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COUNTY ISSUE 44 JANUARY 2017 made in shropshire




Winter Sale


Starts December 28th 2016

Call in to the new SHOWROOM for our genuine SALE







oodbye 2016 and hello 2017!

The date may have changed but we’ve

got all the familiar favourites for you in this first County Woman of the new year. We wrap up our look at the best pieces

for the party season, and our friends at Toni

& Guy showcase the top hair trends for the year ahead. There are also comfort buys to cosy up in and beat the January blues. We have winter warmers in our Six of the Best, and Eluned recharges her batteries after a busy year with a luxury retreat on her doorstep.

WOMAN 5 Objects of Desire Fashion – Party season part 2 7 13 Beauty – Hair trends 2017 43 Fashion – Beat the January blues 45 Weddings

COMMUNITY 35 Education

Telford woman Alison Wakeman tells us about her extraordinary job teaching children about the importance of bees, while Cindy Wilday has also made an unusual career choice –


into the male-dominated world of taxis. If this is the year you tie the knot, then don’t miss our wedding supplement full of all things bridal. If you are a parent, be sure to read our education pages and find out what our youngsters are up to.

Events listings Reviews – books, theatre, music

HOMEFIRST Interiors – Denim Drift 14 25 Homes Down to Earth 28

Happy New Year from all of us at County Woman.


FOOD + DRINK 67 68 71

Recipes – British leeks Recipes – Using up turkey Shropshire quinoa


Six of the Best winter warmers Travel – Hencote

COMPETITIONS 81 Competitions



And finally – Alison Ashmore

Follow us on Twitter @CountyWomanMag

The reproduction of any material in this magazine by means of electronic, photographic or print process is strictly forbidden without prior permission of the company. Views expressed in this magazine do not necessarily reflect those of the company. Advertisements contained within this magazine are subject to the normal terms and conditions of the company, copies of which are available on request. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of all information published herein but the company can in no way accept liability for omissions or incorrect insertions or any consequences arising therefrom nor can the company accept liability or responsibility for any consequence arising from use of this publication. The paper used for this magazine is a recyclable and renewable product that has been produced from wood grown in sustainable forests. The mills producing the paper all have third-party verified management systems such as ISO 14001, as well as Chain-of-Custody certification. © REVIEWMEDIA LTD 2016 All rights reserved. ISSN 2053-5449

When you have finished with this magazine please recycle it.



COUNTY ISSUE 44 JANUARY 2017 made in shropshire

Hypnotherapy is a totally relaxed state of mind It is widely endorsed for habit breaking, stress related issues and for a range of long term conditions

The process itself aims to alter the client’s state of consciousness in a way that relaxes the conscious part of the mind while simultaneously stimulating and focusing the subconscious part. This heightened state of awareness – reached using skilled relaxation techniques – allows the therapist to then make appropriate suggestions.



LET IT GO! COVER: Happy New Year from all of us at County Woman MANAGING DIRECTOR AND PUBLISHER: Martin Edwards contact: 01746 766848 EDITOR: Alison Ashmore assistant editor: Justine Flavell fashion and beauty: Robyn Moore features: Eluned Watson photo journalist: Karl Aston production and design: Aileen Selkirk accounts and admin: Anita Desai

Appointments are available evenings and weekends Member of The National Hypnotherapy Society Hypnotherapy for issues such as anxiety, depression, stress, habits, phobias, fears, bereavement, confidence etc.


Fully qualified and insured

Reflective Hypnotherapy, Broadway, Shifnal, Shropshire TF11 8AZ

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ADVERTISING SALES: Advertisement Manager: David Lee-Birch Paul Kirkpatrick Tracy Leonard

Published by

Reviewmedia Ltd. Media House Building 9 Stanmore Industrial Estate Bridgnorth Shropshire WV15 5HP






of Desire



4 6

7 8

Brand new treats for a brand new year 1. Blossom flower robe, White Stuff, £45 A printed robe is a must-have, whether you are getting ready to go out or relaxing at home 2. Prosecco cracker, Hopskotch, Bridgnorth, £10 Pull the cracker to get at the scented bath salts and lip balm 3. Orla Kiely stripe leather small Jeanie bag, The Silver Pear, Ludlow, £425 Structured leather bag in tan and black with detachable shoulder strap 4. Star by Julien Macdonald glass etched jewellery box, Debenhams, £30 Perfect for all that jewellery you were bought for Christmas! 5. Filberts of Dorset After Dark spa collection £25, Enjoy! Shrewsbury or www. Bee friendly, natural and pesticide free products including soap, body butter, foot salve and candles for a special night in 6. Amaya diffuser from Neal’s Yard, The Beauty Rooms, Newport, £70 Let your mind be transported away as an aromatherapy-infused mist fills the room. Hand-cut bamboo and cream ridged ceramic cover 7. Cocktail shaker, Marks and Spencer, £17.50 Keep the party going with this diamond cut Hollywood cocktail shaker for effortless, elegant entertaining 8. Teapot from French Grey Tales, Bridgnorth, £22, or larger pot at £25 For a New Year pick-me-up.



Body sculpting with My-Lipo See the results Slim, shape, tone! for yourself...

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New body and facial technology coming in January







PART 2 New Year Beauties


f you haven’t found your perfect partywear yet then no need to panic, we have searched out the best pieces the high street has on offer. Whether you want to try an on-trend look, a classic garment or something unforgettable, there’s something for every woman.

Team this stunning LBD with catwalk-sleek hair and a bold red lipstick. River Island, £65.



The ultimate showstopper Turn heads with these unforgettable outfits: right: The red dress will also be a classic way to stand out from the crowd, red lace dress from New Look, £50. Pair this 90s inspired strappy dress (below), Miss Selfridge, £42, with a faux-fur coat and choker. below right: This showstopper skirt is metallic crochet and is a perfect way to showcase your legs, Very, £35.

Bang On-Trend What’s on trend right now? Think velvet, silk and leather. It’s all about achieving the look which combines glamour with a hint of rock star. We are also seeing choker necklaces, hoop earrings and thigh-high boots sweeping the high-street stores and boutiques. Team this metallic pencil skirt (left), River Island, £40, with black rip-plunge bodysuit, Very, £25. The biggest trend of the season, the choker, New Look, £5.99. right: This sensational dress comes from Topshop and as well as being on-trend it is also a real head-turning outfit. £125.



Robyn Moore on this

Compliments to Stor m Hair Salon, Shrewsb ury

A girl with class So, you want to ooze class? Think maxibackless silk dresses which make you look like you have just walked out of a Dior perfume advert – or the perfect little black dress with a bold red lipstick. left: Alexi sequin full length dress, Phase Eight, £350 above: Strappy shoes with a contrast metallic and black finish are the perfect sole-mate to any outfit, Topshop, £46. far left: From the Michelle Keegan collection at LIPSY – choker sequin maxi dress, LIPSY, £80.

month’s local fashion


that look throughou t the winter? Well, Sienna X has a range of products to fake that perfect tan. County Woman HQ wa s sent Sienna X Express Tan to try ou t, and Hayley willingly accepted the challenge to put the product to the tes t. She says: “The produ ct isn’t as dark as my usual tan, but it gives an even golden tan that smells delicious. It does dry very quickly so you have to ensure you apply it with a bit of speed. It also faded nicely, unlike oth er brands I have tried.” Available to buy from

I always enjoy receiv ing emails from my readers about hairdr essers, beauticians or fashion boutique staff who have provided an excellent service. Last month I received a message from Elizabeth Saund ers about her hairdresser, Peter Am able from Storm Hair Salon in Shrewsbu ry. Elizabeth said: “I was in much need of a revamp aft er becoming disillusioned with the same old same from my previous sal on. Stylist, Peter, took the time and car e and now I am having strangers stopping me to compliment my hair and lots of likes on Facebook.” Boutique No.7 owner and fashionista, If you have received a service Kirsty Hurst-Knight, is constantly that you are pleased with and you keeping the shoppers of Bridgnorth think deserves recog nition, send on-trend and she has been working details to: Rmoore@rev iewmedia. hard to complete her fashion stylist com qualification. Storm Hair Salon is loc ated at The stylist training wil l allow her to 10 New Street, Shrew sbury. Call assist her customers wit h finding the the salon on 01743 588 720. perfect outfit that wil l complement their figure and look fabulo us. The boutique has been an asset to the High Street for three years and Kirsty The start of December says she has big saw plans to keep evolvin the annual fashion eve g to keep her nt, the customers happy. Clothes Show Live, and this year myself and Hayle y Johnson, from our ma rketing team, had front row seats Congratulations to Nic k Malenko and to watch the catwalk and Sophie Beattie from Royston Blythe preview what trends we salon for being crown ed the Midlands will be wearing for Hairdressers of the Yea r at The British Spring/Summer 2017. Hairdressing Awards at the end of Don’t worry, we won’t November. keep it to ourselves. It will This is the biggest titl e to win in the all be revealed in the next hair industry and it tak es a lot of hard issue of County Woma n work and creativity to take the title. and if you can’t wait that The Royston Blythe sal ons are in long, there will be vid eos Shrewsbury and Wolve rhampton, and images online at www. for more information visit, www.

Boutique No.7

Clothes Show Live

Top winners

Strictly Sienna

Babe of the noughties Anastasia has been spotted in a Sienna-li ke signature shade while dancing her way aro und the Strictly stage. How do you achieve


Wedding Fever

Are you planning you r wedding? We have the perfect guide in this issue of County Woman. From when you should you book your hairdresser to how to find your dream dress, we have it cov ered for you. Turn to pages 45-53.





Transform your body Dena before treatment

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The Braid

It’s all about


sk one of Shropshire’s top hairdressing teams about trends for 2017 and they will tell you that it’s all about the braid – well almost. The staff from Toni & Guy in Shrewsbury pride themselves on being well tuned in to fashions in the hairdressing sector and here they share their thoughts and predictions on the 12 months ahead. Toni & Guy proprietor Gavin Pulham has a wealth of experience in the industry and several members of his team from Shrewsbury have prepared models’ hair at London Fashion Week on several occasions, being kept busy backstage creating distinctive looks for top designers. Gavin has around 20 talented and highly trained colleagues at his Castle Street salon and says that they all agree that ethereal braids will be one of the most desired looks for 2017. He explained: “We are experimenting with a range of different braided looks at the moment – some complicated, some sleek and others messy. “Women of most ages can carry this look as there are some very flattering, softer ways of pulling hair up into a braid and for our younger customers there are some really dramatic effects to be seen which suit daytime and evening occasions.” At the most recent London Fashion Week, Greek mythology provided the inspiration for several showcase events. Hair took on a whimsical mermaid-like feel, with saccharine toned fabric intricately woven into some of the models’ braids. Completing the look was one of the must-have products of the moment - label.m Resurrection Style Dust to provide a subtle matte texture.

Left: The Dreamer; Right: A modern take on 70s waves; Bottom left: The Pixie; Bottom right: Fishtail braid

Top designer Paul Costelloe also chose warrior-style braiding at fashion week, with hair pulled into a high ponytail and secured with label.m hairspray to produce a fierce tribal look. Gavin adds: “Although braids will be hugely popular this year there are a range of other trends to look out for, such as the polished, low ponytail, slicked back off the face. “And customers will also be wanting bold and beautiful curls in 2017 and we have some amazing stylists here who specialise in the big blow dry. “We use Label.m volume mousse and a grooming brush to create voluminous natural waves giving a sophisticated and refined look which can be incredibly glamorous on all ages. “We love taking ideas from these high fashion styles and interpreting them to meet our clients’ individual preferences and are looking forward to an exciting 12 months ahead in the salon.”



right: Lea chandelier £179, Dorset mirror £149, Georgia sofa in Blue Floral Jacquard £1,399, Bug vase £29.50, small Padstow vase £17.50, Leah urn £35, Iris pressed glass vase £15, lace embroidered cushion £35, mirrored birds cushion £24, Mimosa embroidered cushion £29.50 – Marks & Spencer

Drift i nt o

below right: 6 Montana large two seater in Oliver light blue, leather two seater in Como Slate, scatters in Milo Geometric Blue and stylist’s own – Warner Furnishing, Shrewsbury


ulux has declared Denim Drift – a gorgeous muted blue-grey – as its colour of the year 2017, so expect it to make a big impact on interiors. Dulux has also identified a colour palette to complement and inspire. Says creative director Marianne Shillingford: “Creating a blue colour scheme is successful when you choose shades that work beautifully together. The whole collection has been designed to be used in combination across different elements of an interior from the walls to the furniture, furnishings and accessories. “You can turn the visual impact up with brighter blues and down with muted blues to suit the style and personality of a room and can be sure that none of them will ever look out of place.”

below: Monkey lamp, £85 – Debenhams

below: Watercolour stripe cushion blue £12, Dexter cushion multi £12, Robyn seafoam cushion £18, Watercolour spot cushion blue £12 – Dunelm

above: Revive rug £79 – Alan Ward, Shrewsbury



above: Lucas tripod floor lamp £139, Bingham metal dome fitting £49, Honesty boxed canvas £30, succulent in geo pot £6, Liberty corner sofa Harbour Mineral £1,399, faux goat fur cushion grey £12, Bella leaf cushion silver £14, velvet metallic cushion £10, Robyn seafoam cushion £18, Lucido cushion teal £15, concrete base hurricane lantern £7, quartx rug from £89 – Dunelm above right: Ombre woven throw, £25 – Next below: Cushion £26 – Debenhams below right: Cushions £4 – Primark bottom: Buxton blue sideboard, £750 – Next



Women with a passion for success Monks has long been the only all female estate and lettings agency in both our Shrewsbury and Wem offices. We are a team of professional women with a wealth of property experience, combined with empathy and understanding of our role and duty to our clients at what can sometimes be a difficult time. We recognise that choosing an Estate Agent to represent you is an important decision and very often comes down to personality, the ability to understand each other and work well together to achieve your desired outcome. Buying, selling and renting property can often be stressful, especially when the circumstances surrounding the decision are not happy ones. Our team of professional ladies have the experience, compassion and awareness to guide and support you through this process.

Monks is locally owned and managed by our three Directors who between them have over fifty years of property experience within Shropshire. Monks is a successful, dedicated,

independent and experienced firm of Estate and Letting Agents with prominent offices in the county town of Shrewsbury and the popular market town of Wem.

Our team of professional ladies have the experience, compassion and awareness to guide and support you through the buying, selling and renting property process We aim to provide our clients with the highest level of service and integrity to exceed expectations. We are very proud of our client satisfaction and that a significant proportion of our ongoing business comes via personal recommendations. If you are buying, selling or renting then please contact Judy for your free, no obligation market appraisal. Judy@ 01743 361422


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Making your investment the perfect rental property S

o you have taken the decision to invest in a property and are getting ready to put it on the market for letting – what next? The way you furnish and prepare your house or flat can make a big difference in how quickly it gets snapped up by tenants. Dawn Clarke, head of property management and lettings at Nock Deighton, has more than 20 years’ experience of letting property, so she knows what works and what doesn’t. Here are her tips for making your investment the perfect rental property – both for your tenants and you as a landlord. Floor coverings – we think it’s advisable Dawn Clarke to opt for neutralcoloured carpets throughout the property, apart from bathrooms the kitchen of course. Go for medium quality, hard-wearing carpets with stain resistance and underlay. Curtains/blinds – these are not

It’s advisable to opt for neutralcoloured flooring and properties with blinds or curtains will let quicker

an absolute deal-breaker, but we generally find that properties with blinds or curtains already fitted will let quicker. Appliances – a cooker is advisable, but no other appliances are required. Fixtures and fittings – to avoid tenants drilling holes in walls, it is

advisable to provide permanent, essential fixtures such as coat hooks, bathroom mirrors and cabinets, towel rails and toilet roll holders. Door stops – check where these might be needed and install if possible. Gardens – prepare ahead with a low-maintenance garden with

somewhere to sit. If the property is suitable for a family then a lawned area is ideal – but it is also advisable to ensure there is somewhere for tenants to keep their lawn mower if there is no garage. For more tips and advice on letting property, give Dawn or one of her team a call on 01952 290163.

Houses with names spark more interest

“Many of our fellow agents say that generally, houses with names typically generate more enquiries, and we would agree with that.” So the big question then, what should you name your house (If it hasn’t got one already) to attract those buyers? “Keep it simple,” is Michael’s advice. “Don’t go for anything too imaginative or personal to you – it needs to have universal appeal. “From our experience, it’s names like The Coach House, The Lodge, The Barn, Sunnyside, Rose Cottage, Orchard House, The Bungalow and, as previously mentioned, The Cottage, that do well.” For more information and advice about selling your home, contact Michael and the sales team at Nock Deighton on 01746 767 767.

Mike Nettleton

Have you ever considered whether the name of your house makes a difference to its asking price? According to Michael Nettleton, sales and marketing director of Nock Deighton, it could do – read on… “A lot of people don’t even consider the name of their house when they are considering selling, but it can actually have some influence over buyers,” he says. “Statistics show that at least one house called The Cottage sells every day, and properties called The Cottage have an asking price of 50 per cent more than the average. “As estate agents, we would always include the name of a house on the particulars because it creates interest and a certain feel for the property.

Refurbished 1930s home has generous private garden Bakers Croft, Gnosall, is on the market with a guide price of £455,000. Situated in the village of Gnosall Bakers Croft is conveniently situated close to the local primary schools, nursery, independent shops, a mini market, pubs and eateries and recreational areas. The present owners have lovingly maintained and refurbished their home built in the 1930s while retaining many character features including parquet flooring, cast fireplaces and stained glass. The result is stylish well-proportioned accommodation having a flexible layout to suit a growing family. This property benefits from being within a conservation area and has generous private gardens, extensive parking and two garages.

Bakers Croft is approached over a tarmacadam driveway with an adjacent garden of lawn, mature borders and hedging. There is gated access to the rear garden providing additional parking. Stepping into the porch and onto the hall with access to the breakfast room, sitting room, family room and stairs to the first floor. The kitchen has a range of units and a stainless steel sink and drainer. Onto the breakfast room having base units and shelving to one wall. The boot room has access to the guest cloakroom and rear garden. The sitting room has dual aspect windows including access to the side patio and a marble fireplace with an open fire. The family room with dual aspect windows leads into the

conservatory which has access to the rear garden. The master bedroom has a range of fitted wardrobes and an en-suite bathroom consisting of a bath with shower over, wash hand basin and W.C in a vanity unit. Bedrooms 2, 3 and 4 are all double rooms. The family bathroom has a panelled bath, pedestal wash hand basin and wc. Stairs rise to bedroom 5 on the second floor which is a double room and is also currently used as a study. There is further opportunity to add an en-suite shower room. The attached garage is accessed from outside however there is an

Greenacres, Tuckhill, Bridgnorth


opportunity to convert this to an additional reception room access from the breakfast room (subject to planning consent). The rear garden is fully enclosed making it suitable for children and pets. Mainly laid to lawn there are beds of mature shrubs and specimen trees, paved outdoor seating and entertaining areas and a detached garage having additional roof storage, light and power, ideally suited as a workshop/ studio or home office (subject to planning consent). Contact Nock Deighton’s Newport office on 01952 570 222.

Greenside House, Billingsley, Bridgnorth


An impressive bungalow with 5 bedrooms, 4 reception rooms, delightful gardens, paddocks and stabling. EPC rating E.

Four bedroom converted farm house. Grade II listed semi detached has large gardens, detached garage with annexe, 1 acre paddock and gated parking.

13 Wells Close, Bridgnorth

Blacklands Barns, Bobbington

Cordage House, Friars Street, Bridgnorth An impressive, executive style, modern four bedroom detached town house privately positioned within an elevated plot with lovely views toward High Rock. This individually-built home briefly comprises: Four/ Five Bedrooms, Hall, WC, Through Lounge, Open Plan Kitchen/ Dining Room, Utility, Play Room/ TV Room, Conservatory, Large Garage, Bathroom, En-suite, Low Maintenance Gardens. Energy rating - D.



A substantial three bedroom detached bungalow within this premier residential area. No Upward Chain. Energy rating- D


An immaculately presented three bedroom barn conversion occupying a particularly pleasant position. Energy Rating- D

Beautiful cottage is sold within weeks


House prices stayed steady during 2016

his beautiful cottage in the countryside is the latest property to be chosen as Nock Deighton’s success story of the month. Tile Cottage is nestled in a secluded location between Cleobury Mortimer and Kidderminster, and it didn’t stay on the market for long after being put up for sale. In just over a month, after 11 viewings and two offers, it was sold and Erica Hinwood, of Nock Deighton’s Kidderminster office, said more properties

were needed. She said: “The biggest feature of 2016 was the lack of properties coming onto the market, and we had a number of instructions like this which sold within weeks. The housing market has remained steady and it is a very good time to put your house up for sale because we have buyers ready and waiting.” For more information, contact the Nock Deighton sales team on 01746 767 767.

Crescent Farm Barn, Waters Upton


House prices in Shropshire “stayed steady” during 2016, which indicates a healthy housing market, according to industry experts. Analysts at Nock Deighton estate agents produce a monthly House Price Index report based on their own figures and a selection of national statistics. Michael Nettleton, director of sales and marketing at Nock Deighton, has looked back over the figures and calculated that the average monthly rise throughout 2016 was 0.2 per cent. He says: “The fact that house prices stayed steady is good news for the market as a whole, because we do not want to see a return to the days of boom and bust. “A very steady rise of 0.2 per cent as a monthly average is encouraging and bodes well for a good 2017. “Houses are exchanging, and as I say every month, buyers are out there just waiting for the right property to come along - it is a healthy market for both buying and selling, and long may it continue.”

25 Ainsdale Drive, Priorslee


A Grade II Listed barn conversion situated within a sought after village location.

A well presented four bedroom detached family home in a sought after residential location. Energy rating – D.

2 Bloomsbury Court, Donnington

7 Jarrett Walk, Muxton

36 Collett Way, Priorslee The property is conveniently placed for access to the amenities of the Priorslee area including school facilities, nursery and doctors. This well presented detached home briefly comprises hall, living room, dining room, kitchen/ breakfast room, study, utility room and guest cloakroom. Five bedrooms with 2 en-suites and family bathroom. Outside to the front is a tarmac driveway leading to a detached double garage and front lawn. To the rear is a patio area leading onto the lawn, enclosed by wooden fencing and mature hedges. Energy rating - C.



A spacious four bedroom detached family home with conservatory and garage. Energy rating – D.


A well presented three bedroom detached family home with parking and garden. Energy rating – B.

Dane House, Ironbridge


Dane House has a wealth of character features and spacious accommodation. The porch and hall open into the two reception rooms. Particular features include a Coalbrookdale fire place, quarry tiled floors and inglenook to the main living room. There is a good sized study room. The hall leads right through the property with access to the three chambered cellar, dining room with utility just off and breakfast kitchen to the rear. In addition is a back hallway and a WC with vaulted ceiling. Upstairs are 4 well proportioned bedrooms. The master bedroom and main second bedroom enjoy views across the gorge. From the landing and past bedroom three, is the fourth bedroom, which is a fantastic sized room with pedestrian door to the side leading to the rear car park. Sitting in a generous plot, Dane House has hard landscaped gardens with spacious terraces with a second enclosed courtyard garden to the rear with its own spring. To the rear is plenty of off street parking for 3 cars leading off Belmont Road. The large cellar potentially has access via its own doorway to the outside making it ideal for potential conversion into a studio or flat. Grade II listed.

Broseley Wood House, Broseley Wood


Sutton House, Broseley Wood


Keepers Cottage, Orslow


Situated in the picturesque hamlet of Orslow, Keepers Cottage has been greatly extended and lovingly refurbished and maintained by the present owners with many character features remaining. This family home now boasts well-proportioned, spacious accommodation throughout with flexibility to suit the needs of a busy family life. The detached double garage has power, light and water and a studio/workspace above which is ideal for anyone working from home or a separate annexe (subject to planning consent). Approached over a gated driveway, a paved path leads to the rear entrance into the boot room/utility and stepping stones lead to the front entrance into the dining hall. On the ground floor is a breakfast kitchen with oak units and worktops and an integrated Rangemaster cooker, cloakroom/shower room, conservatory, dining room with double doors opening into the garden room with log burner and sitting room with gas fire. Upstairs the master bedroom suite has a dressing room, walk in wardrobe and en suite shower room, the three further bedrooms are all doubles and there is a family bathroom. The garden is mainly laid to lawn with a vegetable garden and paved patio area. A pig sty and timber shed provides outdoor storage. Energy Rating – F.

6 Tennyson Close, Market Drayton


29 Newtown, Church Aston


A beautiful detached 5 bedroom family home rich with character and steeped in local history. Energy rating – F.

Spacious 4 bedroom Georgian family home with delightful gardens and views. Energy rating - D.

A immaculate, deceptively spacious property with landscaped gardens. Energy Rating – C.

A spacious 4 bedroom character property with a generous garden. Energy Rating – D.

The Byre, Leighton

38 The Grove, Shifnal

2 Newborough Court, Newport

63 Hampton Drive, Newport


An impressive 4 bedroom barn conversion with feature exposed beams lying in a small rural village. Energy rating – F.


Immaculately presented modern 3 bedroom, 3 storey end terrace town house in the heart of Shifnal. Energy rating – C.


A delightful detached property in a cul de sac position just a short distance from Newport High Street. Energy Rating – C.


A recently refurbished bungalow with generous front and rear gardens. Energy Rating – D.



Recently refurbished character semi detached within idyllic location. Beautifully presented, three bedrooms, en-suite, bathroom, lounge, breakfast kitchen, dining room, cellar, parking and large garden with open aspect.

18th Century detached house with character, well presented accommodation and large garden of around a third of an acre. Three bedrooms, detached double garage, lovely views.

Presented to an exceptional standard this four bedroom family home offers stunning breakfast kitchen, utility room, shower room, bathroom, study, lounge and sitting room plus parking and garden.

Brockton, Much Wenlock £285,000

Woodside, Coalbrookdale £415,000

Park Road, Much Wenlock £375,000




SALE JUST AGREED Delightful cottage with stables, paddock and ménage, accommodation to three levels including potential Granny Flat, ample parking, lovely outlook and around two acres of grounds.

Occupying a peaceful setting within this desirable location this detached bungalow includes good sized gardens, ample parking and well planned, tastefully presented accommodation.

Distinctive and very spacious Grade II listed period house with accommodation to four levels including cellar rooms, lounge/dining room, breakfast kitchen, four double bedrooms, garden and parking.

Farley, Much Wenlock £550,000

Homer, Much Wenlock £285,000

Darby Road, Coalbrookdale £295,000



SALE JUST AGREED Tastefully presented and spacious detached bungalow: utility room, master bedroom with en-suite, two further bedrooms, lounge, dining room, stylish kitchen, garden and parking.

Located within easy reach of Ironbridge is this attractive and tastefully presented home. Light and spacious accommodation including four bedrooms, large garage, parking, gardens and pleasant outlook.

A beautifully presented double fronted three bedroom home located close to the centre of Much Wenlock. Includes excellent parking, garden, lounge, dining room, kitchen, utility and three bedrooms.

Forester Ave, Much Wenlock £325,000

Buildwas Road, Nr Ironbridge £299,950

St Mary’s Road, Much Wenlock £195,000

74 High Street, Broseley, TF12 5EX. T: 01952 883300 58 High Street, Much Wenlock, TF13 6AE T: 01952 728200 23

The Real TRA including






01746 762855 / 769944




Head offices & showrooms:

Unit 10 Livestock & Auction Centre, Wenlock Road, Bridgnorth, WV16 4QR





27 743 / 01 OOF 995 365 743 NE R l: 01 D Te ER O 1 1J ry SY UND wsbu Shre IES Hill, hns PAN St Jo m: 5 OM wroo NC y sho sbur hrew Y RU ws S MIL indo th W gnor O FA Brid T TW VISI



Audrey Cooper



I would just like to say how pleased I am with my new bathroom. It’s beautiful and even better than I had anticipated. I would also like to thank Sean & Jason for their expert work and always treating me with respect. I would recommend them and your company to anyone. Thank you once again.






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01746 761929


Caring for the roof over your head


torms, heavy rain, wind, ice and snow will all impact away, dislodged or otherwise damaged. Skylights, vents and any structures on your roof, and the cost of the damage caused by a that penetrate through the roof should be checked to ensure sealant isn’t leak will almost certainly exceed the cost of fixing the cracking or peeling away. issue quickly. Next, moss. First, you need to know the difference between black  In order to keep your roof in good condition, roofing algae spots and moss: Black algae isn’t nice to look at, but it only affects expert Darren Searles from national suppliers JJ Roofing aesthetics. It doesn’t harm your roof. However, moss is a problem because recommends the following steps, all of which are easy to do yourself: it holds water; it’s very important that it’s removed. If you catch moss early,  Regular inspections are important. First you may be able to just sweep it away, but check inside your house. Look for dark or if moss has established itself for a while it browning spots, or blistering and bubbling needs to be killed off. You should opt for paint on ceilings; these are indicators of water a product that has potassium salts of fatty damage. Also, check for damp spots forming acids rather than a product with a toxic near fireplaces. formula that includes zinc sulphate. Only  If that’s all fine, move on to the loft. If apply the mixture where the moss is growing. possible, do this on a sunny day; you’ll see Again, if this isn’t a job you’re comfortable sunlight lancing in through worn or broken with, contact a roofing maintenance shingles. If it’s rained recently, any water professional. damage should be obvious, but also inspect  Cleaning your gutters is an important for signs of previous leaks or damp. job, especially around spring and autumn.  With the interior of your home checked, If debris piles up too high in the gutters, it’s time to move on to the outside of your it prevents water from flowing through to roof. The first and most important thing the downspouts. If this happens, water can to consider is safety; do not walk on your end up soaking into the roof and start to n Moss that has established itself will need to be killed off roof. If you’re comfortable with heights, rot parts of it. Gutters also prevent damage n An uneven and view your roof using a ladder, preferably to the foundation which can lead to wet spotty roof could with someone on the ground taking notes basements, staining, erosion, and massive be an indication it is old and needs for you. If heights make you uneasy, find a bills to fix the damage. replacing good position to view your roof with a pair  While you are up there, why not install a of binoculars. If neither of those options gutter brush? This is designed to easily and work for you, call a roofing maintenance efficiently keep debris out of your guttering system. It requires very professional. little maintenance although a jet wash once a year is recommended.  You’re checking for more than missing  Finally, take a look at what’s around your roof: are there shingles or tiles. Dark patches or lines likely overhanging trees? Branches that lead directly to your roof not only means damage. Also, look out for curling provide easier access for squirrels, they can scrape and damage and cupping or a large number of chipped your roof and send shingles flying in strong winds. There’s also the and buckled shingles. If your roof is visibly potential for branches to break off in a storm and cause significant uneven and spotty it could be an indication damage, and the shade they provide allows moss to grow more that your roof is getting quite old and might efficiently, so keep branches trimmed about 10ft away from your roof. need replacing.  Your first thoughts should always be about safety, and if you  After inspecting the shingles or tiles, turn don’t have the proper tools and safety equipment and clothing (and your attention to your building’s chimneys. some experience of the work involved) please contact a professional It’s important to check the flashing and make sure that it isn’t peeled for help.

Going, going, gone... John Ridgway of Perry and Phillips Auctioneers, Low Town, Bridgnorth, guides readers through the world of antiques

Q: This year I’ve decided to go to an antiques auction for the first time ever and am a little nervous – how should I go about this? A: Sometimes, bidding at your first auction is a little daunting – but it needn’t be. The first thing you need to do is view the items you would like to buy prior to the sale, and don’t be afraid to ask questions of saleroom staff, they are there to help. Check the items to make sure they are in good condition, look for any signs of wear or damage. If you’re sure you would like to bid, set yourself a price limit. Estimates are just guidelines, sometimes a piece sells for less, sometimes more, it all depends on who is bidding on the day.


Make sure you clearly mark your chosen items on your sale catalogue and get to the auction room in plenty of time to register and be given a bidding number. Then find yourself a place in the room where you can easily be seen by the auctioneer. Remember that often sales run quickly so don’t make the mistake of vanishing for a cup of coffee unless you are confident you have enough time! Once bidding, ensure the auctioneer sees your bid and your number – and try to stick to the price you had decided upon unless you really want the item; it’s easy to get carried away and spend more than you wanted to. You will have to pay a small buyer’s premium but you can collect your items on the sale day once you have paid.


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Sale starts on Tuesday 27th December. But hurry - these amazing discounts must end on Sunday 29th January 2017!

HVE088 • 12’x9’ WAS £1699.00

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IPZ088 6’ x 4’ WAS £649.00



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All rugs reduced by at least 20% Stores located at: Kaydon House, Kinmel Park, Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, N Wales LL18 5TY • SAT NAV: LL18 5TZ Ridings Park, Eastern Way, Hawks Green, Cannock, Staffordshire WS11 7FJ • SAT NAV: WS11 7FJ FrithRugs, Lythgoes Lane (A49), Warrington WA2 7XE • SAT NAV: WA2 7XE FrithRugs, 19a Vanguard Way, Shrewsbury SY1 3TG • SAT NAV: SY1 3TG Open: Mon-Sat: 10.00-5.00, Sunday & Bank Holidays: 10.00 - 4.00 FrithRugs is a trading name of Closed: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Easter Sunday G H Frith (Bodelwyddan) Ltd. 16f03

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Each month the team at Meadowdale Nurseries in Telford will be offering you lots of handy tips and advice on how to make the best of your garden

The nurseries, which is run by brothers John and Rob Anderson, has been growing plants for the last 27 years.

JANUARY IN THE GARDEN January can be a cold month, and should we experience any snow, brush it off conifers and shrubs to avoid the weight splitting and damaging any branches. A good tip once you have done this is to fill in any gaps between branches with straw and then cover with fleece, this not only helps with the weight but will protect any early buds that have formed. Ceramic pots will benefit from being wrapped in bubble wrap (do not cover the plants, only use fleece for these), this will help to keep roots warm as well as protecting your pot in freezing conditions and remember to lift them off the ground using pot feet or house bricks. Deadhead pansies and remove old leaves from hellebores as this will encourage new blooms to develop. Snowdrops should be available in the green now, this is the best time to plant them to ensure good clumps in the coming years. If you purchased a pot-grown Christmas tree, once you have acclimatised it (do this by putting it outside during the day and bring it in to a cool room at night, gradually extending the time left outdoors) you can then plant it out. Vegetables such as peas and broad beans can be sown, protect them with a cloche or plant into pots and keep in a cold frame. Once they are showing growth and the weather has warmed up they can be planted out. Some weeds can survive the bitter cold so, weather permitting, tackle these now with a hoe before they burst into life and cause you trouble in the spring. Check garden furniture, again if you lift up wooden furniture on to bricks this will help prevent damp rising into the wood causing it to rot. Think about the coming spring and start to plan the colour scheme you want, and what plants you require – there’s nothing better than planning ahead! Finally put some feed and fresh water out for our feathered friends, food sources are not so prevalent in freezing conditions and remember: don’t stop feeding when the weather turns warmer – carry on throughout the year. For further information please see our website or follow us on Facebook at Better still, why not visit us at our nurseries in Telford, where our staff will be happy to help you with any gardening questions you have.

Create a winter wonderland


dd the wow factor to your winter garden with striking plants that look their best right now. Whether you’d like to fill your borders with hardy shrubs covered with fragrant flowers, clad a fence or archway with colour, or plant a small flowering tree to create a focal point, you’ll find a great range of seasonal stunners in garden centres this month. While a coating of frost or snow creates temporary magical moments, unifying our gardens with its icy frosting, the excitement really starts when it melts away to reveal winter displays full of colour, character n Oregan Grape / Picture: Adam Pasco Media and charm. A choice selection of the very hardiest plants put on their best show in the depths of winter, providing a bright outlook from the comfort of your armchair, and an even warmer welcome when you step outside. Gold blooms really shine out on gloomy days, so look out for dramatic Witch Hazels that produce clusters of small fragrant flowers with petals like dainty ribbons, transforming the otherwise naked stems of this hardy shrub. Evergreen mahonias are equally impressive, with golden sprays of flowers forming at the tip of each shoot. There are several varieties to choose from with different sizes and forms, and flowers on most are followed by the formation of grape-like berries in spring, giving these shrubs their common name of Oregon Grape. For great garden performance it’s always worth looking out for varieties that have been given the Award of Garden Merit (AGM) by the Royal Horticultural Society, and this is often indicated by a trophy symbol on the plant label or in catalogues. At the Chelsea Flower Show in 2013 the RHS chose Mahonia ‘Soft Caress’ as its Plant of the Year, so if you’re looking for something different check out this new variety too. In addition to their welcome colour, fragrance is another valuable characteristic of many winter flowering shrubs. For long-lasting displays it’s hard to beat varieties of Viburnum x bodnantense that produce a succession of flowers from October until spring. And for a shady site take a look at the Christmas Rose, Helleborus niger, a lowgrowing and compact perennial whose simple white cup-shaped flowers can be picked and floated on water in a glass bowl to provide seasonal table decorations. Winter brings out the best in many plants. While flowers are an essential part of this seasonal spotlight, many other characteristics provide winter interest too. A wide range of conifers and evergreen shrubs provide bold forms and fancy foliage. Also look out for plants with colourful wand-like stems, dainty tassel-like catkins, and the tactile barks of many ornamental trees. So don’t shut up shop for winter, but welcome in the New Year in style with garden displays that provide colour, fragrance, foliage and form. Visit your local garden centre now to discover the best plants to create your very own winter wonderland!



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World-renowned hospital the 5 STAR assessment compared to the 4 STAR. The whole team got involved and they really pulled out the stops. I can’t thank them enough for banding together.” The STAR process provides assurance for staff, patients, relatives, visitors and the senior management team, that there is a practical, robust system in place which monitors compliance against national standards. Ludlow’s success indicates that both clinical and non-clinical elements of the ward are functioning in a highly efficient and effective way,

� Some of the award-winning team from Ludlow Ward at RJAH


he expertise at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital is no

secret. Patients coming through the doors of the Oswestry-based hospital have access to some of the leading orthopaedic surgeons in the country. Its results for patients undergoing a range of treatments are quite simply second to none. But what is rather less well known is the exceptional level of care patients receive during their stay. Private patients are looked after in The Ludlow Unit – a dedicated ward staffed by skilled orthopaedic nurses who take care of them every step of the way and, despite the geographical name, still based very much in the heart of the North Shropshire hospital. The Ludlow Unit team are committed to making a patient’s stay as comfortable as possible, and they are supported by the facilities they are able to offer. The unit offers 16 private ensuite rooms, which are tastefully decorated, with their own flatscreened colour television with access to Sky, direct dial telephone and internet. And if it is proof of quality that you are looking for, then The Ludlow Unit team can provide it in many forms. It is, for example, the only private patient ward in Shropshire to have earned the internationallyrecognised ISO9001 certification – a feat the team achieved earlier in

2016 for the fifth year in a row. This is a significant achievement as this is a standard held in the highest regard by private health insurance companies. It sets out requirements for a quality management system and is based on the principle of continual improvement via continual assessment. Helen Cooper, ward manager, said: “I am very proud of the team. Their hard work and commitment led to this re-certification. “The feedback from the assessor was wonderful to read. He identified Ludlow Ward as having a great team with staff who are clearly very passionate and know what they are doing. “He also commented on the excellent systems and processes we have in place.” The ward’s sustained level of quality has also been recognised in another assessment process called STAR (Sustaining Quality Through Assessment & Review). STAR is a hospital-wide uniform approach in monitoring quality standards of patient care, which offers managers and their staff a structure of expectations for their wards and department. And Ludlow was the first ward at the hospital to achieve a 5 STAR rating – a feat that has required exceptional team work and consistent high results. Helen added: “Getting the rating has been hard work but so rewarding. My team are amazing and I’m so proud of them for what they have achieved. “There’s such a difference to

ease prior to surgery and helping them on the road to rehabilitation afterwards. “They care for patients receiving treatment for a range of problems including joint replacement, upper limb surgery (shoulder, elbow and hand), spinal surgery, and lower limb surgery (hip, knee, foot and ankle) and sports injuries. “Their knowledge is second to none. You could not be in better hands.” For more information about private care at RJAH, go to

Income generated from private patients does not go into the pockets of shareholders, but is instead reinvested to further develop the world class facilities maintaining an extremely high standard of care for private patients. Private patients visiting RJAH also have the satisfaction of knowing that their money is being put to good use. Income generated from private patients does not go into the pockets of shareholders, but is instead reinvested to further develop the world class facilities and clinical services on offer – to the benefit of NHS and private patients alike. Bev Tabernacle, director of nursing at RJAH, said: “The level of care on Ludlow Ward really is outstanding. They do a remarkable job of putting patients at their

� Inside one of the en-suite rooms in The Ludlow Unit, and above, the entrance to the private patient unit



6th Form Open Evening - 17th January 2017 Year 7 Assessment Day - 19th January 2017 Independent day and boarding school for pupils 2-18 years old.



School report It’s a new year and a new term – here’s a look at what some of our local schools and colleges have to offer

Derwen College A pioneering college since its founding in 1927, Derwen College is once again leading the way in championing the opportunities of young people with learning difficulties and disabilities. Just as Dame Agnes Hunt took inspiration from the potential of the young people around her to set up Derwen Training College, so 90 years later the college is forging both national and international links to champion inclusive skills on the same platforms as mainstream skills competitions. Students at Derwen College have been encouraged and supported to participate in skills competitions at a local, regional and national level, showcasing their skills in a range of categories including ICT, catering and woodworking. They continue to impress and amaze teachers, parents and their peers. And behind the scenes is a strong and committed voice campaigning for better recognition and a truly inclusive approach to Inclusive Skills competitions on the international skills stage. Louise Keevil is director of charity and corporate services at Derwen College and has been part of the team at Derwen who continue to lead the way in bringing Inclusive Skills to the attention of the education sector and  business sector.  The Inclusive Skills Competitions have been set up as a partnership

Moreton Hall School “If you’re looking for girl power, you’ll find it at Moreton Hall” – Tatler Schools Guide 2016 2016 has been an incredibly successful year for Moreton Hall, continuing its strong position into the school’s second century. Academically, the school is comfortably within the top 100 schools in the country for GCSE results, which – given that it’s a non-selective school – is all the more impressive. Moreton has also recently been confirmed as the number one, non-selective school in the UK by The Sunday Times Parent Power League Tables. Jonathan Forster, principal, commented: “Our GCSE and A Level results – and our success nationally – are testament to the dedication and commitment of our students and staff.” The school’s business focus continues to flourish with the student-run school business, Moreton Enterprises, being championed the best for entrepreneurship by The Week. And with the networking extravaganza, the annual Investec Business Lunch going from strength to strength, Moreton are thrilled that William Hague, former First Secretary of State, Foreign Secretary and Leader of the House of Commons, has agreed to be guest speaker at the event in March. Moreton Hall is a school where students can revel in an environment offering an education that prepares students for a world beyond school. The Good Schools Guide recently declared that ‘every girl should spend at least a term at Moreton Hall’ and with the array of scholarships and bursaries available, Moreton Hall can provide that opportunity. Find out more about Moreton Hall’s Prep School, Moreton First, for boys and girls aged 3-11 at the Moreton First Open Day on Saturday 4 February from 10am. The event offers a chance to view the campus and meet with other students and teaching staff in a relaxed atmosphere. To find out more, or to register your interest for the Moreton First Open Day, visit Moreton Hall is a registered charity and as such is committed to offering substantial scholarships and bursaries to many students every year. The school will be assessing the applicants for the 2017 academic, music, art, drama, sport and ‘all-round’ scholarships on 19 and 20 January (for entry at age 11 and 12) and 26 and 27 January (for entry at age 13+). For further details please contact the Registrar on registrar@moretonhall. com

n Louise Keevil, director of charity and corporate services, talking to the media at the UK Skills Show held at the NEC in November

of like-minded professionals and FE colleges working with young people with a range of skills and abilities. They build relationships with local or national businesses, develop career opportunities for students and develop a presence at careers and skills forums such as the NEC Skills Show. One of the most important aspects of the competitions is they dispel myths about the employability and skills of students.  In 2016 Derwen College took this belief out to the Abilympics in France where Louise led the first ever UK delegation and where she was able to head up meetings with international leaders to press forward the Inclusive Skills agenda.  Since then Derwen led five Inclusive Skills competitions at the UK Skills Show in November. Louise recently met with colleagues from other European countries to consider a joint European project for vocational skills for adults with learning disabilities and difficulties. “Students with learning difficulties and disabilities have a huge amount of potential to offer employers and we want to make these skills as accessible as possible for employers,” she said.



Tettenhall College A dedicated swimming academy set up at Tettenhall College is going from strength to strength, with pupils proving successful in prestigious regional and national competitions. Over the last year, Prep School and Senior School Swimming Academies have been established under the expert training of instructor Tracy Bate, with coaching sessions held three times a week. Two mornings, before most people have even had their breakfast, young swimmers aged eight upwards at Tettenhall College are already enthusiastically starting their days with laps of the school’s pool. The pupils are dropped off at 7.15 am, dressed in an array of animal onesies with their swimwear underneath, ready to start their training with a splash, undertaking specially-designed individual programmes. After training, they enjoy a hearty breakfast with the school boarders. A third session is held at lunchtime on a different day. Their dedicated efforts are certainly paying off. Recently, 22 swimmers from Years 7–13 represented Tettenhall College in the ISA Midlands Area Senior Schools Swimming Championship Gala, held at Walsall. There were another 15 participating schools from the Midlands area and, of the 52 events, TC swimmers competed in 38 heats. Swimmers swam in year groups doing front crawl, backstroke, breast stroke, butterfly, individual medley and medley relays. Those who achieved fastest times in the heats were competing to swim at the National Finals being held in London, at the Olympic Park Arena. The day was an huge success, with many Tettenhall College swimmers finishing in the top three places in their heats. Most notably, Year 7 pupil Kate Woodman is now heading for the ISA national finals after an outstanding freestyle race and will be representing the Midlands area in the individual freestyle and medley relay. In addition, Prep School Academy swimmers took part in the ISA Midlands Area Junior Schools Swimming Championships and were a credit

� Year 4 relay team swimmers to the school. Special congratulations go to the Year 4 boys’ freestyle relay team who were crowned Midland Champions. Director of sport James Bullock said: “All of our swimmers gave a fabulous account of themselves, more than holding their own in a top class field. The performances given by the swimmers represents a year of hard work and effort put in during their Academy Training and we are very proud of them all.” He said the academy was part of a wider programme of swimming at the school. “We are very lucky to have our own heated indoor pool at Tettenhall College and we ensure children take part in swimming lessons from pre-school upwards. It’s a very important skill to learn and an essential part of our sports curriculum. Younger children enjoy lessons with their class teachers so it is a natural part of school life and they are made to feel safe and confident in the pool.”

Wolverhampton Girls’High School

Come and join our success story! We welcome students new to the school in the sixth form.

Sixth Form Open Morning:

Thursday 12th January 2017

from 10.15am – 12 noon For September 2017 entry. Closing date for sixth form applications: Friday 3rd February 2017 Please see our school website or telephone 01902 551515 for further information. 36




����� �� �� ��� ���� �� ����� ���������� ����������� ����� �� ���� ������� Holy Trinity C of E Primary School and Nursery Our aim is to enhance the development and education of children in a safe, secure and stimulating environment. We create a relaxed atmosphere with an emphasis on learning through play. We are pleased to announce that we will be offering the 24U scheme during the Spring Term 2017. This gives15 hours of free early years education per week to eligible children from the beginning of the term after they turn two years old. If you think your child may be eligible for this scheme or the Government Nursery scheme and would like to come and see for yourself our wonderful setting and meet our staff, please contact us on email: or tel: 01691 654832

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Holy Trinity C of E Primary School and Nursery, Middleton Road, Oswestry, Shropshire SY11 2LF

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amputee children in developing countries; children who have lost limbs through war, accidents, illness or very sadly deliberate amputation,” the sisters say. “We work with organisations already established in countries where there is little, or sometimes no support for these very vulnerable children, who are often ostracised and miss out on an education simply because they cannot make the journey to school.  “Since ELoH’s creation five years ago we have set up a limb centre in Tanzania, near Lake Victoria in the north, and we are now supporting over 150 in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and another 60 in India.” Victoria and Sarah addressed Year 9 pupils in the morning and Year 6 pupils in the afternoon at the Prep School. The pupils listened avidly and were full of questions about the charity, especially as Victoria had recently returned from a visit to Sierra Leone and Liberia to see how the charity was helping children in these extremely poor countries.  Pupils across the school support a number of charities and Head of PSHE at Shrewsbury High, Carla Tonks, noted that Year 9 pupils this year are raising money for Walking with the Wounded so had already been considering the difficulties faced by amputees in a variety of circumstances and from a range of backgrounds. Victoria continues: “We have a wonderful team of trustees and the backing of a PR company in London, Political Lobbying and Media Relations, and over the years funds have been raised in lots of schools through sponsored events, articles have been written, concerts held and marathons run – I completed my third marathon this year, and in 2014 Sarah ran the London marathon with me which was especially amazing given her leg is quite weak.  “We are so grateful for support from so many for ELoH. As well as helping the children we support so much, it shines the light of comfort into the dark place we entered through sadness.”  To find out more about their visit to the school go to Shrewsbury High School website or

n Victoria (left) and Sarah with Year 9 pupils at Shrewsbury High School

Shrewsbury High School Former Shrewsbury High School pupils, twin sisters Victoria Panton Bacon and Sarah Hope, returned to SHS to talk to pupils about their charity, Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope. The charity provides life-changing support for children who have lost their limbs through war, accidents or lack of access to medical care.  In April 2007, three generations of their family were involved in a terrible bus collision in South West London. Sarah and Victoria’s mother Elizabeth tragically lost her life, Sarah was badly injured, and her two-year-old daughter Pollyanna had to have her right leg amputated below the knee.  Sarah and Victoria set up ELoH in May 2011. “ELoH exists to help


Wolverhampton Grammar School Education as individual as your child Independent Day School for Boys and Girls Junior School ages 7-11 Senior School ages 11-16 Sixth Form ages 16-18

Year 7 Entrance Test - Saturday 14th January To enquire about registering your child for the Entrance Test please contact the Admissions Registrar, Mrs Jane Morris by Monday 9th January: tel 01902 421326 or email

Junior School Open Day - Saturday 28th January 10am - 1.30pm “This is a remarkable school. The atmosphere we encountered as we walked round with a succession of delightful guides was smilingly friendly. There is a real feeling of happiness.� The Good Schools Guide, 2016 Registering at Wolverhampton Grammar School To enquire about registering your child please visit one of our Open Events or alternatively contact the Admissions Registrar, Mrs Jane Morris tel 01902 421326 or email

01902 421326 Wolverhampton Grammar School Compton Road Wolverhampton WV3 9RB


Oldbury Wells School Oldbury Wells School music department hosted an exciting afternoon of music-making in November. Pupils from Castlefields, Highley, St John’s and Worfield primary schools worked with the Oldbury Wells School orchestra and staff from the Shropshire Music Service on a programme of orchestral music. The aim of the workshop was to inspire the younger primary musicians and to mentor them on their instrumental skills and musicianship, culminating in a short performance for parents. Pupils were treated to refreshments and an opportunity to mix with Oldbury Wells School’s older students. The school’s head of music, Jo Dangerfield, said: “The workshop, now in its third year, was a huge success as a result of the students’ hard work and enthusiasm for the opportunity and I hope this is the first of many opportunities to work together in the future.” Oldbury Wells’ next primary orchestra afternoon is on Friday 16 June and all schools in and around Bridgnorth will be invited to take part. 

Packwood Haugh School

Oswestry School Education is the one thing that we all have in common, but with so much opinion and information swirling around it’s hard for parents to make informed choices for their children. Although we all agree that results matter, more important is the academic journey that every child goes on. At over 600 years old, Oswestry School has a wealth of experience preparing children for academic success to further their studies at top UK universities, but what is also taught within the school’s environment is confidence and resilience, leadership and communication skills. These vital life skills will be carried forward into a young workforce which can present well, and adapt and cope with adversity. With a 10% increase in A level grades at A*-B and one third of all GCSE students achieving A*-A, pupils are moving forward with a strong academic base behind them. The school scholarships, held on 21 January, are supported by means-tested bursaries, 100% of the fees are available. At its heart, Oswestry School is unchanged since it was founded in 1407. The rounded education provides a route map to life with both a nurturing and stimulating environment for all its pupils. The school motto ‘We learn not for school, but for life’ is more relevant now than it has ever been.

A bumper collection of gift boxes was sent on its way from big-hearted pupils at Packwood Haugh School in Ruyton XI Towns to children less fortunate than themselves as part of the school’s annual contribution to Operation Christmas Child. Packwood’s head of religious studies Roz Edwards, who organises the school’s appeal, was delighted to see such an enormous pile of boxes and thanked all those who donated a gift. “Christmas is such a special time, especially for children and, yet again this year, the Packwood community has responded with great generosity to this wonderful scheme.”

n Pictured with the Christmas shoe boxes are Year 3 pupils, Harry Cornes (age 8) and Millie Parry (age 7)

University Centre Shrewsbury A second year Life Sciences student at University Centre Shrewsbury has been recognised for her outstanding achievements during her first 12 months at UCS. Molly-Jane Watkins-Fruen, who is from the town, took her A-levels at Shrewsbury Sixth Form College, before becoming one of the first intake of undergraduate students at UCS in 2015. She is currently studying Genetics and Evolution, one of several popular BSc single honours programmes run by the Institute of Medicine at UCS. Molly-Jane was presented with the Michael Davie Research Foundation Award for best overall accomplishment during the first year of studies. The accolade was presented to her by Professor Mike Davie, a consultant physician recently retired from clinical practice, but who is continuing his research into osteoporosis. He made the presentation on behalf of the trustees of the Foundation, which is a local biomedical charity that supports research into bone-related conditions. It has committed to funding an award of this kind to a UCS-based Life Sciences student for the next four years. On completing her degree, Molly-Jane is keen to pursue postgraduate studies in paleontology. She said: “It was so unexpected, I never thought the award would be for me. I feel really proud to have been given it, and it’s shown me what can be achieved through hard work and determination. “I couldn’t have done it without the help and support of my lecturers at UCS, and I’d like to thank them all for a fantastic first year!” Professor Davie added: “It was a great pleasure to award Molly-Jane with a cheque to mark her achievement as the top student of her year, having secured very high marks in the First Year Biosciences course at UC Shrewsbury. “This centre has obviously filled a need and is attracting very able students, who are responding to the high quality teaching given by this new venture.”



Telford College of Art and Technology Former hairdresser Leanne Vincent has begun a new career as a teaching assistant, with a helping hand from Telford College of Arts and Technology. Leanne, 35, from Madeley, trained as a hairdresser at Francesco’s Academy when she left the Abraham Darby School, and went on to work at KLF in her home town for 18 years. But when a routine smear test diagnosed cervical cancer and resulted in an operation, Leanne decided to rethink her career, and enrolled on a Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools level two programme at TCAT. As part of the course, she arranged a placement at Woodlands Primary and Nursery School in Madeley – and that’s exactly where she has now ended up getting a new job. Leanne says: “I enjoyed my level two course

so much that I enrolled on a level three course in Learning Difficulties and Behaviour Disorders at TCAT – and this was the course which helped me to secure a job interview at Woodlands. “I was able to relate a lot of the interview questions to things I had learned on the TCAT course, and was offered the job as a Special Educational Needs Teaching Assistant.” Yvonne Crilly, deputy head at Woodlands, said: “Leanne was a super volunteer whilst on placement with us – she had worked for a while at Woodlands and really wanted to update and develop her skills so she enrolled on the TCAT courses. “It’s been a great pleasure to know Leanne, and we are all looking forward to welcoming her as part of the team at Woodlands.” Leanne added: “If you’re thinking about going back to college to retrain, I would definitely recommend TCAT’s courses. Go for it – your confidence and knowledge will grow and you will be able to achieve new and exciting things. “It’s a big step to change your career . . . but I did it.” TCAT tutor Paula Costin said: “Leanne has been a committed student and this has obviously paid off. “She will have a wonderful career in the education sector and she deserves it; she works hard and the feedback from Woodlands has been exemplary.”

A talented young designer from Shropshire is to have her work exhibited at one of the top galleries in the Midlands after reaching the final of a regional competition. Karrine Wood, from Albrighton, has completed a level three BTEC Diploma in Art and Design at Telford College of Arts and Technology. As part of her final project, the 19-year-old submitted three graphic designs for a National And Decorative Fine Arts Society competition – inspired by Medusa and transferred on to skateboards. TCAT tutor Anna Dowdall explained: “We’re delighted that n Karrine Wood at TCAT with Karrine has been chosen as one of the final 14 who will have Kieron Painter and Jamie Shaw; above, her skateboard artwork their work exhibited at the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists gallery in May 2017. “This is an amazing opportunity for her, and excellent experience which will help her with her career, and boost her confidence and self-belief that she can make a career within the creative industries.” Karrine said: “I am now working freelance producing my own graphic designs for a range of different companies; I never imagined this would be possible for me. “TCAT offered me the facilities that I needed to progress with my passion for anything to do with art. Compared to other colleges, nothing came close to TCAT’s level of teaching, and I believe I made the right decision. My time at TCAT enabled me to produce pieces of work that I would have never thought I could create. It challenged me to step out of my comfort zone and try out new things. “The college remodelled me, changed me and changed the way I look at things in a new perspective. I am taking a completely different path to what I thought I would have done before I went to college and I love it.” The level three art and design course at TCAT offers students the chance to explore and experiment with a large range of different art and design-related skills and techniques. For more details, see or call 01952 642337.

The Marches School The Marches School took part in the national Anti-Bullying Week with a number of activities to raise awareness for this important week. Students developed a school ‘Anti-bullying Charter’ and the school ‘Tolerance Group’ held their first meeting where the agenda was to develop and review the school anti-bullying strategy which will be shared with the rest of the school. Themed lessons and assemblies were also held. Pictured are members of the Year 11 Student Leadership group Alex Odametey, Tamara Walker and Arran Evison.



Beat the

January blues , nights y s o c f er th o a mon recover y af t s i y r Janua baths and eason. long he par ty s t

Here are get y our top c ou th rough omfor t bu ys the m onth. to

2 1


4 5

7 6

1: Show January some colour with this

5: After long soaks in the bath, chill out in this fluffy mink robe, M&Co, £35.

pink Ralph Lauren knitted jumper, House of Fraser, £110. 2: Keep warm in style when facing the bitterly cold wind in this House of Fraser Armani brown suede and sheepskin jacket, £360.

3: Throw this gorgeous pink coat over your outfit when you have to leave the house, River Island, £80. 4: Spend those lazy Sundays in these floral pyjamas, M&Co, £16.


6: Look glam while staying warm with this beautiful faux fur, Debenhams, £20. 7: Avoid those painfully cold fingers with raspberry leather gloves, Marks & Spencer, £17.50


Coming to Bridgnorth Spring 2017

Beautiful Exclusive Collections by

• Alan Hannah • Ronald Joyce • Mia Mia • Nicole Spose • Philipa Grace

Telephone 07967 160491 for further information and to reserve your appointment Romance Bridal Studio, 10 Whitburn Street, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, WV16 4QN

Exclusive Fashions Est.30 years


A beautiful Rice Horse Trailer lovingly converted to a fully licensed and refrigerated mobile drinks bar Available for hire for Weddings, Small Parties, Festivals and more.

Honeymoon & Cruise Wear Special Occasion Wear •Casual Wear

01952 881124 mobile: 07530 919148

4/5 Wyle Cop, Shrewsbury. Tel: 01743 233423 E:

find us on facebook @Kibbleskeg 44



Few things are planned with as much precision as a wedding. From the moment the engagement ring is slipped on her finger, the bride-to-be (and increasingly these days, the groom!) will have so many decisions to make, from venues to dress to hair and undies. We are here to help with our guide to having a Shropshire wedding.

Cathlyn dress, Phase Eight, ÂŁ496



This breath-taking gown is called Halazgo and comes from Muse Bridal in Newport. The stunning garment is from the label La Sposa by Pronovias. £1,360 Melanie Ridgway, owner of Muse Bridal, said: “I am very excited about this gown as I am the only boutique in Shropshire with the La Sposa by Pronovias label. The gowns are gorgeous, elegant and simply stunning. The full skirt is detachable with a slim, fitted gown underneath for a second look for the evening.”

The Essential Wedding Guide Planning your big day doesn’t have to be stressful, read our simple rules and enjoy the leadup to your wedding day. Your dream dress Anne Tucker of Wedding World, Shrewsbury shares her expert tips about buying your dress: “We know it’s the most important dress you will ever wear and you want to make sure it’s absolutely perfect but having eight different opinions makes it much harder to come to a decision. I have always been a believer that the most a bride should bring when dress shopping is two or three people.” Anne also informed us about the best time to buy your dress: “It is important to have the rest of your wedding details in place before you go shopping for a gown as many factors can influence the style of the dress. The major one is to have your venue secured – an ornate gown with lots of embellishments and a large train might look stunning in a large country house but completely out of place in a rustic barn or a beach in Mexico.” The top three trends Anne identifies for 2017 are: 1 The Off the Shoulder we saw the cold-shoulder trend return last year and it has influenced wedding gowns too. 2 Taking The Plunge the deep Vs have found their way to the bridal scene. 3 Majestic Backs highlighting your back with an open style, mesh or an embellished finish.



The Venue We are spoilt for choice here in Shropshire, with so much on offer. If you fancy a Grade II Georgian manor house as backdrop for your special day, then there is the stunning Hadley Park House Hotel in Telford. The venue has been named as a regional finalist at the 2017 Wedding Industry Awards for the third year running. The award-winning venue is shortlisted in the Best Town Wedding Venue category. They offer a variety of wedding packages at the hotel and owners, Mark Lewis and Geraldine Lewis, said: “Weddings are very important to the hotel and we host over 100 each year.” For more information, visit or call 01952 677269. Wanting a wedding fit for royalty? Look no further than the Lilleshall National Sports & Conferencing Centre. To enter the grounds, you pass through the ‘Golden Gates’ which are an exact replica of those adorning Buckingham Palace and then venture up the sweeping two-mile driveway. The venue offer traditional or outdoor ceremonies such as festival and marquee weddings. Packages start at £1,250, so your dream wedding may be more affordable than you thought. For more information, visit

Clockwise from top left: Carabelle dress, Phase Eight, £325; ‘Milan’ Bridal gown, Wedding World, Shrewsbury, £1,725; This sensational Ronald Joyce dress is from Muse Bridal, Newport. £1,650; Classic satin off-the-shoulder bridesmaid dress, Very, £65; Bridal gown, Monsoon, £499.99


For something a little more unusual Barnutopia, a glamping site surrounded by rolling green hills of Shropshire and Powys, provides an unforgettable scene. The location is the perfect woodlandstyle wedding venue and now it can host your big day. Planning permission has been granted for the owners to renovate their huge barn into a wedding and events venue. Guests will be able to choose to get married in the newly-refurbed barn or perhaps you fancy the pagoda planned for the top of the pasture with breathtaking views. For more information, visit


The Valley Hotel


Sunday 8th Jan 11am-3pm

AA 3ďż˝ Country house hotel 44 en suite bedrooms Civil Ceremony Licence 2 AA Rosette awarded restaurant Reception drinks can be served on the terrace Please contact us to arrange a private viewing with a wedding co-ordinator


Tie the knot in Rural Heaven at Barnutopia

Wedding Barn Stunning views Luxury Yurts

Enquire for a chance to win free venue hire Prize Draw on Valentine’s Day 2017




Glamping Weddings & Events

Thursday 23rd February 2017 from 6.30pm to 9pm free parking, a glass of bubbles on arrival, canapes and a wide selection of exhibitors

t: (01691) 791 624 e: Barnutopia, Tanycoed Farm, Llansilin, Oswestry SY10 9BS

Church Street, Oswestry, Shropshire. SY11 2SZ Tel - (+44) 1691 655 261. 48

1 BUTCHER ROW SHREWSBURY SY1 1UW 01743 341123 W W W. W O O D I N G S A N D C O . C O M

woodings & C o ENGAGEMENT










A V A I L A B L E T ’ S & C ’ S A P P LY


Hadley Park House Hotel named Best Town Wedding Venue in West Midlands for third consecutive year Hadley Park House Hotel, has been named as the Best Town Venue in the West Midlands at the 2017 Wedding Industry Awards for the third year running. Owners of Hadley Park House Hotel Mark Lewis and Geraldine Lewis said: “We are delighted to have won this award again especially as couples who have married at the hotel played a part. It’s very exciting for the Hadley Park team and of course for all past, present and future couples who have or will celebrate their marriage at our hotel. “Weddings are a very important to the hotel and we host over 100 each year, so we’re thrilled to receive a national award that recognises excellence. We are looking forward to the

National Finals in January.” Founder of The Wedding Industry Awards, Damian Bailey said: “The awards really have become the gold standard for wedding excellence in this country and, as our regional award ceremony proved, the wedding industry in the West Midlands is packed full with passionate, innovative and committed suppliers.”

Valentine’s Wedding Showcase Sunday 19 February 2017 11am – 3pm

A wide selection of around 30 wedding professionals to provide inspiration for the big day including cars, cakes, photographers and favours.

Free admission. Free car parking.

Award-winning West Midlands wedding venue

Hadley Park House Hotel has been under the ownership of Mark Lewis and Geraldine Lewis for over 13 years who have restored and refurbished the Grade II Georgian Manor House. The hotel incorporates 22 bedrooms, the 200 seater Mulliner Suite and award-winning AA Rosette restaurant. In the past year, the hotel has undertaken a £100,000 refurbishment in the original Georgian house which includes the Dorrells Conservatory Restaurant, bar and 12 bedrooms which are located in their main house. Hadley Park House Hotel will be hosting a Wedding Showcase on Sunday February 19th. Over 30 specialist exhibitors will be on hand to offer help and inspiration to future brides and grooms. Open from 11am – 3pm.

Hadley Park House Hotel, Telford, remains a favourite venue for couples looking to celebrate weddings, civil ceremonies, civil partnerships, receptions & naming day ceremonies.

Whirlwind Wedding Package from £2,499

This package includes 50 day guests and up to 100 evening guests Available Sunday to Thursday (supplements on Fridays, Saturdays and Bank Holidays)

Hadley Park House Telford TF1 6JQ

01952 677269 50

The Parade Shopping Centre | St Mary's Place | Shrewsbury | SY1 1DL Tel: 01743 272444 | | Untitled-4 1

20/11/2013 16:00

Wedding & Formal Hire All high quality stock held on site for immediate availability

16 The Parade Shopping Centre, St. Mary’s Place, Shrewsbury SY1 1DL Tel: 01743 343943

Martin David Advert.indd 1

05/12/2013 10:22


Exquisite Designer Bridal Collections, along with a boutique of beautiful Mother of the Bride and Groom outfits, special occasion wear, evening and cocktail dresses

Tel: 01952 814631 Email: 123 High Street, Newport, Shropshire TF10 7BB Exclusive Stockists of Designer Collections

Whittington Castle What better setting for a truly romantic day than by choosing Whittington Castle for your civil ceremony.

A fairy tale castle, ivy clad ruined walls, medieval moat, a twin towered Gatehouse entrance all await for your perfect day. The ideal backdrop for all of your photographs. Ceremonies take place in the Lady Eleanor Room which is named after the young bride of Fulk Fitzwarren V1, Eleanor de Beauchamp who set about making the castle a more comfortable home in the 14th century. We invite you to make a booking to view this historic setting and chat about your special day. Phone Sue Ellis, Castle Manager on 01691 662500.

Tel: 01691 662500 Castle Street, Whittington SY11 4DF

52 053303 Shropshire Review_128x92mm_AW.indd 1

06/12/2016 17:33


Beautiful bridesmaid dress, Wedding World, Shrewsbury, £250

Hair and make-up It is important to find a hairdresser and make-up artists who can create what you want. Every stylist will create something slightly different, just like two artists would draw the same object differently. Find your stylists by asking friends for recommendations or looking at salons’ Facebook pages to see what their work is like. Our fashion expert Robyn Moore says: “You should have a trial once you have your dress, as your hair and make up needs to complement and work with your dress so ensure you have an image of your gown with you to show your stylists. “Always try an up-do even if you think you want your hair down, it may surprise you. If you are wearing a veil, then make sure you take it to your hair appointment.” When it comes to make up, ensure that your make up artist is using long lasting products and a fixing spray, as it will need to last the duration of the day and night.

The lingerie

below: ‘Chloe’ Bridal Gown, £1,795, Wedding World, Shrewsbury

below left: Fantasie Mae strapless bra £46, suspender belt £26, brief £21; below right: Fantasie Ella basque £61, thong £15, What Women Want, Newport.

Good bridal underwear is just as important as the gown itself. Not only does it make you feel beautiful but it will keep you comfortable and supported throughout the day. High-quality bridal lingerie is a must and What Women Want in Newport know exactly how to cater for every bride.


Stay organised – keep records of payments and business names you have bought from. Work from a tick list – you can’t miss anything out then. Browse Instagram and Google for inspiration. Book appointments early and keep a diary. Enjoy it, it is your wedding day!



Ladies for a fab, fun hen party choose Casey’s

Casey’s Cordingley Hall is the perfect local location for any Telford resident to enjoy in a fun-filled night for their hen party! Whether it be a jam-packed Ladies’ Night where for the over 16s, there is more than enough to feast your eyes upon, and your stomachs if you decide to make your party a VIP Table! Cherry waiters will keep you topped up with shots, drag queens will keep you on your toes and strippers will keep you... well enough said! Or the fantastically entertaining Party Night Spectaculars, where famous hits from various musical chick flicks come face-to-face with each

other (e.g. Fame vs Mamma Mia)! Performances from our in-house cabaret team and a diner-style basket meal is guaranteed to keep you going all night long! But of course it’s not just the people of Telford who can indulge in such entertaining evenings, Casey’s is 3.9 miles from M54 Junction 5, 4.8 miles from the centre of Telford, which is home to some fantastic hotels and a shopping centre that attracts many people from all over the West Midlands and just 0.7 miles away from Premier Inn. That’s not all! Casey’s even has a VIP Lounge which is a smaller function room. It has plush

carpets, monochrome seating booths, separate toilets and entrance and its own bar which is available for private hire. You can truly make your night your own! Casey’s is the place to dance the night away, keep the Prosecco flowing and welcomes the craziest Fancy Dress. It’s also suitable for all ages; mothers and even grandmothers of the bride have thoroughly enjoyed themselves and felt comfortable throughout! So why wouldn’t you want to spend a night out at a top entertainment venue whether it’s private hire or VIP tables at our in-house events!?

Ladies Nights: Fri 10th Feb: Fri 7th April: Fri 6th June: Fri 6th Oct Night of the Divas Party Night: Fri 24th Feb Moulin Rouge meets Coyote Ugly: Fri 28th April Dirty Dancing meets Grease: Fri 30th June Fame meets Mamma Mia: Fri 2nd Sept Motown Nights: Fri 31st March: Fri 26th May: Fri 29th Sept Psychic Suppers: Thurs 19th Jan: 27th April: 12th Sept: 16th Nov VIP Tickets £10pp (inc Food) Bride Goes FREE! Call 01952 606588 Web WWW.CASEYSVENUES.CO.UK 54


Curtains up



on the shows

read all about it

album reviews



64 n 14 JANUARY Whalebone. Birchmeadow Centre, Broseley

Information on these pages is provided in good faith but we cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. Please phone the contact number to check on dates and times. Events online at

Events January Until 14 January

DANIEL JAMES YEOMAN EXHIBITION Willow Gallery, Oswestry Don’t miss a characterful, lifesized oil portrait of local ‘Farmer Don’ by a portrait and landscape painter who studied in Florence and is now Montgomery based. for information.

Until 14 January

ARTS & CRAFTS EXHIBITION Willow Gallery, Oswestry With work from Border Visual Arts Group, Bijoux and Kay Boyce, the exhibition features a variety of work and styles from oils, watercolour, ceramics, jewellery and glass. www.

Until 8 January

CINDERELLA Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury Starring Shropshire’s favourite Dame Brad Fitt, Eric Smith and more. www.

Until 22 January

ALADDIN Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton With Joe McElderry, Lisa Riley, Ben Faulks, Doreen Tipton and Lucy Kay.

Until 29 January

DICK WHITTINGTON Birmingham Hippodrome Panto fun with John Barrowman, Steve McFadden, The Krankies, Matt Slack and Jodie Prenger. www.

1 January

3 January 

6, 13, 20, 27 January 




Bridgnorth Library Listen to poetry read by others or bring along a favourite or your own composition to read. 2.30-3.30pm.

Bridgnorth Library
 Who do you think you are? Local and family history volunteers are on hand to help with enquiries and research. 2-5pm.

Black Boy, Bridgnorth Jazz at the Black Boy, with Sarah Smith on violin and Paul Sawtell on piano, 12.30pm start. Free entry but donations welcome. 01746 765737.

1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29 January

3 January



Attingham Park, Shrewsbury
 See the Attingham fallow deer herd up close as they get fed their winter rations. Usual admission applies, 2-2.30pm.

Bridgnorth Library
 Opportunity to meet members of the local policing team and to discuss local issues and concerns. 3-4pm.

5 January

2 January



Whole Life Christian Centre, Oswestry A warm welcome along with tea, coffee, cakes and conversation on the first Thursday of the month. 2pm.

Attingham Park, Shrewsbury Families are invited to Attingham for a fun-run to burn off the Christmas indulgences and for a last chance to wear your Christmas jumper as the festive season draws to a close. The run will be approximately one mile. Registration will be open from 10am and the run will begin at 11am. Standard admission charges apply. There is an additional charge to take part in this event. All participants will receive a medal.

5 January 

JAMES SHEARD AND GARETH OWEN AT SHREWSBURY POETRY Old Post Office, Shrewsbury James Sheard will be reading from his new collection “The Abandoned Settlements”, published by Cape and due for release that day. Gareth Owen returns with his wonderful voice to make the audience laugh and celebrate the new year with a tear in the eyes.

3-31 January

GRADUATE SHOW 2017 Weston Park, Shifnal
 The Graduate Show at Weston Park encourages entries in all media with the opportunity of free expression without a set theme. With free public admission, and open each day during the month of the exhibition, the Granary Art Gallery offers a superb opportunity for graduates to have their work seen by a wide, new and interested audience.

6 January

MANSION WINTER TOURS Attingham Park, Shrewsbury The mansion will be open for tours only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 6 January to 26 February 2017.


7-28 January 

 Theatre on the Steps, Bridgnorth This sparkling and fun-filled version of the traditional tale of Sleeping Beauty is delightfully brought to life by the Theatre on the Steps company. The beautiful Princess falls victim to the evil spell cast on her by the wicked Carabosse, and falls asleep for 100 years. The only thing that can save her is a kiss from a handsome Prince. The very best of traditional pantomimes packed full of hilarious comedy, great music and great scenery. Early booking essential.

8 January

CINDERELLA Parish Hall, Chelmarsh, Bridgnorth Gerry Graham Touring Pantos proudly present an up-to-date, traditional, family friendly production of this much-loved tale. The audience can expect plenty of music, comedy and participation. Curtain up at 2.30pm. Book early to avoid disappointment. Adults £8, children 10 years and under £4. Available from Sonia Hobbs 01746 861167.

9, 16, 23, 30 January 

IT HELP Bridgnorth Library
 Do you need help on a computer or


n 9 JANUARY An Evening of Mindfulness with Ruby Wax. The Lion Quays Hotel & Spa, Oswestry

Information on these pages is provided in good faith but we cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. Please phone the contact number to check on dates and times

to use your own laptop or tablet? IT volunteer may be able to help you. This session is popular, so pre-booking is essential. 10am-12 noon.

9 January 

 Bridgnorth Library
 Rhymes, songs and stories for under fives. 10.30-11am.

9 January

AN EVENING OF MINDFULNESS WITH RUBY WAX The Lion Quays Hotel & Spa, Oswestry Join comedian, author and mental health campaigner Ruby Wax for an evening of ‘Mindfulness’ as she dispenses advice in her own witty, smart and accessible way. Ruby’s bestselling book A Mindfulness Guide to the Frazzled will help guide you to a healthier, happier life. Starts 7.30pm (doors open 6.45pm). Tickets £12 including a signed paperback copy of A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled. Tickets from Booka Bookshop in person or online www.

9 January 

DAVID BOWIE IS The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock
 The re-release of Victoria and Albert Museum’s exhibition film David Bowie Is. A critically acclaimed international retrospective of the extraordinary career of David Bowie. This world-class cinema event was filmed on the closing night of the exhibition in 2013. It takes the audience on a journey through a remarkable collection from the David Bowie archive. 7.30pm, £11/£10

16 January



Bridgnorth Library Do you knit, sew or do any other portable handcraft? Whether you are just starting or have dabbled for years, bring along what you do, for two hours of knit, craft and chatter, 10am-12 noon.

11 January 

 Majestic Cinema, Bridgnorth; The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock; Kinokulture Community Cinema, Oswestry
 On a distant island a man waits. Robbed of his position, power and wealth, his enemies have left him in isolation. But this is no ordinary man, and this no ordinary island. Prospero is a magician, able to control the very elements and bend nature to his will. When a sail appears on the horizon, he reaches out across the ocean to the ship that carries the men who wronged him. 7pm. See individual websites for booking details.

14 January

WHALEBONE Birchmeadow Centre, Broseley Once again the trio Whalebone bring their high energy acoustic music to the Birchmeadow Centre. As well as their usual fare they will be promoting their new album Mirabilia which is all original music this time, no covers; so expect to hear something different – but still distinctively Whalebone. £10 www.

12 January


15 January

QUINTET ROMANCE AT DUSK The Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury Bringing together again the special rapport of this group of esteemed and respected chamber music colleagues and friends of the late Peter Cropper in another early evening delight. 6pm.

Kinokulture Community Cinema, Oswestry A dazzling documentary portrait of brilliant musical maverick Frank Zappa. Starts 7.30pm. Book at www.

12 January


Events online at

13, 27 January

16 January

Whole Life Christian Centre, Oswestry Feeling isolated, lonely or just in need of friendship? Jigsaw are a small group of people, who belong to Cabin Lane Church and meet twice a month in the Whole Life Christian Centre on the 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month. 10.30am-12pm. www.

BRIDGNORTH AND DISTRICT HISTORICAL SOCIETY Castle Hall, Bridgnorth Tony Crowe gives a talk on The Ditton Priors Light Railway 19081965. 7.30pm. Visitors are most welcome, £3 per lecture.


Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton A memorable evening of hysterical nonsense, as we take a peek into the circus lurking deep within the mind of probably the greatest comic storyteller ever to grace the stage. Jethro beguiles and befuddles his audience with the endless stream of irreverent twaddle that has created a comedy genius. 7.30pm, £18.50£22.50,

16 January

 The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock
 After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of panther Bagheera, and free spirited bear Baloo. 7.30pm £5/£4

17 January

MODERN LINE DANCE CLASS Shifnal War Memorial Hall
 The classes will be held weekly on a Tuesday evening and will cater for absolute beginners (7.30-8.30pm) and also improvers/intermediates (8.30-9.30pm). Adults £4.50, children (under 16). nulinedancewithsteveandclaire

18 January

 The Place @ Oakengates Theatre, Telford 
 Award winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili, known for his legendary stand-up performances, is back on a



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n 15 JANUARY Quintet Romance at Dusk. The Lion Hotel, Shrewsbury

Information on these pages is provided in good faith but we cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies. Please phone the contact number to check on dates and times

ago, Michael has endeared himself to many with his obvious respect for solid workmanship and creative energy. An historian at heart, he has used a Victorian railway guide to take millions of TV viewers on a voyage of discovery throughout the UK, Ireland, and much of Europe. 3pm, £19.

23 January

 The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock
 Claire and Lisa Walker are neurotic sisters on the run who assume the identities of internationally renowned poets The Wilding Sisters to take refuge at a poetry retreat for the weekend; spending time in the Black Mountains of Wales among poets and the inspiration of nature leads to a new beginning for our heroines. 7.30pm, £5/£4,

24 January 

 The Place @ Oakengates Theatre, Telford For those with an interest in mediumship, star of TV’s Street Psychic, Psychic Private Eyes and Psychic Academy Tony Stockwell will need no introduction.
 7.30pm, £19£21,

24 January


finest Scottish produce. Dinner with Prue will be set in the historic Dining Room. Guests can then retire to the grandeur of the Victorian Library for a whisky by the fire before retiring for the evening in one of Weston’s beautiful bedrooms. Breakfast will be served the morning after, and the estate is free to explore at your leisure. Call 01952 852106.

nationwide tour. Intelligent, sometimes provocative and always entertaining, his stand-up is a hugely energetic and captivating comedy masterclass. His credits range from Hollywood to television and the West End stage. 8pm, £25,

20 January 


21 January

The Place @ Oakengates Theatre, Telford Come and join the lads for what can only be described as a football fan’s great night out. Hear the stories about the dressing room fights, funny anecdotes about team selection and training, everything you would want to know about what goes on behind the scenes of a successful football club. 7.30pm, £22, www.

SHREWSBURY PRISON GHOST HUNT HM Prison Shrewsbury Shrewsbury Prison is an absolute must for all seasoned ghost hunters and anyone else who is quite frankly fearless. Shrewsbury Prison is one of the oldest prisons in the UK and has a macabre and sinister history. This abandoned prison is vast with so many haunted areas to investigate for the whole night. Event happens monthly, booking essential. www.

20-22 January


21 January

Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham Ed Balls, Ore Oduba and Lesley Joseph are among the celebrities announced to appear on the Strictly live tour, along with Louise Redknapp, Danny Mac and Daisy Lowe. Judges will be Len Goodman, Craig Revel Horwood and Karen Hardy. From £35, 0844 338 80000.

OSWESTRY SCHOOL SCHOLARSHIP DAY Oswestry Academic, sport, art/design, music, languages and choral scholarships available for 11+, 13+ and 16+ entry. 100% bursary available. To register or for further information please email or telephone 01691 655711

21-22 January


Events online at

22 January


Weston Park, Shifnal
 A customary Burns Night supper is the centrepiece of the weekend, with each course representing the

Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury Since leaving the House a decade


Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury Intelligent, sometimes provocative and always entertaining, his stand-up is a hugely energetic and captivating comedy masterclass. His credits range from Hollywood to television and the West End stage. 8pm, £25.50, www.

24 January

EXHIBITION ON SCREEN: THE CURIOUS WORLD OF HIERONYMUS BOSCH (CERT12A) Kinokulture Community Cinema, Oswestry Delve into the vivid imagination of a true visionary. Who was Hieronymus Bosch? Why do his strange and fantastical paintings resonate with art lovers now more than ever? How does he bridge the medieval and Renaissance worlds? Discover the answers to these questions and more with this remarkable new film. 7pm. Book at

25 January

DEATH EDUCATION FOR HEALTH AND WELLBEING Qube, Willow Street, Oswestry This course with expert Dr Judith Wester will give you the tools to expand your knowledge and improve your communication around death, dying and loss. From 10am-4pm, priced £130. for details and booking.

25 January

JIM DAVIDSON 40 YEARS ON Theatre Severn Shrewsbury 
 Britain’s most controversial comedian celebrates an explosive 40 years in show business. Jim brings to the stage for the first time a truly revealing and hilarious look at his life. From the triumphs to the tragedies, Jim


Davidson as you have never seen him before. 7.30pm, £24.50, www.

26 January 

 Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury 
 Amid mischief and mayhem, this hilariously funny show lives up to its rocking reputation. Packed with aerial silk stunts, fang-tastic fire routines, guitar gods and sexy vampettes performing some of the best rock anthems of all time including tracks from Guns & Roses, AC/DC, Meat Loaf and many more. 7.30pm, £26, www.

26 January

BRENDAN COLE – ALL NIGHT LONG Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton A brand new show for 2017, Brendan hosts another spectacular production featuring his guest dancers, a new leading lady and a 14-piece band and singers live on stage. Stunning lighting, amazing special effects and superb choreography. 7.30pm, £28£41.50,

26 January


27 January

TRIANGLES – FILM SCREENING FOR HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL DAY The Hive, Shrewsbury Triangles is an unprecedented and inclusive documentary that shines an intimate light on a broader community and culture of the Holocaust not previously revealed.
 £5/£4 through Eventbrite

27 January 

 Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
 Martyn Joseph is a performer like no other. He’s a jaw-dropping guitar player who has developed a unique percussive style, with a powerful show-stopping voice, and has been called “The Welsh Springsteen”. There are also shades of John Mayer, Bruce Cockburn and Dave Matthews. 8pm,  £17,

27 January

 Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton 
 The Bee Gees Story – Nights On Broadway present a tribute to the Bee Gees through a fantastic performance, featuring the Gibb brothers’ incredible songs from over four decades – from the 60s to the 90s. 7.30pm, £19-£21.50,

28-31 January

 The Place @ Oakengates Theatre, Telford
 An amateur performance by The Arts Centre Telford. This legendary musical has been specially adapted to meet the needs of young performers. This author-approved edition has been abridged to a running time of just over two hours, while carefully maintaining the integrity of one the greatest musicals ever written. £13.50,

27 January

OSWESTRY ARTISAN MARKET Baileys Head, Oswestry Oswestry markets hold the monthly artisan market on the last Friday of every month selling the best in local produce such as pies and pastries, meat and fish, cheeses and cakes as well as occasional crafts and bespoke gifts. From 9am until 3pm.

29 January

 Classics from the world of film, including many Oscar winners and nominations, with selections from 1940 to the present day. 3pm, £19,

28 January

 Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury
 Grab your platforms and flares for a journey back in time to when Abba dominated the charts and ruled the airwaves. Thank Abba for the Music is a theatre spectacular that captures all of the magic and excitement of one of pop history’s most successful and entertaining live bands. 7.30pm, £23.50,

29 January

 Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton Get a feel for the Forties as Ray McVay presents the world’s greatest Big Band Show featuring the fabulous harmonies of the Moonlight Serenaders, the sublime vocals of Catherine Sykes and Mark Porter as well as the energetic and exciting Swing Time Jivers. 3pm, £23-£25.

28 January

DAVE KELLY & PAUL JONES Festival Drayton Centre, Market Drayton
 Ruggedly durable and timeless, the Blues is perhaps more popular today than it has ever been. Founder members of the Blues Band, Paul Jones’ and Dave Kelly’s tangled and colourful roots go way back into the true undergrowth of the tradition. 7.30pm, £21, 01630 654444

28 January

STARS IN YOUR SKIES – ORION & BIRTH OF STARS Carding Mill Valley and the Long Mynd Where can we see the birthplace of stars, how are they born and what has life in store for them? Find out with astronomer and broadcaster Pete Williamson. There will also be the opportunity for star-gazing (weather permitting). Soup and a roll are included in the ticket price. Meet at the Chalet Pavilion, Carding Mill Valley 8-10pm, £10. www.

28 January

 Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton 
 Returning by popular demand, for one night only, three hours of nonstop 60s nostalgia. Seven legendary names take to the stage and deliver a night never to be forgotten. 7.30pm, £21.50-£29.50

27 January

28 January



Oswestry School Dr Jon Herbert is an acknowledged

Cumbrae Pipe Band. Doors open 7pm for 7.30pm start. Tickets are priced £25 and are available from Hugh Roberts on 0797 196 3016.

30 January

 The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock
 A camera crew catches up with David Brent, the former star of the fictional British TV series The Office, as he now fancies himself a rock star on the road. 7.30pm, £5/£4, www.

31 January

 Oswestry Visitor and Exhibition Centre
 Come and find a carpet of snowdrops on a country estate in a ruined house. Meet 10am at the Heritage Centre.  Walk will last about two hours and will be muddy at times. Liz Evans 01743 255068

31 January

IL TROVATORE (ROH LIVE) Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury; The Edge Arts Centre, Much Wenlock; Majestic Cinema, Bridgnorth This atmospheric and poetic staging by director David Bösch puts the story of passion against the backdrop of war. Fire and snow in the landscape echo the cruelty and love of the story: soldiers and gypsies clash, a mother reveals a terrible secret and two men are engaged in a deadly fight for one woman. The famous Anvil Chorus is just one of the highlights of Verdi’s exceptionally fine music, which captures the shifting emotions of the drama through impassioned love duets, fiery solos and stirring choruses 7.15pm, see individual websites for ticket details

n 20-22 JANUARY Strictly Come Dancing Live Tour. Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham

Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury As four of North East England’s leading champions of its musical heritage, The Pitmen Poets individually and collectively celebrate the triumphs, tragedy, humour and hard times of North-East England’s coal-mining tradition in an evening of music, song and spoken word, illustrated by atmospheric archive photography. 7.30pm, £19,

expert in American politics with his primary focus on the American presidency. As senior lecturer in the faculty of Politics, Philosophy, Internal Relations and the Environment at the University of Keele, his analysis will be incisive and his delivery passionate. Entry is free, starts 7pm at the Peter Humphreys Centre, Oswestry School. For more information and to reserve a place email enquiries@oswestryschool.

Oswestry Cricket Club Evening of traditional Burns Night food, song, and the odd spirit or two, along with pipers from the Isle of



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Theatre Reviews

The Nutcracker, Birmingham Hippodrome


pening night of Birmingham Royal Ballet’s The Nutcracker at Birmingham Hippodrome coincided with its creator Sir Peter Wright’s 90th

birthday. The production was created by Sir Peter 26 years ago to mark the dance company’s relocation to Birmingham, and the legendary choreographer was present to enjoy the launch of this year’s run of the much-loved festive perennial. Set in the late 19th century, during a Christmas Eve party hosted by Dr Stahlbaum and his wife, magician Drosselmeyer produces gifts for all the children present, including a nutcracker doll for the Stahlbaum’s daughter Clara. After the guests have left the family retire to bed, but Clara sneaks back downstairs to play with her new doll. As the clock strikes midnight, Drosselmeyer reappears and Clara is transported to a magical winter wonderland of dancing snowflakes, a malevolent rat king and a handsome nutcracker prince. Right from curtain up, this production has the wow-factor. There was an audible gasp from the audience when the first of many extraordinary sets was revealed. The scenery, special effects and

costumes, devised by designer John Macfarlane. are spectacular. From the giant Christmas tree transformation to a magical snowstorm at the end of Act I – it’s one of the most visually stunning shows I’ve ever seen. Tchaikovsky’s evocative score, faithfully executed by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia under the baton of Nicolette Fraillon, gives the production an additional layer of magic. Any less of a company might have been overshadowed by such elaborate staging, but The Nutcracker is the perfect vehicle for Birmingham Royal Ballet to show what it is made of. Despite a few minor timing issues during some of the group dances in Act I, this renowned troupe is world class. There are many standout performances – Karla Doorbar is delightful as Clara, and Jonathan Payn is a commanding presence as the enigmatic Drosselmeyer. Tzu-Chao Chou’s performance as the Jack-in-the-Box is jaw-droppingly energetic and young Max Blackwell is charming as Clara’s mischievous little brother. While most of the action takes place in Act I, the second act is a series of divertissements in various fantasy realms, which in the most part have little to do with the story. Clara is somewhat sidelined to observe the Waltz of the Flowers and dynamic Russian and Spanish-style dances. It is these continental-themed sections of the ballet which perhaps haven’t aged so well. The

Chinese tea dance, for example, is an awkwardly stereotypical caricature complete with pointing fingers and bobbing heads. That said, the best is indeed saved until last. The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy is exquisitely executed by Momoko Hirata. The grand pas de deux featuring the Sugar Plum Fairy and The Prince is equally flawless. Hirata is partnered by Joseph Caley, and together they give a beautiful performance that is both sensitive and exhilarating. Sir Peter Wright’s masterpiece continues to delight. After 26 years and over 500 performances, this classic ballet has lost none of its sparkle. Enchanting and poignant, the Birmingham Royal Ballet has yet again delivered a sensational festive showpiece. Clare White

Treasure Island, Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Cinderella, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury

en minutes in and we’ve had bloody scenes of amputations and a fight between pirates. The children in the audience will be happy to lap this up all night. For families looking for a seasonal treat at the theatre that isn’t panto, the Rep has a proud tradition of serving up quality entertainment. This is a family show that isn’t dumbed down, so the dialogue is at times wordy and the plot unrushed, but the three rows of schoolchildren at the front showed no sign of fidgety boredom. Where Treasure Island has ‘compromised’ to modern times is in the casting of Jim Hawkins as a girl. It’s a practical solution to finding an adult actor who can convincingly play a young teenager (males tend to be more, well, manly) but also addresses a huge gender imbalance in the book. “Girls need adventures too,” comments one character, and Sarah Middleton’s Jim (short for Jemima) grabs her adventure with wide-eyed delight and a zest for life. Narrating the story, her asides to the audience are beautifully timed, and she proves to have a lovely singing voice in the sprinkling of sea shanties which pepper the production. The quirky mix of pirates and innocent adventurers lured to sea by a treasure map features some entertaining characters, notably Squire Trelawny (Tonderai Munyevu), the ever-hungry Red Ruth (Andrea Davy) and the delightful person-that-everyone-forgets, Grey

Showing until 8 January

Showing until 7 January


W (Dave Fishley) who in complete contrast also plays the macabre Billy Bones. Also worthy of mention is the excellent Thomas Pickles as Ben Gunn, driven crazy by three years alone on the island. The staging is marvellous, the Rep’s big stage taking you inventively from inn to ship to island with no pauses for scene changes. Visually interesting with a multi-layered acting space, it takes the action up and even down, with characters disappearing under the stage. There are extended fight sequences and an impressive body count for a children’s show, but softening that are the humour and music. Best for children aged around eight and upwards, Treasure Island should stir their imagination and spirit of adventure – and hopefully not too many bad dreams of one-legged men and the Black Spot. Alison Ashmore


e knew we were in for something special at this year’s annual Theatre Severn pantomime, Cinderella. For starters, everyone’s favourite dame Brad Fitt, was the one wearing the trousers. Brad Fitt, who also directs the production, has appeared at six previous Theatre Severn pantomimes. Playing Buttons was a departure from his usual role. He was as hilarious as always but without the costume changes and with a bit of extra pathos, and a song. My family loved him more than ever before (and he is always our favourite!) Having said that, it was close competition as the cast was the strongest I’ve ever seen in a pantomime. Shrewsbury opted for real talent as opposed to reality stars, and the professionalism from every single cast member was outstanding. Ryan Bennett as Prince Charming was delightful, with a faultless voice, good looks and a sense of humour as a nice but dim royal, and Victoria McCabe was pretty with a sparkly smile as lead role Cinderella. Dandini, played by stand-up comedian Phil Butler, added more hilarity with a Tommy Cooper continued over


Waste and recycling over the festive period The day of the week your waste and recycling is collected will change over the Christmas period. If your usual collection day is...

...your Christmas collection will be:

Monday 19 December 2016 Tuesday 20 December 2016 Wednesday 21 December 2016 Thursday 22 December 2016 Friday 23 December 2016

No change No change No change No change No change

Monday 26 December 2016 Tuesday 27 December 2016 Wednesday 28 December 2016 Thursday 29 December 2016 Friday 30 December 2016

Saturday 24 December 2016 Wednesday 28 December 2016 Thursday 29 December 2016 Friday 30 December 2016 Saturday 31 December 2016

Monday 2 January 2017 Tuesday 3 January 2017 Wednesday 4 January 2017 Thursday 5 January 2017 Friday 6 January 2017

Tuesday 3 January 2017 Wednesday 4 January 2017 Thursday 5 January 2017 Friday 6 January 2017 Saturday 7 January 2017

Collections will return to normal from Monday 9 January 2017 Red = earlier collection Blue = later collection These changes start the weekend before Christmas and end on Saturday 7 January 2017. Some collections will be before your usual day of collection but most collections will be later.

In bad weather: please leave bins out until they are collected. For boxes, please take them back in if they’re not collected as they can be a trip hazard, and put them out on the next scheduled collection day.

Working in partnership



style magic show and a scene where he turned royal ball into a rave. This year’s dames gave Brad Fitt a run for his money as ugly sisters who managed 10-second costume changes into some spectacular dresses inspired by fast food and a pair of cows amongst many others. They relentlessly taunted a chap named Tony, before cleverly revealing a huge pair of knickers bearing his name in the second half. Even the Fairy Godmother – not traditionally a huge source of laughs – was amusing (I’m running out of words for funny!). Television actress Joanne Heywood was bright, bubbly and brilliant. Even Shropshire Radio’s Eric Smith – with 14 year of practice – is starting to get the hang of panto. Along with the truly side-splitting cast, the show delivered on magic aplenty. Turning Cinders’ rags into a gorgeous gown was enchanting, as

But even more extraordinary was Cinderella’s horse and carriage which left the audience enthralled and a little bit emotional.

was the moment that Buttons caused it to snow. But even more extraordinary was Cinderella’s horse and carriage which left the audience enthralled and a little bit emotional. This year’s panto, produced by Paul Hendy’s Evolution Productions was without doubt the best yet. No wonder that 90% of tickets were sold by opening week. To catch this touching, witty and delightful production, you’d best be quick. This might be your last chance to see Brad Fitt looking nothing like a dame. Eluned Watson


Page turners with a local connection

Wendy and the Biscuit Tree By Lorna McCann

Available from Amazon, paperback, £7.99

Before I Let You In

dramatic colleague sleazy Mike leaves her flustered and driving home in a frenzy. In her haste and blind panic to leave the forceful sex pest, she fails to notice a cyclist and is oblivious to the fact that she has knocked him off his bike and killed him. This unusual string of events, and the fact that she won’t explain what happened that evening, leads Josie to a prison sentence of 12 months in a women’s prison in the Midlands. Despite the obvious trauma of losing home and job and facing up to events that her sheltered life has never come across, she makes surprising friendships and comes to admit and understand a dark secret in her own past. There were times when I wanted to shake Josie to tell her to defend herself, but as the story progresses you understand why she is as she is in a surprise twist which makes her behaviour clearer. The story moves along at speed which keeps the reader gripped but means you never feel you know the characters well and are occasionally left with a two-dimensional stereotype. Most of the women appear to be victims of men, and there is a clear but subtle message asking the reader to think about the purpose of sending many non-violent women to prison. But primarily it’s a page turner which keeps the reader gripped to her journey of self-discovery from innocent little Josie to a grown-up Jo ready to forget her past and face the world. Eluned Watson

by Jenny Blackhurst

Published by Headline, paperback, available from £3.85 Before I Let You In is Shropshire author Jenny Blackhurst’s second novel. It centres around three friends: Karen, Eleanor and Bea. Eleanor is a stay-at-home mum, burdened with the task of juggling school runs and nappy changes – at the bidding of her two small children and a stay-at-work Dad. Bea is a footloose and fancy-free office worker with no apparent ties or responsibilities except to live the single dream. And finally there’s Karen, a respectable psychiatrist who keeps the trio on a level playing field. All three friends meet on a regular basis, exchanging banter and insights into their different lifestyles. But their lives are about to change as a fourth character, Jessica, enters their world. She becomes Karen’s patient, but knows scarily too much about the three friends. Before I Let You In is a mystery of the mind; a journey through the corridors of suspicion and betrayal. Well written, compelling and full of intrigue. Michael Flavell


by Catherine Trimby YouCaxton Publications, paperback, £10 Josie, by Shropshire-born Catherine Trimby, follows the story of a timid, good girl, who at 32 years of age has never so much as sworn in public. That is, until a meeting with amateur


Former Shropshire journalist Lorna has published her first book after being inspired by her two young boys. Wendy and the Biscuit Tree was a favourite made-up tale with her sons Lucas and Finn and she promised them she would write it down so they could read it for themselves. Lorna, from Childs Ercall near Newport, teamed up with children’s illustrator Holly Bushnell, who is based in Formby,

A great bedtime story about discovery and friendship – and not eating too many biscuits Merseyside, to bring her story to life and has been supported by Team Author UK – an alliance established by editor Sue Miller to support independent authors wishing to self publish. It tells the story of Wendy, the smallest giraffe in the world, who is tired of being teased by her friends and fed up of not being tall enough to reach the good fruit at the top of the trees. But one day, Wendy discovers an enormous biscuit tree which means she will never go hungry again. But what happens when Wendy gets a bit too greedy? Do Wendy’s friends come to help her? This is a great bedtime story about discovery and friendship – and not eating too many biscuits.


Books continued

A Charm of Goldfinches & Other Collective Nouns by Matt Sewell Ebury Press, £12 A Charm of Goldfinches by Shrewsbury artist Matt Sewell is a delight for lovers of words, animals and illustration. This book, focused on collective

A crown of kingfishers, one of the delightful illustrations from Shropshire artist Matt Sewell

nouns for animals, will have you struggling to steer conversations towards animals simply so you can make use of some of these fantastic and eccentric English collective nouns. Many of us may have heard the poetic phrase a ‘charm of goldfinches’, the glorious ‘murmuration of starlings’, or pub question favourite ‘a parliament of owls’. But ‘a dazzle of zebras’, ‘leap of leopards’, ‘business of ferrets’, ‘cloud of bats’ or ‘harem of seals’ were all new to me. I had to check they were even real, so fanciful were some of the glorious nouns used in this hardback book. Each collective noun comes with quirky write-up on one page and delightful watercolour on the next. The book also includes a Spotting and Jotting section, where readers are encouraged to get out and about with binoculars and flask to search for some of the animals mentioned.

Be warned, you’ll need to visit farflung places, or a zoo, to catch sight of an ape, elephant or hippo. Illustrated with Matt Sewell’s inimitable watercolours, and filled with

witty and enchanting descriptions of animals of land, air and sea, A Charm of Goldfinches is the perfect gift for art and nature lovers alike. Eluned Watson

Home for Christmas

Mirabilia’s first surprise is a beautiful contortion from its originally intended destination to something excitingly different. A haunting single note violin introduction and the gentle ripples and bends of the lead guitar conjured up a misty Celtic lake for me. A few seconds in, and a deeper noted fingerpicking accompaniment of a second guitar starts to build a sustained rhythmic beat allowing the lead to overlay ‘Anglicana’s’ distinctive dancing banjoesque melody and elegantly wistful refrain. It climaxes with some harmoniously smooth, note perfect improvisation, before returning to its catchy theme. In ‘Chalk Heart’ the roles are reversed as Sarah’s five-string violin mini concerto passionately sheds tears of sadness all over Steve and Charlotte’s ostinato guitar

phrasing and bass line. It’s a chalk heartbreaker. From the Eastern European influenced handclapping live favourite ‘Mouse’ to the folk-rock opera of ‘Holding Aces’ (offering nothing less than a wah wah guitar solo, electric mandolin with slide and an amusingly inserted ‘circus interlude’) Whalebone do not fail their listeners. As ever, acoustic loveliness just oozes from this latest Whalebone compilation with the final gift of ‘Pure’ poignantly bringing us back down to earth on nylon-strung classical guitars. There’s more twists and turns on ‘Mirabilia’ than a bobbing pooh-stick winding downstream from Bridgnorth to Bristol, through the eddies and backwaters of the Severn, passing by the very studio where this album was born. A romantic idea, but maybe it was Sabrina, ancient goddess of our beautiful river, that lent herself as the final guild of creative inspiration to help complete this enchantingly tuneful accumulation of ideas. Avid fans will love ‘Mirabilia’ and any newbies picking this up will no doubt become avid fans too. Martin Edwards

Music Mirabilia by Whalebone £7.99 on iTunes Whalebone are a group of extremely talented Shropshirebased musicians rapidly gaining international recognition with their signature dish of folk music with a twist. Their latest album was written and recorded overlooking the River Severn in their Brewhouse studio in the spring and early summer of 2016. Mirabilia is described as ‘items of inexplicable origin and form’ and every track surprised them in different ways, each taking the players in a series of unexpected directions. ‘Anglicana’ is first up and it was a good choice, setting the tone for a wondrous mystical journey through this eclectic mix of musical delights – but all threaded together with that unique Whalebone blend of acoustic strings. According to the sleeve notes, this opening track was originally intended as a piece of Americana with banjo and plans for lap steel. So


by the Military Wives Choirs Amazon, £9.99 Women from Shawbury and Cosford Military Wives Choir add their talents to the latest album from the movement originally established to give a voice to the wives of servicemen. This is their biggest release yet, featuring over 1,000 wives from 65 choirs across the UK and overseas. Twelve Christmas carols and songs feature, with some having had their lyrics adapted to reflect what the season means to women in the military community. Inspired by the experiences of families who cannot always spend Christmas together, it brings a special poignancy to the songs and a new take on some very familiar tunes. A choir of purely female voices is always going to lack the depth of a mixed voice choir, instead giving a very sweet sound, but the tracks have powerful harmonies and orchestral arrangements. No doubt many people will enjoy this album, which is for a worthy cause. Alison Ashmore


The race   is on


rab your trainers, whether you’re a runner or someone considering a brand new challenge, it’s time to start training for Oswestry’s inaugural Half

Marathon. Starting and finishing at popular tourist destination The British Ironwork Centre – and offering a medal specially designed by the centre – the event is to be held on 30 April. The half marathon is organised by the team from UKRunChat, who took over the successful Shrewsbury Half in June 2016. Reviewmedia is proud to offer support as official media partner. The British Ironworks will be putting on family fun events for those cheering on family and friends. There will also be the chance to see magnificent sculptures including the famous Spoon Gorilla and Knife Angel. If that’s not incentive enough, then the medals, themed around the giant spoon gorilla, promise to be a work of art in themselves. The route will start off in the grounds of British Ironwork Centre’s sculpture park, past leaping wildebeest, cheetahs and a life-size

Official Media Partner

n Operations Director Sophia Knowles and Joe Williams

elephant, before heading towards the bustling streets of Oswestry town centre. The idea behind the race came about during a dinner conversation with British Ironwork Centre chairman and founder Clive Knowles, says UKRunChat director Joe Williams. “Clive and I met at a dinner in February 2016. Over a drink we had the idea that between The British Ironworks and UKRunChat we could bring a fantastic and unique new event to Oswestry,” says Joe. The route should have plenty of interesting features to keep runners distracted from the gruelling 13.1 miles run. Joe is expecting beginners and elite runners alike to take on this new challenge. “We are focusing on putting on a great event which hopefully will attract runners not only from

Shropshire but people from further afield looking for something a little different,” says Joe. He hopes they might even encourage some new people into running. “Lots of people run for different reasons. Running is a fantastic way to get fit, lose weight and tone up. It helps relieve stress. Some people like to compete with others. It’s a very social activity now and yet it’s also great to go out on your own and have some ‘you time’.” Keen runner Joe is delighted to have teamed up with The British Ironworks to create a family day and fun atmosphere with plenty of parking, toilet facilities and added entertainment and café. He says: “The British Ironworks is a fantastic place to start and a finish a race. Participants and spectators alike will have plenty to keep them occupied. Whilst loved ones are off running, the younger members of the family will be suitably entertained. “Add to that, having one of the Ironworks’ amazing sculptors designing the medal inhouse. It is going to be one of the best medals a participant is ever likely to get.  Runners love getting medals so this is not one to be missed. I have seen the prototype and it is going to be really amazing!” Early bird registration is priced at £22.50 and non-affiliated £24.50. For details and to sign up go to To find out more about The British Ironwork Centre go to

Tel: 01691 610952 Whitehall, Aston, Oswestry, Shropshire, SY11 4JH 65


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Food& Drink

SOLE AND LEEKS EN PAPILLOTE Serves 4 One of the quickest healthy suppers there is, baking fish in a parcel with flavourful leeks and herbs, really maximises flavour. If sole is elusive, this recipe also works well with sea bass, bream or trout fillets.


he humble leek is the perfect seasonal British vegetable, adding flavour to a wide range of warming winter recipes. What’s more, its nutritional benefits are apparently ideal for keeping us healthy during the cold months ahead. The Leek Grower’s Association is reminding us that leek is the fat-free, nutrient rich answer to staying healthy and helping combat colds this winter. From keeping sore throats at bay to improving the quality of the singing voice, this ‘upmarket onion’ is a must-have on shopping lists across the country during the November to April season. More refined, subtle and sweet than the average onion and packed with antioxidants, the leek has long been treasured in Europe and the Mediterranean where it has been grown and cooked for more than 3,000 years. Rich in iron, vitamin B6, vitamin C and folate it is used in traditional medicines to treat a variety of ailments including the common cold, gout, ‘bad’ cholesterol, kidney stones as well as protecting against cancer. Whether you like them roasted, baked, braised or boiled, leeks are easier to digest than onions, have laxative, antiseptic, diuretic and anti-arthritic properties. Daily Telegraph food columnist Katriona MacGregor – a big fan of the leek – has devised these recipes especially for the season. For more recipes and information visit the British leek website on www. 

LEEK AND BUTTERBEAN SOUP Serves 4 Rich, thick and warming, this soup has a lovely, velvety texture. Perfect for chilly winter days, it’s inexpensive, quick to make and perfect either for a light supper or filling lunch at work or school. Ingredients 400g leeks, trimmed and sliced 1 small onion, peeled and sliced 2 cloves garlic, sliced 2 x 400g tin butterbeans, drained 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only 1 bay leaf 70ml extra virgin olive oil 1.1L chicken / vegetable stock

Ingredients 300g leeks, trimmed 100g frozen petit pois, defrosted 2 lemon sole, skinned and each filleted into four 8 tbsp white wine ½ lemon, zest and juice 1 tbsp capers A handful of dill, chopped A handful of chives, chopped Olive oil Salt and pepper

Method Heat a little butter or oil in a large sauce pan and add the sliced onions and leeks. Cook gently for 10 minutes until softened, covered with a lid. Don’t allow the leeks to stick to the bottom of the pan and burn as they will become bitter. After 10 minutes, add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf and a little salt and pepper and continue to cook in the same way for a further 10 minutes. Drain the butterbeans, rinse, and tip into the pan with the leeks. Cook for 2 more minutes, still covered with a lid and then pour over the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Using a jug blender if possible, but alternatively a hand held stick blender, blend until very smooth and velvety in consistency, adding the extra virgin olive oil as you blend. Tip back into a clean pan and taste to check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper as needed and perhaps a squeeze of lemon juice. Return to the heat and when piping hot, serve. Top with a drizzle of olive oil, cream or perhaps a crumbling of goat’s cheese or croutons.


Method Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6 Slice the leeks thinly on the diagonal. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the sliced leeks for 1 minute. Refresh in cold water, drain and tip into a bowl with the petit pois. Add the herbs, a little salt and pepper and a drop of olive oil and mix together. To make the parcels, cut out four large sheets of baking parchment. Divide the leek mixture between the four squares, placing a pile in the middle of each and spreading out slightly with the back of a spoon. Lay two fillets of sole on top of each pile of vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil and then sprinkle over the capers and a little lemon zest. Season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Fold the edges of the paper together, from the outer edges towards the middle, twisting to seal. Just before you seal the parcels, add 2 tbsp of white wine to each. Place the parcels on a large baking tray in the centre of the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the fish is just cooked through. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, still in the parcels if you like.

LEEK, LAMB AND NIGELLA SEED CASSEROLE Serves 4 Sweet leeks are a heavenly partner to lamb and in this simple casserole, you only have a handful of ingredients to prepare before the dish goes into the oven to cook quietly on its own. If possible, make it the day before you plan to eat, giving the flavours time to develop. Ingredients 1.1kg boned lamb shoulder, diced into 2” pieces 400-450g leeks, trimmed and sliced 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed 1 heaped tbsp nigella seeds 1 heaped tbsp wholegrain mustard 500ml chicken or lamb stock Large handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped


Method Preheat the oven to 160C / Gas Mark 3 Heat a little oil in a large casserole pan and brown the diced lamb in batches, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Make sure you brown the pieces on all sides, to give plenty of flavour, adding more oil as you need it. Keep to one side. Once all of the lamb is browned, add the sliced leeks to the same pan and cook for 2-3 minutes over a moderate heat, stirring. Add the garlic and nigella seeds and turn the heat down, to cook the leeks as gently as possible. Cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, being careful not to let the leeks stick to the bottom of the pan and burn. Stir and cook for a further 5 minutes. Return the lamb to the pan along with the wholegrain mustard, parsley and stock. Stir well, season with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer. Return the lid to the pot and place in the centre of the oven for 1 ½ hours. At this point, taste the casserole, checking to see if the lamb is tender. If not, return to the oven for a further 30 minutes. Finally, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Serve with mashed or new potatoes.

LEEK, WILD MUSHROOM AND PARMESAN PAPPARDELLE Serves 4 Real comfort food, this recipe can be made vegetarian by omitting the prosciutto and if you’re following a gluten free diet, simply replace the pappardelle with a gluten-free alternative.

Ingredients 80g prosciutto or parma ham, sliced into ribbons 170g wild mushrooms, torn into small pieces 450g leeks, trimmed 1 clove garlic, crushed 10 chives, finely chopped 25g butter 30g parmesan 500g pappardelle Olive oil Method Slice the leeks into thin strips, as you would for a stir fry. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and add the sliced prosciutto. Fry until opaque and crispy and then remove from the pan and keep to one side. Melt the butter with a little oil in the same pan and add the mushrooms. Fry for 3-4 minutes before adding the leeks, garlic and chives. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring every so often, and adding a little more oil if needed. The leeks should have softened but still be nicely bright green. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the pasta. Cook until al dente and before you drain the pasta, add a ladleful of the cooking water to the leeks. Drain the pasta, toss in olive oil and tip into the pan with the leeks. Add the prosciutto and grated parmesan and toss everything together well over the heat for a minute or so. Serve scattered with a little more parmesan and some chopped parsley or chives.


Tempting turkey


ot a fan of turkey curry? Then there are plenty of other lighter options to make sure the Christmas turkey doesn’t go to waste when the big day is over.

CHRISTMAS SQUASH, TURKEY & STILTON QUICHE (from Serves 6 This is a really good way to use up Christmas leftovers, a great lunch or supper dish served with salad. Ingredients  250g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-2cm cubes  1 tbs olive oil 320g pack ready prepared shortcrust pastry 200g cooked turkey, cut into 1-2cm cubes  3 medium eggs 300ml single cream  ground black pepper  100g stilton cheese, crumbled  ¼ tsp dried chilli flakes 


Method Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200C. Place the squash into a roasting tin and drizzle with oil. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes until tender and lightly browned. Cool.  Line the lightly oiled 24cm quiche dish with the pastry. Put squash, turkey and stilton into the dish, beat the eggs with the cream, pepper and chilli flakes and pour over.  Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and set. 

TURKEY AND MOZZARELLA CHRISTMAS SANDWICH LOAF (from Serves: 4-6 Ingredients 3 tbsp cranberry sauce 6-8 long Cos leaves 150g mozzarella, sliced jar roasted vegetables (peppers, aubergines, courgettes etc) leftover turkey breast torn into pieces Loaf of bread Method Cut the top off the loaf approx ¼ the way down and pull the soft bread out of the centre to make a bowl shape of the crust, with a 2cm layer of bread inside. Spread half of the cranberry sauce in a thin layer all over the inside of the bread bowl then layer half of the Cos leaves over the bottom, tearing them to fit. Add a layer of mozzarella, then the roast veg, then the turkey and top with the rest of the cranberry. Repeat this till the bread bowl is full. End with a layer of Cos leaves. Replace the lid and tightly wrap the whole thing in cling film and balance a can on top to weigh it down. Leave to firm up for 1-4 hrs. Cut into slices to serve.

Cook’s tip: dry the roast veg and mozzarella on kitchen roll to avoid the bread getting too soggy.


SATAY TURKEY IN LETTUCE CUPS (from Makes: 15 These make the perfect festive party canapes. Ingredients 2 tsp nut oil 8 spring onions, 6 finely sliced, 2 reserved for decoration 1-2 tsp curry powder 2 tbsp crunchy peanut butter 200g cooked turkey, torn into bite sized pieces 80g baby corn cut into ½ cm disks 160ml chicken stock 50g creamed coconut (or 1 sachet) 2 tsp soy sauce 200g cooked brown rice 2 Baby Gem lettuce Small bunch of coriander 1 lime cut in wedges Method In a heavy bottom pan heat the oil and gently cook the sliced spring onions for 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and peanut butter, cook, stirring, for 1 min until fragrant then add the turkey and baby corn. Stir to coat with the paste. Pour in the stock, coconut milk and soy, stir and cook for 10 minutes. If the satay becomes too thick add a little more stock. While cooking, slice the two remaining spring onions then tear the leaves from the lettuce and arrange on a serving plate. When ready, spoon a little cooked rice into each.

TURKEY, WATERCRESS AND MOZZARELLA WRAP (from Serves: 2 This is the perfect light lunch for using up those festive leftovers. Leave the mozzarella out for a dairy-free alternative or replace with brie, goats, or other leftover cheese of your choice. Ingredients 150g cooked turkey, cut into small chunks 1 small handful of shredded mozzarella 2 large flour tortillas 1 red or yellow pepper, sliced ½ red onion, finely sliced ½ tsp chilli flakes 15 pitted olives, black or green, quartered 1 handful watercress 1 handful of spinach Few torn basil leaves For the dressing 1 tbsp each honey and wholegrain mustard, mixed Method Put a thin layer of the grated mozzarella on the tortillas, then spoon the other ingredients out evenly on top. Drizzle the dressing over the filling, roll it all up, tucking in the sides like a burrito and cook it in a dry, medium-hot frying pan for 2-3 minutes each side, using another pan to weigh it down. Slice in half and serve with salad.


A wide range of fresh fruit, vegetables, cheese, fresh meats, pickles, sauces, gift hampers, gifts and so much more The farm shop and deli have an amazing backdrop – surrounded by rolling countryside with the bonus of trout fishing pools as part of the view Plus a great coffee shop and cafÊ

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Keen on Quinoa Eluned Watson visits the Shropshire home of the grain that’s all the rage ‘Is it pronounced ‘keenwah’ or kwino-a’?’ is the first question everyone wants to ask fifth generation farmer Edward Jones, from near Ellesmere. Edward pronounces it as it’s spelled, although TV chefs usually opt for ‘keenwah’. “It doesn’t really matter,” says no-nonsense Edward, whose family farm grows up to 100 acres of the stuff. The North Shropshire farm is the only British one licensed to grow quinoa, so as far as I’m concerned, whatever he says goes. Quinoa is a grain often cooked in a similar manner to rice, either boiled or steamed until the grains have absorbed the water and swell to nearly double their original size. It is popular in salads and boasts ‘superfood’ qualities. The crop is a flowering plant which can grow up to six feet tall if left. I’m visiting the home of The British Quinoa Company with some of the agricultural team from law firm Lanyon Bowdler. We are privileged to glean a rare insight into how the crop, more commonly found growing in the hills of Bolivia or Peru, found itself on a Shropshire farm. Edward, whose farm has grown everything from barley and wheat to peas, sugar beet and potatoes, is a convert to quinoa since his son Stephen introduced it commercially to the farm in 2013. Stephen, a degree student at agricultural Harper Adams, began experimenting with the crop before it became the phenomenon that it is today.

It took many years of trying different methods and varieties before he finally came up with a European variety that thrived on Shropshire soil. Quite by accident, while Stephen was getting to grips with quinoa, a food revolution began to grow around the grain. Its high protein content, high fibre, nutritional and gluten-free attributes meant it became extremely popular with anyone who was into healthy eating. “It is said you could live just on quinoa and water,” says father Edward, “though I wouldn’t recommend it,” he laughs. Just as Stephen was ready to harvest the first crop with plans to sell to wholefood shops, the farm was approached by food retail giant Pret-aManger. They jumped at the chance. Since then business has gone from strength to strength as people realised the benefits of quinoa and also of buying British. Stephen admits that success has been partly down to luck. Although he has put a huge amount of work into developing, growing, producing and marketing the quinoa, the timing could not have been better. “I thought we would need to spend time educating people of the benefits of quinoa but actually its popularity began to grow as a healthy food.” His marketing can instead focus on asking customers to buy British instead of South American. The farm now produces more than 100 acres of quinoa, sowing in April and

n Farmer Edward Jones and (top) his son, quinoa expert, Stephen. harvesting in early autumn before the cold weather sets in. Stephen has since studied for his doctorate at Nottingham University and has become quite the British expert on growing quinoa and has helped set up other British farms nationwide. For the beginning of 2017, the British Quinoa Company is looking to distribute smaller bags of quinoa and quinoa products directly to more farm shops and delis. They already supply a few, including Battlefield Farm Shop near Shrewsbury, Llynclys Farm Shop, Oswestry; Moor Farm Shop, Baschurch and Ludlow Food Centre. Their website sells British white quinoa, toasted quinoa and smoked quinoa, which is smoked at nearby Chirk Trout Farm and Smokery. Smoked quinoa apparently goes well with a Mexican-style chilli or Moroccan tagine instead of rice or couscous. The company also markets a quinoa and oat granola and muesli and is working towards producing a quinoa flour as a healthy, gluten-free alternative to wheat flour. And the possibilities just keep on coming. “We’re forever experimenting with different ways of using quinoa from pancakes to cereal bars,” says Stephen. “It doesn’t always work but it’s always fun trying.”




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Six of the best buys for winter warmth


1 Grey knit hat, Vinegar Hill, Shrewsbury, £19.99 Get ahead with this knitted hat with faux fur trim


2 Spacey bobble knit boot, White Stuff, £27.50 With the fluffiest of interiors and sturdy soles to take you anywhere in the house 3 Scarf, Accessorize, £25 Brighton Patchwork scarf with contrasting patterns and colours finished with tassels 4 Cosy wrist warmers, www., from £24 Super soft reversible cashmere wrist warmers in a rainbow of colours, from Shrewsbury-based Turtle Doves

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5 Hot water bottles, Robin’s Hardware, Bridgnorth, £6.99 p..p..pick up a penguin or feel floral with these winter warmers 6 Salted caramel hot chocolate, Tea and Roses, Bridgnorth, £12.99 A hug in a mug; this indulgent treat will see you through the chilly nights


View to a new you Eluned Watson gives her body and mind a truly luxurious break at new Shropshire retreat, Hencote


utritionally balanced and exquisite meals cooked by a classically trained top chef, a daily massage, and a yoga session before brunch. This is how I imagine life must be for Gywneth Paltrow. It’s a stress-free life that I could quickly become accustomed to. I have spent a weekend at a luxury retreat, and felt the benefits of a healthy break for body and mind almost immediately. But this isn’t California living. Despite a smattering of Goji berries, coconut oil and some welcome mindfulness, this retreat is in the heart of Shropshire, on the outskirts of Shrewsbury. It’s a converted Georgian farmhouse that I can actually see from my bedroom window. I wouldn’t usually feel the need to holiday so near to home but Hencote, which opened in September, is no bog standard hotel. It is an elegant country estate, a fabulous sanctuary from the stresses and strains of real life. No bootcamp, no fasting; it’s a haven where visitors can switch off from busy lives. I decided that the hassle of finding childcare for three has got to be worthwhile for 24 hours of calm. Luxury and well-being are brought together seamlessly at the 65-acre retreat, perfect for switching off from the worries of the world and recharging your batteries. Within minutes of arrival, niggling anxieties about kids, work and whether I’d left the oven on were gone, as manager Olivia Britton takes my bags and offers to unpack for me before lunch. Three and five-day packages ensure that all you have to focus on is body and soul. A team of attentive staff ensure you don’t have to lift a finger, organising food, drinks, treatments, yoga, fitness and free time where you can laze in a luxurious bath or enjoy getting back to nature, looking out over the Shropshire and Welsh hills. They even offer wellies and waterproofs for those who have forgotten that the great outdoors can be cold and muddy. With accommodation for up to 12 guests, Hencote is more homely than a hotel, with a shared living and relaxing area where you can mingle and chat together. Though with each individual room a haven of calm, no-one is going to force you to be sociable if solitude is your desire. Experts including unflappable Olivia, nutritional therapist Maria Mekhael, a top chef, massage therapist, personal trainer and yoga teacher will help you concentrate on you, tailoring a programme aimed to relax, de-stress, eat well and rid your body of energy sapping toxins so you leave feeling healthier and rejuvenated. Olivia says she has seen many people experience a real ‘journey’ over the fiveday stay. “We start with a focus on switching off from everyday worries. Many businesspeople find it so hard to do that, that when it happens it can be quite dramatic. We have experienced quite a few cathartic tears along the way as people gradually release those pent-up tensions.” Hencote owner Andy Stevens understands the emotions completely, as it is exactly why he launched the holistic retreat. The former Qatari bank chief realised a relentless corporate career was taking its toll on his own health. After reading an article about burnout, Mr Stevens decided it was time to do something about it. “I changed my eating, drinking, sleeping and exercise routines. I underwent hypnosis to address anxiety around frequent travel,” he tells me. “As a result of doing these things I was able to achieve a better balance between my time and the company’s time. I felt so much better and actually my performance at work improved,” he adds. Andy’s own experience inspired the move to launch Hencote at the former family home. He believes not only do people need to look after their overall wellbeing but also that expert help can instill a long-term change in lifestyle for the better. And that’s for everyone. You don’t need to be CEO of a bank or an A-list celebrity. Everyone needs a bit of downtime, even little old me. Hencote’s holistic wellbeing packages run from Thursday to Tuesday and include all meals and accommodation as well as complimentary massage treatments. Prices start from £279 per person per night. Telephone Olivia Britton on 07512 524500 to discuss your individual requirements.


n Sunrise view over some of Hencote’s 65 acres; a calm and relaxing bedroom; Hencote is home to Shropshire’s newest vineyard; dinner is served, with a top chef part of the team of experts

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Iddeshale Gardens

Haughton Hall

Idsall School The White Hart

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Aston Road


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We have a fantastic range of purchase assistant schemes you could take advantage of, including Help to Buy, Home Exchange and Smooth Move†

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The streetscene shown is taken from Loachbrook Meadow, Congleton. †Specific terms and conditions apply for the Help to Buy, Home Exchange and Smooth Move schemes. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offers or promotions and all deals could be subject to board approval. *Stamp duty offer only available for reservations before end of January 2017 on selected plots. Stamp duty paid does not apply to second homes owners or buy to let mortgages. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON A MORTGAGE OR ANY OTHER DEBT SECURED ON IT. Availability correct at time of going to print. Please ask sales advisor for further details.

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Getting a buzz out of work


job that involves walking into a room full of children while dressed from head to toe in a pink bee suit might not be everyone’s idea of a great day at the office. But for Alison Wakeman, it’s the perfect career, combining two of her passions – education and honey bees. Alison, who lives in Great Hay, Telford, runs a business called Alison’s Bee Class. She goes into primary schools to deliver an educational programme about bees and their importance. Since setting up 18 months ago, she has worked with over 1,500 children. “Initially I approached my local primary school in order to pilot the programme, voluntarily,” she explains. “The school were so impressed with the impact I had, they purchased an observation hive for use in educational situations as well as booking me to teach the entire school, on a paid basis. Soon word was spread amongst other headteachers and I started to take bookings from new schools. “The programme is based on three half-day sessions. It is certainly not a course on teaching children how to keep bees, but addresses so many national curriculum-based areas including lifecycles, habitats, pollination and so on. “If a school has a particular topic during the term, such as Victorians, Egyptians or the rainforest, I tailor the programme. This is great fun for me also, as it often requires me to carry out new research myself!” Alison has been keeping bees for four years, with 20 colonies at various locations. “What got me into bees is bizarre,” she says. “I viewed a repossessed house many years ago

with hives in the garden. When enquiring with the estate agent if they would be removed if I bought the house, I was told ‘no, they’re part of the sale!’.  “Ironically I didn’t buy that particular house but the seed was sown so I researched them for

I truly love and believe in what I do and can’t think of anything better, being paid to talk about your hobby years, then decided to go on a course before getting our first colony.” Although not a qualified teacher, Alison has a background in education. She has lectured at Dudley College and was the Academic Dean at Hotel Institute Montreux, in Switzerland.

n With the Duchess of

Cornwall and, above, pre-schoolers at Sutton Hill Primary


Her husband’s career brought them back to England, and being passionate about the great outdoors, she went for a complete change and worked as a self-employed landscaper, having taken a diploma in horticulture. “I am passionate about education too, so once the bees came along and I knew enough about them to be confident to pass on my knowledge, I decided to create Alison’s Bee Class,” she says. “When I arrive at the classroom for the first time, I enter wearing my full pink bee suit, holding my smoker. I do a little ‘panto’ act, which wins over the children’s interest from the start. When asking the children what I do for a living, I’m apparently a Telly Tubby or a spaceman at times! “The first session starts with the basics, identification and anatomy, also why bees sting. Children are fascinated with the stinger and draw some amazing pictures. If my bees had stings the size they draw, I’d win an Olympic gold medal running from the apiary! “Depending on the year group, I then choose different activities. For the younger ages we do role-play. To watch 30-plus children pretending to be a queen bee laying an egg, through to hatching out, as well as acting as guard bees, nurse bees, scout bees etc never fails to have me and the teachers in tears from laughter.” The classes move on to look at pollination, and what items of food we would lose without bees. “I truly love and believe in what I do and can’t think of anything better, being paid to talk about your hobby! I also give talks to adult groups too, which are fact-filled and entertaining. “Bees are incredibly important and if I can inspire just one child – or adult – to care about bees and the environment in the future I feel my work has been worthwhile.”


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n Cindy Wilday fronts the biggest private hire firm in the West Midlands; below, with husband Carl

Driving a business forward


axi companies are still one of the few trades in the 21st century to be male dominated – but one Shropshire woman is bucking the stereotypical trend by fronting the biggest private hire firm in the West Midlands. Cindy Wilday landed in the taxi profession following a career in marketing and sales, and after being with Go Carz for nearly seven years, she is now area director and was recently the driving force behind the company’s decision to launch a new executive division. Go Carz takes some 100,000 phone calls and carries out about 75,000 journeys a week across Shropshire and the West Midlands. It is a fast growing company and has gone from strength to strength over the 20 years it has been in operation. Cindy says that in a world of equality the taxi business is still dominated by men, with most drivers being male and most companies owned and run by men. “Coming from a world of advertising and marketing where there always seemed to be an equal mix of men and women, it was a bit of a surprise to come into the private hire business and find I was dealing with and supervising mainly men,” she says. “Of course, we have women and men who

operate our call centres but most of our drivers are male, as are the majority of the management team. It was a little daunting initially I must admit, and there were challenges to overcome. “But you find a way of dealing with these things and it just stops being a major factor after a while. Certainly nothing I worry about these days. I suppose there was a perception when I came in and you sometimes saw the ‘oh, it’s a

You overcome the stereotypical images and move forward

woman’ roll of the eyes, but you overcome the stereotypical images and move forward. It’s not a problem. “When I first met people in the early days at Go Carz I suppose I might have given the impression of being a hard-nosed businesswoman, but that isn’t me, really. I think there may have been something about trying to compete with some men who had been in business for donkey’s years. “Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a tough business to be in, but I really enjoy coming into


work and offering my perspective on what we can do and how we should go about doing it – a woman’s eye view, if you like. “I think it works well at Go Carz and our record since we started out 20 years ago speaks for itself. We must be doing something right!” Go Carz is very much a family team with daughters Chloe and Emily and niece Becky Hicks also working with the company, and husband Carl directing operations alongside Cindy on the board. “I am proud of what we have achieved at Go Carz and I am pleased with the way we keep driving the company forward – coming up with new ideas and schemes to keep us at the forefront of the industry,” she added. “One of the things we recently launched was Go Exec, our new executive service for business clients. It was something I was really keen on and had been working on the idea for some time. “It took some setting up, the way we wanted it to look and make it appealing to business clients, with a fleet of high quality vehicles with things like free in-car wifi, newspapers and refreshments. “It has been a great experience getting to this point in my life, juggling family, home and career, but it has been really worth it and I am now working on the next project which will help the firm progress still further… watch this space!”

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You don’t need to be a body builder to benefit from joining up at one of Shropshire’s newest gyms. Whether you’re male or female and whether you want to get in shape, bulk up or follow a personal training plan, Evolution Gym, in Bailey Street, Oswestry, could be right up your street. Owner Jimmy Hayns first stepped foot in a gym at the age of 16 and hasn’t looked back since; now finally making his passion his future and opening Evolution back in July, after many months of fitting out the studio space. Evolution is kitted out with 70 units of new and refurbished equipment – everything a serious gym-goer could need and accommodating many different types of training. With more than 200 members already signed up, Jimmy is keen to emphasise that Evolution is not just for body builders. “We are for men, women, experienced trainers and new starters alike whether your motivation is strength, fitness, muscle gain, fat loss or nutrition,” he says. And if you’re lacking motivation, then there’s even the option of a personal trainer. In-house


t ns a io e k tit lin .u pe on co m e n. co ad a to e m om try b tyw En lso un a o n .c ca ww w



trainer Ceri Jones can help customers to build confidence in the gym and support them in achieving their fitness or weight-loss goals. And with opening hours from 6am to 10pm, there’s no excuse not to make time to get in shape whatever your motivation. Evolution Gym, in Bailey Street, is offering three lucky readers one month’s free access to the gym and two free personal training sessions with Ceri. To be in with a chance of winning simply answer the following question:


Check the advertisements in the rest of the magazine to find where our ‘Local Bee’ (pictured above) is hidden. Entry to competitions can be made online through our website or by filling in the entry form or sending on a postcard to: COMPETITIONS, Reviewmedia Ltd, Media House, Building 9, Stanmore Industrial Estate, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV15 5HR. First correct entry drawn will win a £20 book token.

ENTRY FORM Evolution Gym

Secret Horses

Spot the bee

name.................................................. address .............................................. ......................................................... .........................................................

Set in a fictional hospital in Shropshire during the Second World War, The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is a moving novel about the power of stories and imagination. Written by Megan Shepherd, it is beautifully illustrated with evocative, detailed pencil drawings by awardwinning Levi Penfold. Emmaline, who has tuberculosis and has been sent to Briar Hill for safety, has a secret – winged horses live in the mirrors of the hospital. The author, who lives in the USA, has written several acclaimed young adult books, and this is her first for younger readers. She chose to set her story in Shropshire because many children were evacuated here during the war. This is a remarkable novel worth a place on the bookshelf. Combining dreams with reality, a weaving of magic and an ending full of ambiguity, it is aimed at confident young readers aged eight and above. The Secret Horses of Briar Hill is one of those

......................................................... ......................................................... postcode ............................................ phone number ................................... email .................................................

books which will linger in the mind long after the final page is read. We have five copies of The Secret Horses of Briar Hill to give away, thanks to Walker Books. Each winner will also receive an artwork poster and print. To enter simply tell us:

What animals live in the mirrors? 81

Competition rules: Closing date for all entries is 13/01/17. Send your entries to Reviewmedia Ltd Media House, Building 9 Stanmore Industrial Estate, Bridgnorth, Shropshire WV15 5HP. In the event of a tie the first correct entries out of the hat will be the winners. For full terms and conditions regarding competitions please refer to

COMPETITION WINNERS DECEMBER 2016 Birmingham Hippodrome Mrs Kathleen Olivier, Newport Wolverhampton Grand Mrs Miriam Elcock, Bridgnorth Clothes Show Mrs Susan Lewis, Bridgnorth; Mrs Anne White, Oswestry; Ms Hannah Dawes, Telford Spot the Bee Mrs L L Parker, Bridgnorth


A questionable year Alison Ashmore


ell what a year that has been! It seemed to be one shock after another, throwing up events that are bound to feature in pub quizzes to come. So let’s see if you’ve been paying attention, with my 2016 Quiz of the Year. Q. Which political party resorted to in-fighting? A. All of the main ones. The Tories fought over Europe, the Opposition decided to oppose each other rather than the Government, and UKIP went back to basics with some bare-knuckle boxing. Except of course no punches were ever actually thrown, in case their lawyers are reading this.

as ‘colour’, they didn’t realise they were voting for the leader of the free world, but thought they were watching an episode of The Apprentice USA. Or they were having a laugh. At the expense of race and gender relations, global stability and the climate. There isn’t much funny to say about Trump, really. Q. Our Olympians were the most successful yet. So why did that make the rest of us losers? A. Because as a nation we’ve lost our loser mentality. No longer are our sporting heroes plucky have-a-goers such as Eddie The Eagle Edwards; we demand victory now. Except in football, where it was business as usual at the Euros. Still, it will all be different when we win the World Cup.

Q. What national institution did Q. Which exit decision left the we say goodbye to? Perhaps we’ll be nation reeling? A. You’ve a choice here. Two marks A. The Great British Bake Off. If British Home Stores – a sad loss replaced by Israel for we thought Brexit caused a storm which left many of us wondering in June, then three months later it where to go for school uniforms, and Australia. paled into insignificance. Auntie novelty Christmas gifts and lighting. According to the Beeb’s loss of Bake Off to those RIP BHS. One mark for Top Gear; the brash upstarts at Channel 4 was the BBC’s feeble attempt to keep it going Eurovision Song real shocker that left us despairing proof that it is people, not formats, about the future. Mary, Mel and that we love to watch. I bet they Contest, they are Sue occupied the moral high were weeping as Grand Tour roared in Europe. ground and the nation’s on to Amazon, bringing us three old hearts by sticking with the blokes in their TV making Prime. BBC, despite the Government’s mutterings Q. What is Europe? that anyone the Beeb paid more than the A. I’m not sure any more. I used to think we were part Living Wage should be put in the stocks of it, but then it seems some of us thought we shouldn’t and subjected to public humiliation. It’s no be, so we might not be in a couple of years’ time. Or wonder they couldn’t keep their top show. we might be half in, half out, like my tummy in skinny Q. Which Scot became an Englishman? A. Andy Murray. Thank goodness the referendum didn’t lead to the end of the Union (yet), as Andy went on to become the best tennis player in the world ever and therefore always referred to as British (understood by the rest of the world to mean English). Q. How stupid are Americans? A. Very. Not only can they not speak properly or spell words such


jeans. Or handing over our dinner money so we can keep trading. Or reaping the benefits of going it alone. Take your pick. Perhaps we’ll be replaced by Israel and Australia. According to the Eurovision Song Contest, they are in Europe. Q. And finally, what did Oxford Dictionaries choose as its Word of the Year 2016? A. Post-truth. This is defined as ‘relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief’. Political commentators tell us we live in a post-truth world, hence Brexit and Trump. However if you don’t want to believe that factual answer feel free to make up your own. That’s the way it works in these crazy days. email:


s award winning architects and designers we aspire to create special buildings and spaces for our clients, sometimes from the most difficult of design briefs. Central to our philosophy is that good design should reflect the needs of our clients and respond to the surrounding environment. Through design we are able to achieve timeless, highly innovative and sustainable projects. We offer a complete design service from initial advice through to the completion of your project. We complete work all over the country. We can help you if you are thinking of extending your house, building yourself a new home, or embarking on a major building project.

We advise you every step of the way, from planning, to completion in the most cost effective manner, creating planning submissions, contract management and inspecting works on site. Email us or call with your new project enquiry.

Johnson Design Partnership Ltd telephone: 01746 768191 email: google: johnson design partnership

County Woman January 2017  

The only dedicated quality magazine for Shropshire women

County Woman January 2017  

The only dedicated quality magazine for Shropshire women