Press Centre

Off The Beaten Track

  • Episode: 

    5 of 6

  • Title: 

    Shropshire
  • Transmission: 

    Fri 06 Dec 2013
  • Time: 

    8.00pm - 8.30pm
  • Week: 

    Week 49 2013 : Sat 30 Nov - Fri 06 Dec
  • Channel: 

    ITV
In the fifth episode, Christine heads to Shropshire where she explores an unusual museum, helps make natural confetti and takes part in a medieval re-enactment. 
 
Firstly, Christine meets Jim and Jess who plant, grow and harvest amazing flowers for natural confetti. Christine gets stuck in helping to pick the flowers and the pair explains how they dry them and package them before sending them to brides and grooms across the country. Plus, Christine discovers that the romance of making confetti has spread to the workers with Jim and Jess recently getting married and another 25 couples meeting and getting married whilst working there making confetti. 
 
Shropshire has 5,500 public rights of way and, for her next task, Christine helps the group of locals who are busy pruning them to keep them clear. They regale Christine with stories of a local highway man who was said to have lived in a nearby cave with his horse. So Christine saddles up and goes riding on the bridleways to trace the footsteps of the highwayman. 
 
In the town of Craven Arms, a 19th Century frontier trading post between England and Wales, Christine meets Stella Mitchell who bought a three-storey Victorian market hall to turn into a museum of popular culture
 
Christine marvels at the amount of memorabilia in the museum: “There is not a tiny bit of wall, or indeed ceiling, that is untouched. I could spend days in here…it is definitely a museum like none other.”
 
Stella says: “The main things that I have concentrated on are the ordinary everyday items of people’s everyday lives. Ordinary things tell stories about everyday people, and they can come here and see their own life, their own childhood. The toys they played with, the TV programmes that they watched. Everything is represented here.”
 
Christine loves exploring the museum and stumbles across a game she received for Christmas as a child and a 1960s slimming suit that was designed for women to wear whilst they did the housework. 
 
In the north west of Shropshire, the town of Whittington was a key defence position in the war between the Welsh and English. Christine visits the castle there and meets castle-worker Sue who explains the history of the area and the Fitzwarren family who used to live there and are believed to have inspired the story of Dick Whittington, who married Alice Fitzwarren.
 
Sue explains to Christine that, when the castle was crumbling in 1998, the locals got together and formed a trust to raise money and pay for restorations and events, making this the only castle in the country owned and run by the locals.  
 
Christine gets given a medieval costume and takes part in a re-enactment at the castle, which are held almost every weekend in the summer months.