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  1. Maya Patel

Weekend Picks: Spider Exhibition

British Tarantula Society 31st Annual Exhibition: Sun 22nd May (Meridienne Exhibitions Ltd, Royal Leamington Spa)

Monocentopus balfori was the best in show winner last year. Credit: Peter Kirk

More than 50,000 spiders are heading to Warwickshire this weekend for an event likened to ‘The Crufts of The Spider World'.

The British Tarantula Society (BTS) is staging its 31st annual exhibition, which will attract visitors from as far away as America, Asia and Europe. Visitors will be able to see and buy a variety of arachnids, scorpions, stick insects, beetles and other insects throughout the day.

Society members will be able to submit their prized spiders for a series of awards including 'Best Brachypelma Species', 'Best New World Terrestrial' and 'Best Scorpion'.

“We are expecting around 70 exhibitors selling spider-related items ranging from tarantulas and equipment to books, jewellery and T-shirts.

There will also be all sorts of bugs and creepy crawlies for the visitor to see. There’s even a guy who makes bug sculptures with a chainsaw.”

– Ray Hale, Vice Chairman of the British Tarantula Society

For prices, opening times and more information visit:


Weekend Picks: Royal Leamington Spa Christmas Lights

  • Christmas Lights Switch On: Sunday 15 November (Royal Leamington Spa)
The Christmas lights will be switched on Credit: Ian West/PA Wire

This weekend have a browse through the Parade and enjoy the Yuletide Christmas market, fairground rides and some of the best local talent performing on stage ahead of Royal Leamington Spa’s Christmas lights switch on. There’ll be music and entertainment throughout the afternoon followed by lights switch on from 4.30pm.

For prices, times and more information visit:

Two Midlands towns selected for Portas Pilots

Two Midlands towns have been selected for the second wave of a scheme to revamp high streets Credit: ITV Central

Loughborough and Royal Leamington Spa will be given a share of £1.5 million to help improve the town centres.

The money follows a review by businesswoman and retail expert Mary Portas. It is the second wave of "Portas pilots", created to revamp high streets.

The two Midlands' towns are among 15 across the country selected as part of the second wave. Those towns which have not been selected wlll be able to bid for a share of a £5.5 million pot for individual projects.

Local government minister Grant Shapps has congratulated the towns that have successfully gained a share of the money "in the face of stiff competition:"