All the news items from the Newsletter are posted here, plus any urgent updates. See the complete list under Recent Posts on the right of the page. Items from previous Newsletters can be found in the Archives.
When you read this our AGM and Atlantic Ladies talk by Di Carrington will have passed. We will report on this in the next Newsletter.
We are now looking forward to our talk by local lad Mark Evans entitled ‘Crossing the Empty Quarter’. The illustrated talk will recount his (the) first crossing of the Arabian Desert since Bertram Thomas in 1930. Mark has already presented his talk to a packed Hall at the Royal Geographical Society and a similar audience in New York, and is now setting out on a UK tour including Pontesbury! Mark has written an excellent book of the
same title and will have copies available for a book signing during the evening.
Mark Evans outside the Library
The talk will take place at the Mary Webb School Hall at 7:00 on Friday, 5 May with a bar and light refreshments. We expect the event to be a sell-out so tickets will shortly be available from Pontesbury Library, Shrewsbury Library, the usual local Pontesbury outlets or from Friends of Pontesbury Library. They will cost £10 and £8 for concessions with the proceeds to be split evenly between the Friends of Pontesbury Library and the Friends of Pontesford Hill to contribute to the community work which both are doing.
Following our very successful plant sale at the Library last year, we are holding another bring and buy plant sale at the Library on Saturday 29 April 10:00 – 1:00. Please come along and support us. There will be plants, seedlings, gardening products, magazines and cakes together with the Friends’ usual excellent refreshments and a raffle.
Donations of plants, books, cakes and raffle prizes are most welcome during library open hours or between 2:00 – 4:00 on Friday, 28 April or can be brought along from 9:00 2on the Saturday (day of the sale). For further information ring 791171 or email: info@pontesbury library.co.uk or visit our website: pontesburylibrary.co.uk, or on facebook.
As you will see elsewhere in this Newsletter, local folksong enthusiasts are promoting a concert by Steve Knightley, a charismatic singer-songwriter and Patron of Shrewsbury
Folk Festival. The concert will take place at Minsterley Village Hall on Wednesday, 3 May, 7:00 for 7:30 – watch this space. The evening will include a bar and a raffle. Tickets costing £18 will be available from Pontesbury Library and the sponsors are kindly donating 20% of ticket sales to Friends of Pontesbury Library. Please support this excellent concert which is expected to be a sell-out.
Following their very popular ‘Precious Bane’ concert last year, by popular request, the Village Quire will be coming back to Pontesbury in October with a different concert – watch this space.
At the Friends Annual General Meeting on Friday, 17 March, the Treasurer was presented with three large and very generous cheques:
• cheque for £720.67 from the committee of the Rea Valley Local Produce Market – the proceeds of their activities when sadly they had to close;
• cheque from the Pontesbury Primary School Fund for £211.40 – the proceeds from their Christmas Fayre Raffle, presented by the pupils;
• cheque for £100 from Pontesbury WI.
These funds will, of course, go towards ‘Keeping the Library open’.
Those present at the AGM were also treated to a short presentation explaining their ‘House System and Shields’ by the pupils of Pontesbury Primary School (who are amongst our greatest supporters); and the exciting illustrated talk (mentioned above) by Di Carrington and Sharon Magrath – the Atlantic Ladies.
Easter – September 2017 (excluding June)
Weekends and Bank Holiday Mondays
The Long Mynd & Stiperstones Shuttle Buses start on Saturday, 15 April. Please support the service and enjoy a trip out around the hills, or over to Church Stretton. Stops include Bridges, The Bog and Snailbeach Mine. The buses operate an hourly service, which makes planning your day out easy. There are great walks along the Stiperstones ridge, or over the Long Mynd which link with the buses, and an excellent choice of country pubs for lunches and refreshments. The Shuttle Buses also stop at attractions such as Carding Mill Valley, The Bog and Snailbeach Mine. Valid concessionary bus passes are accepted and Day Rover or single tickets can be purchased from the driver as you board the bus. Look out for the 2017 timetable leaflet locally, or see www.shropshirehillsshuttles.co.uk for details.
The Shuttle Busses are running until 24 September, at weekends and on Bank Holiday Mondays, excluding June.
The timetabled stop in Pontesbury is at the bus stop on the Manor Gardens Junction, but where safe to do so, the bus can be hailed along the route.
“Brilliant day out and great company – drivers and passengers.”
“The drivers are excellent and the scenery is beautiful.”
3 May, Minsterley Parish Hall
Steve Knightley is a charismatic singer-songwriter and Patron of Shrewsbury Folk Festival, who performs both as a solo artist and with Phil Beer in the acclaimed duo Show of Hands. We are delighted to be able to host him at Minsterley Parish Hall on 3 May as part of his nationwide Landlocked Tour. Two years ago he performed a sell-out concert in Pontesbury and those who remember that will not want to miss another opportunity to see and hear him close up. Last time the profits from the concert were donated to the Hill Fund and this time we will be supporting Pontesbury Library, so 20% of your ticket price will go direct to the library fund. Tickets are £18 each and can be bought from Pontesbury Library or call Wendy-Jane Walton 01743 792714 or in person at Holm House, Station Rd.
Once the Herald of Spring for many, the haunting call of curlew is much harder to hear these days. With the local curlew population having declined by 30% in the last ten years, the Curlew Country Project needs your help to save these beautiful birds.
Last year we gained national recognition for our groundbreaking work to save local curlew. This year, Curlew Country continues to:
• Monitor curlew nests to discover why they are failing
• Work with farmers to identify the costs of supporting nesting and foraging curlew in a farm business in order to influence policy makers
• Tag and track curlew to understand curlew behaviour
• Protect nests by predation control including electric fencing
• Train those interested in helping curlew to better understand curlew behaviour
• Work with the volunteer Community Wildlife Group bird surveyors to locate nesting and feeding territories and record adult population numbers
• Raise funds to continue the vital work of the project.
You can help by:
• Reporting local sighting of curlew, and other wader birds such as snipe and lapwing, using our online recording form http://www.stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk/birdform/ or by contacting Amanda Perkins on 01938 561741.
• Supporting the Curlew Country fund raising Appeal.
• Joining your local Community Wildlife Group to help with surveys and recording – contact Joe Penfold for details 01938 561741.
This summer, we continue to raise awareness about the plight of our local birds with an exciting community arts project titled ‘A Case for Curlews’. A reminiscence project ‘Curlew Conversations’ is also happening to capture local memories of curlew.
There is lots more information about the project, including the awareness raising projects, on our Curlew Country web-page http://www.stiperstonesandcorndon.co.uk/curlewcountry/.
Stephanie Hayes, Shropshire Hills AONB Partnership Promotions Officer
The Annual Parish Meeting took place in Pontesbury Public Hall on Monday, 13 March 2017. Reports were given from Shropshire Council and the Parish Council. Chris Hearn gave a report on the activities of the Pontesbury Parish Pathways Partnership (known as P3) whose volunteers work in conjunction with Shropshire Council to develop, repair and maintain the rights of way in and around Pontesbury Parish. PC Jon Summerfield gave a report for the local Police team. For the first time this year reports were given by all three village halls in the Parish; Pontesbury Public Hall, Cruckton Village Hall and Habberley Village Hall. The full reports will be available to view on the Pontesbury Parish website after the local Elections.
Local elections – May 2017
Local elections are scheduled to take place in Shropshire on Thursday 4 May 2017. If you want to have your say at your next local government elections, you must be registered to vote. If you’re not already on the electoral roll, you need to register to vote by midnight on Thursday 13 April 2017. You can register to vote online now at gov.uk/register-to-vote. Everyone is responsible for registering themselves. Under the old system the ‘head of every household’ could register everyone who lived at their address. You need to provide a few more details to register – including your national insurance number and date of birth. This makes the electoral register more secure. To find out more go to www.gov.uk/yourvotematters or if you would like to receive this information in paper format please contact Shropshire Council on 0345 678 9015 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and address.
The Parish Council has been advised that dog fouling continues to be a problem around the village, on public footpaths 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 6789006 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.
The next Parish Council meeting is to be held on Monday, 10 April 2017 at Pontesbury Public Hall; starting at 7.30pm. Please note that this is a change of venue. Members of the public are welcome to attend. If you need to contact the Parish Council, please phone or email the Parish Clerk.
Kate Davies, Parish Clerk, Pontesbury Parish Council
c/o 43 Parc Hafod, Four Crosses, Llanymynech, SY22 6NZ
Tel: 01691 886460 (Please leave a message if I am not available to answer your call)