Phil Gillam: Positive vibes at multicultural fun day
Laughter, lorryloads of good wishes, positive vibes, music, dancing and delicious food came together last weekend at an annual event.
And – to top it all – it all took place in brilliant afternoon sunshine.
There was also a variety of art workshops, plenty of good conversation, the Shropshire Ukelele Massive, the Oswestry Street Band, the Footlights dancers, a range of stalls, the amazing and always-colourful Bhangra Dancers, face-painting and family fun.
This was of course the multicultural fun day held at the Shrewsbury United Reformed Church at Coleham Head.
And it put smiles on a lot of faces.
Many congratulations to John Mustafa and his fellow organisers for staging another life-enhancing event.
FOOTBALL AND SAFE STANDING
In other news, Shrewsbury Town Football Club’s ‘safe-standing’ section at their stadium has been declared a success – and could be the start of something big across the country.
Representatives of the Sports Ground Safety Authority have attended two games at the Montgomery Waters Meadow to monitor how things are going.
Their findings will form part of a review that could lead to safe standing becoming a standard feature in English football grounds.
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson has hailed Shrewsbury Town for its pioneering work. Mr Watson has been one of the leading advocates for safe standing which allows fans to stand, but with the safety of an all-important rail on each row.
Standing in English football’s top two divisions was outlawed in 1989 following the Hillsborough disaster which resulted in 96 fatalities and 766 injuries following the crush as the FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest got under way at Sheffield Wednesday’s stadium.
Mr Watson has backed West Bromwich Albion’s plans for a safe standing section at The Hawthorns. And Wolves also want to create a section at Molineux to allow fans to stand safely.
He said: “The success of safe standing at Shrewsbury Town is yet another reason why we should empower clubs to make their own decisions on this.”
REMEMBERING LOVED ONES AT ST CHAD’S
Here’s a beautiful idea that’s been in action for two decades.
A fundraising church service, which offers families an opportunity to remember loved ones in light, is set to return to Shrewsbury for its 20th year.
For two decades Severn Hospice’s Lights of Love service has provided comfort to those who have lost someone close to them, while raising vital funds to support families facing difficult times this Christmas. The charity creates a unique Christmas tree of memories, adorned with lights and dedications to loved ones, as a centrepiece for the service. This year’s service is taking place at St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury on December 2.
HOUSE OF FRASER
Do you remember how upset everyone appeared to be when Woolworth’s went out of business?
Pretty well everyone I spoke to after the store vanished from our high streets said how sad they were at its demise.
But then when you asked the question: "But when did you last shop there?”, they’d hesitate for a moment and say: “Ah, well, that’s a good point …”
And I do wonder if the same isn’t true of House of Fraser.
Talks are currently being held behind the scenes in an effort to secure the future of Shrewsbury’s store.
However, uncertainly still surrounds the future of our High Street department store - more than a month after the £90 million takeover of the parent company.
The retail chain went bust with debts of nearly £1 billion and was bought out of administration by Mike Ashley and his Sports Direct empire.
Mr Ashley’s team has confirmed that seven out of 59 stores will remain open, including the one at Telford.
Personally, I’ve always loved the atmosphere of department stores, and I really hope a rescue package can be put together for our House of Fraser outlet, and that it can generate the sort of support that poor old Woolworth’s was clearly lacking.