Hodnet Life Archives

Hail, Sunshine and Snowdrops

Peplow Snowdrop WalkWhen the Peplow Community Group gathered for their monthly walk on Sunday 11 February, the weather was more than unpredictable. The snow and ice predicted in weather warnings during the morning had not covered the county in white. Hoping the afternoon would also remain largely dry, twelve people decided to brave the cold and headed for Coundmoor near Cressage. The wind was biting but the sun was bright as we headed away from our cars. We had not gone far when the sky darkened and hail was being driven into our faces.
Our guide encouraged us to press on and by the time we reached the path which follows Coundmoor Brook [map] the hail had stopped and the steep sides of the valley proved more than adequate shelter from the wind. Here we were encountered stunning displays of wild snowdrops along the banks of the stream – see photos below. They certainly made braving the wintry weather worthwhile.
Once we left the valley our circular route offered us panoramic views first across Shrewsbury, and later of the Wrekin. Thankfully there were no more hail showers, plenty of sunny spells and just one short shower of light snow.
Coundmoor Brook would certainly be a pleasant walk in spring and summer, pity that the snowdrops only bloom at this time of the year.

How to keep warm – the HFG way!

On Jan 26th 3 members of the Hodnet Footpath Group (HFG), fed up with the bad weather that has cancelled many past planned workparties, decided to go ahead with a workparty to replace two stiles near long lane [on walks 6 & 7] , even though sleet was forecast – later. We were very pleased to find we were assisted by a new recruit [thanks Dave] and a volunteer [thanks Alex].
Little did we know that the Met office’s ‘later’ would turn out to be ‘now’! – but once you have taken down a stile [we had] you really have to re-erect it [we did, despite rain, sleet, snow and seeping cold]. However, the end result was two new stiles with added dog gates, and despite the outward appearances we managed to work hard enough to stay warm.
Anyway, we hope people enjoy using them, and we’d be even happier if this little tale of adversity inspired you to join us or otherwise give us a hand (now and then) in such work, and other general footpath improvements we carry out.

BEFORE – Woodside stile, damaged and wobbly step

Woodside stile – half done
AFTER – Woodside stile complete with dog gate – to right

The woodside crew – wet but satisfied!  – L to R: Alex, Derek, Richard
– and not forgetting our Chairman Steve who was behind the camera between rebuilding the other stile with Dave.
See our webpage for more details of who we are, what we do and how to get in touch.
Here’s to the next workparties (Feb 24th and April 4th] – hopefully with much better weather.

Dave’s baptism of fire, halfway through now!                                                                                      The job (well)  done

Historic Photographs of James Naylor

In December 2017 the web team were contacted by Dr Philip J Naylor, grandson of James Naylor who was the Dispensing Chemist in Hodnet between 1934 & 1937. Philip, who now lives in Bristol is also the great grandson of Will Dodd, who was the odd job man at Hodnet Hall.
Philip says he had been going through some of my late father’s effect recently, and
sent us six photographs for the website. We very much appreciate these which are featured below, and have been added to relevant pages elsewhere on the website.

James Naylor & his dog RoverJames Naylor and his dog Rover.

Hodnet's Chemist Shop pre 1940Hodnet’s Chemist Shop pre 1940 -with unnamed woman.
There is a display of Ucal Photographic Supplies in the window.

E Howells Outside Chemist Shop late 1930sDonkey and trap marked “E Howells, Hodnet” outside the chemist’s shop in the late 1930s.

British Legion marching - possibly at funeral of James Naylor 1937The British Legion marching through Hodnet, possibly for the funeral of James Naylor, 1937

Children playing on a fire engine, possibly late 1920sChildren playing on a fire engine, possibly late 1920s.

Hodnet from the air probably taken in 1938Hodnet from the air probably taken in 1938.
It is of the main crossroads in the village viewed from above the road to Marchamley.
The Bear, the Hundred House and the Church gates are all identifiable.

Copies of some of these photographs have also been added to the following pages: Hodnet Pharmacy, Old Photographs: Hodnet & Hodnet from the Air.

Public Walks for 2018

Hodnet Footpath Group have set dates for next year’s public walks.
As weekend walks have often had a poor turnout in the past but evening walks have often been better, we have opted for evening walks through the coming year, and will also try some daytime mid-week walks too.
Noting that we seem to have a knack for choosing some of the wettest days of the year for our walks – and then having to cancel them, this coming year we are going to try and cheat fate by having a reserve date [shown in brackets below]. So, if the weather renders the first date impossible we will try again at the same time on the reserve date.
Anyone is welcome to join us on these walks, so feel free to make a note on your coming year’s calenders/diaries.
Full details will be posted on the website nearer the time.
Weds 21st Mar: 11am [Thurs 22nd Mar]
Fri 4th May: 7pm [Fri 11th May]
Fri 29th June: 10pm – Glow Worm Walk [Fri 6th July]
Fri 27th July: 7pm [Fri 3rd Aug]
Fri 21st Sept: 7pm [Fri 28th Sept]
Weds 14th Nov: 11am [Thurs 15th Nov]
For more info on Hodnet Footpath Group
see Web page – hodnet.org.uk/fpg; Facebook – hodnetfootpathgroup2016
Email – footpaths@hodnet.org.uk
Or phone Steve on 01630 685697

Body Tone Workout

Hodnet WorkoutIt seems that, unlike city people, Hodnet residents being of a gentler character have found the thought of a fitness Bootcamp far too intimidating! Following feedback received at the recent Healthy Hodnet event, Emily Benson of Beyond Fitness has changed the name and altered the approach of her weekly workouts. From now on they will be known as Hodnet Body Tone Workouts, but they still take place on Thursday mornings starting at 9:15am on Hodnet Recreation Ground.
Emily says “The new look Hodnet workout is here! There’s still 8 weeks left until Christmas and plenty of time to get fit. Everyone who signs up for a block booking will be entered into a raffle to win a free 45 minute PT session. I promise lots of fun!”

Healthy Hodnet – a worthwhile event

On Tues 24th Oct Hodnet Medical Centre Patient Participation Group, in conjunction with Shropshire Council Community Enablement Officers, hosted a successful health & well-being drop-in event at the Lyon Hall in Hodnet. Billed as “an event to showcase what is available to help you keep healthy”, the organisers sought to provide a range of useful information and encourage people to continue living active and interesting lives, fully engaged with their own communities, even as they get older.

Visitors could look around the Help 2 Change bus which was parked outside and receive free health checks/advice. (H2C aims to motivate people everywhere to achieve the changes they want in order to live a healthier life.)

Refreshments were provided by Hodnet Women’s Institute. Sir Algernon and Lady Jane Heber-Percy of nearby Hodnet Hall were amongst the thirty or so people who visited the event. Both local and national organisations were represented.

Exhibitors included: Shropshire Choices, with their very useful directory of adult care and support services; Healthwatch Shropshire – “the patient voice for people of this area”. Call them on 01743 237884 – they really want to hear what you think about all health and social care services! People2People were represented too – they advise on community resources in the area of adult social care, and Age UK – the UK’s largest charity for older people, with their extensive range of useful booklets on so many topics.

It was fascinating to see some of the aids devised for individuals with disabilities by volunteers from Remap, a very inspiring charity producing customised equipment for disabled people. (They would love to hear from people with skills and time to contribute in designing/constructing ingenious solutions to everyday problems. Contact their local Chairman John Graham on 01743 341626.) Visitors could also view a wide range of health-related resources available through the local library, including 4 different collections of Books on Prescription, using self-help reading to help people better understand and manage their health & well-being issues.

Hodnet & District Garden Club’s lovely display carried a leaflet on the health benefits of gardening along with their programme for the coming year. Walking for Health were teamed up with the Hodnet Footpath Group, trying to gauge interest in establishing a local Walking for Health Group, the nearest ones at present being in Market Drayton, Whitchurch or Higher Heath. (These groups do not cover miles and miles, but provide a gentle introduction to more regular walking alongside the social benefits of meeting up with others. Anyone interested in knowing more, please contact the Footpath Group.)

Practical and emotional support plus a regular programme of events for those with caring responsibilities were highlighted on the Carers Trust 4 All stand – call 01743 341995 for more info. Trustees from Drayton Action for Health were there to raise awareness of assistance available to local residents re health care needs not available through the NHS, this through funds accumulated by Market Drayton Cottage Hospital League of Friends prior to its closure. The local Compassionate Communities scheme, running in conjunction with the Medical Centre, were there to spread the word about their volunteer befrienders who visit socially-isolated elderly people, helping them to keep in touch with their community.

The slideshow below includes photographs of all exhibitors present.

For comments or enquiries following the event, please see the PPG Facebook page or email them.

Feedback is always appreciated – it’s good to hear what local residents would like to see happening in future in regard to community health events.

Marchamley BBQ – Report & Pictures

We had an extremely successful gathering on 10th September, 2017 in Marchamley despite the short lived but heavy thunderstorms. Nearly 90 local people gathered in the marquee in the field adjoining Marchamley Club. We enjoyed tea and cake in the afternoon courtesy of the excellent cake makers in the area.
Children took part in a range of games including splat the rat, sack racing, an obstacle course and parachute games. They were rewarded with sweets and medals. The award ceremony was Olympics style with a podium where the children received their medals while the national anthem played and they received a round of applause.
We then relocated to Marchamley club later in the afternoon. Here, we enjoyed barbecued burgers and a delicious buffet supplied by local people who had all brought a plate to share. There was some great musical entertainment provided throughout the event. This was possible thanks to a generator supplying electricity outdoors.
Local people are really pulling together in organising regular events in Marchamley giving lots of their time and invaluable resources.
We are doing extremely well in fund-raising for renovations for Marchamley Club. At the BBQ we raised £156.07 which makes a total for fundraising during year of £981.17.
All welcome to the club AGM on Tuesday, 26th September at 7:30pm.

Pictures of the day – click on an image to scroll through larger versions:

The next social event at the club will be a fish and chip supper at 730pm on 13th October.

BootCamp Comes to Hodnet

Recently the Parish Council gave permission to Emily Benson, of Beyond Fitness, to run a weekly
BootCamp  on the Recreation Ground. They will take place at 9:15 on Thursday mornings.
Emily says, “I am a fully qualified and insured fitness instructor and level 3 personal trainer. I have almost 20 years personal fitness experience and offer personal training in the Shrewsbury area.
I am very excited to bring BootCamp to Hodnet as I know there is nothing currently in the area. I promise the sessions will be fun and varied whilst enjoying getting fit at the same time.”
If you want to know more about getting involved Emily can be contacted on 07989 587426 or by email.

Marchamley Mysteries Walk – June 2017

On Sunday 4th June about 30 local people joined a walk around Marchamley. We spent a great afternoon wandering around the Marchamley Mysteries – the Ginny ring, ancient motte and Bailey, etc.
Sandwiches, tea and cakes were provided at Marchamley Club. Children were welcomed and entertained with craft tables and activities. We chalked up one more successful get together.
Heather Preece took the attached photos during the walk.


Local visits for Garden Club

Hodnet & District Garden Club take advantage of the summer months to include some “out and about” items in their monthly programme.
June saw them visiting Drayton Fields Farm at Wollerton. Mrs Louise Roberts, who had opened her garden for the NGS Open Gardens Scheme the previous weekend, kindly hosted a private visit and refreshments for the Garden Club on 20th June.

The original house was built in the 1840’s and the Wellingtonia trees planted in the grounds at that time are now spectacular. Members were told that the gardens were somewhat lacking in flowers when Mrs Roberts began her work, but that is certainly not the case now. There are well-stocked herbaceous borders, dahlias, and a great variety of roses in the rose garden. There is a well-maintained parterre with gravel paths and tightly pruned hedging, and the garden is so designed that each new “room” entered holds the element of surprise for the visiting explorer, in both the layout and the planting. During a busy season for the avid gardener, it’s always a delight to view the results of someone else’s hard work.

In July Dave Smither and his wife Val hosted an open evening at their home at Marchamley Wood. Over the fifteen years they have lived there, they’ve transformed their half acre of land into a beautiful garden, landscaping their space very creatively to provide a sitting out area, a cottage garden area and a shady courtyard with a water feature, plus a large vegetable garden.
Garden Club Visit July 2017Guests enjoyed home-baking and refreshments plus a guided tour of the garden by David, who spoke about the planting schemes and recounted how the various sectors of the garden had gradually moved from idea to reality. He did not underplay the amount of hard work involved in developing a garden and keeping it well-maintained. Members listened with sympathy to tales of times when things had not turned out according to plan – what happened when the polytunnel overheated, the frustration of rabbits devouring overnight the products of weeks of careful tending, and of course the issues raised by a very dry summer. There was even a round the year visual presentation of the garden in different seasons.