Bayton and Clows Top

PARISH NEWS - Bayton parish council has agreed to help with purchasing two defibrillator machines one for Bayton and one for Clows Top. Donations have already been received and grants are being applied for. Residents in both villages are supporting this appeal by organising fundraising events. If you would like to make a donation please contact Sue Burrows, clerk to Bayton parish council on 01299 832722 or e-mail

LUNCHEON - A pie and mash lunch is being held on Sunday in Bayton village hall at 1pm. Tickets are £7.50, children under five free or over five £5. Please contact clerk for further details. All money raised will go towards the defibrillator appeal.

BINGO - Bayton school PTA is holding a special bingo night at Clows Top village hall tomorrow (Friday). This is to support the purchase of a defibrillator machine for Clows Top, eyes down for 7.30 prompt. The usual good prizes. Please come and support this worthy cause as it could be anyone of the community who needs to use it.


Bishops Castle

JOAN BAKER EXHIBITION - Bishops Castle artist Joan Baker has an exhibition of work at the Silk Top Hat Gallery in Ludlow. It runs from Monday to March 15, from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. The exhibition was planned some time ago and comprises over 20 landscapes completed before Joan’s recent serious illness from which she is still recovering. Some experimental sketchbooks created as part of her rehabilitation will also be on show and Joan will be discussing these at a private view on Sunday from 11am to 1pm. One of Shropshire’s most prolific and respected painters, Joan Baker has exhibited her work far and wide, including the Royal Academy, Royal Birmingham Society of Artists and the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. Her last show at the Silk Top Hat in Ludlow was in 2011and she is delighted to be back at one of her favourite venues after a very difficult 2013.

ARTS FEST - Bishops Castle Arts Festival is going from strength to strength and has expanded to five days this year to accommodate more than 30 events. The festival runs from Wednesday to February 23 and includes art exhibitions, art and craft workshops for all ages, music, poetry, talks, an artisan market, dance, film, food and drink. Town venues from galleries to pubs, cafes to shops and halls to libraries are opening their doors to host the events, most of which are free to attend. One of the musical highlights is a concert by singing duo Beguildy (Janie Mitchell and Anne Marie Summers) together with Benji Kirkpatrick, who will have just returned from his European tour with Bellowhead. The three will be performing folk music of Shropshire using a range of instruments including harp, guitar, bazouki, hammered dulcimer and vocal harmonies. Beguildy are launching their new CD The Mary Webb Songs at this event. The concert is on February 21, 7.30pm in The Three Tuns, Bishops Castle. Tickets cost £5, available in advance from the Castle Hotel and The Three Tuns. The full arts festival programme is Call Judith Shone on 01588 630349 for more information.

BISHOPS CASTLE WI - The next meeting is on Tuesday when the speaker’s subject will be Wade China. Everyone is welcome at 7.30pm.

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, phone 01588 680445 or email


Clun Valley

LOCAL GENEROSITY - People in the Clun Valley contribute generously to many fundraising events through the year. The Midwinter Festival in St George’s Church in aid of Caitlin’s Kickstart Award raised a £1,600. Jenny Watts’ Christmas music at Davies Newsagents raised £185 for Hope House Children’s Hospice in addition to £152 that Warne and Janet Davies had raised from the collecting tin in the shop.

CALLING YOUNG ACTORS - Mick Green of CADS (Clun Amateur Dramatic Society) is looking for young people between 16 and 25 to take part in a big CADS production that will be performed in the autumn. Mick is running two free taster sessions for anyone interested to come along and have fun and find out what it is all about. Theatre games and practice – fun guaranteed. Is happening in Hightown community room on Saturday and March 16 from 10.30am to 1.30pm. The sessions will be different so you can go to both if you can. Call or e-mail Mick to let him know and if you are interested, but can’t make the sessions to get in touch with the group, 01588 640525 or

CLUNBURY CAFÉ - Clunbury Café is serving Fairtrade coffee or tea with home-made cake for only £1 in the village hall on today (Thursday) and February 27. On February 27 there will be a Fairtrade stall as part of Fairtrade Fortnight.

LOCAL PRODUCE MARKET - A new local produce market at Hightown community room will raise funds for the upkeep of the community room on Saturday from 10am to 2pm. The markets will happen bi-monthly. If you want to inquire about having a stall contact Trish Munn 01588 640125.

BEETLE DRIVE - Fun for all the family at Clunbury village hall beetle drive on Saturday at 7.30pm. Entry £1 adults, 50p children, refreshments, prizes, raffle.

LIVE SHOW - The Kepow Theatre will be performing at Chapel Lawn village hall on Saturday. Crazy Little Thing Called Love featuring two performers, is a comic look at love, in all its many forms. Romantic love, platonic love, a love for a hobby, love for one’s pet, the love of money or the love of God. You name it, this comedy show explores it. Suitable for age six plus. Tickets adult £8, child £5, family £25. Starts at 7.30pm, inquiries 01547 530535,

BOWLING CLUB - Clun Bowling Club AGM is on Tuesday at 7.30pm at Haslehurst community centre.

FLICKS IN THE STICKS - Summer in February (15) is showing on February 21 at 8pm at Clungunford village hall. Adapted from Jonathan Smith’s best-selling novel, Summer in February follows a bohemian colony of artists who flourished in the wild coastal region of Cornwall in the years leading up to the First World War. As the country’s future hangs in the balance, three friends find themselves caught in a tumultuous love triangle in this sensational true story. Entrance £4, adults, £2 children. Licensed bar, ice creams, raffle, good car parking and excellent company. Telephone 01588 660727 (Ann) or 01588 660781 (Maureen) for inquiries and reservations.

COMPASSIONATE COMMUNITIES - Jeremy Hall from South Shropshire Housing Association (SSHA) will be talking about Compassionate Communities at the next meeting of Bishops Castle and District Carers Group on Monday, 2 - 4pm. The group is for everyone who is involved in caring for a friend or family member and members meet on the 3rd Monday of the month at Coverage Care, Union Street, Bishops Castle, SY9 5AJ. All welcome. The group can support you in many ways, to find out how, please drop in at the monthly meetings.

CLUN WALKS - Clun Ramblers’ next walk is on Wednesday and is led by Brian. Meet at Clun Memorial hall car park at 9.30am. Sorry no dogs.

HALF TERM SALE - The Old Surgery Gallery at Clun will be open every day next week, from Monday from 10am to 5pm as it is half term. Its main attraction will be the special February offer where all art work is being discounted by 10 per cent. Amongst the artists showing and participating in the offer are Brian Fletcher, Jacqueline Fletcher, Paul Hipkiss, Tim Nash and Noel Shepherdson plus others. In addition CDs and DVDs are being sold at half the marked price so go along and grab a bargain.

CORRESPONDENT - If you have any news or events in the Clun Valley, contact Elisabeth Taylor, or 01981 540893. The deadline is the Thursday of the week before publication.



THREE LEGGED RACE - Followed by Karaoke at Market Tavern, Tenbury, February 23. Three legged race starts at 2pm with registration at 1.30pm. Ask behind bar for details or call Alan/Tina 01584 810982.


The Strettons

POST OFFICE NEWS - The Post Office is opening again after the refurbishment tomorrow (Friday) at 1pm.

BREAKFASTS - The Saturday breakfasts at Mayfair community centre will continue to be served this weekend and again on February 22 from 9.30am-11am. Last orders taken at 11am and all proceeds go to Mayfair.

FOLK DANCE - An evening of folk dancing takes place at Ticklerton village hall on Saturday from 8pm till late. All welcome and Ron and Dot will be on hand to show the way if you are new to folk dancing. Ring 01694 722418 if you would like to know more.

PANTOMINE - Cardington Capers presents Toad in a Hole at Cardington village hall on Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £7.50 for adults and £3.50 for children and may be reserved by ringing 01694 771270 or 771521.

AGM - At 2pm on Saturday The Green Party will hold its annual general meeting at the Bishop Maskell Centre in Ludlow, when Duncan Kerr, the Green Party EU election candidate, will address the meeting.

ENGAGING ISSUES - On Tuesday Mike Bourke, retired Bishop of Wolverhampton, will be giving a talk entitled Religion and Human Rights are they in harmony or conflict? At 7.30pm in the United Reformed Church, where he will present some historical reflections on current issues.

COMMUNITY CINEMA - Presents Undertaking Betty (15) at Acton Scott village hall at 7.30pm on Tuesday. Captain Phillips (12A) will be shown at All Stretton village hall on February 28, and on March 3 at Church Stretton school the film will be Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa (15).

WILDLIFE - The Strettons Branch of the Wildlife Trust meets on Wednesday at the Methodist church hall and will debate Man-Friend or Foe of the Environment. All welcome, admission for non-members is £3.

LONGMYND CAMERA CLUB – Jon Baker will be at the club meeting on Wednesday for an audio-visual presentation of the Wrekin PS International Salon. Meetings start at 7.30pm in the United Reformed Church hall. Visitors are always welcome.

BRIDGE CLUB – Calling all Bridge players. The Church Stretton Bridge Club meets each Thursday at 1.15pm at All Stretton village hall. Lifts are available if required and more information is available by ringing 01694 722438 or 723128.

MOTHER GOOSE – All Stretton Amateur Dramatics presents Mother Goose from next Thursday, February 20 – February 22 at the village hall each evening at 7.30pm and with a February 22 matinee at 2pm. Tickets cost £4 for adults and £2.50 for children and are being sold through Burway Books, John Thomas Florists or can be reserved by ringing 01694 723283.

TALK –’From Beijing to Moscow’ is the title of a talk by David Thomas at Mayfair next Thursday, February 20, at 7pm when he will give an illustrated account of a journey on the Trans- Mongolia and Trans-Siberian Railways and a visit to the Great Wall. Admission is £3.50.

SCHOOL NEWS – At St Lawrence’s Primary School class two learned about the Chinese New Year and celebrated by tasting some Chinese food and making cards. On the sporting front there was good news that the U/10 boys, U/10 girls, U/11 girls and U/11 boys football teams have all qualified for the County Cup semi-finals. KS2 pupils have also taken part in a basketball tournament at the leisure centre, in the Winter Games at Lilleshall and Cross Country at Lucton. After the half-term break there are several class visits planned. There is still a need for a lunchtime supervisor to work as a relief at St Lawrence’s, so if you are able to help please contact the school. At Church Stretton School teams celebrated some great victories on the rugby field. Coming up is a visit to Berlin, and there are plans for an expedition to Ghana next year. The head of maths has returned from a fact-finding trip to Shanghai to look at the teaching of maths there. The schools are again collecting Active Kids vouchers from Sainsbury’s, which help the schools to benefit from the extra PE equipment which is provided by the vouchers.

LONGMYND HIKE – The annual general meeting of the Longmynd Hike Committee took place recently and was attended by the officers and 20 members of the committee, with a welcome to two new members. The chairman gave a brief outline of the 2013 Longmynd Hike, which was the 46th hike, attracting 621 entries, 381 finished the course and 175 retired. He thanked everyone for their help and commitment to the event so that everything went according to plan. The chairman and secretary remain in post but a number of long-serving personnel were stepping down, including the treasurer, who had served 25 years, as was the entries secretary and two long-time supporters who were moving away. All received presentations as an appreciation of their commitment to the Longmynd Hike. The new treasurer was voted in and nominations for entries secretary were taken on board. The meeting heard that there were new FRA rules in place, which meant that an event organiser was needed and this position was to be further discussed at the next meeting. A separate safety committee was also set up to take into account the new rules coming in, including changes to entry forms and briefing requirements for checkpoint staff. A number of other issues were to be taken forward to the next meeting, which would be at the District Social Club on March 2 at 8pm.

SHROPSHIRE SMALLHOLDERS – The Shropshire Smallholders recently held its annual general meeting at Leebotwood village hall, attended by more than 35 members. The group was sorry to learn that some longstanding members were standing down after guiding the group for so long, and to recognise their work they each received a presentation. The new committee was set in place following a re-shuffle of some of the officers into new roles and so the committee is there to follow the wishes of the rest of the members. With the business matters sorted the evening was rounded off with talks from two members who outlined their experiences in finding and setting up their smallholder businesses, and a slide show of a study tour of Tuscany by another member.

MUSIC NIGHTS – The New Rope String Band will be entertaining at 7.30pm in the Silvester Horne Institute on February 21. Tickets are being sold through Burway Books, John Thomas Florists and the town council offices and cost £10 for adults, £6 for children and there is also a £30 family ticket. The District Social Club presents a Robbie Williams tribute on February 22, and with music by Robbie T Disco. Tickets cost £8 from the club and are for over-18s only, but with no admission after 10.30pm.

GARDENING CLUB – The Gardening Club holds its annual general meeting at the Silvester Horne Institute on February 25 at 7.30pm in the Silvester Horne Institute. The business of the meeting will be followed by a talk by Fiona Grant entitled Greenhouse, Hothouse and Stove, at 8pm. All welcome.


Clee Hill WI

WOULD you like to be hospitalised in a wooden shed? In a ward with a wall open to the elements? Hardly. And yet, only 50 years ago, that might have happened to you if you had been admitted to hospital.

At the February meeting of Clee Hill WI Mr Alan Crowe gave an illustrated talk entitled From Wooden Sheds to Modern Hospitals.

It was the story of a Shropshire hospital, the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, in Oswestry, from its inception in 1900 as an eight-bed convalescent home for children in Baschurch to its modern incarnation.

More importantly, it was the story of its founders – a mother, two nurses and a doctor. It was a fascinating story. Influenced by the words of a tutor during her nursing training – ‘fresh air and happiness are vital for the chronically ill’ – Agnes Hunt made sure her young patients were educated and amused as well as fed and cared for.

More importantly, she took the idea of fresh air to a new level. When demand for places increased, new wards were created from old sheds – and one side was open to the elements. Not for the faint-hearted, you might think, but it was deemed so successful that it became commonplace.

It was Agnes’ mother who persuaded her to take on the convalescent home, and she was most ably assisted by her lifelong friend, Emily Goodford, but it was the influence of Robert Jones, Agnes’ orthopaedic surgeon, that changed the nature of the hospital for ever. He began to operate on the children on the premises, which led to Baschurch becoming a specialist orthopaedic hospital for the military in the First World War.

With change of use came change of venue. Bigger premises were found on the army base in Oswestry – in wooden huts. These were gradually replaced by brick buildings, though the influence of open-sided wards lasted until well after the Second World War.

Agnes retired from the hospital in the Twenties but did not give up work. She created workshops for disabled war veterans and the buildings are used to this day by the disabled, but as a garden centre.

It was an uplifting story. Without those three women and one man we might not have an orthopaedic hospital in Oswestry at all.

With that thought Mr Crowe was thanked for his talk and tea and cakes were served. Do come along to the next meeting for a talk entitled From Riches to Ruins on March 3.


Bishops Castle Walking Festival Group

SOME walk leaders with the Bishops Castle Walking Festival have been preparing for the June event this week. The walk leaders will be part of the short walk with a wild swim in this year’s walks festival programme.

“We have had time to consider our role with the group on the day, being safe around the water and having an emergency action plan should an incident occur,” says Bernard Edwards. In this way everyone has a tremendous time while the leaders swan around, paddling furiously below the water.

Catherine Murphy tutored the Water Safety Management Programme for Caroline Cooter, Bernard Edwards, Clare Schofield and Lucy Newbury, sports development officer with the National Trust, Shropshire.

The group was able to explore a variety of water types (river, pools) and to consider the issues of safety from a personal, group and public point of view. This introductory course gave opportunities for group insights, learning and the chance to try out some ‘signal, reach and throw’ rescues.

Assessment was carried out throughout the day and the records will be sent to the Royal Life Saving Society for certification.

The National Trust in Church Stretton hopes to follow this format with other groups of learners and to organise an Introduction to Wild Swimming for families later in the year (August 2). For further information contact Lucy Newbury 01743 708148.

The 2014 Bishops Castle Walking Festival runs from June 10-12 and is run by a small, friendly group staffed by volunteers.

This year there will be a wide variety of walks on offer, from 12 miles to five, as well as the wild swim. Not all walks will be repeated, so book early to avoid disappointment. For guests who travel into Bishops Castle for the day and do not want to miss out on any of the evening fringe events the organisers offer showers and changing facilities at the local leisure centre for a nominal fee (£1). The facilities are only a couple of minutes’ walk from the Church Barn.

The varied programme of evening events includes a Shropshire evening with extensive buffet, a short walk around places of interest in Bishops Castle, where the Men From Off will serenade walkers, ending with a grand finale – a hog roast with musical entertainment.

Organisers are pleased to be working with the Corndon and Stiperstones Landscape Partnership Scheme and will be offering several walks in the area covered by the scheme (see or 01588 630531.