Category: Arts and Culture

Ludlow Mayfair returns after a two year absence. Hip, hip hurray!

There has not been much good news of late. Household costs are going through the roof and some people will struggle to afford a roof. Shropshire is best by health crisis. Long waits for ambulances. Long waits to hand over patients when they get to A&E. The country’s worst maternity scandal. Our bus services are threatened more than ever before. Parking charges are going up. Before you wipe your eyes and blow your nose, there is good news just around the corner. The Mayfair is back! After being cancelled for two years due to Covid-19, all the fun of the fair returns on 28 April. It will include the vicar and mayor gleefully dashing around on the dodgems. There will be the blasting of music, buzzing of rides and screams of teenagers. The sour aroma of hot onions and the sickly sweet smell of candyfloss, both better smelled than eaten. Early in the evening people stream from across the entire town to enjoy the fair. Ludlow is not Ludlow without the Mayfair. It is great to have it back.

Loudwater Studio threatened with closure – please sign the petition

Loudwater Studio is a community arts studio on the Burway Trading Estate off Bromfield Road. Supported by the charity Vision Homes, it has specialised in providing support for those with physical and learning impairments. Last week, Vision Homes announced without giving a public reason that the studio will close from 31 March 2022. (See this article for a statement from Vision Homes.) Members of the studio are understandably very upset by this unexpected move. They have set up a Facebook page and started a petition to draw in support for saving the studio: “This news has come as a complete shock to us members and we are not just going to lie back and let it close and have a vital community creative outlet for many be taken away from us.”

Covid Watch 143: It is a perennial debate. Perhaps as old as Ludlow’s May Fair itself. Blocking traffic. Noise. Smells. Fun!

On Monday night, Ludlow Town Council debated whether to allow the May Fair this year. Councillors were told that only 30 people would be allowed into the fair at a time. Putting aside that would bankrupt any commercial operation, government rules say that 4,000 people, even more, are allowed for outdoor events such as funfairs. On the proviso they don’t all come at once and the familiar social distancing rules are enforced. At the same meeting, councillors approved space for the Green Festival and the Fringe Festival in the town centre without a limit on numbers. After what I can only describe as an ill-informed debate on Monday, councillors decided to ask for a Covid safe plan for the fair. If the fair goes ahead, it will be over the late May bank holiday. I hope it goes ahead as there is no legal barrier to it doing so.

Peter Nutting says he has “no intention” of selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms – we need better guarantees than that

It is always worth listening to what politicians say. And listening to it twice. This morning, Shropshire Council leader Peter Nutting was questioned by Eric Smith on BBC Radio Shropshire. He said that reports of Shropshire Council selling Ludlow Assembly Rooms (LAR) were “tosh”. There is no intention of selling. Fair enough and good news. But “no intention” is not a guarantee. Shropshire Council has backed itself into a corner over LAR. It has only two options that will not cost it more money. Flogging the premises or allowing Ludlow to run South Shropshire’s premier cultural centre as agreed.

Ludlow Art Mural coming to the end of its life

The Ludlow Art Mural Project was an amazing initiative. The idea of a mural was born in a chat over a beer. A deal to paint the boards on the former Budgens was agreed in a shake of the hand when I met Robin Morris the developer. Morris Property paid for the scaffolding and paint. Shropshire Council provided youth support. The entire project went from first thoughts to completion in five weeks. Sometimes the discussion was stormy. That’s art and artists for you. Now with plans for new retail units and apartments submitted, the mural’s days are numbered.

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