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Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire

Pantfest success

Last month’s Pantfest held at The Cross Guns Inn in Pant has been hailed a success – especially given the difficult situation pubs currently find themselves in due to COVID-19.

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire
The Cross Guns Inn, Pant

The Cross Guns has announced that almost £250 was raised by and for three local organisations – the PTA at Bryn Offa School, Pant Memorial Hall and the Restore the Montgomery Canal! Appeal. All are to receive £60, with donations on the day to the canal group adding another £65.

Although the car boot part of the day didn’t pull in quite as many people as was hoped, the afternoon music event was very well supported.

Said Maureen from the pub: “We are really pleased at how the day went and it’s great to be able to support these local organisations with cash raised on the day. Due to the COVID-19 regulations at the time, we had to arrange the event at pretty short notice, but it was great to welcome more people into the pub’s gardens for the first outside performances of the year.

“Pantfest was our way of saying ‘thank you’ to the whole village for their support during the early part of the year when we were only open for takeaways.”

Recent changes to the regulations for pubs mean that the Cross Guns, along with all other pubs in England, will have to close by 10pm and will be restricted by law to table service only.

No table bookings of more than six are allowed and groups won’t be able to mingle with other people. You will need to give your contact details for future tracing if an outbreak is detected.

Staff will have to wear masks, as must customers if they are not sat at their table to eat or drink.

Added Maureen: “Times continue to be difficult for us all, but we are aiming to keep the Cross Guns at the heart of the community.”

If you want to find out more about the three local organisations, please visit: Pant Memorial Hall, The Montgomery Canal or Bryn Offa PTA.

Five members of the Montgomery Canal project team

Volunteers sought to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge

With the easing of Coronavirus restrictions plans are being made for the project to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge, the last blocked bridge on the Montgomery Canal before it enters Wales.

Restore the Montgomery Canal appeal logo

For the last three years the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal has been raising money to rebuild the bridge between Pant and Crickheath in advance of work on restoring the canal towards Pant and Llanymynech. At the same time a team of retired civil engineers, all volunteers, has been preparing the designs for the project.

The team believes that the only way the bridge can be rebuilt with the available funds is by using as many volunteers as possible to undertake much of the work and to engage specialist contractors only when necessary.

Five members of the Montgomery Canal project team
Volunteer team members (from left to right): Glyn Whitehurst, Ken Jackson, Mathew Dorricott, Roger Bravey – Lead engineer – and Chris Busnesll.

After a series of online meetings the volunteer team held a suitably distanced meeting at a nearby hotel to prepare for the start of work. The plan is to carry out some preparatory work this autumn, with Covid precautions, with the main reconstruction in spring 2021.

Michael Limbrey, Chairman of the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal group said, “Canal volunteers have a great record of building or rebuilding locks and bridges and the results can be seen on canal restorations across the country. These volunteers have the skills and qualifications to use serious pieces of equipment, as they do on the Shropshire Union Canal Society working parties restoring the dry Montgomery Canal channel to the north of Schoolhouse Bridge.

“So this is our call to canal volunteers – any volunteers – to come and join this exciting project. Starting next spring we have to build a bridge in the space of a few months so we can reopen the road as soon as possible.

“Unlike many restoration projects, this is for one season: seven months and the job is done.

“It will probably take just one day to crane the bridge arch into position – that will be very exciting!

“This is a great opportunity for anyone interested in joining a vital part of the project to bring the Montgomery Canal back to Mid Wales. The completed bridge will be a permanent reminder of your achievement.”

The team plans to start in September by fencing off the site and laying a temporary trackway so heavy vehicles can get past the site. Next spring the main project will start by removing the existing road embankment so a concrete base and walls can be created for the new bridge. Contractors will then install the bridge arch, with volunteers backfilling to road level so contractors can surface the road. Volunteers will finish brickwork facing to the bridge, install bridge parapets and other fitments and complete landscaping so the road can be reopened to traffic.

Ken Jackson from the project team said, “Now we have to build the volunteer labour force. This will be a mix of skilled specialist volunteers such as carpenters, steel fixers and bricklayers and general volunteers to support them and carry out general ground works and landscaping.
“We are looking for specialised volunteers to join the project to drive excavators and dumpers to excavate the site in March/April 2021, from May to prepare for concreting in June, and in July and September to brick the faces of the bridge.

“We understand that planning outdoor activities is difficult at the moment but don’t let that stop you registering an interest in working with the Schoolhouse Bridge team; and don’t worry if you haven’t done this kind of thing before, we will provide induction training, personal protective equipment and all the tools.”

For more on the Montgomery Canal visit www.themontgomerycanal.org.uk.

To register an interest in volunteering, please email contact@montgomerywrtrust.uk.

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire

Pantfest comes to the Cross Guns

The Cross Guns Inn in Pant is to host their very first ‘Pantfest’, a charity funday on Bank Holiday Sunday 30 August.

There will be live music all day in the garden, from around 2pm – 8pm, featuring a number of different acts, as well as a raffle and car boot sale raising funds for charity.

This is a poster for Pantfest

The car boot sale will be held between 10am and 2pm in the pub’s car park with each stall/car costing £5, with all the money going to charity.

Said Maureen from the Cross Guns: “This is short notice as we were waiting to see what the current COVID-19 regulations were, but outside performances are now allowed, with social distancing in place, of course.

“We wanted to put on an event that is for the whole village as our way of saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who has been supporting us over the past few months.

“All money raised by Pantfest will be split equally between three local organisations. A third each will go to the PTA at Bryn Offa School, Pant Memorial Hall and the Restore the Montgomery Canal! appeal.”

Maureen added: “We wanted to support organisations in the village that are for local people. The village hall, like the pub, school and shop are at the heart of the village and if we can help to rebuild Schoolhouse Bridge and bring the Montgomery Canal back in water in Pant, that will be a great asset for local people.”

Sunday lunch will be served as normal between 12 noon and 3pm and there will be selected other meals served throughout the day.

If you are interested in having a car boot stall or getting involved in Pantfest, please call Maureen at the pub on 01691 839631 and visit their Facebook page to find out more about what is happening on the day.

Cross Guns Inn, Pant, Shropshire

Cross Guns to reopen

The Cross Guns Inn in Pant is set to reopen on Saturday 4th July after its enforced COVID-19 lockdown.

The pub is managed by Nigel, Maureen and Asia who said that they are looking forward to reopening to regulars, although in a different way than before the lockdown.

A one way system will be in place inside the pub with entry from the side door nearest to the road, and exit into the car park near the beer garden. If the weather is fine, the beer garden gives plenty of space for customers to keep their social distance but if the weather is less than perfect, space will be limited as the pub has to abide by new guidelines, meaning capacity is set at 60 people.

Said Nigel: “The new rules mean that customers cannot stay inside unless there is a table free so booking is strongly recommended on Facebook or by telephone. We don’t want anyone to miss out!

“Luckily, we don’t need to have any plastic screens so we are going to be as welcoming as ever. We have also spent the time during lockdown to completely repaint the inside of the pub so we hope regulars will like the new feel, in spite of the one way system, which I am sure will take a bit of getting used to – especially for regulars who have been coming in for years.”

Tables will be limited to a maximum of six people meaning no big celebrations can be held at the moment.

Both cash and cards will continue to be accepted and Admiral Taverns have introduced a loyalty card which gives a free drink after the purchase of five.

Opening hours will be Monday – Thursday 12 noon to 11.30pm (no food on Mondays), Sunday 12 noon to 11 pm and Friday & Saturday 12 noon to 1 am.

Nigel has also confirmed that the Cross Guns will continue to offer takeaways for the time being.

You can keep in touch with the pub via Facebook.

Whittington Castle

Can you help Whittington Castle?

Whittington Castle is an historic landmark which has welcomed the public through its doors free of charge for generations but is now facing imminent and permanent closure – thanks to coronavirus.

The voluntary and unpaid trustees of Whittington Castle, a 13th century border fortress visited annually by thousands of tourists and locals and an increasingly popular venue for major historical re-enactments, have issued a stark warning.

Whittington Castle, Shropshire

With its entire revenue axed to zero as a result of lockdown, plans are already afoot to seal the castle and its grounds to the public, posing a risk it will never re-open, unless funds can be raised to rescue it.

Chairman of the Trustees of the moated castle and its landscaped parkland, Jonjo Evans, explained: “I have a sinking feeling we are going down for good this time, after years of financial problems and this is tragic given that we started the new year with light at the end of a long tunnel.

For years now the Castle has been treading a financial tightrope, with no external funding whatever, relying on our tea room and car park for a regular modest income to pay wages. With free admission, we are heavily dependent on events such as weddings, re-enactments of landmarks in history and other popular activities to help cover the huge annual cost of keeping the place going. As a rule we do well to break even. People see the castle always bubbling with activity and life, swarming with tourists and assume finances are ticking over nicely. They should see the books.”

Our public liability and other insurance, for instance, cost more than £1,000 a month, so the maximum £10,000 grant we received from the Exchequer as a result of Corona virus will be gone on that and other running costs such as utility bills and other recurring and unavoidable overheads by the end of the summer. Long before that happens, leaving us in effect uninsured and with nothing left in the bank, we will need to take steps to seal the site off to stop people sneaking in. The law requires this and it is a bleak prospect.”

The gatehouse will still be visible from the road, but the moat bridge, along with the road approach to the rest of the castle and its grounds will have to be barricaded and in the absence of an injection of funds I can’t see any of it re-opening when the crisis is over. We need capital now to keep going and at the very least make the small improvements from we had planned to do from the income.”

If you would be able to financially support the castle, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/community-castle-in-crisis, where you can add your contribution.

coronavirus graphic

Coronavirus updates

Please note that this article is being updated as and when we get new information of relevance. 

For those confident using the internet, self isolation needn’t be so isolating. There is lots of advice and information online about coronavirus but it is important to check that the information is from reputable sources. We have listed some below.

Update on Household Recycling Centres – 4th May 2020 – Household recycling centres will be reopened across Shropshire from Tuesday 5 May 2020 for essential use only – but with strict rules in place to ensure the safety of the public and staff. Find out more here – https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/recycling-and-rubbish/household-recycling-centres/

Shropshire Council has issued guidance about access to public rights of way during the ‘lockdown’, which is especially relevant to Pant and the surrounding area which would usually see an influx of walkers, cyclists and horse riders at this time of year.

The Government’s priority is to save lives, and the best way to protect yourself and others from illness is to stay at home.

However, exercise is still important for people’s physical and mental wellbeing, so the Government has said people can leave their homes for exercise once a day.

As such, the Public Rights of Way network in Shropshire remains open to allow people to exercise and get some fresh air during these difficult times. However, people are asked to use the network responsibly to help reduce the spread of coronavirus.

The National Farmers Union and the CLA (Country Land and Business Association) have told us that some landowners are still concerned about increased use of Public Rights of Way on their property, increasing the risk to livestock, such as instances of gates being left open and dogs not being controlled.

When exercising their right of way, the public should be mindful that some Public Rights of Way pass through residential properties and/or working farms. Local farmers have no choice but to continue working to provide food to feed the nation, look after their animals and tend their crops.

In Pant, a group has been created, using Facebook as an initial means of contact, to match those aged 70+, pregnant, or immune-suppressed, who may be in need of help during self-isolation, with those willing to help.

The group will be posting updates at – https://www.facebook.com/groups/621551288688891

Says Richard Banks who set the group up: “The group has now recruited volunteers and the village has been divided up into areas of about 50 houses each. Each of these areas has been allocated to a volunteer, who will be distributing flyers over the weekend, which include contact details (21/22 March).”

Other medical conditions. The NHS is obviously very busy currently and the information about coronavirus is intended to keep as many people out of the health system as possible unless they need it.

Even though these are exceptional times, and routine operations and out patient appointments have been cancelled, there is still help out there for non-coronavirus issues.

The advice from the NHS is that if you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

** For health information and advice, use the NHS website or your GP surgery website
** For urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you’re unable to get help online
** For life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance

The Minor Injuries Unit in Welshpool has made temporary changes to keep patients and staff safe.

All Minor Injury Units in Powys are currently APPOINTMENT ONLY services. Please call before your visit on 01938 558900 (Welshpool).

Pant Post Office

Gareth Owen from McColls in Pant has offered that if anyone is struggling to get any items from the supermarket or even struggling to get to the supermarket at all, they can give the shop a call and they will do their best to help out with any basic things needed. The number for the shop is 01691 839926.

The shop is now open from 7 am-8 pm and has a TWO customers in the shop at any time policy to minimise contact.

Meanwhile, the Cross Guns Inn in Pant is offering a take away menu between Monday and Saturday – 12 noon – 8.30 pm. Visit their Facebook page for the menu or give them a call. All dishes are cooked to order, so please give as much notice as possible.

Pant Memorial Hall has announced that from Monday, 23rd March the hall is closed. No bookings are being taken until further notice.

The committee has also said that they will keep the external flower displays looking their best and will continue to look after the hall, our community building during the quiet period..

Llanymynech & Pant Parish Council meetings have been suspended for the time being due to the current COVID-19 crisis. You can still email the Clerk on landpcouncil@btinternet.com, if you want to raise any items for the future.

Lynda from Llynclys Hall Farm Shop has confirmed that they are open daily from 8am to 6pm.

We have also been informed that there will be no worship services at St Agatha’s, Llanymynech or St Philip & St James, Morton until further notice.

The churches aim to be open for private prayer each day. However, those entering the church are asked to take heed of Government advice on hand washing. For all updates please visit Facebook – Border Group of Parishes.

At Pant Methodist Chapel, we have been informed that there will be no more cafes until further notice and the Chapel building will be open for private prayer on Sundays between 10 am and 12 noon.

Traveline Cymru has announced a new temporary timetable came into effect on 23 March for the T12 bus that serves the village. Click here for the new timetable.

NHS: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19
WHO: https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses
Shropshire Council: https://www.shropshire.gov.uk/coronavirus
BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/coronavirus

If you need any help or have any questions, please do get in touch or leave a comment below.

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Pant.Today is published by Ethos public relations Ltd. The site is designed to be an asset for the community in the village of Pant in Shropshire as well as visitors and others.

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