Bishops Castle

DOCTORS LEAVE PRACTICE - Bishops Castle Medical Practice has started the process to recruit new doctors. This follows the ending of a partnership dispute between the three former partners of the practice. Two partners – Dr Adrian Fairbanks and Dr Sue Lambert have retired from the practice and Dr Adrian Penney has returned. Nick Hutchins, chairman of Bishops Castle patients’ group, following a patients’ group meeting with Dr Penney, said: “We have been able to clarify a number of queries and establish information about the ongoing provision of service. All employment contracts for administration staff will continue as before. Regarding the nursing staff, an advanced nurse practitioner (who is qualified to examine, assess and prescribe for all patients) has returned to the practice and will man - age the larger-than-previous nursing team of four in addition to herself. As for the doctors, Dr Adrian Penney is currently fulfilling former partners’ appointments with assistance from two established locums. Appointments with Dr Penney will become available as soon as possible. There will be at least two further doctors who will shortly have surgeries on certain days of the week. More details will follow when available. In the medium to long term, permanent new doctors are being sought and currently advertised for. Ideally, two permanent doctors will be appointed either as partners or salaried doctors depending on their preference. Many different avenues are being explored to fill the vacancies as quickly as possible.” Mr Hutchins added: “Bishops Castle patients’ group would like to thank the reception, administration, nursing, clinical and support staff for their hard work and commitment at this transitional time – and, indeed, for their dedica - tion over the past few years. Without the support of the team, things would have been much more difficult for patients over the last three years.”

SCHOOLS TRUST - A group of schools in southwest Shropshire is in the process of setting up a co-operative trust to support education in the area. Bishops Castle Primary School, Norbury Primary School and the Community College Bishops Castle, are three of the eight schools which are currently consulting with stakeholders on proposals for a South West Shropshire Schools’ Co-operative Trust. Building on an already close collaboration, the trust will see governors, headteachers and staff from each school working with each other and with partners from business, higher education and the Hereford Diocese in a long-term sustainable relationship which will continuously look at ways in which opportunities for their pupils and students can be maxim - ised. The trust’s main focus will be on teaching and learning, promoting high aspirations among children and ensuring positive outcomes for all pupils, looking to harness resources efficiently to enhance learning in this unique area of the county, with all its wealth of opportunities and challenges. The trust will have charitable status and therefore be eligible for many funding streams to support its projects.

Alan Doust, head teacher at the Community College, said: “It’s a very exciting move, because this family of schools with its partners has the power to make a real difference to education in our area. We will be working together collaboratively, in the best interests of all young people.

Many schools up and down the country are opting for a co-operative approach – most of Cornwall’s education is based on co-operative trusts – and the potential benefits are enormous. One of the things I particularly like about forming a co-operative is the fact that all your key stakeholders – parents, students, teachers, the community – can become members and feel they have ownership in the trust. By working together we can become stronger and this in turn will benefit all our children.”

Kay Miller, head teacher of St George’s CE Primary School in Clun, another school which is involved, said: “It’s going to allow us to pool our resources and expertise, and be proactive in addressing any barriers to education. We don’t lose our separate identities as schools, which is important, but it allows us to adopt a more strategic approach to solving issues. It is also a way of channelling support and making sure it’s as effective as it can be.”

The consultation period for the South- West Shropshire Co-operative Schools’ Trust will end on March 10. More details and a full list of all schools and partners involved can be found on the schools’ websites.

CASTLE PLAYERS PANTO - The Castle Players pantomime Dick Whittington comes to town today (Thursday) as part of Bishops Castle Arts Festival. The show is at the SpArC Theatre in Bishops Castle with four performances, including a matinee. Director Marilyn Greenrod has a cast of more than 20 and the role of principal boy is played by Eleanor Carty. Sid Savin, Sue Midwood, Joel Hopwood, Pat Prettyman and Rose Sidebotham have other leading roles. Add in a posse of street dancers and colourful costumes from Jacko’s the theatrical costumier and it looks like a show not to be missed.

Dick Whittington is on today (Thursday) at 7pm; tomorrow (Friday) at 7pm and Saturday at 2pm and 6.30pm. Tickets cost £6, children £4. Call 01588 630321 or 638038 to book.

RECORD BINGO NIGHT - Jan Robertson and Julie Burgwin raised a record £750 at a prize bingo evening held in the Boars Head, Bishops Castle on February 3. Speaking after the event Julie Burgwin said: “We were staggered to have raised such a large sum and thank everyone who came along to support the event which was in aid of the Midlands Air Ambulance and Sea Shepherd, a charity that campaigns against the killing of dolphins.

NEW PARISH PLAN - Can you help to shape the future of Bishops Castle?Bishops Castle Town Council says a new plan is required that will address the needs of the community over the next few years. To start the process, it is inviting households, organisations and busi - nesses in and around the town to provide their thoughts on what they value about the town now, their ideas for improvements or change and, particularly in the light of continuing local authority cuts in expenditure, what concerns they have for the future.

“An invitation to comment has already been delivered to every household in the town” said Mayor Karen Bavastock, “but we know there are others living in the surrounding area who see Bishops Castle as their town and who we haven’t yet been able to reach. We would really like them to tell us what they feel about our town’s future.”

This opportunity has arisen because there is a need to replace the 2004 Bishops Castle Parish Plan which was instrumental in bringing about a number of improvements, including 23 affordable houses and essential community support for the SpArC leisure centre. The future however will bring new and different challenges. To ensure that the town can continue to meet those challenges and to provide for a positive future for both young and old alike, it is essential to know what the community’s main concerns and aspirations are. “This could be vital for the future,” added Mayor Bavastock, “Since the ongoing austerity measures put in place at national and county level are likely to change services we all take for granted. We now need to find a way of allowing local people to work together to create their own action plan.”

It is hoped that anyone who has already received an invitation to com - ment will complete and return it to one of the five drop-off points in town – the Post Office, Enterprise House, the Dudley Building Society, Grange Road Community Centre or Textile Traders – by the end of February. Online comment is also possible, either by e-mail to or by the web link If you have not received an invitation to help shape the future of Bishops Castle and would like to do so, or if you want to know more, please contact either Cllr Jackson on 01588 638566 or Cllr Bowles on 01588 638851.

CHOIR LOOKS FORWARD TO SUMMER - The Marches Community Choir is looking forward to a number of engagements this summer. The singers donated £500 to the Hope House Children’s Hospice from its Christmas concert which it ran jointly with Bishops Castle Primary School and is now preparing for a spring concert on April 5. This will span the centuries from Purcell to Rutter , with choir, organ and brass. The choir has also been invited to France at the end of May, to perform Vivaldi’s Gloria at the Hesdin Music Festival, with a performance in Paris en route. In addition, as part of the First World War centenary, it is hosting a choir from Nuremberg for a concert in Bishops Castle at the end of October, with an invitation for a return visit in 2015. The Marches Community Choir rehearses on Monday evenings at the Community College in Bishops Castle, where new members are always welcome and can sample rehearsals with no commitment. Call 01588 680312 to find out more.

MAYTIME MUSIC MARATHON - Musicians and singers have the chance to join in a 24-hour musical marathon in aid of Amnesty International. The Bishops Castle branch wants it to run from 4pm on May 2 to the evening of May 3.

Mike Plunkett from the group said: “We hope to have music happening in places along Church Street and High Street and also in the Poppy House. We also want a procession in the afternoon and some buskers and have already booked quite a few ven - ues and musicians but hope others will join in. It could turn out to be an exciting event and a first for Bishops Castle. Call Mike on 01588 630018 if you want to get involved.

BISHOPS CASTLE DIARY, February 20 - 26

TODAY (THURSDAY): Bishops Castle Arts Society open meeting. Methodist hall. Donations. 2pm.

  • Talk. Roman Art and Architecture – David Preshous. Church Barn, Bishops Castle. Donations. 2pm.
  • Craft workshop. Make a Felted Animal. For over 10s. Cadet Hall, Station Street, Bishops Castle. £1 for materials.10am and 2pm. Book on 01588 630200.
  • Poetry workshop. Coding and Decoding – Bryan Podmore. Castle Hotel, Bishops Castle. Donations. 7.30pm. Call 01588 620541.
  • Anything Goes . Swing and Dixieland jazz Three Tuns, Bishops Castle. Donations.
  • Live music. Border Beat. The Vaults, Bishops Castle. Free
  • Coffee morning in aid of Lydbury North Church and Midlands Air Ambulance. Lower Gardens, Lydbury North. 10.30am.
  • Lydbury North WI. Mary Webb – Jane Freeman. Edgton village hall. 7.15pm.
  • Norbury and District WI. My Trip to Japan – Sarah Screen. Lydham vil lage hall. 7.30pm. Call 01588 650315

FRIDAY (TOMORROW): Benji Kirkpatrick and Beguildy in concert. Three Tuns, Bishops Castle. £5. 7.30pm. Call 01588 660101 l Kids scrap sculpture workshop. Church Barn, Bishops Castle. Donations. 2pm.

  • Talk. Hans Christian Andersen – Paul Binding. Castle Hotel, Bishops Castle. Donations. 2pm.
  • Watercolour workshop – Sue Percy. Castle Hotel, Bishops Castle. Donations. 2pm and 5pm.
  • Flower arranging workshop –Jane Pugh. Methodist Hall, Bishops Castle. Donations. Free. 6pm.
  • Bellamonda Balkan ceilidh. Church Barn, Bishops Castle. £3. 7.30pm.
  •  Pony day. Walcot Stables, Lydbury North. Call 01588 680514 SATURDAY: AMP open mic acoustic night. Six Bells, Bishops Castle. Free. 8pm.
  • Two-day block printing workshop for beginners, Drusilla Cole. Bishops Castle Public Hall. Free 11am- 12.30pm. Call 01588 638458.
  • Artisan market. Three Tuns, Bishops Castle. Free. 10am-4pm.
  • Exhibition. Castle Artists and Marches Book Art Group. Public Hall, Bishops Castle. Free. 11am- 5pm.
  • Corn dolly making – Bernard Edwards. Six Bells, Bishops Castle. Free. 4pm.
  • Talk. Forbidden Books, Who Controls the Written Word? Bob Fowke. Castle Hotel, Bishops Castle. 4pm.
  • Samba band drumming. Cadet Hall, New St, Bishops Castle. 4.30pm for kids. 5pm adults. Book place on 01588 630200.
  • Drop-in knitting sessions. 9 Market Sq, Bishops Castle. Free. 10am and 2pm.
  • Talk. Rubens and Abstract Painting – Jock Wright. Methodist Hall, Bishops Castle. Free. 5pm.
  • Talk. Wilfred Owen and the Border – Meg Crane. Church Barn, Bishops Castle. Free. 2pm.
  • Open mic acoustic session with AMP. Six Bells, Bishops Castle. Free. 8pm.

SUNDAY: Block printing workshop – Drusilla Cole. Public Hall, Bishops Castle. Free. 11am and 12.30pm.

  • Artisan market. Three Tuns, Bishops Castle. Free 10am-4pm.
  • Drop in knitting sessions. 9 Market Sq, Bishops Castle. Free. 10am and 2pm.
  • Tour of Three Tuns Brewery, Bishops Castle. Free. 11am. Book place on 01588 630200.
  • Exhibition. Castle Artists and Marches Book Art Group. Public Hall, Bishops Castle. Free. 11am- 5pm.
  • Arts Festival church service Celebrating the Arts. Church Barn, Bishops Castle. 11am.
  • Talk. Birdsong in Bishops Castle , Pete Carty. Six Bells, Bishops Castle. £3. 4pm.

MONDAY: Bingo in aid of Cancer Research. Powis Arms, Lydbury North. 8pm. Call 01588 680396

TUESDAY: Bishops Castle Town Council meeting. Enterprise House, Bishops Castle. 8pm.

  • Footpath Walking Group. Black Hill. Eight miles. Meet Harley Jenkins St car park, Bishops Castle. 9.30am. Call 01588 630531.

WEDNESDAY: Quiz in aid of pancre - atic cancer research. Powis Arms, Lydbury North. 7.30pm. Call 01588 680254

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


Clun Valley

FLICKS IN THE STICKS - Summer in February (15) tomorrow (Friday) 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 World War One. As the country’s future hangs in the balance, three friends find themselves caught in a tumultuous love triangle in this sensa - tional 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 enquiries and reservations.

CHAPEL LAWN - Star Trek Into Darkness (12) is showing on Saturday at 7.30pm. Bar, ice creams, popcorn, etc. Tickets £4. Doors and bar open at 7pm. All welcome. Contact Peter 01547 530530.

FAIRTRADE FORTNIGHT - Monday to March 9 celebrating the newly designated Clun Fairtrade Valley with lots of events to promote Fairtrade, starting with a Fairtrade coffee morning at The Maltings Café in Clun on Tuesday. Come and try the coffees and delicious cakes and find out more about this year’s Fairtrade theme, the banana industry. More Fairtrade coffee on Thursday, February 27 at Clunbury Café - Fairtrade coffee or tea with homemade cake for only £1 in the village hall. There will also be a Fairtrade stall.

BINGO - The last Monday of the month is eyes down at the Sun Inn for bingo at 7.30pm for fun and prizes and help raise funds for St George’s Church Building Fund. Donations of prizes are always welcome. You can drop them off at the Old Surgery Gallery on Saturday or Sunday or leave them with Janet Davies at Davies Newsagents.

SOUTH WEST SHROPSHIRE GARDENING CLUB - On Wednesday members are off to Ashwood Nurseries to enjoy a feast of winter and spring plants. There are only two tickets left (£10 each) so contact Heather on 01588 650610 if you are interested.

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

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


Far Forest

BINGO - Will be held on March 7 starting at 8pm. Please come and support your village hall.

JUMBLE SALE - The will be a jumble sale on March 29 starting at 2pm. All proceeds will go to the village hall. Jumble wanted, please contact Helen on 01299 266864 or Pauline on 01299 878581.

HALL BOOKINGS - Bookings for the Far Forest village hall can be made by calling Pauline on 01299 878581.


The Strettons

BREAKFAST - Mayfair community centre will be serving breakfasts again on Saturday from 9.30am- 11am but this will be the last one for the present. Volunteers have been cooking breakfasts for the past few weeks with all proceeds going to Mayfair.

COFFEE MORNING - A coffee and hobbies morning will take place at the Methodist Church hall on Saturday from 10am-12noon. Everyone is invited to take along small items which they may have made in the past so they can share the skills with others. Cooking and cake making can also be considered as hobbies too. Small items which can be offered for sale for church funds would also be appreciated. Entry is £1 and all are welcome.

PICTURES IN HARMONY - Ian and Hilary Templeton will be showing pic - tures in harmony entitled Our Shropshire at a meeting of the Parkinson’s Support Group held at Mayfair on Monday starting at 2.30pm.

HISTORY GROUP - The Church Stretton History Group has invited Friends of Flaxmill Maltings to speak at the meeting in the URC hall on Monday at 2.30pm.

BIRDS - Shropshire Ornithological Society presents a talk by Peter Carty about the story of Wenlock Edge entitled Living Edge at the Methodist hall on Monday evening at 7.30pm. Visitors are always welcome, admission is £2 for non-members and includes refreshment.

AGM - The Gardening Club will hold its annual general meeting on Tuesday and will follow the AGM with a talk by Fiona Grant on Greenhouse, Hot House and Stoves at 7.30pm in the Silvester Horne Institute.

SCHOOL NEWS - St Lawrence’s Primary School has recently had its Ofsted inspection and the report will be posted on the Ofsted website from Thursday, February 27. The school is pleased to say that it was judged to be ‘good’ with some areas of its work ‘outstanding’. Recently pupils donned their wellies to take part in a gumboot dance, a type of dance originally created by African diamond miners as a means of communication at work. As the workers were not allowed to talk during their work, they made up a secret code in the form of stamps and taps with their gumboots and the pupils in class three have created their own version. Two pupils who have been learning to play the violin have recently played at the school assembly, and if there are any other pupils interested in learning to play the violin they should contact the school. A non-uniform day when everyone was asked to wear their brightest clothes was arranged by the school council and to raise money for Guide Dogs. After the half-term break several vis - its are planned, including a visit to West Midlands Safari Park, a building site and to Carding Mill Valley. At Church Stretton School students have received guidance at a Pathways presentation and a recent assembly was held entitled Inspiring Others. At the end of the month the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh students will be doing a YHA walk with an overnight stay.

SCRAPPIES - Scrappies Craft Store recently held an open day with a Valentine’s theme where the children were invited to take part in craft activities. Some busied themselves decorating cakes while others enjoyed making love bugs — the largest love bug can be seen on the store’s web - site. Scrappies also holds bi-weekly craft clubs for adults where everyone can get together and be creative in a fun atmosphere. Sessions cost £3 and all details are available from the store.

LITERARY SOCIETY - A meeting of the Literary Society gave members a chance to listen to and quiz Michael Basnett about the way literature is taught in schools. Everyone was invited to recall their own school experiences of literature and discuss the books, plays and poetry they had read at school, and the writings of authors they had enjoyed since. Mr Basnett spoke about the current cur - riculum and the likely government changes which could be coming in. He was warmly applauded for his talk. The next meeting of the Literary Society will be on March 3 at 7.30pm at the library when there will be a book discussion on Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel with the talk led by David Howard. Non-members always welcome.

BEETLE DRIVE - A family evening beetle drive is planned for March 1 at Hope Bowdler village hall starting at 7.30pm. The event suits all ages and there will be prizes, and a raffle will also be held. Admission is £4 for adults and £2 for children and can be paid at the door. To find out more ring 01694 723418.

SUPPER EVENT - The local RNLI committee will be hosting a fish and chip supper at the Silvester Horne Institute on March 1 at 7.30pm.

CAMERA CLUB - Another date for your diary is an evening with wildlife photographer Michael Leach on March 5 at the URC hall at 7.30pm. Michael has called his talk Confessions of a Wildlife Photographer and will be looking at the realities of capturing animals on film for books and television. This event is hosted by the Longmynd Camera Club and welcomes visitors.

CHOIR - The Much Wenlock Male Voice Choir will be in concert at Church Stretton School on March 8 at 7.30pm. Ticket sales are through Burway Books, John Thomas Florists and Wrights Estate Agents. The event is hosted by the local British Legion for the Poppy Appeal.

TALK - How RE is taught in schools is the subject of a talk to be held at Church Stretton School on March 10 at 7.30pm, arranged by the South Shropshire Interfaith Forum. All welcome.