Month: April 2012

Hodnet Primary School PTA Summer Fayre

It’s a REALLY busy year with Jubilee, Olympics and all the other things we try and cram into our British Summer but please can you save the date and come along to our main fundraising event of the year.
Saturday 14th July 2012 at Hodnet School 11am to 2pm
We will have all the usual summber fete activities, bouncy castle, games, dancing, tombola and this year we are having craft stalls run by local businesses too
We will have a big raffle with great prizes including £100 basket from Butterflydaisy, signed football from Shrewsbury Town F.C. meal for 4 at Oruna Indian Restaurant, a prize from Tanners Wine Merchants and many others
As your can see this post and the PTA page are not very colourful so we will have a competition for the children to design a new logo for Hodnet School PTA – further info to follow via school for this
There will be a BBQ and bar running throughout the event and Iddys Icecream van
If you would like more information or would like to book a trade stall (£10) please phone Russell on 07531 656020 – all trade stands will need to supply own table/gazebo

Playgroup Curry Night


Don’t miss our curry night on Friday 25th May 2012 in the Lyon Hall – 7.30pm
It will be a great night with delicious curry made be Mrs Tori Russell and there will be fun and games, a bar and live music – £10 per person to include your food
All proceeds will go to Playgroup  –  for more information please phone 01630 685812

The Bear – Update 27 April

The new tenant has been in touch with the web team again to tell us that they now hope to reopen the Bear on Friday 11th May at 12.00 noon.
They had hoped to be able to reopen it on the 4th but the legal processes involved cannot be rushed.
They went on to say,

I will be announcing some offers on food and drink for the opening day, however these are yet to be decided. Watch the local press for a full advert regarding the reopening.
I have also decided that the downstairs will now have a make over while the pub is closed. Following comments from local people this will include a furniture move around to create a more informal space.
I will keep the village website updated on my vision for the pub and how it can contribute to the local community.

Read our previous posts on the plans of the new management at the Bear here & here.

Next reading group meeting

The second meeting of the Hodnet reading group takes place at 7.30 pm on Mon 30th April in Wollerton. Last months book will be discussed and a new book issued. If you’d like to join in, please call Sally on 016360 685286 or email here email

Free swimming in the run up to the Olympics

Local residents may be interested to know that Shropshire Council has announced free swimming sessions in the run up to the Olympics.
Full details can be found here on the Council’s website, locally Whitchurch and Market Drayton Swimming Centres will be offering free swims on Tuesdays in May and June. Most people will be aware however that the main pool at market Drayton has been closed for repair work since 12th March. Though the work was planned to take two weeks, it has still not reopened and a month after it closed the Council were not able to estimate when it would be back in operation (Shropshire Star). A note at the bottom of the web page announcing the free swimming sessions states that it “is due to reopen at the end of May 2012”. In the meantime Whitchurch is not that far away.
Shropshire council has also signed up their swimming pools to take part in the British Gas Free Swim promotion. British Gas are supporting swimming at all levels in the lead up to the Olympics. This promotion allows one adult and two children to swim for free on any day (subject to timetabling) on two occasions up to the end of June 2012. Details are available at

Finally, the same page says that Shropshire Council are also offering residents free fitness suite inductions between 1 May 2012 and 30 June 2012 at all facilities operating fitness suites. Locally these are Thomas Adams Sports Centre in Wem and Whitchurch Leisure Centre.

New website pages for 2nd Hodnet Scout Group

The 2nd Hodnet Scout Group continues to go from strength to strength thanks to the hard work and commitment of the commitee and the leaders, with the support of the local community.
Less than a year ago the Scouts had closed down and the Beavers were down to an unsustainable 2 members. The scouts are up and running again and the Beavers are now 20 in number; fantastic. As part of the continued growth of 2nd Hodnet Scouts, the group now has its own section on this website. To view these new pages click here.

The Bear – Update 24 April

The new landlord has been in touch with the web team again and provided us an update on progress towards reopening the Bear after they take over. Whilst they are not able to give a date yet for when it will reopen, they have told us which ales they will be offering at the opening.

  • St Austell Brewery, Tribute;
  • Joules Brewery, Pale Ale – will be the resident ale;
  • Salopian Brewery, Darwins Origin.

Other drinks:

  • San Miguel and Carlsberg lagers;
  • Stowford Press Cider;
  • Guiness;
  • Tetley’s Bitter.

We are still working on our wine list with our suppliers, needless to say it will offer a good selection of at least five reds and five whites as well as a selection of rose wines, Champagne and sweet sparkling wines.
Meetings have commenced with suppliers and we have now nominated Morris’ from the village as our butcher. They will be supplying us with most of our meats!

If you missed the original post about the new tenant’s  plans and vision for the pub you can read it here.

Plans update – 21 April

The community event to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee  is to be held on the recreation ground in Hodnet on Sunday 3rd June.
Planning for the day is making steady progress, allthough there is still much to do. The organising commitee are meeting regulaly.
All local groups, clubs, societies and individuals who may be interested in helping to organise the event or take part in any way are encouraged to contact Janice Parker on 01630-685 531 as soon as possible or email.
Any business owners who wish to have a stall at the event should also contact Janice. Pitches are free.
A current programme for the day can be found here.
Please consider getting  involved to help make this a memorable and fun filled occasion.
The next planning meeting is to be held at Hodnet Social Club  on Tuesday 8th May at 7 p.m

Trugg and Barrows Garden Diary May 2012

Don’t knock the weather: nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.”
This time last month the ground was bone dry after months of below average rainfall, we were basking in unseasonably warm weather and were concerned about how to keep plants healthy in drought conditions. April certainly lived up to its tradition of unsettled weather. In fact, there has been so much rain, in the last week especially, that water-logging is now becoming an issue. My advice at the moment is to stay off the soil as much as you can. Walking on wet soil undoes all that hard work you have done trying to create a good structure. For a gardener the soil is your best friend; the importance of good soil management is often overlooked. Keeping off the soil when it is wet is essential for healthy plants (unless you’re cultivating a paddy field).
Two of Wales’ Finest Gardening Destinations.
There has been plenty to do in the garden this month. The drought may have abated but the weeds are certainly benefiting from all the rain as much as the plants are. We are also just discovering a few things that have turned up their toes, probably because of the drought. Principally, some Lacecap Hydrangea that are always a little behind the mopheads in coming into leaf have failed to do so and will have to be removed.
I don’t want to give the impression that I lead a lifestyle that would put Judith Chalmers to shame but I made another visit to other peoples’ gardens this month.
The trip was organised by the Shropshire branch of the National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens (now known as Plant Heritage). The group embraces all those interested in plants and counts some very experienced people among its members. The aim of the NCCPG is to preserve special collections of particular plants as ‘National Collections’, plants which might otherwise be lost to cultivation. Collection holders agree to preserve and propagate these plants for the future. It is an organisation that I would encourage any interested person to join!
The trip embraced two destinations, firstly Crug Farm Plants based in Caernarfon and latterly Bodnant Gardens.
Crug (pronounced Creeg) Farm is a former beef farm that its owners, passionate plants people the Wyn-Jones’s have turned into one of the most exciting nurseries in the world. 2011 was their first time exhibiting at Chelsea and not only did they scoop a gold medal but were also awarded best exhibit! The owners are modern day plant hunters and have the enviable lifestyle of going into the wild, principally in southeast Asia and collecting seed which they bring back to propagate and sell. They also have a delightful woodland garden which gives some spectacular views over the surrounding mountains! The nursery benefits from a mild coastal climate, so some of the more exotic or low elevation plants you find might need careful sighting. But anyone with a touch of shade will surely find something here for even the driest patches. In short VISIT THIS PLACE!
Luckily for our visit the sun was shining. In fact I think that it was the only sunny day we had this past week! Bodnant is always full of changes, particularly since the Head Gardener, Troy Scott-Smith took over. A large amount of cutting back had been done to overgrown Camellias and Rhododendrons. The camellias had been cut to ground level beginning in spring last year. These had made plenty of bushy new growth, though at the expense of flowers. Some of the oldest plants showed a notable lack of vigour which is only to be expected so I expect some will have to be replaced.
If I could sum up the day in one word that word would be emergence. Fresh foliage was everywhere particularly on the Acer palmatum. The long borders looked wonderful and chief amongst the early showers were the euphorbia. E. charicas was prominent by the entrance displaying wonderful heads of green whilst E. griffithii showed contraSting heads of orange and tawny brown.
For those with sunny well-drained spots Helleborus argutifolius revealed its charms, blasting the myth that hellebores are for woodland shade only! Also basking in the sunshine were Paeonia delavayi and Clematic ‘Francis Rivis’ and a delightful montana.
There was plenty of early flower from the rhododendrons and azaleas. The bark of R. ‘Schilsonii’ showed that there is more to these plants than a few weeks of spring colour, though trees like this Sequoiadendron giganteum planted in 1876 stole the show.
In the Kitchen garden
The Met Office is predicting an unsettled and cool May, so keep this in mind when sowing or planting out tender plants (such as french beans) or those that have been grown indoors and have soft delicate growth. Due to long term illness of one of the staff I am behind with many of the jobs in the kitchen garden. Hopefully most of you have already earthed up your potatoes at least once, mine are not even in the ground, but it’s not time to panic yet!
If you have not done so already get on with sowing your summer salad crops! Sow seeds of produce such as celery, beetroot, lettuce, salad leaves, and rocket. Once the growing season is in full swing sow small amounts of assorted salads every couple of weeks. This early in the season I sow/plant out at three to four week intervals. This will mean that a succession of fresh provisions will be available throughout the summer; remember to water regularly. If ground space is limited, aubergines, chillies and sweet peppers are ideal plants for containers.
Over the years I have increasingly sown vegetables in small pots or cells. This gives several benefits, including getting plants off to a good start, easier initail weeding, more efficient use of seed and cutting out the need to thin. I have found growing ‘sellected’ vegetables in cells gives a more efficient use of space and time. If growing plants in cells like this, it is important take care in looking after them until they are transplanted into their summer growing position. Make sure that you keep them properly watered and fed (with a liquid feed). The big draw back in using this method is the extra costs involved. This applies whether you buy them in or whether you grow your own. Not all plants are suitable for starting off in cells or small pots. Lettuce, sweetcorn, cabbage, sprouts and broccoli all do well using this method.
Over the next month I will continue to plant out and sow veg and keep a watchful eye out for pest problems.
Please note: images have been removed from this pages because some of them may have been used without permission.

The Bear – new management to reopen it in days

The webteam are pleased to announce that the Bear will only be closed for a few days for refurbishments to some areas when a new tenant takes over at the end of the moth.
We have been contacted by the person who is finalising plans to take over the business with the owner and present tenants. They tell us that the solictors of all three parties concerned are working at great speed to enable the handover to take place as smoothly as possible.
The new tenant, who wishes not to be named at present, has told us:

The plan for the pub is quite a simple formula. It will be taken back to basics, serving good hearty British food such as fresh steaks, fish, homemade pies, Sunday lunches sandwiches and lunches. We will of course be sourcing products for our menu as locally as possible to support the community that will support our business.
Although changes are planned for the pub, I do not see any need to change the main downstairs area but will be starting a programme of renovations for the bedrooms immediately and also tidying up the beer garden and entrance area as well as having a children’s play area installed by the lower car park.
The pub will be a traditional pub selling one local ale as a permanent drink – please feel free to comment on which one you all would like to see as a permanent fixture at the bar – one local guest and one national guest, which I am hoping will St Austell Brewery’s Tribute from Cornwall. We will also be serving a selection of lagers and a good selection of spirits, wines and soft drinks.
I will keep the website and my new neighbours updated with events as they happen.

The legal situation and need for refurbishments in the cellar will mean that the pub will be closed for a few days, but they hope to keep the closure as short as possible. There will be caretakers on site during the refurbishments and until the new landlord takes up residence there.