Bishops Castle

SWIFT GROUP SPREADS WINGS - Last year local residents formed the Bishops Castle Swift Group to monitor and help conserve the birds which are such popular summer visitors to the town. With the help of Peta Sams from the Ludlow Swift Conservation Group, they have expanded to form the Shropshire Swift Group. Their aim is to encourage people in other towns and villages to do the same work for their local swifts. In Bishops Castle preparations for the imminent arrival of the birds in early May are being made. Nest boxes are being fixed in suitable sites in the town and data on nesting will be collated. In addition, a number of new nesting sites have been incorporated into the renovations of the town hall. Clive Millard, one of the founder members of the Bishops Castle Swift Group said, “People can help by reporting any nests they are aware of or they can ask for nest boxes to be fitted in their eaves if they are suitable. Swifts spend most of their life in the air - feeding, sleeping and even mating on the wing. They travel 7000 miles to be with us, eat billions of insects every day and their aerobatic screaming parties are a wonderful sight and sound on summer evenings.” Call Clive Millard on 07971 731833 or Richard Moulson on 01588 638851for more information.

STONE HOUSE GOES PINK - There’s lots happening at Coverage Care Stone House in Bishops Castle this month with four fundraising events in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness. Tomorrow there’s a coffee morning when staff will be wearing something pink. A cake stall, tombola and a raffle to win one of Suzanne’s special cakes are other attractions. A few days later, on Tuesday a sponsored walk will leave Stone House for the Inn on the Green; if you want to take part collect a sponsor form from Stone House. Next Thursday, May 22, it’s eyes down at 7.30pm for a prize bingo, followed on May 30 by a quiz at the Inn on the Green. Andrew Semple is the chairman and teams of four are welcome at £7 each, to include a hot supper. To book a table call Edna Jones on 01588 650634, or Sophie on 07896 970872.

MUSIC MARATHON THANKS - The recent Bishops Castle music marathon raised £2075 to support Amnesty International. The event began on May 2 and the music carried on late into the night the following day. Organiser John Phillips and his team of helpers thank everyone for their help. Spar and the green electricity company Ecotricity sponsored the event and Cheryl Smith, chairman of Bishops Castle Amnesty Group said, “I am very grateful to our sponsors and all the performers and helpers who freely gave their time at venues all over the town. This raised awareness of and funds for the work of Amnesty International which works to highlight the plight of prisoners of conscience all over the world. Anyone who would like to become involved with the group, which holds letter writing sessions as well as organising events, can contact me on or 01588 630387.”

TOWN TREASURE HUNT - The Friends of Bishops Castle primary school will be out and about in Bishops Castle tomorrow evening with a town treasure hunt. They hope lots of people will join in the fun, which starts from the Six Bells a 6.30pm. It only costs £2 for a team to enter and there are three prizes to be won, as well as a prize for the children’s window spotting game. The evening is a fundraiser for Bishops Castle Primary School.

HOSPITAL EQUIPMENT FUND - Bishops Castle hospital equipment fund gratefully acknowledges receipt of a £400 donation from the Bishops Castle Group which continues to operate under its constitution. Neil Hird from the group said, “The grant will go towards the cost of diagnostic equipment required for the future clinics and services, ultra sound, chemotherapy and osteoporosis treatment, outlined by Dr Adrian Penney of the Bishops Castle Medical Practice.”

ABBEYFIELD INVITATION - Today there’s coffee morning at Abbeyfield House, starting 10.30am. The idea of these coffee mornings is to act as a social event for the Abbeyfield residents, volunteers and helpers. General public are also very welcome to pop in for a chat and coffee. There’s a raffle, all donations go towards helping with cost of outings for residents.

EIGHTIES STYLE - Julie Burgwin and Jan Robertson raised £600 at their recent eighties style fancy dress party in the Three Tuns, Bishops Castle and a further £360 at a table top sale. The money will be given to the marine charity Sea Shepherd. Tickets costing £7 are now on sale for a dance at the Three Tuns, Bishops Castle on May 24 in aid of AMP (About Music Project) which supports young musicians in Bishops Castle. Call Julie Burgwin on 07816 127402 for more details.

NEW SHOPS IN TOWN - Gallery Eighteen in Market Square, Bishops Castle opened recently to sell paintings, prints and high quality English crafts. The owner is Sue Willmer, whose husband Steve has his distinctive oak furniture on display, together with ceramic sculpture by Alan Sidney and silk scarves by Claire Linford. Taking a walk down The Cobbles you come to the Happy Bap where Stephen (Whitty) Whittingham is back doing what he likes best - serving food and drink to his customers. Whitty’s new place is next to Bishops Castle town hall and is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 4pm and on Wednesday from 9am to 2pm. Further down the High Street at number 19, Chris Meier has opened a traditional sweet shop selling all your childhood favourites and lots more goodies. Rosie Apple Sweets is open Monday to Saturday but closed on Wednesday.

MARCHES TO SING IN PARIS CHURCH - The Marches Community Choir returns to France at the end of the month for a musical entente cordiale and concert in a prestigious Paris venue. Thirty-five singers together with friends and family will travel by coach to Hesdin, Pas de Calais, where on May 24 they will join with the local choir to give a festival concert in the Abbaye de Belval. The festival is organised and conducted by Ian Ward - works to be sung include Vivaldi’s Gloria , Telemann’s setting of Psalm 117 , as well as some French and English part-songs. On Sunday morning the Marches Choir will lead the Sunday service in Hesdin singing Haydn’s Little Organ Mas s litugically. The conductor will be John Bowen, the accompanist George Baker and soloist Kate Screen, who is joining the choir from London for the trip. The singers are looking forward to being hosted by old friends as this is the second time they have visited Hesdin and the choir there made a return visit to Bishops Castle couple of years ago. On Sunday afternoon the coach takes the choir on to Paris for two nights where they will give a concert in l’Église de St- Germain-des Prés. The programme will include Vivaldi, Telemann and Haydn together with music by Pitoni, Tallis and Purcell. Sight-seeing, including a visit to the Louvre, and a meal on a floating restaurant, will all add to what is hopefully going to be a very enjoyable visit across the Channel. On Sunday at 3pm the Marches Choir is giving a pre-French tour concert at Upper Bent, just north of Lydham on the A488 and home to Sarah Screen. As well as enjoying the music people will have a chance to look around the beautiful gardens and enjoy amazing views of the countryside. Tickets £5 door, includes tea and cakes. There will be a raffle and produce sale. Call 01588 680312 for more information.

YOU CAXTON LECTURE - Fresh from the recent publication of his book on Hans Christian Andersen, writer and literary critic, Paul Binding, who lives in Bishops Castle will give a talk at the Pengwern Bookshop in Fish Street, Shrewsbury on May 27. His subject will be the Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard, whose six-volume autobiography Struggle has been greeted with great enthusiasm by readers all over the world. The third book in the sequence came out in March, while translation of the last three volumes into English is not yet complete. The talk, which begins at 6.30pm is the first in a series organised by You Caxton Publishers whose boss Bob Fowke also lives in Bishops Castle. Look on for more details.

ESSAY PRIZES - The South West Shropshire Historical and Archaeological Society welcomed Oliver Pearcey on April 12 to give the 14th annual Ritherdon lecture. Mr Pearcey is the chairman of The Kew Bridge Trust and formerly director of conservation at English Heritage. His subject was Steam Horse Power and members were treated to a history of the development of London’s water supply, from its primitive and highly insanitary beginnings to the present day. The harnessing of steam power played a vital role in the mammoth task of providing the capital with adequate clean water. The evening was also the occasion for the presentation of the society’s annual Christopher Train essay prizes. The shields were presented by one of the competition judges, Dr John Leonard. Recipients were Mike Greene (adult competition - Excavations at Lower Down); and Asa Peters (Families of Lydbury North) and Theo Croom-Johnson (The Railway that Never Was) in the junior competitions. On Saturday June 14, SWSHAS will have its annual outing - this year to Wroxeter Roman City and the Victorian residence of Sunnycroft in Wellington.

FABRICS AND FLOWERS - Enjoy a day out at the Abakhan Fabric warehouse near Wrexham and Moreton Park Garden Centre near Oswestry on Tuesday. The coach leaves the Community College in Bishops Castle at 9am and returns by 6pm. The cost is £12 and to book a seat call 01588 638269.

GLAD TO BE GREY - Singer, entertainer, Harvey Andrews brings his show Glad to be Grey to Mainstone village hall Saturday, starting at 7.30pm, tickets £10 in aid of hall funds and for that you can expect songs, stories, humour and a hot supper. Please bring your own drink, book your table by today by calling Alix Nathan 01588 630068 or email

JOIN THE CLUB - Arthur Wood is the April winner of the Lydham Church 100 club draw. He won £27.50, Janet Semple won £16.35 and Sarah Ellison won £10.90. A new season ‘s draw begins in June so call 01588 638379 if you want to join the club.

QUIZ FOR TWO CHURCHES - A recent quiz in Lydham village hall raised £600 to support Lydham and Snead Churches. Andrew Semple was the quiz master, while Shirley Rowson and Barbara Hird donated the supper. Thanks to everyone who took part and those who helped make the evening a success.

MORE CHURCH DRAW - April winners of the monthly draw in aid of More church were: 1st Carol Griffiths, 2nd Clare Williams, 3rd Robert Carlos. Winners in March were: 1st Mark Evans, 2nd Mr R Tanner, 3rd David Preshous.


THURSDAY – Coffee morning. Abbeyfield House, Oak Meadow, Bishops Castle. 10.30am.

  • RBL visit to Imperial War Museum of the North, Manchester, plus shop - ping. £15. Call 01588 650427.
  • Lydbury North WI. Yarn Bombing, Rachel Hawes. Lydbury North village hall, 7.15pm.
  • Lydham, More and Snead WI outing to Bog Centre, 01588 650315.

FRIDAY – Town treasure trail in aid of Friends of Bishops Castle primary school. Meet Six Bells, Bishops Castle. £2 team, 6.30pm.

  • Coffee morning in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness. Coverage Care Stone House, Bishops Castle.
  • Bingo. Grange Road Community Centre, Bishops Castle. 2pm. Call 07956 062454 n Lydbury North village hall AGM. 7.30pm.

SATURDAY – Bishops Castle farmers’ market, Methodist hall, third Saturday of month, 8am-1pm.

  • Presentation of MBE to Janet Brandon. Norbury village hall. 10.45am. Call 01588 650625.
  • Glad to be Grey – Harvey Andrews. Supper and songs in aid of hall funds. Mainstone village hall £10. Call 01588 630068.
  • Quiz in aid of Lingen Davies Cancer and Breast Cancer Research. Powis Arms, Lydbury North, £2 each, 7.30pm. 01588 630228.

SUNDAY - Marches Community Choir concert. Upper Bent, near Lydham £5 inc. tea. Call 01588 680312.

MONDAY – Bishops Castle cricket club junior coaching. Lydham Manor cricket ground. All ages. £3, weekly 6pm, 07779 844613.

  • Bishops Castle and District Carers Group. Kinesiology, nutrition and energy medicine – Maria Franklin. Boars Head, Bishops Castle. Free, 2-4pm. Call 01694 722024.
  • Quest Group. The Akashic Record – Lynn Osborne. Grange Road community centre, Bishops Castle. 7.30pm.
  • Lydbury North parish council AGM. Village hall. 7.30pm.

TUESDAY – Sponsored walk for Breast Cancer Awareness. Stone House, Bishops Castle to the Inn on the Green, Wentnor. Sponsor forms from Stone House.

  • Bishops Castle WI. Being a Nun, Judy Arliss. Methodist Hall. 7pm.

WEDNESDAY – Mothers’ Union, speaker Mette Wardle, The Mothers’ Union. Church Barn. 2.30pm.

  • Kington Choral Society spring concert. Bishops Castle church, 7.30pm, £10 from Poppy House, Six Bells, 07968 044 853, £12 on door.
  • Onny Valley social club. Trip to Jodrell Bank and Dagfield Centre. Pick up Norbury and Bishops Castle. Open to all. Call 01588 650607.

If you have any news for the paper, please hand a note addressed to Julia Parker over the counter at Bishops Castle Post Office. Her phone number is 01588 680445, email jparker



CAFÉ ON THE GREEN – Newcastle’s Café on the Green open throughout summer Wednesdays 10.30am- 4.30pm Newcastle community centre. Great to meet friends, go for walk in Clun Valley, enjoy delicious cake.

HEARTSTART – First Aid training WI members today (Thursday), Haslehurst community centre, 7pm GARDEN OPEN – Dowke Bungalow garden at Newcastle open Saturday 2-5pm, tea and cakes, £3.50. Proceeds Christians Against Poverty.

CLUNBURY FUN QUIZ – Clunbury village hall fun quiz, Saturday 7.30pm. Teams of up to six. Quiz £2.50 per person. Optional ploughman’s supper £2 per person. Tea, coffee and soft drinks available. No bar, BYO. Book table phone Sue Hill 01588 660355 or Eirlys Ellams 01588 660625. All welcome.

CHRISTIAN AID SERVICE – At Clun Methodist Church, Sunday 10am.

POLICE SURGERY – At Davies newsagents, Clun, Monday at 11am.

CADS – Clun Amateur Dramatic Society, (CADS) have changed from Thursday to Monday this month and are meeting on Monday at Haslehurst community centre, 7.30pm for AGM, followed by drinks and snacks and a play reading, possibly Summer End by Eric Chappell, who wrote Rising Damp.

CLUN RAMBLERS – Clun Ramblers’ next walk is Wednesday, led by Hilary. Meet at Clun memorial hall car park at 9.30am. Sorry no dogs.

ARCHIE MILES TALK – Author and photographer, giving talk on Heritage Trees of the Welsh Borders, Wednesday, in Redlake village hall, Chapel Lawn, for Redlake Valley Community Benefit Society. His book, The British Oak, will be on sale to sign and dedicate copies. Talk is 7.45pm, after the RVCBS AGM at 7pm. Please arrive 7.30pm. Non members £3. Contact Patrick Cosgrove Patrick@, 01547 530347 Tenbury FIRST BEER AND BANDS DAY – Saturday, 4pm-late, Bennetts End Inn, Hope Bagot Lane, Knowbury. Pig roast, The Fabulous Bordellos, The Pedigrees, Pig Daze. www.the, 01584 890220.

COFFEE MORNING AND MEGA BOOK SALE – St Michaels village hall, Saturday, 10am-12.30pm, cake stall, bric-a-brac, scarves and raffle, coffee and cake £2. In aid of St Michaels WI. Everyone welcome.

BOOKS, BOOZE, AND BANTER READERS’ GROUP – Perfect by Rachel Joyce, Tenbury Library, Wednesday, 7.30pm.

COFFEE MORNING – Tenbury bowling club in the Civic Memorial Garden next to children’s play area May 24 from 10am. Table top sale £5. Refreshments, cake stall, prize draw, disabled friendly. Book a table with Chris 01584 811112.

A SPRING CONCERT – Music From the Heart by Quattro Amici (four friends) St Mary’s Burford, Saturday, 7.30pm. Wine and nibbles will be served in the interval. Tickets £7 from the Spotty Dog Tea Room in Tenbury or on the door on Saturday.

FETE AND FUN DOG SHOW – Tithe Barn, Kyre Park Gardens, WR15 8RW. June 8, 2pm-5pm, dog show 2pm. Lots of classes including dog fancy dress class. List available on entrance. Dog show sponsored by James Wellbeloved, Naturally Healthy. Bar, barbecue, Frontrunner band. Cream teas, cakes, ice creams, plants, craft stalls, lucky dip, second hand toys, face painting and more. Proceeds to Kyre and Stoke Bliss Churches and Megan House.


The Strettons

DUCK RACE – The annual duck race organised by Stretton Climate Care takes place on Saturday from 10.30am-4pm in Carding Mill Valley.

FOLK DANCE – A folk dance at Ticklerton village hall starts at 8pm- late on Saturday when Ron and Dot Cox are on hand to show the way as no experience is necessary to join in the dances. More information is available by ringing 01694 722418.

GARAGE PRAISE – Saturday is the new date for garage praise which takes place at Burway Garage, Crossways, from 7pm. All welcome to this informal get-together which will also be attended by Gerald and Maureen Haberstro from the Harbor Lights Fellowship in America.

OPEN HOUSE – Open House at Womerton Farm Sunday, 10am-4pm. Admission £2.50 in advance or £3 at the door. Tea and cakes will be available and proceeds will go to Mayfair.

MAYFAIR DATES – At the meeting of the Parkinson’s group on Monday at 2.30pm Jill Wallbank will be talking about the benefits of therapeutic massage and exercise and then on Wednesday the poetry group will be discussing dreams and nightmares at 2.15pm.Traidcraft will have a stall at Mayfair next Thursday, May 22, selling Fairtrade Goods from 10.30am-1pm and every Friday morning from 8.30pm to noon the country market will be selling home-made cakes, produce and crafts.

SOCIAL AFTERNOON – A social afternoon at the URC on Wednesday will be hosted by the local committee of the RNLI when there will be a video and refreshments. Entry is free but donations are invited.

AGM – Wednesday is the annual general meeting of the Civic Society and will include an update on the Shropshire Council’s final plan (SAMDev) for housing and employment at 7pm in the Silvester Horne Institute. All welcome.

LIBRARY EVENTS – Tuesday Rhyme Time at the library has fun, songs and rhymes for under 3s, 10.30am- 11am. Wednesday Priscilla Masters will be reading from her new book Devil’s Chair at 7pm in the library. Local and family history session will take place at the library from 1pm- 4pm next Thursday, May 22.

CAMERA CLUB – The Longmynd Camera Club rounded off its programme with open competition judged by Peter R Gennard. Winners in prints section were David Wraith with Stalker, Hugh Stanton with The Candlemaker and Hugh Thompson with Walkie Talkie. Digitally projected images saw Hugh Stanton take first place with Amble Lighthouse, Hugh Stanton second with First Light at Buttermere and Norman Axtell third with Rainbow’s End. Presentations of annual awards were made with Challenge Bowl and Challenge Vase going to league winner Hugh Stanton for prints and digitally projected images. He was also awarded the Challenge Shield for photographer of the year, and the Merit Cup went to Hugh Thompson. The club will have a new programme and competitions starting in September but, in the meantime, further information about the club is available by ringing Graham Brown on 01743 353485. Visitors welcome at all of the club’s meetings.

SSIF – South Shropshire Interfaith Forum recently arranged an afternoon of activities for women and children under the heading women of faith and friendship. The meeting was well-attended and offered a chance to get-together in an informal setting. Next Round Table discussion at Pilgrim Centre in Craven Arms SY7 9PB is on June 12, at 12.15pm, subject What price Democracy, introduced by Rizvan Khalid. Meetings last about one hour and those attending can take their sandwiches. Drinks will be provided.

SCHOOL NEWS – Winning numbers in Church Stretton School PTA’s 200 club latest draw were 220, 24 and 29 winning £20, £10 and £5 respectively. St Lawrence’s Primary School pupils will be visiting Church Stretton School for a blown away day. Jonathon Pygott thanked everyone for the warm welcome he received as new head of St Lawrence’s where the tag rugby team won the regional trophy for the fifth time in six years and qualified to play in the Midlands finals in June, while the U11 boys’ and girls’ football teams have progressed to the county finals. Some pupils collected prizes for art and poetry competitions at the Shrewsbury Bookfest Awards. During the coming week there will also be visits to Ludlow museum, orienteering events, childline workshop and, a visit to the Discovery Centre.

CAR BOOT SALE – A charity car boot sale is at St Milburga’s car park May 24, 9am-1pm. Pitches £5 on 01694 723328.

ABBA MOMENTS - Only a few tickets remaining for Abba Moments and Robbie T Disco at the District Social Club on May 24. Tickets £10, ring for details any evening on 01694 723193. Event starts at 8.30pm-late but no admission after 10.30pm.

DRAMA - The Dorrington Players local drama group will present Funny Money at the Silvester Horne Institute from May 29-31 at 7.30pm. Ticket sales are through John Thomas Florists and Burway Books .

BOOK SALE - Two-day book sale at URC hall May 30-31 will raise funds for Mayfair. Admission 50p and sale open 10am-4pm each day. Event supported by local Rotary Club. Donations of books for the sale welcome. Collections can be arranged by ringing 01694 722138.

OUTING - Gardening club plans outing to Bryan’s Ground in Presteigne May 30. Enquire for seats on the coach 01694 720131.

BLUES AND ROOTS - Blues and Roots festival May 31, 2pm-11pm, Rectory Field. Variety of entertainment to suit all ages and interests, music workshops and how to’s, also children’s activities. Local lad, Blues Boy, Dan Owen, winner of British Blues Awards 2013 young artist of the year, will be appearing alongside Gary Hall and Polly Money and host of others. Macmillan Cancer Support Team will be the adopted charity and percentage of proceeds will go to them. Gates open noon, tickets for day can be bought at King’s Arms. Contact numbers for festival 01694 720071 and 07971 164768. Sponsorship for event being raised.

PLANT SALE - The local Lib-Dems are hosting plant sale in St Milburga’s car park 10am on May 31.

PARISH ASSEMBLY - The 48th annual assembly has taken place and chairman, Cllr Michael Braid, opened his report with reference to SAMDev which has dominated past year. Following wide-ranging opposition to New House Farm site development two alternative sites have been awarded preferred status at the present time. Town council is continuing to work with Shropshire council on strategic prototype commissioning programme. Despite financial constraints council has kept precept for Church Stretton to nine pence per week for Band D property. Cllr Braid ended his report by paying tribute to hard work and dedication to their jobs by Christine Harvey, Doreen Robinson and Herby Maddox, all of whom are retiring. The two unitary councillors gave reports and looking at new ways of delivering services around community needs more cost- effectively, towards 2017 town plan process will inform council on what local residents regard as their key priorities for action and spending through adoption of newly developed collaborative ways of working.


Bitterley WI

MEMBERS sang Jerusalem at start of AGM. Annie welcomed members, Millard, gave her statement of accounts, she was thanked by Sheelagh Lewis. Carol Elwis, who organises the stall, and Alma Partridge and Christine Craythorne who run the draws were thanked for these duties. Joint overall winners for the competitions were Dot Griffiths and Kath Watkins. Sheila Griffiths was winner of flower of the month. Forthcoming events in July include visit to Adams Farm on the Cotswolds. Members of Ludlow Group South are joining the north group for a 1950s style afternoon tea at Clee St Margaret on July 5. For official walk, members will be walking part of the Shropshire Way, calling at a members home for refreshments, who lives on the way. Annie Jones, retiring president, was thanked for the last three years. New president will be Alvis Cummings. After the business had been dealt with, Mary Pritchard organised social half hour, before refreshments . Hostesses for the evening were Alvis Cummings, Jenny Golby and Jennifer Shaw. Next meeting will be today (Thursday), when Ken Arch will be talking about Hope House.