BUSINESS SUPPORT FOR CHRISTMAS LUNCH - Organisers of the Festive Friends Christmas lunch have thanked business people in Bishops Castle for their generous donations of food, drink and other things for the event. Almost 50 people enjoyed lunch and entertainment in the Church Barn on December 25, when guests and volunteers met to enjoy live music, good food and friendly company. Even Father Christmas called in to give out quiz prizes. Local musicians Jim Gaffney and Mike Plunkett played during the afternoon and many others contributed in their own way, helping with cooking, serving food and drink, chatting with guests, carol singing, and washing up. One of the Festive Friends is Lorraine Gawlick and she said: “Initially planned as a lunch for those on their own on Christmas Day, Festive Friends has been welcomed by volunteers too as an opportunity to be part of a bigger community event on what can sometimes be a rather lonely day of the year.” Steve Lewis, who worked hard in the kitchen for most of the day was also enthusiastic. He said: “I totally enjoyed my day.” Linda Murray, another organiser added: “We have been overwhelmed by the support we have had for Festive Friends this year. St John’s Church in Bishops Castle donated over £200 after their Christmas concert and a barn sale at The Wintles raised nearly as much again.” Those who donated food and drink to Festive Friends were Trevor Wheeler of Newcastle on Clun, Decorative Antiques, the New Deli, the newsagents, Andrew Pugh Butcher’s, the Boars Head, the Six Bells, the Castle Hotel, the Three Tuns, Jane’s Petals and Myriad Organics of Ludlow.

DECEMBER CLUB DRAW - Graham Lloyd won £18 in the December draw of the 100 Club in support of the House on Crutches Museum Collection Trust. Patricia Theobald won £10.80 and Ros Gillard won £7.20.

KARATE CLUB LOOKS TO 2014 - Bishops Castle Karate Club meets for training on Wednesday evenings at the Teme SpArC Leisure Centre in Bishops Castle from 6 - 7pm. Sensei Tony Baker has been teaching karate there since 2011, he set up another club in Craven Arms last year and he hopes to open a third club this month. Open to anyone over the age of five, Tony and his wife Holly say they are very proud of what their students have achieved and look forward to training them for the next competition in April. Tony says: “Last year we took 16 of our students, aged five to 32 from Bishops Castle and Craven Arms Karate Club to a competition at Hillcrest School and Community College in Dudley. It was the first competition many of the students had entered and everyone gave an amazing performance. We came away with 22 medals – 15 bronze, three silver medals and four gold. There was lots of excitement throughout the day and the team fighting final was especially dramatic when both Bishops Castle teams came head to head. It was won by Bishops Castle ‘A’ comprising Zac Bateson, age nine, Will Gee, ten and Beth Embrey, eight. The club had other success too, with Zac Bateson winning a silver medal, and Jay Jones, from our Bishops Castle club, a gold.”

As well as the Teme SpArC training in Bishops Castle, Tony Baker trains club members at the Craven Arms community centre on Monday evening, from 5.30pm- 6.30pm. Call him on 07773 506468 to find out more.

POP-UP HISTORY TALK - Retiring chairman Nick Howell was the speaker at the Christmas meeting of the South West Shropshire Historical and Archaeological Society on December 17. He took the opportunity to share his interest in pop-up books and gave a talk on their long history, beginning with the earliest known flap book created in the 13th century. He also showed early examples of volvettes – superimposed revolving discs used to calculate the calendar of Saints’ Days and other Holy Days. Unfolding books were also widely used for serious purposes, such as medical diagrams – to ‘unpeel’ the inner parts of the human anatomy. They were also used by architects and landscape designers to show scenes before and after proposed development. Later, pop-up books became much-coveted items of children’s literature, allowing stories to be graphically brought to life. Nick Howell showed an impressive range of different styles of pop-up books – including some which had the most intricate unfolding mechanisms and produced very beautiful and artistic creations. The naughtier side of pop- ups was also on show.

After the lecture members were reminded that entries for the 2014 Chris Train essay prize should be submitted to David Preshous by January 31. The next SWSHAS meeting will be at 7.30pm on February 11 in the Church Barn, Bishops Castle.

Mike Nurse will lecture on Powis Castle – Welsh Wars to the Present Day. All are welcome – non-members £5.

POETS’ CORNER - Poets’ Corner returns after the Christmas break today (Thursday) in the Castle Hotel, Bishops Castle. This month’s theme for the words and music is Belonging and Bryan Podmore hopes to see friends old and new at the event. He says: “We have been meeting in the daytime during the winter and lunch is available for those who book on 01588 620541.”

BC FREEGLE - The BC Freegle web - site has been running for a year and is proving to be a useful online com - munity venture. Now a Bishops Castle online Freegle Café will be part of the site. This will be a chat area for Freeglers and a facility for discussing issues and posting notices not permitted on the main Freegle site. Mike Watkins from Bishops Castle Freegle says: “The Freegle Café is the place to share community information or news, advertise local events, and for voluntary organisations to promote their services and seek volunteers. Members may also arrange swaps and loans, exchange recipes, debate local issues and discuss ideas for reducing waste. In due course, and in consultation with members, the site may expand to include a database of local businesses and perhaps ‘for sale’ ads. Please note that you will need to be a member of the main Bishops Castle Freegle Group before you can join the Café group.” Mr Watkins adds that the café site cannot go live until more local people offer to help run the group. If you can help, contact, or

NEW HALL BOOKINGS - Booking inquiries are being taken for the brand new Lydbury North hall, which is due to open at the end of March with a community open house weekend. Jackie Beaumond is the hall secretary and she says, “We hope people will drop in on March 29 or 30 to see the wonderful new building. It will be available for hiring from April 1. Please call me on 01588 680302 for more details.”


THURSDAY: Film Gravity (12A). SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle, £4.50/£3, 7pm. Call 01588 630321 or 638038.

  • Coffee morning. Abbeyfield House, Bishops Castle, 10.30am.
  • Poets’ Corner, Castle Hotel, Bishops Castle, noon. To book a meal call 01588 620541.

SATURDAY: Circle dancing with Bellamonda. Church Barn, Bishops Castle, £6/£4.50, 7.30pm. Call 01588 630648.

FRIDAY: Italian evening. Church Barn, Bishops Castle, 7pm.

  •  Auction sale, public hall, Bishops Castle. Call 01743 462763.

WEDNESDAY: Bishops Castle film society. Nostalgia for the Light (12A). Three Tuns, Bishops Castle. £20/ £5, £2.50 guests, 8pm. Call 01588 680445.

CORRESPONDENT - If you have any news for the paper, or a coming event to promote, please hand a note addressed to Julia Parker over the counter at Bishops Castle Post Office, call 01588 680445 or email