope to be in the running following a monumental return to service post-pandemic. Adam Gaunt-Evans, director of restaurants and bars at One Hundred Knights, which owns the Three Eagles, says: “It’s a true testament of how hard the team has worked to get us back up and running since we emerged from lockdown. I’m so proud of everyone involved and we’re thrilled to win the County Pub & Bar Award for Denbighshire. The atmosphere and experience at the Three Eagles are unrivalled and we have a fantastic following of customers – we hope we can go all the way in the final!”

“The atmosphere and experience at the Three Eagles are unrivalled and we have fantastic customers” “I’ve never been of this industry,” says Tristan O’Hana, editor of Pub & Bar magazine, which hosts the event. “The entries for this year’s awards demonstrated the undeniable value that communities place on their beloved pubs and bars. To be able to acknowledge the hard work and diligence of venues across 94 UK counties is an absolute privilege. These outstanding venues deserve this recognition now more than ever.”

The Three Eagles in Llangollen opened in 2018

See the full list of county winners at For more information about Three Eagles Bar & Grill, visit

To rea d Sh ire’s review of th e T hree Ea gles, see pa ge 81

76 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Food SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 3

27/08/2021 09:11

Welcome back...


Dining with a difference Plas Maenan is a luxurious, Edwardian country house hotel and restaurant with breath-taking views of Snowdonia and Conwy Valley. The historic property is steeped with character and is the perfect setting for weddings, Afternoon Tea and special occasions. Enjoy casual dining with stunning panoramic views in our River View Restaurant, Experience fine-dining using locally sourced produce or try our classic Afternoon Tea in elegant & historic surroundings

*10% OFF dining throughout September/ October 2021 Quote SHIRE when booking. | 01492 660977 | *Terms and Conditions Apply

077_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:09



at the old Wrexham Brewery

A display dedicated to the origins of Wrexham Lager now greets visitors to the old brewery building, restored by Hadlow Edwards

Pick of the Peter Howell with the collection, and James Parry, Warren Hadlow and Tom Hadlow from Hadlow Edwards


unique collection of Wrexham Lager memorabilia is taking pride of place in the original home of the brewery, including a poster designed for the Titanic. Wealth management company Hadlow Edwards restored and moved into the Grade II listed red-brick building on the edge of Wrexham’s Central Retail Park after outgrowing their original offices. They were delighted to be presented with the collection by former lab technician Peter Howell. All the items belonged to his late brother John, who worked at the brewery from 1963 until 2000, when it was closed by brewing giant Carlsberg. The collection includes glasses, T-shirts, beer mats, bar runners, trays and a variety of bottled lagers, including a commemorative lager to celebrate the 1981 wedding of the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. Most intriguing is the poster designed to advertise Wrexham Lager on board the Titanic, where it was one of only two beers being served. The restoration of the building three years ago was faithful to the history of Wrexham Lager, which is believed to be Britain’s oldest lager brew. The brewery was founded in 1882 by German immigrants Ivan Levinstein and Otto Isler, who wanted to recreate the lager taste they missed from home.

The beer is back

The main brewery was demolished in 2000, but the brewery house was saved because of its listed status. Wrexham Lager was resurrected in 2011 after former MP for Clwyd South Martyn Jones bought the rights from Carlsberg for £1. Before he became an MP, Jones had worked as a microbiologist at the brewery alongside John Howell, whose collection has now come full circle. Brother Peter was delighted that the memorabilia had now found “the perfect home” where the artefacts are being preserved for posterity. Peter, whose father also worked for the brewery for a time, says: “John died at the age of 71 and it was only then, when we were sorting through his things, that we found all this Wrexham Lager memorabilia. It was too good to throw away because it is part of the town’s history – Wrexham Museum didn’t want it and it doesn’t deserve to be in my attic gathering dust. Wrexham Lager put Wrexham on the map – it was a global brand. I can remember when I was a lot younger, watching Coronation Street and it had a Wrexham Lager pump in the Rovers Return.”

V ita min D s u p p l emen t

Producers Wales’s leading family-owned branded soft drinks company has launched a new product to help customers to get their daily vitamin D


s autumn arrives, many people choose to take a vitamin D supplement to keep them feeling full of beans through the winter. Now one local drinks producer has launched a new juice that packs a punch by doing this for you. Radnor Vits is the first vitamin D flavoured spring water produced in Tetra Pak packages, which are designed to be straw-free so you can drink straight from the pack. Public Health England and NICE advise that 10 micrograms of vitamin D are needed every day for healthy bones and muscles. Vits is a low-calorie sugar-free drink that is also suitable for vegetarians and vegans and comes in two flavours: Lemon & Lime and Apple & Raspberry. “When we heard that 20 per cent of the British population is “Radnor Vits deficient in vitamin D, and that is designed this is a growing problem thanks to as your lockdown and people staying indoors, once-a-day we decided to create a new daily vitamin drink to help tackle the problem,” says Radnor’s owner and managing and minerals director, William Watkins. “Our boost” new drink, designed as your oncea-day vitamin and minerals boost, increases your daily intake of vitamin D and other recommended vitamins and minerals by up to 200 per cent.” Radnor, which William started in 1990 as a fifth-generation farmer, has grown into an internationally known range of soft drinks and water products. The Watkins family has farmed the land in Powys since 1903 and all the spring water for the company’s products is sourced from 12 boreholes on their land. Radnor Vits is available to buy direct from the company. Visit

Radnor Vits Lemon & Lime

78 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Food SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 4

27/08/2021 09:11

Gate Expectations Inwood (Cymru) Ltd

` ade to measure

wooden gates and side hinged garage doors

01745 362 444

Jamie’s Butchers and Deli offer a wide range of delicious local produce!

Come and see us in our workshop!

Hot and Cold Sandwich Bar

Unit A1, Cefndy Industrial Park, Cefndy Road, Rhyl, Denbighshire, LL18 2HJ

Call & Collect or Home Delivery Service Available Unit 1, St Mary’s Precinct, Church Street, Chirk, Wrexham, LL14 5HX T: 01691 772602

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

Open daily from 12pm. Serving brunch, dinner, drinks and everything in-between.

Rated #1 restaurant in Llangollen on Trip Advisor


ALL DAY MENU NOW LIVE! Live music every Friday night from The Courtyard Monday - Thursday 12 - 10.30pm Friday - Saturday 12 - 11pm Sunday 12 - 10pm

079_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1 | 01978 869 595 Bridge Street, Llangollen LL20 8PF

27/08/2021 16:18

Bespoke Woodworking for your Home and Garden

Daisy & Tilly’s A village store – and a fair bit more... h unc e la shop h t h e Wit r onlin ring e u of o are off unt on we disco s. r 10% ll orde a


We sell lots of vegan, gluten free, organic & artisan produce.

13a Lyth Hill Road, Bayston Hill Shrewsbury SY3 0EW Mon to Sat: 9am to 7pm Sunday: 10am to 4pm

Items are available in Pine, Oak, Cedar, Sycamore. Personalised designs allow you scope for creativity and inventiveness to create your own garden paradise. Phone: 07854 784339 Email:

Glyndwr Plants

HOLLY FARM is a family run

garden centre and traditional growing nursery in North Shropshire, offering a wide selection of plants, coffee shop and friendly advice.

We have plants for every type of gardener!

Autumn time...

the perfect time for planting We 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. 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.

PYO pumpkins Open:

Mon to Sat: 9am to 5.30pm Sun: 10am to 4pm

Cafe hours:

Mon to Sat: 9.30am to 4.30pm Sun: 10.30am to 3.30pm

Coffee shop 01490 413 688 I Garden Centre 01490 413 313 The Centre is on the A5104, half a mile out of Corwen

080_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

Tel: 01948 840630 Whitchurch Road (A49), Prees, Shropshire SY13 2DD Holly Farm Garden Centre @hollyfarmgardencentre

27/08/2021 15:12


Bar manag

er Morgan

Cauliflower fritters


steak hawk

a Tom

Three Eagles Bar & Grill in Llangollen was launched in 2018 by hospitality and leisure operator One Hundred Knights. After being closed for much of 2020 due to Covid, it’s now back in full force with a revitalised menu


langollen’s Three Eagles used to be the Wynnstay Arms, a local pub with guest rooms. The historic pub on Bridge Street stood empty for more than 12 months before being bought by local entrepreneurs Matt and Vicky Jones, owners of hospitality and leisure company One Hundred Knights. The building underwent a major refurbishment that changed it completely from top to bottom, and is now a fantastic space for diners over three floors. “The Three Eagles is the standout eating destination in Llangollen,” “We’ve been super-busy and says the Three Eagles’ front-ofmanager, Donovan Evans. the atmosphere house “Whether visitors are looking for is fantastic” a light bite, a quick drink or a sitdown three-course celebration, we have it all here. We also have the best sun trap in town!” The Three Eagles’ menu is overseen by chef/director Adam GauntEvans and makes use of the best local and Welsh produce with global influences, reflecting Llangollen’s reputation as an international town. Adam works closely with the restaurant’s team of chefs to create simple, delicious fresh comfort food that delivers on flavour. “The Three Eagles is where people want to come every day of the week, and we get every type of celebration,” says Donovan. “Since we reopened following the lifting of restrictions, we’ve been super-busy and the atmosphere is fantastic. We’ve even had bands playing in our courtyard as part of our Summer Sessions.” “We’ve expanded the cocktail menu with some exciting new additions and in the cocktail bar, The Eyrie, which opens every Friday and Saturday night, you can ask for any cocktail that takes your fancy,” says bar manager Morgan Davies. “We have a great team of mixologists ready to mix up a storm.” One Hundred Knights has big plans elsewhere in the community, with the refurbishment of the Royal Hotel, just a stone’s throw from the Three Eagles overlooking the river. Due to open in 2022, the efs, Daniel, at

One of the ch

Restaurant Review SeptOct 2021 FINAL v2.indd 1

four-star luxury boutique hotel will have a big impact, bringing jobs, increased visitor numbers and positive exposure for the region. The team is also launching a new restaurant venture this autumn.

The food



fried The cauliflower fritters chick en were delicious, cooked just right inside a spiced batter. The coriander and fresh chillies gave a little heat, and it all worked well as a classic combination with the mango chutney dressing.

This was the first time we’d tried Japanese fried chicken, and it was a real eye-opener. The marinade coating goes crispy and crunchy – almost like pork crackling but much tastier – with delicious chicken thighs inside. The Three Eagles offers three sizes of Tomahawk steak, cooked on the bone: Mega at 30oz, Beast at 35oz and Epic at 40oz – all more than enough for two hungry diners. But it’s the quality of the beef that impressed us: cooked on a charcoal grill, then dressed with butter and rock salt, the meat was juicy and soft. The loaded fries were a great accompaniment. The bill Gobi 65 Chennai-spiced cauliflower fritters and mango chutney


Japanese fried chicken £6.50 Marinated boneless chicken thighs deep fried and served with tonkatsu sauce The legendary Welsh Tomahawk steak (serves two) A thick-cut rib of beef cooked on the bone, carved into thick slices and comes with smoky pig loaded fries with smoked aioli, smoked bacon and chives, house coleslaw with red cabbage, caesar salad with smoked bacon, white anchovies and parmesan


The Three Eagles Bridge Street, Llangollen LL20 8PF 01978 869595 |


September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 81

27/08/2021 12:06










Water of life



From babbling fountains to tranquil ponds, water features can bring your garden to life



13 15 14

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Heissner small fish statue, £34.99, World of Water; Corten steel fountain waterbowl, £336.99, Get Potted; Queensbury solar fountain, £129.99, Bents Garden Centre in Warrington; Bermuda Ocean Cascade solar-powered water feature, £99.99, The Old Railway Line Garden Centre in Brecon; Antique brass finish robin garden tap, £51.99 The British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry, Shropshire; Zen Cascade, £229.99, Taffs Garden Co in Donnington, Shropshire; Vortex Whirlpool Orb water feature with colour lights, £179.99, Primrose;

8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Laguna large deck pond kit, £400, Laguna; Baroque ornate water fountain, £199.99, Gardenesque; Romanesque fountain, £499, Haddonstone; Waterbirds garden fountain, £249.99, Blumfeldt; Spiral showers, £399.99, Minshulls in Crewe; Cheshire Leaves copper water feature, £249, Water Features 2 Go; Illumax LED granite ball water fountain, £89.99, Charlies; Bidwell wood fountain, £47.99, Wayfair; Low voltage coastal sleepers with LED lights, £99.99, Fron Goch Garden Centre in Caernarfon;

82 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Garden Shopping SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:26


Sneak a free peek at some glorious gardens Discover the local gardens opening their doors for free as part of this year’s Heritage Open Days


his year the Heritage Open Days scheme is expanding its list of historic buildings and gardens that the public can visit for free in September. The project includes numerous sites across England, with Cadw running a similar scheme in Wales, although as Shire went print the Welsh wonders were still being kept under wraps. Here are some of the great gardens you can see for free this autumn in Shropshire and Cheshire.

Lyme Park in Cheshire (left) offers many fantastic walks for all the family

Ness Botanic Gardens, Neston, Cheshire

Liverpool cotton merchant Arthur Kilpin Bulley began work on the garden in 1898, creating one of the leading botanic gardens in the country. In 1948 his daughter presented the gardens to the University of Liverpool, with an endowment of £75,000. Today Ness displays plants from all over the world. 15th September, 10am to 4pm;

National Trust Lyme Park, Stockport, Cheshire

Lyme’s 1,400-acre estate offers fantastic walks and stunning views. Visitors can enjoy the tranquil gardens or marvel at the beautiful interiors of the house. Lyme was once home to the Legh family and in its heyday was a great sporting estate. For a more tranquil walk explore the elegant Rose Garden, Ravine Garden or the luxurious herbaceous borders next to the reflecting lake where Mr Darcy met Miss Lizzie Bennet in the BBC’s 1996 adaptation of Pride & Prejudice. 10th September, 9am to 4.30pm;

St Martin’s Church, Shrewsbury, Shropshire

Scrump Shropshire apples and explore the medieval churchyard of St Martin’s in Preston Gubbals. The churchyard is part of a flora and fauna project developed by the Churches Conservation Trust, which included the planting of different varieties of Shropshire apple trees. The churchyard is cared for and scythed by members of God’s Acre to encourage the growth of its grasses and flowers, as well as the abundance of insects that support local wildlife and its bat population. Visitors are welcome to harvest the apples, but only take what you need so others can enjoy the harvest as well. For more venues, visit

Adversity brings a renewed focus


ast year’s Heritage Open Days took place in the midst of a pandemic and lockdowns but organisers adapted and ploughed on. “We put on wellies, grabbed our coats and stepped into the outdoors for our theme, Hidden Nature,” say the organisers. “We turned our focus on to the natural world – and asked people to join with us in celebrating our natural heritage, from centuries-old trees to farmer’s fields steeped in history, from clifftop walks to urban oases and everything in between.” While our ancient buildings are welcoming visitors indoors once more, the importance of the outdoors remains for this year’s event. “Now more than ever in the face of climate change, modern development and other threats, nature needs to be cherished and championed. That’s why we want to encourage organisers, volunteers and visitors to celebrate nature in its myriad forms as part of the wider festival – an aspect we hope will continue in future.” September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 83

Gardens Septoct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:22


It’s not over yet…

TOP TIP Dig up late potatoes and other root vegetables and store somewhere dry and cool

We can still enjoy some late summer sun and extend the garden days a bit longer yet, according to the experts from Reaseheath College in Nantwich


s the year draws on, the hectic schedule of planting, watering and weeding is replaced with something more serene. Now is often the best time to enjoy the fruits of your hard work. You can also extend the beauty of your borders and the bounty from your vegetable patch by continuing with some simple maintenance. Here Lis Morris, lecturer in horticulture and sustainable technologies at University Centre Reaseheath in Cheshire, suggests jobs for warm autumn days.

• •

Encourage plants to keep flowering by regularly deadheading. Keep plants well watered in dry periods. Divide herbaceous perennials such as agapanthus, aster, delphinium and geranium. Doing this every couple of years maintains health and vigour, and is best done when the soil is dry.

pond itself. Net the surface before leaf fall begins.

• Deadhead to prolong flowering

Clear your greenhouse and cold frames of late crops and give them a thorough clean.

Remove overgrowth from pond margins and over-vigorous water plants from the

TOP TIP Leave spent sunflower heads and teasels to provide food for birds

Best bulbs for early blooms

Order and plant spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips to brighten up borders or snowdrops for your lawn. Ideally plant daffodils, crocus and hyacinths by the end of September, and plant tulips in November. If you’re planning changes for next year, now is a good time to prepare. Visit local gardens to see trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials in their autumn glory. The best time for planting trees and shrubs is November to March, when they are dormant.

Make the most of root vegetables

Remove overgrowth from ponds

For more on Reaseheath’s horticulture courses visit (diplomas and RHS courses) and courses (for degrees)

Plant spring-flowering bulbs


Now is the time to get your bulbs in before winter and guarantee a burst of colour in early spring. Here are Shire’s top five flowering favourites

The tulip is another favourite for early colour, although it’s less inclined to return without some care. Available in a range of colours, these elegant flowers look great in large numbers and cut well.





One of the earliest, smallest but brightest signs of spring is the crocus. This hardy little plant comes back year after year in February and can survive the harshest of winters deep underground. Quick on the heels of the crocus is the daffodil. Providing a classic flash of bright yellow to brighten up any border or basket, daffodils come back annually and bring a smile in spring with their pretty features and cheery tone.

Whereas the tulip is popular for its smooth, classy domed shape, the dramatic structure of the iris in flower appeals for its delicate appearance and showy display. A classic feature of the British countryside, the small but stunning bluebell is happy to brighten your garden’s darker, damper corners. The hardy little flowers spread at ground level annually and are easy to nurture.

84 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Gardens Septoct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 09:22

We carry and install year round an extensive range of containerised stock covering two acres and are particularly strong in large trees and shrubs. We are available to carry out surveys and advise on your planting requirements.

The Bigger Plant Company Ltd. Orchard Nurseries, Fornalls Green Lane, Meols, Wirral CH47 9RL TEL: 0151 632 3532 EMAIL:

Open 9.00am - 4.30pm 6 days a week closed Mondays inc bank holidays (and Sundays in Nov/Dec/Jan) ALSO AVAILABLE IN SMALLER SIZES

085_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:13

�� T�� � O

F��� G���

DID YOU KNOW? Herds of British Friesians were first established in the 19th century

Changing climate brings countryside concerns, not least the decline in once-common livestock breeds, says Eryl Jones. Thank goodness for the heady products of Chateau Williams


s a true countryman, it’s Changing livestock within my remit to be a Fifty summers have passed since my student days at Aberystwyth: hair down to my shoulders, sideburns like JPR and apparel consisting competent weather whinger, and this past spring provided plenty of flared Levi’s and a de rigueur tie-dye grandad shirt. The British Friesian made up 90 per cent of the national dairy herd and the large of material for a good moan. The late frosts kept soil white and landrace held sway in the pig sector. Border Leicester rams temperatures well below what is were much sought after, as well as the greyface. Shropshire saw huge sales of Kerry Hill and Clun Forest ewes, where fat lamb producers conducive to good growth and everything was at least three weeks would gather from far and wide to replenish their flocks. Row upon row of woolly topknots and speckled ears – it was a spectacular sight. behind. But helped by a pretty even balance of sunshine and rain So what do these breeds all have in common? They are all now since the early season chill, most listed in one category or another by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. things in the garden and polytunnel If I’d have stood up in the college common room back in the day and announced that 20 years into the new millennium there would be thrived. We are making thorough more longhorns in the country than British Friesians, pigs of ourselves Eryl Jones was brought a couple of men in white coats would have escorted on the bounty up on a small Welsh farm and studied agriculture in and there is me from the building. Let’s hope these breeds aren’t “No piece of Aberystwyth. He became consigned completely to history. Unlike my hair. still plenty of vegetation is farm manager on a large surplus to freeze estate and later farmed safe from his or put on our Finding the right culprit on his own account. fermentations” honesty stall. Only a simpleton or someone with a selfish selfEryl does voluntary interest would be in denial about climate change environmental work with Vintage brews – the evidence is there for all to see. I’m also in Denbighshire Council It’s an occasion of mixed blessings no doubt that fossil fuels are the biggest culprit. The human race and has a passion for the rural way of life. when a particular friend of mine (and the planet) would be far better off if oil and coal had never comes to call. He’s always grand existed. I also have a theory that climate change is not a moderncompany but he does fancy himself as a homemade wine buff and day phenomenon but started when large-scale use of coal and oil regards me as his prime guinea pig. No piece of vegetation – wild began churning their noxious byproducts into the atmosphere. or cultivated – is safe from his fermentations. The latest offering But a word in defence of farm livestock and their supposed role in from Chateau Williams was a 2020 elderberry, sharp of aroma and a the crisis. Turn back the clock 500 years and you’d find vast herds of bellicose puce in colour. It turned out to be a bumptious little vintage bison roaming over North America and Europe. In their pomp, over that travels rather well, especially through the alimentary canal. one billion of them. The numbers of all the wild ruminants on the Should you not wish to quaff it with your filet mignon, the ubiquitous planet were far greater than today. It’s true that domestic herds and brew will provide fuel for your car and it brings the brasses up a treat. flocks are severalfold larger than five centuries ago, but the number In fact, despite my rather irreverent remarks, his wines are of farmers has drastically decreased and back in the day, almost every eminently drinkable and are all made from ingredients harvested family outside the big towns had a cow, a pig and a goat or two. In from hedgerow or garden. It is not in the imagination that it others words, I submit that the number of methane-burping mammals tastes better if you’ve made, reared or grown it yourself. on the planet is far lower now than it was half a millennium ago.

86 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Over the Farm Gate SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 10:02


DOUBLE DELIGHT West Midland Safari Park has welcomed a new arrival in the shape of a beautiful southern white rhino calf, the second to be born at the park this summer


econd-time-mum Keyah gave birth to a male rhino – named Jumani – in June, following a pregnancy of 16 months. The birth is a triumph for West Midland Safari Park, who only six weeks ago celebrated the birth of another southern white rhino, Jambo. The two share a father, and the brothers will grow up together on the park and are likely become the closest of playmates. “We are delighted to welcome another new calf to our crash of southern white rhino,” says WMSP’s head of wildlife Angela Potter. “It’s “Just over wonderful to see Keyah settling into 20,000 wild motherhood – she’s certainly going to be kept busy as her boy finds his feet. southern white “Celebrating another rhino rhino remain in birth here at the park is a fantastic South Africa” achievement, and further showcases the important role we have to play in being a part of the European Endangered Species Programme. Raising awareness of the vital conservation efforts needed to protect all five species of rhino in the wild will always be the driving force behind our work. It’s also the first time we have had two calves born so closely together, so we can’t wait to watch them grow up as a pair.”

DID YOU KNOW? You can see the southern white rhino on the park’s safari drive-through

This latest birth highlights WMSP’s commitment to its breeding programme, which works to create a reserve population of these magnificent animals that are listed as “near threatened” on the IUCN red list. At the last count, just over 20,000 wild southern white rhino remained in South Africa, as a result of threats including poaching and habitat loss.

Meet the rhino

Including Jumani and Jambo’s father, 15-yearold Barney – who himself was born at the park in 2005 – the new calf brings WMSP’s crash of white rhino up to eight. White Jumani takes his first steps in the paddock rhinos are the larger of the two African rhino species and are fairly social animals; in the wild they live in loose groups of up to six. Their skin is grey in colour and not white – in fact, despite the names, it is no different in colour from that of black rhinos!


A wildlife photographer has managed to capture incredible images of salmon during their spawning season on the Rhug Estate as part of a European river project Perks filmed and photographed salmon on the Rhug Estate to help document the £6.8 million Jack LIFE Dee River project, which aims to restore the river and its surroundings to their natural state.

The Dee is the largest river in north Wales, with a catchment area of over 1,800km2. It’s also one of the most highly regulated rivers in Europe, and along with Llyn Tegid has been designated as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The main uses of the River Dee are farming, water abstraction for water supply, tourism and nature conservation. Rhug Estate takes its job as a custodian of the land very seriously. Almost 9km of riverside corridors have been introduced so livestock cannot get to the river’s edge, protecting the waterways and riverbanks and encouraging habitats for wildlife.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 87

Pets&Wildlife SeptOct 20201 FINAL.indd 119

27/08/2021 10:16


NEW PATRON FOR ANIMAL CHARITY North Wales-based photographer Richard Bowler is the new patron of One Voice for Animals UK, a charity set up in April 2020 to support small rescue centres that are struggling owing to the Covid crisis

Richard Bowler has looked after three rescue foxes


ildlife photographer Richard Bowler has always been Richard is also a passionate anti-hunting campaigner and has interested in wildlife and environmental issues, and the causes encountered illegal fox hunting near his property. “It breaks my supported by One Voice For Animals UK (OVFA UK) heart to think of these animals being chased down by a are close to his heart. While photographing wildlife in pack of dogs and ripped to pieces for so-called ‘sport’,” he says. He hopes his photographs of the foxes he cares the early hours, he often finds injured animals and tries “Richard to help them, so he’s very aware of the importance of for will encourage people to see them in a new light. represents animal rescue centres. Richard has always loved foxes Val Green, founder of OVFA UK, says: “I follow our values – even though he has travelled extensively through Richard Bowler on social media as well as enjoying his at OVFA UK” wonderful photographs and I became impressed with Africa, South and Central America, he says: “A fox is right up there with the best of wildlife encounters.” his advocacy for animals, particularly foxes. Richard Since moving to his smallholding near Corwen represents the same values we have at OVFA UK, and nine years ago, Richard says he has been lucky enough to care for I’m thrilled he has agreed to become our newest patron.” For more about the work of OVFA UK and a directory of three rescue foxes: Rosie, Hetty and Charlie. “To have a bond with local rescue centres, visit them and to see their intelligence has been wonderful,” he says.

Cute Pets


a £25 voucher for Bradeley Green pet store in Whitchurch, to spend in-store or online at

Biscuit having a snowball fight

Bumble the cavapoo


Luna enjoying the sun

Lucky and Sparkles

Serbian street dog Betsy

Miffy soaking up the sun

Nine-month-old cockapoo Phoebe

Welsh red border collie Star Charlie playing ball

odle on the beach


Bradeley Green, Tarporley Road, Whitchurch, Shropshire SY13 4HD

s tulation Congra nd Jen, a to Clare Ned and of owners , who win Georgie e’s Cute this issu etition! mp Pets co

Siberian husky Thorn

Win some pet treats! To enter, email a photograph of your pet and their name to and the Shire team will pick the winner! Terms: The winner will be chosen by Shire and be given the option of receiving a voucher to spend in-store or a digital code to redeem online at The voucher will be valid for six months and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Ned and Georgie celebrate their fifth birthday

Pets&Wildlife SeptOct 20201 FINAL.indd 120

27/08/2021 10:16

Only £895 for a fully fitted electric door.



Gotta get a Garolla.




WAS £1,354 INC VAT



$9$,/$%/( ,1 &2/2856 FREE DISPOSAL OF YOUR OLD DOOR

GOTTA GET A GAROLLA Garolla garage doors are strong and solidly built. They’re made to measure in our own UK factories. The electric Garolla door rolls up vertically taking up only 8 inches inside your garage. Our expert installers will fit your new door and take away the old one so there’s no mess. Give us a call today and we’ll come and measure up completely Free.


l Coats l Jumpers l Collars l Leads l Beds Available In-store and online





Open Monday to Saturday 9am-5pm I Sunday 10am-4am 01948 668 100 I Bradeley Green, Whitchurch, SY13 4HD

Antiques & Collectables £175 07582 965297 Featuring also at Whitchurch Antiques Emporium

089_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 16:18


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




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

Warm, friendly & welcoming

• Set in stunning rural countryside, ideally suited for Snowdonia

• A traditional, family-run

• Open all day

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

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

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

Tel: 07867 790195 •

Man & Van Services

Covering North Wales & Cheshire

Join the Shire team

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

Tel 07743 574852 •

7 nights self-catering from £150 Bring a pet for just £25

Call us on 01970 871464

090_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1





Northfield Holiday Park

Would you like to work at home? Do you like communicating with people Do you have sales experience?

If you’re a good communicator and will enjoy building relationships with clients for the best regional magazine covering Wales and the Borders, we want to talk to you. Due to rapid growth, there is now an opportunity for a new member to join our team. You can work from home, with hours to suit you, liaising with advertisers to help them choose their campaign and their coverage in the magazine. You are a charismatic and proactive self-starter who enjoys working on your own initiative, and are outgoing and personable. You are highly organised, and have good computer skills. Above all else, you are a trustworthy and hardworking individual, someone who gets a real buzz from achieving results for clients. Please email with a covering letter and your CV to, marked ‘Work from home’ as the subject to find out more.

27/08/2021 15:26


Glyn Valley Hotel

Valley views


The park has eight lodges and two cottages where guests can stay



WMSP hopes the new exhibit and est Midland Safari Park in cottage stays will help to raise awareness Bewdley, Worcestershire, is of the importance of helping to conserve offering guests a new experience: the this species and help preserve their chance to stay at the park overnight numbers in the wild. The endangered in a lodge. It has also brought in some red panda can be found in the eastern new residents – for the first time, red Himalayas and southwestern China, but panda will be part of the vast range the wild population continues to decline of wildlife that call the park home. owing to habitat loss and poaching. With a brand-new exhibit in the park’s walkthrough Discovery Trail and newly Mod cons renovated cottages that look out into the red panda Red Panda Cottage stays habitat, you can have an include exclusive use of “The Red immersive and unique trip. the cottage for up to five Panda Retreat people, dinner and breakfast, The two luxury Red Panda Cottages, which join the exclusive views of the red is home to park’s existing Cheetah and panda habitat, and two-day one-year-old Elephant Lodges, have been admission to the safari park. Mei Lin” expertly refurbished with Each cottage has free WiFi, Nepalese design influences. Each has an open-plan living area downstairs, with lounge and dining spaces, with a spiral staircase leading to two bedrooms: one double with a super-king bed and another with three singles. The double room also features a stunning free-standing copper roll-top bath. Every bedroom has a window seat, giving guests amazing views of the red panda habitat.

New inhabitant

The state-of-the-art Red Panda Retreat is the home of a one-yearold female red panda called Mei Lin. Born in 2020, Mei Lin has come from the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, and has settled in well at the park.

Watch the wildlife from your window

TV, coffee machine and a mini bar filled with local produce. For more information, and prices, visit

ituated in the picturesque Ceiriog Valley, 15 minutes from Llangollen, Glyn Valley Hotel is a historic inn offering a restaurant and rooms with valley views. The restaurant serves a variety of home-cooked food created with locally sourced produce, including a Sunday carvery. Continental breakfast is served, and a full Welsh Enjoy a drink outside breakfast is also available on request for a supplement. The bar and lounge sell a range of local real ales, as well as hearty, simple food and a specials menu. There are dozens of great escapes in the area, but close at hand are the Ceffyl Gwyn Stables, offering pony and quad treks, the stunning Plas Newydd House & Garden and Llangollen Wharf boat trips.

Room at the inn


ell known for its fine food and excellent hospitality, Bryntirion Inn, Bala, is also a great destination for a stopover for those looking to visit the Dee Valley. The Bryn, as it’s known locally, is a great base for visits to the coast and the glories of Snowdonia and is four miles from Lake Bala. Dating back to 1695, the inn serves real ales and an impressive list of wines, and has a food menu designed to tantalise the taste buds of everyone – including vegetarians and children. You’ll not only find a warm Welsh welcome here but also a family room with a TV, pool table, dart board, books and games. This is a magical part of the world and supremely well catered for by the Bryn, whether you’re stopping for a drink and a meal or thinking of lingering a little longer. www. bryntirion Bryntirion Inn, Bala September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 91

Holidays SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:50






Enjoy spectacular views from your holiday home


e lor Exp


in a wonderful wooded enclave with aes Mynan Holiday Park is set in more views across the Clwydian Range. than 100 acres of beautiful Flintshire The site is located within easy reach countryside in a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. From of junction 31 of the A55 North Wales here, getting out and discovering local Expressway, making Maes Mynan Holiday Park the perfect weekend getaway adventure, culture and historic treasures and a great destination for is easy. After the year holiday home owners seeking we’ve all just had, why not “The park an escape to the country. start planning your future adventures by owning your has a range Visitors will appreciate the benefits of the natural beauty very own holiday home in an of luxury and panoramic views that undiscovered beauty spot? lodges Maes Mynan has to offer. This one offers spectacular The luxury lodges and panoramic views, a for sale” static caravans are located cultural history that spans in two very distinctive and centuries and a relaxing separate zones of Maes Mynan Holiday charm that only nature can provide. The park has a range of luxury lodges Park, offering holiday homeowners peace of mind when it comes to for sale on a choice of exclusive lodge security and a special haven to unwind plots. Static caravan plots are also in. available, with static caravans for sale

oak up some history and heritage in one of the Shropshire’s finest old homes, Benthall Hall in Broseley. There is an intriguing past to discover here: the house faced demolition in 1934 and was saved just a week before auction by Mary Clementina, a descendant of William Benthall. Mary and her husband set about restoring the family home. During the Second World War, she rented the hall to an evacuated school and then, in 1958, gifted Benthall Hall and its gardens to the National Trust on the agreement that Mary and any successor could continue to live in the hall. The hall and garden are open Saturday to he ga Wednesday, with rde ns tours of the hall available from 1pm; from 3pm to 4.30pm you can explore the rooms at your own pace. For more information, visit www.



he best way to celebrate and recover from the stresses of recent times must be to escape on a relaxing break. One place where you can relax and recover at your own pace is Goetre Retreat Caravan Park, a small, quiet familyrun park in the heart of mid Wales. The site is located on the banks of the River Mule, halfway between the villages of Abermule and Kerry, while Newtown and Welshpool are both just a short drive away. If you like keeping busy outdoors, this is the perfect spot as fishing, golfing, cycling, horse riding are all available within the area. For those who enjoy nothing more than a breath of country air, there is plenty available within the park itself. Goetre Retreat is perfectly placed for exploring the Relax in style

“The site is on the banks of the River Mule”

Goetre Retreat is a quiet, family-run park

local area and is ideally located to visit the sights of the Shropshire borders, including the Stiperstones, Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd. The Goetre Retreat is the perfect setting for your countryside home from home. It’s situated close to the Shropshire border, with easy access to well-known walks including Offa’s Dyke and the Kerry Ridgeway. Nearby are the reservoirs and dams of Lake Vyrnwy, Clywedog and the Elan Valley, which offer breathtaking vistas over the Welsh countryside and are of special interest to birdwatchers.

92 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Holidays SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 09:50

your very own slice

of the countryside

ABI Attingham


ABI Attingham, 2 bed, 39x12 Caravan An exclusivelly designed model with central heating, double glazing, en-suite master with bath, open-plan kitchen and is situated on our new development, with views of the Berwyn Mountain range. Llawrbetws Caravan Park is all you could want in an authentic country holiday. Surrounded by scenery, wildlife and top Welsh attractions, we are an excellent base to go and explore. With great road links you are just minutes away from being on the road to Snowdonia, Betws y Coed, Llangollen, Chester and the Welsh Coasts.


093_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:26




S Enjoy amazing views of the Llyn Peninsula


n Stu



ou’ll need to move quickly to secure bedroom apartments with sea views, one of the few remaining units at spacious three-bedroom cottages and a unique development of rare holiday a palatial five-bedroom family home. cottages on the beautiful The homes are situated in an Llyn Peninsula. The luxurious “The homes Area of Outstanding Natural Natural Land cottages at Beauty in an idyllic spot are in Nature’s Point have recently that’s peaceful, private and an Area of perfect for nature lovers. been completed, offering 25 two-, three- and fiveOutstanding The site, which is familybedroom properties. and pet-friendly, has direct Natural Each cottage at Nature’s access to the Wales Coast Beauty” Point is thoughtfully Path and is just minutes from the white-sand beaches at Nefyn and Morfa Nefyn and only 20 minutes from Abersoch, Pwlhelli and Llanbedrog. “It’s our mission to share and preserve the world’s most beautiful spaces — and create real, enduring value,” says developer Natural Land. “To that end, we select projects based on their inherent potential. Our collective experience and expertise Own a luxury lodge affords us the rare opportunity to craft designed, built to a high specification resort communities that preserve the character, beauty and traditions of the and finished to a luxurious standard, landscapes they call home.” Prices start making them perfect holiday homes or rental investments. There are chic twofrom £310,000.

ee how the other half live with a visit to the stunning Plas Newydd in Llanfairpwll on Anglesey. The estate, whose name means “new mansion” , sits on the shore of the Menai Strait and is the ancestral home of the Marquess of Anglesey, with a history stretching back over 5,000 years to a Neolithic burial chamber nearby. With superb views of the mountains of Snowdonia across the Menai Strait, it’s easy to see why a house has stood in this spot since the early 16th century. The house itself has changed significantly over the years. What started as a Tudor house was altered significantly by the architect James Wyatt in 1790s, with further modernisation taking place the 1930s. For garden lovers there’s also the Pl as Grade I listed Ne wydd landscape to explore, consisting of 40 acres of garden and 129 acres of woodland and parkland. For more information and ticket prices, visit uk/plas-newydd-house-and-garden



here are few more relaxing ways to travel than letting someone else do all the work. Local “Emphasis Oswestry firm Owen’s Travelmaster offers coach tour holidays and air tours with the emphasis is placed placed firmly on a high level of comfort, wellon a high planned itineraries, excellent service and cuisine. level of Owen’s holidays offer something for everyone, from five-day trips to destinations comfort” such as Cornwall and Weston-super-Mare, to Weston-super-Mare shorter stays and themed company also organises evening trips including theatre tours such as the popular Country tickets to incredible shows across the country. and Western trip to Caernarfon. With a philosophy to always provide clients with the very Days out include shopping best possible holiday, Owen’s Travelmaster has gained an excursions to Manchester enviable reputation for the care and attention to detail it city centre or the Trafford places on arranging tours of all types. It can also create an Centre, with their great range itinerary to suit your requirements and even offers a wide of stores that will cater for range of coaches for hire for UK and Europe-wide trips for all your shopping needs. The Owen’s in Oswestry any organisation and groups.

94 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Holidays SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 3

27/08/2021 09:51

Private hot tubs Built-in wet room Smart TV with Netflix WIFI Self check-in

2 stunning holiday parks with so much to offer! Luxury holiday home lodges with beautiful views and fantastic facilities

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

Situated alongside a working farm, with plenty of walks from the doorstep, our three Luxury Glamping Pods provide the perfect escape to relax and unwind. The accommodation has been individually designed and furnished in a bespoke style, to provide you with a restful stay. Shropshire Luxury Glamping, Purslow Hall Farm, Shropshire, SY7 0HJ.

01588 539089

Boutique self catering cabins and lodges in the heart of scenic Shropshire. The location is perfect for exploring the great outdoors, with wonderful walks and wildlife on our doorstep. And with lots of nearby historic sites and attractions plus lovely country pubs and restaurants to enjoy, there’s plenty to keep all ages entertained during a weekend, short break or longer getaway. Nestled on the banks of the picturesque River Perry amongst a private, tranquil woodland, just outside Shrewsbury, our cosy holiday and glamping lodges are the perfect place to escape for families and couples alike. Opened in 2020, and recognised in The Guardian’s top 30 cottages and campsites, this little collection of individually styled luxury cabins and lodges sleep 2 to 6. Larger lodges and three of the smaller cabins have their own private hot tub. Stanwardine Lane, Shrewsbury, SY4 1HY Tel: +44 (0) 1939 260495 Recognised in the Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Times has one of the top destination for staycation in the UK this year.

095_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:24

At Commodore Finance we help all of our clients achieve their financial goals, dreams, and independence. Through our process this is made extremely easy for you. We will discuss your current situation and establish your financial objectives and more importantly when you want to achieve them. We will never use jargon that you do not understand. We develop a practical plan designed to help you meet your financial needs. Taking Care Of You With 37 years’ service, we can say with confidence that you would find it hard to find a situation that we have not dealt with. We Are Recommended Awarded a vouched for top adviser award 2020 as shown in the Times and Telegraph. We were also a 5-star Gold winner in the British Property awards 2019 – 2020.

Tel: 01745 850653

There are few places on the planet, where you can play in the waves, lakes, mountains, and that serves great food and drink! Come rain or hurricane our Indoor Adrenaline Park keeps the adventures going with high ropes, climbing walls, indoor caving. Whatever your age or family commitments, our awesome surf lagoon proves you are never too old, or too young, to start an adventure. So your energetic ones are also catered for with a softplay area, extreme fly slides and ninja warrior assault course. That’s just inside, outside, we have Snowdonia’s only pump track and Carver skate bowl, mini wheels and play park ensuring everyone has a fantastic day when they come to North Wales.



Unit 9, Tai Tywyn Business Centre, Sandy Lane, Prestatyn, Denbighshire, LL19 9LW | | 01492 353 123

096_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:28


Saddle p for success With more and more people taking up horse riding, one local school has reopened its state-of-the-art equestrian facilities so pupils can get the horsey habit early on

Welsh junior international showjumper Ruth Hogan, from Trefnant, has four children at the school, including Thomas in Year 12 who has followed in his mother’s tracks to represent Wales – and daughter Sophia, 11, wil join them in September. “The school was very keen to bring the facilities here back into use and it was also important to us as a family,” Ruth says. “We’re delighted with the results and Myddelton now has some of the finest facilities in north for riding and competing in equestrian “The equestrian Wales events. We already have a showjumping team centre was here at the school and hope soon to have dressage and eventing teams as well.” originally

opened by Anne”

Princess school in Denbigh has made caring for horses part of the syllabus to keep its horse-mad pupils keen. Pupils at Myddelton College can now bring their ponies with them, thanks to the reopening of its equestrian centre following a £30,000 renovation, which comes 15 years after Olympic eventing gold medallist Princess Anne opened the facilities. Myddelton College’s 37 acres of grounds already have extensive sporting facilities including tennis and squash courts, a gym and a climbing wall as well as cricket, football and rugby pitches, which are also used by local clubs. Parent and former


A stable education

The equestrian centre has stabling for up to 10 horses and ponies, two 20ft by 40ft all-weather arenas, a 10-acre field and easy access to a network of bridle paths in the surrounding Vale of Clwyd. The school can also organise specialist training for riding for all levels of abilities, including taster sessions for novice riders. “The centre has now been restored and we’re very pleased with the new facilities, which mean pupils can even stable their ponies and horses here,” says headmaster Andrew Allman. “While there is currently accommodation for 10, there is also room for expansion.”

Wild good Chase

training solders for the trenches of the First World War, and there is a German war cemetery in nearby Brocton as well as the National Memorial Arboretum at Lichfield. Visitor centres are a good place to start any walk, as they provide ample parking and information. Birches Valley Our resident rambler Forest Centre (WS15 2UQ) is no exception, and the centre Clive Williams explores at Marquis Drive (WS12 4PW) offers alternative routes. Staffordshire’s magical and For a more peaceful approach and walk on the vast heathland, try Glacial Boulder car park (WS15 2UA). There mysterious Cannock Chase are lots of paths to explore here, annock Chase is fantastic somewhere I wanted “The area to visit ever since seeing views and an item about it on plenty of played a big BBC’s Countryfile in wildlife, role in training including a 1989. Having access soldiers for the large herd to so many walks in my own backyard First World War” of fallow of Wales meant deer. Local I didn’t get round to visiting landmarks to look out for include there until recently, but I’m glad I finally did! the 96m tall Pye Green Known locally as “The Chase”, Cannock Chase is a large expanse of upland heathland, forest BT tower, which during the Cold War was part of and woodland in Staffordshire, with a sandstone a secret communication plateau covering 63 per cent and the rest being farmland. It covers 26 square miles in total, making it the smallest network for use during Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in the UK. a nuclear war. Will you spot Big foot – or a UFO The Chase is shrouded in mysteries, including UFO – while exploring Cannock Chase? sightings and even spottings of Bigfoot. There is also a For further details, visit strong military connection – the area played a big part in


September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 97

Active SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 08:41


Natural love

Artist, illustrator and writer Philip Snow has been obsessed with nature from a young age and now creates stunning artwork dedicated to all aspects of flora and fauna


hilip Snow was born in Cheshire in 1947 and, by his own admission, spent much of his youth as a “wandering hippie” before settling down to complete a BA in graphics at Manchester Polytechnic. He has lived most of his life since in a cottage in Malltraeth on “Philip’s Anglesey, where he is never short of books are inspiration and subjects to keep him packed busy in the studio. Philip also holds with sketching workshops across north Wales and loves to share his passion intricate with visitors, artists and novices alike. drawings” “I have exhibited in most of London and Wales’s top galleries and venues, like the Design Centre, the Barbican, Mall Galleries and the Association of Illustrators Gallery, as well as here in my adopted home of Wales at Oriel Ynys Môn, Oriel Eryri, St David’s Hall, Tegfryn Gallery and the Mostyn Gallery,” says Philip. “My work has featured in the National Eisteddfod and Beaumaris Festival, as well as touring with the Royal Academy exhibition British Art in the Gulf States and several other countries.” When Philip isn’t gazing at his island home, he dedicates a lot of his creative time to another collection of islands – specifically those in Scotland, where he delights in capturing sketches of otters, ospreys and eagles. His work is available to buy as originals or limited-edition prints, or in one of Philip’s beautifully illustrated Philip’s latest book includes beautiful maps

books, packed with intricate drawings and stunning sketches. Much of the income from these ventures is donated to causes close to Philip’s heart, including North Wales Owls Trust, Glaslyn Ospreys, Friends of Anglesey Red Squirrels Trust and Christian charities based across the developing world. Philip’s artwork can be found in many private, public and even royal collections, including those of HRH The Prince Charles, the National Library of Wales, National Museum of the USAF, USA Falconry Archives, the RSPB, Kyffin Williams RA, Bryn Terfel, Iolo Williams and Julian Pettifer.

Divine drawings

“My books are the result of over 30 years work and investigation into the natural world and reflect my deep Christian commitment and concern for our future – never more in peril than now,” says Philip. “Although I have contributed illustrations or painted covers for over 70 books, including Collins Field Guides, and many magazines, prints, cards, reserve maps and leaflets, the collection of books I’ve both written and illustrated is quite small.” Discover the fauna of Anglesey The latest title to join this list is Anglesey Naturewatch, which covers 50 wildlife reserves in Anglesey, rendered in vibrant watercolours with maps. It has a glowing foreword by Iolo Williams and is the result of more than 30 years of work. It features words and pictures of the area’s most important flora and fauna, including plants, fungi, mosses, lichens, insects, reptiles, amphibians, mammals and, of course, many birds. There is also helpful information on the island’s walks, scenery, leisure and history. Anglesey Naturewatch by Philip Snow is available from Amazon

98 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Arts SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:27


Cute and crafty

AFONWEN CRAFTS Events taking place at Afonwen Craft and Antique Centre near Mold over the coming months 2nd & 3rd September, Holistic Gifts by Angel Wings Jewellery with semi-precious stones, plus advice and guidance on the benefits of healing with crystals 4th & 5th September, local artist Gill Benjamin Beautiful paintings, with seascapes, pets and local locations. Gill can take commissions.

One Shropshire company has been using skill and precision to handcraft loveable and collectible bears for almost 100 years


he UK’s oldest remaining teddy bear manufacturer, Merrythought, has been handmaking the quintessential English soft toy since 1930. Based in Ironbridge, the company has been producing bears in the same factory for nine decades. And even if the company isn’t one you’re familiar with, you will no doubt have seen its bears in TV shows and films including Downton Abbey and Goodbye Christopher Robin. The company’s managing director is Sarah Holmes, great-grandaughter of one of the founders, Gordon Holmes. She says that despite various challenges over the past 18 months, the future is bright for Merrythought. “Last year we celebrated our 90th anniversary, and although we couldn’t mark the occasion how we would have wanted, it was still an honour to reach such a milestone,” Each bear is made by hand says Sarah. “Merrythought is a legacy that has lasted generation after generation and we’re immensely proud that we continue to handmake the finest quality teddy bears right here in Shropshire.”

Delicate process

Each bear goes through a delicate 15-stage process that is carried out largely the same way as it was 91 years ago. Its handmade nature means that every teddy bear that leaves the Merrythought factory door is unique and special in its own way. Merrythought is also

Above: Former managing director, Trayton Holmes

10th September, Memory Bears by Margaret Sutherland Mohair bears that can be dressed in your babies’, children’s and loved ones’ material to keep precious memories alive.

known for its highprofile partnerships, having made bears for luxury brands such as Mulberry, Harrods and Fortnum & Mason. This year the company is working with the Merrythought’s managing Royal British director, Sarah Holmes Legion to mark its centenary. “We are honoured to be partnered with the Royal British Legion during such a milestone year,” says Sarah. “The charity is supported up and down the country and is hugely important to the British public, so we’re immensely proud to be a part of it.” Merrythought has created two special bears as part of the partnership. “Every The Royal British bear that Legion Centenary Bear, leaves the unveiled earlier this year, factory is is a premium, collectable bear fully dressed in unique” a detailed veteran’s outfit, complete with replica medals. The Royal British Legion Poppy Bear, to be launched this September, was created to celebrate 100 years of the Poppy Appeal. “Everyone has their own personal links to the Forces and reasons to support the charity,” says Sarah. “For me, my grandfather Trayton Holmes proudly served in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War before going on to become the Merrythought The Royal British Legion managing director in Centenary Bear 1949. Whether a gift for someone special or a memento to remember a loved one by, the Poppy Bear not only celebrates the huge milestone in the charity’s history, but I hope that it will be a much-loved member of people’s families for generations to come.” See the range at

11th & 12th September, Jackie at Jewels Handmade jewellery in different styles. Jackie is also able to repair some of your treasured pieces. 12th & 13th September, Sandra Roberts Wonderfully unique silver jewellery. 25th & 26th September, Marie at Earth Deva Unusual and quirky items, with many featuring a mythical theme. 8th October, Weaving with Trevor Blackburn Gorgeous shawls and scarves, made using wool, silk, alpaca and camel, as well as some small leather items. 14th & 15th October, Eco Silver Jewellery by Sandra Roberts Beautiful and unique pieces of jewellery, often inspired by nature, finished with pretty and unusual stones. 16th & 17th October, local artist Thelma Evans Pretty paintings, mainly consisting of land and seascapes, as well as places of interest and flowers. 20th & 21st October, Handmade Jewellery by Elaine at Cherry Bea and Textiles by Liz A lovely handmade jewellery collection, made with many stones and crystals. 26th October, Crafty Sisters Handmade jewellery as well as other craft items including tote bags and greetings cards. Call 01352 720965 or email

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 99

Arts SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 09:27

A R T I N YO U R A R E A Until 19th September, Tarek Lakhrissi: My Immortal, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno The first UK institutional solo exhibition by Tarek Lakhrissi, consisting of existing and new work comprising film, sculpture and text. Rooted in poetry, Lakhrissi seeks to challenge contemporary constructs of language and narratives around minoritised communities. Until 19th September, The Mobile Feminist Library: In Words, In Action, In Connection, Oriel Mostyn, Llandudno Publications and printed materials that explore historical and contemporary intersectional feminist activism in Wales. Brought together by artists Minna Haukka and Kristin Luke. 24th September12th November, Misshapes: The Making Of Tatty Devine, Ty Pawb, Wrexham The first exhibition about design duo Harriet Vine and Rosie Wolfenden, who met at Chelsea College of Art and founded Tatty Devine in 1999. This exhibition features more than 100 pieces from the past 20 years, including early leather cuffs and piano belts and giant two-metre versions of their greatest hits, including a lobster and a huge banana, alongside sketchbooks and two new films.

Until 5th December, Curated Closet, Grosvenor Museum, Chester The story of fashion is all about how people embrace the times they live in, altering their fashion depending on wars, recessions and pandemics to suit the materials available. To explore the inspiration behind the historic designs of its costume collection, Chester’s Grosvenor Museum is holding a free, fascinating exhibition with a fun fashion “catwalk” displaying clothes, jewellery and accessories from the 20th century from the museum’s collection of over 3,000 items. grosvenormuseum.


by Chris Bright by Margaret Davies

by Callum Turner

by Sam Hulse by Helen Mardell

by Ken Lawrence by Sam Hulse

What a great collection of images you sent in on the topic of Perfect Postcard – we feel like we’ve been on holiday just looking at them! Next issue, to celebrate the end of restrictions and the chance

that gives us to see friends and family once more, our theme is Together Again – so, as you reunite and reignite those relationships, don’t forget to take your camera with you! As always, the best entries will be printed on this page in our next edition – and we’re also excited to announce that the winning entry will receive a brilliant prize too: an amazing pair of binoculars. The

100 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Arts SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 3

27/08/2021 09:27


by Claire Mottram

by Kenneth Davies by Susan Jones

by Sara Lilly-Jones

by Judith Dickinson

by Martyn Ruscoe

by Norman Marshall

by Sue Hutchings

by Kathryn Hall

Bresser Sniper 7x50 Porro Prism binoculars retail at £25.99 and are great for any keen snapper or explorer to help them scope out their best shot. The prize comes courtesy of Carmarthen Cameras, which was established in 1998 and is proud to say it stocks the largest collection of new and used cameras and optics in the whole of Wales. To be in with a chance of winning this fantastic prize, send your photographs to us at Good luck!

by Judith Kennedy


September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 101

Arts SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 4

27/08/2021 09:27

Arrive in Style Vintage Wedding Bus Hire Add a breeze of 60s nostalgia and a touch of class to your wedding or special occasion with our beautiful 1962 Leyland Tiger Cub vintage bus. Lovingly restored and maintained by our in-house craftsmen, the Tiger Cub can comfortably seat up to 41 guests, can be decorated and themed to any style, and is guaranteed to bring a sense of charm and style to any occasion. Our extensive private hire eet ranges from 16 seater minibuses, right up to 70 seat luxury coaches - all pristine and beautifully equipped to ensure that any number of passengers can travel together and arrive in style.

Contact us for a Free quotation Telephone:

01691 780212 Email: Online:

@tyndwrhall @

Fall in love all over again. Visit Tyn Dwr Hall, a charming 19th century country hall wedding venue, located in the heart of the North Wales countryside. Available for exclusive hire for up to 150 guests with bespoke accommodation options for 66 guests, Tyn Dwr Hall is the perfect backdrop to your celebration.

Autumn Open Day Sunday 17 October 2-6pm

01978 884 664 | Tyn Dwr Road, Llangollen LL20 8AR

Enjoy a glass of fizz on arrival, meet affiliate suppliers, view calendar availability for 2022, 2023 and 2024 and take advantage of exclusive on-the-day offers. Couples can view the hall and grounds at their leisure and will be gifted a goody bag to take away. No appointment necessary, register your interest online. www.tyndwrhall www.

102_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 16:17


Weddings Tying the knot? Our region is blessed with an abundance of spectacular venues that offer everything couples need to create the wedding day of their dreams

DID YOU KNOW? Over 132,000 couples postponed their weddings in 2020

Set along the River Dee, with spectacular surrounding views, beautiful gardens and, of course, a well-maintained paddock area, Bangoron-Dee Racecourse is a delightful venue for your big day. There are three light and airy ceremony spaces of varying sizes, some with a private garden or bar. Racing enthusiasts in particular may enjoy the Paddock Suite, which overlooks the course. There is plentiful free parking and catering is provided by the award-winning Horseradish catering company. All-inclusive packages are available.

Chester Racecourse, also known as the Roodee, is the oldest racecourse still in existence. It’s also a fabulous wedding venue! With six licensed spaces of different sizes there’s something for every need, even if your guestlist runs into the hundreds. A variety of packages are on offer, with “There’s award-winning catering and plenty of plenty of space to make your wedding dreams come true. space to There’s also a make your hotel and ample dreams parking. A number of open days take come true” place throughout the year, and the wedding team can assist with all aspects of planning your special day.

The stylish White House in Rhuallt near St Asaph offers a unique boutique wedding experience, with expertise on hand to help make your wedding the most memorable day of your life. As well as DID YOU providing a suite KNOW? for the happy August is the couple, the White most popular House can also offer guests overnight month for accommodation, with eight weddings in bedrooms combining comfort and the UK modern style. There is also a spa and wellness centre with luxury facilities. The White House has put together an all-inclusive wedding package and still has dates available for 2022/23.

If you’re looking for an intimate and stylish setting, look no further than the Andrew Logan Museum in Berriew near Welshpool. The museum dedicated to the life and work of artist Andrew Logan is full of sculptures and dazzling wearable art pieces, and this vibrant and original venue can be hired exclusively to host weddings of approximately 40 guests, with catering and accommodation available at the nearby Lion Art Hotel. Its award-winning wedding coordinator can assist with every aspect of the day to help you achieve a truly joyful celebration. Prospective visits to this friendly museum are welcome any time, and are fully recommended in order to really capture the essence of the venue.

“Food and drink play an important role at Hencote”

Hencote Vineyard near Shrewsbury began as a hobby but has developed into a genuine English wine estate. The stunning venue offers panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, perfect for intimate weddings and those wishing to tie the knot in a rural setting. There’s an on-site winery, restaurant, glamping village and plenty of outdoor space. It is no surprise that food and drink play an important role at weddings at Hencote, and the best local and national produce is expertly paired with homegrown estate wines.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 103

Weddings SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 11:21



Plas Isaf Country Barn & Gardens is an exclusive wedding venue located in Corwen, Denbighshire. “Guests The 17th-century barn is steeped can take in history and original features, and can accommodate up to advantage 120 seated guests. A chandelierof the lined marquee can also be added picturesque to welcome increased guest numbers. The venue is available gardens” on an exclusive basis, so guests can take full advantage of the picturesque gardens. Guest accommodation is available nearby, and the on-site bridal suite is a private and rustic log cabin. The wedding team is happy to work to your requirements and help you get your day your way. Wedding open evenings and afternoons are held throughout the year, so get in touch to secure your place and find out more about what’s on offer.

Tyn Dwr Hall near Llangollen is a beautiful, rural idyll available for exclusive use for weddings. A fusion of historic and contemporary, the original parts of the hall are Grade II listed and date back to the mid-1800s. Ceremonies can take place indoors, outdoors or a combination of the two. If you love the traditional sound of church bells, why not ring in your marriage in the hall’s very own bell tower? The grounds boast ancient trees and a waterfall, giving a real fairytale feel. Accommodation is available on-site, ranging from tastefully appointed rooms to a glamping village. All-inclusive packages are currently available for some dates in 2021 and 2022.

“Ring in your marriage in the hall’s bell tower”

DID YOU KNOW? The average UK wedding costs £30,000

Plas Maenan Country House near Llanrwst, Conwy, is a mid-sized venue that’s big on grandeur. It has far-reaching views of the Welsh mountains and Conwy River, and has recently been refurbished to a high standard. Weddings are conducted exclusively, with several distinct ceremony spaces available. A fountain terrace, champagne bar and miniature panelled ballroom complete with sparkling chandeliers and oak parquet flooring will add those touches of elegance to your reception. Wedding package information, along with sample menus, are available by contacting the venue directly.

With the big day all set, one thing that should not be overlooked is how everyone will get there! You may imagine yourself arriving by classic car, horse and carriage, or even a tractor, but if you’re taking charge of logistics, why not travel in style in a 1962 Leyland Tiger Cub vintage bus from Tanat Valley Coaches. Whether it’s transporting the bridal party or giving the guests a journey to remember, the private-hire bus comfortably seats 41 passengers and can be decorated and styled to any theme. The bus lends itself especially well to retro-themed events, and is guaranteed to add an element of nostalgic novelty to the DID YOU day. Tanat Valley Coaches prides itself KNOW? on good-quality service and experience of on The traditi in driving in rural areas sometimes not easily accessible by standard coaches. wedding rings A range of modern transport options dates back is also available. to Ancient


104 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Weddings SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 11:42

s t i a w a e r u t n e Adv


Everything you need to explore the great outdoors in style

1 5 2 3 4







12 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14.

Arlberg 2.5 layer waterproof jacket, sale price £59.99 (RRP £99.99), Mountain Warehouse; Rab Firewall waterproof jacket, £225, Pro Adventure in Llangollen, Denbighshire; Star Jacket W, £70, Jack Wolfskin; Montane Ineo Pro pants, discount card price £64 (RRP £80), Go Outdoors; Neon Quandary beanie, £27, BBCO; Rab Cirrus Flex 2.0 Insulated Jacket, £130, Summit To Sea, Anglesey; Sherwood Forest Birchwood shooting jacket, £158, Cherry Tree Country Clothing in Ruthin, Denbighshire; Dents cable knit gloves, £18, Bodenhams in Ludlow, Shropshire; Aku Tribute II GTX women’s hiking boot, £164.99, Outdoor Wales in Llanberis, Gwynedd; Illusion hoodie, £69, Revolution Race; Seasalt Flower Harvest headband, £12.95, Outdoor & Country in Chester; Sprayway Kara crew neck baselayer, £50, Winfields Outdoors in Chester; Regatta Blackfell III 20L hydropack rucksack, £30, Anna Davies in Betws-y-Coed, Conwy; Speedlight II trousers, £90, The North Face;



September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 105

Womens Fashion SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 11:06


4 2





p u r e y La



Tackle the cooler weather with stylish separates that take you effortlessly from summer into autumn






Barbour half zip, £89.95, Peppers Menswear & Ladieswear in Church Stretton, Shropshire; 2. Feizor softshell jacket, £75, Tog24; 3. Go To padded gilet, £54.95, Joules; 4. Torrance Harris Tweed jacket, £229, Halon Menswear in Shrewsbury, Shropshire; 5. Barbour mixed tartan scarf, £49.95, Anna Davies in Betws-y-Coed, Conwy; 6. Barbour Gillespie zip-thru knit, £119.95, Outdoor & Country in Chester;


Superdry Orange Label classic raglan zip hoodie, £50, Smart Ass Menswear, Conwy; 8. Barbour Corbridge wax jacket, £239, Vaughan Davies in Mold, Flintshire; 9. Richmond by Crystal Knitwear Rambler sweater, £87.50, Wood’s of Shropshire; 10. Hemsby organic cotton zip thru, £60, White Stuff; 11. HJ Hall Hadleigh harlequin shooting socks, £36, Bodenhams in Ludlow, Shropshire; 12. Original & Vintage sun-faded lumberjack shirt, £44.99, Superdry;

106 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Mens Fashion SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 10:06


Vauxhall Corsa Elite The Corsa has been the bestselling vehicle in the Vauxhall range since its launch in 1993, and Shire’s motoring expert Bob Hickman sees no reason why this shouldn’t continue with its latest incarnation


The interior has received a makeover and hen you first see the all-new Corsa, you can see that like many other cars in its range it the standard level of equipment is quite good. I liked that the driver and front passenger seats has grown from the diminutive hatchback it once was. In fact, it now appears to be almost the same can be adjusted in height as well as rake. The size as the next car in the Vauxhall family – the electronic climate control works admirably well and there is sufficient head, shoulder and knee Astra. The Corsa Elite also has a new bold grille room for front passengers, although the back and huge super-bright headlights across the range. isn’t too great for tall adults and can be a little on The roof colouring is an attractive option and the the tight size. The boot, meanwhile, is admirable interior has been comprehensively improved, but it’s the external look that I think for a vehicle of this size and much gives credit to the GM designers. bigger than some of its competitors. “The eightOne area in which I think speed the Corsa will succeed is the Behind the wheel automatic availability of an electric version, I found the Corsa a good vehicle especially in view of recent gearbox never to drive. It responded to the Government announcements on steering, and turned and held the felt laboured electric vehicles. You still have a road wonderfully well. The eightor strained” choice between petrol or diesel; speed automatic gearbox seemed to the test vehicle had a 1.2-litre know exactly what the correct ratio three-cylinder engine that produced 100PS, for the given circumstances was, and it never sufficient to give a top speed of a very handsome felt laboured or strained in its operation. 119mph and 0 to 60 in just over 10.2 seconds. This is the 10th generation of the Vauxhall Vauxhall claims a combined fuel figure should Corsa and it’s difficult to express anything be between 45.6 and 48.7 seconds, and during a other than admiration for what Vauxhall has week of varying testing I achieved 44.1mpg. CO2 achieved. It was always a good car, but now with emissions aren’t that low, however, at 134g/km. its excellent infotainment system, a larger boot and space for adults or three children in the Interior improvements back of the enlarged new version, the Corsa may suddenly be promoted on to your list rather than The level equipment on the test vehicle was quite extensive. The infotainment has a 10in being dismissed as too small for the family. colour touchscreen that is very easy to use, and The Corsa has a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty and 12,500 miles or one year for six speakers. The satellite navigation was clear servicing. The on-the-road price is normally and simple to understand, and the DAB radio £22,785 but the test car was finished with seems to lock on to a signal and not lose it like Quartz Grey two-coat metallic paint, which some others that I’ve used! Bluetooth comes as standard, as do Apple and/or Android features. added an extra £550 to the bill.

The new Corsa is more spacious than its predecessors and has an impressive infotainment system

Bob is a devoted car and motorcycle fan. After a 30-year career as a police motorcycle patrol officer and latterly as a sergeant, patrolling the motorways of the Midlands, retirement beckoned and he embarked on writing about his love of transport. Bob is a member of the Guild of Motor Writers and the Midland Guild of Motor Writers. In his spare time he rides a Royal Enfield Continental GT motorcycle and drives a 1994 MG RV8.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 107

Cars SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 105

27/08/2021 08:54

A leading day & boarding school for boys and girls, aged 2 - 18

A school with real

Chemistry 100% Award Winning

33 Acre Site

Top Class Boarding

A level Pass Rate

Global Connections

BOOK YOUR PERSONAL TOUR TODAY Pre-Prep Preparatory Senior Sixth Form Contact to book your visit 01902 751 119 108_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:31

Top of the Class

SCHOOL NEWS ABBEY GATE STUDENTS WIN ENTERPRISE AWARD Talented lowersixth students from Abbey Gate College have taken the prizes in both the County and Regional Young Enterprise Finals this year. Calma and their candles Their enterprise, Calma, developed and created a brand of highquality, ethical and sustainable candles using aromatherapy to improve mental wellbeing. Ffion Scholfield, managing director of Calma says: “It’s been an exciting journey through which we have learned so much. Creating a product we are all passionate about has been very rewarding.”

Shropshire student races into the fast lane

Jake Davies

A 13-year-old from north Shropshire has achieved success in a motocross masters competition held in Germany Davies, a Year 8 pupil at Ellesmere Jake College, competed in the ADAC

Motocross Masters Championship in Bielstein on 3rd July, ahead of a busy summer of races in Tensfeld, Dreetz, Fürstlich Drehna, Gaildorf and Reutlingen in August and September. Jake, who is competing as a “We are member of his hugely German-based proud of club Sarholz Jake and KTM, has previously taken all his part in the British success” Championship and came first overall at Glen Helen in the USA. He also won the Arenacross in Ireland and came second in London and Manchester.

Sharon Owen, head of lower school at Ellesmere College, says: “We are hugely proud of Jake and all the success he is enjoying. Ellesmere College is committed to ensuring pupils thrive in their given interests as well as academically. “While Jake and his trusty steed we do not have motocross here, we are more than happy to support and accommodate Jake with all his commitments. We are committed to pupils pursuing their chosen sport while at the school and we are very proud of Jake.”

Former Shrewsbury Colleges Group student becomes an Olympian in Tokyo


hrewsbury Colleges Group alumna Sarah Adlington flew the flag for Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympics this summer. The 34-year-old, originally from Shrewsbury and now living in Edinburgh, was selected as part of the GB judo team. A world champion in the +78kg category, Sarah missed out on the London and Rio Games but was delighted to be selected as one of six British judokas going to Tokyo. She believes those previous near misses, although heart-breaking, are what got her where she is today. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and I’m a much better athlete than I was back then,” she says. Sarah studied PE A-level and qualifications in travel and tourism

GB Olympic judoka Sarah Adlington

and French at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College (now part of Shrewsbury Colleges Group) from 2003 to 2005. “I think my time at the college helped me to become more independent after leaving school,” she says. “The college was really supportive of my judo career.”

APPRENTICES PRAISED FOR AGRICULTURAL ACUMEN The first ever cohort of AGCO apprentices at Coleg Cambria Llysfasi have completed the three-year Technical Advanced Extended Diploma in Agricultural Engineering, despite the challenges of Covid-19. The college teamed up with AGCO, a global manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment, to train machinery technicians. AGCO’s Richard Charles says: “This gives the successful candidates a lead into a truly exciting job, earning while they are learning and offering the potential for a lifelong career.” AGCO diploma success

FIND YOUR PLACE IN TIME WITH TV’S STEWART Chester University academic Stewart Ainsworth, well known as the landscape archaeologist with Channel 4’s Time Team, is leading the My Place In Time project. The project will help young people to discover the heritage of everyday Stewart Ainsworth places using a range of online resources, including historic maps, aerial photography and 3D models.

UPHILL CHALLENGE FOR DERWEN STAFF A team of 50 staff from Derwen College near Oswestry have walked up Snowdon to raise money for the college. The funds raised will support students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), including refurbishing the Agnes Hunt Village Project, where students work towards a more independent way of living. To support or donate, visit uk.virginmoneygiving. com/fund/derwensnowdonwalk.

Some of the Derwen staff who took on the challenge

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 109

Schools_SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 147

27/08/2021 10:26


SCHOOL NEWS MYDDELTON ACES THE TENNIS COACHING Myddelton College in Denbigh has been nominated for the Tennis Wales Education Award. The school’s coaching programme is led by John Whitehall of First Advantage Tennis, a former pro and UK Development Coach of the Year. “It has really taken off well,” he says. “We had up to 25 pupils turning up regularly for the club before lockdown and the youngsters’ group was full within a couple of weeks. The school is very community focused and its open access sessions have also gone very well.”

John Whitehall and some of the tennis club members

REASEHEATH HOUSES MONGOOSES IN STYLE Reaseheath College’s yellow mongooses are enjoying a stylish new enclosure in the mini zoo thanks to the efforts of Level 2 Diploma in animal management students. The students designed and built the replacement home for mongooses Bertha and Barry after researching the animals’ natural habitat using sustainable building practices. The result is an eye-catching themed enclosure, built entirely from recycled and repurposed materials. Bertha and Barry’s new home

O’DONNELL TO COACH AT RYDAL PENRHOS Former rugby professional Rob O’Donnell has been appointed Rydal Penrhos’ sports coach, enhancing the excellent sports provision at the school. Having previously worked as a rugby and conditioning coach on a part-time basis, he now joins in a permanent role assisting aspiring athletes to reach their goals. After a 14-year pro career as a forward for Worcester, Sale and others, O’Donnell will be a huge Rob O’Donnell asset to Rydal Penrhos.

TIME TO LEAVE THE FIRS The Firs School in Chester said farewell to its Year 6 children in a socially distanced prizegiving ceremony at the end of the summer term, allowing the school to recognise their achievements. “We look forward to hearing how they thrive on the next part of their education journey,” says Rosemary Evans, The Firs’ headteacher. “At the Firs School, we recognise the contribution and achievements of all our children and were delighted to present an award to each of our Year 6 children.”

Reaseheath College to offer unique equine hydrotherapy course R Rookery Equine, which is based near easeheath College’s equine department has teamed up with Rookery Equine the Cheshire college, uses innovative, leading-edge technologies and to offer a unique training course specifically dedicated its outstanding facilities are “Students among the best in the country. to equine hydrotherapy. gain When students complete The one-year Level practical 2 Certificate for equine work experience there they skills at will gain first-hand experience hydrotherapy assistants, which Rookery” launches this September, with real clients at a topquality, specialist business. provides an introduction to They will also attend weekly practical one of the fastest-growing areas in the equine industry. sessions at the centre, learning how to Students learn in use the technology and equipment. The qualification is endorsed by the the classroom at Institute of Registered Veterinary & Animal Reaseheath and Physiotherapists (IRVAP) and the Institute gain practical skills and work experience of Equine Hydrotherapists (IEH). It has at Rookery been developed to support industry demand for standardisation and regulation within Equine, one of the sector and offers ideal preparation the UK’s leading for new entrants or as professional rehabilitation, development for those already working with fitness and therapy centres. horses or considering a career change. Lead a horse to water…

Thomas Adams students win chemistry competition


hree sixth-formers from Thomas Adams School in Wem are celebrating their success in the Royal Society of Chemistry Schools’ Analyst Competition. Cody Jones, David Green and James Page took part in the competition, which is open to all Year 12 A-level chemistry students, gaining the highest overall marks in the Midlands region and being crowned winners of the regional competition. The students worked together “They to identify the gained the contents of waste highest barrels found abandoned by a marks in river in a fictional the region” town called

THE HEAD’S COLUMN Andrew Allman of Myddelton College celebrates the outdoors


am delighted that along with our very high academic standards, Myddelton College offers an outstanding Outdoor Adventure Education (OAE) programme. We offer a wide variety of extracurricular activities. Our tennis academy works in consultation with Tennis Wales (see above left), and we are one of the few schools in the UK to offer tennis as

Allvale, carrying out background research followed by a lab session in which they performed their analyses. Teams also had to be skilled in The winning trio time management and teamwork to complete the series of experiments in three hours. All findings were then submitted online for judging. Cody, David and James were each rewarded with a £50 Amazon gift card, while the school has received a £500 grant for educational activity, which will be spent on analytical science.

an integrated part of the curriculum. We also offer the opportunity to complete official LTA coaching badges. The Myddelton football academy, in partnership with Advance Player Development (APD), welcomes all abilities and offers an opportunity for pupils to excel on the pitch. APD has helped over 50 players gain professional and semi-professional contracts. Our equestrian facility now has stabling for 10 horses and ponies, two all-weather arenas and a 10-acre field, and we can organise specialist training for riding for all levels of abilities. To find out more, please attend one of our open events or visit

110 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Schools_SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 148

27/08/2021 10:26

October Open Events • LOWER SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE Friday 1 Oct



Register online today AN OUTSTANDING INDEPENDENT SCHOOL for girls aged 4-18 in the heart of Chester. Small enough that we get to know every girl personally, and big enough to provide a wealth of opportunities that go well beyond the classroom, challenging your daughter along the way to ensure a successful and happy future.

Igniting her potential 111_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:33





Students at Wrexham Glyndwr University have had a taste of what it takes to become a search dog handler. The Forensics department has been involved in developing two short courses at the Northop campus with an eye on gaining accreditation from NASDU (National Association of Specialist Dog Users) for future courses. Students from various subject areas, ranging from Animal Studies to Policing, took part in the “hands-on” canine-themed taster events, working with real search dogs, and gave plenty of positive feedback to the organisers.

he Firs School in Chester, expressions and body an independent school language, become aware of their own for boys and girls aged two to 11 years old, has appointed feelings, gain empathy and manage their a learning mentor to help children develop their social impulse reactions. and emotional wellbeing. Rosemary Evan, headteacher of The Firs, Mrs Warrington, a popular and long-serving says: “The new learning Learning mentor Mrs Warrington nentor role has enabled member of the team, is undertaking this newly created role. us to support the children to reintegrate back The aim is for the children to have fun in into school life after the disruption Covid-19 the sessions while Mrs Warrington works has brought. However, the role is part of our wider initiative to ensure the mental with them to get to the root of any worries wellbeing of all our children in order to they have through discussion, activities and play. She will teach them how to read create the happiest of learning environments.”


Glyndwr students aim to coach gymnast to a Commonwealth gold

Students at Ysgol Aberconwy in Conwy got the chance to learn about engineering and programming when Technocamps brought its digital programme to the school. Year 7 and 8 pupils learned about programming robots similar to those used in exploring Mars, and had the opportunity to assemble their own robot and programme it to take on an Programming robots obstacle course.

MEDICAL INSIGHTS FOR SHREWSBURY STUDENTS Health and social care students at Shrewsbury Colleges Group recently received valuable teaching sessions and careers advice from Stanley Mills, senior operating department practitioner (ODP) at Nuffield Health Shrewsbury Hospital. “My role enables me to support students and teach them about careers in the industry,” says Mr Mills. “It has been important to continue promoting this profession during this difficult year. Helping students taught me how much I loved teaching and I am now studying my Level 5 Certificate in education and training at SCG.”

FOUR CONCORD SUMMER SCHOLARSHIPS AWARDED Four students from Shrewsbury Colleges Group achieved academic scholarships for Concord College’s University Preparation programme this summer. Concord College Samuel Coulthurst, Grace Burgess, Norrie Randhawa and Adam Thomas took up the places on the programme, which helps develop academic outreach and university support to Shropshire students who aspire to study at the UK’s top universities. The course, which took place online for the second time this year, lasts two weeks.


rexham Glyndwr University students will be helping a teenage gymnast get to the Commonwealth Games thanks Jacob Edwards to a new partnership. The university’s Sports Science department is teaming up with the Olympus Gymnastics Club in Llay to support Jacob Edwards as the 18-year-old targets a spot on Wales’s team for the Games in Birmingham next year. Glyndwr’s Julian Ferrari says the partnership will benefit all parties. “This was a perfect opportunity to collaborate,” he says. “We’re looking at every aspect of his performance to see if we can help Jacob qualify for the Games – from strength and conditioning to nutrition and psychology.”



eorgia Wilson, who attended Rydal Penrhos from 2007 to 2012, spent her summer preparing for a tilt at international glory at “Georgia the Tokyo is in Paralympics. Georgia, a Tokyo para-dressage with high competitor, hopes” claimed silver on her debut at the European Para-Dressage Championships in Rotterdam in 2019. Although competitive action has been scarce recently, she left for Tokyo with high hopes. She has been riding since the age of two after a physio said it would help her balance.

Georgia Wilson



hirteen-year-old Sam Stewart-Ball has broken a record by becoming the youngest person to ever complete the Pan Celtic ultra-distance bike race. The Year 8 student, “It look who attends Ysgol just nine Aberconwy in Conwy, took on the 900-mile days to cycle challenge to complete raise money for the 900 miles” Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The charity is close to Sam’s heart because his nine-yearold sister Isabelle has type 1 diabetes.

The race began on 4th July in Cornwall and it took Sam and his dad Duncan just nine days to complete the Sam saddles up route, finishing their journey in the north Wales coastal resort of Llandudno on 13th July. The feat has so far raised over £1,500 for the JDRF, which funds research into type 1 diabetes.

112 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Schools_SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 149

27/08/2021 10:26

Boarding School of the Year Tes Independent Schools Awards 2021

Open Day th September 18

Girls 3-18 | Boys 3-13 Oswestry | Shropshire

OPEN MORNING Friday 15th October 9.00 am - 12.00 pm

More than just a school… …a place where children reach their potential Moor Park - Ludlow - Shropshire - SY8 4DZ - 01584 876061

113_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:37


EXPLORE BEYOND THE CLASSROOM Visit our to find our open events At Myddelton College we nurture a love for the outdoors and develop leaders for the 21st Century. Our leading Outdoor Adventure Education programme combines experiences beyond the classroom with an emphasis on mental wellbeing. Myddelton’s Elite Sports Academy provides specialist training alongside our diverse academic curriculum. This promotes a whole-child education which prepares students for university and beyond.

Find out more about how Myddelton College can prepare your child for a bright future. | 01745 472201 | | @myddeltoncollege

114_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:34




tars including singer Beverley Knight, broadcaster Mike Bushell and former Wales rugby player Rupert Moon joined company owners in an online graduation ceremony for the ION Leadership and 20Twenty Business Growth programmes, hosted by Bangor University. Lorraine Hopkins, manager for the Leading Business Growth programmes

Virtual awards for Coleg Cambria’s achievers


oleg Cambria students have been recognised at the college’s annual Student Awards, held online. “We are delighted to celebrate the commitment, innovation, courage and talent of our learners,” said chief executive Yana Williams. For a full list of student awards winners, visit www.cambria. Online awards awards2021.


Mike Bushell, Beverley Knight and Rupert Moon

at Bangor Business School, paid tribute to the graduates. “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate business success [at a time with] so many economic challenges,” she said. “The programmes are contributing to a more confident economy by developing our leaders.”

Abberley Hall tests teamwork


ear 7 students at Abberley Hall have been learning teamwork and leadership skills during extra-curricular The Year 7 pupils week. They tackled various coding challenges and activities, as well as an introduction to CCF including shooting, along with a range of activities to test teamwork including raft-building and a bushcraft challenge.

Bet the farm on these Harper students


arper Adams John Halton, a final University year FdSc agriculture student, are contenders students have secured two of the final for the national award. three places in this Dr Russell Readman, year’s Agricultural Course Manager for Student of the Year Agriculture, says: “Both are excellent students Award competition. John and Chloe are shortlisted for the award and have contributed in Chloe Gimson, a final year BSc (Hons) agriculture with different ways more widely to the University farm business management student and and the wider agricultural community.”

THE HEAD’S COLUMN Charlie Minogue, head of Moor Park, on returning to normal


t feels great to be planning for a more normal term in September, and we are mindful of helping everyone make the most of their opportunities as we come out of our pandemic-induced shells. We worked hard to ensure that children did not lose ground during lockdown and our data tells us that we were extremely successful. However, the experience of

working together with others in real time, reading non-verbal signals and developing personality as well as skills, is something we have missed. As a result, we are planning a full school Better Together Day, allowing children of different ages to work together and bond while doing various challenges and activities. This will be fun but will also go a long way towards forming Moor Park into a cohesive whole again. Ready access to technology and the internet during lessons is a benefit we want to keep. So we are planning a project to ensure that the cutting-edge technology fully supports superb teaching throughout the school. This is very exciting, and I can’t wait to see it all come together.

A former pupil of Ellesmere College has returned to the school to talk about the impact of losing his brother to alcohol addiction. Henry Maybury, who left the school in 2010, has spoken at more than 600 places, including schools and prisons, since his brother Tom died in 2013, aged 29. The singer-songwriter, himself now 29, spoke Henry and his mum Sally to around 100 lowersixth students and described the experience of being back as “an absolute pleasure”.

DRAGON BACK AT ADAMS Pupils at Haberdashers’ Adams have had the opportunity to receive advice and support from a number of former pupils recently including Nick Jenkins, entrepreneur and star of TV’s Dragon’s Den. Pupils were able to Nick Jenkins hear from alumni about living and studying at university, different degree courses, apprenticeship opportunities and volunteering options through Project Trust. Nick, who completed his A-levels at Adams in 1985, encouraged pupils to grasp all the opportunities available to them. For those considering the entrepreneurial route, Nick said, it’s important to enjoy the ride: “There will be ups and downs and it’s like a rollercoaster so if you don’t think you’ll enjoy that, then it’s not for you.”

STUDENTS’ GIN SUCCESS A Harper Adams University student team’s branding skills were hailed by industry leaders as they won the inaugural The victorious Team Molded Harper Adams University Brand Challenge. This competition, developed to test the entrepreneurial skills of Harper Adams students, saw each team working to build a new brand of dry gin. Their work was assessed through a simulation designed to replicate real-world impact. The winning group, Team Molded, were able to encourage nearly 29,000 stockists to stock their spirit, Chuffin’ Gin, and achieve 78 per cent consumer awareness of their brand.

DINOSAURS BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE! Pupils at Lower Heath CE Primary School have had some prehistoric visitors. Teach Rex brought an amazing cross-curricular experience that captured the Teach Rex children’s imaginations. The pupils discovered dinosaur eggs in each classroom. As the week progressed, the eggs hatched, and on Thursday, two huge dinosaurs arrived to spend the day with the pupils. It was a great chance for the pupils to further their knowledge, with lots of fun activities throughout the day.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 115

Schools_SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 150

27/08/2021 10:26

Meet the expert Madi Ruby is associate dean of the faculty of social and life sciences at Wrexham Glyndwr University How did you get into this career?

I used to work in ICT for organisations like Microsoft, typically in sales and strategic alliances. After having my son, I wanted a career change and took a five-year break. I decided to take a 10-week course in introduction to counselling, and I caught the bug and wanted to continue my studies. I got my postgraduate diploma in clinical counselling then topped it up with a master’s degree. I then did a postgraduate diploma in education with a specialisation in counsellor training. This led me into teaching; I joined Glyndwr as a sessional lecturer, then became a programme leader. I went for the role of associate head because I’d be looking after our nursing and allied health professions – a great opportunity to bring together my past and current career experiences.

What courses does Wrexham Glyndwr offer in nursing and allied health DID YOU professions? KNOW?

Visit to book your place at an open day

We have three fields of nursing: adult nursing,

Placements are a key part of the courses

mental health nursing and children’s nursing. We’ve also added paramedic science, operating department practice, dietetics, speech and language therapy, along with retaining our current occupational therapy and physiotherapy degree courses.

What qualities are required to get on those courses?

What practical work do students get involved with?

There are placements at every level, Madi Ruby from first year through to final year. Students don’t just observe on these placements – they are expected to actively engage in patient or service user care as early as possible. These placements may be in hospitals, community settings, private healthcare or the ambulance service, depending on the programme.

We’re looking for people who care about others and have a passion for learning and understanding. We want people who have strong personal values and behaviours, who can act with integrity and face challenges in a calm and professional manner. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve just done your A-levels or are coming from a different career – everyone brings something different What career “We want to the student cohort and we opportunities can people want to see a broad mix of the courses lead to? who have experiences. The main thing that’s Depending on the field strong important to us is that you have they choose, students can a commitment to developing find themselves working personal professional and clinical skills for the NHS, in a health, values” as well as a desire to understand social care or community the theory behind the work. setting. HEIW (Health Education and Improvement Wales) has What does studying a process called streamlining, so many of our students are matched with job roles on on these courses entail? We have campuses in Wrexham and St completion of their course. We also offer Asaph, so students are close to two general many post-registration qualifications. hospitals: Wrexham Maelor and Glan Clwyd. Students can be taught in either Why should people choose of those and can also expect a blend of Wrexham Glyndwr University? online learning with our active learning We go above and beyond to help our framework (ALF). There will be a mix of students and are supportive of those who may have had challenges in their past face-to-face theoretical lectures and seminars in small classes or in online groups. education to succeed. We care about our Clinical skills elements are taught on students’ success and we want to make site at the campuses using simulation a real contribution and a real difference facilities and new technology. to the people of this region.

116 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Glyndwr Uni SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:19

Independent pre-school and primary education for boys and girls 2-11

Excellent* Provision for Girls aged 2 - 18



Register online!

Whole School Open Morning Saturday 2 October 2021 10:30am - 1:00pm

01625 583028

*ISI Inspection, June 2021


ON SATURDAY 9TH OCTOBER at 10am - 12.30pm • • • • •

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 For further information or to arrange a visit contact: The Firs School, 45 Newton Lane, Chester, CH2 2HJ. Tel: 01244 322443 Fax: 01244 400450 Email:

Get ahead with

more in 2021 Whether you want to gain professional qualifications, learn a new trade, become an apprentice or simply develop a hobby...

your career in 2021 with Higher Education at Shrewsbury Colleges Group

.... we have the course for you!



Distance Learning Courses you can start any time!

Stay LOCAL SAVE TIME and MONEY Get back into EDUCATION PROGRESS in your CAREER See all our higher education and degree level courses at

Enrol now! Visit or call 01743 342235 117_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:37

Health&Beauty TAKE BACK CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE Antonio Garcia Llorente, a doctoral student from the University of Almeria in Spain and an MSc cardiovascular health and rehabilitation student at the University of Chester, looks at how tai chi can help bring balance


e have normalised hurrying from one place to another, getting caught up in our everyday routine. We live a relentless cycle of “busy-ness”, which can also mean we’re more likely to make poor lifestyle choices including lots of sitting, less movement, a lack of sleep and unhealthy eating. These behaviours negatively affect our general wellbeing and can impact our quality of life. Consequently, our physical and psychological health can pay the toll. There are different strategies we can use to improve our quality of life, including eating healthily, practising meditation, talking therapies and physical activity. One option, tai chi, has proven particularly effective. Since the beginning of the century, a growing number of high-quality

Tai chi is suitable for all ages

Tai chi is a body-mind exercise that combines controlled movements with breathing exercises, meditation, and philosophy. It “Evidence was born as a martial art for suggests self-defence improvements and, according in blood to some pressure and historians, sleep quality” was founded by Xiaolin monks more than 1,500 years ago. It was recently included in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by Unesco. There are four ancestral types of tai chi, named for the families that mastered the styles over the years: Chen, Yang, Wu-Hao and Wu. Chen is the most commonly practised style. However, it can involve jumping or fast movements, so if you’re returning to exercise, or have never exercised before, it is advisable to get started with the beginner Chen-style forms.


You can get a tan through a window It’s unlikely. Standard glass blocks almost all UVB rays, the sunlight responsible for melanin production and enhancing the dark pigment within your skin. Even if you’re sprawling in the conservatory, the glass will convert that radiation energy into heat – so while you may not get burnt, you are at increased risk of overheating.


Recent evidence suggests improvements in balance, blood pressure, pain reduction, sleep quality and overall quality of life following tai chi practice. These benefits are particularly important in chronic conditions such as cardiorespiratory diseases and in frail individuals with poor balance or osteoporosis. Tai chi has also been included in the NHS Live Well website given its benefits. It’s a light- to moderateintensity exercise, so is safe for the general population. Should you suffer from any chronic disease, Antonio Garcia Llorente musculoskeletal problem or health issue, it’s advisable to gain clinical approval from your GP. Tai chi is simple and inexpensive and can be delivered face to face, remotely or in a pre-recorded session. It can also be easily adapted to chair-bound individuals or people with low levels of fitness.

What is tai chi?

We look at some of the tall tales and home truths about tanning…

Myth buster

The benefits of tai chi

research articles have encouraged individuals to participate in tai chi sessions.

It is dangerous to tan on a sunbed It certainly is. Sunbeds were once the favourite of pale-skinned supermodels, but a 2012 campaign led by Kate Moss turned many

sunbed users off this bronzing method. The World Health Organization has stated that using sunbeds is as dangerous as smoking, leaving fewer and fewer people keen to take the risk.


It’s safe to tan if you have dark skin It may be more obvious when fair-skinned people get too much sun exposure, but it’s a myth that those with darker skin don’t need to take the same precautions. The damage the sun can do – causing wrinkles, ageing and skin cancer – affects all skin types. There are even some theories that darker-skinned people are likely to take more risks and stay in the sun longer, putting themselves in more danger than their lighter-skinned friends.

118 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Health&Beauty SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:34

Mental Health



Anne Carr

phone, sit in silence, listen to s we return back to life what your mind answers and – be it school, work, write it down if it helps. The key university, wherever your path is then to take that knowledge takes you – one thing is certain: and use it to enhance, empower it is an exciting new beginning. and accelerate your life’s journey. A whole new adventure but with If at the start of 2020 someone something extra special sprinkled had told you what was to come, on top: newfound knowledge of would you have believed that your own capability and strength. you could endure it? Maybe not. Patience, endurance and Well, you did. You change are three are here, you are now, things that we find incredibly “When we you have breath in your challenging, yet understand, lungs and absolutely anything is possible. you have just had the fear a masterclass in When we take time goes away” to acknowledge what all three thrown at we have endured and you – what a gift from the universe. overcome, it gives us Take a moment to think the energy to accelerate our journey with deeper wisdom and about the past 18 months and ask yourself: what have I greater understanding. When we understand, the fear goes away. learned? What have I gained from this experience? And how Take time to understand what do I take this knowledge and you’ve learned and gained, and apply it to my life to enhance you’ll understand yourself a little better. You are a powerful person and accelerate my journey? who can overcome and turn Make yourself a cup of your favourite beverage, turn off your adversity into an advantage. Lisa Whelan has dedicated the past 20 years to creating a first-class wellbeing resource that is simple and fun. The results are Mighty Minds, a six-week animated positive resource designed specifically for children, and the Calm Your Mind, Control Your Life Mind Flight course for adults. Go to for more.

September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 119

119_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1 Mighty Minds_SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:4210:03 27/08/2021

BUSINESS & FINANCE FURTHER SUPPORT FROM HMRC NOW AVAILABLE Self-employed people can apply for a fifth grant to help them during the pandemic, as Aaron Powis from DRE & Co Chartered Accountants explains


he HMRC portal to apply for the fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant opened on 29th July. HMRC has contacted all self-employed taxpayers by letter or email if it believes they are eligible to apply for the grant. This correspondence gives every person a personal start date from which they can apply. HMRC has checked basic eligibility criteria in advance of opening the claims portal, such as whether an individual has filed a self-assessment tax return for the 2019/20 tax year. The eligibility tests have changed since the fourth grant, however, and applicants must now include two different turnover figures to HMRC: for the “pandemic period” and the “reference period”. Broadly, this allows HMRC to compare the level of reduced sales a taxpayer has incurred during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Call us today for a free initial consultation Call us today for a free initial Call usconsultation today for a free initial consultation

We are able to provide assistance with: Self assessment

Divorce & separation agreements

We are able to provide assistance with: Corporate sales and purchases VAT Business Self Returns assessment Divorce &planning separation agreements We are able to provide assistance with: Accounts preparation

Limited company audits Financial Accounts preparation Corporateservices sales and purchases Self assessment Divorce & separation agreements Tax VATplanning Returns Business planning Accounts preparation Corporate sales and purchases Making Digitalaudits LimitedTax company Financial services VAT Returns Business planning HMRC enquiry investigations Tax planning Limited company audits Financial services Business & fault reviews Making Tax Digital Tax planning HMRC enquiry investigations Visit our website at Making Tax Digital Business & fault reviews HMRC enquiry investigations Business & fault reviews Visit our website at

Visit our website at Oswestry






01691 654353

01743 241581

01584 875715

01978 310600

01547 528383

01686 626534







01691 654353

01743 241581

01584 875715

01686 626534

01978 310600

01547 528383







01691 654353

01743 241581

01584 875715

01686 626534

01978 310600

01547 528383

“You will have to confi rm that you intend to keep trading” Applications for the fifth self-employment grant are now open

If the comparison figures show that turnover has decreased by more than 30 per cent, HMRC will calculate the SEISS grant based on 80 per cent of the taxpayer’s monthly profits up to a maximum of £7,500. If the comparison figures show less than a 30 per cent decrease, the grant payable will be less; for those whose turnover has not decreased at all, no grant will be payable. As part of the application the taxpayer will also have to confirm that they intend to keep trading in 2021/22 and that their trade profits will suffer a “significant reduction’” owing to the impact of Covid-19 in the period between 1st May 2021 and 30th September 2021. HMRC has updated its guidance on applying for the fifth grant, but the process is still somewhat complicated. This means many taxpayers will need the help of an accountant to determine how much of any grant they are eligible for. If you require further advice or assistance with the SEISS grant application, please do not hesitate to contact DRE & Co Accountants for a free consultation. Call 01584 875715 or email

Time to level up your career. At ABP Ellesmere. As one of the UK’s largest food producers,

ABP relies on the skills and experience of its people - that’s why we offer lifelong careers with secure and full time /part time hours and competitive rates of pay, backed by great training and the opportunity to grow and progress.

ABP Ellesmere is a state-of-the-art food manufacturing facility based in Shropshire, helping ABP bring the best beef, lamb and meat-free fresh and frozen produce to some of the nation’s biggest supermarkets. Contact us at Or call 01939 272 000 ABP Ellesmere Hordley, Ellesmere, Shropshire

Who are we looking for • Production operations - entry level • • • • •

and skilled Machine minding and maintenance Quality assurance and food safety Cleaning and support services

Team leaders and production supervisors Shift engineers

Why work here? • Lifelong career opportunities • Supportive teams • Regular full time and secure work • Competitive rates of pay How do I apply? Visit


SY12 9BL

120 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

DRE120_SHIRE_SO2021.indd SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1145

27/08/2021 15:42 27/08/2021 08:54



enbighshire Voluntary Services Council (DVSC) has unveiled a £50,000 revamp of the Naylor Leyland Centre in Ruthin. The Well Street landmark had a complete overhaul, while the nearby Market Hall is also undergoing a transformation to open as a community market. Tom Barham and Sandra Donoghue DVSC has taken on administrative, creative and enterprise staff, with Tom Barham now in place as chief officer. With years of experience at North Wales Police, Bangor University and the veterans’ charity Alabare, he is well placed to take the organisation forward. “DVSC has a brilliant track record of supporting the voluntary sector across the county,” says Tom. “We operate across the whole of Denbighshire, but these iconic buildings in Ruthin are great assets for the community.” Chair Sandra Donoghue says the coming months will be pivotal for the charity. “There are good times ahead,” she says. “We have a strong, proactive board who have deep roots in the community and are keen to build a legacy for future generations.” The Cheerbrook farm shop team has been busy fundraising for its 2021 charity of the year, local district nurses. The team took on Snowdon in June (pictured left at the summit) and handed over a cheque for £5,000 to the Mid Cheshire Hospital Trust and local District Nurses.



erwen College near Oswestry has opened a new charity shop, offering preloved bargains to shoppers and work experience to students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND). The Vintage Advantage in Gobowen sells a range of quality second-hand clothing, accessories, homeware and books. Students on the college’s retail and enterprise pathway support staff in sorting, pricing and displaying goods, and are looking forward to practising their sales and marketing skills with customers.



our members of staff at Shropshire’s Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital are hard at work training and fundraising for the Virgin Money London Marathon, taking place this October. PhD student Emily Storey, post-doctoral research associate Jade Perry, healthcare assistant Left to right: Jade Perry, Karl McGuire, Emily Storey and Mr Sudheer Karlakki Karl McGuire and consultant orthopaedic surgeon Mr Sudheer “It will be Karlakki will all be taking on the 26-mile race in aid of the RJAH. They are among eight a challenge members of the local community who have but we’re each pledged to raise a minimum of £1,500 incredibly for the RJAH Charity to support the funding excited” of state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. “Running the London Marathon is going to be a huge challenge, but we’re incredibly excited,” says Emily. The race on 3rd October will see Mr Karlakki get back into running after 30 years. “It’s been a personal goal to run a marathon in memory of my father,” he says. “I’ve seen first-hand how the RJAH Charity supports us to deliver world-class patient care and I’m really looking forward to playing my part in this.” To support the team, find them under their names at

P&A Group raised money for Macmillan Cancer Support

Collective charity challenge

E Derwen College is a vocational college for ages 16 to 25. Students learn work skills and independent living skills in an environment that is bespoke to their needs.

mployees at P&A Group least one person on the course at any point during that time. recently undertook a 24hour run/walkathon in aid of “We’re delighted so many Macmillan Cancer Support, people signed up to take part,” says organiser Andrew inspired by and in memory of the Baker, P&A Group’s “We’re late Captain Sir finance director. The delighted Tom Moore. challenge clocked up so many More than half 725 miles and raised people £8,825. Anyone the company’s staff signed up” wishing to show took part, following their support can a 1.5-mile circular route from the business’s site in search “PA Group” and “Zest Mold. The aim was to complete 4 Leisure 24 Hour RunWalkathon Challenge” on the as many laps as possible in 24 hours, with the aim to have at Virgin Money Giving site.

To see your charity event feature on these pages, please email September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 121

Volunteering SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 11:18

Retirement PENSIONS, PRICE INDEXES AND PROBLEMS… With big changes to the UK’s pensions system proposed, Shire takes a look at the current situation, how it might change and what impact that would have


ensions are important for all of us – but many of us don’t attempt to understand the intricacies of the system unless we’re near or at retirement age (and sometimes not even then!). One confusing phrase is the “triple lock” : put simply, this is the system currently in place that ensures the state pension increases every year in line with the cost of living. It was brought in to make sure pensions didn’t rise higher than general incomes or vice versa. In order to calculate the state pension increase under the triple lock, three measures are used: the Consumer Prices Index to measure inflation, the average increase in wages, and a 2.5 per cent rise. These three indicators (hence “triple lock”) are looked at and the state pension rises by whichever one is highest.

Triple threat

The triple lock system has been in place since 2010 and maintaining it was a 2019 “Recent Conservative manifesto pledge. But it’s times not a law and not something that has to be upheld. And recent times have have forced a rethink, meaning that currently forced a there is some debate about removing the rethink” triple lock. Because of the huge impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which left so many people on furlough or out of work, the average wage increase

FOR Five reasons to keep the triple lock

1. The state pension is not that generous as it is. The average amount of basic state pension received is £96.86 a week. 2. The UK’s state pension is the 10th lowest of the 38 countries that form the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). In Spain, for example, it replaces 82 per cent of income, and 78 per cent in Austria. 3. Removing the triple lock would affect younger people, who would need to start paying more into private pensions now. 4. In 1979 the earnings link that previously calculated the state pension increase was abolished, and the value of the state pension plummeted. The triple lock was established to rebuild that value; this has begun but experts say it may take decades before it is back to the level it was before. 5. Around 1.6 million pensioners in the UK live in poverty with incomes below 60 per cent of median household income after housing costs.

recorded as the economy starts to recover will be unnaturally high. Because of the triple lock, this rise would be the figure by which state pensions would have to increase. Forecasters at the Bank of England think that the average wage increase may be as high as eight per cent, which would be a welcome boost to struggling workers but an extremely large bonus for pensioners too. And Understanding pensions is essential with the economic pressure caused by the pandemic, some economists argue that the country would struggle to afford this pension rise. It’s a difficult balance to maintain, and there are arguments for both keeping and abolishing the triple lock. Here is Shire’s quick guide to help you understand the two sides of an important decision that may be made in the next month or two.

AGAINST Five reasons to abolish the triple lock

1. The rise of average wages at eight per cent is not a genuine one – and not felt by the working population. Many workers lost their jobs in the pandemic, while those on furlough lost 20 per cent of their wage. 2. When wages were static or fell in the pandemic, the triple lock meant pensioners still got their 2.5 per cent rise. 3. It will be expensive to keep the triple lock in place, at a time when we cannot really afford it. It is estimated that keeping it will cost £4 billion extra a year. 4. There are many poor pensioners but three-quarters of retired people are homeowners and often in homes bought cheaply years ago, while many young people are unable to own a home. 5. The pensions triple lock is seen as a vote-winner rather than a policy with genuine motive. Critics say the only reason the Conservatives are so committed to it is because they get three times more votes from the older generation than the young.

122 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Retirement SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 142

27/08/2021 10:28

At Care UK residents live well with dementia Dementia is no barrier to enjoying a rich and fulfilling lifestyle – that’s what we believe at Care UK, and it’s why our well trained, compassionate teams support residents who are living with dementia to live each day to the full. At Deewater Grange in Huntington, we work with you to learn all we can about your loved one’s life, interests and preferences, and use positive risk-taking to enable them to keep active and engaged, enjoying maximum independence. Every day is different Living at Care UK is all about choice. Some residents do routine tasks around the home while others form clubs or run classes. Our Lifestyle teams organise varied, fun activities, from baking and arts and crafts to gentle exercise and music, and we even fulfil residents’ wishes – whether that’s enjoying takeaway fish and chips or taking a ride in a Rolls Royce. Residents are free to do as much or as little as they wish.

Our care homes offer all the comforts of home, and so much more. At Deewater Grange we have our own hair salon and cinema as well as a café. We offer Namaste, where residents living with dementia can experience one-to-one sensory sessions of gentle hand or foot massages, accompanied by soothing music, aromas and lighting. Our homes also use the latest dementiafriendly technologies, from ‘magic tables’ providing easy interactive games, to reminiscence apps that spark forgotten memories. Every day is different We work with specialist interior designers and leading researchers to ensure we deliver best-practice dementia care in tailored surroundings. We’ll care for your loved one in their home’s dementia suite – a smaller community where they can get to know other residents as well as the people caring for them. All our colleagues receive the latest dementia training, and a Dementia Champion is on hand to provide ongoing training, information and support to ensure we’re always delivering best-practice care. To ensure your loved one continues to receive the nutrition they need, our chef-led kitchen teams create tasty and nutritious meals designed around your loved one’s favourite dishes, and can cater for soft-texture or fortified diets. To find out more about how Deewater Grange can help you to care for a loved one living with dementia, please call our friendly team on 01244 459559 or email Deewater Grange care home Huntington, Chester CH3 6BS

123_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 15:43


MURDER ON HIS MIND As Wrexham-based author Simon McCleave releases the latest in his DI Ruth Hunter series, he explains why north Wales is the perfect setting for his murder mysteries


aving worked for the BBC as a script editor and as a producer for Channel 4, Simon McCleave moved to LA where he worked for Fox and Miramax studios. Back on home turf, he spent time on a huge range of television series, writing for Silent Witness, The Bill and EastEnders among others. Simon made the move to the idyllic landscape of north Wales with his wife and children, and found the area so inspiring he locked himself away to write his first novel, a gripping crime thriller set in the “I’m place he now calls home.

murders, Ruth wonders if Snowdonia will end up being her worst nightmare. “I wanted to write about a Londoner being an outsider in a small Welsh community,” says Simon. “It’s what I went through 10 years ago, so I knew exactly how Ruth would feel. In fact, the central town Llancastell bears an uncanny resemblance to Wrexham! “I’ve written since I was a teenager and have always been fascinated with crime books and crime stories. When I was young, I started off Enid Blyton’s Secret drawn reading Seven mysteries and all the to the Sherlock Holmes novels. When Dream move area’s dark I was a script writer, I was drawn to crime when writing The Snowdonia Killings, mythology for Silent Witness, Midsomer which was released at the and folk beginning of 2020, follows Murders and The Bill. “Writing a novel was the story of veteran London tales” copper Detective Inspector fantastic because you have such control over the material. Ruth Hunter, who has had When you work in television there are enough of the murder and mayhem of the south London streets. On the script editors, producers, exec producers and directors, all of whom have their cusp of 50, Ruth is looking for a new, more peaceful life in the North Wales own ideas about the story and the script. It constantly changes and often your Police. A move to Snowdonia was always the dream but when she’s put favourite ideas get cut. When you write a novel, no one can change a word unless in charge of investigating two brutal

LOC A L B OOKS Liverpool Kids Of WWII Part 1: After The Blitz by Bernard Fredericks The second part of a trilogy, following on from The Green Gates Story. After the Liverpool Blitz, a seven-year-old boy comes home and is faced with many changes: house moves, new districts, new faces. No sweets, because Mum’s used the coupons for sugar. What are bananas? What’s ice cream? And white bread? He views his life ahead as a series of hurdles, but the war is ongoing... . The Hand That Tells The Story: My Life Living With A Disability by Alicia Gough This memoir offers the reader an insight and understanding into what it can be like living with disability. What

were the author’s reactions in early years when she realised that she was disabled and could not walk or talk? How did she cope in school and what did she enjoy and not enjoy? Imagine the joy when she finally received a communication aid that has opened the way to new opportunities and adventures, as well as enabling her to achieve a lifelong ambition and write this book. The Turn Of The Wheel by Geraint Roberts This story follows the fortunes of Owain Thomas from his first day

you agree with notes from, say, an editor.”

Special setting

“Snowdonia is one of the most beautiful places on Earth,” says Simon. “It’s got everything, from stunning mountains, vast lakes, sweeping countryside and disused mines to deserted beaches. As a native south Londoner, I find it incredible that I now have this landscape on my doorstep. As a writer, I’m also drawn to the area’s dark mythology and folk tales. It’s a land of giants, dragons, magicians, great heroes and evil oppressors.” Simon didn’t just stop at one novel – he has since published a further eight books in the DI Ruth Hunter series, with the latest, The Conway Harbour Killings, released in June and with more coming soon. For the latest news, visit

underground at Frongoch lead mine in Cardiganshire in 1873. Owain’s romantic dreams of undertaking an important job are soon dashed in the cramped tunnels. He learns to carve his own path in life, aided by the Cornish miner David Treveglos. Owain befriends Ceridwen Hughes, daughter of the violent, ostracised miner Gomer. As he reaches maturity, Owain is faced with the dilemma of protecting his family and Ceri from harm and keeping his job. When faced with danger, will the measure of the man come through and his deeds be repaid – for good or ill?

Calling local authors… If you’re living in the Shire area or have written about a local person or place, we’d love to feature you on these pages. Email

124 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Books SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 08:33


A selection of top tips for autumn from the team at Linghams Bookshop in Heswall, Wirral The Book Of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd Ana is born in Galilee at a time when women are seen as possessions, only leaving their fathers’ homes to marry. Ana longs to control her destiny. Taught to read despite her mother’s misgivings, she wants to be a writer and to find her own voice – a voice that will speak for the silenced women around her. Ana almost despairs when she is betrothed to an elderly widower, but an encounter with a charismatic young carpenter in Nazareth awakens new longings in her, and a different future opens up. Yet this is not a simple love story. Ana’s journey will bring both joy and tragedy, but it will also be enriched by the female friendships she makes along the way. The Book Of Longings is an exquisite tale of dreams and desire, and of the power of women to change the world. UnPresidented by Jon Sopel BBC North America editor Jon Sopel presents a diary of an election like we’ve never seen before. Experience life as a reporter on the campaign trail, as the election heats up and a global pandemic sweeps in. In this highly personal account of reporting on America in 2020, Jon Sopel takes you behind the scenes of a White House in crisis and an election in turmoil, expertly laying bare the real story of the presidential campaign in a panoramic account of an election and a year like no other. Circus Of Wonders by Elizabeth Macneal In a coastal village in southern England in 1866, Nell picks violets for a living. Ostracised by her community because of her birthmarks, Nell has little but her brother and her devotion to the sea. But when Jasper Jupiter’s Circus of Wonders arrives in the village, Nell is kidnapped by the travellers… or so she believes. It turns out to be the greatest betrayal of Nell’s life – but as her fame grows and she finds friendship with the other performers, she begins to wonder if joining the show is the best thing that has ever happened to her.

Blackbird by Norman Marshall I see you dressed in ebony, I hear your strident tune, The air is perfumed like rosemary From sun rise till full moon. I note your yellow dot, Your difference from mate, But upon this rural plot Forever open is the gate. I come with 8x32 spy glass To marvel at your presence And whoever comes to pass Will, too, admire your competence. So, sing on dear blackbird, Enchant one and all, Spring is here to be unfurled And bewitched by your call.

Change by Jo Young The world has changed Has there been anyone to blame? Like who? We just have to look at history and see what is true But how far do we go back Let’s change tack And just look at this… our 21st century

Hands, face, space = protect and stop the spread It is a virus we collectively all dread So is change good or bad Negative change we realise makes us sad So let’s look at the positives and do what we can Come Into My Office by Sheila Crozier Come into my office And “cozee eyes and go boboze” But no, she’s not ready yet She sits on the bed And examines her toys Her trinkets and pictures The ones she enjoys So, one by one The small books she peruses And although she can’t read To me it amuses That one so young Could look so studious Then goes down the book And she shoots me a look She smiles and then laughs A romp over the bed For some new treasure she sped Which falls to the floor Then to me she implores In her own little way That I should retrieve The missing surprise But I laugh at her shouting Then she starts to cry Although I’m not sure why She rolls over the bed In frustration and tears Come into my office And “cozee eyes and go boboze” I call Head on the pillow Bum in the air A final resolution She can see it’s not fair So she moves closer to me And lies in my arms With which I surround As I marvel at her charms

Globally around the world Crisis has continued to swirl In the last 20 years we have had twin towers, floods, fires, refugees to civil wars, financial crisis So much death and destruction, poverty and pain It is happening to every individual, in every city, town, street or lane. The world is now hit with a pandemic – a very deadly virus That is classless, affecting young and old – there is no bias We have and are all affected by Covid-19 – that we can be sure From sports, arts, travel to We want your poems! health and even shopping in our favourite stores Share your creativity – we print our favourite Face masks, hand gels, poems every issue. Send them to Poetry Page, hand wipes and even loo Shire, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR rolls, shops continue to sell or email Ensuring we continue to tell September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 125

Books SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 2

27/08/2021 08:33


Subscribe to Shire magazine, and never miss an issue again!

Imagine having every copy of Shire magazine delivered to your door as soon as it’s printed. You’ll never worry again about missing an issue! Shire magazine is essential local reading, packed with great features and the best What’s On guide to our area.

! W E N

You can now set up a new subscription on the Shire website!

Just go to and click “Subscribe to Shire”” at the top of the page Or simply fill in the order form below, choose how many issues you’d like to receive, and send with your cheque to:

12-month subscription

24-month subscription



£19.95 (6 issues)

£34.95 (12 issues)

Shire Magazine Subscriptions, PO Box 276, Oswestry SY10 1FR Mr/Mrs/Miss First name:

Choose which deal you’d like: 12-month subscription (6 issues) – £19.95 24-month subscription (12 issues) – £34.95

Surname: Address:

You can pay the full amount by cheque or cash. I enclose a cheque / cash amount for £__________ payable to Shire Magazine for which I will receive the next _______ issues of Shire magazine posted to the address provided (UK only)

Postcode: Signed


Tel number: Starting with which issue? This issue (SEPT/OCT) or the next issue (NOV/DEC)? Email:

Post this form with your cheque to: Shire Magazine Subscriptions, PO Box 276, Oswestry SY10 1FR If you have any queries, just call 01691 661270 and our friendly staff will help!

126 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Subscriptions_SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 13:55


hanks once again to all the readers who have been keeping in touch with us here at Shire. It means so much that you write to us, and please do keep your messages coming. We love hearing your thoughts and opinions, as well as bits of news you want to share – we’ve printed a few of our favourites here. As always, please include a picture when you can and send your correspondence to us at

If you’ve missed an edition or not been able to get out to the shops, we have a supply of previous issues we’re happy to send out. Just send an SAE for £2.00 to Shire Magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR, letting us know which issue you’d like, and we’ll pop it in the post to you. However, an even safer bet is to subscribe to the magazine so you never miss a copy of Shire again! See page 126 for details on how to do this. Keep in touch!

Bridge of beauty

The stunning transformation of Llangollen Bridge by Luke Jerram

I’m hoping some of your readers were lucky enough to see the textile installation on Llangollen Bridge this summer by artist Luke Jerram as part of the Llangollen International Musical Eisteddfod. Called Bridges, Not Walls, the artwork celebrates the idea of peace on which the festival was founded. I was delighted to be involved and made four large squares. Details can be found at Nerys Jones, Mynydd Isa

Best of Friends

I wanted to share with your readers an initiative to acknowledge the hard work of volunteers at the Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt (RJAH) Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry. We have created three badges to award long service: white (up to five years’ service), silver (five to 10 years) and gold (more than 10 years). The hospital’s League of Friends has begun contacting all 350 members of the volunteer family. Susan Heer, who currently volunteers in the vaccination centre and on the RJAH volunteers Covid-19 screening desk, received a gold badge, Janice Roberts collected her silver badge, while Mike Webbern, who joined the team seven months before the pandemic, accepted his white badge. The voluntary service remains restricted at RJAH but anyone who would like to register interest and find out further information on available roles can contact me by calling 01691 404401 or emailing Heather Thomas-Bache, head of voluntary services for RJAH League of Friends

Keeping connected

Connect For Life is a small charity based in Oswestry, which began in 2016 to support those with mild to moderate memory difficulties and those experiencing isolation. By March 2020 we had two sessions a week of memory stimulating activities, lunch and lots of laughter. Then suddenly, we had to abruptly cease meeting face to face. We were forced to adapt our Support services continue service to a virtual support model until this March, when vaccination and lockdown easing allowed the restarting of sessions. At Connect For Life we are acutely aware the past year has been a difficult time for those caring for people with dementia and for those who are socially isolated. As restrictions ease, we hope to return to running longer sessions, sharing lunch together and giving carers a longer period of respite. Anyone who is interested to know more about us or how you can get involved should visit Alison Humphreys, project co-ordinator

READER F E E D B AC K We discovered Shire through our local Sainsbury’s a few years ago and have looked forward to it ever since. It really brightens us up and even in these times is a wonderful read. Nigel Collier When I first saw Shire, I was impressed with its presentation and content. It’s packed full of very useful and interesting information and is a joy to read. Sheila Crozier Shire has opened a feast of new doors for us. So many smaller snapshots of Welsh history, scenic journeys and walks where isolation is bliss. I can’t thank you enough. Judith Dickinson Your poetry section is the first thing I go to. I’m always amazed at the talent that is all around us. Les Lacey

More support for Bangor’s pier

In your last edition you mentioned a campaign to support Bangor’s Garth Pier, and we’d like to share a little more of the background of this beautiful structure with your readers. The pier was officially opened on 14th May 1896 by Lord Penrhyn, watched by a crowd of more than 5,000 people. Now a Grade II listed structure, Garh Pier is perfectly positioned on the Menai Strait and offers magnificent views of Anglesey and the mountains of Snowdonia. Its restoration in the 1980s attracted national attention when Prince Charles visited the site and the pier received both a Prince of Wales Award and a Europa Nostra conservation award. As Cllr Owen Hurcum, Mayor of Bangor says: “The pier is in the lifeblood of Bangor, part of its hiraeth – loved by locals and visitors.” The Friends The beautiful Garth Pier in Bangor of Bangor Garth Pier September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 127

Letters Sept Oct 2021 FINAL.indd 159

27/08/2021 10:06

What’s in your stars? Aries

20th March-20th April The Earth continues to go around but for you it seems as if everything is going backwards. It’s certainly slowing down after the sprint you’ve made this summer. Mars moving into your opposite sign of Libra this autumn gives a triggery feel to close relationships, although the bottom line is reconciliation too. Where it’s offered, accept without hesitation.


21st June-23rd July The laws of attraction in electricity and magnetism are that like repels like and opposites attract. These laws apply to positive and negative currents in the human psyche too. Being Cancerian, you’re highly emotional; your opposite sign, Capricorn, is not. At present invite that Capricornian control and shore up the dam that wants to burst!


23rd September-22nd October It’s a simple formula: do your best and somebody might like it, but you can’t please all the people all the time. More than any other sign, you crave approval and can also be the most cooperative, but sometimes you must come down off the fence! What’s asked of you currently is to be true to yourself.


21st December-20th January In Celtic myth, the Holy Grail symbolises the search for wisdom and immortality. The first is laudable, the second unattainable – although it’s said Capricorn is the sign that gets younger as it gets older! So how is it for you? Better I trust after 18th October, when you reflect less and look to the future. Young or older, there’s plenty happening there.


20th April-21st May You feel secure within your routine but ask yourself why you feel insecure otherwise? There’s no guarantee in a routine because change is constant and you’re on the edge of it. This presents an opportunity to break out of the usual into the unusual and explore the energising activities you could become part of. Admit it, Taurus – you need a break from routine.


23rd July-23rd August George Michael sang “You’ve gotta have faith.” Faith is like the air in a balloon: if you’ve got it, you’re filled; if not you’re empty, so keep going upward and onward. If things appear to be slowing up, don’t let that slow you down. Life’s composed of cycles – sometimes you just have to peddle a little harder to get over the hill.


23rd October-22nd November September’s full moon in Pisces in your fifth solar house highlights your creative expression, allowing the inner child to come out and play. There’s a magical energy to this imaginative season leading into October and Halloween, which connects to the mysteries. Suit you, Scorpio, as one whose enigmatic nature will be on maximum attract!


20th January-19th February Life is an amalgam of success and failure – how can one exist without the other? This is a time when you need to concentrate on the areas of your life handled successfully and see where you can further develop them. Cut your losses and focus on the gains, but avoid new responsibilities for the time being.


21st May-21st June Your planetary ruler Mercury is a trickster and on 27th September goes into retrograde motion. For you this means checking everything you say before you say it, everything you write before you write it and looking at every contract and agreement twice or even thrice before you sign it. After 23rd October Mercury stops its mischief making… until next time!


23rd August-23rd September A new moon in Virgo in early September offers the start to something fresh; the end of the month, a chance to see it finished just as you want. In October your energy field is alive with the entry of Mars into Sagittarius – this crackles with the challenge of a familiar practice being opposed. You might have to broaden your horizons… a little?


22nd November-21st December A light beam can travel around the earth seven times in a second – imagine that! You’d like to be getting on with things faster, but Saturn in Aquarius seems to be holding you up by controlling the financial element required for progress. You may have the technology and knowledge, but you have to wait for the right moment fiscally.


19th February-20th March Yes! The enchantment of a full moon in Pisces around the equinox starts autumn with a look at what a harvest you’ve gathered. Those creative juices have really paid off, showing what vision and resourcefulness can do. No need to depend on anyone else; you are your own special creation and exceptional at designing – Halloween parties, for example!

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 BBC icon Valerie Singleton calls her “sensitive”. You can reach her at or via her website, 128 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

Stars SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 10:24


Another edition of Shire, another chance to win a fabulous prize. Good luck!

You have to be in it to win it. Go on, enter today!

ALWAYS TIME FOR ONE MORE ADVENTURE! Win an adrenaline activity for two at Adventure Parc Snowdonia

Adventure Parc Snowdonia has long been a mecca for surfers with the world’s first surf lagoon, but now its Adrenaline Indoors complex provides so much more scope for adventure with one of the UK’s unique indoor caving routes, numerous climbing walls and high ropes with a via ferrata. There’s also an outdoor pump track and carver skate ferrata bowl, indoor ninja warrior-style assault course, zipline and high free-fall. As part of an exhilarating day out, one lucky winner and a friend will get their choice of one of the three styles of activity – see for details – as well as food and a drink in the Surfside Deli. CLOSING DATE: 16th October WIN! £20 to spend at Rhug Estate Rhug Estate is a true field-to-plate operation that uses sustainable farming practices to produce award-winning meat that’s sold online, at the Rhug Farm Shop and in its café. With a £20 gift card to spend on the estate, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Will you spend it on one of Rhug’s award-winning meat boxes, in the farm shop containing over 3,000 products, or in one of its eateries which use seasonal ingredients from many local suppliers? Visit for more. CLOSING DATE: 16th October

WIN! A family day of fun at Gypsy Wood Park Combining the magic of fairies with the charm of animals and the beauty of nature, Gypsy Wood Park near Caernarfon is packed with things do. Visitors can meet the animals, find the fairies, hop on Woody’s train and enjoy the adventure play areas all set in 20 acres of natural woodland. We’re giving away a £50 voucher to spend on tickets. For more, visit CLOSING DATE: 16th October

WIN! A £50 gift card to spend at Three Eagles Bar & Grill, Llangollen Enjoy a delicious dining experience at the Three Eagles, a relaxed yet stylish bar and grill known for its delicious food, perfectly poured drinks and a vibrant, friendly atmosphere. We’ve got a £50 gift card to give away, allowing one lucky winner to treat themselves to a fantastic meal at the restaurant that’s rated number-one in Llangollen on Tripadvisor. Gift card valid until the end of 2021. For more information about the venue, visit CLOSING DATE: 16th October

WIN! A three-course dinner in your own home courtesy of Docket No.33 Located in the market town of Whitchurch, Docket No.33 offers a tasting menu by Stuart Collins focusing on the best local and seasonal produce sourced from Shropshire, Cheshire and the Welsh borders. Each week, it also offers Docket at Home, a three-course dinner menu that enables you to enjoy top-quality cuisine from the comfort of your own home. This voucher will treat two people to this dining experience, and can be redeemed on any Friday. Visit CLOSING DATE: 16th October

Q: When was Munich’s Oktoberfest first held? a) 1855 b) 1810 c) 1903

Tick the ones you want to win!

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, email and daytime contact number. Send it by the closing date to Competitions, Shire magazine, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire SY10 1FR Adventure Parc Rhug Estate

Name Address

Gypsy Wood Park Three Eagles

Docket No.33

RULES OF THE COMPETITIONS The promoter of these competitions is Shire magazine, Superstar Publishing, PO Box 276, Oswestry, Shropshire 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 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 wish to be contacted.

Postcode Daytime contact number Email (please complete) Please send me further information about Shire September/October 2021 | SHIRE MAGAZINE 129

Competitions SeptOct 2021 FINAL v2.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:53


COMING NEXT ISSUE It’s hard to believe, but when we start talking about our next edition… we have to mention the “C” word – Christmas! Yes, although this has seemed like a very long year already, it’s never too early to get ready for the festive season, so our next edition will be bursting with glitter, sparkle and Yuletide joy! Make sure you get hold of your November/December copy of Shire and we’ll help you face the festivities with flair FESTIVE FEVER

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 November/December issue 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 can enjoy the season.

Christmas creativity What better time to get creative than in the build-up to Christmas? We’ll have full coverage of the region’s arts scene as usual, including an interview with another local artist as well as some craft suggestions that you can try yourself. As always, we’ll be printing the best entries to our photo competition and inspiring you with a new subject for the next one.

Shop till you drop

Local high streets and other shops have suffered over the past year and more, so we want to make sure everyone is doing their Christmas shopping in their local stores! We’ll hear from many of the businesses and traders that need your support this year with special offers and ideas for perfect presents for all the family.


As the cold weather creeps in, it’s a time to start thinking about how to stay warm and cosy on those winter nights. We’ll offer expert heating advice and find all the best new products on the market to make sure you’re snug as a bug even as temperatures drop! Our home experts will offer practical suggestions – and our style gurus will make sure your interior is on trend too. LO O K I N G T H E PA R T-Y

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 be here to help with the latest looks for any occasion, as well as offering style suggestions that won’t break the bank but will make sure you still look a million dollars this Christmas.

A TIME FOR FEASTING It’s the season when our food and drink inspiration is needed most – and we won’t let you down in 2021! Guest chefs will share their favourite recipes, while we’ll celebrate the local producers that make the season special. So whether it’s meat from the market, fresh veggies, local cheeses or the finest wines, Shire will be bursting with Christmas treats. YO U R T O W N

As always we’ll take an in-depth look at a couple of prime locations. This issue we visit Neston on the Wirral and Llandrindod Wells.

Shire’s show reviews

They’re well and truly back! And the Shire team will continue to keep you in the cultural loop by reporting from as many events as possible with our thoughts.


If all 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 nearby, as well as some suggestions of locations you’ll love to inspire your next escape. D O N ’ T F O R G E T…

Don’t go anywhere until you’ve checked our What’s On guide for November and December. With the school holidays, festive events, pantomimes and a few bank holidays too, you’ll need a comprehensive list of all the events and activities that are going on across the region – so keep the next edition of Shire 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 2021 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 or call 01691 661270. You can also get in touch via social media – just search for ‘Shire Magazine’ on Facebook or Instagram.

130 SHIRE MAGAZINE | September/October 2021

CNI SeptOct 2021 FINAL.indd 1

27/08/2021 09:03

dewch o hyd i’ch lle. dechreuwch eich dyfodol. Ymunwch â ni ym mis Medi.

find your place. start your future. Join us in September.

Lleoedd ar gael. Places available. 131_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 13:05

132_SHIRE_SO2021.indd 1

27/08/2021 13:09