Monday, 20 July 2015

New home for Shire Horse Society National Show for 2016

Image © of Shire Horse Society and the photographer.
The world’s largest gathering of Shire horses will move to a new venue for 2016, it has been announced.

Next year the Shire Horse Society National Show will be held at Bingley Hall in the centre of Staffordshire County Showground.
The move is being made to cater for increasing visitor numbers to the show, who are keen to support the iconic breed which a few decades ago was in danger of dying out.

The National Show, which will be staged on 18th, 19th and 20th March 2016, is expected to attract more than 200 horses from across Europe, as well as visitors from around the globe, and is billed as the largest gathering of Shires seen anywhere in the world.

Shire Horse Society secretary David Ralley-Davies said: “Our National Show has been steadily gaining in popularity again recently and we wanted to ensure that everyone who wants to go gets the chance to attend, hence the decision to move to a bigger and more central venue for 2016.

“Bingley Hall will also provide additional facilities for exhibitors and their horses, such as indoor stabling for the majority of horses being shown.We’re very excited to announce our new indoor venue, and are looking forward to welcoming many new visitors, as well as our loyal followers and our members, to the showground next year.”

The Shire Horse Society, which is based at Rockingham Castle on the Leicestershire/Northamptonshire border, has signed a five-year deal to stage its National Show at Bingley Hall – starting in 2016.

The show, which has been held at a limited number of venues in England over its long history, is believed to be one of the oldest, almost continuous, horse shows in the world, having been held for the first time at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, London, in 1880, when the charity was named the English Cart Horse Society.

It is the flagship event for the Shire Horse Society, which is the only charity dedicated to the protection, promotion and improvement of the Shire horse. Since 1878 the organisation has been working to protect the breed.

“The Shire Horse Society’s National Show is quite a spectacle, and the ideal opportunity for members of the public to see these gentle giants of the horse world in all their glory,” said David Ralley-Davies. “It also gives us the chance to raise awareness of a breed that has a unique and fascinating history and heritage.

“At the same time, it provides us with the opportunity to promote the efforts that are being made to safeguard the breed’s future. We have been running a Save Our Shires campaign to raise awareness about Shires and numbers have steadily increased, thanks to the dedication of a band of enthusiasts, but fewer than 500 new foals are registered every year by the Shire Horse Society, and Shire horses remain an endangered species.

The show will include a new Friday evening ridden performance, along with a ringside show dinner, which will be followed by two days of competition and classes.It will be the first qualifier of 2016 for the Horse of the Year Show and will feature a range of classes, with horses shown in-hand, ridden and in harness.

Tickets will go on sale later this year via the Shire Horse Society’s website Follow the charity on Facebook or Twitter - and @saveourshires

Press release issued by Nottingham-based PR company Perfect10 PR

Image © of the Shire Horse society and the photographer. Not to be used or reproduced without prior written permission. 

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Focus Consultants dives into leisure centre extension scheme

East Midlands-based Focus Consultants has been appointed to project manage a £3 million scheme to refurbish and extend a leisure centre. 
Work is due to get underway this summer on the development at North Herts Leisure Centre in Letchworth and includes a new learner/teaching pool, a café with a view over the pool, dance studio, offices, a ground-sprung sports hall floor, refurbishment of the wet changing areas and more parking.
The aim of the project is to increase the life span of the centre by another 25 years and improve customer services. 
Partner at Focus Consultants, Keith Butler, said: “Focus is very pleased to have been appointed on this scheme, which is the latest in a number of similar developments the team has been involved in. 
“The new extension will not only create extra space, it will also allow the leisure centre to increase its swimming facilities, which is good news for the people of Letchworth and the surrounding area.” 
The refurbishment is being funded by North Hertfordshire District Council and the facilities are managed by a social enterprise, Stevenage Leisure Ltd, which runs the centre on the council’s behalf, and is due to be completed by the spring of 2016. 
It is being project managed by personnel in the Leicester office of Focus, which has its headquarters in Nottingham and also has teams in Holborn, London, and at Boston and Aubourn in Lincolnshire. 
The firm offers a range of services, including funding and economic development, project management, regeneration expertise, energy consultancy and chartered surveying services. 

For more details visit
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Croots Farm Shop wins national award with its Bakewell tart

The Bakewell tart produced by Derbyshire-based Croots Farm Shop has been crowned the nation’s best sweet bake in the Great British Food Farm Produce Awards 2015. 
The Duffield farm shop’s home-made Bakewell tart was selected as a winner in the awards run by Great British Food Magazine. 
Owner Steve Croot said: “We were thrilled when our Bakewell tart was chosen as a finalist in the Great British Food Farm Produce Awards. To win the category and to be named as the best sweet bake in a national competition, run by a national food magazine, is just amazing. 
“This is not just great news for Croots Farm Shop - it also flies the flag for one of Derbyshire’s well-known food products. All our Bakewell tarts are made by manager Margaret Robinson and her team, here at the shop, using a recipe that has been in Margaret’s family for generations. We love it, our customers love it and we are delighted to hear that the judges loved it too and have crowned it a real winner.” 
Croots Farm Shop, based at Farnah House Farm, Wirksworth Road, sells more than 50 Bakewell tarts a week, with demand growing since news of the award short listing spread, said Steve. 
Tom Shingler, deputy editor of Great British Food Magazine, said of the awards: “We had a record-breaking 353 entries from 242 companies, making this the biggest awards yet. For us, provenance was a priority. The categories were all very hotly contested, so very well done to all the winning and highly commended producers.” 
Croots Bakewell tart will now feature in the September edition of Great British Food Magazine, on the shelves from 31st July 2015. 
Croots Farm Shop opened seven years ago and sells a range of home-produced items, including sausages and meat products, pies, ready meals and flavoured oils. 
It has won a wide range of awards for its products, and last year Steve Croot was named as the Derbyshire Food Hero. 
Croots Farm Shop and Shires Eatery employs a 32-strong workforce. 
Croots Farm Shop is open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm (Shires Eatery until 4.30pm) and from 10am to 4pm on Sundays. Croots runs Fresh Fish Thursdays between 9am and 1pm on Thursdays.
For more information visit
Press release issued by Nottingham PR company Perfect 10 PR