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FREE MAGAZINE For Shrewsbury

ISSUE # 11





ith the clocks changing it must surely mean that the better weather is on the way and after what seems a very long winter we can start looking forward to the exciting times we have coming up in Shrewsbury. It’s a great time of year and there are fabulous events going on pretty much every week, get your diaries out and get planning! Things kick-off next month with Shrewsbury International Cartoon Festival and continue throughout the summer with annual events such as The Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest, The Hive Street Festival and of course not forgetting the hugely popular Shrewsbury Flower Show. One of the most exciting new events is The Shrewsbury Food Festival on 29th & 30th June in The Quarry. Despite it being its first year it’s already had to be extended to cope with the demand of local food producers wishing to exhibit. This issue of Severn Magazine includes all your regular favourites; Katie’s Kitchen, The Experts, Martin the Town Crier and more but we’ve also crammed in lots of new stories about the great town we live in and what’s going on. Remember, if you have a story we would love to hear from you here at Severn Magazine. I hope to see you out and about at some of the events around the town. Enjoy. See you all soon

Michael Tinkler Publisher & Editor Sam Pooley Features Editor Rich Starkey Writer & photographer Curtis Femor-Dunman Design General Enquiries

Contact us

We lov e here at to hear from y S o Write in ever n Magazin u w it h y and eve our sto e. ries nts involve and get yours elf d! sever nm Email info@ agazine

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Severn magazine is published by Darwin Publishing Limited, 12 Little Meadow Close, Admaston, TF5 0DN. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any material form without the written permission of the copyright owner. The editorial opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of Darwin Publishing Limited, its employees, agents or advertisers. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, Severn magazine cannot accept responsibility for any errors in articles or advertisements.




Contents Page 6

Business News

Latest news from Shrewsbury. Page 8

Vicki Archers regular column

Our resident columnist, BBC Radio Shropshire’s Vicki Archer. Page 11

Shrewsbury Food festival

An exciting major new event of the year happening right here in the town The Shrewsbury Food Festival.

28 Eating out Page 12

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Shrewsbury prision closes this year. Find out about its past over the generations with our local historian Martin Wood, Shrewsbury’s town crier.

The events just keep on coming with a fantastic range of musical events set at the beautiful St Chad’s.

History of Shrewsbury Prision

St Chads Music Festival

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The joys of Spring

Shrewsbury Childrens Bookfest

We’re spoiled for choice this year in Shrewsbury with events and one of the most popular is the Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest. Find out more on page 14. Page 16

Shrewsbury Street Festival

The Hive organises its annual street festival. Great entertainment for the whole family, find out more. Page 18

Shropshire Professional Newtwork

There is a place for Shropshire graduates to get together.

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14 Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest


Shrewsbury, including the great work the Shrewsbury Guide Dogs are doing Local artist Sam Pooley unites Shrewsbury and how you can volunteer too. women in the name of breast awareness.

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The whole town is getting involved in this year’s Cartoon Festival. Plus great events planned for the Market Hall Shrewsbury.

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The Market hall & Cartoon Festival

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Restaurant Review

Severn Magazine’s food section continues, read our latest restaurant review and comment from friend to the celebrity chefs and foodie James Day.

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Boob Wallpaper

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Shomi Gallery

Check out what’s been going on at the Frankwell gallery.

Ask the experts

This month our professionals are answering your questions on a range of topics including, health, IT and architecture.

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Skylark Photography

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The Parade Shopping Centre has its birthday This lovely building is celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Sam Pooley talks with Victoria Macken about her stunning work and her new and exciting venture.

Chicks in a basket

Severn Magazine’s resident chef Katie Wellington with her latest recipe. Page39

Shropshire FA

The FA is not all just about the England team, read about the great work they are doing in the county and find out how to get your children involved. Page 40

Charity Round up

More great fundraising efforts in

The Parade turns 30!

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Fitness from the Shrewsbury Club Catch up on how local golf Pro Jon Gidney is getting on with his fitness regime at the Shrewsbury Club.


Skylark Severnmagazine Photography



Local firm celebrates 10 years of tyre supply to Shropshire motorists!


obile tyre company Hometyre has come a long way since its very first customer had new tyres supplied and fitted in Shropshire a decade ago this month. With a large fleet of identical vans now operating all over the country through its franchise network, the tyre retailer has gained a significant customer base both in Shropshire and across the UK. Founder and Managing Director Andy Lawrence commented: “To take a brand from concept right through to becoming a continuously growing national retailer has been a real journey.

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We now have a significant and very loyal customer base both in Shropshire and across the UK and it is these motorists whom we have to thank for continuing to support and recognise our ethos throughout.” Hometyre supply and fit new tyres to cars, 4x4s, vans, caravans and motorhomes at customers homes or work addresses with equipment capable of dealing with all sizes right up to 24” tyres. Products can be viewed and priced online at or by calling the team on freephone 0800 783 9310


FREE taster morning!


o celebrate the Shrewsbury launch of fun and educational Musical Steps music classes for babies and toddlers, a free taster morning with coffee and cake is being held by Musical Steps teacher, Eleanor Pittam. ”You are welcome to join us to experience a class, spend quality time with your child, have a chat and find out more about the benefits of music making for your little one." For more details and to book a place, contact Eleanor on:07708754216, email


Katies Kitchen has moved premises


atie’s Kids Kitchen has moved premises from the Market Hall in Shrewsbury to 1st Julian’s Friars, Greyfriars, Shrewsbury SY1 1XL. The move has allowed Katie to expand the preschool classes to 4 days a week and offer more cookery party options. Also Katie offers holiday sessions, high tea parties (perfect for baby showers) and special get togethers. With the new opening of the kitchen shop selling beautiful traditional smock aprons with matching hats, childrens utensils and ready mixed cookie , scone and cake mixtures you won’t have to look far to find the perfect present. For further information email, go to www. or telephone 07971499359.




Joys of Spring

The S

pring is sprung - or at least it’s in the process of springing. Having braved the garden to hang the washing out for the first time this year, I’ve realised that the fairies at the bottom of the garden are squatters and are not pulling their weight. Not one of them has lifted a finger since October. They could have at least tidied away last year’s dead tomato plants! Shaking with hypothermia (does anyone wear a coat to put out the washing at 8am - we really should!) I return the peg bag to the convenient spot hanging on the radiator by the back door, NOT where it actually lives, and stare around my house that’s dragging itself out of hibernation. For the last four months my productivity has been on winter saving hours. The drawer of things that ‘have no home’ has overflowed into corners, piles to do/to sort/to file sections that have been ignored or unnoticed. With the urge to open the windows for the first time and let the air in, comes the urge to declutter. Spring cleaning!! My family stand there with black bin bags, anti-bacterial spray and a look of frightened animals about to be caught in a bush fire. Our mission is to take one room at a time. That way we can stop for lunch, sleep at night and generally live a normal existence until it’s over. This is not what happens, this is never what happens. I pick up the peg bag. ‘Put this where it belongs with the washing in the utility room’. And with that the tidal wave of spring cleaning chaos begins. Why? Because to get to the washing stuff you climb over the scooters that need putting in the shed. My husband tries to put them in the shed which is full

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of old bikes that need TLC and discovers a wasps’ nest. This is after pulling out his garden shoes from the bottom of the shoe rack sending them tumbling down and trapping a small child. I start filtering summer shoes from winter and those that no longer fit. The piles begin; rubbish, recycling, car boot, return to owners, a pile for fixing, everything here needs new batteries, this one for the loft and most importantly the pile-forthe-charity-shop-thatthe-kids-must-never-


see-as-they’d-want-to-keep-them-for-noother-reason-than-to-annoy-me! Six weeks later, some of us have cabin fever, some are on first-name terms with the lads at the tip, the eldest child has turned into the David Dickinson of car boot sales and has developed a wink. The youngest was last seen being dropped off at a charity shop and is probably now being displayed in the window along with her singing Barney which she refuses to be parted from. We promise it’ll never get like that again. We won’t let it. We’ll keep on top of things. The peg bag is already hanging back on the radiator.










n estimated 5,000 foodies will descend on Shrewsbury for the town’s first food festival, which is planned for The Quarry Park on June 29 and 30. Celebrity Shropshire chefs Marcus Bean, from ITV’s This Morning, and Will Holland, from La Becasse, will be among the star performers at the event. There will also be 130 exhibitors, including many from Shrewsbury and its surrounds, offering artisanal food and drink. An action-packed kids’ programme will be part of the weekend, with a marquee set aside for children’s events. There will also be demonstrations, talks and a series of trails through the town. Organisers of Shrewsbury Food Festival are working closely with Shrewsbury Market Hall and Shrewsbury Shopping Centre, which will both host events. Shrewsbury Food Festival chief executive Beth Heath said: “We’re building a food festival that will run in the town for many years to come. “We’d hoped to bring 70 exhibitors to The Quarry – but we’ve been inundated with applications and we’ve had to expand. “We’ve worked hard with the Market Hall and Shopping Centre as well as local restaurant owners. The idea is that people come to enjoy what’s on offer in The Quarry, then spend plenty of time around town. It’s going to be an action-packed show – we’d urge people to make a date in their diary and then come along and see what we’re up to.” People can get involved by logging onto and using the ‘contact us’ or ‘exhibitor’ tabs, or by following @shrewsfoodfest on Twitter.

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Shrewsbury Prison



ur 1st prison in town was the castle but by 1536 it was feeling a little run down so the Sheriff asked for a new one, and 50 years later he got it! A new prison was erected close to, and opposite, where the town library is now and to give the warden a bit more money they gave him a brewery as well so that he could sell the ale, and keep the proceeds! By 1716 the gaoler, a Mrs Joan Crumpton, complained of “Irregularities and Misbehaviour” because the prisoners would send out for wine and spirits and at one time they actually threw the warder out and refused to let her back in! In 1793 a new, modern prison was built on Terrace Walk, (this became Howards Bank in 1856) and the prison reformist, John Howard, used the design of Shrewsbury Prison as a blueprint for

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many more right across the Country. There were separate areas for male and female prisoners and the chapel was at the centre so that everyone could see the chaplain, but they couldn’t see each other. Prisoners wore blue/yellow striped clothes before they were found guilty and this changed to brown/yellow stripes upon conviction. Debtors were allowed to wear their own clothes. A condemned man or woman or someone sent for transportation would be allowed 10oz bread per day, 1pt cocoa for Sunday breakfast. 1pt soup and 1lb potatoes for the men and the soup and 1/2 lb spuds for the women for their Sunday dinner but on a Monday they could have 1lb boiled spuds and 4oz cooked beef! For supper they’d all get a lovely pint of gruel, every day. Those sentenced to hard labour would be given 24oz bread per day plus

a mixture of soup, potatoes and gruel, with 3oz beef, (No Bones) on a Friday. Prior to the prison being built, anyone sentenced to be hung would be taken to a spot near to where they had committed the crime but between 1787 and 1793, 26 people were executed between Old Heath and Mount Pleasant Road so that was a popular place to live! The new prison had the scaffold built at the front of the building where most people would be able to watch as the hood was placed over the condemned persons head and, as the bolt was drawn, the prisoner would disappear from view. Most of the prisoners executed would have their bodies sent to the RSI or other local hospitals where the bodies would be used for training the young doctors and there was a local tradition that if anyone suffered from “Wens” (a sort of rash) they should rub the affected part on a recently executed person, and it would heal! Me? I think I prefer an asprin. See you next month.




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t is an exciting time of year as events and authors come into place to deliver another year of vivid and memorable literary events for children in Shropshire. Since the first May Festival in 1999, Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest has established a fine reputation for excellence amongst authors, publishers and keen supporters and is now firmly established as one of the most highly regarded children’s literary festivals in the UK. Bookfest has always been an independent, not-for profit organisation, run mainly by volunteers who collectively put in hundreds of hours’ work throughout the year. We obtained charitable status in 2007 and in 2009 we were awarded a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Excellence, the highest honour that can be given to a voluntary organisation and the equivalent of an MBE. The Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest May Festival is still a long way from being the kind of mammoth literary event which

festivals like Hay-on-Wye have become, which is where much of its charm lies. Our patron Michael Morpurgo says he loves coming to Shrewsbury, “Because it’s a real children’s festival, focusing on children and their families. It’s still small and friendly enough to have that personal touch.” Jacqueline Wilson, Bookfest’s President has said, “Children’s authors go all over the world speaking at book festivals. But I can honestly say that I have had the most fun at Shrewsbury and I know all my fellow authors agree with me.” As members of the Organising Committee, we witness year after year how inspired and enthused children are by the experience of coming to a Bookfest event and just why the top children’s writers are so hugely popular with their audiences. They have a wonderful and instinctive gift for understanding how children think, how to weave together stories and characters that resonate with them and how to capture and inspire their imaginations. The chance to meet a favourite writer and listen to them speak about books and characters that feel like old friends is a very special experience for a child. And it can be equally exciting to discover a completely new author, who opens up vast and unexplored new imaginary worlds.

Tickets now on sale for the May Festival from W: WWW.SHREWSBURYBOOKFEST.CO.UK T: 01743 234970

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May Festival Line up FRIDAY 3RD MAY

Calling All Wimpy Kid Fans... Ashton Theatre, Shrewsbury School, SY3 7BA 5.30pm – 6.15pm Age: 7+ Tickets: £5 A must for all Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans and great family entertainment. Host Alastair Watson brings the books to life with fun activities including The Wimpy Kid Draw-Along and The Wimp Wars! Quiz. The event also includes exclusive clips of author Jeff Kinney talking about the books, the films and showing how he draws the characters. SATURDAY 4TH MAY

Simon Mayo and ‘Itch the Element Hunter’ Ashton Theatre, Shrewsbury School, SY3 7BA 2pm – 3pm Age: 10+ Tickets: £5 Simon Mayo is best known for his BBC Radio 2 Drivetime show. He began writing three years ago, when he decided to create something for his son Joe, an avid reader and science nut. Having spent ten years interviewing scientists for his Radio 5 Live show he had plenty of ideas, and was soon consumed by ITCH, the story of Itchingham Lofte who discovers a new and highly powerful element that brings him into the dangerous world of terrorism and turns his life upside down.



Harry and his Bucketful of Dinosaurs with Ian Whybrow

Michael Morpurgo and ‘A Medal for Leroy’ The Alington Hall, Shrewsbury School, SY3 7BA 6pm – 7pm Family Event Tickets £5 A Medal for Leroy is the new novel by bestselling author of War Horse and Private Peaceful, Michael Morpurgo, patron of Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest. This latest and highly acclaimed novel for Michael’s millions of fans is a story partly inspired by the author’s own life and partly by the life of an incredible soldier.

“Second to the Right and Straight on till Morning...” 11am – 4pm Open to the public FREE Shrewsbury Children’s Bookfest will magically transform The Square in Shrewsbury into Peter Pan’s Never Never Land. There will be tents, tepees, treasure hunts, pirate and fairy craft workshops, fairy cake making, singing, book swapping and story telling. Plus, watch out for Captain Hook, listen to a story from Wendy and spot the elusive Tinkerbell. Come dressed for the occasion in your pirate or fairy outfit, or just drop in and we’ll whisk you away on an adventure you’ll never, never forget.

The Hive, 5 Belmont, Shrewsbury, SY1 1TE 2pm – 3pm Age 4+ Tickets £5 Ian Whybrow is back in Shrewsbury by popular demand and will be telling a bucketful of stories about Harry and his Dinosaurs. There will be special prizes for the most original dino-dishes, the most primordial puds and cakes so use your imagination and get cooking up something to really RAAAAH about and bring your creations along.

Lego-tastic Lego! Bagley Social Club, Green Field Gardens (off Ellesmere Road), Shrewsbury SY1 2PJ 4.30pm – 5.30pm Age 6+ Tickets £5 Love Lego? Then you can’t miss this unique event with Duncan Titmarsh, the UK’s only LEGO Certified Professional! Hear about his work with Lego and the amazing models he’s built, join in with a quick fire Lego-building challenge and take part in a testing Lego quiz. Lego-tastic! This event introduces a new art form to the Festival! For over 60 years, Lego has been a source of inspiration and creativity for young and old. Come and discover new heights to your imagination!


King of Space with Jonny Duddle Kennedy Hall, Shrewsbury High Prep School, Old Roman Road, SY3 9AH. 11am - 12noon Age 5-10 yrs Tickets £5 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize 2012 winner, illustrator and author Jonny Duddle also works for Aardman Animations. Join Jonny for an unforgettable and intergalactic adventure with his new book, The King of Space. Aliens, warbots, dung blasters and more all feature and Jonny will reveal the secrets of his brilliant illustrations and also his life behind the scenes as a character designer on the Oscar-nominated film Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists.

Big Wooden Horse Theatre Company presents... “Stuck” by Oliver Jeffers Ashton Theatre, Shrewsbury School, SY3 7BA 2pm – 2.50pm Age 3+ Tickets £6 With original music and plenty of audience participation, this laugh out loud story of determination and inventiveness by the worldwide picture book sensation, Oliver Jeffers, has been adapted into an exciting new production for families and young children. It all begins when Floyd gets his kite stuck in a tree...


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Third May-Day Street Festival

comes to town! S

hrewsbury’s bustling arts venue the Hive has begun preparations for the organisation’s forthcoming MayDay street festival. The third annual event of its kind, which is FREE to attend, will be taking place on Belmont in the heart of the town centre in only a few weeks time! This year’s event follows on from the successes of events held over the last 2 years, which have seen hundreds of people from across the community join forces in celebration and most importantly, for a good old-fashioned neighbourhood style knees-up. On May 6th between 2pm and 6pm, the Hive will be hosting this year’s street party to build on the particular popularity of last year’s event. There will be live performances, creative workshops for young people and families, street performers, a Henna artist, Taiko and samba drumming, lots of creative activities, a DJ, many stalls and even a Bag-piper! It’s also hoped that there will be several energetic and colourful surprises along the way, promising to deliver a truly exciting family-orientated day for all involved. Local traders form an important part of the community focused event, with this year being no exception. Already on board and assisting with the day are

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Bright Owls language school, Iddys Ices, Eat-Up, DASH Disability Arts, We Are Frostfire, Hennacat, Severn Magazine, Jim Hawkins, Battlefield Printing Group, Severnside Housing and Shrewsbury Town Centre Residents Association. The event is also supported by Shropshire Council through Local Joint Committee funding. It’s not too late for local businesses or organisations to get on board and people are encouraged to get in touch to discuss ways in which they can support the day’s festivities. Habib Malik-Mansell of the Hive said “Our 2012 street party was a great day for all who participated and we hope that 2013 will be even better for all involved; whether they are a business supporting the event or simply a visitor on the day itself.” He added “The Hive’s street festival provides a fantastic day for the community and local people to come together. I really encourage local businesses to approach us and see how they can get involved with the day, for the benefit of the community. There’s a

whole host of ways in which people can help!” If you’re looking for something to do with the family or friends this coming May bank-holiday, why not come along to the Hive’s street festival and discover a very different afternoon out! For more information visit hive-street-party/



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Shropshire Professional Network GROW YOUR CAREER AND GAIN KEY SKILLS


esthetically speaking the graduate market isn’t looking pretty. The current state of play ensues that countless graduates are battling the fierce storms of unemployability whilst employers comfortably hold the upper hand. Recent research states that the number of graduate places in the top 100 best known graduate firms has decreased this year. In all appearances, getting through the employment door is no easy feat, but there is something you can do to win the edge. For those of you, who’ve never heard

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of the concept before, let me introduce you to the “ladder of employability.” Regardless of whether you want to work in the Bahamas or Britain, bin collection or banking, there are skills that all employers want. Think of employability as a ladder, each rung represents one of these key skills. A recent survey of employers including the BBC and Target Jobs concluded that employers are primarily on the hunt for certain skills; flexibility, self awareness, commercial awareness etc. If you get experience that gives you one of these skills you climb a rung on the ladder, simple! Attempting

to tackle the graduate market without these transferable skills is like trying to eat soup with a fork; not impossible, but very tricky. As Graduates at Shropshire Council we have launched the Shropshire Professional Network, giving you the opportunity to grow your career and gain these skills. For more information please contact





he annual Music Festival will be hosted within the majestic setting of St Chad’s Church, (the only Grade I listed circular Georgian church in England) between 2nd and 6th May. The English Symphony Orchestra returns to perform Verdi’s Requiem and Wagner: Overture to Die Meistersingers with St Chad’s Festival Chorus and international soloists. Michael Bochmann

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will be presenting three Bach violin concerts and Sine Nomine will perform English and continental works for an outstanding concert. Children get FREE admission to all events and are encouraged to attend the special concert featuring Peter and the Wolf (Prokofiev) and Babar the Elephant (Poulenc). There will also be Brahms Chamber Music, a range of choral services plus much more.

David Leeke, Director of Music at St Chad’s, said: “We want to build on last year’s success with an exciting programme of music. People of all ages and musical tastes are welcome to enjoy the atmosphere, variety of concerts and the glory of St Chad’s exceptional acoustics. There is free entry to a number of concerts and other tickets prices range from £5 to £12. Phone: 07716 849950/01743 365478 or visit www.”. Contact: David Leeke, Director of Music and Liturgy at St Chad’s Church and Artistic Director of St Chad’s Festival. Telephone: 01743 365478. Email:



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The 10th

Shrewsbury International


n extraordinary event occurs in Shrewsbury around April each year, worthy of a Natural History documentary in itself: a mass gathering of cartoonists. And it’s not just for kids. This rare and exotic breed flocks to the town to take part in free workshops, talks, exhibitions, live caricaturing and the drawing of “Big Board” cartoons in



Cartoon Festival

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the Market Square. But who and what exactly are cartoonists? Well, mention Matt from the Telegraph, or Steve Bell and Martin Rowson in the Guardian, or Giles (no, I’m afraid not – he died a while back) and you may just get the (very funny) picture: we are the “sit-down” comedians – celebrity with talent. You may not recognise our faces, but we are the ones keeping Britain laughing or spluttering, in the pages of Private Eye and The Spectator; the editorial and “gag” cartoonists and caricaturists in the newspapers and right across the internet. How to recognise a professional cartoonist at Shrewsbury: look out for

a small black badge, emblazoned with the legend “PCO” (the Professional Cartoonists’ Organisation). Our hearty thanks to Shropshire Council, Alison Patrick and Roger Penwill and their brilliant team, The Lion Hotel, and to the many businesses and people of Shrewsbury, for providing such a magnificent watering-hole for us all to come together and help raise a smile.





or the first time, Shrewsbury Market Hall will be transformed into one of the main venues of this unique annual festival with a line up of cartoon capers and family entertainment. It will be the home too of the largest free cartoon exhibition of its kind outside London before it goes on tour around Shropshire. The ‘It’s About Time’ themed exhibition will run for almost a month on the Upper Floor Gallery of the Market Hall, from April 2 right through until May 6, displaying over 80 pieces of work by professional cartoonists, from all over the country, Open on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sunday April 21, 10am to 4pm, the Market Hall exhibition will present a rare opportunity for fans to buy affordable original cartoons and high quality signed prints. Over 40 professional cartoonists are descending on Shrewsbury during the festival weekend of April 19 to 21 to caricature and cartoon for members of the public and give a fascinating insight into this delightful highly skilled art form. The emphasis will be on family cartoon fun on Sunday April 21, 11am – 3pm, when the Market Hall will open specially for the day. This will be a chance for all the family to see artists at work, get involved in free cartoon workshops and have their caricature drawn for free. Stalls will be open in a festival atmosphere. The Market Hall will be decorated throughout with cartoons and the popular Bridgnorth Ukelele Band will provide musical entertainment. To commemorate the festival’s 10th birthday, the first 100 10-year-olds through the doors will get a free cupcake.

There will be much more for the family to browse, from stalls selling artisan foods and handcrafted gifts to jewellery, books, toys and vintage items. Cartoon Clinics will be held on Saturday and Sunday, 1.30pm - 3pm, for budding artists to get feedback and advice on their own cartoons brought from home. For further information about times, venues and workshops visit www. or pick up a brochure from Shrewsbury Market Hall or Shrewsbury Visitor Information Centre.

The Big Busk Saturday April 6th

Shrewsbury Market Hall is pleased to be part of The Big Busk Happy Days in Shrewsbury, a dynamic fundraising tribute to town busker Ben Bebbington who was killed last September. Ben’s family and friends have organised an incredible musical celebration of his life, on what would have been his 44th birthday, with performances by musicians and singers all across the town. Money raised will support the work of Shrewsbury Ark, the drop-in centre for homeless people that helped Ben during the last few years of his life. Bridgnorth Ukelele Band will be in foot-stomping tune in the under-croft of the Market Hall from 11am while the prestigious mixed voice choral group Jigsaw Sound will perform from the Upper Gallery from 1.30pm.


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The Old Hall Persian Restaurant in Dorrington, just outside Shrewsbury The Old Hall has proved a welcome addition to Shropshire’s dining scene. It has brought with it two unique components, sensational service and previously-unsampled flavours from Persia.


urgeon turned accomplished-Chef Dr Haider cooks authentic dishes, remembering the flavours of his youth. When my friend and I visited for a midweek service, we opted for a selection from his specials menu; which comprised four courses of deliciousness. We started with a delightful couplet of veggie kotlets, which are a popular street food in parts of Asia. The kotlets are traditionally made with ground beef, potatoes, onions and spices, though Dr Haider had created the meat with fresh aubergine and modified the spice mix, almost reinventing the dish, with wonderful The Taste of the East Buffet is available selected weekday evenings & Sundays 12-4pm .

flavours coming through from cumin, carum, turmeric and the aubergine. It was served simply, with a salad garnish and chives and my friend and I devoured our servings. The health-conscious fish course was a khush-mazza mahi, or, salmon steak marinated with traditional Indo-Persian spices. It had been steamed with great skill, so that pink salmon fillet was at the point where translucence turns to opacity. My friend and I were impressed by Dr Haider’s skill, in cooking the fish with the precision of a surgeon. The marinade was a treat. Flavours of cinnamon, clove,

cumin and aniseed were mixed with nigella and carom while there were also flavours of coriander, parsley, garlic, honey and lime juice, as well as salt and pepper. The flavours were vibrant and intense: the mix of sweet and sour, salty and savoury was artful. The dish was served prettily, with a platter of pomegranate rice. It was faultless. The main course was an exercise in innovation. Dr Haider’s Gole Murgh Kabab comprised chicken fillets that had been filled and rolled with delicious aromatic ingredients. The flavours comprised ginger, garlic, coriander, turmeric and saffron, as well as the ubiquitous salt and pepper. It was dazzling. A small pot of Follow Chef Lal on Twitter @ oldhallpersian


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For More on Shrewsbury Food Festival visit


Perfect Host

At the end of our dinner, Dr Haider left the kitchen and walked to our table and greeted us and other diners and asked how we’d enjoyed our supper. He made us – and other guests – feel very welcome and we were grateful for his kind hospitality. His restaurant, food and service are thoroughly recommended. Edited Review by the Gourmandiser. For a full review & more from around the Heart of England Follow them on twitter @gourmet_life

A great meal can be spoilt by bad service. But great service can compensate for a bad meal.


ames Day is a keen keen food-O-Phile, and Director of a Hospitality Marketing Consultancy specialising in supporting top Chefs and venues across the Heart of England, and has recently relocated to Shrewsbury from Bridgnorth to help support the forthcoming Shrewsbury Food Festival on 29th and 30th June. Shrewsbury has long been a draw for me, largely due to the wide range of wonderful places to eat, drink and shop in the town, and I am becoming a bit of a regular in many who offer good customer services. I am also a regular customer of many hostelries across the region, UK, and beyond and the one thing that really gets to my marrow is poor customer service. Hospitality is easy. If someone comes to your house, you greet them with a smile, if appropriate offer them refreshments of a drink of their choice, a comfortable place to sit, and possibly enquire if everything is OK, and check they are comfortable. You may even offer them something to eat if the situation arises, and likewise suggest a range of available choices ie tea, coffee, cold drink, sandwich etc , maybe even enquire how long they are gracing you with their presence for. No doubt if all these simple elements of human courtesy are adhered to, then they will leave fully satisfied and will no doubt return and possibly even tell all their friends about how hospitable you are, a great host, and cook, and return - even

James Day with 2 star Michelin chef Marcus Waring.

invite you to their place for a return favour. So, why is it so hard to do the same if you run a hospitality business, and the fact that you are taking hard earned money off those who choose to frequent your establishment over and above the 200 or so others we are assured available in the Shrewsbury area? Now, I don’t have any gripe with any particular venues in town, yet, far from it, but on a general basis the customer service in this country is way below par. With the increasing prices that venues need to charge due to escalating raw material costs of food, wages and insurance, alongside the need for employees of waiters/esses to maintain their jobs and possibly substitute low wages with tips, one thing that doesn’t cost anyone a penny, and makes everyone’s experience so much better is a GENUINE smile, warm welcome and attentive service ownership of the customer is key. Establish what the customer is there for, be it pleasure, business or a special occasion. This can be done very quickly often before you talk with the customer from the way they dress, hold themselves and act. Is their visit time conscious or are they there to relax? Whatever the occasion, one thing is for sure, they have chosen to share it with you and your venue, and will be paying for it with their hard earned cash, often handsomely, so look after them and they may tip and even return! James can be followed on twitter @ leisuremarkLTD and offers support for restaurants and Chefs at www. More great places to eat and restaurant savings at



pomegranate molasses was served too the side and while I found it too acidic, it did not detract from the plain brilliance of the main. Dessert was a Javahir Pullao, an elaborate jewelled rice dish that is usually prepared for celebrations like weddings. Almonds, pistachios, green sultanas, cinnamon bark, bay leaves, cloves, cardamom pods, sugar, rose water and orange were among the multiplicity of ingredients that ramped the flavour up to the max. It was stunning.

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hey came, they queued. Women of ages and from all walks of life. Teachers, nurses, business owners, retailers, a local priest even. Women who had been touched by cancer, pregnant mums, women who had undergone plastic surgery. For one night all were united in one room to strip off their top halves and be photographed topless in the name of art and breast awareness. It was standing room only as 200 volunteers packed into Shrewsbury Coffeehouse to be photographed by Shrewsbury artist Sam Pooley for her national ‘Boob Wallpaper’ campaign. Too many to photograph in one night, 140 made it into the artist’s curtained off studio to be snapped, armed raised for one click of the camera. She now plans further events in Shrewsbury. “I could not believe the response. It was amazing. There was such a sense of sisterhood in the room and I was sorry that people had to wait so long. I averaged a photograph nearly every two minutes from 6pm - 10pm but the line just seemed endless,” said Sam, who is also the arts writer for Severn Magazine. The 38-year-old is creating a wallpaper out of tiny photographs of hundreds of women’s breasts and compiling an archive of interviews, and recordings of volunteers talking about their bodies. So far over 700 women from all over the UK have volunteered to take part, from teenagers to grannies in their 80s. Money raised from the sale of the wallpaper will help support Coppafeel, the UK that educates men and women about how to check for breast cancer. The ‘Boob Charity Night’ at Shrewsbury Coffeehouse on March 14 brought women for different reasons, but all were determined to do their bit in the fight against breast cancer. These are their words: Claire Hervey, 37, of Pontesbury: “I

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wanted to come just to say ‘I’ve done it’. It’s a one-off in your life. I think it’s a great thing to put in your table of history, that you’ve been part of it. I was shaking when I went in there, but it’s part of history and I’m proud to have done it. And it raises lots of money for breast cancer awareness.” Michelle Childs, 32, of Ellesmere: “Because I’m pregnant my boobs are in quite good shape. This is my first child so they probably won’t be this good again. I thought it was an opportunity to capture the moment and it’s for a good cause. It’s something to say you’ve been involved in for posterity, something to tell the grandchildren when I’m old. I found it quite a liberating experience.” Rev Caroline Wright, 65, assistant priest, of St George’s Church, Pontesbury: “When you look around the room and see the different age ranges and women of all shapes and sizes it’s wonderful. It celebrates the beauty of real women. It’s not about beauty in an idealised way. Sam has managed to bring together women of all ages and backgrounds, including women who have had mastectomies. I admire them tremendously. Cancer is a great leveller. It’s devastating. It can effect anybody of any age and breast cancer can effect men as well as women. You feel a great solidarity of women in this room.” Julie Ireland, 51, of Shawbury, owner of Dresses at Julies, Shrewsbury: “I’m here because I see lots of women coming into my shop who’ve had breast cancer. They come in wanting to buy a really nice dress. I had a big scare when I found a lump about 10 years ago. I was lucky.” Jane Watkins, 58, of Shrewsbury: “Originally I just came to support friends. I didn’t intend to do it, but I got caught up in the feel-good euphoria and decided to go for it. I’m now very proud of myself for plucking up the courage.”


Jen Hawkins, 38, of Shrewsbury: “I’ve got body dysmorphic issues. Doing it was a way of dealing with them. I was dreading it, but now I’m so pleased to have done it. It’s made me feel happy. We should be proud of our bodies.” A 57-year-old woman, who asked not to be named: “I love my boobs because I bought them in Thailand with the insurance money I got from a car crash. I got £5,000 compensation and I wanted to do something with it that would mean something to me. “I had ‘them’ done in 2006, despite my husband not wanting me to. But I wanted to fill my dresses in the places

where there were gaps. I used to be a size AA. I would be really aware of other women’s boobs and be jealous of them because every time I tried on a dress it wouldn’t hang in the right way. There would always be rucks of material. Now I’m proud of my boobs. They look great in clothes and I feel happy.” Leanne Crowther, 39, of Shrewsbury: “I just think that your boobs tell a story, they tell your story. I’m going to be fascinated about seeing all the boobs on the wallpaper. They’ll all be different, so personal.” Councillor Karen Burgoyne, 49, of Shrewsbury: “They say a third of people

are touched by cancer in their lives. It’s a huge issue and I wanted to do my bit to support the cause. I’m really really chuffed I did it. You feel a real glow of confidence afterwards. Everybody goes in looking nervous and worried, but they all come out smiling.” Around £2000 was raised for Coppafeel on the night of the ‘boob shoot’ thanks to the support of 40 local companies who generously donated prizes to a grand draw. The wallpaper will be unveiled at Sam’s fine art degree show at Birmingham City University School of Art in June, followed by an exhibition in Shrewsbury. Every woman involved in the project will be invited to the private view and given a signed piece of wallpaper to commemorate their participation. Sam’s next photo-session is in Birmingham, before she heads off to York, Watford, London, Northampton, Bristol, Bath and Totnes. To follow the project visit the website or the Facebook page www.facebook. com/pages/Boob-Wallpaper-by-SamPooley/209921615809047.

to Coppafeel visit To donate money m/sam-pooleywp. ork of ew For more about th w w w Coppafeel visit Severnmagazine

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By Chris Wright



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ell, we are now well into our third show here at SHOMI with non-other than Andrew McIntyre a great friend of mine. Andy and I worked together for about three years at TCAT doing our pre-foundation art course then straight on to a BTEC in art. He was always an amazing painter and his working style has been a great influence to me. Now it’s a pleasure seeing and working again with him and his fabulous work has only improved. What a great show he’s pulled out, with a concentration on the Shrewsbury floods (a topic close to all our hearts here in the Shire) explored so well through his brush. With the colours of brown and cream echoing the shades of the river water at the time and the feeling of the power against the bridges, he’s captured the scenes with passion. SHOMI is going from strength to strength, especially with me now doing a 6 week course at Choleham school, Shrewsbury holding our first children’s class in partnership with Compost kids which was a great success. SHOMI’s own classes are due to begin very soon (at the start of the Easter hols), with Magic Kev and his infamous flea circus. Next time you’re in Frankwell pop in, we would love to see you.



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Victoria Macken Skylark Photography I

by Sam Pooley

f you haven’t heard the name Victoria Macken then surely you have been hibernating through the cold Shrewsbury start to the year. The delightful photographer is about to launch her new business Skylark Photography but with all she has been up to you would think she had been at it for years! Victoria is a true Shropshire lass,

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she grew up in Bayston Hill and spent 15 years working as a graphic designer. She has always had an interest in Photography, her father used to have a darkroom in a shed at the bottom of their garden and develop his own film. “ I loved the idea of capturing memories”. Victoria is married to Will who she met when they both worked in the pet shop in town that used to be owned by Simon the animal man! They are parents to three of the most beautiful children I know Dorrit 2, Topsy 4 and Rudie 6. The

girls are the inspiration for Victoria’s new business specialising in children’s Photography. “As a mother I’ve experienced how quickly children change, using my photography I have been able to capture this over time. I want to be able to provide these images for other parents so they can have a precious record of their child’s milestones. Setting up the business seemed like a natural progression.” Her style is natural; there is no studio


Victoria Macken

and no lighting. Victoria likes to take her subjects on location, either relaxing at home, in the garden or out and about. “I do a lot of shoots in woodland and parkland and I can’t wait for a client who wants to go to the seaside!” The work is about capturing childhood; the contemporary shots although semi composed are real and honest. Victoria has spent the last year developing her skills and meticulously planning for the business, which launches in April. She has also established strong commercial links with local business using her style of photography to promote their business profile on social media. If you hadn’t heard about her before you will now see her name everywhere, and

with a waiting list three months long before Skylark Photography has even launched I would watch this space - this girl is going places. SKYLARK PHOTOGRAPHY T: 01743 353788 W: WWW.SKYLARKPHOTO.CO.UK


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s k c i Chin a basket INGREDIENTS TO MAKE 12 4 oz self raising flour 4oz butter 4oz sugar 2 eggs 1/2 lemon juice and zest DECORATION Roll out icing Cream /yellow food colouring Chicks Mini eggs

Secret ingredient ... shhhhhh lemon curd s! up now gr e th Don’t tell

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Instructions ■ Begin

mixing the butter and sugar together. ■ Add the eggs. ■ Carefully stir in the flour. ■ Shhhhhhh Pour the lemon zest and juice in... ■ Beat together until creamy. ■ Put in muffin cases. ■ Cook for 10 minutes on 170. ■ Allow to cool.

To assemble ■ Spread

the secret ingredient on the top of each cake. ■ Add the colouring to the icing,

squeezing into the icing (a bit messy but great fun). ■ Roll into long thin snake shapes. ■ Using this as straw place on top of the each cake. ■ Carefully place each chick on top and finish with a few mini eggs.

Happy Easter, have lots of chocolate!


Q: What do you call a rabbit that tells good jokes? A: A funny bunny!



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Shropshire Football Association

an introduction T

Cup and Youth Cup which bring each season to an exciting climax. The burgeoning world of football development has brought enormous participation in coaching, welfare and treatment of injury courses to ensure the long-term evolution of football in the county as the Shropshire FA moves forward in the 21st century. Shropshire FA runs a FA Level 1 Coaching Course every month as well as FA Level 2 Coaching, FA Youth Award Modules 1 and 2, Goalkeeping and Futsal specific coaching courses throughout the year. We also host a Referee Development Programme and FA Basic Referees Courses. ‘Shropshire FA aims to establish safe and structured football opportunities for the benefit of all concerned irrespective of age, colour, gender and disability.’ For more information on grassroots football in Shropshire go to www. or email: info@, alternatively call 01743 362769.


he Shropshire Football Association came into formal existence on October 8th 1877 following an inaugural meeting at The Lion Hotel in Shrewsbury. Twelve affiliated clubs took part in the first competition run by the fledgling Association, with Shrewsbury defeating Wellington 1-0 in the final in April 1878, thus initiating the oldest foot-balling rivalry in the county, with that competition developing into the Shropshire Senior Cup. The original trophy is still competed for by the County’s senior clubs, making it the oldest piece of football silverware in the world. Now over one hundred years later the Association can still boast seven open-age adult leagues and five junior leagues, comprising of over 200 affiliated clubs, 330 registered referees and a total participation on an average weekend of over 10,000 people. Aside from the Senior Cup, the Shropshire FA also run six other county cup competitions, two Saturday, two Sunday, the Women’s

In forthcoming issues of Severn Magazine we will outline our work in all areas of the game, and introduce the staff responsible for developing football in Shropshire.

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Charity Round-up Arnold, 73, takes to the water for Severn Hospice


nautical pensioner from Pant is making sure everything is ship-shape as he launches his latest fundraising challenge in aid of a Shropshire and Mid Wales charity. Arnold Grayston, aged 73, is preparing to circumnavigate Wales by sea, inland waterways and Shropshire

Rivers to help raise much needed funds for Severn Hospice. Staff from Severn Hospice today (THUR) gathered at Frankwell Quay, in Shrewsbury, to help Mr Grayston with his final preparations before he undertakes the mammoth journey later this year. Mr Grayston said: “Without being morbid, death is something that happens to us all. When our time comes all we can hope for is dignity and the best possible care, which is what Severn Hospice provided for Karen. “As a family we were in awe of those who cared for Karen in her last few days. Before she was admitted to the hospice in Shrewsbury she was cared for by Maggie, one of the many hospice nurses that work out in the community providing care to patients in their own homes. “As a small token of our appreciation for all she did for Karen we have asked Maggie to officially name the boat before we launch it on the River Severn where it will be blessed by the hospice’s Chaplain Harry Edwards.” Mr Grayston added: “We’re hoping to start the challenge in May or June, weather permitting; we will have completed the river and sea trials by then. “Hopefully the money we raise will help another family like us during such a difficult time. For more information and updates about Arnold’s challenge please visit or To sponsor Arnold or make to a donation please visit Sponsor Arnold on his journey for Severn Hospice.

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Busy 2012 for Shropshire Disability Network “2012 was a busy year for us not least because we became a Registered Charity and held our first Geoff Forgie Memorial Disability Challenge”, said Ruby Hartshorn, Press/Publicity Officer for SDN. This year is also going to be another busy year, so we need your support as we receive more enquiries and requests for help as a result of Welfare Reforms. Always on the lookout for new ways to finance our work of providing a signposting service for those with a disability, their families and carers in Shropshire including Telford & Wrekin. We need to raise £100 per month to continue producing our printed newsletter called “Your Voice”, enabling those who have no IT access or for some reason cannot use a computer to receive our information regularly. Ruby told us. Sonia Roberts Chair of SDN was really pleased that SDN has recently launched a JustTextGving Account as it is such an easy and simple way to give to voluntary organisations like ours. She said “Donating just £1 will make a huge difference to us. People wishing to support us in this way should text SHDN12 £1 and send to 70070. It costs donors £1 but the text itself is FREE. We can gain an extra 25p at no extra cost to you, if you are able to Gift Aid your donation. Many thanks if you can help in this way. More information can be found at Thank you.



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He’d been in the plane for 3 minutes before he went for a “shit” and got busted smoking


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Ask the




Does a condition like Osteoporosis prevent me from being able to see a Chiropractor? An underlying bone condition such as Osteoporosis can often lead a person to shy away from many health and wellness activities with the fear that something adverse will happen and you’ll end up being less healthy (the opposite to your initial goal). This can also be reinforced through advice from people who think they know. The good news is, in the United Kingdom most health professionals are regulated and therefore must have appropriate training. Even though a Chiropractor would not profess to “treat” osteoporosis they will have a full understanding of the condition, its effects and more importantly how to look after your needs in a way that’s gentle and safe. Patients with Osteoporosis can benefit from low force (light) adjustments performed with precision instruments which are extremely safe, there is still a variety of other options so you should speak to your Chiropractor to get personal advice. It’s important for anyone who has an underlying condition that they feel or are lead to believe will prevent them from receiving life changing healthcare but are interested in pursuing it should always arrange a time to talk with the health professional involved as they are the ones that have the most appropriate training about what they can offer. Dr Fredericksen is a Chiropractor at Shrewsbury Family Chiropractic located on School Gardens, Castle Gates, Shrewsbury. T: 01743 455245 www.shrewsburyfamilychiropractic.


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For more information you can join in on Dr Fredericksen’s free local health resource at drglennfredericksen or www.twitter. com/glennfred


What should I think about when planning an extension?

There are plenty of details to think about, but as a start you should consider the location, appearance and size of the extension. Try to locate it to work well with the existing layout and use of the house and to make it an attractive and appropriate addition, regardless of its style. Finally try to add as much space as possible to maximise your investment. Matthew Franklin Architect Mbf DESIGN Creative Property Solutions T: 01952 603901 M: 07913 562540



I’ve recently started running again and my lower back is now getting very sore. Please could you explain why this could be? The lower back is a complex area of muscles, tendons and ligaments giving our bodies a full range of motion. One common cause of back pain can be shortened hamstrings, which can create tension on the lower back. Our changing lifestyle means we sit down or stand in one place for much longer than a century ago. The result is poor hamstring flexibility at the back of the thighs, meaning many people can no longer touch their toes. This is also a common problem when horse riding or cycling because of the need to maintain shortened hamstrings over a long period. The Bowen Technique uses precise, light movements over the fascia in the stress loading area of the lower back and



at the head of the hamstring to release this tension. Celebrity explorer Bear Grylls who broke his back in 3 places, describes The Bowen Technique in this way; “…it felt like petrol was being put back in my tank”. In early 2012 Coventry University published a study confirming that significantly increasing hamstring flexibility using the Bowen Technique is possible only seven days after treatment; this is great news for getting back to your sport quickly. Esther Edwards is the Registered Bowen Technique Practitioner at Shrewsbury Bowen Clinic. Severn readers can telephone 01743 872407 for a free consultation. Clinics are held in Shrewsbury at Haughmond View Medical Practice (SY1) and at The Trinity Centre (SY3). For more information on what The Bowen Technique can help with visit;


Is it safe to do my banking online?

As with any online activity, it’s about balancing security with convenience. You can make online banking more secure by following a few simple rules. Don’t access your bank account on a computer that is used by high-risk surfers, or if you suspect it might be infected. Don’t bank

online from a computer connected to a public wireless network. If your bank offers two-factor authentication, make sure you use it. Keep your security software up-to-date, and ensure you keep other Internetfacing software (web browser, Adobe apps, Java, etc.) up-to-date, too. Keep a regular eye on your bank account’s activity, and call your bank immediately you suspect something’s not quite right.

Have you got a question for our resident Shrewsbury experts? Get in touch now at info@


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Performance enhancing A

t The Shrewsbury Club, we have a wide range of stateof-the-art functional training equipment. This new range of gym equipment is designed to use more than just 1 muscle group for each work out. One in particular I have used a lot with Jon over the last few sessions is the TRX system. The TRX utilises your core stability, therefore helping tone-up abdominal, back and oblique muscles using your own body weight and balance. Another popular piece of kit we have enjoyed mixing into Jon’s workouts, are the Kettlebells. They’re great for cardiovascular, flexibility and strength training. As they come in a variety of

Core stability is key to a winning drive. sizes and weight, we can gradually progress Jon’s fitness each workout. In Jon’s case, the Kettlebell works great with movements such as a golf swing, giving him that extra strength to help with his game. If you would like to try out new concepts like the TRX and Kettlebells, or for more information on how to get the body you’ve always wanted, just contact The Shrewsbury Club on 01743 467755 where the team are more than happy to help.

Why not try out the club for free on a 1 day VIP pass? Call to book in now. Pro golfer Jon Gidney tackling the Kettlebells and the TRX system.


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Severn Magazine issue 11  

Latest issue of Severn Magazine

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