Hodnet Craftsman Becomes Author & Publisher

David Kiss whose Rocking Horse Workshop is in Hodnet village, has researched, written and now published a ground-breaking book on the heyday of his craft. “A Kiss of Rocking Horses ~ A Directory of British Rocking Horse Makers (pre-1950)” is now available and can be purchased at the shop or by mail order.
David Kiss with his book‘A Kiss of Rocking Horses’ is the most comprehensive listing of all known British Rocking Horse Makers, over one hundred and fifty in all. Each maker is listed alphabetically and, where known, the social background of each firm is reported on as well as the range of products that the firm produced. David has spent many hours researching old catalogues, magazines and newspapers for information on Rocking Horse manufacturers both large and small.
The book aims to equip the reader identify and name any model of British Rocking Horse by the means of over 720 colour and black and white pictures and illustrations. These are spread throughout the 520 pages of the book.
Designed as a directory the book seeks to include as much information about all British rocking horse makers established before 1950, who have put at least one model into production. David acknowledges though that the content is by no means definitive and his historical research is on going.
He adds, “The words ‘Rocking Horse’ can be used to describe many variations of a genre, from a very simple and cheaply made item, up to a large and fully sculptured animal, and because of this, this book features many different types of Rocking Horses.”
David has set up a new website dedicated to his book – This features information on price and how to order “A Kiss of Rocking Horses” as well a preview of some of the pages.

Shropshire Council First for Wollerton Wetlands

On Thursday 29th July, Shropshire Council’s Parks and Countryside Sites Service held its first Wildlife Photography Course in Hodnet.

Photography course leaders John Harding and Lynne Dean
With a limited number of spaces available a group of around fifteen people gathered, with notebooks and cameras ready, in the Lyon Hall for a morning session led by local amateur wildlife photographer John Harding. John, who lives in Whitchurch and is a volunteer at Wood Lane Reserve near Ellesmere has had his photographs used in magazine and advertising for some time.
With course members ranging from novices to those with experience of having wildlife photographs published, John spent the morning on a range of topics from the basics of photography through to describing some of the effort which goes into taking stunning wildlife photographs. He had brought with him some of the equipment he uses in the field and enlightened his audience with descriptions of their benefits and at times their weaknesses!
Course participants set of in search of interesting insects to record with their cameras.
After lunch there was a short drive to Wollerton and a walk across a field to the Wetlands which were created when the A53 bypass was built. Just over a year ago their maintenance was handed over to Shropshire Council by the construction company.
In late July the main attraction was a wide variety of insects plus water plants. The five pools offer an excellent habitat for wildlife and this group of photographers were kept happy for around two hours. The more enthusiastic had to be almost dragged away when the time came to leave.
Speaking afterwards, Lynne Dean, Countryside Ranger with Shropshire Council who organised the course said, “Parks and Countryside Sites team run a series of events throughout our 130 sites where we hope to encourage people to get out and enjoy the Shropshire countryside.
“The photographic day was designed for people like me who have a digital camera and want to take pictures of wildlife. That’s where John Harding came in and gave us some great advice on how to the get the best pictures possible.
“Wollerton is one of our newest sites as it was created as part of the Hodnet bypass in 2003. Seven years on, the flora and fauna there is stunning.”
At the end of a very enjoyable day course, participants who had come from places as far away as Birmingham, were asked to email John Harding with a selection of their photographs. John has put a selection of these on the Wood Lane website. Click here to view them.
To visit the Parks and Countryside Sites section on Shropshire Council’s website, please click here.

Hawkstone Fun Ride

Sunday 12th September 2010 – Start at 10.00 a.m. final riders away at 2.30 p.m.
In region of 50 senior and 30 junior jumps, all of which are optional, with the rare opportunity to ride through 11 to 12 miles of the most beautifully unspoilt Shropshire countryside. Come and enjoy a fantastic day out full of adventure and excitement
Ticket costs:   Adults £15.00    Juniors £12.00
Refreshments available
All proceeds in aid of Hodnet 2000 Educational Trust

Advertiser Reports Website Launch

The launch of Hodnet’s website was featured in the Market Drayton Advertiser on Friday 9th July.
The article included interviews with two members of the team and photograph most of them.
The full article can be found in this entry.

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Scarecrows on Parade!

A new venture at this years Hodnet & District Garden Club Annual Horticultural Show will be a scarecrow competition.
Children from the area are invited to build their own scarecrow and bring it along to the Lyon Hall on Saturday 21st August. Once the entries have been judged they will be put on parade outside Mulberry Bush Studios, the florists on Church Street.
Full details from the Hodnet & District Garden Club. See here for contact information.

Website Poster Available

We hope people have begun to notice the posters advertising this site being displayed in local shops. If not this is what it looks like:

If you would like to help get the site known by putting a copy of the poster in your house or shop window, you can download a PDF version from here.

The webteam really do appreciate your support in this community venture.