January Gossip article

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Each month, the AudlemOnline team sends a 500-word article about the village to the publishers of the Whitchurch Gossip and Market Drayton Gossip magazines.

These excellent publications are widely (and freely) distributed in North Shropshire and many in Audlem see a copy, particularly of the Whitchurch magazine. Many of our readers, however, are outside their distribution area.

We thought you might like to read what we said about the village this month in the January issues:

2013 in Audlem

As the New Year's Eve fireworks lit the Audlem sky on the stroke of midnight and church bells peeled out a welcome to 2013, minds turned to what the coming year will bring.

2012, after all, had been pretty decent. Yes, the national economy may be taking longer to improve, but the village had seen all its shops remain open, had seen new arrivals with butchers Oxtail & Trotter and The Deli re-opened; the Shroppie Fly was to see substantial investment and, hopefully, bumper trade again in its enviable canal-side position.

New shop premises are planned off Cheshire Street alongside the butchers and, with surely a better summer this year, tourist trade will enjoy a boost compared with a soggy 2012.

The year promises a full programme of events with an even bigger and better Audlem Music and Arts Festival planned for late May. The Arts part of the event will see more emphasis while the already strong music line-up is expected to attract large crowds. Popular new events such as the Poetry Slam, which proved an unexpected hit last year, will be returning as part of a packed Festival over the May Bank Holiday weekend from 23rd May concluding with the Carnival on Monday 27th May.

The Audlem Special Events Team has now been running a very successful range of village events that bring in huge numbers of visitors and locals alike with live music, transport and fireworks. Check out their programme as the year develops on AudlemOnline and ASET's own website at www.audlem-aset.org

Audlem has been, almost certainly, the best dressed village for many a mile over the Festive season with the Big Tree in the Square, around fifty other illuminated trees on shops, buildings and churches and impressive displays on large trees at the three entrances to the village.

ADAS, the Audlem District Amenities Society which plans all the Festive illumination, also plants tens of thousands of bulbs and bedding plants which will soon be making their first show of the year. For three consecutive years, the displays have been recognised with awards by Britain in Bloom. Could 2013 be another success in that competition? Whatever the outcome, the village will look a picture thanks to ADAS's efforts.

A new Audlem leaflet, sponsored by the Overwater Marina and promoting this year's events, will be available shortly as the dates are confirmed. Overwater has enjoyed success with numerous awards in the past two years and is a pleasant walk northwards from the village to Bridge 80 where you can cross the canal and follow tracks from there.

One of the more unusual successes of 2012 was the Gold award in the Loo of the Year competition for Audlem's public toilets which had been completely renovated and taken over by Audlem Parish Council after being closed by Cheshire East.

Located by the car park and pristine inside, they represent Audlem's determination to maintain its facilities for residents and visitors — long may that continue!