Shropshire Star

Check out the most read Shropshire Star stories online in 2022

From a Brazilian football legend playing in Shropshire to a slippery customer found on a county road, and from a Netflix special on a cruel conman to a family winning a £3 million dream home, we take a look back at our most read online stories of 2022.

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1. Hospital appointment? Yes, we'll see you in 2025

The letter offering an appointment in June 2025

A Telford dad couldn't believe his eyes when his 16-year-old son, who had been referred for hospital checks, was given an appointment in June 2025 – an incredible wait of 951 days.

The boy's father said he was astonished after Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) confirmed that the date given in the letter was not a typo.

Read the full story here.

2. Submerged village revealed as lake water levels plummet

A photo by John Yossarian showing remains of a house

None of us can remember a time when Lake Vyrnwy was anything but that - a beautiful lake with its trademark dam and Victorian straining tower at one end.

But in August's heat, incredibly low water levels at the reservoir revealed the remains of some of the houses that used to line the valley.

Read the full story here.

3. 'Honest' garage cuts fuel prices

Griffiths Garage, Leintwardine

Soaring petrol and diesel prices have been among the most unwelcome stories of 2022 but one fuel station gained plaudits for keeping its prices down as much as possible, Alex Griffiths, director at Griffiths Garage, in High Street, Leintwardine, on the border between Shropshire and Herefordshire, said: "We’re here to make an honest living and our prices reflect what we’ve paid for product and a sensible margin so we can keep the lights on."

Read the full story here.

4. Popular restaurant saved as new bosses come to rescue

Michael Halford outside The Peach Tree, Shrewsbury. Photo: The Peach Tree.

Here's a sad story that had a happy ending. At the end of November a long-running Shrewsbury restaurant closed with immediate effect, leaving people with bookings for meals and Christmas parties in the lurch. Luckily, the Peach Tree in Abbey Foregate, which opened in 1997, was taken over again in short order and reopened.

Read the full story here.

5. May the forge be with you

Photo: McCartneys property, Rightmove

Our top property story of the year wasn't a millionaire's mansion in the Shropshire Hills but a blacksmith's workshop fitted with its own ER Royal Mail postbox on the market for just £35,000.

The smithy was located at Newcastle On Clun, near to Clun and Craven Arms, and was up on Rightmove.

Read the full story here.

6. Shropshire's property hotspots - and not so hot spots revealed

The Mount in Shrewsbury was Shropshire's most expensive road. Photo: Google.

Still on the subject of hot properties, a home sales company revealed the most - and least - expensive streets in the SY postcode area over the last five years.

They looked at average sales prices from HM Land Registry since early 2016 to come up with its list of property hot spots and not so hot spots.

Read the full story here.

7. Evacuations as Storm Franklin hits county

Flood defences at the Wharfage, Ironbridge

Parts of Ironbridge were evacuated as Storm Franklin hit the UK in February, with the force of the Severn threatening to overwhelm flood defences and posing a "significant risk to life".

A series of warnings were issued along the River Severn in Shropshire as the storm brought flooding misery to the county.

Read the full story here.

8. The day Roberto Carlos played (and scored) for a Shropshire pub side

Roberto Carlos poses after greeting pupils from Hanwood's primary school who turned out in force

World Cup winner Roberto Carlos added another honour to his trophy case - playing on a village hall pitch in Shropshire in March.

A normally sleepy Friday morning in Hanwood was transformed into a raucous local derby as the Brazilian left-back joined The Bull in the Barne for a match-up against local rivals Harlescott Rangers. And the world's media descended.

Despite hanging his boots up in 2015, the Brazilian legend was in town after Bull in the Barne won a charity 'Dream Transfer' raffle on eBay.

Read the full story here.

9. Tributes pour in for firefighter Shane, 42, after cancer death

Shane Evans with his partner, Lisa, and children

Tributes were paid to a popular Newport firefighter who died after struggling with incurable cancer. Shane Evans died surrounded by his family at Severn Hospice, in Shrewsbury. His mum Linda said: "He lived his life to save other people but nobody could save his."

Read the full story here.

10. Netflix special tells incredible story of the fake spy from Shropshire

Robert Hendy-Freegard

One of the biggest, most audacious and cruellest cons in modern criminal history had its inception in the Shropshire market town of Newport.

A Netflix documentary, The Puppet Master: Hunting the Ultimate Conman, told how penniless drifter Robert Hendy-Freegard conned people far better educated than himself with fanciful stories about his supposed work for MI5.

Read the full story here.

11. Chef George serves up new menu and more

George Cavendish at The Feathers Inn at Brockton

Foodies were keen to find out how a chef who used to run a popular Shrewsbury town centre food venue was aiming to turn around the fortunes of a much-loved South Shropshire pub.

George Cavendish - who used to run the Glutton Club on Shrewsbury's Welsh Bridge - took over the Feathers Inn in Brockton in January.

Read the full story here.

12. Sad end to tradition of Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre

Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre 2021 at Ludlow Castle was sadly cancelled due to Storm Arwen

After 23 years of bringing festive joy to thousands of people, the family firm behind the annual Ludlow Medieval Christmas Fayre announced that the losses of the last few years had been "too great for a small family business to bear" and it was to be no more. Following the pandemic, 2021's event was cruelly devastated by Storm Arwen, which left a trail of destruction on the eve of the return of the event. A winter festival was later announced to take the fayre's place in the calendar for 2022.

Read the full story here.

13. Couple's joy as they win £3 million Lake Windermere dream home

Catherine Carwardine celebrates with family members Chris, Joshua, Charlotte and Mya

A Telford couple couldn't believe their luck when they won a stunning £3 million dream home overlooking Lake Windermere - and £20,000 cash - in a charity draw.

NHS worker Catherine Carwardine won the Million Pound House Draw competition after purchasing her £20 ticket on Valentine's Day and at the same time helped to raise £1m for Alzhemier's Research UK.

Read the full story here.

14. Student hailed as a hero for rescuing river fall man

Will Mowbray and Molly Marr near the spot where they helped rescue Dan Walker, inset

Dan Walker, who was rescued from the River Severn in Shrewsbury, hailed as a hero student Will Mowbray who saved his life.

Father-of-one Dan's frightening ordeal happened in the early hours of April 4.

“I’m just grateful to Will," said Dan.

Read the full story here.

15. Bungalow residents devastated at being forced to leave homes

Joe Edwards and his neighbour Elsie Hall

Residents of a bungalow complex were left reeling after being told they would have to move in the next 18 months.

The tenants in Fairfield Close, Gobowen, received letters from STAR Housing saying their homes were to be demolished as they were becoming increasingly unfit for purpose.

Read the full story here.

16. Bomb disposal experts called into action at building site

Copthorne Road, Shrewsbury

A bomb was detonated in a controlled explosion after being found at a building site in Shrewsbury.

Bomb disposal experts were called to the Bellway Homes site in Copthorne Road in July. They would go on to make a number of repeat visits as more ordnance was unearthed at the former Copthorne Barracks site.

Read the full story here.

17. Only two Shropshire towns make list of happiest places to live

Shrewsbury is one of the happiest places to live in the West Midlands

Rightmove’s Happy at Home Index asked people how they feel about where they live, and received more than 21,000 responses.

Shrewsbury and Telford were the happiest West Midlands towns, listed sixth and seventh respectively.

Read the full story here.

18. Snakes alive! Slippery customer found on a Shropshire road

The huge boa Ben rescued

A 6ft-long albino boa constrictor was found far from home on a Shropshire country road.

It was rescued and taken in by a pet shop after being found on a road just outside Baschurch by Ben Hawkes one August afternoon.

Read the full story here.

19. Motorhome man ordered to leave his home in the woods

Satellite view of Maesllwyn Lane, Bronington. Image: Google.

In July we reported how a man living in a motorhome in woodland on the Shropshire border was told he must move out.

Martin Pugh lost an appeal with his local council to use the land at Bronington, near Whitchurch, for his home.

Read the full story here.

20. 'Now or never' fight to get village railway station reopened

The former station, known as Station House, is now in private hands

Also in July, hundreds of residents threw their weight behind a "now or never" opportunity to open a village railway station for the first time since the 1960s.

A campaign got underway to bring a station to Baschurch, near Shrewsbury, with hordes of villagers packing into The Corbet School for a presentation.

Read the full story here.

21. Crime of passion - loud lovemaking lands mother with £300 fine

The case was heard at Wrexham County Court

People were getting hot under the collar when a single mum was fined £300 after complaints that sounds of passion from her semi were disturbing neighbours.

Kristin Morgan was advised by magistrates to find out whether she could get a grant to insulate walls and help stop the noise.

Morgan blamed her son and his girlfriend for the noise - so a council enforcement officer suggested she swapped rooms with them.

Read the full story here.

22. Daughter of Ironbridge-born Wolves legend gets engaged to comedian Bobby Davro

Bobby Davro with Vicky Wright. Photo: Bobby Davro

The daughter of Ironbridge-born Wolves legend Billy Wright was left "overwhelmed" with messages of support after she got engaged to comedian Bobby Davro this month.

Vicky Wright and her soon-to-be husband shared the news on social media and revealed they had been inundated with around 3,000 messages.

Read the full story here.

23. 'Wrong footwear' sees pupils sent home from school

William Brookes School, Much Wenlock. Photo: Google

Pupils at a Much Wenlock school found the first day after the half-term break tougher than they expected after they fell foul of a uniform policy.

Pupils were sent home from William Brookes School for wearing the wrong kind of footwear - some girls were also sent home because their skirts didn't cover their knees.

Read the full story here.

24. Ukrainian family rehomed by kind Telford couple

Safe in Telford are Alena Petruchenko and her daughters Anastasia Limarenko, 15 and Yelyzaveta Petriuchenko, three

It was a happy Easter for one Ukrainian family, re-housed in Telford with a kind-hearted couple following Russia's invasion of their homeland.

Olena Petriuchenko and her daughters Anastasiia Limarenko, 15, and Yelyzaveta Petriuchenko, three, were spending their first Easter in the UK.

Read the full story here.

25. Ghostly stories behind one of England's bloodiest battles

The site of the Battle of Shrewsbury as it appears today, peaceful but bleak.

You may already know why Battlefield in Shrewsbury is called Battlefield - named for the Battle of Shrewsbury that took place there centuries ago.

But have you heard that the hundreds who lost their lives fighting there were supposedly buried in a mass grave, or that, if the light is just right, you might see the spirit of some lonely soldier still wandering the battlefield to this day?

Read the full story here.