Blog Posts

Yoga with extra glow

A Shrewsbury yoga studio is marking its second birthday with an eye-catching ‘Gloga’ class.

My Soul Space studio will mark the anniversary by being the first venue in the West Midlands to host a ‘Gloga’ class (glow yoga) on Thursday 15 December at 7pm.

The class will be hosted by three yoga teachers, so participants can get a feel for different teaching styles and meet some new teachers. The difference with this class is that it will have a celebratory party atmosphere, loud music, and all the yogis will have the opportunity to be painted with neon face and body paint for the candlelit class – a Christmas party with a difference!

There are 30 places and just a few spaces left, all abilities are welcome. The party costs £16 for non-members and all are invited afterwards to a join a gathering where there will be music, festive bubbles and mince pies.

Studio Director Emma Burton said: “My Soul Space has now been open for two years and I’m delighted that we are going from strength to strength. We are very proud to be hosting the first ‘Gloga’ class in the West Midlands. This is a fantastic way for us to celebrate our anniversary, and to be grateful and give thanks to our members and teachers at Christmas. The session will be held in our beautiful candlelit studio and will have a unique and magical ambience.”

For details go to

Danny Mac coming to Shropshire for a Strictly Cinderella success


Strictly Come Dancing star, Danny Mac, will be heading to Shropshire in the new year to support hundreds of ladies as they raise money for a local charity. Severn Hospice is once again holding its popular ladies only walks. Starting at 10pm, ladies across the county will be grabbing their trainers and tiaras and aiming to complete the 9km walk before midnight. These special Cinderella Midnight Walks mark the 10th anniversary of this incredibly popular event.

As in previous years, Severn Hospice is holding two Cinderella Midnight Walks, one in Shrewsbury on 8th April 2017 and one in Telford on 13th May 2017 and Danny Mac will be at both events to welcome the walkers. As well as seeing Strictly Come Dancing celebrity Danny Mac, walkers will be raising money to support thousands of local families that rely on Severn Hospice.

Hannah Gamston, Fundraising Officer for Events at Severn Hospice, said: “It’s fantastic that Danny Mac is coming along to Shropshire to be our Prince Charming and is supporting us at these very special 10th anniversary events. These walks have a very special meaning for the women that take part and we know that Danny coming along will be a great attraction for our supporters.

“We’re asking all of our ladies to dress up and sparkle like Cinderella on the evening and the aim is that everyone is back by midnight just like our favourite princess. Our Cinderella Midnight Walks promise to be super sparkly to celebrate our 10th year, so we’d love ladies throughout Shropshire to grab their trainers and a tiara and march like it’s Midnight.”

Registration is now open and the events are expected to prove incredibly popular. During November and December walkers can sign up for the early bird price of £15, which includes commemorative Cinderella Midnight Walk t-shirt.

For more information about the walks, or to register online, visit Alternatively call the fundraising team on 01952 221 351 or email

Shrewsbury’s independents showcase their big appeal on ‘Small Business Saturday’

l-r-rose-norman-and-gill-gradwell-from-cooking-kneads-gaynor-jones-and-trish-donovan-from-vinteriorShrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID) is calling on people to shop local and support independent traders on ‘Small Business Saturday’ this weekend (3rd December).

Start-up enterprises to long-established names will be among those showcasing their individual appeal and customer service as part of a national campaign to celebrate and promote small businesses.

The first Saturday in December is traditionally a busy one as Christmas shopping steps up a gear and the town’s independents will use it as a platform to promote their varied and different offer.

Trish Donovan, Owner of Vinterior and Shrewsbury BID Board Member, said: “Shrewsbury’s small businesses play a big part in the town centre’s appeal as a successful shopping and leisure destination. With their specialist products and services they add much to our thriving high street.”

Gill Gradwell, Director of Cooking Kneads, said: “We welcome people’s support and hope individuals recognise the importance of Shrewsbury’s independent offer, especially on Small Business Saturday.”

Last year in the UK, customers spent £623m with small businesses on Small Business Saturday, an increase of £119m or 24% on 2014.

Shrewsbury BID is supporting businesses and traders of all sizes throughout the key Christmas period with events and promotions to add to the festive buzz.

New this year is The Nutcracker Trail to encourage visitors to discover more of what the town centre has to offer. Ten distinctive 6ft 5ins high Nutcracker Kings will be placed at different locations and families and others will be invited to find the names of all ten. The answers can be entered in a draw with the chance to win an iPad Mini.

The trail opens on Tuesday 13th December and runs until Wednesday 28th December. Trail booklets can be picked up from the Visitor Information Centre or downloaded from the website at

Festive fun afternoon for families

Later this month, the access and learning team at the Royal Air Force Museum Cosford will be collaborating once again with students from City of Wolverhampton College, to bring some FREE festive fun to the museum for young families.

 On Wednesday 30 November, visitors are invited to take part in a range of Christmas craft activities organised by students from the college, aimed at pre-school youngsters.  Activities on offer will include makinfamily_day_fung reindeer food, decorating Christmas cards, creating paper snowflakes and cotton wool snowmen; plus, there will be the chance to dress up as a pilot or member of airline cabin crew!

The activities have been organised by students studying for a range of early years qualifications at the college’s Wellington Road campus, to promote the benefit of play on learning and development to parents, and to test the planning, organisational and team work skills they are learning on their course.

In addition to the festive fun on offer, families can also utilise the Little Swifts activity area which includes a range of early learning activities suitable for babies and toddlers.  A baby pod with soft toys, small interactive helicopter and aeroplane, mini cockpits, flying themed books, a world map rug, rocket wooden toys, an activity table and even some comfy seating for parents and carers to use whilst the youngsters are having fun; all available to use free of charge.

Families can also tuck-in to some healthy fruity snacks provided by the museum’s local Tesco store in Madeley, Telford who continue to offer support to the museum’s activities and provisions for young families.  Recently the store donated a range of baby items which included nappies, nappy bags and baby wipes.  These items are now available on request; should parents forget any of the essentials, simply speak with a member of staff who will provide you with the sought after item so you can continue to enjoy your day.

 RAF Museum Cosford Access and Learning Manager, Julie Brierley said: family_day_activities

“The family fun day is all about aiding children’s learning and development whilst having fun and getting into the Christmas spirit.  We hope local families will join us on the day and enjoy some stress-free festive fun in the build up to Christmas.”

 With parent and child parking bays, baby changing facilities in each hangar, wide isles for pushchairs and FREE entry, the RAF Museum Cosford makes the perfect choice for a day out with the little ones.

 The event runs from 12.30pm to 2.30pm and all parents or carers with children under the age of five are welcome to attend.  To register for the free event email the RAF Museum Cosford access and learning team on  or call 01902 376243.

 For further information about the museum, please visit  The museum is open daily from 10am until 4pm and entry to the museum is FREE of charge.


Christmas Classics with Brit Award Winners

Following the release of their successful festive album in 2015 Blake are delighted to announce that they will be touring the UK with their show ‘Christmas Classics’.

Last Christmas saw Blake team up with national treasure Dame Shirley Bassey for a spectacular version of ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)’.With appearances on The Graham Norton Show and Strictly Come Dancing, The One Show and many more it was certainly a wonderful Christmas for the group. Now you can join them as they sing their favourite Christmas Classics and recount tales of Christmas past to celebrate the most magical time of the year.

The BRIT award winning trio will be performing timeless Christmas songs including ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’, ‘Frosty The Snowman’ and ‘Let It Snow’ with the warmth that only their rich vocal harmonies can deliver. They describe the show as an “all out Yuletide journey, through warm cosy fireside moments in our finest Bing Cosby festive jumpers, through to big anthemic classics where snow will actually fall inside the theatre!” It will be a spectacular evening, with the trio joined by fantastic choirs to back up their harmonies, as well as beautiful video projections of Christmas nostalgia. They’ll even be doing a ‘virtual duet’ with Dame Shirley Bassey, projected on the screens behind.

Blake have an impressive CV of achievements including several No. 1s, multi-platinum selling albums and over 150 TV appearances, as well as having won a Brit Award for Album of the Year. Famous fans include Keira Knightley, Ewan McGregor, Kevin Spacey and Will Smith. So far this year the group have been busy touring their show ‘Songs of Stage and Screen’ as well as being the headline act for Henley Festival with Dame Shirley Bassey. In 2017 they will celebrate their 10th anniversary with a new album.

The trio tour constantly throughout the world and take part in a vast amount of charity work, from performing for the Queen and Prince Harry at the Festival of Remembrance and the launch of the Walking With The Wounded South Pole Challenge, to working with the ‘Sing to Beat Breast Cancer’ Choir. Other charities they have supported include Help For Heroes, The British Legion and MIND. They have legions of fans worldwide, which has sent them on tours to the Philippines, South Korea, Barbados, Russia, and even at the White House in the US.

Blake will be coming to Market Drayton on the 14/12/2016 For more information and tour dates visit

Let there be light – Shrewsbury unveils its Christmas sparkle

christmas-lantern-paradeShrewsbury’s festive season will sparkle into life next week when the town’s Christmas lights are switched on.

The family-friendly Christmas Cracker evening on Wednesday 16th November will feature a host of activities and entertainment to launch the countdown to Christmas in style.

Organised by Shrewsbury Town Council, in partnership with Shrewsbury Shopping Centres, and sponsored by Shrewsbury Business Improvement District (BID), it is one of the most popular events in the town’s calendar.

The fun starts at 4.30pm in The Square and lasts well into the evening. There will be live music at a variety of town centre venues with Santa’s Sleigh on Pride Hill and Jack the Jester adding to the merriment with performances on High Street.

The traditional lantern parade sets off from Darwin Shopping Centre at 6.15pm, leading into The Square for the official lights countdown. The Mayor of Shrewsbury, Councillor Ioan Jones, will choose the winner of the best lantern, who will join him to switch on the lights at 6.30pm.
Children who want to take part can join the lantern making workshop on Saturday 12th November in the Shrewsbury Shopping Centre.
Shoppers will be able to buy gifts and Christmas treats with the town’s shopping centres and businesses open until 8pm and the Market Hall open until 9pm.

Shrewsbury BID Executive Director Kirsten Henly said: “There will be a great atmosphere as the town is illuminated with its festive lights. The Lights Switch-on is the official start of Christmas and brings together businesses, local organisations and community groups to showcase what makes Shrewsbury special.”

Mayor of Shrewsbury Councillor Jones said: “We looking forward to welcoming people of all ages to enjoy the entertainment and activities and to support our local traders. It is the start of late night shopping in the run-up to Christmas and the town will be buzzing.”

This year Redrow Homes have been announced as co-sponsor of the Lights Switch-on event, joining sponsors Shrewsbury BID, Shrewsbury Town Council, Shropshire Council and Shrewsbury Shopping Centres.

Pauline Turnbull, sales director for Redrow Homes (Midlands), said: “Christmas is very much a time for families and, as we’re building family homes at Lime Tree Meadows, in Shrewsbury, we wanted to spread some festive cheer by supporting the Christmas lights in the town centre. The first residents are soon to move in to Lime Tree Meadows and will be able to celebrate Christmas in the style and comfort of a brand new Redrow home, and make the most of doing their shopping and enjoying the festivities taking place in Shrewsbury in the coming weeks.”

Every Wednesday up until Christmas parking will be free in Abbey Foregate, Frankwell Main and St Julian’s Friars after 4pm.

For more information go to

Bookfest remembers

In partnership with the Imperial War Museum and the Shropshire First World War Community Consortium SHREWSBURY BOOKFEST is presenting a series of events each November from 2014 to 2018.

These events will be especially for children, young people and families to commemorate and remember all those who fought in the First World War. In keeping with Bookfest’s ethos of enthusing children and young people with a love of reading, all the events in the programme will have a strong literary connection.

Delivering a sensitively curated blend of literature and music, this year’s Bookfest Remembers programme celebrates those men whose wartime experiences helped shape their creativity.

Imparting such a subject with the ability to hold its audience is something that the team at Bookfest are committed to delivering, and its reputation overwhelmingly reflects this. Noted speaker and lecturer, Richard Field, pays tribute to ‘its army of volunteers which works tirelessly to help the young discover the joys of reading and the breadth of topics available,’ while former Shrewsbury School headmaster, Ted Maidment, is effusive in the praise he gives to Bookfest for their work when, ‘in this digital age, reading could so easily take a back seat.’

Beginning on November 3rd at 2pm, Ted Maidment, former headmaster of Shrewsbury School starts with a tribute to George Butterworth. A member of the ‘pastoral school’ who took their creative inspiration from England’s rich rural landscapes, Butterworth was one of the first to set A E Housman’s words to music and his much-loved song-cycle ‘A Shropshire Lad’ is testament to the potential that was so prematurely shot down when Butterworth died fighting in the Battle of the Somme, aged just 31

Friday 4th November sees Richard Field take to the stage to consider how the dark and angry mood of the First World War proved a provocative turning point for the use of poetry. No longer was it used by professionals to espouse the agendas of the day – this time, poetry became personal and forced those who wrote it to find a whole new language to describe the conflict.

 Ted Maidment takes to the stage on Thursday 10th November to talk passionately about Ralph Vaughan Williams, one of the country’s most cherished composers. Although he survived the war, the loss of his friends, including Butterworth, hit him hard and he chose never to talk about his experiences, instead channelling his pain into his glorious music.

On Sunday 13th November, the children’s story ‘Flo of the Somme,’ will lead the younger generation through a gentle introduction to the ‘Great War’ with its tale of Mercy Dog Flo, who represents the thousands of animals who perished in their war-time tasks. Written with great poignancy, its traditional rhyming verse makes it perfect for young children to understand and engage with. Beautifully illustrated by Martin Impey, this hugely successful book is authored by Hilary Robinson who acts as our guide for this animated journey.

Richard Field steps forward on Thursday 17th November to highlight the work of Rupert Brooke, who best embodied those soldiers who brought with them a literary turn of mind combined with a public school education. Inspired by classical heroes or gentlemen sportsmen, their nobility and grace has left us with a great body of work to cherish in their absence.

The idiosyncratic Ivor Gurney is brought into the spotlight on Thursday 24th November, as Ted Maidment guides us through the life and legacy of this troubled artist. Beset by bouts of mental illness before he went to war, Gurney cut a unique character on the battlefield, composing his songs and writing his poetry in the trenches. Arriving home, his challenges inevitably solidified into far deeper problems and he died aged of 47. leaving behind a significant body of largely unexplored work.

The job of compassionately concluding the event on Friday 25th November falls to Richard Field, who explores the themes of redemption, reality and loss underpinned by the warning of Wilfred Owen who was killed just a week before the First World War ended – ‘all a poet can do today is warn,’ words which still echo true today.

Venue information and how to buy tickets can be found at

Charities give backing to first Christmas market at Alan Ward

Charities and schools are preparing to raise funds and showcase their musical talent at the first charity Christmas market to be held at a leading county department store.

It is the first time that Alan Ward in Shrewsbury has hosted the event and has already seen a number of charities book their stalls at the event on December 3rd and 4th.

Staff are urging charities and musical groups to snap up the last few stalls and performance slots.

The charity stalls will be offering their Christmas cards, gift wrap and any other festive gifts and stocking fillers to help raise funds.

School choirs and bands and community musical groups are invited to perform throughout the two days to entertain shoppers.

Children from St Mary’s Primary School in Shawbury will be performing as a choir and as a ukulele band.

Charities which have already booked include Shropshire Mind, Shropshire RCC, Age UK, German Shepherd Rescue, Shropshire Disability Network, Hope House, Shropshire Cat Rescue, Headway Shropshire, Midlands Air Ambulance, Lingen Davies, Severn Hospice and the Harry Johnson Trust.

The festive extravaganza is being held in the new ‘arena’ at Alan Ward’s Ennerdale Road site – a flexible space that can be accessed through the store and designed to open up options to hold events at the store.

Refreshments will be served by staff from the first floor The Little Cafe.

Shrewsbury store manager Andrea Cutler said: “It’s our first Christmas market here at Alan Ward but with the large flexible space we wanted to ensure the community or charities benefited from it in some way.

“We want to give charities the opportunity to promote their work and raise some money where they don’t have to pay for the stand.

“We have had a great response so far but have room for a few more charities and we want as many musicians, choirs and bands as possible.

“It will also give schoolchildren and other community groups and performers the opportunity to showcase their talent and get everyone in the festive spirit.

“The market will be held on Saturday December 3rd and Sunday December 4th and we want to hear from charities who would like the chance to sell cards and other goods at stalls set up in our flexible space.

“We also want to hear from any school bands, community bands, choirs or other performers who want to entertain at set times over the weekend.”

The Christmas market is one of many public events the store is planning in its huge flexible space, which is 5,000sq ft in size.

“The stalls will need to be run by the charity representatives throughout the weekend,” added Mrs Cutler.

“It will be a real opportunity for people to get their Christmas cards and wrapping paper, as well as gifts knowing they will be helping to raise funds for the various charities.

“Teachers of the performing schools will be welcome to invite parents of the children to the store to watch their performance.

“We would love to have a brass band perform as the last performance each day and those taking part can perform for as long or as little time as they want.”

The charity stalls will be available from 10am until 4pm each day.

Anyone wanting to book a charity stall or be part of the entertainment programme should email full details to

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson to headline sports dinner at The Shrewsbury Club

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, one of Britain’s greatest Paralympians, is heading to Shrewsbury next month to headline a sports dinner.

Baroness Grey-Thompson will share stories of her highly successful career with guests at The Shrewsbury Club on Friday, November 11 at a dinner to be held on the eve of the final of the Aegon GB Pro-Series women’s tennis tournament the following afternoon.

Only a limited number of tickets remain for the event, with organisers delighted to have attracted another high-profile speaker following the successful visits of the likes of John Inverdale and Judy Murray in recent years.

Dave Courteen, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, said: “We are delighted that Baroness Grey-Thompson will be joining us and it’s almost a sell out already with only a handful of tickets still available.

“We look forward to hosting her and I know she is also looking forward to it. We are building a reputation for our enjoyable sports dinners and it’s pleasing that we have been able to attract another great speaker. “

He added: “Inclusivity is the theme for next month’s Aegon tournament week and we are proud of the wheelchair tennis group based at The Shrewsbury Club.

“Baroness Grey-Thompson, part of the Tennis Foundation which works with wheelchair tennis, is an iconic figure in sport in general and, through her brilliant Paralympic record and the inclusivity element, she is the ideal person to be our special guest.”

The winner of 11 gold medals, four silvers and a bronze on the track competing at five Paralympic Games between 1988 in Seoul and 2004 in Athens, she also claimed victory six times in the London Wheelchair Marathon.

She became an independent crossbench peer in the House of Lords in 2010, taking the title Baroness Grey-Thompson of Eaglescliffe in the county of Durham.

The remaining tickets for the sports dinner are available priced £35 for a three-course meal and coffee, or £350 for a table of 10 which includes two complimentary bottles of wine on the table. For more details, call (01743) 467755.

Firework extravaganza coming to Shrewsbury

A massive fireworks extravaganza taking place in Shrewsbury next month will be provided by the same company responsible for stunning displays at the Olympic Games and London’s new year celebrations.
Organisers of the West Mid Showground Firework and Bonfire Spectacular say it promises to be bigger and better than last year’s outstanding success.
The will be held on Saturday, November 5, and as well as the bonfire and fireworks there will be plenty of other things going on to keep everyone entertained.
Showground manager, Ian Bebbington, said: “The Shropshire and West Midland Agricultural Society is delighted to announce details of our massive fireworks event to be held in November.
“It is always difficult to try and better a previous event, particularly so when you realise the success that was last year’s fireworks night at the showground.
“But that is exactly what we are attempting to do this year and we are confident that this is what we will achieve.
“The gates will open on November 5 at 5pm with a funfair and a live music stage featuring local talent from around the county.
“There will be outlets for food and drink so families can come and enjoy a wonderful afternoon looking around the the various stalls and enjoying the fair before the bonfire is lit. The fireworks will start at around 7.30pm.
“This year’s Bonfire and Fireworks Extravaganza will be an all-encompassing event starting earlier to allow families to enjoy a full afternoon of late autumn fun.
“There really is something for everybody and plenty to keep people occupied until the main event.”
He added: “We are delighted to announce that this year the fireworks display is being done by the world famous Kimbolton Firework Company, who delivered displays at the London Olympics and lots of other huge events.
“Coupled with a magnificent bonfire, this event is set to be our best yet.”
The event will be held on the West Mid Showground off Berwick Road in Shrewsbury – the same venue as the agricultural society’s annual show.
Significant savings can be made by buying tickets online or from Shrewsbury Visitor Centre. Advance tickets are £6 per adult, £4 per child, or £16 for a family. Under-fives are free.
For more information about the event or to buy tickets online, visit the website