Month: July 2016

Update: A41 closed until Mid-August

UPDATE: 7 August 2016 – The A41 has been REOPENED – more details

UPDATE: 5 August 2016

This afternoon Shropshire Council posted here an update on the status of the damaged property adjacent to the A41 at Shakeford. The property was completely demolished yesterday and a site meeting today deemed that the carriageway was safe. Work then began to fill in the cellar with compacted hardcore, and then to remove demolished material from the site. The insurance company’s contractor has told the Council that they expect to complete this phase of the work no later than Sunday morning. The Council’s highways team will arrange for the necessary remedial works to be done on Sunday and it is anticipated that the road will reopen sometime on Monday. Earlier in the day the Shropshire Star published an update on yesterday’s demolition which features a rather underwhelming video of the site.
UPDATE: 4 August 2016
Shropshire Council have announced here this morning that the decision has been made to demolish the whole house damaged when a lorry ran into it last week. It is hoped that this will enable to a A41 to be reopened sooner than suggested below. The Shropshire Star report on the decision here, which has been made because the property “continues to pose a serious risk to members of the public and contractors”. The picture below is from the Star’s report.

Original Report
Shropshire Council LogoThis afternoon (29/7/16) Shropshire Council have updated information on the closure of the A41 at at Shakeford, Hinstock. The announcement here on the Newsroom website reads:

A41 update as of Friday 29 July at 3.40pm.
A41 scheduled to remain closed till mid-August, due to complexities around the removal of listed building.
Following the vehicle incident at Shakeford, Hinstock on the A41 this week, work is now being undertaken by the owners insurance company who are overseeing the operation to demolish a large section of the property.
However due to the conservation of the building, it cannot just be demolished with a crane or bulldozer and has to be done almost piece by piece while preserving as much of the materials as possible.
A demolition contractor is now currently working on a complex programme of work which is scheduled to start on Monday 1 August following essential health and safety checks.
Once the building is down, the impact of the crash on the cellar will be assessed as it appears  that the cellar wall on the road side is bulging, which could imply damage to the road.  This could result in reinforcement work being done to either the cellar or the road. This reinforcement work will need to be carried out before the road can be reopened, as the weight and pressure caused by opening a running lane for traffic, even under signals, could cause further damage.
The insurance company and the surveyor will continue to provide us with daily updates and have informed the council that the work will be done as quickly as possible but within the parameters of safety. Work will continue on the site after the road is reopened.
The current timescale for the closure is for mid-August but as soon as traffic lights can be installed to replace the closure they will be; however until the condition of the cellar is known, we cannot remove the closure.
We’ll provide further updates as and when work progresses.

A report published earlier today on the Shropshire Star’s website carried the headline, Shropshire A41 lorry crash: Work goes on to make house safe as road to stay closed for the weekend. That has now been superseded by a story picking up on the above announcement, A41 lorry crash: Road closed until mid-August as house is taken down brick by brick. Both reports carry this picture of the house after the lorry had been removed.
Hinstock house damaged by lorry

See our previous report here.

Have Your Say on Shropshire's Sports Facilities

Shropshire Council LogoShropshire Council has announced a consultation on its Draft Sports Facilities Strategy 2016 – 2037. Details can be found on this page on its website.
The consultation opened today (29/7/16) and will be open for responses until 30th September. It covers all aspects of Council supported sports and leisure facilities. The consultation document, can be downloaded from the above web-page, is 125 pages long and makes 7 recommendations. Responses to it are to be submitted by email to the address provided.
Shropshire Council states:

The most recent Leisure Facilities strategy, produced on behalf of Shropshire Council in 2009, is no longer fit for purpose; the landscape has changed considerably since then, both financially and from a local policy perspective.
Consequently, we’re seeking views on the ‘Draft Sports Facilities Strategy 2016 – 2037’, out to public consultation until 30 September 2016. The document is based on the need to identify a future for leisure facilities that are affordable, sustainable, future proofed and that deliver value for money.

A41 closed until Friday at least!

Shropshire Council LogoA subsequent update is available here.
Shropshire Council have announced on their website this evening (27/7/16) that the A41 between Tern Hill and Hinstock will will remain closed for at least another 2 days.
They had previously announced here that just before 11:00pm last night, an HGV collided with a property (Fox House) at Shakeford, Hinstock on the A41. The house is currently unoccupied, but it has been significantly damaged and the road has been closed.  The HGV came to rest embedded in a supporting wall.  Before it can be removed, the building needs to be structurally supported, then made safe and the lorry removed before the road can be reopened.
The Shropshire Star reports that the lorry driver, in his 50s, escaped with leg injuries and was taken to Royal Shrewsbury Hospital following the crash. Police say a second lorry is believe to have been involved in a collision and the driver of that vehicle failed to stop.
The official diversion route from the North is directing traffic at Tern Hill onto the A53 towards Shrewsbury, then onto the A442 into the Telford and Wrekin area, then onto the B5062 at Crudgington towards Newport, before re-joining the A41.  The diversion from the South is the reverse. There is also a diversion in place for local traffic along the A529 between Hinstock and Market Drayton.
The West Midlands Operational Patrol Unit for Shropshire have posted several pictures of the collision on their Twitter feed. The picture below is one of them.

Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme

ConnectingShropshireWhilst many parts of the Hodnet area now have access to superfast fibre broadband, other local areas have no prospect of Openreach, the BT infrastructure company, providing a reliable high-speed service in the foreseeable future. For instance last year we reported the contrast for residents of Little Bolas (who were the first community in the area to have access to fibre broadband) and those in Peplow where the hope was to provide a minimal 2mbps by the end of 2016.
Whilst there seems to be no possibility of that commitment being improved as far as cable connections are concerned, Connecting Shropshire is administering a subsidy scheme for those who are unable to receive broadband download speeds in excess of 2 megabits per second (mbps) and are not currently planned to benefit from the superfast broadband roll out. Details of the scheme are available on the Connecting Shropshire website.
The Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme provides support towards the cost of the installation of a broadband connection so that a basic broadband service can be purchased for a first year cost of no more than £400 (taking account of any up-front costs and the 12 month service charges). The scheme can also be used to access more expensive packages with higher speeds and/or greater monthly data allowances. Not all applicants will receive the full amount, with alternative options qualifying for different amounts. However, the subsidy is a welcome provision for those struggling with super-slow internet connections.
Alternatives to cable broadband are listed here on Connecting Shropshire’s website. They include 4G Mobile, Wireless and Satellite networks. Mobile is limited by the coverage provided by the different companies, wireless networks depend on line of sight to the transmitter, and whilst in theory satellite should be able to reach those locations other networks cannot reach, in practice that is not always the case.

The Wrekin
Can you see the Wrekin?
Connecting Shropshire list wireless and satellite providers, but not all of them are at present participating in the subsidy scheme. Also not all wireless providers have transmitters within reach of this corner of North Shropshire. One of them uConnect has equipment on the Wrekin’s mast, and most of our area is within its 20km range (Tern Hill roundabout being on the northern limit). Those without a view of the Wrekin may be able to access a signal from Secure Web Services who have a transmitter in the Grinshill area – though it is not at the top of the hill.
To apply for the Better Broadband Subsidy residents need to read the two PDF files available from the scheme’s web page. The Scheme Guide and the Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme FAQs describe the procedure. There is then an on-line form to complete which only takes a few minutes if you have the relevant information to hand. If your application is successful you will be sent an eligibility code by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. This email also lists participating suppliers so you can check if your preferred supplier is able to claim the subsidy for you.  Don’t apply too early though as you will need to confirm an installation date with a supplier within 30 days of receipt of the code (the installation itself can be later than this). Connecting Shropshire have not announced how long the subsidy will be available for, nor if there are limited funds available.

Personal note: This author participated in a trial of satellite broadband organised by Connecting Shropshire at the end of 2015. My experience, and that of another local family, was not very positive. The feedback I received from Connecting Shropshire is that we were not the only ones who were unhappy with the experience.
Recently, we have had a radio connection to the Wrekin installed and to date are very happy with both the service and the company.

A41 Closed by Accident

A41 Closed
Picture from MD SNT Twitter feed
West Mercia Police’s Market Drayton Safer Neighbourhood Team, have this evening (14/7/16) reported on Twitter that the A41 between Tern Hill and Whitchurch has been closed by a road accident. Their first tweet was posted around 7:30pm, with a second one around 10:00pm stating the road was still closed.
Shropshire Fire & Rescue Service in their incident report state that a call was received at 7:35pm of a Road Traffic Accident on the A41, by Hightrees, Market Drayton. This seems to be on the dual-carriageway section.
SFRS report that 5 fire appliances, including the Rescue Tender, were mobilised from Hodnet, Market Drayton and Wellington. An Operations officer was also in attendance. The post described the incident as a collision between a car and a motorcycle, with the casualty left in care of the Ambulance Service.
Update 15/7/21
This morning further reports about last night’s accident have been published.
West Mercia Police: Serious injury collision, Bletchley, Shropshire

The collision happened on the A41 at Bletchley, Shropshire at about 7.15pm yesterday, Thursday 14 July, and involved a blue Yamaha motorbike and a grey Nissan Navara Aventura.
The motorbike was travelling north in the A41 towards Prees Heath when the rider lost control, left the carriageway and collided with a chevron board on the central reservation. The collision with the Nissan then occurred, causing minor damage to that vehicle.
The motorcyclist, a man in his fifties, suffered serious leg, head and arm injuries and was taken by air ambulance to the North Staffordshire Hospital where his condition was said to be critical but stable.
The driver of the Nissan was not injured.
Officers investigating the incident would like to hear from anyone who witnessed it or saw either of the vehicles before the collision occurred.
Anyone with information is asked to call West Mercia Police on 101 quoting incident 651S of 14 July.

The Shropshire Star Website: Motorcyclist airlifted to hospital after crash closes A41 near Market Drayton

An off-duty doctor stopped to help the injured motorcyclist last night.
The road was shut between Whitchurch and Tern Hill following the crash at about 7.35pm. Ambulance, police and five fire crews attended.
An ambulance service spokesman said: “An off-duty doctor stopped to render aid to the injured motorcyclist together with passers-by until West Midlands Ambulance Service arrived after receiving the 999 call just after 7pm to the junction of the A41 and Bletchley Road, Bletchley, Market Drayton.
“The Midlands Air Ambulance from Tatenhill landed at the scene joining a critical care paramedic and MERIT trauma doctor from Cosfords Midlands Air Ambulance who responded by car. Two ambulances, a paramedic area support officer and a second MERIT trauma doctor were also sent.

Antiques Valuation Day – August 2016

Bear with Carriage ClockFrom 10.00am – 4.00 pm, Thursday 11 August, at The Bear, Hodnet.
Midlands Air AmbulanceFree valuations of collectables, jewellery, ceramics and other antiques.
Hansons and The Bear both support the Midlands Air Ambulance Service and donations can be made on the day.
Items can be accepted into forthcoming Hansons Auctions.
For more information please telephone 01630-685214 or email

Highland Cow Stolen

West Midlands Shooting GroundThis afternoon (13/7/16) the Shropshire Star published an appeal from West Midlands Police for information on a Highland Cow stolen from the West Midlands Shooting Ground.
According to the report the animal was stolen between 1pm on Sunday and 8:45am the following day.

Constable Mick Sturland, said: “At over £1,000, she is a valuable asset and I would ask that anyone with information should call 101.”
Highland Cattle

Former local nursing home manager struck off

Nursing & Midwifery CouncilThe Shropshire Star’s website has today published a report that the Nursing and Midwifery Council has removed Mrs Lorraine Rose Wright from its register. Mrs Wright was previously the manager of Beech House Nursing Home in Wollerton.
The hearing, which took place at the NMC in London on 4 July, followed on from two consecutive periods of suspensions. A 9 months suspension was imposed at an initial hearing in April 2015, with another of 6 months being put in place in January this year.
The initial hearing listed concerns that a total of 11 residents at the home had not been properly cared for between November 12, 2012, and January 11, 2013. It seems from the notes on the most recent hearing (available here) that Mrs Wright had failed to respond to the Councils concerns since the previous hearing and did not attend this one.
The panel at the initial hearing, which imposed the 9 month suspension, stated that future review hearing the panel may be assisted by:

  • Up to date references or testimonials from any employment whether paid or unpaid.
  • A reflective piece covering the circumstances which have brought Mrs Wright before this panel including care planning and its implementation, record keeping and decision making skills.
  • Evidence of any training undertaken in regards to communication and safeguarding of vulnerable groups.

The July 4th hearing considered that it had no new information that would undermine the concerns identified by the original substantive panel or the first reviewing panel and there was no information before it to indicate any change in Mrs Wright’s circumstances.  The panel considered that Mrs Wright’s failings are remediable. However, in the absence of evidence to demonstrate sufficient insight and reflection, or of any evidence as to how Mrs Wright has kept her nursing skills up-to-date, the panel concluded that there remains a risk of repetition of those failings. The panel therefore concluded that Mrs Wright’s fitness to practise remains impaired. After considering the various options available to it the hearing concluded that a striking off order is the only appropriate and proportionate order in these circumstances and the panel therefore directed the Registrar to strike Mrs Wright’s name off the register.
The Shropshire Star contacted the current manager of Beech House, but they did not wish to make any comment about Mrs Wright.

Right Royal Party Report

A report on June’s Right Royal Party is now available on the event’s page.
It includes photographs from the day provided by Cobra Photography (see gallery below) and details of competition winners.

Dead kitten found in Marchamley

This morning (6/7/16) we received the following message from Eleanor Cooper:

I just wanted to get the word out there, I drove through Marchamley this morning towards Hodnet and found a black and white kitten, I’d say around 6 months old in the middle of the road. It had been long dead when I found it at 7am. I moved it to the pavement, right at the end of the 30mph zone. I hope you can let some people know so the owner can find it.