Bishops Castle

BUY THE OLD CHRISTMAS LIGHTS – Bishops Castle town Christmas lights are up for sale and you have until noon today (Thursday) to make a bid for them. The lights have been used for a number of years to brighten up the streets at Christmas and are made up of strings of traditional coloured bulbs. The new Christmas lights organisers aim to purchase new lights in 2014 and all the proceeds from the sale will go towards this fund. If you want to buy the old lights, put your bid in a sealed envelope and send it to Diane Malley, the town clerk at Enterprise House, Bishops Castle. You can also e-mail

DENNER ENSEMBLE ENERGY – Mark Baigent and The Denner Ensemble present a concert called Wood-Wind, Bladders and Guts at the Three Tuns in Bishops Castle on Sunday. Starting at 3pm, tickets are £10 on the door, with children free. The Denners are regularly described in the music press as uplifting, energetic and engaging and their new programme of sonatas and concertos is designed to give the audience a lift at what can be a bleak time of the year. Wood-Wind, Bladders and Guts features the Mark Baigent playing the baroque oboe and bassoon, alongside the gut strung viola da gamba and cello. Included in the programme is the ‘bizarre and gruesome’ in the form of March de Sythes for solo harpsichord and L’Operation , a musical representation of an 8th century bladder operation.

BISHOPS CASTLE DIARY, January 30 to February 5

THURSDAY: Open morning for parents of year five and six pupils, Community College, Bishops Castle, 9.15am. No appointment necessary.

  • Closing day for bids for old Bishops Castle Christmas lights. Call 01588 638141.
  • NT Live. Coriolanus, SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle, £10/£7, 7pm. Call 01588 630321 or 638038.
  • Yoga with Marj Cook. Grange Road Community Room, Bishops Castle. Weekly. Beginners 5.30pm, improvers 7pm. Call 07713 621586

SATURDAY: Auction sale. Public Hall, Bishops Castle. Call 01743 462763.

SUNDAY: Classical music concert. The Denner Ensemble. ‘Woodwind, Bladders and Guts’, 3pm. £10, children free. Pay on door.

MONDAY: Bingo in aid of Sea Shepherd and Midlands Air Ambulance. Boars Head. 8pm.

TUESDAY: Onny Valley Social Club. Slide show – David and Janet Preshous. Norbury village hall, 2.30pm. Call 01588 638570.

WEDNESDAY: Bishops Castle Film Society. Wadjda, Three Tuns, Bishops Castle. £20/ £5, £2.50 guests. 8pm. Call 01588 680445.

  • Bishops Castle Tandem Triathlon meeting. Three Tuns, Bishops Castle. Call 01588 680449.

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 e-mail

Far Forest

VILLAGE HALL COMMITTEE - Will be raising funds in aid of the British Eddie Jones (community first responder), Dawn Bush (West Midlands Ambulance Service), Priscilla Toop (first responder, Ludlow Heart Start), Russell Price and Peter Clements (Ludlow Golf Club). Heart Foundation on February 7. From 6.30pm till 8pm tea, coffee, cakes and savouries will be available for sale. From 8pm there will be bingo for all to enjoy. All proceeds from the bingo and the accompanying raffle will also go to the British Heart Foundation. Please support this event.

JUMBLE WANTED - Please contact Helen on 01299 266864, Pauline 01299 878581 or Carol on 01299 266566 if you have any jumble to donate to raise funds for the village hall.

VILLAGE HALL BOOKINGS - Can be made by contacting Carol on 01299 266566.


BOOKS, BOOZE AND BANTER GROUP - Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, Tenbury Library, February 19 at 7.30pm.

TABLE SALE CANCELLATION - At Tenbury Methodist Church, Saturday, cancelled due to the bad weather con - ditions.

DANCEFEST - Thursdays at Tenbury Primary School. Mini-Movers age four- six 3.45pm-4.30pm. Dance club age seven-11, 4.30pm- 5.30pm. Further details Janine Wyatt 07929 155053.

The Strettons

JUMBLE SALE - The 2nd Church Stretton Guides will be holding a jumble sale at the parish centre on Saturday from 2pm-4pm. Donations of items for the sale may be taken to the parish centre from 1pm or if a collection is necessary please ring 01694 781534.

COMMUNITY CINEMA - Hunky Dory (15) is the film to be screened at Church Stretton School on Monday at 7.30pm, a comedy starring Minnie Driver as a Swansea schoolteacher trying to motivate her pupils to put on a musical version of The Tempest during the hot summer of 1976. Interval refreshment available. Admission is £4,and £2 for students. The next film to be screened at Acton Scott village hall will be Undertaking Betty (15) on February 18.

WILDLIFE GROUP - The Strettons Area Community Wildlife Group will meet at Church Stretton School on Monday at 7pm.

ENGAGING ISSUES - Tuesday is the next Engaging Issues discussion evening at the United Reformed Church, starting at 7.30pm and on this occasion John Annetts will be the speaker, with a talk entitled From Religion, Good Lord Deliver Us. John has a background in Christianity which he has rejected but remains fascinated by religious matters and invites everyone to share their own thoughts with him and those present. All welcome. There is a suggested donation of £3 for admission.

CAMERA CLUB - Wednesday is the day of next meeting for Long Mynd Camera Club for members and visitors. It will be the chairman’s AV evening entitled California Road Trip and Venice. Meetings take place in the URC hall starting at 7.30pm. All welcome.

DANCE AND FITNESS - Stretton School of Dance and Drama offer fitsteps sessions on Mondays and Tuesdays,at 7.15pm, the popular ballroom and Latin dance fitness classes. There are also pre-school dance classes with Melody Bear in addition to all of their regular classes. To find out more please ring 01694 723063 or visit

COMMUNITY NEWS - Following last year’s annual public survey Shropshire Council has made a number of improvements to many of the walking routes by replacing 112 stiles with gates and created more of the suggested walking routes together with improved way marking, and provided an increased number of dog waste bins. The public is invited to take part in this year’s survey and so help Shropshire Council to improve its service. Two of Shropshire’s principal health leaders have called on the government to rethink the way health funding in the county is allocated.

WORKSHOP - Karuna, is offering an apple tree grafting workshop on March16 from 10.30am - 4pm. The cost of the workshop is £38, which includes two apple trees and a meal of soup, bread and drinks. Places are limited so advance booking is essential by ringing 01694 751374.

POST OFFICE - A reminder that the Post Office will open again at 1pm on February 14 following its refurbishment.

VALENTINE’S OPEN DAY - Scrappies scrap store is hosting a Valentine’s themed craft open day on February 8, from 10am - 2pm and welcomes members and non-members alike to this free event. There will be a themed craft drop-in session and also cake decorating for a small fee of £1.50. Light refreshment will be available. Scrappies also hold bi-weekly craft clubs for adults which cost £3 per session which offer a chance to get creative and meet like-minded people at a fun session.


VILLAGE HALL LOTTERY - The winners for January: 1st prize £33.90 Nancy Reece, Downton-on-the-Rock; four prize winners of £5.65 each were Arthur Cooper, Walls Butchers; Gwen Mason, Church Stretton; John Naylor, Aston-on-Clun and Mary Hall, Westhope.

Bitterley WI

WHAT the group thought was going to be a disappointing meeting turned out to be quite an amusing one thanks to one member. Annie Jones, president, welcomes members and two visitors to the first meeting of the new year. The county newsletter was discussed and members selected their resolutions for the 2014 AGM.

The venue for the June meeting was confirmed, it will be held at the home of Sheelagh Lewis. An evening meal to be arranged for April.

As the speaker for the evening was unable to come at the last minute, Pam Collier offered to give an impromptu talk entitled Caring for the Elderly. Even before she left school Pam worked in a hospital on a Saturday being involved with the Salvation Army. One of her tasks was helping those who had difficulty feeding themselves. on leaving school she went to work in a factory. This didn’t appeal to her so she approached the hospital about working there. The matron agreed to give her a trial.

On the first day on the ward there were 36 beds to be made with the help of three others. Getting the corners right was quite a problem for Pam but by next day they were perfect. On the second day, sister asked her to clean 36 sets of teeth. Being new to the task, not all of the patients got their own dentures back.

Over the weeks she decided that she preferred doing residential care instead of nursing and she worked in various homes before and after her marriage. After the birth of her children she did holiday relief and when her first child went to school, she started caring for people in their own home.

As there wasn’t suitable transport she used to bike to their homes taking her youngest son with her, sat in his seat on the back of the bike. In those days they were allowed to take their children with them.

One day, while cycling along, the pedal broke, she lost her balance and ended up in the hedge. Gathering herself together, she looked to see if her son Michael was all right but he was missing. “No,” she cried, “I’ve lost my son”. Looking over the hedge, she found him sitting quite happily on the grass.

Moving on, Pam did night relief work and at one particular home they said it was haunted. there was an eerie presence if a death was imminent.

Eventually she ran several homes, but at the end of her career she became a relief manager before retiring. During her life she saw the elderly being looked after in wards in NHS hospitals, to the present day homes where residents now have their own rooms.

Pam was thanked by Mary Jane Millard for the impromptu and very amusing talk. Fellow members gave her an extra round of applause.

Hostesses for the evening were Carol Elwis, Shelia Hall and Dot Griffiths.

The competition, something begin - ning with I; 1st Dot Griffiths (inkwell), 2nd Fred Pugh (initials), 3rd Shelia Griffiths (ivory).

Flower of the month; 1st Shelia Griffiths, 2nd Kath Watkins.

The next meeting will be on February 20 when Joy Blizzard will present a talk entitled Love Food, Hate Waste. The competition will be something beginning with J.

Diddlebury and Westhope WI

A WINTER fun evening was arranged for the January meeting and sherry and mince pies were served. The president welcomed everyone, the minutes were read and subscriptions paid. Three new members were signed up, so on that happy note the fun began.

Kath Woodhouse presented a quiz, all the answers being a song title which was harder than you might think. Emma Wathis and Jane Disley were the winners and took home the prizes. Mary Hall called two games of bingo with lots of prize winners.

Members had a pooled tea, everyone bringing something. Then the evening closed with another quiz. Two husbands called by to collect their wives, so they did the washing up.

The next meeting at Westhope village hall will be on February 11 at 7pm.

There will be a talk by Joy Blizzard entitled Love Food, Hate Waste.

How to Save £50 a Month . The competition will be My Favourite Leftover Recipe.

Ludlow and District Flower Club

LUDLOW and District Flower Club’s first demonstration entitled Music my First Love will be held on February 11 at 7.30pm in St Peter’s Church hall, Henley Road, Ludlow, SY8 1QZ.

Organisers welcome back Jane Pugh for what will be a most enjoyable and entertaining evening. Everyone welcome, arrangements will be raffled at the end of the evening.

Tenbury Rambling Club

THE Tenbury Rambling Club will be holding two walks for February.

On February 12 meet at 10am at the Tenbury swimming pool. The walk is a distance of three miles. There will be a pub lunch at the Bateman Arms. Wapley Hill an Iron Age Fort with beautiful scenery at the summit (SO361622). For details contact Geoff of Rose Mytton 01584 810554.

On February 23, meet at 10am at the Tenbury swimming pool. The walk is a distance of five and three quarter miles. Please bring a packed lunch. Droitwich Spa, pavements, field paths, stony tracks (SO898631). For details contact Val Boddington 01584 813601.

By week end the advanced group were skiing black runs and the beginners were snaking down blue runs at great speed Green Party event ‘Coping with the Cold’ Coun Felicity Norman (Green Party, Leominster) insists that a warm home defines a civilised society and is the responsibility of national and local governments to deliver them. The audience at South Shropshire Green Party’s event “Coping with the Cold” at Ludlow’s Mascall Centre heard evidence that Shropshire’s largely rural nature means there are a high number of difficult-to-heat pre-1919 houses and approximately 36.6 per cent households are off the gas grid. A shocking total of c 6,500 houses in the county have inadequate, defective or no heating systems and nearly a quarter of tenants in Shropshire’s private rented sector are in hard-to-heat accommodation. But central government has axed its Warm Homes Healthy People initiative and told the council to use its public health money to address fuel poverty in the county.

But public health has not been given additional funds to do this and at £29 per head per annum in Shropshire the money public health has is already lower than the national average of £49 and significantly lower than the £113 allocated to Kensington and Chelsea.

Green Party Councillor Felicity Norman said: “The coalition government has done so much wrong. It is prepared to spend around £4.3 billion to subsidise fossil fuels and to offer what are effectively bribes to local authorities to accept fracking in their communities. Britain has the leakiest, hardest-to-heat homes in Europe, reflected in the disgraceful figure of 28,500 avoidable winter deaths last year. Meanwhile the government has downgraded requirements to insulate the older, hard-to- heat properties that are common in Shropshire, which would save house-holders’ money, and create green jobs. In Germany, where 25 per cent of electricity now comes from renewable sources, half of those generating facilities are owned by the community.

“Renewables offer the only certain, affordable energy future for Britain, and will also provide solid, long-term jobs and promote the development of new technologies and skills here”.

Coun Graeme Perks, who attended the meeting along with Ludlow’s Mayor Coun Jim Smithers, said it was a very positive and useful meeting and has suggested that the town council address the issues raised.

The Green Party thanked all contributors who made Coping with the Cold at Ludlow’s Mascall Centre a success. Recommendations and comments from the panel discussion will be passed on to policy makers and elected officials to follow up the issues raised.

Speakers included Brighid Carey (Shropshire Council), Tim Baldwin (Marches Energy Agency), Jon Cooke (Affordable Warmth Forum), Dave Thomlinson (Lightfoot Enterprises), and Alison Cundall (private landlord). Advice was offered by the National Landlords Association, Just Credit Union, Marches Energy Agency, the Affordable Warmth Forum, the Linus Project, Lightfoot Enterprises, Homestart, and South Shropshire Furniture Scheme. The event was supported by Ludlow 21 and Lightfoot Enterprises as well as by Green Party members and Myriad Organics. The Mayor of Ludlow, Coun Jim Smithers attended, as did Coun Graeme Perks. Coping with the Cold was also supported by Churches Together Around Ludlow, which was represented by David Harlington.

Brighid Carey from Shropshire Council provided an overview of the problem of fuel poverty across the county. Older, larger homes, with solid walls, not on mains gas, occupied by low income households were most difficult to heat and treat. Dave Thomlinson of Lightfoot Enterprises stressed the importance of high quality insulation and draft proofing.

Jon Cooke, of the Affordable Warmth Forum, told of 40 trained champions who refer households (with their permission) to agencies that can deliver free improvements into qualifying homes with access to government grants and programmes.

Coun Norman, summarised, and remonstrated with the coalition government for failing to respond to the ‘no-brainer’ that energy efficiency measures provide: affordable warmth, less illness, fewer avoidable winter deaths, more local jobs, release of money into the local economy and carbon reduction. All were interwoven, and are an achievable near-term social investment. Please contact Hilary Wendt on 01588 680 338 or 07531 306 011 or at