Month: January 2012

Act now to help bring superfast broadband to Hodnet

Shropshire Council announced on 26th January, 2012 that the Government has given £8.2 million to support a plan to bring superfast broadband to more areas of Shropshire. The organisation coordinating the £530 million Government project – BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) – has given its backing to the county’s plan.

However it could take  up to £30 million to provide all homes in Shropshire with the agreed minimum of  2mbps per second and to provide superfast broadband to the majority. Shropshire Council is has also agreed to contribute around £8.2 million in match-funding to the project. Full details can be found on the Council’s website here.

The Connecting Shropshire project is also asking residents to complete a 3 minute survey to help them with access the need. There are links to both the residential and business surveys from the top of this page.

The Council list the following problems with broadband availability in the county:

  • 11% of premises in Shropshire have no access to line-based broadband services
  • More than a third of premises (36%) have limited broadband speeds of 2mbps or less.
  • Over a quarter of premises are further than 2.5km from their exchange.
  • According to a recent OFCOM report, Shropshire is one of the worst-ranking local authorities in the UK when it comes to broadband. Out of 200 authority areas, Shropshire is one of just 26 to receive the lowest overall score.
  • Demand for broadband is high – take-up currently stands at 67% of households.
  • 12.3% of the working age population in Shropshire is self-employed (above the 9% national average).
  • There are thought to be more than 9,000 home-based businesses in Shropshire – many of these are located in rural areas.

Whilst residents in Hodnet village enjoy speeds of over 4mbps, in other parts of the Parish speeds are far slower. Some residents have to struggle with the worst possible speeds with the estimated maximum being no more than 0.125mbps!

Helping to improve Internet speeds for those who live in the slowest areas will no doubt also improve them for those who are better connected. Even if your connection meets your need, please help those who are not as fortunate and complete the survey if you have not done so already.

Local Charity to Host Musical Evening at Lyon Hall

Hodnet 2000 will be hosting another ‘Showcase of Musical Talent’ this year on Saturday 24th March 2012 at the Lyon Hall in Hodnet.  Last year’s event was a great success which invited numerous positive comments, and several people asked if we were planning a similar event this year.

It promises to be a very entertaining evening with a number of young people from local schools giving up their limited spare time to perform for us.  There will be light refreshments available during the interval and a chance to win on the raffle.

Demand is expected to be high and there are only 100 seats available so don’t delay buying your tickets.  We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Please read “A Showcase of Musical Talent at The Lyon Hall” listed under the “Events” section of Hodnet’s web site for further information and contact details for ticket purchase.


A442 closed yet again by road accident

On the morning of Wed. 25 Jan. the A442 in Peplow was once again closed by a road accident.

According to the Shropshire Star’s web site (report here) the incident occurred around 7:10am and the road was closed until around 8:30am.

The collision, which was between a white Mercedes and a blue Renault Laguna, happened close to Peplow Crossroads. The Star reports that two people escaped serious injury, though one was taken to Princess Royal Hospital in Telford as a precaution.

An Active Village Hall

“An active village hall can greatly improve the life of the community”. – Shropshire rural county council 

The Lyon Hall

2011 was quite a busy year at the Lyon Hall. The smaller rooms were the most popular during the daytime but the large room was booked most evenings and some weekends.

We had WI meetings, Scouts and guides events including a ceilidh and the cheese and wine event in October was very successful, raising over £700 for the maintenance of the building.

Table top sale

The table top sale in December needed more support (spread the word for next year) but there were plenty of bacon butties sold to raise a profit.

The large room at the Lyon Hall is an excellent space for larger gatherings and is regularly used for practise by a competitive ball room dancing couple.

Making bacon butties

A Dog Showing enthusiasts group also use the large room to teach the dogs and owners showing and ring skills.

Hodnet and district Garden Club is an active and long running club which meets at the Lyon Hall every third Tuesday in the month. It held its popular Annual show at the hall, in August. To visit their website and learn more click here.

Slimming world meetings helped us lose weight and eat healthily while Zumba classes kept us fit and athletic. The quiz evenings exercised our brains and had the added bonus of £20 as first prize.

Maintenance and repairs.

We have undertaken some repairs to the roof tiles and guttering and repaired the fence posts around the path. The handrail at the disabled entrance has been repaired and we are currently replacing the oil tank which was vandalised in November. We will also be improving the security to prevent this happening again.

The upkeep of the hall is an ongoing project and the committee are keen to maintain and improve the facilities available to its users. We greatly value your opinions so if you have any suggestions for the halls  improvement please contact us at the Lyon Hall  email

Our web site is currently being updated but can be viewed here



Jubilee weekend community event

A community event to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee  is to be held on the recreation ground in Hodnet on Sunday 3rd June.

Planning for the day is in its very early stages, and all local groups, clubs, societies and individuals who may be interested in helping to organise the event or take part in any way are encouraged to contact Janice Parker on 01630-685 531 as soon as possible. The intention is to form an organising committee and go from there.

Please consider getting  involved to help make this a memorable and fun filled occasion.

Shropshire Star reports questionnaire results

Villagers back plan for footpath link-up” was the headline in Tuesday’s (3rd Jan) Shropshire Star, when it reported on the results of the questionnaire sent out by Hodnet Parish Council on proposals to create a path to connect Marchamley to Hodnet (and mistakenly also mentioned it connecting with Wollerton – some path indeed!).

The full results can be found on this page. The main result being, as the Star stated, 91 per cent of people who replied were in favour of the proposal.

Richard Underwood, a member of the Parish Council, told them “The Parish Council felt the return rate was pretty good, but there is still time for anyone who hasn’t got around to returning their form to do so. When it came to expected uses of the path, the questionnaire seemed to support our general expectations that its use would be popular for leisure purposes, but in Marchamley many households would also consider its use important in helping to access local based services.

After considering the results the parish council agreed in principle that scheme was worthy of further examination by the Hodnet Footpath Group, with whom the results have been shared.”

Unfortunately, when it came to a photograph, it seems the only one the Star could find for Hodnet, was of a Market Drayton town sign!

New Reading Group?

Do you like books?

Would you like to share/discuss them with like minded people at a monthly or bi-monthly get together?

If the answer to the above is ‘Yes’, perhaps you would like to help establish a new Hodnet Reading Group?

Expressions of interest are sought by e-mailing your name, address and phone number to Sally Underwood at email

P.S. Market Drayton Library have a scheme to provide multiple copies of books to local Reading Groups, so there is no intention of members buying books.

Trugg and Barrows garden diary January 2012.

“We go, in winter’s biting wind,
On many a short-lived winter day,
With aching back but willing mind
To dig and double dig the clay.”
– Ruth Pitter, The Diehards

For a gardener, January is the bleakest month of the year. Many people consider it a month when the garden should be avoided, and to be honest I have a lot of sympathy with this view. Although a garden in winter seems uninviting there is a fascinating and complex process of renewal going on. Micro-organisms, worms and all kinds of other minibeasts are converting fallen leaves, manure and compost into nutrients that the coming year’s crops and other plants will use to make leaves, stems, flowers, seeds, roots, bark and wood etc. As the earthworms munch they tunnel along, aerating the soil, an essential process for healthy plants. So although you may not be in the garden yourself, there is plenty of activity going on out there.

In the garden here, December was a month of continuing to tidy up fallen leaves and cut back herbaceous plants. January’s jobs will be pretty much the same; we will also be spreading tons of compost on the garden for those minibeasts to get to work on. Doing this now will save a lot of work later by reducing the amount of weeding needed and the amount of irrigation required.

A Grand Day Out.

Whilst we all sit in this mild December and contemplate the work still to be done, I often find myself planning which gardens I want to visit in the New Year. To those of you who might be doing the same, here are two gardens which I visited this year that you might like to visit. Both are just over the border in Herefordshire but not too far away. They are both very different gardens and the contrast between them would make for an interesting day out.

Hampton Court Herefordshire.

Situated on the river Lugg, Hampton Court is a spectacular castle in a beautiful setting. The gardens have been fully renovated over the past ten years or so. The Victorian walled garden has been transformed. On stepping through the entrance the visitor is greeted by an extensive and highly ornamental kitchen garden. The garden is run entirely on organic principles and the knowledgeable staff have a great deal to impart about companion planting and other techniques. When I visited in July I was also able to speak to the gardeners about some of the unusual varieties they were growing.

The walls of the garden were bedecked with attractive annual climbers, and borders featured some herbaceous perennials, annuals and biennials designed to complement the ornamental effect of the herbs and vegetables.

The kitchen garden is obviously managed intensively so as to suppress weed growth as much as possible but there is plenty for any gardener to learn.

Moving past the kitchen garden the visitor enters an area of outstanding romance. The garden is broken up into ‘rooms,’ that ever popular design device. The colour scheme was all muted pinks, silvers and blues which gave softness to the overall feeling. I most remember some wonderful stands of Onopordum acanthium and beautiful reflections of Pyrus salicifolia ‘Pendula’ in the water which flows through the garden. The garden also features some wonderful gazebos and stonework.

I must also recommend the cafe, that most important element in any garden visit.

Hergest Croft, Kington Herefordshire.

Imagine going into the house of an elderly eccentric relative and being asked to find something amongst years of accumulated clutter. Perhaps this might not sound like the most encouraging review of a garden but to journey through Hergest Croft is to journey through decades of plant collecting.

The gardens at Hergest croft are renowned as having one of the best collections of trees and shrubs in the country, but as with all gardens that have evolved over time, there is not necessarily a logical order which I think adds excitement to any visit. The garden is divided into two parts; on the one hand is a large ornamental kitchen garden which also produces some of the plants sold at the entrance. And although the sales area is small there are often treasures to be found there for reasonable prices. I brought home three species of Eucryphia which grew into fantastic specimens before being polished off by last year’s winter. The main area of the garden proceeds from the beautiful arts and crafts style house where the small tearoom is located, giving views over the Herefordshire countryside. Formal lawns lead onto a variety of small planted landscapes from rockeries, small water gardens and into ornamental shrubberies. Hergest Croft is particularly noted for its collection of Acers. The principle seasons of interest are Spring and Autumn although the avid plants person will find something to see throughout the year.

Finally, “Here’s to a new year and another chance for us to get it right”.

Please note: images have been removed from this pages because some of them may have been used without permission.