Monday 1st August – the height of the summer holiday season – will be marked in Ellesmere by an entertaining sideways look at the seaside and other holiday venues. Time to Listen, provided by volunteers from the local library within Our Space will feature songs, stories and poems.

Pre-Covid, these free sessions were held monthly and usually lasted an hour. Now they are bi-monthly and are 90 minutes long. Sue Ardill, the lead volunteer explained, ‘This way there is plenty of time for refreshments and a chat as well as some excellent material.’

The other change is the venue. The sessions are now held in the Methodist Church hall, just a stone’s throw away along Trimpley. ‘The hall is airy and light and has a greater capacity than the community space at the library. The sessions begin at 2p.m. although keen attendees often arrive early!’ Sue continued.

Only Shropshire venue to feature live music

The sessions are branded as ‘Stories, songs and so much more.’ In fact, Time to Listen events are run in many libraries across Shropshire, but Ellesmere’s is the only one with live music. Volunteer Jenny Wilbraham explained, ‘We’re so lucky to have such local talent, and that the musicians give up their time for free.’

An appreciative audience member said of husband-and-wife partnership Mirjana and Roger Garland who sang in June, ‘Their voices were so clear we could hear every word. And such special songs, too!’

Audience reaction overall to the June entertainment was extremely positive with comments like ‘The best yet’. Barbara O’Donovan said these afternoons are ‘joyous occasions and I am always sad to miss one.’ Kate Westgate, a volunteer, added, ‘We’re trying to maintain an already very high standard!’

The next session, on Monday 1st August, is called ‘I do like to be beside the seaside – come away with us!’  Singer and ukulele player Peter Cartlidge, a great favourite, will bring his special quirkiness to the event.

The autumn session in October will, unusually, be on the second Monday of the month – the 10th, and will be loosely based on the topic of Harvest.

So, to sum up: a free event, usually the first Monday of the month, refreshments provided, stories, songs and the occasional poem, often original material. What’s not to like? Join them on Monday 1st August, 10th October and 5th December. 2p.m.- 3.30p.m. Methodist Church Hall, Trimpley.