Keeping up with community news around Whitchurch...

Ash Magna

Pub update

Efforts to keep the White Lion pub in Ash Magna open as a community-purchased and managed pub are gathering pace.

The community and friends of the pub have now raised more than £120,000 since the scheme was launched at the beginning of December. In addition, regulars have been celebrating receipt of £100,000 grant/loan support from the Plunkett Foundation.

Judith Griffin, chairman of the Community Benefit Society, which was set up to purchase and run the pub, said: “The local community has really bought into the idea of a community-managed pub, offering a range of local service, and the suggestion that people can buy shares as Christmas gifts.

“Our efforts have been strengthened by the fabulous support from the Plunkett Foundation, which means that the total amount now raised is more than £220,000 – two thirds of the way towards our minimum target of £320,000.”

The group’s ideal target is £370,000 while they have set a minimum target at £320,000 – there is still £53,000 worth of pledges to be converted and is so, the group is just £45,000 short.

Anyone wanting to know more can head to


Theatre’s January 2018 events

A new 2018 arts programme is planned for the Talbot Theatre at Whitchurch Leisure Centre starting with the Flicks in the Sticks showing of ‘Dunkirk’ (12a) on Tuesday, January 9 at 7.30pm.

Then it is the comedy drama ‘The Big Sick’ (15) on Tuesday, January 16 at 7.30pm. This tells the story of the real life courtship between Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V Gordon.

He worries what his traditional Muslim parents will think then Emily is suddenly ill and in a coma. He is forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations and his true feelings.

Arts Alive brings live theatre on Saturday January 27 at 7.30pm with Rob Gee ‘Forget Me Not’ – The Alzheimer’s Whodunnit’. Hilarious and heart-breaking, Jim’s wife, a patient on a dementia ward, has died from what appears to be natural causes. Jim is a retired police detective and he smells a rat.

He is determined to solve one last murder. The problem is he also has dementia. It is a case worthy of the greatest detective mind. But his will have to do. It is described as hard-hitting but full of humour and humanity. Tickets are £10 with £8 adult concessions and £5 young people. It is suitable for all aged 14 upwards.

January ends with the film ‘Victoria and Abdul’ (PG) on Tuesday January 30 at 7.30pm. Abdul Karim arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee and an unlikely friendship develops which her household and inner circle try to destroy.

Judi Dench stars as Queen Victoria. All films are £4.50 with £4 adult concessions and £3.50 young people.

More films, music and live theatre are planned and anyone wanting tickets can contact the Leisure Centre on 01948 660660, 07506724572 or

Rotary efforts

Whitchurch Rotary Club were out and about around Christmas and proved again to be a crucial part of the town.

In spite of the inclement weather in the latter part of their 43rd annual appearance of Santa’s float, around 17 outings around Whitchurch and district were made with a record breaking £8,697.97 was collected.

This beat the total of £7,826.93 raised in 2016 with two routes exceeding £600 – Chemistry/Smallbrook Road – with Mile Bank/Tarporley and Chester Road just edging into the lead.

The majority of club members assisted in various capacities; David Hewitt and president Walter Schafer were drivers, several with near 100 per cent turn-outs and Ian Fawcwtt was on rota organisation.

The Tree of Light celebrated its 20th birthday with, to date, its highest total of £1,187. This magnificent sum, supervised by John Mitchell and David Hewitt, enables Rotarians to maintain during the year their community work towards the elderly and young.

These, and other national and international projects are a great challenge to a small club but Rotarians enjoy and are heartened and most appreciative of the unfailing generosity of the people and traders of Whitchurch and district.

Meanwhile, the club again enabled the provision of 145 Christmas dinners were prepared, cooked and delivered on Christmas Day from the kitchens of Sir John Talbot’s school by Whitchurch Rotarians to those who needed them.

This near 50 per cent increase in numbers proved a formidable challenge ably handled by Rotarian Chris Smith and a team of 50 club colleagues, friends, family and district representatives.

Whitchurch WI

Despite the party being deferred for a week due to the inclement weather, the enthusiasm to enjoy the December meeting was certainly not chilled.

After conducting the business, the party began in full swing with excellent food supplied by the members. A Christmas quiz followed that taxed the brain and was followed by ‘pass the parcel’ accompanied by members singing carols and the president shouting “stop” for each unwrap.

They then moved to musical chairs and with some 28 members present, the line of chairs went out of the room and across the corridor. Again it was accompanied by members singing – this time ‘Hi Ho, Hi Ho as off to work we go’.

It was a really fun night that brought back many memories of the parties they used to attend as a child.