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31st Jul 2017

Xfest pulls in the crowds

X Fest 2017Saturday 24th June saw crowds flocking to Shipston High School playing fields to enjoy a host of free activities in this year’s ‘Xfest’ event. 1000 people registered on arrival making it the biggest ‘Xfest’ event so far.

Organised by Shipston Youth Club, it is run every two years and has become a popular fixture in Shipston’s calendar.  Queues formed from the start of the day for the opportunity to climb ‘Spider Mountain’, have a go at Zorb ball walking, navigate on a Segway or scale a climbing wall. Several young local musicians provided the crowds with music for the day and the burger stall ran out of burgers and raised over £1,500 towards the cost of the event in the process.

A new focus this year were activities for younger families and, among the other attractions, face painting, balloon modelling and the bouncy castle proved a hit.

Daniel Pulham, chair of the Youth Club Management Committee, said “It is so encouraging to see yet another community event taking root in Shipston. After so many people have put in so much work to make this possible it was fantastic to see so many coming along and enjoying themselves’.

“The great thing about Xfest is that all the activities are free and that makes it possible for all to enjoy and join in. It would not have been possible without the help of an organising team from Shipston’s Baptist Church and we have once again benefited from grants from both the Town Council and the County Council to which the 1000 strong crowd owe a huge thank you!”


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31st Jul 2017

Shipston Rocks throughout the 2017 Proms

Shipston Proms 2017Shipston laid on another feast for music fans during this year’s Proms fortnight. 

The packed schedule of events offered something for everyone, from rock and roll fans to those with a more orchestral interest - and everything in between.

The Proms launched in spectacular style with tribute band, Abba Inferno, and Oxford-based, Vinyl Daze, playing to a packed Townsend Hall.

The Fame Contest followed, with On Crash Sunday (band), Greg Brice (solo), and Molly Hurwood (solo) winning their categories. As part of their win, they were all given a spot performing live on stage at the Last Night of the Proms. 

Across the fortnight, a vast range of venues including cafes, pubs, churches, and parks hosted a wide variety of performances. In true Shipston Proms style, the aim was to make the events as accessible as possible. Many were free to attend.

The event culminated in the Last Night of the Proms, headlined by Shipston’s own Laurence Jones who was delighted to perform for his ‘home crowd’. Laurence commented: “Thank you so much for all the support you have given me over the years, from playing classical guitar concerts around the town, for winning the talent competition when I was 14, coming out to support my first ever band shows in the pubs, packing out the Townsend hall for my album launch night 2016, and finally for rocking out with us to headline the Shipston Proms.”

Popular bands, Too Fat to Kidnap and Jupitronz, also performed, alongside the fame contest winners. 

Mayor, Dan Scobie, said: “We are extremely fortunate to have such a wonderful musical fortnight in Shipston, organised entirely by volunteers. Thank you to all those involved.”

To be a sponsor or ‘Friend of The Proms’ for next year’s 20th Anniversary contact the organisers via:

Photo by Charlotte Wright

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3rd Jul 2017

Lions Bookshop to close unless new premises can be found

BookshopThe Stour Valley Lions nearly new bookshop, which has served as Shipston’s only book store for over ten years, is set to close in September. The landlord of the Coach House needs the building for other purposes, prompting the bookshop’s closure.

Lions are now urgently seeking alternative premises in the town in order to keep a bookshop in Shipston. As well as providing a fantastic source of reading material for residents, profits from sales of the books are donated to Lions charities. In recent years, this has amounted to approximately £7,500 per annum.

Thanks to generous donations, the Lions bookshop has grown from a stock of just a few fiction books, to a selection of around 2,000. In addition to paper and hardback fiction books, the store also offers a range of non fiction, hobby and special interest literature as well as children’s books. In addition to the Shipston store, the Lions also sell books online via Amazon.

David Squires from Stour Valley Lions, said: “We are very sad indeed at the prospect of losing our bookstore as it will impact so many residents as well as the charities we support. We strongly urge anyone who knows of any premises available in the town that might be suitable to come forward as soon as possible.

“We have been offered the opportunity of a few shelves in the new tourist information centre but we really need a larger building to be able to continue the diverse range our residents have become used to.” David added.

Anyone with suggestions for possible locations should contact Lion David Squires urgently by email on 

The Lions would like to record their thanks to the landlord of the Coach House for allowing the bookstore to remain on the site up to now.

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