This evening we arrived at the old Shoe Zone Shop in Riverside to lead the lantern parade through the town centre. All 52 lanterns had been made by children and parents on the Saturday, spending all day making some really great lanterns to carry in the parade.

All the lanterns had LED Lights fitted with a good power pack, some of the lanterns seemed quite heavy to hold let alone carry but the kids had their parents on hand and it was all smiles and fun for all.

We left the Riverside and walked through the Pride Hill Centre like a large snake, on the way stopping to listen to choirs singing as well as the Shropshire Bell Ringers, with Martin Wood our Town Crier with us that started him off with his big bell. These stops also allowed for our parade to keep together.

Once outside of the Pride Hill Centre we went up Pride Hill then turned into Buteher Row up to the top and posed around the tree. It was in the dark in Butcher Row that the lanterns really did come to life, we then returned to Pride Hill walked up to the High Cross and then returned to the bottom, where we then crossed High Street and went into the Square where we listened to a brass band,then we walked past Father Christmas and the Rotary Club sleigh.

We then had to return to Pride Hill where we had to leave the lanterneers and go into the Darwin Centre to turn on the 3 Rotary Clubs of Shrewsbury Tree of Light. At the Tree of Light a short service was given led by Rev Paul Firmin vicar of Shrewsbury Abbey, we sand a couple of Christmas Hymns and then I switched on the Tree of Light. It really was a fantastic evening and the town was really full of people, all enjoying the atmosphere. I must also say that the working group who spent many hours looking for the best deal for the Town to have new lights this Christamas did a fantastic job, they got real value for money ensuring that the public purse was not compromised, the lights do look really great well done to that committee of dedicated Shrewsbury Town Councillors and the staff that helped facilitate the meeting write minutes etc etc.

Below is a pictorial of the evening I hope you enjoy and can feel the atmosphere we have tried to capture for those who could not be there in person.

We take a short stop to allow the lanterneers at the rear to catch up, you only realise just how many there are when you stop, look back and down on those who are following, great.

Then we are out into the open air after being guided through the Pride Hill Centre by security staff we hit the crowds full on, fantastic really enjoying this.



 We then turn up Butcher Row to the square at the top so that we can light up the tree with our lanterns, as it is even darker up there than on Pride Hill the lanterns really do make the area into something special



 As you can see it really is something special with all the young lanterneers now being brought back into some form of order ready to go back onto Pride Hill. Having Martin there to sort them out made life easy as you can see with his height he just looks over everyones head and bellows. He is the only one other than CCTV operators who can see what is happening all around.


 Off we go with luck still having 52 lanterneers behind us, by the way Lanterneers is the name Maggie Love gave to our great group of young people. I think the name will stick for years to come. 

You just never know who you will bump into when walking down Pride Hill with your lanterneers on a Wednesday evening. Here we have found someone most will know, dressed in his normal day job clothes, yes its Shropshires own BBC Radio Shropshire Eric Smith, out doing his bit to advertise this years Panto. We left Eric and continued towards the Square.

 What an atmosphere the lighting in the Square along with this band as well as Santa being there really made it special for our youngsters in the parade, I think it was the same for many of us older ones as well.



 All the way back up Pride Hill we kept meeting these people dressed in funny costumes, is there a fancy dress party on, anyway I found one young lady who needed an arm around her to keep her warm. Good job the Mayoress was there or I would have some explaining to do. It was really great to see all of the Panto stars out in costume on the night as it added to a carnival atmosphere under some pretty impressive lighting.

Now for every parade to be successful you need some good behind the scenes workers who like magic clear the route, stop people getting hurt and just being there to ensure that if you need something they know where to get it from. This was the team  that helped make the Lantern Parade and the Light Switch on go smoothly this year. So well done Chaps good work and Thank you from Tricia and Myself.

It was then time to leave our parade of lanterns, to go into the Darwin Centre to meet the 3 Rotary Clubs of Shrewsbury.

It was a pity that the Shropshire Star did not feel this fantastic event merited more than just a small piece, I would not even call it an article, when we are all trying to show how proud we are of Shrewsbury. Please Shropshire Star give the positive stories as much column space as you do with the negative stories. Good Stories Will Sell Newspapers.



We arrived at the “Tree of Light” where a short service was held by the Rev Paul Firmin, Vicor of The Abbey. After a few Christmas hymns I was asked to switch on the “Tree of Light” with saying just one word the lights came on and now I hope and am sure that you all will donate some money.

Please every time that you pass the tree take time out to remember a loved one or just have a quite few seconds to reflect on the world. Respect what the tree stands for and what good the Rotary Club do within our Town.

Above & Below discussing the service and the agenda for the evening with Rev Paul Firmin.

Above during the short service, before the switch on of the “Tree of Light”

Above we are pictured in front of the “Tree of Light” after the ceremony with members of the Parkinsons Society

The funds raised will be spent locally with the main beneficiaries being: The three nominated charities who will benefit from the Tree of Light are Parkinsons Society, Hope House Hospice and the county Air Ambulance.

Please click on the following link to go to the Shrewsbury Parkinsons Society Web-Site. http://www.shrewsburyparkinsons.co.uk/

Please click on the following link to go to the Hope House Web-Site.     http://www.hopehouse.org.uk/

 Please click on the following link to go to the County Air Ambulance Trust Web-Site.  http://www.countyairambulancetrust.co.uk/

“Most of the dedications are made in memory of loved ones who have passed away. Last year 1,017 people made donations.

“Some people make donations without any dedication just because they want to support the Rotary and some people make dedications in memory of pets, but most are loved ones who have passed away.”

There are about 140 active Rotarians in the three clubs and Shawbury and Mid Shropshire also raises around £4,000 every year with its Christmas sleigh. This year Santa’s sleigh will tour the villages and Tesco and Morrisons supermarkets starting on December 7 and ending with a collection at Shrewsbury football club’s home match on December 17 – a collection which last year made over £500

Please click on the following link to go to their Web-Site.  http://www.shrewsburyrotary.co.uk/default.htm



A feature all about good positive stories, a must read if you want to put a smile on your face and be Proud of Shrewsbury, and become Part of the Team.

Make sure you get your copy this week and read the article. Thank You.  Tony




Please click on the link below to go to my new on-line survey. You can only vote once per computer. Thank you.


As reported in the Shropshire Star, I am campaigning to have the footbridge from the Frankwell Car Park to the Riverside Shopping Centre called “The Zutphen Bridge”. As many will know that we are twinned with Zutphen a town in Holland and this connection between the two towns goes back further than the official 1977 Twinning ceremony, also further back than the Second World War. In fact our association with Zutphen goes back as far as 1586, when a certain Sir Philip Sidney was killed whilst attempting to push the Spanish out of Zutphen. There is now no official recognition to Zutphen in Shrewsbury that is accessible to the general public, since the Welcome to Shrewsbury Signs were changed and Zutphen was replaced with Darwin. In Zutphen they still have Shrewsbury on display by naming a traffic island after Shrewsbury, as they are Proud in being twinned with Shrewsbury, I feel we should show our pride in a similar way and what better than a bridge.


Please have a look at the MAYORS CHARITY SPRING BALL page as I have added a preview of what the menu of the evening should look like. Please click on the following link to take you there. Thank you.


Click on the following link to go to the Shrewsbury Town Council’s Web-site.   Thank you. http://www.shrewsburytowncouncil.gov.uk/shrewsburytowncouncil

Click on the following link to go to the SHREWSBURY/ ZUTPHEN Twinning Web-site. Thank you. http://www.shrewsburyzutphentwinning.co.uk/live/welcome.asp?id=3506#page_content

Click on the following link for the ZUTPHEN twinning Web-site. Thank you. http://www.zutphen.nl/

Please click on the following link to go to the KLAGENFURT Austria web-site. Thank you.






This entry was posted in BBC Radio Shropshire, Eric Smith, Klagenfurt, Paul Firmin, Rotary International, Shrewsbury Chronicle, Shropshire Star, Tree of Light, Uncategorized, Zutphen and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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