Bishops Castle

VINTAGE VEHICLE CLUB - Fuzz Townshend, local TV personality and drummer from the band Wonderstuff, was the speaker at the recent meet ing of the Longmynd Vintage Vehicle Club at Wentnor. Wonderstuff have just been on tour in Australia but Fuzz had promised to be at the Inn on the Green to talk about the making of the TV programme Car SOS , the first series of which was screened last year. Fuzz also has regular features in Practical Classics magazine and he described the realities of restoring cars of various ages and his new Classic Friendly franchise. Club chairman Karen Bavastock said: “We were really pleased to welcome Fuzz to our club and to hear about the trials and challenges in making Car SOS as well as some of his other ventures.” For more information about the Longmynd Vintage Vehicle Club call Karen Bavastock on 07967 100903 or

MICHAELMAS FAIR - Bishops Castle Michaelmas Fair committee is looking for a dynamic new chairman to run this year’s event with a team of volunteers. It is offering a fee to attract the right person to oversee an event that attracts many thousands of people to the town and is one of the most successful events in South Shropshire. John Lucas, a former chairman, said: “The Michaelmas Fair needs a dynamic chairman to pull all the strands together and to liaise with local businesses to make sure the whole town benefits from this great event. The new chairman will need to allocate about six to eight hours a week between May and the end of August and eight to10 days in the run up to the fair itself on September 20. He or she will also chair the very informal committee meetings once a month. To find out more, email The closing date for applicants is March 25.

BINGO FOR DOG CHARITY - Don’t miss a prize bingo night on Wednesday at 8pm in Bishops Castle public hall. The event is a fundraiser for dog rescue charity Dogsbodies and donations of prizes can be left at the Bishops Castle Dog Shop.

FROM NURSE TO MINISTER - Bishops Castle Mothers’ Union welcomed Rev Sarah Hare as the guest speaker at their February meeting. She described the journey that led to ordination and her role as curate in the Ridgeway Group of Parishes. Rev Hare said that in her youth the last thing she wanted to do was go into the church. She became a nurse and worked with cancer patients who were trialling new drugs. For 20 years she resisted the call to ministry but eventually she gave in and started training for the church. The audience found her talk very interesting and felt that with her caring and compassionate nature and with the administrative skills which she reluctantly acquired, Rev Hare would be an ideal parish priest. MU members will be serving soup at the Lent lunch on March 21 in the Methodist hall and attending Hereford Cathedral on March 25 when the worldwide president of the Mothers’ Union will give the address at the Lady Day Eucharist. The next Bishops Castle MU meeting is on Wednesday at 2.30pm in the Church Barn. David and Janet Preshous will give an illustrated talk entitled Bishops Castle, Forty Years On. The meeting is open to all, call Jenny Plunkett 01588 630018.

CASTLE TREASURES - Mike Nurse, a volunteer at Powis Castle, presented a lecture on Powis Castle – Welsh Wars to the Present Day to members of SWSHAS. He traced the history of the castle from its earliest foundations, stressing the power struggles between the rulers of Mercia, Powys and Gwynedd, with dramatic changes of allegiance between the English and Welsh kings and princes. He then outlined the phases of the building of the present castle, notably under the Herbert family. The ownership of the castle eventually passed to Edward Clive, the son of Robert Clive (of India). Finally, the audience was treated to a visual tour of the main rooms of the castle, with its rich collection of art treasures and family mementoes, in particular, relics of the conflict with Tippoo Sahib.

WAR MEMORIALS TALK - This year marks the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and Snead Church has a special fundraising event on March 21 at 7.30pm in Lydham village hall. Peter and Julia Francis will present an evening dedicated to the war memorials of Shropshire. A slide show and talk will be accompanied by poetry, music and a question and answer session. Signed copies of Peter’s recently published book on the subject, which includes many of the memorials in the Clun Forest deanery, will also be available to buy. Tickets cost £5, from Trish Macmillan on 01588 620275 or Rev Norman Morris 01588 650244.


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

  • Poets’ Corner. Persuasion. Castle Hotel, Bishops Castle. 8pm. To book meal for 7pm call 01588 620541.
  • Live music. Crown and Anchor Vaults, Bishops Castle. 8.30pm.
  • Norbury and District WI. A Lady at Sea - Sharla Greenway. Norbury village hall. 7.30pm.

FRIDAY: Prize bingo to buy outdoor play equipment. Friends of Bishops Castle Primary School. School hall. 7pm.

  • Lent lunch for Christian Aid. Methodist Hall, Bishops Castle. Weekly until Good Friday. 12 noon.

SATURDAY: Bishops Castle farmers’ market. Methodist hall, Bishops Castle. 3rd Saturday of month. 8am-1pm.

  • Learn to lay a hedge. Ages 16-25. Bishops Castle Skate Park. £15. Book on 01938 561741.
  • OLPTC. Play. The Joker and the White Feather. SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle. £10/£6. 7.30pm. Call 01588 630321 or 638038.
  • Auction sale. Public hall, Bishops Castle. Call 01743 462763.
  • Jumble sale in aid of pupils’ trip to York. Lydbury North Primary School. 10am.

MONDAY: Bishops Castle and District Carers Group. Crime Prevention in the Home - Julia St John Martin,PCSO. Boars Head, Bishops Castle, 2-4pm. Call 01694 722024.

  • Quest Group. Film The Challenge of Rudolf Steiner . Grange Road Community Room, Bishops Castle. 7.30pm.
  • Kemp Valley Community Wildlife Group public meeting. Powis Arms, Lydbury North. 7.30pm. Call 01588 680590.

TUESDAY: Bishops Castle WI. Edward and Mrs Simpson – Sylvia Barrett. Methodist hall, Bishops Castle. 7pm.

  • Mainstone WI. Growing Up in Post- war Shropshire – David Preshous. Village hall. 7.30pm.

WEDNESDAY: Bingo in aid of Dogsbodies. Bishops Castle public hall. 8pm.

  • Bishops Castle Film Society. Fish Tank (15). Three Tuns, Bishops Castle. £5/£2.50 guests. 8pm. Call 01588 680445.
  • Royal Ballet. Sleeping Beauty screening. SpArC Theatre, Bishops Castle. £11/£8. 7.15pm. Call 01588 630321 or 638038.
  • Mothers Union. Forty Years On - David and Janet Preshous. Church Barn, Bishops Castle. 2.30pm.
  • Footpath Walking Group. Stretton Hills three peaks. Meet Harley Jenkins St car park, Bishops Castle. 9.30am. Call 01694 723921.

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

NEWCASTLE GARDEN SOCIETY - The next meeting of Newcastle Garden Society is today (Thursday) at 7.30pm at Newcastle Community Centre.

CADS - Clun Amateur Dramatic Society meet today (Thursday) at Haslehurst community centre at 7.30pm for a reading of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice by Jim Cartwright – a contender for the autumn production. Friends old and new welcome. Sue Blackman 01588 640336. Mick Green of CADS is running another free theatre workshop looking for young aspiring actors between 15 and 25 with theatre games and practice at Hightown community room on Sunday from 10.30am to 1.30pm. Although aimed at younger actors, drama enthusiasts of all ages welcome. Call or email Mick to let him know. If you are interested but can’t make the sessions contact him on 01588 640525 or

SOUP AND PUDDING LUNCHES - The popular soup and pudding lunches are back at Clun Methodist rooms tomorrow (Friday), March 21 and 28. In aid of Christian Aid.

COFFEE MORNING - On Saturday there will be a coffee morning at Hightown community room.

FLICKS IN THE STICKS - Presents Le Weekend (15) at Clun Memorial hall on Saturday.

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

WILDLIFE TRUST - John Hall will talk about bees at the next meeting of the Clun and District Branch of the Shropshire Wildlife Trust on Wednesday at Hightown community room. Further information from Bill Rowe 01588 640471.

TOWN COUNCIL MEETING - Clun town council with Chapel Lawn meets on Thursday, March 20 at 7.30pm at Chapel Lawn village hall.

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


Richards Castle

COUNTRY AND WESTERN DANCE - Will be held in the village hall on Saturday. Music by Bobby Jones; for more details, please ring 01584 8 31411.

LOCAL HISTORY GROUP - Meeting on Thursday, March 20, in the village hall at 7.30pm. Dorothy Nicolle will be talking about Shropshire Oddities. Admission £2; refreshments available, all welcome.



QUIZ NIGHT - St Mary’s Church, Tenbury Wells, Saturday, 7pm for 7.30pm start. Entry is £5 per person in teams of four which includes refreshments. Come along for a fun evening. To book your team’s place please contact Phil Rees on 01584 819254 or

PAMPER EVENING - In aid of the Lymphoma Association, Burford village hall, March 28, 7pm-10pm. Treatments available: clairvoyant and tarot card readings, Indian head massage, back massage, nail art, eyebrow wax and tint, pampered hands, facials, gel polish nails, haircuts, leg waxing, ear-piercing and pedicures. Stalls: Bodyshop, cup-cakes, Avon Make-up, Phoenix Cards, Partylite and Mandy Cancer Support. Tickets £5 includes cheese and biscuits, glass of wine and draw entry. Contact Lynda Jordan on 01584 819711.

QUIZ NIGHT - Fundraising event in aid of Brookside Day Centre, The Fountain Inn, Tenbury Wells, March 21, 7.30pm start. £7.50 per head to include curry, information available from Tina on 01584 819797.

LENT SOUP LUNCHES - Every Wednesday, in Tenbury Methodist Church hall from 12.30pm-2pm. Donations for Christian Aid will be gratefully received.


The Strettons

COUNTRY MARKET - The country market re-opens tomorrow (Friday) from 8.30am-noon each Friday until Christmas, selling home-made cakes, produce and crafts.

QUIZ NIGHT - Ken Willis is the question master at a quiz night on Saturday in aid of Mayfair community centre. The event starts at 7.30pm and entry costs £4.

FOLK DANCE - The monthly folk dance evening continues at Ticklerton village hall on Saturday at 8pm with Ron and Dot Cox on hand to show the way, so no experience is necessary. All welcome, but to find out more ring 01694 722418.

ROCKABILLY NIGHT - A rockabilly night is planned for Saturday at Church Stretton School from 7.30pm-11.30pm with music by the Ten Bob Millionaires with 50s dress optional. Please take your own drinks, glasses and nibbles. Tickets cost £10 and should be reserved by ringing 01694 722130.

TREE GRAFTING - An apple tree grafting workshop is planned for Sunday at Karuna, Picklescote. The cost of the course, which runs from 10.30am-4pm is £38, which includes soup, bread and drinks and two apple trees. Booking is essential as places are limited so ring 01694 751374 if you would like to take part.

CAMERA CLUB - The Longmynd Camera Club meeting on Wednesday will be a competition night. Competition number four is an open subject which includes projected images and a print panel and will be judged by Roger Hague, DPAGB. Meetings take place at the URC hall starting at 7.30pm and visitors are always welcome. A recent meeting held on March 5 was an evening with Michael Leach, who entertained his audience with amusing anecdotes during his talk entitled Confessions of a Wildlife Photographer, which looked at the realities of capturing animals on film for books and television. Questions from the audience and book signing followed. Thanks and a warm round of applause brought the evening to a close.

COMPETITION - Scrappies Scrap Store is running a plastic bottle top competition which will be judged on April 26 at the spring open day. There are two categories in each section and the size of the card depends on whether the entry is by an individual or a group. Scrappies has a large selection of bottle tops to choose from and entry to the competition is just £1.

SCHOOL NEWS - At Church Stretton School there was a meeting of the PTA when a number of new faces were keen to join the committee and a pathways evening has been held to help the students decide on their future courses. At St Lawrence’s Primary School the tag rugby team won the first round of the Tag to Twickenham national competition. The school uses the sports premium funding to provide opportunities for pupils to take part in competitions against other local schools, which include football, hockey, orienteering, cross country and multi sports, sports hall athletics, netball, basketball and tag rugby. Weekly maths games sessions are planned for KS1 pupils and the school is looking for volunteers to work alongside the teacher and TA. Training will be given and a school CRB check is necessary. Class two will go on a shopping trip and other classes will take part in a music workshop, multi-sports and cross country competitions. The Friends of the School are planning a spring fun day on May 10 with a chocolate treasure hunt, stalls and fun activities. Stall pitches and car boot pitches can be reserved by ringing 07782 259231.

LONGMYND HIKE - At the recent meeting of the Longmynd Hike Committee a new member was welcomed and a new entries secretary was appointed. Entry numbers will be entered on computer which will reduce the time taken with administration. Both risk assessment and insurance cover are already in place and online entries will be set up with an additional amendment stated on the conditions of entry. The next meeting of the committee will take place on May 11 at 8pm in the District Social Club.

QUIZ NIGHTS - The local committee of Cancer Research UK is hosting a quiz night on March 21 at the Silvester Horne Institute starting at 7.30pm. The quiz master will be Ken Willis and entry costs £5 per person. To book in please ring 01694 722713. Ken Willis will again be the quiz master at a quiz night on March 22 at 7.30pm in the District Social Club. Entry is £3 per person and proceeds will go to the Royal British Legion.

CEILIDH NIGHTS - Two dates for your diaries. The Green Party will host a ceilidh at the Ludlow Brewery on March 21 and the local Amnesty group will host a ceilidh on March 22 with the Compost Band at the Silvester Horne Institute from 7pm. Tickets cost £10 or £5 for under-16s and may be reserved by ringing 01694 722904.

COMMUNITY CINEMA - Presents Blue Jasmine (12A) at All Stretton village hall on March 21, and can also be seen on March 25 at Acton Scott village hall. Films start at 7.30pm and offer interval refreshment. Admission for adults is £4.

ANNIVERSARY - On March 22 there will be a public meeting at the Morris Hall, Shrewsbury, to mark the 30th anniversary of the mysterious death of anti-nuclear campaigner and rose grower Hilda Murrell from 5.30pm- 7.30pm. More details available by ringing 01584 873 416. On the following morning, March 23, there will be a memorial walk up to Hilda’s cairn in Bwlch Maengwynedd.

PUBLIC MEETING - There will be a public meeting at the Silvester Horne Institute at 7.30pm on March 24, when Rectory Wood and field will be on the agenda. All welcome, but to find out more ring 01746 781192.



COMPANION DOG SHOW - March 23, The Hopelands, Weobley village hall. In aid of Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary. Entries taken from 11am, judging from noon. Pedigree classes and novelty classes. Refreshments, raffle, etc. Enquiries to Mrs J Shepherd 01544 327117 or Mrs S Glithero 01432 880 553.


Bitterley WI

WASTE not want not was the sensible theme for the February meeting of the Bitterley WI. Annie Jones, president, welcomed a good turnout of members. A visit to Highgrove has been arranged for October. Members will be having an evening meal at the Queen’s Head in Ludlow in April. The Shropshire annual spring meeting is to be held at the Severnside Theatre, Shrewsbury. One of the items on the agenda will be the voting age of members. Stuart Toulson of Oak Farm, Ditton Priors, will be one of the guest speakers. He has been a previous speaker at another of the meetings. Business dealt with, then  Annie introduced Joy Blizzard, who gave a talk entitled Love Food, Hate Waste. During her light-hearted talk she dealt with the reasons and some solutions to this problem. According to statistics middle-aged people are the most guilty of the problem. In many families, especially with children, parents cater for them, so when the children leave home some parents find it difficult to adjust the amount they buy. These people could be called the ‘hotel club’ because they feel that extra food should be kept in the cupboard in case the family descend on them for an unexpected meal. She discussed the sell-by date, gave members tips on how to deal with the surplus food, eg freezing, etc, so members will now be conscious of saving food rather than throwing it away. She was thanked by Kath Watkins. On the trading stall there was a grand display of hand-made greeting cards made by Carol Elvis. Hostesses for the evening were R Bootman, Shirley Dubberley and Kath Watkins. The next meeting is on Thursday, March 20, when Helen Stevens will be demonstrating sugarcraft. Competition will be ‘something beginning with K’.


Border Marches Early Music Forum

BORDER Marches Early Music Forum presents a workshop on Renaissance Dance. Dancers and instrumentalists will explore together the dances that entertained 16th century Europe. The tutor will be the early dance specialist Mary Collins. The event will be held on Saturday at the community leisure centre, Lady Hawkins School, Kington, from 10am to 4.30pm. The charge will be £16 for Early Music Fora members, £18 for non-members, £5 for students. Telephone Fran Johnstone on 01544 267397 or email or see for further details.


Clee Hill WI

ON March 3, 11 members of Clee Hill WI were taken on a visit to Witley Court. It was not the best of spring days so it was fortunate that this was a ‘virtual tour’ presented by Ray Sturdy in the warmth and comfort of the village recreation room. Ray took members through Witley’s history from its beginnings as a Jacobean mansion to its present incarnation as an English Heritage visitor attraction. Whilst the original house was imposing, it was nothing compared to the magnificent stately home created by William Humble Ward, 1st Earl of Dudley, and his son in the 19th century. They were wealthy industrialists and were determined to show off what money could buy. The best designers and craftsmen were employed to create an imposing and luxurious home as well as beautiful gardens with the most impressive fountain in Britain. It was the most expensive house in Europe and truly a Victorian palace. As such it was a suitable venue for royalty and Edward VII was a frequent visitor. And it was undoubtedly here that his son met Freda Dudley Ward, who became his mistress until he met Wallis Simpson. Witley Court might still have been magnificent today, but when the 2nd Earl’s wife tragically died he shut the house and retired to London. It was eventually sold to Sir Herbert Smith, who had made a fortune in the carpet industry and wanted to flaunt his wealth. Unfortunately his fortune was too small. Economies had to be made. The number of servants was drastically reduced and with them went the expertise needed for health and safety. Hence, when fire broke out no-one knew what to do and much of the mansion was destroyed. Not only that, the house was not properly insured. Thus it was stripped of its contents and anything of any value in the grounds was sold. A shell, a shadow of its former glory, it was left to decay to be used as a playground for local children. Fortunately, English Heritage came to the rescue. The house remains a ruin but interpretation panels tell its story. The grounds have been cleared and planted again and the magnificent fountain is in operation. Witley is no longer a palace. Its story really is one of riches to ruins, but it has been saved as a legacy to those innovative wealthy industrialists of Victorian England. A satisfying afternoon was brought to a close with tea and home-made cakes, a raffle and competition. Next month’s meeting on April 7 is entitled Ginger’s Millinery. Come along if you like hats.