April 2014

Sheep shearing showdown expected at Shipston’s Wool Fair

Shipston Wool FairSpeedy sheep shearing is just one of many attractions scheduled for this year’s Wool Fair which takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, 26th May.

One of the town’s leading annual events, the Shipston Wool Fair is set to be packed, once again, with a variety of entertainment to suit all tastes. With more emphasis on rare breeds, over 20 breeds of sheep will be on display in the High Street. As well as the traditional sheep shearing, individual sheep will be paraded in traditional fashion around a small show ring, allowing visitors to learn more about each breed.

Another big highlight of the event will be the final reveal of the Shipston Tapestry, which weavers and volunteers are busily completing as the Forum went to press.  The tapestry project was launched two years ago and is designed to depict some of Shipston’s most famous landmarks. A true community project, local people and community groups have been involved in weaving the cloth.

For the first time, the Wool Fair will also offer the chance to take a close look at a Shepherd’s Hut. Traditionally designed as a comfortable vantage point for shepherds watching their flocks, shepherds’ huts have seen a revival in recent years – and a visit to the one at the Wool Fair will demonstrate why!

Throughout the day, there will be plenty of stalls offering a mixture of retail therapy, games and competitions. Refreshments will be provided both by stallholders and local traders, while entertainment will include local singing and dance groups as well as former entrants to the Shipston Fame Contest.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said “I am really excited about this year’s Wool Fair. We’ve made changes to the layout and attractions which really make the most of our town’s heritage as a ‘Sheep Wash’ town and I’m sure the day will prove even more popular than last year’s record turnout.”


Photo by Philip Vial

Support and care services given a boost ahead of Dementia Awareness Week

New services, support and awareness raising will all form part of Shipston’s efforts to mark Dementia Awareness Week, which takes place from 18-25 May.

The theme of this year’s Dementia Awareness Week is ‘Don’t Bottle it Up’.  At the SCAN meeting on Tues 13th May, Dr Sue Pritchard will launch the ‘Make Shipston a Dementia Friendly Town’ campaign which will showcase all the services that are available locally for those affected by dementia, including support groups such as the Stour Valley Carers Group and the Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Cafe. The campaign is designed to improve the quality of life of those affected by dementia. For full details, see the Shipston Medical Centre column on page 14.

A ‘Singing for the Brain’ taster event is taking place on Friday 16th May, to which all those affected by dementia are invited (see pg 10). These sociable sessions have been shown to have a positive impact on people with dementia and they may become a more regular feature in Shipston. 

Funding for the sessions is now in place thanks to donations from the League of Friends of Shipston Hospitals and Stour Valley Lions, and community groups are now working with the Alzheimer’s Society to explore options.

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said “I’m delighted to see so many positive plans in place to support the growing number of people affected by dementia. I am proud to support the new campaign and look forward to getting more involved.”

Fresh air and exercise awaits

- and all in aid of charity.

There are no excuses for not getting out and enjoying the fresh air thanks to the many walks planned in and around Shipston over the coming weeks.

On 4th May, the annual Rotary Cotswold Walk will take place, taking in beautiful views across the countryside on the seven mile trip (see page 10). If your blisters are under control, you can don your walking shoes again the next day, 5th May, to set out for the Brailes Three Hills Walk, starting from 9am until 11:30am from Brailes Village Hall. A barbecue awaits those who complete the walk.

Less than a week later, on Sunday 11th May, the annual Bluebell Walk will take place, setting off from Hell Brake Paddock in Whatcote. The walk costs £6 (children are free) and includes tea and scones. For further information, please contact Susan Price on 01295 680007.

For those with a real appetite for walking, on the 28th and 29th June, the Cotswold Way MAD Challenge will be taking place in aid of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. You can choose from a two-day 50 mile walk or a 10 or 20 mile walk on the Sunday. To enter please call 01608 663415.

Please do take part in these walks if you can. They all support good causes - and there are major brownie points for anyone who completes all the walks!

Dan Scobie elected to Shipston Town Council

Dan ScobieLocal resident and food enthusiast, Dan Scobie, was successfully elected to the town council on the 3rd April following a local by-election. Two candidates contested the seat, which attracted a turnout of just over 21%, with Dan Scobie polling 478 votes compared to Gwen Kiely’s 395. This is the second time Dan has stood for election, having narrowly missed out on a seat by just two votes last time.

Dan is well known to the local community, not least for his role in the highly successful Food Festival which was launched last year. Renowned for his Sourdough loaves, some councillors are rumoured to be looking forward to fresh bread being served at council meetings.

On being elected, Dan said: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to support Shipston and help ensure this town continues to thrive. I want to ensure that we retain and enhance some of the key facilities in the town such as the Rugby, Football, and Cricket clubs, and of course the Wool Fair, the Proms and the food and beer festivals.”

Mayor, Ronnie Murphy, said “On behalf of all my colleagues, I am delighted to welcome Dan to the council and look forward to working with him in the coming months.”