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Community Library at Pontesbury: March 2018

Atlantic Ladies – They’ve Done It!

Crossing the finishing line!
It is almost a year since Di Carrington came to the FoPL AGM to talk about how she was hoping to row across the Atlantic. Now she and her two crew members have actually done it! Many, many congratulations to the team: well-known local Di Carrington, Elaine Theaker from Abergavenny and Sharon McGrath from Shrewsbury. They have rowed 2,600 miles across the ocean since they set off in December, facing high seas and dangers right up to the last 50 nautical miles. In fact, they capsized twice during the final 24 hours. Taking the oars for two hours on and two hours off, they rowed for 60 days, 18 hours and 34 minutes. It is likely to be confirmed that they have broken not one, not two, but three Guinness World Records – an amazing performance of endurance and courage. The women have completed what’s known as the ‘toughest race in the world’ to raise money for their individual charities:
• Relapsing Polychondritis UK (Di)
• Alzheimer’s Society (Sharon)
• Motor Neurone Disease Association (Elaine)
If you’d like to make a donation visit and simply click on the Make a Donation box near the top on the left-hand side. We wish them a wonderful homecoming and hope to join them to celebrate their achievements following their return. Plans are underway, so keep your eyes open for them.
‘The Reader’ takes up residence
On Saturday 3 February a large crowd braved the weather for this special event. Local artist Bill Sample presented his sculpture commissioned by the Friends of Pontesbury Library entitled ‘The Reader’. Lezley Picton, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, performed the unveiling honours. There was delight and spontaneous applause as Councillor Picton revealed the seated figure. Those who attended expressed their delight and pride in having such a beautiful and significant piece of artwork outside their library. Bill Sample was on hand to explain how he had carved the sculpture from a piece of a fallen Douglas Fir tree salvaged from Pontesford Hill. If you missed hearing Bill, do listen to his interview and see pictures of ‘The Reader’ as the sculpture progressed at Bill has given his time for free as he believes, based on personal experience, that libraries are an important and essential resource. We welcome ‘The Reader’ to its new home. Our grateful thanks go to Bill Sample, Lezley Picton, Councillor Nick Hignett, Councillor Duncan Fletcher, and to everyone who attended.

Bill Sample with ‘The Reader’ and Councillors Lezley Picton and Nick Hignett.
Pontesbury Players’ Panto Dick Whittington
Many thanks to Pontesbury Players for letting FoPL organize the raffle again this year to fundraise for the Library. We made nearly £600 and thoroughly enjoyed watching their sparkling performances. Our thanks go to writer and director Malcolm Whittall, the cast and backstage crew for such memorable entertainment and their continuing support.
Lottery Winners
Many congratulations to our February winners:
1st Nadine Jenkins, 2nd Jane Sharp, 3rd Garry Homer
To join the Library Lottery or buy more numbers and increase your chances of winning simply fill in the form at the Library or visit our website and click on Library Lottery.
Charitable Status
The Friends of Pontesbury Library is officially a charitable trust, having met the requirements of the Charity Commission. This means that FoPL will now be able to receive gift aid and apply for grant funding in the future. Thank you to all those members who attended the meeting to approve the Constitution, particularly as the weather was so inclement.
Dates For Your Diaries
Spring Plant Sale: Saturday 28 April 10am onwards at the Library.
If you’re sorting out the garden, please think of helping to keep the Library open by donating:
plants and seedlings, gardening books, cakes and biscuits, raffle prizes.
All donations can be brought along to the Library on the afternoon of Friday 27 April 2:00 – 4:00 as well as from 9am on the day of the Spring Plant Sale itself.
Call For Santa Fun Run/Walk Teams
It’s still very early in the year but after the 2017 Santa Fun Run/Walk we are planning to make the 2018 occasion an even more successful community occasion. We want to encourage teams of prospective Santas from local groups, businesses and organizations to sign up early e.g. sports clubs, U3A groups, church and uniformed groups, schools, health and social care services. What about your street or estate entering a neighbourhood team? Just let the FoPL know either by calling in to the library, via our website or approaching committee members, if your organisation is interested to raise a team of around five members. We will then get back to you with more details.

Great Music coming to Habberley

Gypsy Swing, Jazz and Blues. The Remi Harris Trio takes Gypsy Swing characteristics and infuses them with influences from Jazz, Blues, Rock’n’Roll, Funk, World Music and more, in an eclectic mix of original compositions, jazz standards and new arrangements of a wide range of music. The show features Remi on a variety of acoustic and electric guitars, accompanied by a hot club rhythm section of acoustic guitar and double bass. It includes solo, duet and trio playing, interspersed with Remi’s commentary about the history of the music and the guitars he plays. Remi and his trio have toured worldwide as well as performing at Buckingham Palace, Montreal Jazz Festival, BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall with Jamie Cullum, on BBC 4 Television and live on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Radio 3. For more information see
Tickets 01743 790179 or
Siobhan Ready

Pontesbury Annual Parish Meeting

Pontesbury Parish Council Report: February 2018

The last meeting of Pontesbury Parish Council was held on the 12 February 2018.
New Parish Clerk
I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new Parish Council Clerk and to say how much I am looking forward to working alongside you all in Pontesbury Parish. I was really pleased to be offered the position as I have heard great things about the community spirit being alive and kicking in Pontesbury. My background is that I grew up in rural Devon, my mother’s family having farmed on the north edges of Dartmoor. I then lived in rural Norfolk for 20+ years and then relocated to Oswestry where I have really enjoyed bringing up my two children. I understand the pressures facing rural communities in terms of keeping vital community spaces and services viable and have worked in support roles for local communities with Rural Community Councils and Shropshire Council and more recently have managed Oswestry Town library. I am keen to work with the Friends of Pontesbury Library working to keep this vital resource open for the community. I look forward to meeting many of you as we go about our daily lives and work. My contact details are below.
Dog fouling
The Parish Council continues to receive complaints that dog fouling continues to be a problem around the village and on the new cycleway between Pontesbury and Minsterley. Please remember dog fouling is both unpleasant and potentially dangerous, as dog faeces carry bacteria that can harm children. The Shropshire Council Dog Warden has been asked to place additional notices on the lamp posts to remind dog walkers that it is an offence, punishable by a fine, to fail to clean up after your dog when it has fouled the footpath or any other designated area. If you see someone not clearing up after their dog, please report it to Shropshire Council by calling 0345 678 9006 or online on Shropshire Council’s website (search “dog” at the top of the home page). If it is a persistent problem, please provide as much information as possible, such as at what time the incidents are occurring, a description of the dog walker and dog, and where the fouling has occurred. Shropshire Council’s patrols can then be targeted more efficiently.
Parking by the flats in Chapel Street, Pontesbury
The residents of the flats in Chapel Street have contacted the Parish Council as they are having problems parking by their own homes. The parking layby outside the property is being used by people not living or visiting there, meaning that residents must walk some way to park or are not able to get their vehicles out.
It is understood that it is sometimes used as a “Park and Ride” facility by people driving to the village and then catching the bus into Shrewsbury. Please remember that this layby is provided for residents. Finding an alternative place to park would help the Chapel Street residents.
Shropshire Royal British Legion “Silent Soldier”
The Shropshire Royal British Legion is asking local businesses if you might be interested in the Shropshire Royal British Legion “Silent Soldier” concept which marks the sacrifice of those who fell in the four war years leading up to the Armistice in November 1918. Commemorative events will be held across the United Kingdom during 2018, 100 years after the end of the First World War, and you may wish to join Shropshire RBL in remembering those who lost life and limb all those years ago. The Silent Soldier is the black silhouette of a First World War “tommy”. It is anticipated that it will be displayed nationwide throughout 2018 as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by service personnel of Britain and the Empire during World War One. Shropshire RBL is inviting companies, councils and community groups to sponsor the Silent Soldier. The Silent Soldier is made of weather-proof dibond and may be fixed to flat surfaces, like a wall, or attached to vertical angle irons as free standing figures. The figure is supplied with angle irons and nuts and bolts. It may be purchased as a simple figure with a base panel reading “1914 – 1918 Lest we Forget”, or as a figure with a company name included in the base panel. Details on how to obtain a Silent Soldier may be obtained from the Royal British Legion Jenny Robey, Community Fundraiser, Shropshire; mobile 07918 562902;
Next meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Monday 12 March at 7:30 in Pontesbury Public Hall (see separate notice) followed by an extraordinary meeting of the Parish Council to consider any urgent matters. The next full Parish Council meeting is to be held on Monday 9 April. Members of the public are welcome to attend. If you need to contact the Parish Council, please phone or email the Parish Clerk.
Mrs Debbie Marais, Parish Clerk, Pontesbury Parish Council
8 Holbache Road, Oswestry, SY11 1RP
Tel: 01691 661157 (Please leave a message
if I am not available to answer your call)

Pontesbury Compassionate Communities (COCO) – Befriending Service

Becoming frail or living with a long-term illness can not only affect our physical health but can lead to social isolation. COCO, which is based at Pontesbury surgery, aims to help prevent loneliness and isolation by providing free support for clients at home. By offering a helping hand in a variety of ways to support independence, we can help people stay connected with their local communities.
We are always seeking new volunteers to work with us, both in visiting clients at home or with other practical tasks such as fund-raising / coffee mornings etc. Training programmes are offered to anyone interested in becoming a volunteer and helps volunteers decide on the kind of help they can offer. So, if you would like to know more, why not come along to Pontesbury Library between 10:00 – 12:00 on the last Tuesday of each month for an informal chat with Helen / Ann.
Please contact Ann Griffiths, COCO coordinator: or Helen Tazewell Community & Care coordinator at Pontesbury Medical Practice on 01743 790325,, for any information on the local COCO service or COCO volunteering and we will be happy to answer any questions.
Ann Griffiths