Ashford Bowdler

OPEN DAY - In spite of inclement weather the morning of June 7, the village open day was deemed to have been most successful. Several gardens were open, combining quilt displays, plant sales,morning coffee and afternoon teas. The floral display in St Andrew’s church was magnificent and other stalls included a barbecue, children’s games, a Pimms and wine bar, clothing, cakes and produce, bric a brac, tombola and strawberry teas.Tickets for the duck race had been on sale nationwide since April but due to the high water level in the River Teme, which runs close to the east end of the church, the event had to be cancelled and under the terms of the licence, a draw took place. Winners came from both Ashford villages, one from Ludlow, one from Longnor and two from afar, only known through mobile phone numbers. As the ducks had been sorted numerically but did not even get their feet wet, Orleton school very kindly waived their charge thus adding to the surplus for the day which should be in excess of £1600. Very many thanks to all who supported this event which is held every two years.


Bishops Castle

ENTERPRISE SW SHROPSHIRE AGM - At the recent AGM Bishops Castle Social Enterprise, based at Enterprise House, they looked back on the year’s activities. Peter Phillips was re-appointed chairman of Enterprise South West Shropshire; Michaela Hardwick, vice chair and Gail Pickford, company secretary. Peter Phillips said, “The company has had an eventful and most encouraging year. At last we ended with small cash surplus, but face some uncertainty since our main Shropshire Council funder has cut 20% of their support. We are having meetings with all the council officers concerned to seize opportunities arising from their new arrangements.”

“We are always looking for commercial opportunities,” added manager, Mike Ashwell. “Our Bishops Castle Business Network has now some 200 members and income from business and community activity has grown”. The SpArC Theatre at the Teme SpArC leisure centre came under the wing of ESWS 12 months ago. “It has been an outstanding success and attendances have doubled,” said Mr Phillips. “Thanks to Cait Leach and the volunteer supporters it shows what local control and involvement can add.” Peter Phillips concluded that ESWS’s operations remain finely balanced financially, “We look to more stable and sustainable income streams so that our work over 200 square miles of rural Shropshire can continue”. A scheme to attract local people to become childminders and support for local apprenticeships are two of the aims of the company.

PRESENTATION TO DOCTORS - A presentation evening was held on June 5 for Dr Adrian Fairbanks, Dr Sue Lambert and Nurse Eleri Fairbanks who retired from the Bishops Castle medical practice at the end of January. Over 90 people gathered at the Inn on the Green to welcome the three with a sustained round of applause. Trevor Chalkley and others spoke of their sadness at losing two well respected doctors, and a caring nurse and told of the kind and professional service that all their patients received. Dr Fairbanks replied to say how good it was to see everyone again and recounted some amusing anecdotes from when they first arrived at the Bishops Castle medical practice. He also spoke of the staff they had worked with, without whom they could not have done the job. Trevor Chalkley presented cheques to Doctors Fairbanks and Lambert and Eleri Fairbanks, while Dr Lambert and Eleri Fairbanks were also given flowers. Everyone then enjoyed a buffet supper. Speaking a few days later, Dr Fairbanks said, “All three of us would like to thank everyone who attended the presentation evening and those who contributed so generously. It was wonderful to see so many friends and to have the opportunity to celebrate our years in Bishops Castle and to say goodbye.” Dr Fairbanks worked at Bishops Castle medical practice for 17 years, Dr Lambert for 13 years and Nurse Eleri Fairbanks for eight years.

PARTY IN THE PARK - The next big AMP event on Saturday and AMP would like to thank Jan Robertson and Julie Burgwin who organised fund raising events for AMP including prize bingos and charity disco. “The money Jan and Julie have given us will be used to help fund Party In the Park and our new grant scheme which enables AMP members to apply for funding to support their musical development, “ commented Lynne Farr, secretary of AMP.

TOWN HALL WEEKEND - A weekend to celebrate the reopening of Bishops Castle town hall begins at 9am on Saturday with the return of the farmers’ market to its original home. Stallholders will then be there on the third Saturday of the month. From 10am families are welcome to enjoy free table top craft activities, followed at 12.30pm by a chance to look around all three floors of the building until 4.30pm. Sunday sees a Fitsteps workshop, dance workshop and demonstration of karate kata, all of which are free. At 3pm afternoon tea will be served accompanied by music from Bishops Castle orchestra. Sunday evening sees a bit of a do when close harmony singers the Men from Off entertain at a concert, at 7.30pm. Others on programme are Jonny Keeley, Sean Gaffney with Alex Pickford and Joe Carty and storyteller Val Littlehales. Tickets £7.50 and proceeds will go to Town Hall Target 250 Appeal which has raised almost £50,000 of the £62,500 target.

FLEA MARKET BACK IN TOWN HALL - The flea and collectors’ market has moved back to the newly renovated Bishops Castle town hall and stalls were set up for the first time June 7. Flea markets will be held on first Saturday of the month with vintage enthusiast Anna Wharton in charge. The next flea market is July 5, so if you want to have a stall yourself, as a one-off venture or regularly, give Anna a call on 07973 639692 or email RAILWAY MUSEUM - Bishops Castle Railway Museum is looking for more volunteers to act as stewards at their premises in School Lane. The museum opens on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from Easter to October, as well as on bank holidays. Vic Roberts is the volunteer rota co-ordinator and he explains, “We are struggling to find enough stewards to open the museum on the advertised dates, from 2pm to 5pm. We need more volunteers, especially younger ones to ensure regular opening. It is an interesting afternoon in the museum, meeting railway buffs and other visitors. The existing stewards will be happy to give the simple training required to new volunteers. For young people, this would look well on your CV.” If you would like to find out more about helping out at the railway museum, call Vic Roberts on 01694 723164.

£100 PRIZE - Tickets for Bishops Castle Church midsummer fete grand draw now on sale at the Mace Store, Bishops Castle with cash prizes of £100, £50 and £25. Draw will take place at the fete Saturday in the churchyard, with teas served in church barn. Midsummer celebrations continue on Sunday with procession of the rush cart into church escorted by local morris dancers for the service of Midsummer Rejoicing . Barbecue and beer will be served in the churchyard after the service.

BINGO - Bingo session in Bishops Castle public hall June 4 raised £353 for Abbeyfield House, Bishops Castle. Organiser Julie Burgwin thanks everyone for their support. An earlier prize bingo night in aid of Crowgate Pre School and Hope House Children’s Hospice raised £440 to be shared equally between the two good causes. Tickets are now on sale at £1 a strip for a raffle in aid of the marine charity Sea Shepherd and the About Music Project for young musicians in Bishops Castle. Winner will receive brand new wheelbarrow full of alcoholic drinks. Draw will be at bingo July 16. Call Julie 07816 127402 if you would like to donate a bottle.

YOGA TEACHER TO LAY READER - At the May meeting of Bishops Castle Mothers’ Union Mette Wardle shared her experiences of a cosmopolitan childhood before settling down in Shropshire where she taught yoga. Several MU members had enjoyed being amongst her pupils before Mette decided, as a Christian, to give up yoga and to train as a lay reader in the church. She now serves as lay reader at Ratlinghope Church and lives in the village with her family. On July 10, Bishops Castle Mothers’ Union will be leading the midday prayers at Hereford Cathedral. Everyone is welcome to join them.

BOOK NOW FOR ROAD RUN - Longmynd Vintage Vehicle Club met at Dairy Dreams near Churchstoke June 11. Members are now looking forward to the club’s annual road run and social at the Inn on the Green, Wentnor July 13. Everyone welcome, entry forms available from Union Street Garage or committee members. Further information call Karen Bavastock 07967 100903.

YARN BOMBING - Yarn bombing? What is it? Lydbury North WI members know after talk given by Rachel Hawes. Rachel described how yarn bombing began in USA before unwinding across the Atlantic and ending up in Bishops Castle as fusion of knitting and street art. Members were given ball of wool and needles and produced their own piece of yarn bombing, now on display in the village. Next WI meeting, village hall July 19, 7.30pm. Sarah Hare, curate of the Ridgeway Benefice will speak on My Journey to Lydbury North . Visitors are welcome at £3, to include refreshments.

MAINSTONE EARLYBIRDS - Mainstone WI had an early start recently when they joined Pete Carty for a dawn chorus walk on Bury Ditches. They arrived at 6.30am and Pete helped members identify birds from the song. Members also visited the Kerry Vale Vineyard near Churchstoke and saw vines from French and German stock before going indoors to sample and buy their own bottles. The vineyard is on the site of a Roman camp and the owners said they had dug up a number of artefacts. Later in the month Mainstone members enjoyed a meal at Ivy House in Montgomery.


THURSDAY - Monday introductory market. Bishops Castle town hall. Weekly. 8am-2pm.

  • Poets’ Corner. Guest poet Jean Atkin. Castle Hotel, Bishops Castle, 8pm, book meal for 7pm 01588 620541.
  • Lydbury North WI. My Journey to Lydbury North - Sarah Hare, curate Ridgeway Benefice. Lydbury North village hall. £3. 7.15pm.
  • Lydham, More and Snead WI. Garden meeting at Ambridge, home of Marion Denwood.7pm. Call 01588 650315.

FRIDAY - Sin Eater Festival. 25 bands. The Bridges, Ratlinghope. Continues 20-22 June n ‘Idris Evans Entertains’ in aid of Myndtown Church roof rescue appeal. Myndtown Church. £15 inc food. Book on 01588 650244.

SATURDAY - Bishops Castle farmers market. Bishops Castle town hall. Third Saturday of month. 9am.

  • Bishops Castle town hall. Family craft activities, 10.30am-12.30am; tours 12.30pm-4.30pm.
  • Exhibition. Paintings by Joan Baker. Bishops Castle town hall. Free. 10.30am. Until July 19.
  • Midsummer Rejoicing. Church fete. 2pm.
  • Midsummer ceilidh. Music by Lasair. Community College, Bishops Castle. £7. 8pm.
  • Auction sale. Public Hall, Bishops Castle. Call 01743 462763 n Electric Blues Reaction. Crown and Anchor Vaults, Bishops Castle.

SUNDAY - Bishops Castle town hall celebration weekend. Fit Steps workshop 10am; Revel in Dance street dance performance and workshop 10.45am; Karate Kata demo 11.30am; family craft workshops 11am.

  • Bishops Castle town hall. Afternoon tea with Bishops Castle orchestra. 2.30pm-4pm.
  • Midsummer Rejoicing rush bearing procession. Meet Stone House, Bishops Castle, 10.30am. Midsummer service. Church, 11am. Morris dancing, barbecue, 12noon.
  • Entertainment. The Men from Off and friends. In aid of Target 250. Bishops Castle town hall. £7.50. 7.30pm. Book on 01588 638375.

MONDAY - Monday market. Bishops Castle town hall. Weekly. 8am-2pm.

  • NHS Blood donor session. Bishops Castle public hall. 1.30pm- 3.30pm; 4.30pm-7.30pm. Book appointment on 0300 123 23 23 n Bishops Castle Walking Group. Diddlebury. Meet Harley Jenkins St car park, Bishops Castle. 9.30am. Call 01588 630531.

WEDNESDAY - SW Shropshire Gardening Club visit to Westonbury Mill Water Gardens, Pembridge £20, guests £22 inc meal. Book 01588 660753.

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. She sends news to the paper every week. Her phone number is 01588 680445.The email address is



TENBURY WELLS RUBBER BRIDGE CLUB - Are looking for new members. For further information please contact Mrs E Robinson 01584 810519. Beginners’ classes start soon.

ART EXHIBITION - Presented by Tenbury and District art group in the book shop until June 28.

FOURTH BEER FESTIVAL - Coming soon at the Rose and Crown, Tenbury Wells, July 11-13. Local beers and ciders, fantastic food, great bands. Free entry. Details from or 01584 811336 TEME READERS - That Part Was True by Deborah McKinlay. Tenbury library June 27, 2pm-3pm. Copies of the book available - ask a member of staff.

JUMBLE SALE - Held by Lindridge CE Primary School at the Regal community hall, Tenbury, June 28, 10am- 12.30pm. If you have anything you would like to donate to the jumble sale please call 01584 881466 or email:

LINDRIDGE SHOW - Recently postponed due to the weather, the show will now take place on August 16.

GARDENING AND CRAFTS EVENT - Bertie and Betty Bee invite you to Brimfield gardening club’s garden and crafts event. Brimfield village hall, Sunday, 2pm-5pm. “Ritz” style afternoon tea £4 per person (limited availability), ring 01584 711400 for your tickets. Cake stall, variety of craft stalls and refreshments. Children’s activities, face painting, colouring sheets and bring a garden on a plate - small prize for each entry. Grand prize draw, tickets available now from gardening club members. Plant tombola. Secret of successful flower arranging, demonstrations throughout the afternoon - your raffle ticket could win a floral creation. Your gardening questions answered, Ask the Gardener with a well known local expert.

SUMMER FETE - St Mary’s Church, Tenbury Wells, Saturday from 11am. All your favourite stalls with a large variety of tempting items for sale including: cakes, tombola, books, bric-a-brac, bottle stall, lucky dip jars, plants, face painting for children. Plus tasty refreshments, games and music with Tenbury town band.


The Strettons

DRAMA - Church Stretton School presentation of ‘Wind in the Willows’ continues today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday) at 7.30pm. Refreshments will be served by the PTA during the interval. Tickets are available from the school and cost £5 and £3.50 concessions.

SINGING FOR FUN - Singing for fun takes place at Church Stretton School on Thursday s from 7pm-9pm in the drama room. Admission is £5.

COUNTRY MARKET - Tomorrow (Friday) market at Mayfair will be open for business 8.30pm-12noon. Cakes, produce and crafts on offer.

MEDIEVAL FAIR - Volunteers are still invited to help on Saturday and Sunday for an hour or two or whatever time can be offered, and also tomorrow (Friday) and Monday for setting up and clearing up. If you can help on any of these occasions please ring 01694 723737 to offer as this is the weekend celebration of 800 years of the charter when the fair takes place, opening with a medieval banquet at the Silvester Horne Institute at 7.30pm tomorrow (Friday). Saturday morning will see the celebrations begin with a procession at 9.30am up Sandford Avenue and along High Street to the square where there will be dragons, minstrels, singers mummers and morris dancers, and the judging of the medieval dress competitions for the children will take place at 11am on Rectory Field. There will be many attractions over Saturday and Sunday, including street stalls and a circus workshop for children, archery and shooting, falconry, maypole dancing, a puppet theatre and friendly dragons, battles, bouncy castle, jousting, ferret racing, minstrels and all day catering and ale house. The entertainment will continue from 10am-5pm and followed by a ceilidh on Saturday. Weekend tickets, family tickets and day tickets are available in advance from Burway Books, Newsworld, Wrights, town council and local schools, and also sold on the gate.

DANCING - Saturday night, ceilidh in the Rectory Field at 7.30pm with music by the Compost Band as part of the celebrations. This is also the night when the regular monthly folk dance at Ticklerton village hall is held 8pm-late.

WORKSHOPS - Children’s art workshops will be held at Mayfair during Saturday morning and afternoon and Scrappies will host medieval fair open day with drop-in craft workshop from 10am-3pm on Sunday.

THANKS - Big thank you from wives and friends group for the support received at the June fair coffee morning which raised £294.30 for The Church Stretton wellbeing centre.

LIBRARY - Fun, songs and rhymes for under three years are on offer at the library, 10.30am-11am on Tuesday. A local history advice session where volunteers guide you in your research will be available next Thursday, June 26. Local history sessions available any Thursday.

AGM - The annual general meeting of Little Stretton village hall takes place next Thursday, June 26, at 7.30pm when all residents of Little Stretton and Minton are welcome to attend. To find out more ring 01694 723627. June 30 is the Stretton Focus annual general meeting at 10.30am in the Silvester Horne Institute.

SMALLHOLDERS - The speaker at a meeting of the Shropshire smallholders in May was Peter Sheppard on the topic of Rare Breed Survival Trust. Members heard that, while some breeds are making a comeback, many others remain endangered. Hebridean Sheep and Belted Galloway cattle are no longer on the at risk list, possibly due to their distinctive appearance and use for conservation grazing, but figures on the at risk lists may be of registered animals producing registered offspring which are not counted on the register unless the births are notified. The talk then focused on pigs and the best diet recommended for rare breeds in comparison with commercial breeds. The group is hoping to have a stand at both Minsterley and Burwarton shows this year.

SCHOOL NEWS - Church Stretton School has had visits from year six pupils. Year seven and eight students take part in UK maths olympiad. A practice is planned for the Borneo expedition over the weekend. At St Lawrence’s Primary School the school cricket team went to Bishops Castle cricket club to participate in a Kwik cricket tournament. After winning three matches and breaking the Kwik cricket tournament record with 336 runs the final game went to three-five will take part in athletics at Church Stretton School and tag rugby at Fiveways. Visits are planned to Shrewsbury Castle and the Crucial Crew . Year six will visit Church Stretton School for intake day.

NEW POND - The official opening of the new pond in Rectory Field was well attended to see Sir Neil Coussons cut the tape and Lady Veronica Coussons plant an Alder Buckthorn which is a food plant for the common Brimstone Butterfly.

PACT - There is to be an on-line PACT (Partners and Community Together) meeting from 6pm-8pm on Wednesday when a panel of the police safer neighbourhood team will be accessible via Webchat.

BUSINESS FORUM - New date for Church Stretton business forum is Wednesday 6pm-7.30pm, open to all business people and offering chance to network, ask questions and suggest topics for future meetings. On this occasion the topics under discussion will be Broadband, the town plan 2014-17 and public relations.

FOOD BANK - Many thanks for the support of local food bank, which now would like to receive jams, medium packets of cereal, biscuits, tinned fruit and tinned vegetables, cereal bars and pot noodles for those with limited cooking facilities. Any donations of goods may be placed in the receptacle at the Co-Op store.

LONGMYND HIKE - Online entries for October hike can now be made.

CAR WASHES - Available Burway garage, Unit 1, Crossways Industrial Estate, 10.30am-4pm, June 28, fund raising for Ghana expedition in conjunction with Church Stretton School SUMMER SPARKLE - An evening of light music and sparkling refreshments is on offer June 28, 7.30pm when Halfway House Ladies Choir will be in concert to raise funds for St Peter’s Church in Rushbury. Tickets £7 include light refreshment and a sparkling drink, and may be reserved by ringing 01694 771341 and 771636 YOGA CHARITY DAY - Local yoga community charity day will be held at Leebotwood village hall from 10.30am-4pm on June 28. £15 for the day, ring 01694 724317 to book a place or find out more. Take a shared lunch, drinks will be provided.

CYCLE MARATHON - Mountain bike marathon June 28 and 29, start and finish at Church Stretton School.

SUMMER HOLIDAY CLUBS - Busy Bees pre-school will be running summer holiday club July 23-August 21, on Wednesdays and Thursdays 9am- 3pm for children up to eight years. Enquire for places by calling in or St Laurence’s Parish Centre is the venue for the Mega Makers holiday club which will be 10am-3pm daily July 23-25. All current primary school children are invited but must be registered before July 4. Further information 01694 771248.


Clee Hill WI

The May meeting of the WI was held at the home of speaker, Mrs Dorothy Aston, and her talk was entitled Dot’s Dad . Dot told members of her father’s antics and pranks as he grew up in Birmingham and two of the members could recall, quite vividly, the places she referred to. Dot progressed through his life detailing the various jobs he undertook and how eventually he became a magician. His real name was William Powell but his stage name was,”Birtini”. He made his own equipment for his tricks and these were of such a high standard that his reputation soon spread and magicians from all over the world wanted to buy and use them. In 1945 he was engaged to perform for Sir Winston Churchill at Blenheim Palace. In 1948 he was awarded a plaque by the World Magical Society of Lausanne for the best trick in the world and he also received a gold medal from President Malenkov of Russia, a truly remarkable man. Members thanked Dot, telling her she must be very proud. The president gave vote of thanks and also thanked Dot for inviting members to her home. Next in-house meeting is July 7, 2pm in Clee Hill recreation room. Speaker will be Nonny James on the Circle of Life , come along and join members.