Hodnet Life Archives

Hodnet & District Garden Club – May 2019 events

Hodnet & District Garden ClubThere will be no meeting at the Lyon Hall in May, as two visits are scheduled for this month – see below for details.
The Club is also having a plant stall at the Grove School on the morning of Sunday 12th May during  the Market Drayton 10K run.
On the evening of Mon 13th May, members look forward to a guided tour of Hodnet Hall Gardens. The visit is open to guests of Club members for the usual £2 fee.
On Tues 21st May, there is an evening visit to Sambrook Manor, Newport, for a guided tour of the gardens, plus refreshments. The cost is £7.00 per
head, and guests are welcome.
Please use the contact form on the Garden Club’s website for further
details about any of the above.

More Opportunities to 'Give Bowls a Go'

The crown green bowling season has started and Wollerton Bowls Club is offering the opportunity for people to try out bowling. Six free “Give Bowls a Go” are being held in May and June, starting at 2:00pm on Saturday afternoons. Dates are:

  • May 11 & 18
  • June 1, 8, 15 & 22

The sessions are open to anyone who would like to try their hand at bowling. No need to book, no obligation to join the club, all ages welcome.
The club will provide all the equipment needed for the sessions, but visitors are welcome to bring their own woods. The only requirement is that those coming along wear flat shoes for the benefit of the green.
More information about the club, membership and contact information can be found on the club’s web page.WBSC Give Bowls a Go 2019

New Page Listing Local Broadband Suppliers

Over forty people attended a meeting at Peplow Chapel on 29th November to learn more about the provision of broadband in the area. The majority of those present were from Peplow, but Marchamley, Wollerton, High Hatton and Ollerton were also represented. All seemingly were suffering with slow, rural broadband.
Philippa Blackburn of Airband explained her company’s aim to provide radio broadband to many of the properties unable to access Broadband via fibre-enabled cabinets in the locality.  She answered audience questions about the service and displayed maps showing postcode areas where Airband should be able to supply a connection – provided of course that a property had a clear line of sight to one of their transmitter masts.
In response to the high level of local interest, a permanent page has now been added to this site giving more information about alternative broadband suppliers in our area and the services they offer. Find out more.

Hodnet's Bell Ringers on the Radio

Jim Hawkins, Radio Shropshire’s popular morning show host, recently paid a visit to St. Luke’s church to meet its team of bell ringers. Several clips from his visit featured on his show last week. If you missed the broadcast you can listen again on the BBC iPlayer for the next three weeks. The first part starts approximately 1 hour 10 minutes into the programme and the clips, which are interspersed with music and other items, continue for about forty minutes. All four segments amount to roughly 18 minutes of air time.
During the visit Hawkins speaks to Tower Captain, John Powell, novice ringer Helen Charnock (who originally invited the presenter) and several other team members. He even has a go a ringing himself and climbs up the tower to see the bells.
One of the main reasons for his visit was to publicise the Ringing Remembers campaign. This was launched last November to commemorate the 1,400 bell ringers who died in the First World War. The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, the Big Ideas Company, and the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, are backing the campaign to recruit 1400 new bell ringers to match the number of those who perished during the Great War. The hope is that these new bell ringers will join others from across the nation in ringing on the centenary of the Armistice in November this year.
You can find out more about Ringing Remembers on the following websites:


New 'Nostalgia Photos' emerge

Recent perusal of a (2003) copy of a Shropshire Star book ‘Pictures from the Past’ (borrowed from Market Drayton’s library), revealed two interesting local photos, as shown below.
They are reproduced here courtesy of the Shropshire Star Newspaper.

1965: Hodnet school children being escorted across Drayton Road (by Mrs Wilma Owen) to have their lunch at the Lyon Hall
Does anyone recognise any of the people in this photo?
If it’s you, or someone you know, drop us a line with any reminisences you/they may have of the event, or indeed life at the old school. We think the headmaster then may have been a Mr Hugill, who retired to Wollerton at around this time – to a house now lived in by the author of this post!
Contact us using this form
And here is the second photo
Former Weobley railway bridge being demolished in 1980, as part of road improvements to the A442 south of Hodnet
This bridge was an awkward ‘hump backed’ feature of the road, and in some of Gerald Mothershaw’s local history books he mentioned that the parapets were demolished several times, or grounding took place, when large vehicles crossed, especially WW II transport vehicles heading to/from nearby military bases.
Ther house in the background, Weobley Smallholding, is still there and if you look carefully when passing, some of the former railway line fence posts either side of the road indicate the original railway route.
For more photos of our area’s past, see the Nostalgic Photographs page here.

Free ‘Give Bowls a Go’ Sessions

From Saturday 14 April, Wollerton Bowls Club is offering free sessions to anyone who would like to try crown green bowls. The sessions are taking place on Saturday afternoons between 2.00 to 4.00pm. They are planned to continue every week through May and June. The club is located in Mill Road, Wollerton, TF9 3NE.
The sessions are designed for anyone of any age who would like to give bowls a go – no previous experience necessary. Club members will be on hand to introduce visitors to the basic skills required. A wide selection of woods will be available for use at the sessions, but please note that visitors are asked to wear flat shoes or trainers. There is no need to book; anyone interested can just turn up on any of the Saturdays.
Randall Hardy, club Chairman says, “Crown green bowls is an excellent way of getting exercise and making friends. It’s also a very easy sport to reach an acceptable level for recreational involvement. Of course bowls is competitive at higher levels like any sport, but at Wollerton we are more than happy to enjoy ourselves in a relaxed atmosphere – though everyone does enjoy winning.
“Should anyone like to find out more before coming along, or if the weather on a particular day is uncertain and they want to check whether the session is taking place, please telephone me (01952-540970) or Jenny Morgan (01630-685251).”
The club offers a free six week period of trial membership to anyone interested in getting involved. Adult membership fees are £15/year; junior membership is free. Once new players feel they are ready to join one or more of our league teams, the club promises that they will get to play. All their teams operate a selection system which ensures that everyone plays on a regular basis.
Anyone is welcome to come along to give bowls a go on these Saturdays no matter where they live. These days members of the club live throughout the Market Drayton area.
Featured in the above photograph are club members David Weller, Ian Mays, Gordon Smith (Secretary), Monica Weller, Basil Hewitt.
More information about Wollerton Bowls Club is available on their page on this site.

The boy who was evacuated to Hodnet and stayed

Joe Cunningham and his sister arrived in Hodnet during September 1939. Aged just six Joe found rural Shropshire very different to industrial East Manchester where he had lived until the Second World War broke out and, along with hundreds of other children, they were evacuated out of harms way. Unlike most of the children when the war ended Joe did not return home.
Recently, Joe has sent us his memories of the years he lived in Hodnet. Joe left to join the RAF aged 18 and by the time he retired he was a British Airways captain. Now aged 84, Joe lives near Southampton. You can read his memories of the years he lived in Hodnet in our Local History section, just click the link below.

Memories of an Evacuee

Remembering Ken Dodd

How many of our viewers / users remember that ‘Doddy’ visited Wollerton back in Jan 1972 – to present a ‘Perfect Pub’ award to the erstwhile Squirrel Inn?
The picture below was used by the Shropshire Star last week in their ‘Pictures from the Past’ item and is reproduced here courtesy of the Shopshire Star Newspaper.

Do you recognise anyone? maybe the photo includes you? – in either case we’d be pleased to hear from you with any further information / reminiscences. Contact us using this form
In the meantime, the webteam contacted Steve Howell-Jones, the then licensee of The Squirrel, and who is still ‘of this Parish’, and he kindly provided some further information for us:

I was fortunate enough to win the Perfect Pub award for 1971 having taken over the tenancy in 1969. The whole idea was sponsored by the Shropshire Star and promoted by Shirley Tart, one of their reporters (still going strong!). I was told by her there were 104 entries that year, the highest ever.

Ken Dodd was appearing at the Granada Theatre in Shrewsbury that bitterly cold January day and having rehearsed his act in the morning, went on to sign books at a shop in Shrewsbury before coming to The Squirrel to present the award. He spent ¾ hour in the bitter cold, signing autographs for the kids and mums who gathered in great numbers to see him, after which he came inside and did an impromptu ‘stand up comic routine’ from behind the bar.

His entourage included Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson (the British entry singers of the very first Eurovision Song Contest) an ITV television crew (who were filming ‘a day in the life of’ type programme), staff of a woman’s magazine, and others. The pub was packed to the gunwhales and after an hour he went outside again and continued to sign autographs. Truly a real professional.

He then went to appear in an ice cream commercial, before dashing back to the Prince Rupert Hotel in Shrewsbury for a quick kip before his appearance at the Granada Theatre. He told me this was a typical day!

Editor Needed to Revamp Parish Magazine

St Lukes ChurchSt. Luke’s Hodnet are totally revamping their church newsletter and hoping to develop it into a community publication, carrying news from the many different organisations which our community benefits from.
To do this successfully they need to recruit a volunteer editor who perhaps has some
experience in the field. Potential editors will need an artistic bent and be familiar with DTP, etc.
The magazine is published monthly and is intended be circulated to all the homes in the parish.
If you think this is something you might enjoy, please contact Noel Fryer  on 01630 684007 or by email.